Fastest journey1hr 57m
Choose between a high-speed TGV or a slow but very scenic TER train for your journey from Paris to Lyon
The fastest high-speed TGV trains from Paris to Lyon take a little under two hours for the 427-km journey. Trains run at least hourly on Europe’s first-ever high-speed rail route. The line from Paris to Lyon (called the LGV Sud-Est) was opened in 1981. If the idea of such speed doesn’t appeal, you can take the classic line to the south, using TER regional trains which leave from Paris-Bercy and take just over five hours to reach Lyon.
The high-speed route route is usually served by double-deck TGV Duplex trains, so book a seat on the upper deck for the best views. The high-speed run from Paris to Lyon has a touch of drama. It sweeps south, defying the lie of the land, and before long the train from Paris to Lyon is dashing through the vineyards of Burgundy.
Bookings normally open three months prior to travel, but for the peak summer season Loco2 can sometimes sell tickets four months in advance. This is a prime business route, so it is worth booking early for the cheapest tickets.
Paris to Lyon
Every day, about 20 TGVs leave the Gare de Lyon in Paris for the city of Lyon, taking just two hours for the 430-km journey. This is a fast dash on France’s oldest dedicated high-speed rail route – it opened way back in 1981. Within little more than an hour you swap Parisian suburbs for the soft contours of Burgundy vineyards and before long the train is gliding into Lyon. All TGV services from Paris stop first at Lyon Part Dieu station. Most then continue to serve Lyon Perrache.
Most travellers opt for the high-speed rail service from Paris to Lyon. But, for those keen to see a little of rural France, there is a wonderful regional rail route from the French capital to Lyon. It follows the classic PLM route taken by the grand expresses of yesteryear on their journey from Paris to the south of France. PLM stands for Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée. The old PLM route was sidelined when the high-speed line from Paris to Lyon opened in 1981, but there are still some regional services (TER trains) that ply the route. To find those slower trains here on Loco2, enter Paris-Bercy as your departure station and look for direct trains to Lyon that take a bit over five hours.
The slow train from Paris to Lyon slips through the forests of Fontainebleau then cuts south-east through hills which become slowly more emphatic. The railway then drops down steeply into the Saône Valley, which it follows south to Lyon, along the way passing through many of the most celebrated wine villages of Burgundy.
Bookings for this route generally open three months prior to travel. But prices remain much the same even as the date of travel approaches. There is therefore no great advantage in booking a long time in advance.
Paris to Lyon
Every day, there are three to five TER trains from Paris to Lyon, leaving from Paris-Bercy station. Note that this is not the same station as that used by the high-speed TGV trains which depart from the Gare de Lyon. The journey gets off to a fast start with a non-stop run to Sens, taking just less than an hour. But then the pace slows and the train makes more than a dozen further stops on its journey to Lyon Part Dieu station.
Other journeys to Lyon View all journeys to Lyon
- From Ashford International from £84.00
- From Colmar from £17.50
- From Edinburgh (Waverley, city centre) from £109.50
- From Brussels from £61.50
- From Chamonix from £38.50
Other popular journeys on Loco2
Image credits: Saone River, Lyon by Dennis Jarvis