Every winter more of our customers ask about travelling by train to Chamonix. This post details everything you need to know about how to travel by train from London to Chamonix.
Travel by train to Chamonix
Travelling by train to the Alps has become increasingly popular in recent years, as skiers and snowboarders try to reduce their carbon emissions.
This post covers all the key information, including:
- How do I get from London to Chamonix by train?
- How do I travel from Paris to Chamonix?
- How do I get from Geneva to Chamonix by train?
- How long does it take to go from London to Chamonix by train?
- How do I get from Gare du Nord to Gare du Lyon?
- Is travelling by train to Chamonix more expensive than flying?
- Can I take the Eurostar direct to Chamonix?
- Does Chamonix have a train station?
How do I get from London to Chamonix by train?
The most common starting point is London as it’s from London St Pancras that Eurostar runs direct to Paris.
Eurostar runs around 15 trains direct to Paris every day. These take an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes to arrive in Gare du Nord in Paris.
From Paris, you can then take a TGV train with SNCF from Gare du Lyon direct into the centre of Chamonix with one or two changes on the way.
How do I travel by train from Paris to Chamonix?
You have three main options for travelling by train from Paris to Chamonix.
- Depending the time and day of travel, you can travel direct by TGV to Saint-Gervais, before getting your connecting train to Chamonix. This journey takes around 6 hours 45 minutes, depending on your connection time in Saint Gervais.
- An alternative option is to travel on the TGV to Bellegarde Sur Valserine, then from there to Saint Gervais. This involves one more change but can be quicker overall. The example below takes less than six hours.
- A final option is to take a train from Paris to Geneva. There are trains from Gare de Lyon several times a day that take just over 3 hours to travel direct to Geneva.
How do I get from Geneva to Chamonix by train?
The good news is that a new service known as the Léman Express is due to open on 15 December 2019. This network will improve the connections significantly and mean you can travel to Saint Gervais by train easily from Geneva centre or Geneva airport.
Annemasse will act as a hub and the cost will be from €39.90 for a single journey. The full timetable will be published shortly, but it's the most carbon efficient way of travelling to Chamonix. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Alternatively, you can still take one of the regular Swiss Tours transfer buses to Chamonix – a 70 minute journey, costing from €9 – or pick up one of the many minibus transfer services available with companies such as ChamExpress.
Ski Weekend clients typically have their transfer included in the price of their weekend, so we will collect you and give you a private transfer to Chamonix. We offer shared or private transfers as part of our packages.
How long does it take to go to Chamonix by train?
This depends on the route you take (see above), but it may not be as long as you expect. Typically, you can expect it to take between 9 hours 30 minutes and 11 hours, from London, depending on your connections.
How do I get from Gare du Nord to Gare du Lyon?
It’s very straightforward to get from Gare du Nord (where Eurostar arrives) to Gare du Lyon.
If you have a lot of luggage or are not feeling confident, you could simply catch a taxi, costing around €20 and taking about 25 minutes for the journey (although you should factor in some queuing time). There is more useful information on booking taxis on the Snow Carbon website.
However, travelling by the Metro – specifically on the RER ‘D’ line, direction ‘Melun/Malesherbes’ – is very straightforward. The journey itself takes about 7 minutes and you should allow 25 minutes to get from one station to the other, including buying tickets.
This video shows how simple it is:
Is travelling by train to Chamonix more expensive than flying?
The answer to this is – maybe, but not necessarily. Depending on your time of travel, flights can be very cheap, but remember that the initial top-line price doesn’t include baggage costs or ski carriage fees.
You should also factor in the cost of transfers from your arrival airport to Chamonix, either taxi, shared minibus or hire car.
If you are travelling with Ski Weekend, we include your transfer from the airport, but if you are travelling independently, this can cost €30-60 in each direction for a shared minibus transfer.
Can I take the Eurostar direct to Chamonix?
No. There is a Eurostar service on weekends in winter that goes direct from direct to the Alps, but this only goes to the Tarentaise valley (Les 3 Vallées, Tignes, Les Arcs, Val d'Isère) at the weekends.
Does Chamonix have a train station?
Yes, it does. One of the great advantages of travelling by train to Chamonix is that you arrive direct into the centre of the resort.
When travelling by train to other resorts in France, it’s usually necessary to take a taxi or local bus service once you arrive at the nearest railway station.
Ski Weekends to Chamonix by train