TGV-where to buy tickets in Paris?

May 17th, 2001, 07:02 AM
  #1  
Karen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
TGV-where to buy tickets in Paris?

Going to Paris in July and plan to take the TGV from there to Pau where family lives. I've heard from a travel agent that it is cheaper to buy the tickets there than here so will do that. Can you buy them at any train station or do you have to go somewhere special? Any advice would be appreciated...
 
May 17th, 2001, 07:15 AM
  #2  
elvira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Any train station for any train ticket.
And it is cheaper (no service charge).
Some stations have automatic ticket machines that take currency and credit cards, so no standing in line.
 
May 17th, 2001, 09:53 AM
  #3  
Louis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As Elvira states, the tickets are available at any train station, but reservations are "required." This means going to the station to reserve a seat on the particular TGV you're taking. Sometimes they aren't necessary; sometimes you can do this before you leave; and someitmes you have to reserve a day or two in advance, all this depending on the time and day you're traveling; e.g., morning and late afternoon travel when many business people use the train, and weekends, when many other people also use them.

The need for reservations also varies if you're traveling first or second class. Most of the time not having one doesn't seem to be a problem if you're in second; but I've sldo seen people on first class being told in no uncertain terms that the seat they are sitting in is reserved and to move, and have also seen two forcibly put off the train for refusing to move.
 
May 17th, 2001, 10:22 AM
  #4  
Austin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Karen

Any travel agency (agence du vacances--or something like that) with an SNFC decal on the window will sell you a ticket--- seat reservation and all saving you the trouble of going to a station.
They are paid by the train co so it wont cost you any more and dont forget to
ask if theres a special---they always seem to have one going on

AH
 
May 17th, 2001, 01:06 PM
  #5  
Fred
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Reservations with tickets in advance are required but that could be 10 minutes before the train pulls out. However, if you know when you are going, I would go to the station and buy the ticket in advance for two reasons- One, to be sure you get the seat (we couldn't take a train we wanted because it was full) and 2nd to be sure you get a non-smoking car if you are not a smoker. For more Paris information e-mail me.
 
May 17th, 2001, 01:36 PM
  #6  
Alex
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Can you reserve TGV from US? What about if you have a Railpass but still need to reserve a seat and will be going directly from CDG to the TGV?
 
May 17th, 2001, 01:52 PM
  #7  
Tony
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Alex.

There are several SNCF kiosks and offices around CDG where you can reserve a seat on TGVs almost up to departure time.
From my observations over the years I would guess that less than one in a thousand TGVs are ever fully booked, apart from major holiday weekends.
 
May 17th, 2001, 03:26 PM
  #8  
aimee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Alex: Where did you purchase your railpass from? I know that if you got it from raileurope.com, that they will make the reservation for you ahead of time. All you have to do is email them. I plan on doing that this summer, just to ensure that I get a sleeper on my overnight train from Paris to Munich.
 
May 17th, 2001, 03:37 PM
  #9  
Karen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What is the difference between first & second class on these trains?
 
May 17th, 2001, 04:52 PM
  #10  
StCirq
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Alex: Yes, you can reserve from the USA, through the RailEurope offices and elsewhere, but it will cost you a pretty penny. If you have a Railpass already and want to take a TGV, my understanding is you need to pay a supplement - you can do this at any train station, and it doesn't cost much at all.
The "reservation" policy for the TGV is that everyone must have purchased a ticket no less than 5 minutes before the train departs. Of course, most people don't want to cut it that close and will purchase their tickets days or hours before departure. There are always passengers who jump on the train without a reservation and hope the conductor will sell them a ticket on board - and that does happen, but I don't advise it if you are not a native of the country.
I take the TGV from Paris to Bordeaux and back with some regularity, and I always buy my ticket on the spot (about an hour or 45 minutes before the train leaves), unless I'm traveling on a holiday or when French school children are on vacation.
TGVs are configured differently on different routes (there are double-decker ones, for example, in parts of France), but in general 1st class means a separate compartment with a sliding door, as opposed to regular seats, some facing each other with a table in between. All seats are comfortable, and I wouldn't think it necessary to pay a supplement for 1st class unless you really wanted privacy or were making a particularly long trip.
 
May 17th, 2001, 05:02 PM
  #11  
Dave
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is a website for the SCNF train service that I found cruising the internet. Try google.com as your search engine. However, once in Paris, you can buy the tickets from the main train station. The TGV usually requires an advance reservation. I would buy your ticket in Paris, train travel in France is not expensive. Typically, people will take the train from DeGaulle Airport to the City of Paris. Perhaps you can buy your TGV ticket at the airport.
 
May 18th, 2001, 05:06 AM
  #12  
Liz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Be aware that TGV tickets are limited on any given train for railpass users. There isn't a suppliment, you just have to pay the reservation fee. We chose to get the reservation from the US because our itinerary was tight. euraide.de was the web site that helped us.
 
May 18th, 2001, 05:52 AM
  #13  
Adele
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
When I was planning a surprise trip to Paris and the Loire Valley for my husband's 50th birthday 2 years ago, I found the SNCF website and saw that there were significant savings if you buy tickets 60 days in advance. I made the reservation and bought them on-line, only to find out afterwards that they don't send them overseas!

I wrote to customer service and they were very nice. They gave me a confirmation # and told me to show the number and the credit card I used to purchase the tickets at the TGV ticket window any time prior to departure. We had no trouble at all and had a comfortable 2nd class ride to Tours.

Adele
 
May 18th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #14  
Christina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have had several France Railpasses, took the TGV many times with it, and never paid a supplement, just the small reservation fee.
 
May 21st, 2001, 04:43 AM
  #15  
Bill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Just returned from France. On our outbound TGV trip from CDG to Avignon we had reserved 1st class seats that we had purchased in the US with our France Rail Pass. The only problem, our seats didn't exist. We had 27,28 and the numbering jumped from 25 to 35. The conductor just had us sit anywhere there was an open seat. Of course those seats were someone elses etc.... What a mess. Our return to trip to Gare de Lyon was flawless. (The seats were there!). I was told the reservation snafu was quite common. One other word of warning, beware of pick-pockets at the train station in Avignon. My wife's wallet was taken while boarding the train. These people were true artists. We couldn't help but admire their proficiency in a twisted way because this wallet was buried. If you feel anyone push you while boarding turn around fast. Luckily nothing stolen of great value and nothing harmed except pride.

 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:04 AM.