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When to book your train tickets

Want to know when tickets go on sale for TGV INOUI, TER, Intercités and more? Use our guide to plan your travel with confidence—and get the best fares.

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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.

Learn more about how to save on travel

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.

Staying informed

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. 

Learn more about TER cards and fares

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.

Get traffic updates

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.

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Assistant SNCF

Access the full range of transport options—train, car with driver, metro, bus and more—all the way to your final destination.  Let us take care of your journey, from booking to boarding.

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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.

Learn more about travelling in Europe

Ticket availability by carrier

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
OUIGO 2-9 months
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