The fastest and most comfortable way to travel from city center to city center in Europe is high-speed train. If travelling time between cities is less than 6 hours, then travelling by train is always better than flying. The high-speed train connection between different cities of Switzerland to Paris is operated by rail company TGV-Lyria.
TGV-Lyria (Train à Grande Vitesse) is the joint venture company formed by French Railways SNCF and SBB Swiss Railways. These high speed trains are running at up to 320 km/hr. and connecting the cities of Switzerland to Paris between 3 to 4 Hrs. TGV-Lyria high-speed trains run from Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Zurich & Basel(same train) to Paris. In Paris, all these trains arrive at Gare de Lyon station.
How to book TGV-Lyria ticket
The TGV-Lyria ticket is best booked in advance to get the cheapest price. Booking opens 120 days in advance and fares start rising like air fares. Tickets booked in advance costs always less than the one purchased on the last day. Reservation is compulsory on TGV-Lyria.
- If you have Swiss pass or your starting stations in Switzerland are Basel, Zurich or Geneva, You can buy the ticket online at the official website, https://www.tgv-lyria.com/fr/en. You can also book the TGV-Lyria at either www.loco2.com (in €, £ or $), www.trainline.com (in €).There’s no booking fee at these websites and you can choose your seat.
- If you are starting your journey from a station in Switzerland other than the starting station of TGV Lyria, then buy a Swiss domestic ticket from your starting station to Basel, Zurich or Geneva plus a TGV-Lyria ticket from there to Paris. While Swiss ticket can be bought on the same day, book the TGV-Lyria ticket as early as possible to get the best fare.
- If your travel dates are fixed, you can check the Swiss railway website https://www.sbb.ch/en/, for Swiss supersaver fares available within 30 days from travel date. Swiss Supersaver fares are non-refundable. Combine this with advance purchase fares available on TGV-Lyria.
- Alternate option is you can buy tickets from any station in Switzerland to Paris at the Swiss Railways website https://www.sbb.ch/en/, which combine Swiss domestic trains with the TGV-Lyria to Paris. This is an e-ticket but can also be collected from any Swiss station.
First or second class
Like most European trains, there is two type of seating in TGV-Lyria first class and second class. In first class seating there are two different classes, Standard Premier and Business Premier.
Standard Premier. 1st class seating (wider seats 2×1 across the width of coach ) with longue access at Paris Gare de Lyon station. Food or drink not included and not served at seat.
Business Premier: 1st class seating (wider seats 2×1 across the width of coach ) with longue access at Paris Gare de Lyon station. Food or drink included and served at seat. These tickets are 100% refundable.
Standard. 2nd class seating (2×2 seats across the width of the coach ).
Second class standard seating is comfortable and this is the class we travelled or most people travel in Europe. Online booking gives you a choice of seating option. In every car there are 16 seats with unidirectional seating. Choose these seats if you are travelling with family or in group.
- Standard Premier and Standard seating has access to cafe. Snacks, drinks, & microwaved hot dishes are served in the cafe.
- All the TGV-Lyria trains are fitted with power sockets (European 2-pin, 230 volt) at all seats in both classes.
- There is no WiFi available on board TGV-Lyria trains.
- There is no baggage limit on these trains, but all luggage must be labelled with your name.
- Luggage can be store in luggage racks near the doors, between the seats or overhead luggage racks near your seat.
We reached Basel station to catch our TGV train for Paris. Even though there is no check-in like airport, still I advise you to come at least 30 minutes before train arrival if you are coming from some interior location. Change to TGV-lyria platform and check your coach position from the information board. You can know beforehand where your coach is going to arrive at the platform and wait there.
After one week of memorable vacation, It’s time to say good bye to Switzerland.