The main departure hall at Gare de Nantes

Paris to Nantes by train

How to take the train from Paris to Nantes

You can only take high speed trains from Paris to Nantes, but both the regular TGV InOui services and low-cost, but more basic, Ouigo services share the same 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 1: Travelling on the regular InOui services

Travel Information

Note that these trains depart from Gare Montparnasse in Paris.

Final Destination: Nantes or Le Croisic (or Les Sables-d'Olonne)

Most trains also call at: Angers

Some trains also call at: Le Mans

The trains are faster than ever before, thanks to to the opening of the LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire high speed line extension

The slower trains divert off of this new direct route in order to call at Le Mans.

All trains come off the high speed line just before Angers and the part of the journey on from there to Nantes is the prettiest section of this train ride, the river Loire is over to the left of the railway line.

Mon-Thurs = 12 x trains per day
Friday =13 x trains
Saturday = 10 x trains
Sunday = 11 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.

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey, but rail pass users will need to be pay a reservation fee prior to boarding these TGV trains.

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.

If you can depart Paris in the early evening and are happy to put up with a more basic on-board experience, you can also save money by taking the Ouigo services.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SNCF Connect from €30

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 €30
SaveATrain from €30

SaveATrain Guide

Happyrail from €30

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.

Trainline from €30

Trainline Guide

RailEurope from €30
Omio from €30

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

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

Most of the departures are by the new TGV Oceane trains, but the TGV Atlantique trains are used for some Paris to Nantes high speed services, so here's a guide to how you can confirm which type of TGV train you will be travelling by.

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

Travel Information

Final Destination: Nantes

  • If the departure times suits,
  • you are happy to put up with a more basic on board experience,
  • happy to travel 2nd/standard class,
  • willing to be at the Gare-Montparnasse 30 mins before the departure time...

you can save money by taking these Ouigo services from Paris to Nantes instead of the much more frequent, standard TGV InOui services

2 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 (partial journey)

Good to Know

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