For members


Where can you get a night train from Paris?

It's fair to say that night trains are having a bit of a moment as routes all across Europe are resurrected - taking advantage of an urge for greener travel combined with the old-school glamour of a night train.

Where can you get a night train from Paris?
A standard couchette compartment. Photo by JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE / Belga / AFP

There’s plenty to recommend a night train – apart from lowering your CO2 emissions, you’re saving the cost of a night’s accommodation as you’ll be sleeping onboard.

There’s also the excitement of going to sleep in one city and waking up elsewhere, along with the possibility that you might bump into Hercule Poirot (please note, this is not included in the ticket price).

At present, most of the departures from Paris are domestic routes, but there are some new European destinations planned to open soon.


All the French night trains leave from Gare d’Austerlitz, which is a bit of a shame because for real old-school travel glamour dinner at Le Train Bleu restaurant, situated in Gare de Lyon, is ideal. This restaurant started life in 1901 serving dinner to the glamorous Belle Epoque crowd before they boarded the night train down to the Riviera. 

Still the two stations are just on opposite sides of the river, roughly 15 minutes walk away, so it’s not impossible to do this (get the Crêpes Suzette if you do). 

Night trains run on a service called Intercité lignes de nuit – these are specially designed to be an overnight service so they have few or no stops en route and often go slowly to guarantee you a good night’s sleep (for example the Paris to Nice service takes 12 hours, while the standard TGV from takes six hours). 

The standard accommodation for domestic French night trains are couchettes – compartments with six bunk beds. If you’re not keen on sharing with strangers, you can reserve a private couchette (for a higher price, naturally) and women travelling alone can also request a women-only compartment. 

Prices start at €49 and the routes are;

  • Paris-Toulouse – aka la ville rose, the lively university town in south west France
  • Paris-Nice – the night train to the Riviera resort evokes (some of) the glamour of France’s famous train bleu
  • Paris-Briançon – perched in the Alps, this is France’s highest city
  • Paris-Albi – world heritage site and birthplace of painter Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi is situated in south-west France
  • Paris-Argeles-sur-Mer – another seaside resort, this is in the Pyrénées-Orientales
  • Paris-Ax-les-Thermes – the spa resort in Haut-Ariège still offers water ‘cures’
  • Paris-Cannes – the Riviera’s glitziest destination
  • Paris-Lourdes – if you’re going on a pilgrimage, why not travel in style?

Other connections are under discussion, including services to Bordeaux, Tarbes, Avignon and Clermont-Ferrand.

Top tip – if you’re taking a night train you will naturally arrive at your destination in the early morning. If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb where you can’t check in until later, many French stations are bringing back left-luggage facilities. If these are not available, there is a French start-up that, for a €6 per bag fee, offers a left-luggage service at venues including hotels and shops.

So you’re free to explore without lugging a bag around with you. 


Vienna – this is the only international night train that’s currently on offer from Paris. The service takes 14 hours and 30 minutes and departs from Paris Gare de l’Est. Prices start at €29 and are available from SNCF Connect.

Berlin – after a nine-year break, the Paris Berlin night train will return on December 11th, 2023. It will initially be a three-train-a-week service before becoming daily in October 2024. It will stop at Strasbourg, Mannheim, Erfurt and Halle.

Milan, Venice and Barcelona? – here we get a little more vague, but there are apparently talks ongoing about creating night train services to Venice and possibly to Milan too, while Barcelona has also been mentioned as an option.

At present Paris is connected to Barcelona and Milan by direct (daytime) trains, but Venice requires a connection in Milan.

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For members


9 new train routes in France in 2024

There will be several new offers for both domestic and international train trips in France in 2024. 

9 new train routes in France in 2024

SNCF lower-speed trains

France’s national rail service plans to offer three new low-cost, slower speed trains – not to exceed 160 km/h – in parallel with their high-speed, TGV offerings. These are expected to be put into service in the final months of 2024.

Paris-Rennes –  About four hours, in comparison to the usual 1 hour and thirty minutes on TGV lines. It will pass through Massy-Palaiseau, Versailles, Chartres, Le Mans and Laval.

Paris-Bordeaux – About five hours (compared to a little over two hours on a high-speed line). It will also pass through Juvisy, Les Aubrais, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Futuroscope, Poitiers and Angoulême stations.

Paris-Brussels  – Approximately three hours (just under 1 hour and 30 minutes for the TGV). As of August 2023, the proposed stops for this line were Creil and Aulnoye-Aymeries in France, and Mons in Belgium. However, this may still be subject to change, according to Geo.Fr

Tickets will range from €10 to a €49 maximum for adults.

High-speed trains

Paris-Madrid – Italy’s Trenitalia already runs a route between Barcelona and Madrid, but in 2024 it wants to add a Paris-Barcelona route that would create a direct connection between Paris and Madrid.

It’s scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2024. 

READ MORE: Train travel from France to Spain: Everything you need to know

Paris-Berlin – France and Germany are collaborating to put a new TGV route between the capital cities. The journey would take around seven hours, and it is expected to launch sometime in 2024, according to Forbes. A direct night train route between Paris and Berlin launches on December 11th 2023, and the daytime service is expected towards the end of 2024. 

Paris-Bourg Saint Maurice – the low-cost rail service Ouigo launches on December 10th a new budget-friendly line running from the capital to Bourg Saint Maurice (popularly known as Bourg), which is located in Savoie. This is expected to run daily during the winter season.

Paris Roissy-Toulon – Another low-cost offer, Ouigo will launch on December 10th 2023 a high-speed low-cost route going between the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport and the port city on the Mediterranean. It will pass through Marne La-Vallée Chessy, Lyon Saint-Exupéry, and Aix-en-Provence TGV before arriving in Toulon.

Night trains

Paris-Berlin – The Paris-Berlin night train begins on December 11th 2023. It will initially be a three-train-a-week service before becoming daily in October 2024. It will stop at Strasbourg, Mannheim, Erfurt and Halle.

Paris-Aurillac – This Intercités line will also be introduced on December 10th 2023 and will be available in 2024. It will run from the capital city to the Auvergne region, and it will pass through the following stations: Saint-Denis-Près-Martel, Bretenoux-Biars, Laroquebrou and Aurillac.

Other transport plans for 2024

In a December interview with Franceinfo, the French transport minister, Clément Beaune, repeated his interest in creating France’s version of the German €49-a-month train ticket. This would allow users to have unlimited use of TER and Intercités trains, and would be similarly priced to the German plan.

Beaune said this would be created “by the summer of 2024”.

He also announced that train ticket prices for Intercités (classic, non-high speed lines connecting cities) and Ouigo (the low-cost high speed rail service) would not increase in price in 2024.

READ MORE: France to freeze ticket prices on some rail services in 2024

What about 2025?

TGV M – Hailed the train of the future, the fifth-generation high-speed train, TGV M, will have a maximum capacity of 740 seats (compared to the 630 on current TGV models). It will consume 20 percent less energy than current TGVS, according to Ouest France. It is set to be introduced in early 2025.

Paris-Venice – Initially, the rail company Midnight Trains, which plans to offer new ‘hotels on rails’ (eg, night trains with more luxurious features, such as real beds and sound proof walls), was hoping to launch its Paris-Venice night train in 2024. However, according to Euronews, this is now set for 2025. It is expected to go through Milan.

In the coming years, France is hoping to expand its internal night train network to a total of 10 lines, according to French transport minister Clément Beaune.

Paris-London – a rail startup named Evolyn says it plans to bid to run a London-Paris service to rival Eurostar, with 2025 as a desired start date. However, the bid is in the very early stages.