Paris and Florence are cities connected by their world-class contribution to art and architecture. For many European visitors, these two cultural colossuses are unmissable destinations.
For those who like to wring a memorable experience out of every precious vacation moment, there are some inspiring ways to travel from Paris to Florence by train. From the fastest service to the most scenic, we’ve got a breakdown of every Paris to Florence train that matters.
Paris to Florence by Train
Traveling from Paris to Florence by train follows a familiar route from France to Italy. At the heart of all journeys is the rail hub in Milan. All services from Paris go via the capital of Lombardy, where a local train then transports you across Italy.
For the fastest high-speed trains, your choice comes down to using Trenitalia (Italian rail) or SNCF (French rail). Both run a high-speed service direct to Milan; journey times, prices, and comfort are comparable. Both follow a route through rural France and Alpine foothills before streaking through northern Italy.
For comfort and speed, Trenitalia has the edge. With Trenitalia you travel on a gleaming Frecciarossa 1000 to Milan. They entered service in 2015 and are some of the fastest and smoothest trains on European networks.
The Trenitalia Paris to Florence train leaves Gare de Lyon in the morning, reaching Firenze S. M. Novella in just 9 hours 38 minutes. There is a single connection at Milano Centrale. It’s the fastest train from Paris to Florence and the most comfortable.
Faux-leather ergonomic seats, power sockets, and decent Wi-Fi is available in every class. A café-bar is available for some leg-stretching, or food can be delivered to your seat.
Upgrade options vary on the two legs of the Trenitalia trains Paris to Florence. For the Paris to Milan leg, economy class is unavailable. You travel on the equivalent of premium class on other Italian routes, albeit without the welcome drinks and snacks you usually get!
An upgrade offers more spacious seats, fewer seats per carriage, and welcome drinks and snacks. The ultimate upgrade is executive class, a single carriage of 10 individual seats with everything you’d expect from first-class travel, including a choice of food served at your seat.
Although you book the tickets together, each section of the journey is booked (and priced) separately. This lets you vary which train to catch from Milan to Florence. Even the quickest connections give you an hour in Milan, enough time to check out the imposing building and gulp down an espresso.
You could also book the two tickets separately. It costs the same but opens up a much longer timetable to increase your time in Milan. The magnificent Duomo di Milano is just 7 mins away on the Metro (line 3.)
Competing with the Trenitalia trains is the SNCF TGV service to Milan. TGVs are elderly compared to the Frecciarossa 1000. But they’re regularly refurbished. And still fast — a Train à Grande Vitesse currently holds the world record for the fastest train journey.
Comfort levels on a TGV are just a notch or two down from the rival Frecciarossa 1000. The seats are adjustable and ergonomic. There’s Wi-Fi (although power sockets may not be available in second class) and a café-bar. There’s plenty of luggage storage space.
The TGV has just two classes. Upgrade to first class for roomier seats and quieter carriages.
Although you catch a Trenitalia train from Milan, you book the entire SNCF Paris to Florence train journey at once. A note of caution: a late-running SNCF train leading to a missed Trenitalia service might be treated unsympathetically by Trenitalia staff.
That outcome is rare. More concerning, the only daily SNCF service that goes via Milan takes an extra hour and leaves earlier than the Trenitalia service. If that doesn’t sour the offering, the SNCF train from Paris stops at Milano P Garibaldi station. That means traveling the short distance to Milano Central for the onward connection.
On most criteria, the daily Trenitalia Paris to Florence trains win. But SNCF has one ace up its sleeve. They also operate services via Switzerland, delivering some much-needed flexibility with departure times.
There are variations on Paris Florence trains via Switzerland, although they add 1-2 hours to the journey time and are typically more expensive. On the upside, you can enjoy some dramatic views of the lakes and peaks of Switzerland.
Paris to Florence Train Details
- Prices: Trenitalia services start from €74.90. In practice, tickets are often more expensive. Prices with both rail operators rise as seats are sold, so early booking is essential for the best prices. trenitalia.com/en.html. SNCF services start from €85.00: sncf-connect.com/en-en/
- Frequency: One daily Paris to Florence train with Trenitalia – summer departure at 07:26 (arrives at 16:39), winter departure at 06:32 (arriving at 16:04). Two fast daily SNCF trains from Paris to Florence:
- 06:47 (arrives 17:04) – via Milano P Garibaldi (switch to Milano Centrale)
- 10:18 (arrives 20:04) – via Zurich and Milano Centrale.
- Duration: The fastest Paris to Florence train time is 9 hrs 13 mins with Trenitalia. The fastest Paris Florence trains with SNCF (two connections) take 9 hrs 46 mins.
Florence to Paris by Train
Catching a train from Florence to Paris mirrors the opposing journey in all aspects, except that there is a stronger case for using a mix of Trenitalia and SNCF services. That’s because the fastest Florence to Paris train service (predictably with Trenitalia) arrives at 22:35. However, build SNCF into the mix, and there are more flexible options.
The standout Florence to Paris train service is the 08:55 service from Firenze S. M. Novella. It arrives at Paris Gare de Lyon at 19:40, which is the earliest arriving train from Florence to Paris.
Moreover, you get sublime views as the route crosses the Alps into Switzerland. The train snakes around lake Lugano, through the world’s longest rail tunnel (Gotthard Base Tunnel), and around the lakes outside Zurich. It’s a memorable journey, making the Florence to Paris trains via Switzerland an enticing alternative to Trenitalia.
There are two services operated by SNCF with just one connection in Milan. One includes a two-hour stop in Milan, with the need to switch from Milano Centrale to Milano P Garibaldi (six minutes on Metro line 2.) The overall journey time is longer, but you can steal a few moments in Milan.
The other one-stop service is quicker but arrives in Paris at 23:38. And you still need to make that frustrating switch of stations in Milan.
Like their Paris to Florence trains, Trenitalia sweeps the awards for speed, simplicity, and comfort. If that late arrival in Paris doesn’t trouble you, it’s the best all-around train from Florence to Paris.
But go with SNCF if you want to arrive in Paris earlier. Or if you are a sucker for spellbinding Alpine landscapes.
For the best prices, check both operators. Either could be the cheapest when you plan to travel.
Florence to Paris Train Details
- Prices: Florence to Paris trains with Trenitalia starts from €74.90: trenitalia.com/en.html. SNCF services start from €85.00: sncf-connect.com/en-en/. Check both sites for prices as they may be different. Book as early as possible for the best prices.
- Frequency: One daily Trenitalia train from Florence to Paris via Milan, departing at 12:55 (arriving at 22:25). Two daily SNCF/Trenitalia services via Milan, departing at 09:55 (arriving at 21:18) and 12:55 (arriving at 23:38). Two daily SNCF/Trenitalia/Eurocity services with two connections (Milan and Bologna/Switzerland), departing at 08:55 (arriving at 19:40) and 10:36 (arriving at 21:18.)
- Duration: The fastest Florence to Paris train time is 9hrs 30 mins with Trenitalia. Other Florence to Paris trains are between 10 hrs 42 mins and 11 hrs 23 mins.
Paris to Florence via the Bernina Express
If the prospect of Alpine views captured your imagination, the Bernina Express might be the ticket you’re looking for. It’ll add time and complication, but the payoff is one of the most magical rail journeys in the world.
The purpose of the Bernina Express is to showcase the wonders of the Alps. The narrow-gauge train has tall viewing windows and carves a path through glorious scenery.
With onboard commentary shining a light on the breathtaking scenes that gently hove into view, the trip is a pleasure ride above all. But with a few minutes and a credit card, you can also build this into a viable Paris to Florence train journey,
It’s a long journey, with around 14.5 hours spent on trains, albeit 4 of them marveling at natural wonders aboard the Bernina Express. And that does not include time for connections.
The journey starts at Paris Gare de Lyon on a train bound for Chur, via Zurich HB. From Chur, the Bernina Express heads to Tirano in Italy. In Tirano, change for a service to Milano Centrale before boarding a final connection to Firenze S. M. Novella.
Despite the number of connections and rail operators, it is possible to make the journey in one day, although you’ll need to leave Paris on the earliest train.
Less demanding is an overnight stop in Chur, Switzerland. The Bernina Express departs from Chur all year (St. Moritz is also a departure point in summer), and you can get there in a little over 5 hours from Paris.
Arrive early enough, and you can enjoy the rare charms of Switzerland’s oldest town. Chur is home to an ancient Roman settlement and medieval old town. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, making Chur a unique and perfectly-situated breakpoint.
You pass through Zurich to get there, so Switzerland’s largest city is a compelling alternative for an overnight stop.
Traveling by train from Paris to Florence via the Bernina Express requires a little more time to book. Three tickets are required.
The first is from Paris to Chur with SNCF. The journey is usually on a TGV Lyria until changing at Zurich to local RBB trains. Comfort and facilities match other TGV services.
A Bernina Express requires a ticket and reservation but can be completed in one booking. Facilities include a roving minibar bringing refreshments to your seat and Wi-Fi. But let’s face it, everyone is on board for the magnificent views through the specially designed windows.
For the final leg, you’ll need a Trenitalia ticket from Tirano to Florence. This is typically a mix of regional and inter-regional services, with a connection in Milano Centrale. Facilities vary, although you can expect a modern Frecciarossa service from Milan, complete with comfortable carriages, Wi-Fi, and catering.
The Bernina Express departs twice daily, morning and afternoon. Because there are many options for connecting journeys at either end, you can be flexible with your route.
But if you want to dash right through in a single day, there is one train leaving Paris Gare de Lyon at 07:22 that makes it possible. Catch that service if you’re comfortable with the tight timings and long day of train journeys.
Once all three tickets are booked, you can look forward to visiting three European nations in one journey, along with some of the most spectacular views on the continent.
Paris to Florence via Bernina Train Details
- Prices: Book the lynchpin Bernina Express first. Fares from Chur to Tirano are CHF 63.00 for a single second-class ticket. First class is CHF 111.00. In addition, there is a reservation surcharge of between CHF 20-26, depending upon the season: rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express. Prices for Paris to Chur with SNCF (RBB connection in Zurich) start from €90.40 but are often higher as availability disappears: sncf-connect.com/en-en/. Prices for the Trenitalia service from Tirano to Firenze S. M. Novella via Milano Centrale start from €33.40: trenitalia.com/en.html.
- Frequency: Two Bernina Express trains leave Chur every day at 08:32 and 13:33. During summer, there are up to three Bernina Express trains from St. Moritz. Check the timetable: rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express#info
- Paris Est / Gare de Lyon to Chur – between 5 hrs 30 mins to 6 hrs 30 mins.
- Bernina Express – around 4 hrs 26 mins
- Tirano to Firenze S. M. Novella – around 4 hrs 56 mins.
From Paris to Florence via the OBB Nightjet Service from Munich
This route balances adventure with practicality. It’s not the quickest set of trains from Florence to Paris, but it is a fun experience that sets you up to arrive refreshed in Florence.
Factoring the OBB Nightjet service into your plans is the only way to travel by train from Paris to Florence overnight. The suggested route gives travelers time to squeeze in some Munich sightseeing before catching some shuteye en route to your final destination.
Happily, no changes are required on the long journey from München Hbf to Firenze S. M. Novella and therefore little to disturb your sleep.
In contrast, there are many services from Paris to Munich, giving you a choice about how long to spend in Munich. For example, if you took the redeye 06:55 from Paris Est to München Pasing, a 5h 22m journey, you get more than 7 hours in Munich, with enough time to catch the Nightjet.
The trains from Paris to Munich are operated by ICE (German inter-city rail) and SNCF. Check both operators for the best price. Whoever you travel with, there will be a connection in Germany, where travel switches to a regional DB service.
If you carve out a few hours in Munich, head to the Alstadt (old town) and the magnificent Marienplatz. Depending on your arrival time, you may hear the famous glockenspiel. And perhaps find enough time for a beer in one of the nearby Brauhaus.
If you want somewhere to lay your head after a stein of Bavarian beer, the Nightjet service will be ready to leave at 20:10.
Basic accommodation is seated in a 6-seater compartment. Not a bad option if you can book the whole carriage, but not as comfortable as the more popular couchettes. Couchette compartments sleep 4-6 passengers, with fresh bedding provided. A basic continental breakfast is supplied. Wash facilities and toilets are shared with the seated passengers.
For the ultimate Nightjet experience, book a sleeper cabin. You get your own bed, fresh bedding, à la carte dining, and private wash facilities.
A good night’s sleep is worth grabbing, as the Nightjet service arrives in Florence at 06:56, so you’ll have a whole day to explore the Renaissance charms of the Tuscan capital.
Paris to Florence via Munich Trail Details
- Prices: Book your Nightjet service first. You can book this via the SNCF site, but it is easier to book direct with OBB Nightjet: nightjet.com/en/#/home. Prices start from:
- Seated – €49.90
- Couchette – €119.90
- Sleep cabin – €199
- SNCF or Deutsche Bahn ICE services (with DB connection on the German network) start from €76.00
- Frequency: A single OBB Nightjet leaves München Hbf at 20:10 daily (arriving 06:56). Six SNCF or ICE trains leave Paris and arrive in Munich before the Nightjet service departs. The latest service is the TGV from Paris Est at 13:55, arriving in Munich Pasing at 19:18 (7 minutes by public transport to Munich Hbf.)
- Duration: The OBB Nightjet takes 10 hours and 46 minutes. The quickest services from Paris to Munich take 5 hours 22 minutes. There are two ICE and a single SNCF service available for this journey.
Paris to Florence and Florence to Paris Trains FAQ
Is there a train from Paris to Florence?
Is there an overnight train from Paris to Florence?
There is no direct overnight train from Paris to Florence. There is a direct overnight service from Munich, a city less than 6 hours train journey from Paris.
How long is the train from Paris to Florence?
The fastest Paris to Florence train time is 9 hours 13 minutes, aboard the slick Frecciarossa 1000 trains from Trenitalia.
Is there a high-speed train from Paris to Florence?
How much does the Paris to Florence train cost?
When should I book a Paris to Florence train ticket?
It invariably pays to book as early as possible; fares rise as seats are sold. Trenitalia services can be booked up to 4 months ahead.
SNCF TGV tickets to Italy are available 4-6 months in advance.