All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Paris stopover journeys

Stopping one night in Paris opens up a range of morning TGV train-travel options, getting you into resort earlier


Introduction

seating

Paris stopover journeys are a great way of travelling to the Alps.  They make the journey very relaxed and mean that you arrive at your ski resort earlier than you would have done if you'd travelled straight through from the UK the next day. And by spending a night in Paris on the outbound journey, and then taking a fast train the next morening, you actualy have a wider range of ski resorts that you can reach: even further flung destinations come into range.

When you arrive in Paris on the Eurostar, you take a taxi - from the taxi rank at Gare du Nord or with a pre-booked taxi that meets you at the Eruostar platform or outside Gare du Nord.  There are lots of clean, comfortable, inexpensive hotels close to Gare de Lyon, and the journey from Gare du Nord (where your Eurostar arrives) is about a 20-minute drive.  You arrive at hotel and can then go out for dinner or to explore Paris if you like. Then, next morning you just walk about 150 metres to Gare de Lyon, and walk onto your TGV train and head to the Alps.

You can choose your Eurostar to give you more, or less, time in Paris.  And for travel the next morning, there are lots of TGVs that depart Paris in the morning headed for French, Italian, Swiss and even Austrian ski resorts.

Travelling this way, you can arrive in resort by lunchtime and in many cases can ski in the afternoon - a bonus half-day's skiing that no one else travelling straight through will have.

Further down this page we've listed some good hotels that you can stay at right by Gare de Lyon.


Le Paris Stopover - the film

Snowcarbon Founder, Daniel, has travelled this way with big groups of friends and found that it works really well.

The relaxed journey and the stop in Paris give even more opportunity for making the journey part of the holiday. In Paris there are lots of hotels that are right by Gare de Lyon, so that after a good nights sleep you can wake up freshed, walk out of your hotel, then 100 metres to the station and straight onto the train (perhaps picking up freshly baked croissant from the bakery by the station or the cafes inside).

He has created a two-minute film a recent trip, showing how the group travelled and had fun on the way and sneaked an afternoon on the slopes once they arrived, as this film shows.


Examples of morning TGV trains from Paris to the Alps

Depart Paris-Lyon Destination Arrive Resorts served include Days of week
06:28 Oulx 11:23 Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere Everyday
06:49 Moutiers 11:03 Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens Saturdays
07:11 Cluses 11:08 Avoriaz, Flaine, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens Sat, Sun
07:11 Sallanches 11:36 Megeve Saturdays
07:11 St Gervais 11:45 St Gervais, Les Contamines, Chamonix Sat, Sun
07:49 Moutiers 12:13 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat, Sun
07:49 Aime-la-Plagne 12:31 La Plagne Sat, Sun
07:49 Bourg St Maurice 12:52 Les Arcs, Sainte Foy, La Rosiere, Tignes, Val d'Isere Sat, Sun
08:45 Moutiers 12:59 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat, Sun
09:49 Moutiers 14:29 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat, Sun
10:11 Cluses 14:50 Avoriaz, Flaine, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens Saturdays
10:11 Sallanches 15:08 Megeve Saturdays
10:11 St Gervais 15:19 St Gervais, Les Contamines, Chamonix Saturdays
10:41 Oulx 15:23 Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere Everyday

You can find out more about how to book these journeys in our guide to booking ski holidays by train.


Examples of afternoon TGV trains from the Alps to Paris

Notice that many of the journeys below can give you an extra final day on the slopes - because you can ski the whole day, or most of it, before catching your TGV back to Paris, where you can stay a night before continuing your journey home the next morning.

Depart Alps From station Resorts served Arrive Paris Days of week
13:15 Bourg St Maurice Les Arcs, Sainte Foy, La Rosiere, Tignes, Val d'Isere 18:11 Saturdays
13:37 Aime-la-Plagne La Plagne 18:11 Saturdays
13:57 Moutiers Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens 18:11 Saturdays
16:28 St Gervais Sainte Gervais, Les Contamines, Chamonix 21:30 Sundays
16:36 Sallanches Megeve 21:30 Sundays
16:54 Cluses Avoriaz, Flaine, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens 21:30 Sundays
17:15 Oulx Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx, Serre Chevalier, Sestriere 22:31 Everyday
17:32 Annecy La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand 21:15 Sat-Sun

Citizen M hotel, Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotel Palym, Paris Gare de Lyonphoto:Citizen M Citizen M

Just by Paris Gare de Lyon station is the fantastic Citizen M hotel, overlooking the river Seine.
We've had some great recommendations from skiers who have stayed year, and of course you may already be familiar with the Citizen M hotel brand from their hotels in other cities.

The hotel and rooms are done in the attractive Citizen M style, and the rooms have XL king-size beds, ultra soft linen from Italy and powerful tropical rain showers (in the bathroom - not the weather...)

Prices start at €71.40

Contact details:
Phone: +33 1 86 65 07 40
Email: TBC
Website: https://www.citizenm.com/destinations/paris/paris-gare-de-lyon-hotel


Hotel Palym, Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotel Palym, Paris Gare de Lyonphoto:Daniel Elkan Hotel Palym

Just around the corner from Gare de Lyon station is the comfortable Hotel Palym, one of those simple and a good place to stay.

The rooms are clean, attractive and reasonably priced.

Single €89 - €95; Double or twin €105; Triple €140; Quadruple €160; A buffet breakfast is €8

Contact details:
Phone: +33 1 43 43 24 48;
Email: infos@hotel-palym.com;
Website: www.paris-hotel-palym.com


Hotel Bel Oranger, Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotel Bel Oranger, Paris Gare de Lyonphoto:Daniel Elkan Bel Oranger

Equally close to Gare de Lyon station is the comfortable Hotel Bel Oranger
The rooms are clean and very well presented, and we've stayed there a couple of times when travelling to the Alps with groups of friends.  The room rates are listed below, but the hotel said that if you phone they sometimes have special offers.
Single €127; Double or twin €130 - 225
Contact details:
Phone: +33 1 43 43 11 00;
Email: hotel@beloranger.com;
Website: http://www.hotelbelorangerparis.com


Like some help sourcing Paris hotels?

We've been beautifully surprised by the efficient service offered by Budgetplaces.com in finding hotels near Gare de Lyon.

They are an agency that sources all levels of hotels and hostels.  So if you give them your budget and the desired area, they come back quickly with availabilty and offers.

Snowcarbon Founder Daniel Elkan says:
"I had the idea of travelling to Alpe d'Huez and stopping in Paris, but there were 24 of us travelling. I wondered whether I'd find accommodation easily for so many. I found Budget places by Googling initally, contaced them by phone and within minutes had a couple of good options by the station. A very impressive service so far."

Contact details: Phone: 0207 100 4522; email: reservations@budgetplaces.com; web:Budgetplaces.com
 


Getting from Paris-Nord to your hotel

seating Taxi driver waiting at Paris-Nord

From Paris-Nord, to the Eurostar, it's a simple transfer to your hotel.  You can do this in three ways:  by pre-booked taxi, with a taxi from the taxi rank or by  RER (part of the Metro).

The taxi journey is a 15 - 20 minute drive, and costs about €18 for a four-seater taxi, or for the pre-booked taxi is €55 - €65 for an eight-person vehicle. All types of transfer can take skis and snowboard bags, so there's no problem there. 

All in all, you should factor in one hour from your Eurostar arriving to you arriving at the hotel, although it would usually take less time.

Once that's done, you are free to enjoy your day and/or evening in Paris, knowing the next day you'll be hitting the slopes!

To find out how to change easily, just view our guide to changing station from Paris-Nord to Paris-Lyon.


Pre-booked taxi to your hotel

ski travel by train to Alps Gare du Nord taxi rank

You can use the taxi rank at Gare du Nord to take a taxi across to your hotel at Gare de Lyon. The queue at Gare du Nord is often very short, and it always moves quickly in any case.  The journey is about a 20-minute drive.

And you can also book a pre-booked taxi, to meet you at the end of the Eurostar platform, or just opposite the station, holding a placard with your name on it. ,

We made a one-minute film about it to show exactly what it is like (and had fun doing it!).

This is a brilliant way of crossing Paris for a family or a group of friends. It just makes things very easy.


Choosing how long you stay in Paris

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As long as you stay in Paris less than 24 hours, you can still book the journey on one ticket and take advantage of lower "Connection Fares".

So if you want to spend a day or an afternoon in Paris, this won't affect the price of your rail ticket.

Here are some of the Eurostar's you could take, for example:

London Paris Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
13:31 16:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
14:01 17:17           Yes  
14:31 17:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
15:01 18:17             Yes
15:31 18:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
16:22 19:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
16:52 20:17           Yes  
17:31 20:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
18:01 21:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
18:31 21:47         Yes    
19:01 22:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
20:01 23:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Booking your rail travel

As long as you stay in Paris less than 24 hours, you can still book the journey on one ticket. This gives the opportunity to get a "Connection Fare" which is a cheaper fare available on many Eurostar + TGV journeys.

You can find out more about how to book these journeys in our guide to booking ski holidays by train.


Like more help and advice?

If you'd like more help and advice the best train travel options, resorts and accommodation, feel free to contact Snowcarbon's founder, Daniel. 

He can help with specific advice and suggestions, using his years of experience as a ski journalist and expert on how to travel to the Alps by train. 

Daniel knows lots of great accommodation and tour operators and independent providers that can help, so you'll get some great suggestions.

Just send Daniel an email and he'll be back in touch.