Train from London to Bordeaux, France
Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Bordeaux St Jean, which is conveniently located in the centre of Bordeaux.
Graceful and beguiling, Bordeaux is a city relishing its joie de vivre – years after the restoration of its centre restored the original golden hues of its buildings, residents and visitors alike are exploring its UNESCO-protected historic centre and sipping coffees in its numerous cafés. With first-rate museums and galleries (including the CAPC museum of contemporary art), splendid architecture and a wealth of restaurants, squares, and shops, Bordeaux is a pint-sized rival to Paris: but with its own distinct charms and without the capital’s tourist hordes. And who could forget the wine? It is, of course, everywhere – and it’s delicious – with the Cité des civilizations du vin and the Musée du vin et du negoce offering an introduction to the world and culture of the city’s most famous export.
Journey Time: fastest from 5 hours 25 minutes
Sample timetable: Depart London 10.24am, arrive Bordeaux 5.56pm
Transfer: Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare Montparnasse
Frequency of Departures: 18/day
Carbon emissions: 12.71kg (flight would be 70.43kg)*
Train tickets provided by Trainline:
What's the journey like?
You have to change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse, which can take about half an hour on the Paris metro (though we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer). See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Paris
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Paris while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near both Gare du Nord and Gare Montparnasse. Here are some examples of hotels that are conveniently near these stations:
Miss your connection in Paris?
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 a high speed 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 Bordeaux St Jean train station
Bienvenue à Bordeaux! There are lots of hotels near to the station, see below:
Hotels near Bordeaux St Jean train station
Getting around Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s main railway station, the Gare St Jean, gateway for train travellers, is located a little to the south of the city centre. It is on line C of the tram network, which will whisk you to all points central in a few minutes.
The ultra-modern, fast and sleek tram system is the showpiece of Bordeaux’s transport network. Three lines (A, B and C) cross the city, and most of the city centre is within a few minutes’ walk of a stop: the tram network map is clear and colour-coded. Like the trams, buses are operated by TBC who offer useful bus information, routes and timetables in English (TBC tram information) and also offer a map of central Bordeaux featuring the useful bus and tram routes for visitors. Fares for buses and trams start at €1,40 for a single journey, with a range of multi-trip and day/week tickets available: TBC offers full Bordeaux transport ticket and fare information.
The centre of Bordeaux is not enormous, and many streets have been pedestrianised, making walking a great option for getting around, taking in the architecture and lifestyle and discovering hidden corners as you cross the city. The terrain is largely flat, making cycling also an appealing option: the Vcub network offers self-service bike sharing across Bordeaux (map of stations; the site is in French only) – hire a bike from one docking station and drop it off at another close to your destination.
For more overland train routes to France, see our Flight-Free Train/Ferry Journey Planner