The big question travelers ask themselves when going from Paris to Nice is should I fly or should I take the train? While there are many pros and cons about both as you can imagine, this post is not intended to answer that question, but rather guide you through the steps needed to travel from Paris to Nice via train and answer questions you may be asking yourself about the train.

As you probably predicted, we chose to train from Paris to Nice. While I was booking our train ticket, I began asking myself many other questions that I wasn’t finding answers to immediately: should I book a first class ticket? How much room do I have in second class? How much luggage can we take on the train? And, many others. These questions will be addressed below.

Let’s begin.

Where do I purchase my train ticket and should I get them in advance?

You can purchase your train tickets from Paris to Nice (along with 200 other destinations) through the EURORAIL website. Yes I would highly recommend you purchasing your train ticket in advance. Below is a panoramic of the Paris Gare de Lyon train station – pretty cool!

nice train station

How long does it take to train from Paris to Nice?

Using the EURORAIL, the train takes approximately 6 hours from Pairsparis to nice map Gare Lyon (train station) to Nice Ville (train station). Shockingly, it only took about three hours to get to the south of France from Paris, but then you have to travel much slower through several cities once you’re down there and it ends up taking 5.5 – 6 hours.

How much does a train ticket from Paris to Nice cost?

This cost is variable depending on class, time, and availability. Our second class tickets in September, 2015 at 11:19 am cost approximately $100 each.

Should I purchase a first class or second class train ticket?

Trick question. EURORAIL offers three types of tickets: economy (second class), comfort (first class), premier (first class +). This question was one of the biggest questions for me. What is the difference between a first class ticket and how much room will I have between the classes.

Here are the breakdowns specified by EURORAIL

Second class: Here’s what you can expect when traveling second class aboard the world-renowned TGV, traveling at speeds of up to 186mph to more than 200 destinations:

  • A warm and welcoming atmosphere on a non-smoking train
  • A reserved seat with a headrest, fold-down table, footrest, individual reading light and generous legroom
  • A bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase

Ticket flexibility: Semi Flexible

  • Adult: 100% refundable up to 2 business days before train departure date; exchangeable up to 1 day before train departure for a fee

Comfort class (1st class): Here’s what you can expect when traveling aboard the world-renowned TGV, traveling at speeds of up to 186mph to more than 200 destinations:

  • A smooth ride where every seat is reclining and travelers have their own individual power outlet, pillow and adjustable table
  • A bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase
  • A seat reservation included in the price of your ticket
  • The opportunity to use your mobile phone along the way

Ticket flexibility: Semi Flexible

  • Adult: 100% refundable up to 2 business days before train departure date; exchangeable up to 1 day before train departure for a fee

Premier class (1st class): Here’s what you’ll find included aboard the world-renowned TGV, traveling at speeds of up to 186mph to more than 200 destinations:

  • A large, comfortable reclining seat, reservation included
  • A distinguished atmosphere
  • A meal
  • A bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase
  • Access to the TGV lounge at the rail station

Ticket Flexibility: Flexible

  • Adult: 100% refundable before train departure; can be cancelled up to 2 hours after train departure

How much room do I have in second class vs. first class?

Below you will see the set up for a second class ticket. There was plenty of legroom for me and my wife. I am 6’3” and have a 32oz Nalgene water bottle to show you how much room there is between my knees and the seat in front of me.

pairs to nice leg room on train

Second class seats – what a happy bunch!

second class train seats with people

paris to nice second class seats.jpg

paris to nice two seater second class

First class seats

paris to nice first class group seats

paris to nice first class four seater

paris to nice first class two seater

How much luggage can I carry onto the trains and will my stuff fit?

According to the EURORAIL, there is no luggage restrictions. That was surprisingly to read; however, that didn’t help me know if there would be room and how much room for that matter. Below you’ll see the difference between first class luggage and second class luggage storage.

Second class storage (ours is the red luggage, which is a large carry-on for scale)

paris to nice second class luggage storage

paris to nice second class luggage

First class storage

I wasn’t able to get a picture of the first class storage, but as we both can imagine, it’s plenty roomie 😉

Concluding remarks

In summary, we would highly recommend traveling from Paris to Nice via train with a second class ticket. The views throughout France were lovely and the train ride itself was very smooth. If you need flexibility with your train ticket or are looking for a complimentary meal, premier 1st class is the way to go!

A few final comments for those debating between taking the train or flying…You may be able to find plane tickets for as cheap or cheaper than the train; however, remember the cost of traveling to and from the airport via taxi, which is 50-75 euros.

I hope this post helps you. Feel free to leave a comment, tip, or joke below to help make everyone’s travels that much better!