Basel / Bâle to Paris by train

How to take the thrilling high speed rail journey from Basel to Paris

The only direct trains between Switzerland and the French capital are these high speed Lyria services.

Connect in Basel when travelling from locations in Switzerland without direct trains to Paris including; Biel, Bern, Luzern and Interlaken

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Routes

From Basel SBB/Bâle CFF to Paris Gare de Lyon/Paris Lyon

Travel Information

Final Destination: Paris Lyon

All trains also call at: Mulhouse-Ville

Most trains also call at: Dijon-Ville

Usual timetable
5 or 6 x trains per day
The train that usually departs Basel at around 16:34 does not operate on Saturdays

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: Around 105 days ahead of the travel date

Yes this does seem random and apologies for not being more precise, but there doesn't seem to a firm rule for when tickets will be released for this journey.

When looking for tickets on Oui.SNCF tick the 'direct trains' box, on Trainline tick the 'fastest journeys' box.
On Oui.SNCF enter 'Gare de Lyon (Paris)' in the 'to' box, on Trainline select Paris-Gare-de-Lyon.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.
There can be particularly big price discrepancies per departure on this route.

If tickets aren't on sale yet for your travel date, then this is a journey for which it's worth signing up to the ticket availability notification service on Oui.SNCF.
Do that and you'll receive an email within moments of the tickets being released for sale.
It's worth making the effort, as this is a journey on which the very cheapest tickets tend to sell out particularly fast.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline from €29

Trainline Guide

SNCF Connect from €29

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

SaveATrain from €29

SaveATrain Guide

Happyrail from €29

Happyrail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

Omio from €29

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial)

Good to Know

When travelling from Basel to most cities north of Paris by train, you have to transfer across the French capital in order to catch trains from Paris Nord.

However, an exception is the one ICE train per day that takes a Basel – Koln/Cologne – Utrecht – Amsterdam route.

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