Le Train Bleu is the classiest dining option in the Gare De Lyon

Bern to Paris by train

How to take a train journey from the Swiss capital to the capital of France

The daily direct train from Bern to Paris was discontinued a few years ago, so now the easiest and generally quickest option for making the journey is to take an express IC train from Bern to the main station in Basel, and then connect there into a high speed Lyria train on to Paris.

Though when looking up this journey, other options which have more than one connection and longer end-to-end travel times, are typically cheaper.



From Bern to Paris

Travel Information

This optimum routing involves making one connection between trains at Basel SBB station, where the Lyria trains on to Paris will depart from the same part of the station that the IC trains from Bern will arrive at.

For the journeys with an end-to-end time of slightly over 4hr 30min, the connecting time between trains will typically be around 33mins, and the trains from Bern are usually highly punctual.

5 x optimum connections per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey.

When looking up this journey you will see other options which involve making more than one connection between trains and they can be cheaper.
The convenience that the direct Lyria services from Switzerland to Paris offer, typically justifies a higher price.
Though look carefully at the connecting time between trains on those other options, particularly as the compulsory reservations required on any high speed train to Paris, results in the journey being a lot less awkward if the connections are made and not missed.

Rail Pass Users:

The TGV-Lyria trains are the only direct trains from Switzerland to Paris.

However, if you will be travelling with a Eurail or InterRail pass, which is valid in both France and Switzerland, the rail pass reservation fees for the Lyia trains are comparatively expensive.

For info on how you can avoid paying these fees, click on the train guide.

Though it's usually possible to save more than €10 by taking this combination of trains:

  • an express train from Bern to Basel
  • a French regional TER train from Basel to Mulhouse or Strasbourg
  • a TGV InOui service from Mulhouse or Strasbourg to Paris; the mandatory rail pass reservation fees for these trains, will be much cheaper than taking a direct Lyria train from Basel to Paris.
    Though be careful with planning connections, it can be a good idea to allow more than 30 minutes to make the connections in Mulhouse or Strasbourg; allow for some contingency in the event of a train from Basel being delayed.

Also don't book the reservation for the TGV at a SBB Travel Desk in a Swiss station, the booking fee will be more than 10 CHF.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SNCF Connect *

SNCF Connect Guide

SNCF is the national rail operator in France and not so long ago it recently simplified both the range of tickets and the term and conditions of using them.
Therefore the cheapest tickets also become more flexible too.

Other improvements included a simple integration of travelling with bicycles and rail pass users being able to book reservations for national journeys, without paying booking fees.

And it also recently launched SNCF Connect as replacement for its Oui.SNCF booking service.
You can set up a low price alert to let you know when the cheapest price is available for a future journey.

Something else to look out for is that simplest way of travelling with tickets is to use the SNCF Connect App, as booked tickets can therefore be stored on your mobile device, which can then be shown to the train conductors as proof of purchase.

SNCF Connect on Google Play

SNCF Connect in the App (Apple) store

SNCF also operates RailEurope, which is in effect a dedicated online booking service for making bookings from outside of Europe.
If you reside outside of Europe you may discover that SNCF Connect rejects phone numbers or card numbers, but RailEurope won't do so.
Though RailEurope will add booking fees when making a purchase


SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

Trainline *

Trainline Guide

Good to Know

Depart Bern at 07:04 and 11:04 and you will travelling on a German ICE train for the part of the journey between Bern and Basel.

Journey Features

High Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

Final Destination: Paris Lyon

All trains also call at: Mulhouse-Ville

Most trains also call at: Dijon-Ville

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