Greentraveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Lyon, France.
Journey Time: from 4 hours 41 minutes
Sample timetable: Depart London 11.04am, arrive Lyon 5.00pm
Transfer: Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon
Frequency of Departures: 14/day
Carbon emissions: 18.51kg (flight would be 243.9kg)*
Car hire at Lyon Part-Dieu Railway Station: Yes
What's the journey like?
You have to change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon, which can take about half an hour on the Paris RER line (it's only two stops, though we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer - you have about an hour and a quarter to get the connection). See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris. At Gare de Lyon, you board a TGV high speed train to 'Lyon Part-Dieu' station.
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 de Lyon. 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 between high speed trains because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed TGV 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 Lyon Part Dieu station
Bienvenue à Lyon! There are plenty of hotels close to the station, these ones get good reviews: Hotels near to Lyon Part-Dieu train station. (we recommend hotel this reservation service for checking availability and booking a stopover hotel because you can read hundreds of reviews from people who have recently stayed in these hotels, slept in the rooms and eaten in the nearby restaurants. We've tried it out ourselves and found it makes choosing and booking a stopover hotel a doddle. We hope you do too.)
Getting around Lyon
Most international and mainline trains arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu, which is in a modern office district to the east of the city centre: it is a transport hub with trams, buses, and a station on line B of the metro. Some mainline intercity trains also arrive at Lyon Perrache, on the southern edge of the city centre, served by trams, buses, and line A of the metro – it is also within walking distance of much of the centre, including the principal Place Bellecour square.
The old town and central shopping district (Presqu'île) are relatively compact and walkable, however Lyon is quite a large city and you are likely to need to make use of its comprehensive transport network at some point. Operated by TCL (in English, link includes a journey planner and timetables), you can take your pick from the metro, trams, trolleybuses, buses, and - in a quirky flourish - funicular railways. The metro consists of four colour-coded lines criss-crossing the city, and is integrated with funicular services up from Vieux Lyon (old Lyon) to the Fourvière and St Just hills. Additionally, there are five modern tram lines, and a network of 135 bus and trolleybus routes. TCL provides a map of the metro, tram and principal bus routes; as well as a detailed map of transport routes in Lyon and various other Lyon transport maps (in French).
A huge range of tickets and fares exist depending on your needs, TCL offers full Lyon transport ticket information. If you plan on visiting several museums or attractions, and will be making use of the public transport network, it could be a good idea to invest in a Lyon City Card – offering unlimited travel plus free or discounted entry at numerous places and attractions across the city, for one, two, or three days
In additional to its impressive public transport network, Lyon proudly lays claim to being the first French city to introduce a bike-sharing scheme, known as Vélo’v. You can hire a bike at any of over 340 stations across the city, before returning it to another station close to your destination – Vélo’v has an interactive map of stations (double click to find the nearest to any point on the map) as well as a map of cycling routes across Lyon.