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There’s no denying that the city of lights and love is a destination like no other. Paris holds a unique charm that will capture your heart and mind forever. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most-visited cities in Europe, but what about its other European counterparts?

While being the jewel of France, the allure of heading out on an adventure to some of the cities in neighboring Switzerland is undeniable.

No European trip would be complete without hitching a Paris to Switzerland train. With its renowned beauty and cultural diversity, there are just some cities in the land of milk and honey you have to visit.

So, before you set off, here’s a guide to every worthwhile stop you should consider.

A Perfect Paris to Switzerland Train Travel Guide 1

Starting Your Adventure from Paris Gare de Lyon

Sitting within the 12th arrondissement of Paris, one of its main train stations (of which there are six), you’ll find Paris Gare de Lyon. Rivaling other railway hubs in France’s largest city, this is where you’ll catch your train from Paris heading towards Western Europe.

Trying to figure out which trains will transport you from Paris to some of the main Swiss destinations? Fret not. Departing from Gare de Lyon, high speed trains operated by TGV-Lyria are your go-to’s for your epic adventure.

Why? Well, if you’ve ever wondered what the perfect European train is, you have your answer. A TGV-Lyria high speed train cuts down travel times by quite a bit, and having broken the world speed record in 2007, you’re in good hands.

Lastly, I highly recommend buying your train tickets ahead of time via Trainline or Omio. Both sites are great for helping you find the cheapest tickets and routes for your trip.

The Best Swiss Cities to Visit from Paris

Before you book that train ticket, you’ll need to know which Swiss city to visit first. Here are some of the major cities in Switzerland to add to your next European trip.

Zurich, Switzerland

Paris to Zurich

Quick question; what city is as synonymous with Switzerland as chocolate? Of course, that city is Zurich. Departing from Gare de Lyon, you’ll arrive at the gorgeous Zurich Hauptbahnhof in the city center.

Nestled at the foothills of the Alps, where the River Limmat and Lake Zurich meet, this lively and stunning city is the ideal destination from the French capital. With many of its highlights sitting between Zurich HB and the lake, there’s a lot to see and do.

These include visiting the Fraumunster (or Women’s Church), strolling through the Zoological Gardens, and appreciating the art displayed at the Cabaret Voltaire.

Recommended Tour: To get the most out of your time in Zurich, explore this destination with a city highlights tour.

Travel Information from Paris to Zurich

When venturing from Paris to Zurich, you’ll be happy to learn that TGV Lyria trains offer a direct route between the two. The average travel time is 4 hours and 3 minutes, with ticket prices averaging $31 per person.

Geneva City

Paris to Geneva

Known as the cradle of chocolate and watchmaking, the second largest city in Switzerland, Geneva, is another excellent train destination from Paris. Setting off from Paris Gare de Lyon, you’ll arrive at the Geneva Railway Station within Cornavin.

The city of Geneva is a sleek, stylish, and modern Swiss gem that offers so much more than its flawless appearance. Here, you’ll find a sprawling alternative arts community, post-industrial neighborhoods, and a vibrant culinary scene second to none.

Definite additions to your Geneva adventure include Lake Geneva and Saint Peter’s Cathedral, which towers over the city’s Old Town. Or visit the Place Neuve, a square representing the pinnacle of culture in the city.

Recommended Tour: Head beyond the city to Chamonix and Mont Blanc, jewels of the European Alps.

Travel Information from Paris to Geneva

With an average of 41 direct trains running from Paris to Geneva, Switzerland, there’s no shortage of options. Hopping on the TGV-Lyria train from Paris, your journey to Geneva will take about 3 hours and 12 minutes. The average cheapest fares begin at $31.

Basel, Switzerland

Paris to Basel

What could only be described as a small and sweet treat, the medieval Swiss city of Basel brims with elements of art, culture, and architecture. This is Switzerland’s third largest city. Your high speed train from Paris Gare de Lyon, will arrive at Basel SBB.

Compared to other cities like Zurich or Geneva, Basel offers a more laid-back environment for those eager to break away from the hustle and bustle. However, don’t let that fool you, the city boasts more than enough to put a smile on your face.

If you’re a museum hopper, Basel is close to museum  heaven, with one for almost everything. For art, head to the Kunstmuseum. If you’re in the mood for something eclectic, the Toy Worlds Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum) is a must.

Recommended Tour: There’s nothing quite like diving into the history of a destination, and doing so in Basel’s Old Town is fantastic.

Travel Information from Paris to Basel

Getting between the train stations from Paris Gare de Lyon and Basel SBB is easy, thanks to a direct route serviced by TGV-Lyria. Daily, 31 trains depart from Gare de Lyon, with an average travel time of 3 hours and 3 minutes. Tickets start at $30.

Bern in Switzerland

Paris to Bern

Saving the best for last, the capital city of Switzerland, Bern, is one of the most loved and visited entries into many Eurotrips. Arriving at Bern Railway Station (Bahnhof Bern), your departing seat is from Paris Gare de Lyon.

The city is known as the most beautiful flowered destination in the region, and the birthplace of Toblerone and Einstein’s theory of relativity. Beyond its borders lie the eye-catching towns of Zermatt and Interlaken, also easily reached via train.

You can wander along the Aare River, visit the legendary Clock Tower (Zytglogge), or head to Bern’s “bear pit”, a bear habitat from which the city gets its mascot.

Recommended Tour: No visit to Bern is complete without experiencing the architectural marvel called the Zytglogge.

Travel Information from Paris to Bern

Involving one cross-platform connection, you’ll set out from Gare de Lyon on the Paris to Zurich route, making the change at Basel Railway Station. The most convenient company to use along these routes is TGV-Lyria. The average travel time is 4 hours and 1 minute, and tickets go for around $60.

Swiss Train at the station

Essential Information for Your Paris to Switzerland Trip

While grabbing a seat on a direct flight from Paris to Switzerland sounds like a good way to travel from one country to the next, when you board a train, you unlock a new way of traveling.

What Can You Expect On a High Speed Train to Switzerland?

An essential bit of journey information is what awaits you aboard the train. With TGV offering two classes, the following amenities can be expected. Beyond onboard services for both classes, you get free WiFi and access to the bar car.

Business class travelers receive personalized service, including a welcome drink, a hot meal provided during your trip, unlimited drinks, and access to the bar car.

Kerns in Switzerland

Where Will You Go on a Paris to Switzerland Train?

Clearly, a Paris to Switzerland journey is appealing, no matter your reason for doing so. The only question is where to start. With the attention-grabbing Zurich, laidback Geneva, eclectic Basel, and captivating Bern as just a few options, you’re spoilt for choice.

If you also want to explore more of Switzerland, there’s also the option of doing the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland to hit some of its most scenic routes!

Oh, by the way, if you’re stuck after deciding on where to go, find out how to travel Europe on a budget. There’s no reason an adventure to Switzerland should break the bank.

A Paris to Switzerland Train Travel Guide
Adventure Awaits


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