The city of Avignon is very well connected by train, with an excellent range of domestic and international services to the city on the River Rhône. You’ll find trains aplenty to a city which offers a feast of cultural and historical sights. Avignon is a modestly sized city that claims a place in the premier league of French tourist destinations. The ancient walled city is often packed in mid-summer and other holiday periods. If you don’t like crowds, Avignon is best reserved for the low season.
Avignon has two railway stations. Avignon Centre is just a one-minute walk from the walls of the Old Town. You’ll see the Porte de la République just opposite the main station building. A second station called Avignon TGV lies six kilometres south of the city centre on the main high-speed line from Paris to Marseille. Local trains take just five minutes for the short hop between the two stations.
The direct Eurostar service from London now serves only Avignon TGV. (The direct service from London St Pancras to Avignon Centre ran for the last time in September 2014). Like Eurostar, all other international high-speed services to Avignon serve the TGV station. The roll-call of destinations is impressive with direct trains to Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, Geneva and Karlsruhe. In summer there is also a direct Thalys Soleil service to Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The fastest TGV trains dash from Avignon TGV to Paris in well under three hours. There is also an excellent choice of services to provincial centres across France.
Avignon Centre is the departure point for direct night trains to Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Metz. There are four TGV trains each day to Paris from Avignon Centre, but these take about an hour longer than the TGVs from Avignon TGV to Paris. Avignon Centre is also a major hub for regional TER trains with regular departures to Lyon, Nîmes, Montpellier and Marseille. There are even four direct TER services each day to Portbou in Spain.
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Image credits: Bernard Blanc