Traveling by train in France can be a thrilling adventure. There are many things to do such as enjoying the scenic views, meeting new people, playing card games, watching movies or reading a good book. It’s a perfect way to create memories when going on a vacation, business trip, or visiting friends. But a train journey in France and beyond can turn out to be gruelling if one doesn’t know what to expect. That’s why it’s always necessary to learn a few details before planning train travel in France and beyond.

Thankfully, this article seeks to explain how to travel by train in France and beyond with NSCF – their routes, types of tickets, and book tickets. But first, let’s find out what SNCF stands for.

What is SNCF?

SNCF stands for Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français which is French National Railway Company in English. It’s a state-owned railway company that was founded in 1938. SNFC operates France’s national rail traffic along with Monaco. The company boasts of its high-speed TGV train network operating in Paris, Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, among other cities. TGV trains travel outside France to other European countries like Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Italy.

Which Routes Are Possible with SNCF?

Several SNCF routes in France connect major cities. Trains arrive and depart from these cities at different time intervals. These routes include:

  • Paris – Lyon
  • Paris – Lille
  • Paris – Nice
  • Nice – Lyon
  • Paris – Toulouse
  • Paris – Marseille
  • Paris – Bordeaux

International SNCF routes connect France to other countries. Some of these popular routes include:

  • Berlin – Lyon
  • London – Paris/Lyon
  • Brussels – Paris/Lyon
  • Amsterdam – Paris/Lyon
  • Milan – Paris
  • Barcelona – Paris

What Kind of Tickets Are Available?

Before booking train tickets with SNCF, which you can do via Omio. travellers should go through the different types of tickets available. The company offers a variety of tickets to ensure its customers access services that suit their travel needs. Here is the list of tickets to consider:

  • Prem’s – This is the cheapest TGV ticket that travellers can buy three months in advance. It’s non-exchangeable or refundable.
  • Loisir – This is a standard SNCF ticket. It’s cheaper when purchased in advance. It’s non-exchangeable or refundable once the train departures.
  • PRO – This is the most expensive and flexible SNCF ticket. It can be exchanged or refunded until departure for free.
  • Normal – A normal SNCF ticket is ideal for short and medium distances. Customers can buy it when travelling with TER or regional trains. It’s non-exchangeable or refundable.
  • Non-flex – This ticket is available to customers travelling by Lyria TGV train from France to Switzerland. It has the lowest price option and is non-exchangeable.
  • Semi-flex – This is an exchangeable or refundable ticket at a €20 fee. It’s available to customers travelling by Lyria TGV train from France to Switzerland.
  • Full-flex – This ticket can be exchanged or refunded for free. It’s available to customers travelling by Lyria TGV train from France to Switzerland.

How Can One Book a Ticket?

Travellers can book tickets via the SNCF’s easy-to-navigate website. First, they should visit the homepage and enter the place of departure and destination. Next, they should choose their departure date and return date if it’s a two-way journey. Then, they should specify the number of people travelling and select a first or second class.

The page will display various ticket options to be selected depending on the travel needs. After selecting the ticket, travellers can head to the next page for confirmation and payment using a credit card. Finally, they can go to departure stations to collect their tickets.

Travel Around France and Beyond with SNCF Trains!

Travellers looking for the best transport services in France and other European countries should consider SNCF trains. The company has been operational for decades and offers quality services, including a variety of cheaper tickets, free seat reservations, free cargo carriage, and top-notch amenities like free Wi-Fi, an onboard bar, and charging sockets.

Featured image credit Pixabay

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