Beaune or Lyon to Florence? HELP!

My friend and I are planning a last minute, once in a lifetime trip.Tickets booked. Flying into Paris April 28th, flying out of Florence Italy May 8th.

We will be in Paris April 28th to May 2nd. Thinking of travelling to the Burgundy region for two nights (Dijon preferably Beaune) and after need to quickly make our way to Florence Italy May 4th to 5th.

We are so new to this (!) and had hoped train travel would keep our budget reasonable. We leave Florence May 8th to return to Canada so naturally we hope to get to Florence quickly.

Can anyone tell us if there is a train from maybe Lyon or Dijon to Florence? Perhaps thinking of a train to Geneva then Florence?

Or maybe we should just train it to Marseille and fly?

Or, maybe a suggestion other than Burgundy that could give us the France flavour of a vineyard visit and a castle and would help us get to Florence to make the best of our budget and our time?

Totally bewildered and running out of planning time. Would sincerely appreciate any advice...


Posted by Sharon
2739 posts

Seems like the most time and cost effective plan would be to skip Beaune this trip and fly directly to Florence. You could add a day or two to Paris and take some day trips from Florence. Some tools that might help you plan are:



You'll have a great time no matter what you decide!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8700 posts

From Lyon your fastest route would be Lyon-Chambery-Milano-Firenze in 8 1/2 hours. From Dijon the fastest route is Dijon-Zuerich-Milano-Firenze in 9 hours.

See the detailed timetables on the German Rail site.

Another good search engine is It lists both budget airlines and national carriers. You can fly Paris Orly-Florence non-stop on Vueling for well under $200 US (cheaper than the train with the multiple connections). Or you can fly Paris Orly-Pisa on easyJet for even less and take a cheap (€7.90) and short (a little over one hour) regional train ride to Florence.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1422 posts

You've left it late to get a really low air ticket. The Spanish airline Vueling has several non-stop flights a week but the price for your time period is about $250 US.
In July it would be more like $170.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6890 posts

First, there is no such thing as a once in a lifetime trip. You just don't know what lies ahead. I would suggest that you would be much better off by eliminating Beaune and flying direct to Florence. Taking the train to Beaune will take about 3.0hrs. Then, it's 8.0-10.0hrs by day train from Beaune to Florence. However, the night train idea could work. Book quickly if you want to ride the night train. They do fill up.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
9896 posts

You won't find a route from Beaune/Dijon to Italy that is easy, fast, and cheap. The night train option would be my choice (if you don't fly from Paris). Buy the train tickets soon, either at through our US source or go direct to Thello for the night train. Thello also seems to have an offer to book the morning connection for you, even though it's operated by Trenitalia.