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Getting cheap train tickets in France can be a real benefit for the budget minded. By booking your train tickets in advance, either on the day the tickets become available or just after, you can save even more money on rail fares than you think. 

By booking your train tickets this way, you can certainly make the trip much better value for money. And if you are looking for cheap train tickets to the French cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Bordeaux, you can book now with us, and save now.

How to buy cheap train tickets in France

Generally, train fares increase as the departure date approaches. Our secret to finding cheap train tickets in France? Book these tickets in advance. Our site and our app help you plan your trip by telling you train schedules and ticket prices. 

We show you your departure route, potential delays and even the number of stops on the day of departure, on our mobile app. If you want to know more about booking cheap train tickets online, keep reading.

Our top tips

Book in advance

Train tickets usually go on sale around three months before the date of travel. Book in advance to make sure to get the cheapest option as those tend to sell out, which leaves only the more expensive tickets. Did you know the same applies to buses in France? If you're weighing up your travel options, have a look at our guide to buses and the French coach network.

Travel with OUIGO and Intercités sleeper train

When travelling in France, you can benefit from very cheap train tickets by travelling with the low-cost train service OUIGO. Intercités sleeper trains is also a great option for saving money both on train tickets and accommodation (you can go from Paris to Toulouse, Rodez, Briançon and Latour-de-Carol in both directions). When searching for tickets, we'll display all available tickets and options, highlighting the cheapest ones.

Benefit from special offers

Have a look out for deals and offers. When travelling in a group of at least four people, you can benefit from group savings (Pack Tribu). And when travelling with your family, you can benefit from discounted child fares (children under four years old travel for free).

Check out the latest discounts on French train travel you can book with us on our European train offers page.

When to buy cheap train tickets in France

Looking for a cheap SNCF ticket? There are many ways to travel cheaper with the French railway company. Whether aboard a TGV, an OUIGO or Intercity, there are plenty of good deals to save on your train tickets.

TGV is the high-speed train of the SNCF company. Three types of tickets offer variable flexibility. If you want to save money and organize your trip early enough, you can enjoy Prem's rates. Prem's tickets, the cheapest in the TGV fare range, are available up to three months in advance. They are however neither exchangeable nor refundable, so be sure of yourself at the time of purchase.

Learn more about TGV.

OUIGO is the low-cost company of SNCF. Thanks to its fast and affordable trains, you can go to the airport Charles-de-Gaulle or Disneyland Paris without breaking the bank. OUIGO trains have a unique comfort class, equivalent to the second class of a classic TGV. The OUIGO tickets are only available on the internet, and on Trainline of course!

Learn more about OUIGO.

Intercities is the classic service of SNCF. The Intercities lines are an important part of the French network and offer an alternative route to the TGV. It is possible to save some money on your trips. Overnight Intercity, for example, will take you to your destination saving you time and a hotel night. As for the 100% Eco Intercity, available on some routes only, they will allow you to respect your budget.

How to buy a cheap train ticket online

Following these simple steps could save you money on your train ticket.

  1. Visit our website or download our app.
  2. Put in your departure and arrival stations.
  3. Choose your travel date - most Prem's tickets go on sale between 3 to 6 months before the departure date. The sooner you book, the cheaper your train ticket will be.
  4. Do not forget to include your discount card or train pass, if you have one, in order to get a better price.
  5. Book!

Cheap train tickets to travel in Europe

You can not only book your trips on SNCF trains, but also with many other railway companies. The Trainline provides you with the most suitable fare in a number of European countries, including GermanyItaly and Spain.

If you want to book your cheap train tickets to these countries, do not hesitate to search for train tickets to the European destination of your choice when you search for your train tickets. This will give you a range of information to compare and save on the most popular journeys across Europe.

If you're all set, find out more about the French railway system by having a peek at out trains in France page.

Popular destinations in Europe

Good to know

SNCF tickets are generally available for purchase 3 months in advance. We recommend booking them as early as possible to save money on your journey.

Prem's is the cheapest fare type, offering a reduced price for TGV and INTERCITÉS trains. This fare is very popular, so be sure to book well in advance to get a Prem's ticket.

Yes. SNCF offers different types of discount cards, or Carte Avantage, which you can use to get a reduced price when travelling with your family or during the weekend, or if you're under 27.

Our Trains in France page is your one-stop-shop for learning about rail travel in France. While you're there, have a read of our SNCF page, which explains French trains and ticket types.

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