Fastest journey8hr 53m
Use Eurostar to Paris (or Lille) to connect into a fast TGV train to Nice and other destinations on the French Riviera.
The traditional route by train from London to Nice is via Paris. There are four or five options each day by this route, the fastest train services taking less than nine hours for the entire journey from London to Nice. The journey starts with a ride on Eurostar from London to Paris, changing there onto the direct TGV train to Nice.
Bookings for this route usually open three months in advance. However, for the summer holiday season Loco2 is often able to sell tickets up to five months in advance. If you are keen to secure the cheapest tickets for the journey from London to Nice, it’s wise to book early.
There is also a once-daily alternative route from London to Nice via Lille Europe which is no faster than the Paris option but has one clear advantage: there is no need to change stations in Paris. On those days when the new direct Eurostar to Marseille train runs, there is also a convenient early morning option from London to Nice with an easy change of train at Marseille-St-Charles station.
Note that the route via Paris which relied on the overnight train from Paris to the Riviera is no longer an option. That night train ran for the last time in late 2017.
London to Paris
Board a Eurostar service from London to Paris. There are upwards of 15 trains to Paris from London each day with departures at least hourly from the beautifully restored station at St Pancras in London. The fastest trains speed to Paris in just 2 hrs 16 mins, with slower services taking up to 20 mins longer to reach the Gare du Nord in Paris. The first part of the journey from London sweeps through Thameside landscapes and rural Kent to reach the Channel Tunnel. Little more than an hour after leaving London you'll already be in northern France, tracking south through Flanders fields towards Paris.
Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar's airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. There is a luggage and body scan and you'll be asked to show your passport. There are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.
Paris interchange: Paris Nord to Paris Lyon
When you alight from the train at Gare du Nord look for signs to the Metro and RER. Once you've bought a ticket follow the signs to 'RER D', direction 'Melun' or 'Malesherbes'. So long as you're heading in the right direction, all the trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The actual train journey takes around 10 mins with just one stop on the way at Châtelet-les-Halles. Upon alighting from the RER train at Gare de Lyon, follow the signs to the mainline station. The signs read 'Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes'. The whole journey from the concourse at Gare du Nord to the mainline departure platforms at Gare de Lyon will normally take about 40 mins but we recommend leaving at least 50 mins.
If you are arriving at Gare du Nord from London, bear in mind that you can buy Paris Métro tickets at the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras and on board the Eurostar train. Similarly, passengers arriving at the Gare du Nord on Thalys trains from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands can buy Metro tickets on the train (at the Thalys Bar). Although universally referred to as Métro tickets, they are in fact valid on RER trains too.
Paris to Nice
The direct TGV services to Nice depart from Paris Gare de Lyon station. These TGV trains (usually double-deck TGV Duplex units) run non-stop to at least Valence in the Rhône Valley; many don’t make a single stop until well into Provence. There’s a nice balance to this journey: an impressive high-speed run at the start, giving a sense of real progress towards the south of France, then a more leisurely pace for the last couple of hours as the train cruises the Riviera coast. Arrival in Nice is at Nice Ville station, from where it is a 15-minute walk to the beachfront promenade.
Other journeys to Nice View all journeys to Nice
- From Monaco-Monte-Carlo from £2.50
- From Bologna Centrale from £28.40
- From Marseille from £21.00
- From Lyon from £23.00