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TGV trains:  Routes, Tickets, Travel Tips

TGV, which in full stands for Train a Grande Vitesse, are high-speed trains that are operated by SNCF. The trains are super fast and can go to speeds of up to 320km/hr. The trains are highly maintained and course through France in the well-managed rail system by SNCF. TGV makes travel by rail more comfortable and relaxing. Even as it acquires tremendously high speeds, the interior is quiet and smooth, and passengers get to enjoy the journey. The trains are well designed, and some are TGV Duplex with a double deck. The high-speed trains have been well furnished and remodeled to acquire a new and exquisite look by a top designer. Several colors have been added to the train decks, and seating arrangement modified. These modifications can be found on any high-speed train from Paris to Reiness to Strasbourg, and the TGV est route.


TGV trains: Short Info

TGV trains – Short Info
Fastest speedup to 320km/hr
train operator SNCF
Cheapest TicketOUIGO TGV Ticket from €19
Popular Routes
  • TGV Paris – Lyon
  • TGV Paris – Marseille
  • TGV Paris – Marseille
  • TGV Paris – Nice
  • TGV Paris – Frankfurt
Train Travel France - TGV

TGV – the French High Speed Train

The TGV in France is one of the innovative state-sponsored (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)) high velocity rail services.

The SNCF TGV provide an excellent opportunity to explore France by Train. They are a top train brand with excellent trains. Plans are underway to modify the 3rd generation trains.

The trains have had their interiors modified by Christian Lacroix. The trains provide an excellent atmosphere for travel by rail. Rail travel is well worth you’re your while compared to other forms of transport while touring European countries and within France in cities like Marseille and Bordeaux. Aldo acquiring train tickets is an easy process.

A ticket is affordable, and it is better to book early to avoid any inconveniences in fare prices. The train tickets are subject to change as time goes by and approaches the departure date. Get youself a ticket and enjoy the experience.

The TGV trains are capable of reaching speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph). The SNCF French railways are responsible for operating over 1400 train travel every day. Other SNCF rail services in France, includes the TER.

The French lightning speed TGV trains have been honored with consistent safety awards. Vacation planners and agents assure their clients that if you want to see as many Europe inspired locations as possible, SNCF train excursions are the best!

SNCF trains include amenities that include free onboard luggage storage, fun onboard bars, fast boarding, free SNCF seat reservations, and SNCF discounts when transportation tickets are purchased in advance.

The TGV transportation cars in France are recognizable by their elongated nose structure. TGV trains operate with spacious seating with rows of 3 seats with lots of leg room and a wide backspace. The TGV rail systems in France also feature a single and double-deck seating arrangement.

For example, Paris, France to Bordeaux is a comfortable single-deck high velocity train ride. TGV trains are one of the fastest rail forms of transportation in France. The future of the SNCF and TGV rail trains in France will be based on its technology. TGV rail treks in France will provide more space for passengers and introduce faster trains that are environmentally safe.

If you want to discover more of Europe by train, read our full guide How to rail Europe or, when it comes to tickets, our guide to European Train Tickets.

Ouigo and Inoui

The French train company SNCF offers two brands for TGV trains: Ouigo is the budget brand, Inoui offers more service, but is a little bit more expensive.


The Ouigo has been dedicated to inexpensive passenger transport since 2013. Since then, trains of the TGV type have connected Marne-la-Vallée, which is close to Paris, with south-eastern France. For example, you can look forward to a trip to Lyon. The offer was expanded at the end of 2015: SNCF now offers 50 connections via Ouigo, which also operate in western and northern France. The idea on which the concept is based comes from the area of ​​cheap air travel. The following principles of the reduced offer for cost savings apply:

A ticket is only sold online or via the app. A chore: As a passenger, you have to be at the train station 30 minutes before the journey because the ticket is checked when you board the train.
TGV trains only have second class and 2+2 or 3+1 seating. There is no dining car.
With a normal ticket, passengers are allowed to take a relatively small piece of luggage and a small piece of hand luggage. For everything else an extra charge has to be paid.
The service serves only a minimum of the usual. The contact form on Ouigo’s website is the only way to get in touch (no phone number, no email address available).
Probably the biggest limitation is that you have to do without some of the usual, central train stations. The reason: Slightly remote stations charge lower usage fees.


Inoui stands for another successful concept of SNCF: the TGV. The full name of the TGV is train à grand vitesse, meaning high-speed train. TGV stands for a type of train for which the Inoui brand was created in May 2017. (But there are also connections with a TGV marketed through Ouigo.) The TGV serves France, all neighboring countries (except Andorra), the Netherlands and Great Britain.

The SNCF passes are popular with French citizens and other passengers throughout Europe. The SNCF TGV, Eurostar, Thalys train tickets provide passengers passes to regional, country, and continent-wide cities.

Train Travel France - Paris

Principal TGV routes

TGV Paris – Lyon

This route by SNCF trains takes only a few hours. When traveling by the TGV high-speed train line between Paris and Lyon, your ride should take approximately 2h. The journey is well worth your while with amenities such as free WIFI on board. There are a lot of scenic views through the journey to a beautiful and graced city. 

TGV Paris – Bordeaux

The SNCF TGV train takes about two hours through this route. The trains are modern and are TGV Duplex. They offer a variety of amenities, including a footrest. Comfort is guaranteed on the first class of any high-speed train. There are many eye-catching sites as the train cruises this route making your journey the start of a new experience.

TGVs on this route are efficient and cruises along the Atlantic Ocean, giving passengers awesome views of the ocean. They are definitely worth a try. This route by train is much faster than by road.

TGV Paris – Nice

The SNCF train cruise through this route at high speeds, ensuring timely arrivals. The TGV Duplex is most common in the route and provides a comfortable journey through these two France cities.

TGV Paris – Lille

A TGV to Lille takes around 2 hours. The TGV trains are very much comfortable, making the journey worth your while. As you head to witness the beauty of Lille, you get to do so through a relaxing journey with access to power sockets, WIFI signals, and comfortable seats. No better way to go to the ever-vibrant Lille than with the SNCF train.

TGV Paris – Strasbourg

With a TGV train, these two France cities are less than two hours apart. Taking a First call TGV train gives you access to comfortable seats, free WIFI, and much more. Through this route, there are many marvelous views keeping you entertained as you journey through the France countryside.

TGV Paris – Nantes

To Nantes by trains takes about two hours. The high-speed trains smoothly cruise through this journey giving travelers an amazing experience. The train ticket for this route is affordable. The TGV train coursing this route are comfortable and relaxing.

TGV Paris – Metz

The SNCF train take about an hour and a half through this route. With high speeds, the trains ensure you are in time for your journey arriving at Metz to enjoy the beautiful sites it has. The Metz station is strategically located to help you find your way into the city.

TGV Tickets and Fares

A SNCF train’s tickets varies with time; hence advisable to book tickets early when the fare is low. To Lyon, if passenger books early, they pay around two pounds for the trip. The fare rises as the day of travel approaches. From Paris to Bordeaux costs around 20 pounds and Paris to Nice costs 25 Pounds and also to Marseille for around 19 Euros.

A ticket for the TGV trains can be accessed via Omio.

When getting yourself the cheapest TGV tickets, an example, from Paris to Lyon, early booking is the best choice to leverage the cheapest ticket prices available. 

Type of Ticket for Trains in France Price
OUIGO TGV Ticket from €19
France Rail Pass (use of all trains for a certain amount of days, starting from 3 days in one month) from €195

Eurail France Travel Pass for TGV

These two passes are essential for travel by trains across Europe. There are first-class passes and 2nd class. 1st class passes are better with access to WIFI, reclinable seats, a headrest, and many more amenities. These passes give passengers the freedom to travel through Europe for the period they have planned to do so. The Interrail is for European citizens. If you live outside Europe, in order to travel, you will need a Eurail.

To make your train commutation an easy experience, it is best to secure convenient train tickets better known as Eurail Pass. These rail passes are designed to be used only by international visitors. Europeans ride on a pass known as an Interrail. As a rail pass Eurail must be purchased in advance only.

When you pre-arrange receiving your passes, visitors will receive a book of passes that provide instructions on any riding route, rules for each international route.

You can use the France Travel Pass for your journeys with the TGV, although you have to make an additional seat  reservation. There are train routes which only have a limited number of railway seats available.

France Rail pass /
Days per Month


TGV Travel Tips

Ticket Gates The TGV station gates have been modified and are all automated. This saves time, and passengers can be on their way as soon as possible.

Seating Arrangement

Through, you can choose your sitting position. Depending on whether you are two or four, you can book seats that best suit your company and travel together, enjoying every amenity on the trains.

Choosing 1st and 2nd Classes

Both first class and 2nd class are nice on TGV domestic trains. You may choose the class you like best according to your budget. The second class is good with little to no difference with first-class except more room.


Boarding the SNCF France trains is an easy process that does not involve ques. There are screens that indicate train departures to ensure passengers are not left stranded at the station. The station is well labeled to ensure passengers have quick access to the services they require.


With proper labeling, luggage restrictions are rare to non on a SNCF trains. However, SNCF requires passengers to place the luggage in the luggage racks and collect them before alighting.


The SNCF trains have a disabled toilet for access for people with disabilities. The trains also have power sockets in 1t class an in most two and class of the TGV SNCF. Also, WIFI can be found in some trains but not all.

Food and Beverage

The trains have café bars that serve food and beverage. Even better, a passenger may order food online from the café bars and get delivery at the comfort of their seats. In addition, passengers are allowed to carry their own food and drinks on the France TGV SNCF. Smoking is not allowed on the trains.


On SNCF trains, you can choose the type of seating you want online. The second-generation trains have two, four, and solo club duo seats on first-class, and 2nd class have a face to back seats.

On the single deck refurbished trains, the interiors have been modified, and seating reorganized. There are unidirectional seats, solo seats, and tables. They also have the latest color trends to add a touch of home feeling.


On the Double deck TGV trains, the trains are exquisite with good finishing and well-decorated interiors. The train has a fleet of easy to climb stairs that lead to the upper deck of the train. The upper deck has amazing views of the exterior. When booking a ticket, you may choose the deck to occupy. The trains are good for families, couples or friends. However, this is limited to several sites, and this option is unavailable for the Barcelona ticket route. The upper deck has a cafe bar that passengers can use to buy food and beverage along their journey.

Children and Babies

Children below the age of four travel for free and occupy no seat. However, if you want them to occupy a seat or have some sleeping space, TGV Lyria offers affordable baby ticket prices. The SNCF TGV have a section where babies can get diapers changed, helping with calming the child through preventing unnecessary unrest. In France, TGV trains have a ticket, Forfait Bambin, that allows your child to have a reservation.

Train Travel France - TGV

TGV and seat reservations

Seat reservation is mandatory as you book your ticket. Seat reservations start from ten pounds for domestic TGV trains, and the price is the same for both first and second classes. The prices may rise to twenty pounds on occasions. For International seat reservations, there are several price categories for seat reservations and may be accessed through the TGV website.

First or second class on TGV trains?

The convenient French trains contain first and second-class compartments. The benefits included in first and second-class accommodations are as follows:

First Class:

  • Reclining and adjustable seating per person
  • Plenty of room between seats and wide aisles
  • Spacious legroom
  • Round wide tables per passenger
  • Electric power outlet per seat
  • Dining meals served at your seat
  • Free Wi Fi

Second Class

  • Comfortable open car seating
  • Medium-size compartments with 6 seats
  • Large spacious luggage racks
  • Small round tables
  • An electric power outlet for every two seats
  • A dining service car
  • Occasional Wi Fi service