Interrailing in France

In France, there are currently 4 operators of intercity trains: SNCF, Eurostar, RENFE and Trenitalia. Of these, all except Trenitalia accept Interrail (on most trains).


SNCF is the state railway in France, they operate everything from high speed to suburban trains.

Assistance for disabled travellers:


High speed TGV trains come in two variants, the more common TGV InOui, and the low cost OuiGo. Interrail is only valid on TGV InOui, with mandatory reservations that cost around 10-20€, more for most international routes. On domestic TGV InOui, there’s a 10€ limited fare and then it goes up to 20€ until the train sells out.

OuiGo tickets are very cheap, it can sometimes be less than the InOui reservation (you can buy them here). Platforms that TGV trains depart from have controlled access, you can only get to the platform with a valid ticket and reservation.

Sometimes, you can avoid the high cost of international reservations by taking a TGV to the last French station (Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Lille…) and continuing by regional train, or making the entire trip by regional trains, if you don’t mind a slower journey.

You can get the reservations online at this Belgian railways website (domestic TGV InOui only), or through the Interrail website/app (all TGV InOui including international).

As a cheaper alternative, you can also get TGV reservations for both domestic and some international journeys via Rail Europe (please note, when using this link to purchase a small percentage goes to us for server upkeep, as unfortunately this is not free) without a booking fee. EDIT: As of recently (edit on 11-07) they have started charging a hefty booking fee, it is no longer recommended to book via Raileurope. NMBS/SNCB and the Interrail/Eurail reservation service are cheaper (€4 for the former per booking, €2 per person per train on the latter).

You can also obtain reservations for all SNCF trains by phoning SNCF – phone number and opening hours are at If you press “#85” after the automated voice begins this will change the language to English. Reservations can be emailed to you for immediate usage.

Ticket offices in France and in some other countries such as Switzerland also offer SNCF reservations.


Intercités are low speed intercity trains, they also require reservations, which cost 10 or 20€.

Intercités de nuit & Nightjet

Intercités de nuit are sleeper trains operated by SNCF, which run from Paris to southern France. There is more information in this wiki section.

An ÖBB Nightjet train also runs from Paris to Vienna and Berlin, though only 3 days a week. There is more information in this wiki section.

Transport express régional (TER)

These are regional trains in France, you can use them with Interrail without a reservation, with a few exceptions. TER from Paris to Normandy do require reservations.

Transport express régional – Grande Vitesse (TER-GV)

Some trains in the North East of France are classified as TER-GV. These are parts of TGV trains which stop at a few more stations acting more like TER trains. Interrail is valid on these services on the payment of a €2 supplement which can be purchased through:

Réseau express régional (RER) and Transilien

These are suburban trains around Paris, Interrail is not valid on these.


This operator runs high-speed international trains to the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Similar to other high speed trains in France they only accept Interrail with a mandatory reservation. In this case it costs around 30€. Note the passholder quota. There is some more information on Eurostar and other options between the UK and France here: Eurostar


Now that the cooperation with SNCF ended, RENFE runs 2 daily high-speed trains in France: Lyon – Barcelona and Marseille – Madrid. Paris is expected to get Spanish trains by the end of 2024.

Reservations for these trains are annoying: available at Spanish ticket counters or from France on the day on the platform by speaking to staff. It is subject to availability but usually staff can find you an empty seat. Prepare a plan B though (like getting TGV reservations in advance, they’re fully cancellable).

Costs: 10€ reservation + small booking fee when purchasing at a counter. Some reports that staff onboard charge 10€ extra too.


Trenitalia runs a few Frecciarossa high speed trains from Paris to Italy, but they don’t accept Interrail at all on this service. International TGV trains to Italy do accept Interrail, but if sometimes the reservation for those can be similarly priced to a regular ticket for the Frecciarossa train (if you buy it a long time before departure). You can check the price at

[Route is currently suspended due to a landslide]