I'll be traveling from Nice to Paris on Saturday October 5th this year. I want to take the train; do I need to buy tickets now? What is the best website to use?
Rachelle, You don't "need" to buy tickets now, as you can easily buy them at Nice Ville station when you arrive there. However, you could also pre-purchase at www.voyages-sncf.com/ which may save you some money on the fares. I've never bought tickets online from SNCF but based on what I've seen here in other replies, you may have to specify your country of origin as the U.K. Hopefully one of the others can clarify that. Happy travels!
You will definitely save a lot of money by purchasing the tickets in advance instead of waiting until the day of. A lot. For example, if I go on the SNCF website right now and search for a ticket for October 5th, I can find a price as low as 43€. If I look for a ticket for tomorrow, the cheapest I can find is 122€. so definitely buy ahead of time if you can lock in your times. Personally, I would fly EasyJet rather than taking the train. That is a loooong trip along the coast (it doesn't become a fast train basically until it turns north at Marseille), but you may have a specific reason for wanting to take the train. But the airport is easy to get to via the city bus, and I usually fly.
Rachelle, I too see great fares for Oct 5. Here's a link to a picture of what I see. 39.90Euro is a great fare. Just be aware that the tickets are non-refundable but they are exchangeable for a 12Euro fee. http://gyazo.com/67d5bb6a918ac90336daa514687ca817 The website is www.voyages-sncf.com. The journey time is 5hrs40min. When the website asks you for your Ticket Collection Country, select Great Britain or France or any other country besides the USA. The reason is that if you select USA, the website will try and route you to RailEurope which you do not want. You will be printing your tickets out at home just after your purchase so you don't need to worry about going to Great Britain to pick up your tickets. As Kim suggests, flying is an option but 39.90Euro will be hard to beat. If you buy your train tickets when you get to France, you will be paying the full fare.
I haven't checked the prices online for your request but don't overlook a 1st class ticket bought well in advance. We buy them for less than a 2nd class ticket bought the day of travel. They are not always available, but for train rides over 4 hours we always buy 1st class tickets on the first day they go on sale. You might not be able to get them since Oct 5 is but 60+ days away, but you can always look without purchasing them. We've found that if you register on the SNCF website, ticket purchasing goes a lot smoother. Be sure and let your credit card company know you are going to buy tickets from a French website so they will let the purchase go through. Nice to Paris I would select seats on the upper deck (of 1st class) on the left side of the train to enjoy the seaside views.
thanks for the great responses! i'll book my tickets straight away!!
Excellent advice about the SNCF site. I booked over a dozen tickets that way, using Italy as country of origin so I wouldn't have to deal with converting fares from euros (if you choose Britain, fares will show up in pounds sterling). For some tickets I didn't have the e-ticket option to print them myself, so I selected "pick up at SNCF station" and picked up all the tickets when I arrived in Nice. I say this just in case you don't get the e-ticket option.