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Booking trains Lyon in May from Lyon to Annecy and back the CDG airport?

We plan to book trains in May from Lyon Part Dieu to Annecy for 3 nights. The same day we return from Annecy to Lyon Part Dieu, we plan to catch a TGV train from Lyon Part Dieu to Paris CDG train station (we are staying over night at the airport to catch our international flight home the next day).
Questions: 1) Tickets are available now to purchase the fast train from Lyon Part Dieu direct to rail station at Paris airport CDG 2TG on the website. However, I can’t seem to book return tickets yet on this site for the TER train Lyon Part Dieu to Annecy. Should I just go ahead and book these tickets directly from the site as they are available? 2) TER train leaving Annecy arrives at Lyon Part Dieu at 14:52. I was thinking of purchasing the TGV from Lyon Part Dieu To Paris CDG departing Lyon at 1600. Is approx 1 hour enough time between arrival from Annecy and departing fast train to Paris? Do these TER trains from Annecy often run late? 3) what is the difference between TGV Inoui versus just TGV? The site makes this distinction for a few train choices. Many thanks!

Posted by
1081 posts

Firstly, when are you actually traveling? Schedules are rarely firm more than 4 months in advance. If you are booking in May, is this for 2021? If so, it is much too early to purchase tickets but you will want to book as early as you can for best pricing.

Secondly, I would avoid raileurope, schedules are not comprehensive and pricing is usually higher. Never purchase from Raileurope before first checking the main SNCF website: If tickets are now available on this website, when are you traveling? Overall, for best pricing and availability, purchase tickets as soon as they are available on

Thirdly, the SNCF does not sell return tickets. You simply purchase two, one way tickets. 1 hour is probably sufficient time to connect at Lyon Part Dieu but purchase a ticket from Annecy to CDG. This should simplify your travel if there is a problem en route.

Lastly, TGV InOui is simply a new branding effort by the SNCF. Ultimately, all TGVs will be known as InOui, at least that is the current plan. OuiGo TGVs are the SNCF´s response to low-fare, minimal service travel. Broadly, within TGV travel, there are TGV/InOui trains and there are the discount TGVs - OuiGo.

Posted by
1130 posts

The schedules for next year are not set yet so any company trying to sell you a ticket for May is not fully honest. Buy the tickets from SNCF when they become available and avoid and 3rd party resellers. And if travelling Annecy to Charles de Gaulle via Lyon, do not buy two separate tickets.

Posted by
16834 posts

Lyon-Part Dieu is a modern station but can be so crowded that the speed at which you can move through the concourse is noticeably compromised. I'd be a bit careful about assuming there would be time to (for example) buy food for the second leg of the trip or get to the station restrooms if you end up with a short transfer time. I remember escalators, so you shouldn't have to deal with steps as you change platforms.

Posted by
78 posts

I can't tell you if the trains you've identified are usually on time or not, but you should be aware that Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu is a very, very, overcrowded train depot, on typical days carrying many multiples of its design capacity of passengers and train arrivals and departures.

Accordingly, it is currently in the middle of a gigantic multi-year renovation and expansion project that will change the entire character of the neighborhood within which it is located. On any particular visit escalators may or may not be running. Stairways may or may not be open. Exits may or may not be relocated. Vendors, including food vendors, may not even be where you expect them, or be at all. And on and on.

This is current information: I walked through the station last week.

Consequently, my advice would be to not rely on anyone's experience with the station when it comes to ease of getting around or time for making a transfer. It's practically guaranteed that the station will be different when you're there than when they were there. Possibly substantially different.

Posted by
16834 posts

Thanks for the up-to-date information, Sammy. It was a bit chaotic at the time of my 2017 visit, with an incorrect platform posted on the electronic board and a station employee positioned at the bottom of the (wrong) escalator to direct us to the right place. She told me to "run", which I thought odd since there was a delayed departure time already posted on the board. There was no problem getting to the train on time, but it was a rather strange experience. With construction going on now, I can only imagine what it's like.

Posted by
456 posts

Ditto to what everyone else has already said. And in August 2019, we took a day trip from Lyon to Annecy. For both legs to and from the train was delayed at least an hour. I am not sure if that is a regular thing, but we were lucky we didn’t have any other connections that day.

Posted by
1509 posts

BlockquoteIt looks like you haven't learned anything from the Corona pandemic.
Let me try to open your eyes!
Last year(2019) there were millions of tourists making plans for 2020 May and impatiently booking airfares, train tickets, hotels, etc. only to find out that they can't travel, have to cancel everything and trying to get their money back.
While booking well in advance can save you some money, the saving is not always that huge and there is really no need to book anything a year in advance or even 6 months. As millions of people learned this year the hard way booking too early may cause more trouble than benefit. It doesn't have to be a pandemic or a war. It could be just due to a private matter that you need to cancel your trip. How can anyone plan 1 year in advance?

And it looks like you learned "EVERYTHING" including "how to be rude" from the pandemic.

So... let's do the math.

I can buy a train ticket today for a trip from London to Paris for the first of December for $44. If I wait until a few days in advance that same ticket is $260. So in order not to risk losing $44 I pay $260????? LOL I think I will continue to "book too early" and just risk the $44. It's highly unlikely to put me into bankruptcy.

I also booked a plane ticket for next spring using the same "math". I found a $300 roundtrip ticket. If I wait and it's $1,000 once again I have "saved" the risk of losing $300 by spending $700 more..... I will take my chances.


Posted by
1081 posts

I can buy a train ticket today for a trip from London to Paris for the first of December for $44.

It is possible to purchase Eurostar tickets between London and Paris up to 6 months in advance on It is also sometimes possible to purchase these tickets earlier than 6 months on Raileurope but doing so means that you have probably paid more than you needed to pay and, as the schedules are not yet firm, you may find that your reservation changes once the schedules are firm.

There is never a reason to purchase tickets in advance of the official opening dates, indeed it is not possible using The official opening windows are, in advance of any given travel date:

  • TGV and Intercité (other than Eurostar) 4 months (sometimes earlier for vacation periods)
  • TER between 2 and 5 months (depending upon region of travel)
  • Ouigo between 2 and 9 months
  • Eurostar to London, 6 months

To be able to help the OP, we really need to know date of travel.

Posted by
1446 posts

hey hey jaredreedjr203
we were in annecy last year middle of september for 6 nights. we loved this small town and the villages around the lake. if you need info on places to stay, things we did and places to eat just ask. we really loved annecy
our journey was a little different. booked our train tickets about 2 months out paris (gard de lyon station to geneva) then taxi to annecy. train annecy to paris (gard de lyon station) with one stop, taxi to paris apartment.
don't reserve with, a third party site, not all travels are listed with them and cost more. we booked with sncf (france train system or can't remember and if trainline, the fee was minimal paying with a credit card. i would keep an eye on both sites from now till feb or march to buy tickets. the tickets lyon to annecy to lyon can be purchased day before.
you still are way way out if this trip is in may 2021. make a folder with who what where when and how and flag important dates.
we bought food (snacks and bottle of wine, always carry corkscrew everywhere we go) at a small deli/shop near station or at train station before boarding. the ride will be about 4 to 5 hours. look at carriage you are on, we sat above, ended up in a family car with crying and fussy babies. so double check if that is not what you want.
good luck with all your planning and research. ask questions, don't be in a rush, the posters will give you good bad and ugly. wanting to give you info so you guys can be prepared and have a great and enjoyable journey.