Paris to Marseille by train

How to take the train from Paris to Marseille

You can only take high speed trains from Paris to Marseille station, but both the regular TGV InOui services and low-cost, but more basic, Ouigo services share the route.
It's particularly worthwhile to click on the Train Guides below so that you can compare the two train services.
However, if you need to arrive at a specific time you will often have to take one train service or the other.
The Ouigo services can plug gaps between the TGV InOui departures.

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Routes

Option: Travelling by the regular InOui services

Travel Information

Note that these trains to Marseille depart from the Gare de Lyon in Paris.

Final Destination: Marseille or Nice or Menton

Most trains also call at: Avignon TGV and Aix-en-Provence TGV

The fastest trains of all are non-stop between Paris and Marseille, the trains which are usually scheduled to depart at 09:07; 10:07; and 17:07)

In terms of distance travelled this is one of the longest non-stop European journeys by high speed trains.

Mon - Thurs = 14 or 15 x trains per day
Friday = 14 x trains
Saturday = 12 or 13 x trains
Sunday = 15 or 16 x trains

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date - but bookings can open sooner when SNCF is running a promotion.

When booking 2nd class tickets only one type of ticket will be available per departure, discounted 'Prems' tickets or 'Seconde' tickets; though the price of Seconde tickets are also typically cheaper when they are first placed on sale.
When booking 1st class tickets there will be a choice of Premiere tickets and Business Premiere tickets.

The two key T&Cs of booking Prems, Seconde, or Premiere tickets are:

  1. Up until two days prior to departure, these types of tickets can be refunded for no additional charge (big tick), but a €15 fee will be payable for making a refund in the two days prior to departure.
  2. It's also possible to exchange tickets to an alternative departure on the same journey, but you will have to pay any difference in price between the cost you paid and the cost at the time of the exchange.

Though if you book Business Premiere tickets, the key T&Cs are that tickets can be exchanged and refunded free of charge up to 30 minutes after departure, so if you get to the station just too late to miss the train you were originally booked on to, you won't lose out financially.

The price is dictated by demand per departure, so book ahead and try and be flexible re: your departure and arrival times, as trains leaving earlier or later can be cheaper.

Expect to pay more for this journey between the beginning of June and mid-September, particularly if you will be travelling on a Friday or Saturday, as the most heavily discounted tickets inevitably sell out faster at times of particularly high demand.

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

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with an InterRail or Eurail pass, you will have to pay a reservation fee prior to boarding these TGV trains, more info is available on our guide to using rail passes in France.

If you'd rather not pay the fees, then the alternative routing is to take TER trains - though you'll be travelling for more than eight hours.

The route is:
(1) Paris to Lyon
(2) Lyon to Marseille

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SNCF Connect from €39

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 from €39
SaveATrain from €39

SaveATrain Guide

Happyrail from €39

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 €39

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.

Trainline from €39

Trainline Guide

RailEurope from €39

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed

Good to Know

The low-cost, but more basic, Ouigo trains, now provide a direct alternative to these InOui trains for a journey from Paris to Marseille.

That's because *there are now 3 x Ouigo trains per day from Paris Gare De Lyon to Marseille.

In terms of distance travelled this is one of the longest non-stop European journeys by high speed trains and you should be travelling at more than 270 km/h for more than 90% of this trip.
The train will head on to the high speed line around 10 mins into the journey and won't leave it until it reaches the outskirts of Marseille.

The route becomes more scenic on the final 30 - 40mis of the ride, when the train will be travelling across Provence.

On the high speed line between Lyon and Marseille #1 On the high speed line between Lyon and Marseille #1
On the high speed line between Lyon and Marseille #2 On the high speed line between Lyon and Marseille #2

Option 2: Save money by taking the more basic Ouigo services

Travel Information

Final Destination: Marseille

When making a train journey from central Paris to Marseille, 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.

Also if you'll need or want to arrive in Marseille between 15:15 and 18:45, you'll have to take these trains.

That's because from 11:39 to 15:39 they now plug a 4 hour gap between the departures of those alternative TGV InOui trains from Paris Gare de Lyon to Marseille.

3 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 €19

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 €19
Trainline from €19

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed

Good to Know

If you do opt to travel from Paris to Marseille by these  Ouigo trains, you should aim to be at the Gare De Lyon, 30 mins before the train is due to depart.

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.

These Ouigo trains travel on the same high speed line between Paris and Marseille which the alternative TGV InOui trains take.

So you should be travelling at more than 270 km/h for more than 90% of this journey.

The train will head on to the high speed line around 10 mins into the journey and won't leave it until it reaches the outskirts of Marseille.

The route becomes more scenic on the final 30 - 40mis of the trip, when the train will be travelling across Provence.

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