Greentraveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Avignon in the South of France.
Journey Time: fastest from 5 hours 44 mins
Sample timetable: Depart London 11.04am, arrive Avignon 6.11pm
Transfer: Platform change within Lille Europe station
Frequency of Departures: 20/day
Carbon emissions: 15kg (flight would be 87kg)*
Car hire at Avignon TGV station: No (but there is car hire in Avignon city centre)
What's the journey like?
There's just a quick same-station change of platform at Lille Europe station to catch the onward connection. From the Eurostar platform arrival, go up the stairs (or lift) to the main concourse from where the onward TGV trains depart.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Lille
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Lille while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near the station. Here are some hotels that are conveniently nearby: Hotels near Lille Europe train station
Miss your connection in Lille?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager. Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).
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 our:
(tickets provided by Rail Europe)