How to travel by train to France

21 July 2016

What are your options when it comes to travelling to and around France by train? We've put together a brief guide to make everything crystal clear:

Beautiful France has long held a special place in the hearts of British travellers. From the bohemian cafe culture of Montmartre to the sumptuous vineyards of the Dordogne Valley, France offers a variety of charming vistas, chocolate-box villages, world-class gastronomy and a range of different holiday locations to impress even the trickiest customer.

There once was a time when a holiday in France meant you had to choose from one of two methods of transportation - spend a little extra to fly but leave your car behind or hop aboard the ferry to make the longer journey by sea. But the times they have a-changed and now there is an ever-increasingly popular option to visit the continent - taking the train.

How to travel by ferry to France


Le Shuttle prides itself on its super-fast crossing times. The crossing runs from Folkestone to Calais and makes an excellent option for those that want to travel with their vehicle and enjoy a road trip through France.

Ensure you arrive at the check-in booths at least 30 minutes prior to departure. You will then be directed to collect your departure hanger from a machine - you'll need a booking reference number and the credit or debit card you used to book your ticket. Don't forget to have your passport and vehicle documentation ready for inspection at frontier control.

Although you stay with your vehicle throughout the 35 minute journey, you can hop out if needed to stretch your legs.


The Eurostar runs from London St Pancras, Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International here in the UK and can take you to over 100 European destinations - the French stations include Paris, Lyon, Lille, Calais and Disneyland.

Just like a regular train journey, you can choose from a variety of seats - Standard, Standard Premier or Business Premier if you are really looking to treat yourself.

Once you've made your booking, print your ticket at home, collect it at the station or use a mobile ticket on your Eurostar app. Your check-in time will depend on your ticket, though Standard and Standard Premier tickets require check-in 30 minutes before departure. If you need special assistance, allow an additional 30 minutes on top of this.


Of course, once you arrive, ready to face the bright lights of Paris, you might still need transport to get around. Luckily, there's a train service for that too.

The Paris Metro consists of 300 stations on 16 lines and there are a wide variety of tickets to choose from including single ride tickets, discounted books of 10 or 20 rides, single day passes, weekly passes and multi-day passes.

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