Lyon to Genève / Geneva by train

How to take the train from Lyon to Geneva / Genève

For most of the year taking a French TER train is the only option for a rail journey from Lyon to Geneve, but in the summer a daily Lyria (TGV) train also take this route.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the TER trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Geneve

All trains also call at: Bellegarde; connect in Bellegarde for Evian-Les-Bains.

Mon-Thurs = 9 x trains
Friday = 10 x trains
Saturday = 9 x trains
Sunday = 8 x trains

Tickets

Book early and save: No (on these trains)

Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the station immediately before departure.

Most of the direct trains from Lyon to Geneve are these TER trains - but there is also a daily TGV-Lyria train that departs Lyon at around 15:34

Tickets for the TER trains will cost the same online as the do as they do at the station - so there is no need to book these in advance.

Travelling between July 2 - August 28

During this period, tickets for the alternative Lyria train may be cheaper than the TER trains, though typically only if you can book online at least 10 days ahead of your travel date.
If you book at the station on the day of travel then the Lyria train will be more expensive than these TER trains; and it won't be much faster

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

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesRiver viewsMountain views

Good to Know

Note that there are no direct trains from Lyon to the station at Geneve-Aeroport, though simple connections are available at the main station in Geneve.

Between Ambérieu and Culoz the train will travel through a rocky valley in the foothills of the Alps, then between Culoz and the border with Switzerland, there are occasional views of the River Rhone on the right.

Option 2: taking the Lyria train (July and August)

Travel Information

In 2022 this train is scheduled to be departing between July 2nd August 28th, so on other dates the only option to take the service of TER trains for a journey from Geneve to Lyon.

Final Destination: Geneve

The train also calls at: Bellegarde

1 x train per day
July 2nd - Aug 28th

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

Most of the direct trains from Lyon to Geneve are the TER services - but this TGV-Lyria departs daily at around 15:30..

Tickets for the TER trains will cost the same online as the do as they do at the station, so there is no need to book these in advance.

But tickets for this Lyria train can be cheaper than the TER trains, though typically you'll need to book at least 10 days ahead for this to be the case.

If you book at the station on the day of travel, this Lyria train will be more expensive than the TER trains.

Rail pass users should avoid this train and take the TER trains.

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

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoRiver viewsMountain views

Good to Know

There is no high speed line between Lyon and Geneve, this train is faster than the more frequent TER services because it makes fewer station calls.

This train will take the same route as the TER trains

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