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Trains in France

Last update, Sept. 2020 5-min read

| Introduction

SNCF is the company responsible, among other things, for operating trains in France. It is on their website,, that you can book your train and coach tickets.

Together with car sharing (Blablacar), these are the most widely used means of transport in France. If you intend to use the train frequently, we advise you to take a discount card straight away.

If you are a student under 28 years old, we recommend the Youth discount card or the TGVmax subscription.

Three things to keep in mind with the TGVmax subscription:

  • Bookings available only one month in advance;
  • 6 simultaneous bookings allowed;
  • Cancellation fees if unsubscribed within the first 12 months…

The most constraining factor remains the lack of places allocated to subscribers. Places allocated to TGVmax subscribers are limited, thus it is often difficult to book a train during peak hours (weekends, holidays, public holidays).

Train discount cards

Train discount cards

Good value if you plan to use the train
several times during your stay in France

Youth card

The youth card (12 – 27 years old) costs 49€ and is valid for one year. With it, you benefit from:

Up to -60% off all national trains, all year round
-25% off international journeys
-10% off on Prem’s offers
-15% off on the services offered by SNCF (bar, AVIS rental…)

The young card is worth buying if you plan to do at least one round trip, so don’t hesitate to take it 😉

Get the Youth Card


The TGVmax subscription costs 79€/month and allows you, if you are under 28 years old, to travel free of charge on most TGVs.

We recommend the TGVmax subscription if:

  • You take the train more than twice a month.
  • You have a flexible schedule, which allows you to book trains during off-peak periods.

If this is not the case, the Youth Card offer is probably more suitable for you.

Travel with TGVmax