Greentraveller's Guide to taking the direct train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Avignon, France.
Please note this direct train is a Summer Service only (from 22 May-7 September 2020)
Journey Time: 5 hours 49 minutes
Sample timetable: Only departure is from London at 7.19am, arriving Avignon at 2.08pm
Changes: None, it is a direct train
Frequency of Departures: 3-4 times per week
Carbon emissions: 13kg (flight would be 295.5kg)*
Car hire at Avignon TGV station: No (but car hire is available in city centre)
What's the journey like?
It's a direct train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Avignon TGV station just outside the city. On board Eurostar, there’s a bar-buffet carriage that sells a range of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including champagne, as well as snacks and wholesome, hearty dishes. For those with standard premier tickets, light refreshments are served at your table, including a fresh, light, healthy meal, tea, coffee and soft drinks, and a glass of wine or beer. It’s about 30 mins from London to the Channel Tunnel, then, after about 20 minutes, you emerge for the onward journey whizzing down through the beautiful countryside of France, passing picturesque French villages and along the Rhône Valley to Avignon (the train continues to Marseille). This direct service is a fast and efficient way to travel from London to Avignon in the summer.
Here's a short video we filmed to show what it's like to travel by train to Avignon:
On arrival at Avignon TGV station
Bienvenue à Avignon! The TGV direct train from London arrives at Avignon TGV, which is a few miles outside the town. Thankfully, the station is linked to the city centre by the ‘TGV Navette’ bus (right), which costs 1,80€ (free for Eurostar ticket holders). This drops you off in front of the city’s downtown station, Avignon-Centre. From here, all points central are walkable, but it is a hub for transport around the city and the sights of the surrounding area.
[Photo: Green Traveller]
Avignon is the gateway to Provence - it's an atmospheric mediaeval city of honey-coloured buildings and winding streets, crowned by the dramatic Papal Palace. Its compact centre nestles between intact city walls, and the famous bridge still juts halfway out into the Rhône. This is the dream of France – quiet squares to relax in a café, delicious provençal cuisine, fine local wines; and many a place to buy a baguette and wander around the ancient streets – with all the joys of Provence on the doorstep.
For more information about Avignon, including information on some great places to eat, hotels and things to do, see Green Traveller's Guide to Avignon.
Getting around Avignon
The compact centre of Avignon lies within its ancient city walls, and is easily walkable, with only limited traffic. If you do need or want to take a longer journey, or to one of the outlying towns, villages, and attractions, there is a good local bus network and a new tram system opened in 2019. Transport in Avignon is operated by ORIZO, their website is in French only, however it does feature detailed information about the Avignon transport network. Tickets for a single journey cost 1,30€ (valid for one hour), with a ‘carnet’ of ten tickets for 10,50€ and a day pass at 4€.
The Avignon area boasts 110km of segregated cycle paths – impressive for the city’s small size – and there is also a self-service bike sharing scheme called Vélopop operating across Avignon. You can take a bike from one docking station and return it to another when you reach your destination – for only 1€ per day (0,50€ for each half-hour of usage); here's a useful map of vélopop stations. You can also hire bikes at Provence Bikes on Boulevard St Roch or pre-order to pick up bikes at the TGV Avignon station (3km outside of the town) from Holiday Bikes.
For more information about where to stay in Avignon, restaurants and things to do, see ou:
Book your direct (summer only) train to Avignon >> (tickets provided by Eurostar, bookings available 280 days before date of travel)