The average train time from Lyon to Paris is 1h 58m, although it takes just 1h 53m on the fastest TGV INOUI services. There are around 33 trains per day running from Lyon to Paris – the first train leaves Lyon Part-Dieu at 05:34 and the last train leaves at 21:01.
If you’re planning a trip from Lyon to the City of Light, taking the train is the way to go. Sure, you could drive, but why bother with the hassle of car rentals, busy roads and finding somewhere to park when you could sit back and relax as a high-speed TGV INOUI train whisks you from the heart of Lyon to the centre of the capital in under two hours.
For optimum comfort during your journey, book yourself First Class tickets and settle into the spacious seats kitted out with headrests and footrests. Take a little nap and arrive in Paris refreshed and ready to explore all the city’s many iconic sights, don't miss the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. Fancy something a bit different? Why not pay a visit to the Paris Catacombs or a day trip to the Palace of Versailles. Paris is known for its food, so check out our guide to the top restaurants in Paris for inspiration.
Ready to book? Start your search for times and tickets in our Journey Planner at the top of the page. Keep reading for FAQs about the journey from Lyon to Paris by train and how to find cheap train tickets.
TGV is the high-speed train service of the SNCF company. It connects the major cities of France at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h). All TGV trains are equipped with a food carriage, a free WiFi connection, power sockets and fold-down tables. Two comfort classes are offered – First Class and Second Class, with flexible fare options available and access to the Grand Voyageur lounge in some stations.
OUIGO is the low-cost, high-speed train service operated by the French national train company SNCF. Despite having only one class on board, OUIGO trains offer the same comfort as Second Class seats on TGV trains, although OUIGO tickets are only available to purchase online. To make your journey as smooth as possible, arrive at least 30 minutes before departure and bear in mind that there's an additional fee for bringing a suitcase with you, having a seat with power sockets and travelling with a stroller/buggy.
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.
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).
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 Lyon to Paris 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 Lyon and Paris is 1 hour and 59 minutes, with around 25 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 Lyon to Paris is 1 hour and 56 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Lyon to Paris can start from as little as €4 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 Lyon to Paris without having to change trains. There are 25 direct trains from Lyon to Paris each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Lyon to Paris leaves at 05:04. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Lyon to Paris leaves at 07:04. 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 Lyon to Paris cover a distance of around 243 miles (391 km) during the journey.
Departing from Lyon Part-Dieu station
I arrived at Lyon Part-Dieu station with enough time to have a wander before I needed to catch my train.
It’s located right in front of the Part-Dieu shopping centre, so there’s plenty of opportunity for some window shopping and grabbing a bite to eat before you start your journey. There’s also a fair few shops inside the station as well if you fancy staying a little closer to your platform – Foot Locker, FNAC and Spirit are some of the stores you can spend your time.
If you’re hungry, Lyon Part-Dieu has a sandwich shop offering quick breakfasts, lunches and coffee to grab and go. There’s also a Starbucks in the station, so there’s plenty of options for refreshments before you leave.
Onboard the TGV
The TGV INOUI train I took from Lyon to Paris was a double-decker! It was still easy to find my seat though as my ticket featured my carriage and seat number.
The seats are comfortable whether you’re travelling in First or Second Class – on this occasion, I was in Second Class. My seat also had a retractable table, a footrest and a reading light, which was a nice touch.
I was able to connect to the free WiFi network as well, although there’s a bit of a process you have to go through to get access – connect to the WiFi network, then go to the wifi.sncf website and pop in your 6-letter code you can find on the ticket.
Arriving into Paris Gare de Lyon
I always enjoy arriving into Paris Gare de Lyon station – it's impressive clock tower and façade make it one of the most charming stations in the city. Plus, it’s situated very centrally, so it’s easy to get to wherever you’re heading in Paris thanks to its connection to the metro, RER and other trains and buses.
About Estelle Van de Velde
Estelle is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on her own genuine experience of the journey.