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Train Paris to Florence?

Does anyone know if there is still an overnight train that runs from Paris to Florence? We traveled this train in 2009 and would like to do it again in 2016. I believe I heard it was discontinued. If it was discontinued then we would try to go to Cinque Terre first. Do you know the route for that?

Thank you.
Alisa Walsh

Posted by
3804 posts

It appears there is still a night train. Leaves Gare De Lyon @14:39. arrives Florence 5:21.

Travel with 2 changes, takes 14H42m! SCNF Voyages. Enter any country except U.S.

Posted by
498 posts

Railways are discontinuing night trains as they are not competitive with fast day trains and flights. If you want to go from Paris to Florence, probably the best way is flying Air France, and the second best Easyjet or Transavia or Ryanair to Pisa. The third choice would be TGV Paris-Milan and a fast train Milan-Florence; but it would be a long trip, probably more expensive than flying, and probably with a bad connection in Milan. My fourth choice would be flying Vueling from Paris to Florence - I am not very fond of Vueling as I had a bad experience with them, and my brother also had a bad experience flying Florence/Paris with them.

Flying to Pisa is also the best way to go to Cinque Terre from Paris.

Posted by
6733 posts

In my experience a one way flight between Paris and Florence is by far the best way to get there, but the cost on Easyjet is about a tenth the cost on Air France one way and about one sixth of the cost as a round trip throwing away the return. Or it was a few years ago when we made this trip. Book early and it is really cheap; Pisa is considered an airport of Florence and the bus and train systems to get there are easy to use and cheap.

Posted by
31524 posts

Alisa,

I'm not sure that a night train would be the best option on that route. Two other options you could consider.....

  1. Train during the day - the quickest and easiest trip will be a departure from Gare de Lyon at 10:41, arriving Firenze at 19:10 (time 8H:29M, one change at Torino Porta Susa). There are numerous other departures with longer travel times and more changes.
  2. Budget airline - one route you could use is a flight from ORY to PSA with EasyJet (flight time 1H:40M). From Pisa it's an easy trip to Florence by rail (about an hour from Pisa Centrale).

The travel time via air will likely take about 6-7 hours overall, when all is considered including travel to and from airports, check-in, security, waiting, boarding & deplaning and of course the train ride to Florence. Either method will be the better part of a full travel day.

Posted by
5697 posts

Alas, the lovely overnight trains between Paris and Italy -- I fondly remember rolling through the French countryside eating a delicious breakfast (not just a roll and bad coffee from a counter.) Not all change is "progress"

Posted by
6733 posts

I took the night train 13 years ago on this route from Rome to Paris and the lovely breakfast was a stale croissant in a plastic rapper and a cup of machine coffee when we rolled into Bercy delivered on a little tray along with the news that we were in Paris. We took the train because we had 70 pounds of books and couldn't use air without crazy charges -- they were free on the train and took up much of the floor of our two person room. The bed was quite comfortable. I'd never choose it on purpose.

Posted by
1831 posts

It's not the most direct route or fastest either, but we are doing this in a few weeks:

LV Paris / Gare de Lyon to Lucerne, 1 change Basel for 40 min. Total time 4:40

Staying 2 nights Lucerne, then LV Lucerne, change Arth-Goldau (6 minutes!), to Milan. Total time 3:55

After 90 minute layover, LV Milan direct to Florence SMN. Total time 1:40.

Posted by
1821 posts

Save yourself time and maybe even money, fly. Two things have changed since the last time you took the overnight train, flights are cheaper and the overnight train ain't what it used to be.

Posted by
16883 posts

The direct night train from Paris to Florence was discontinued, but you can take the night train as far as Milan (6 a.m.) or Verona (8 a.m.) and connect in the morning at either city. Choose Verona in order to sleep longer. This is not a fancy night train; reported to be quite ordinary. The night train is operated by Thello and does not accept rail passes; passes get you 25% discount off the full fare; other, advance-purchase ticket discounts also available.

Trains from Paris to any Cinque Terre town will usually include connections in Milan and sometimes also Genova. How to Look Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the DB train schedule link and tips for using it. With a rail pass, the TGV from Paris to Milan is best booked months in advance; or booking that far ahead can also get you TGV ticket discounts.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all so much. All information was much needed. :)

Posted by
970 posts

Hi,
I tried to get from Florenza to Paris a few years ago. Looked at renting a car, taking buses or trains. Ended up flying Ryan Air for under $20. Yes, you leave from Beauvais and land in Pisa. But there is a quick train Pisa to Florenza. Obviously it took a day.

But we started a reasonable time of day leaving Florenza, sat for awhile in Pisa, and had time to get tout B&B well north of Paris and Beauvais before dark. An airline bus will take you into Paris and drop you at a major metro station. The bus in Beauvais leaves after each arrival of a flight.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
796 posts

They stopped the Paris to Florence overnight route. The last time we did Paris to Florence, we got tickets for a 7:59 pm to 5:59 am trip from Paris to Milan and then did a transfer in Milan and took a 1 hr 47 minute trip from 6:23 am on to Florence. You can actually get your sleep in the first leg and just relax from Milan to Florence.