Paris to Frankfurt train
The most efficient train from France to get you across the border and to a major city is the train from Paris to Frankfurt. The quickest train will take you about 3.5 hours direct, an average journey takes about 2 hours more. You’re definitely advised to look for tickets that aren’t during rush hours as plenty of European trains are commuter services, and ticket prices will be much lower at Off-Peak times.
The first train to Frankfurt leaves Paris at 07:20 and the last one at 21:19, with four other departure times throughout the day too.
Trains to Germany
Germany, home to the world’s best engineering, and that extends to its railways. Trains in Germany are efficient, affordable and cover a handy network to major cities and smaller towns alike, which isn’t to say trains in France aren’t a great option either! With two national train companies offering to carry you from France to Germany, you’re sure to enjoy a smooth journey to the land of bratwurst and better beer.
SNCF, the national train company of France, will carry you all over the country and over the border to Germany or, if you want to add a third country to your European tour (and why not?), Spain. TGV is owned by SNCF, with a fleet of sleek high-speed trains getting you to your destination at a dizzying 320 km/h. The Deutsche Bahn Group (DB) is the main train company in Germany, and its own high-speed train is cool both by name and nature – the ICE (The Intercity Express) has a top speed of 330 km/h and runs into France and (at the risk of making you extend your trip even longer) Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands and Denmark too.
ICE train tickets from Paris
German ICE tickets, and any DB tickets for that matter, work a bit differently than they might in your local station. You book by time and destination. The price you pay will change, however, if you board an ICE train rather than a slower train to the same city.
Further price changes kick in depending on your standard of travel. Sparpreis is the cheapest though also the least flexible, the time and date of your journey cannot be changed without incurring a fee, so if you’re a bit of a free spirit when it comes to your getaways, you might prefer the flexibility that comes with a Flexipreis ticket. They allow you to travel on any train that departs on your chosen date and can be cancelled for a full refund up to 24 hours before your journey. First Class tickets will give you a bit of VIP treatment, with bigger seats, more spacious carriages and complimentary drinks, snacks and newspapers throughout your trip, as well as WiFi onboard.
TGV train tickets from Paris
TGV’s cheapest fare is Prem’s. These tickets are released three months ahead of travel (and we have a handy European train guide to help you keep on top of it) and are now refundable and exchangeable.
You can also pick from first and second class tickets, both are nice and comfy for a scenic train ride, with a bar carriage serving both to buy drinks and snacks. First Class will get you more space with a personal power socket to charge your laptop.
Hopefully, this tells you everything you need to know to get your journey planned and a journey of a lifetime underway!