Overnight Train Paris-Nice

May 17th, 2001, 12:35 PM
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Overnight Train Paris-Nice

We will be vacationing in France in June. 6 Days in Paris then Nice. We decided to take an overnight train to Nice (leaving on Friday night). Will we have any problems buying tickets in Paris for a 1st class sleeper only 6 days in advance?
May 17th, 2001, 03:01 PM
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Should'nt really be a problem, although Friday night is probably the busiest of the week.
The night trains are not particularly comfortable = why not catch the 0754 TGV which arrives Nice direct at 1357.
This way you will see more and arrive refreshed.
May 18th, 2001, 06:27 AM
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We rode this train from Nice to Paris, first class sleeping compartment, and found it very comfortable. We were able to sleep and save a hotel room and a whole day traveling. We arrived in Paris early in the morning ready to sight see. We were there in April of 1999 and had no trouble buying tickets after we arrived. You could probably check with raileurope now and see about availability if your are worried. I have never bought sleeper tickets in advance and so far no trouble.
May 18th, 2001, 06:44 AM
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Hi Asya,
If you are worried about the availability of tickets once you get there, you can book them on-line at
www.raileurope.com. You can also check out the time schedule on that site.
May 18th, 2001, 07:12 AM
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I've ridden the overnight train in both directions a couple of times, and bought the tickets same day.

*HOWEVER*, it was off-season and mid-week, so buy your tickets when you get to Paris (you can buy any ticket at any train station).

Railway workers go on strike whenever, so sometimes every other train runs (don't ask, it's just how they do strikes). If that's the case, get to the station early, and be REALLY NICE to the porters (we had tickets on a CANCELLED train, he got the 4 of us into a six-bed couchette and then put a 'complet' sign on the door)
May 18th, 2001, 08:37 AM
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Nota probloem but why not fly there in 90 minutes for $99 and save yourself the time and effort of a long train ride? Europebyair.com has a $99 fare on Air Liberte and you might even do better on AOM.
May 18th, 2001, 09:28 AM
Ben Haines
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For Rupert

A ninety minute plane trip takes thirty minutes to go to the airport, an hour to check in, fifteen minutes to collect bags, and half an hour to the city centre. That's 3 hours 45 minutes. A night train takes 15 minutes o the station, two minutes from taxi to train, a night asleep in bed, and an arrival with all day ahead of you.

For people who don't sleep on trains, I agree, a night on a train is pretty bad.

Ben Haines
May 18th, 2001, 12:02 PM
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I wouldn't take a night train between those two cities myself, as I don't see the reason for it when air fare is so cheap nowadays or even the daytime TGV where at least you could see the countryside; I don't see why you'd want to take the train if you can't see anything. However, some people may be afraid to fly and then I could understand. However, I just wanted to point out that the airport is no farther from city center than the train station in Nice IMO, I've taken cabs from both and I think it was actually quicker from the airport; also you don't save the cost of a hotel room as you pay for the 1st class sleeper car, and I suspect the fare difference for two people is not much different from a budget hotel room (as you might be happy to take 2nd class train in daytime, but not at night). Also, if you arrive very early in morning, you cannot check into hotel or do much anyway, so you may not really be saving that much time. Anyway, I've take night train once (not there) but for a reason (air fares were very expensive, the sleeper cars were comfortable, and there was still some time in morning to view rural countryside where I was going, which was lower Egypt); some people still will want to take them between Paris and Nice but they should assess their reasons. It's not really that long a train trip, I would just take the early morning train as Tony suggests.
May 18th, 2001, 01:31 PM
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Asya, I guess this one comes down to personal opinion. I enjoyed the night train and found it quite comfortable. I would not enjoy spending my day on the train. I also think flying is a good option.
May 18th, 2001, 06:18 PM
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Ben and I have civil disagreements on plane versus train from time to time. I respect the math provided above if your trip is (big) city center to (big) city center.

All the more reason I prefer trips that involve places NOT in big cities (at least a good deal of the time), and can take advantage of little airports, where the trip to and from the airport costs NO "actual" time - - it is the natural return (or pickup) of the rental car. And at places like Beauvais (Paris) or Montpellier or Bergamo (near Milan), there might not be so much need to arrive an hour before flight time.

Best wishes,


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