What’s better than a trip to Switzerland? A trip to Switzerland and France, especially one that takes less than 2 hours! Travelling from Geneva to Lyon by train will let you explore the beauty of Switzerland and France without having to worry about stressful transfers between cities. With SNCF’s TER and TGV Lyria trains offering sleek and comfortable seats for your journey, some let you choose between comfort classes for an extra-plush journey.
Once you reach your destination, head to Vieux Lyon for a tipple to toast your arrival, surrounded by lush townhouses dating back to the 16th century. From the towering Fourvière Basilica that overlooks the city while also looking worthy of a fairytale, to the hidden passageways of the Traboules, you won't regret adding a French leg to your trip! Get planning today, just see our journey information for the train route from Geneva to Lyon below!
SNCF is the national train operator of France. It operates all domestic trains and routes across France, as well as international services to Spain and Germany. There are three different types of domestic trains that operate under the SNCF banner – TGV (high-speed, full-service trains that connect the major cities in France), Intercités (usually a more frequent stopping service, but with all the amenities), and TER (regional train services with basic onboard facilities).
TGV Lyria links France to Switzerland and can travel at a maximum speed of 200 mph (320 km/h). Resulting from the collaboration between SNCF and SBB, TGV Lyria has three comfort classes on all trains. Standard (equivalent to the Second Class TGV, with comfortable seats), Standard 1ère (with more legroom and access to the SNCF show Grand Voyageur at the Gare de Lyon in Paris) and Business 1ère (available all week except Saturday, on some lines only).
TER (Transport Express Régional) trains are the regional service from SNCF that allow you to make trips to nearby towns and villages located within the same region. With 20 regions in France, TER trains are ideal for travelling to destinations not covered by high-speed services, although ticket prices vary between each region. TER trains have dedicated spaces for bicycles and allow animals on board. Not all TER trains include a First Class carriage.
Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Geneva to Lyon by booking early.§
Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.
On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Geneva and Lyon is 3 hours and 10 minutes, with around 14 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Geneva to Lyon is 1 hour and 56 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Geneva to Lyon can start from as little as €29.40 when you book in advance. The cost of tickets can vary depending on the time of day, route and class you book and are usually more expensive if you book on the day.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Geneva to Lyon without having to change trains. There are 10 direct trains from Geneva to Lyon each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Geneva to Lyon leaves at 05:38. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Geneva to Lyon leaves at 09:16. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Geneva to Lyon cover a distance of around 70 miles (112 km) during the journey.