Train from London to Rome, Italy
Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Rome, Italy
Once the centre of the world’s most powerful Empire, today Rome - the Eternal City - remains Italy’s capital and largest city, a place where millennia of history blend with contemporary life. Where else can you stroll through (surprisingly intact) ancient ruins to a piazza designed by Michelangelo and down into a UNESCO-protected historic centre boasting baroque fountains and churches, and intimate squares where neighbourhood life seems unchanged by the modern world, all nestling between some of the world’s most famous sights, monuments, and museums? Wonderfully walkable, Rome’s compact heart is a treasure trove: and let’s not forget the tantalising, fresh cuisine – far more than just pizzas. You could come for history and culture, or just to while away your time in a café with a cappuccino or a Campari soda, and enjoy the famous dolce vita.
Journey Time: Overnight
Transfers: Option 1 (via Paris): Change from Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon, then take the train to Torino Porta Susa (or Milan) and stay overnight and take the high-speed train the following morning to Rome.
Option 2 (via Lille): Change at Lille for train to Lyon where you stay overnight then take high-speed train the following morning to Rome.
Sample timetable: Option 1: Depart London 7.55am, arrive 11.17am Paris Gare du Nord, depart Paris Gare de Lyon at 12.46, arrive Turin 6.15pm. Overnight in Turin then catch 10am train directly to Rome, arriving Roma Termini at 2.49pm.
Option 2: Depart London 11.04am, arrive 1.26pm Lille Europe, depart Lille Europe at 2.03pm, arrive Lyon at 5.02pm. Overnight in Lyon, then take 8.35am train to Turin, arriving 12.45pm, then take the 1.50pm train to Rome arriving Roma Termini at 6.10pm.
Frequency of Departures: 19/day
Carbon emissions: 49.2kg (flight would be 410kg)*
Train tickets provided by Trainline:
What's the journey like?
Option 1: 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). See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris. At Gare de Lyon, you board a TGV high speed train to Torino Porta Susa where you stay the night and then in the morning take the high speed train over to Rome.
Option 2: it's just a simple change of train within Lille Europe to catch the train to Lyon where you overnight (there are plenty of hotels near to the station, see below). Then the following morning you take the high speed train from Lyon to Italy.
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:
Hotels near Gare du Nord
Hotels near Gare de Lyon
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 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 Rome Termini station
Benvenuto a Roma! Whilst there are several railway stations in Rome, almost all major international and intercity trains arrive into the enormous Stazione Termini, on the south-eastern edge of the city centre. There are plenty of hotels close to the station, see below:
Hotels near to Rome's main train station (Rome Termini)
Getting around Rome
Termini Station is also the point of intersection for Rome’s two metro lines (constant archaeological discoveries have prevented any rapid expansion of the network), which skirt the centre in an X-shape: here is the Rome metro map. The metro can be handy for sights such as the Vatican and Colosseum, however if you are staying in central Rome it is unlikely to be of regular use. The centre of Rome is relatively compact, and walking its narrow, historic streets is a real pleasure.
Happily though, there is a comprehensive network of buses (find useful bus routes for you on ATAC Roma's website) and trams (the latter are largely confined to the periphery of the city, as are the suburban trains, which you will only use if you head to outlying attractions), and ATAC Roma provides a useful journey planner on their website. The hub of Rome’s bus network is located just in front of the Stazione Termini: there is an information kiosk to help you navigate it. Here you can find ATAC's maps of buses, trams, suburban trains and the metro across central and greater Rome.
Tickets are the same for all modes of transport in Rome, and are valid for 75 minutes after validating, including any interchanges. As well as single tickets, you can purchase, one-day, three-day and week tickets, for ATAC Roma offers more detailed transport ticket information. If you are staying in Rome for three or more days, and intend to visit some of the major sites, the Roma Pass could be worth considering: for 34€, you gain free admission and discounted entry to various major museums and sites, as well as three days unlimited use of public transport.
If you fancy exploring Rome on two wheels, there is a bike-sharing scheme similar to those in many other European cities, allowing you to hire bikes at one station and then drop them off at another later (not much of the site is available in English); and there are also various companies offering bike hire (and tours) across the city.
For more overland train routes to Italy, see our Flight-Free Train/Ferry Journey Planner