Interrail in France

Is Interrail valid in France?

Yes, you can use your Interrail pass on most trains in France.

Here's the low-down:

French domestic trains come in three main flavours:

TER ("Transport Express Régional")

These are local/regional trains. In almost all cases they don't require (or even allow) seat reservations. With an Interrail pass, you can just turn up and ride, with no supplement to pay.

InterCités (including InterCités de Nuit — night-time Intercity trains which offer couchettes as well as seats)

These always require seat (or couchette) reservations. You can ride on Intercité trains with your Interrail pass, but you'll need to make (and pay for) a reservation for a specific train. It's worth doing this as far in advance as possible, because these trains can and do sell out, especially during busy periods like the summer holidays.

TGV ("Trains a Grande Vitesse")

High-speed trains that always require reservations. Confusingly, these now come in two sub-flavours, and for Interrail pass-holders it's important to know the difference:

How to remember the difference between TGV InOui and TGV OuiGo?

You would be forgiven for thinking that the French railway operating company SCNF were trying make things as confusing as possible when they came up with two almost-identical names for two quite different services, "TGV InOui" and "TGV OuiGo".

Here's a handy way for Interrailers to remember which is which:

TGV OuiGo is a no-go for Interrail.

Your Interrail pass is NOT valid on OuiGo trains (OuiGo is No-Go). But, you book in advance, these trains can be cheap (€16 from Paris to Marseille, for example).

TGV InOui is Included in Interrail.

Interrail passes ARE valid on InOui trains (InOui is Included). But, remember that you'll need to make (and pay for) a seat reservation (usually €10 or €20).