Tips about train tickets from France to Switzerland

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TGV Lyria train Lausanne

A TGV Lyria train just before departure from Lausanne.

TGV Lyria from France to Switzerland

The high speed TGV Lyria train offers direct services from Paris to several Swiss cities: e.g. Basel and Geneva in slightly over 3 hours, and Zurich in 4 hours. We highly recommend this comfortable train over flying and driving.

The trains offer 3 classes of travel: Standard (2nd class), Standard 1ÈRE (1st class) and Business 1ÈRE (a quiet, spacious working environment with complimentary drinks). There is an on board bar and catering service at your seat. There are power outlets to charge your equipment.

How to get the cheapest tickets

  • Book as early as possible. You can book up to 4 months before traveling. Find prices here;
  • It helps if your travel date and time are flexible. It makes it easier to get the best price;
  • When booking early, even tickets for the direct trains are cheap. If a low price is your top priority it may help to also consider connections with one or more changes;
  • Check if there are promotions;
  • If you have a Swiss rail pass, be sure to consider a ticket to the Swiss border (Basel SBB, Geneva or Vallorbe) only. For example: with a Swiss Travel Pass, there is no need for a ticket all the way from Paris to Lucerne, because the leg from Basel SBB to Lucerne is covered by the pass. Just book to Basel SBB and enjoy the rest of the trip for free with your pass. Do check prices for your date and time;
  • An alternative to booking a ticket to the Swiss border station, is to book a ticket for the "passholder fare". That's a ticket for the entire route for people who own a rail pass for Switzerland or France. The ticket is cheaper than a regular ticket because the leg covered by the rail pass is free. An advantage of this fare is that it includes a seat reservation for the entire route, not just to the border. Passholder fares are not always available, nor needed (because reservations are not required within Switzerland). If they're unavailable, you simply book to/from the border;
  • If you have a rail pass that covers both France and Switzerland, you don't need a ticket at all. You just need a seat reservation.

PRICE

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PROMOTIONS

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PRACTICAL

Further tips about tickets and rail passes.

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FORUM

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