How it works
You may have seen the abbreviation “ODV” on SNCF sites. It stands for ouverture des ventes, the date when tickets go on sale.
Different carriers make tickets available at different times, but SNCF train tickets are generally available for purchase four months before your travel date.
Planning your travel
For example, if you want to travel on 21 May, you can book your ticket as early as 21 January under the “four-month rule”.
Booking ahead is still the best way to get the lowest fare, so be sure to check our timetables and fares four months before your travel dates to get the best deal.
Exceptions to the rule
But the four-month rule doesn’t always apply. At peak periods— including summer holidays, the Christmas season and school holidays—tickets go on sale at different times.
For these special times, the dates vary, but we always announce them in advance so you can plan ahead and get the best fares.
For example, you can book now for the 2020 summer holidays with:
- TGV INOUI and Intercités, for travel between 4 July 2020 and 30 August 2020
- OUIGO, for travel between 4 July 2020 and 12 December 2020
How to book return journeys
As you might expect, tickets for your return journey go on sale later than for your outbound journey. To book both legs, wait until tickets for your return journey go on sale. Or purchase your tickets separately: buy the outbound ticket alone, and then buy the return ticket when it becomes available.
Travel with TER regional trains
The dates when TER tickets go on sale vary from region to region, but they range from three to six months before your travel date.
Real-time information on works and disruptions
Obviously, rail maintenance works can influence the dates when tickets go on sale. To be prepared for any disruption, please consult our traffic information page and our on-time arrivals page.
All the traffic info you need—right in your pocket
With Assistant SNCF, you can use your mobile to calculate your itinerary, buy and validate your tickets, and even get real-time traffic updates.
Buy your ticket
Travelling around Europe
Want to take Eurostar, Thalys, or another carrier to a European destination outside France? The table below shows when your tickets will go on sale.
|Carrier||When tickets go on sale|
|TGV INOUI & Intercités||4 months ahead of travel (except for Christmas and summer and winter holidays)|
|TGV INOUI to Brussels, Luxembourg, Freiburg im Breisgau and TGV Lyria||4 months ahead|
|Renfe/SNCF partnership||4 months ahead|
|DB-SNCF partnership||6 months ahead|
|TGV France-Italy||4 months ahead|
|TER||3-6 months ahead, depending on the region|
|Thalys (to Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands)||3-4 months|
|Eurostar (to England)||6 months for journeys from Paris, Lille and Calais to London, Ashford and Ebbsfleet|
|Eurostar (to England)||150-280 days for journeys from Lyon, Marseille and Avignon to London, Ashford and Ebbsfleet|