Avignon Centre station at sunset taken on voie C

Marseille to Avignon by train

How to take the train from Marseille to Avignon

There are three options for taking a train from Marseille to Avignon.
The regular InOui services and the cheaper, but more basic, Ouigo services, both rush down the high speed line and arrive at Avignon TGV station.
This station is located on the edge of the city, but it is connected to the centre by both local trains and buses.
The TER trains are slower, but this time difference is somewhat negated due to their arrival at a station which lives up to its name with a location by the city centre.
Also if you will be booking walk-up tickets at the station, for a spontaneous day trip, those TER trains are money savers.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the TER trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Avignon Centre or Lyon

The trains heading to Lyon are faster than most of the trains that won't be travelling beyond Avignon.

All trains also call at: Arles and Mirimas

Mon-Fri = 14 x trains per day
Sat/Sun = 8 x trains per day

Tickets

A choice of stations in Avignon:

Avignon has two stations:
(1) Avignon TGV, which is on the edge of the city, 6km from the centre; and
(2) Avignon Centre, which is adjacent to the city centre/
This matters when booking tickets.

When making the journey by train from Marseille to Avignon you have a choice between:

  • these TER services to Avignon Centre
  • taking the InOui services to Avignon TGV
  • or the Ouigo services to Avignon TGV

Though you can also book an end-to-end journey to Avignon Centre station, which involves taking an InOui service to Avignon TGV and then a local TER train on to Avignon Centre; and if you book ahead online, that can also be the cheaper option.

To see the journeys that involve travelling direct to Avignon Centre AND the journeys that involve making the connection at Avignon TGV, select Avignon Centre or Avignon as the ‘Arrival’ station, but leave the direct trains box unticked

Though if you will be booking tickets last minute at the station, these TER services are the cheapest option.

Rail Pass users should take these 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

Not High Speed

Good to Know

Take care when boarding at Marseille St-Charles station, there are also other TER train services from Marseille to Avignon, which have a journey time of more than two hours; and they will stand out on the departure screens as they will be terminating in Avignon.
However, they tend to depart 16 mins before these other TER trains which will leave Marseille later, but arrive in Avignon sooner.

Option 2: taking the regular TGV trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Various including Paris (Gare de Lyon) and Bruxelles

These TGV InOui trains take the high speed line between Marseille and Avignon and arrive at Avignon TGV station, which is 6 km south of the city centre, but it is connected to it by up to 2 x trains per hour from Avignon TGV to Avignon Centre station; there are also buses available if the timings of those trains don't suit.

14 - 21 x trains per day
There is not a departure in every hour

Tickets

A choice of stations in Avignon:

Avignon has two stations:
(1) Avignon TGV, which is on the edge of the city, 6km from the centre; and
(2) Avignon Centre, which is adjacent to the city centre/
This matters when booking tickets.

When making the journey by train from Marseille to Avignon you have a choice between:

  • taking these InOui services to Avignon TGV
  • or the Ouigo services to Avignon TGV
  • the TER services to Avignon Centre

Though you can also book an end-to-end journey to Avignon Centre station, which involves taking an InOui service to Avignon TGV and then a local TER train on to Avignon Centre; and if you book ahead online, that can also be the cheaper option.

To see the journeys that involve travelling direct to Avignon Centre AND the journeys that involve making the connection at Avignon TGV, select Avignon as a city.

If you opt to take the Ouigo services, you can only book tickets to Avignon TGV station.

Saving money:

In ascending order from the cheapest to most expensive options are:

(1) Taking the Ouigo train though you will need to purchase bus or train tickets on arrival at Avignon TGV station, if you want to make the transfer to Avignon Centre.

(2) If you book in advance online, you can purchase discounted 'Prems' tickets, for journeys by these InOui services.

(3)Tickets for the TER services, but if you will be booking tickets last minute at the station, they will be the cheapest option.

(4) Booking tickets for these InOui services last minute at the station will be the most expensive option of all.

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

Download the SNCF Connect App *
RailEurope *

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed

Good to Know

Even when the connections between trains at Avignon TGV station are longer than 30 mins, it can be a faster journey to take these InOui services Avignon TGV; and then complete the journey to the heart of Avignon by train or bus, the buses stop outside Avignon Centre station.

Despite Avignon's relative proximity to Marseille, on Mondays - Saturday the final InOui service of the day, departs from Marseille at the comparatively early time of 20:14.

Option 3: taking the low cost, more basic Ouigo services

Travel Information

Final Destination: Lille or Paris (Gare de Lyon)

When making a train journey from Marseille to Avignon TGV station you now have a choice of travelling by standard TGV InOui trains, or by these Ougio trains.
So you can now opt to save money, but have a much more basic on board experience, and travel on a Ouigo service.

7 x trains per day

Tickets

Online bookings usually open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

Tickets for the alternative service of TGV InOui trains are usually made available 4 months ahead, so if you look up this journey more than 4 months ahead on SNCF Connect, you may only see these Ouigo services, but they are not the only option on this route.

What is particularly worth being aware of when booking tickets for journeys by Ouigo train services, is that:

  • Premiere/1st class tickets are not available.
  • Reservations are included when booking, as they are on the TGV InOui trains, but you can opt to pay additional fess, or book a more expensive type of ticket to select a specific seat (more info is available on the Ouigo 'Train Guide').
  • The more expensive type of tickets also include an additional luggage allowance, click the Ouigo 'Train Guide' to access more info on the luggage allowances on Ouigo trains; they're more restrictive than on a TGV InOui train.
  • You cannot book or collect tickets for Ouigo trains at stations.
  • The two key T&Cs of booking either of the two types of ticket available for journeys by Ouigo trains are:
  1. The tickets are not refundable.
  2. Exchanges to alternative departures are possible until 1 hour before the beginning of the boarding procedure, but they incur a fee of €10 per passenger, with any price difference between the old and new ticket(s) also added to this fee.

Though these factors, and more, are why you can make big savings by opting to travel by these Ouigo trains and not on the standard TGV InOui trains.

Eurail and InterRail Pass Users:

Rail passes cannot be used on Ouigo trains, but if you will be travelling with a 2nd class pass, our guide to using rail passes in France, explains why taking a Ouigo train can be worth considering

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SNCF Connect from €10

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

Ouigo from €10

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed

Good to Know

At face value these Ouigo trains are a good option for travelling from Marseille to Avignon by train.
The comparatively short journey time can make the forsaking of the superior on-board experience on those alternative InOui services worthwhile, in order to save on the ticket price.

These Ouigo services are also always cheaper than taking the TER train to Avignon Centre station, even when factoring in the need to book separate train or bus tickets for the transfer from Avignon TGV station to Avignon Centre.

However, these benefits are somewhat negated by the need to be at the station 30 mins before the Ouigo train departs.
And that's because you need to pass through 'reception' before boarding a Ouigo train; staff need to verify that all passengers are abiding by the 'rules' of travelling on a Ouigo train, no additional un-booked luggage, no bikes etc.

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