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Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Fremont, California
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Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Hi everyone!

We're going to France for the first time, so we're wondering about good sites to compare and buy TGV tickets (I hear charges change by time). Can you please suggest?

Our itinerary is Paris > Avignon > Aix en Provence > Barcelona over 2 weeks-- We're trying to figure out if driving or flying (if not TGV) makes more sense in any parts of this trip. Any suggestions? Also, what would be the most convenient stations at these destinations to plan our trips from?

Thanks in advance! :)

Paris, France
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1. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

To search for trains you can use www.tgv-europe.com , choose "Antarctic" as your ticket collection country to avoid being routed to the more expensive Rail Europe. But keep in mind you may have issues using a US issued credit card to purchase tickets. I had luck using American Express, and others have used the Paypal option. Tickets go on sale 90 days in advance, and you need book early for the best prices.

You don't really get to choose train stations. From Paris trains to Avignon leave from Gare du Lyon, or from the TGV station at CDG airport.

Crossing into Spain is a bit tricky right now - but possibly will improve before your travel dates. There is a new high-speed train coming hopefully by the beginning of May.

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Thanks so much, @F1racegirl! :) This is really useful to know as I wasn't sure what ticket collection country referred to. We'll keep a look-out so the payment goes smoothly too.

So for Spain I assume the best option is to fly?

Thanks!!

Paris, France
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3. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

When are you traveling?

Fremont, California
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4. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

@F1racegirl April end, returning May first week.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

I'd book your TGV tickets from Paris to Avignon right away.

To fly to Barcelona you would need to go from Marseille or Nice.

The train connections that I've found aren't too bad, and don't require advance purchase. You take a train from Avignon Center to Portbou, Spain and connect to a Spanish train to Barcelona there.

Are you flying back to the US from Barcelona? Or do you need to get back to Paris?

Fremont, California
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6. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Thank you!! This is good to know, so maybe we can drive down to Marseille for our last stop and then fly from there.

Regarding traveling via the TGV, I heard something vaguely that you can buy a single ticket and break the journey if we have 2-3 destinations- is this true? How do I handle it while booking?

We'll be flying back from the Barcelona, we have an open-jaw ticket thankfully!

Thanks!

England, United...
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7. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

I suggest two things:

First of all, post your query on the Train Travel Forum of Trip Advisor. Your questions have probably already been covered there and there are a lot of well-travelled train experts on that forum to help you.

Secondly, don't forget to let your credit card company know that you intend to make an online foreign transaction purchase.

Most of the difficulties experienced by overseas (especially American) travellers trying to buy tickets is that their card is rejected due to a suspicion of fraud. Simply letting your credit card company know of your intentions in advance may alleviate this.

Le Bugue, France
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8. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

<< I heard something vaguely that you can buy a single ticket and break the journey if we have 2-3 destinations- is this true?>>

No, it is not true. You buy separate tickets for each leg of the journey in that case. You cannot hop off a train and then hop back on another one at will.

Fremont, California
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9. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Great pointers, thanks! :)

Paris, France
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10. Re: Best site to buy TGV tickets, decide on stations

Pamjo, actually the problems with U.S credit credit cards is with SNCF/TGV. The transactions never even show up as attempted by the cardholder's bank. American Express works, but rarely Visa or Mastercard.