Relaxing on a train with friends or family, scenery gliding by as your ski resort gets ever closer is a great way to travel – a way to make the journey feel like it’s part of the holiday. There’s more legroom than flying or driving and you can get up and walk down to the café bar. As well as buying a meal and drinks on board, you can also bring your own food and drink and create your own picnic. You can chat with friends, play games, read, watch films, work, snooze – the train journey is time to do stuff you enjoy on your way to Alpe d'Huez.
To be honest, Alpe d'Huez isn't the easiest ski resort to travel to by train. However, where there's a will, there's a way. This complete guide has all the information you need to help you decide whether you should come to Alpe d'Huez by train, including the steps you need to take to hit the slopes full steam ahead.
- Nearest train station to Alpe d'Huez
- Journey time to Alpe d'Huez by train
- Train prices to Alpe d'Huez
- Travelling by train in France
- London to Alpe d'Huez by train
- Getting from the train station to Alpe d'Huez
- Booking train tickets to Alpe d'Huez
- Luggage & sports equipment on trains to Alpe d'Huez
- Snowcarbon Journey Planner to Alpe d'Huez
- More inspiration...
Nearest train station to Alpe d'Huez
There is no train station in Alpe d'Huez but this doesn't mean that you can't come here by train, you'll just have to take a bus, a taxi or a transfer for the last part of your journey.
What's the closest train station to Alpe d'Huez?
Grenoble is the nearest train station to Alpe d'Huez. Located around 65km and about 1h15 by car from the centre of Alpe d'Huez, Grenoble is considered 'The Capital of the Alps'. Not only does it stand on some of the most important railway routes in France, but it also has a small international airport. High-speed TGV trains to and from Paris and Lyon stop at Grenoble train station, as do regional TER trains from neighbouring cities such as Annecy and Chambery.
Read the section about 'Getting from the train station to Alpe d'Huez' for information on how to get from the train station to the ski area.
Journey time to Alpe d'Huez by train
Coming to Alpe d'Huez by train isn't as speedy as flying here, in fact, it can take twice as much time. However, train travel is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly – studies have shown that carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train as compared to flying. Coming by train also has its charms. As well as more legroom, on a train you can enjoy the ever changing scenery – from urban London to the French countryside and the majestic Alps, it never gets boring.
How long does it take to get to Alpe d'Huez by train?
It depends on where you're travelling from. The London to Alpe d'Huez train travel time is around nine hours while the Paris to Alpe d'Huez train travel time is about five hours, taking into account connections and transfers.
Train prices to Alpe d'Huez
Train ticket prices depend on multiple factors: the time of year (peak weeks like Christmas, New Year, February half-term and Easter can be considerably more expensive), your age (there are discounts for children), the size of your group, your destination and even how far in advance you've booked.
Our top tip is that you try and book as early as possible. Eurostar ski train tickets usually go out for sale in mid-July and that's when they're at their cheapest. TGV train tickets from Paris to other French cities are normally available to buy 120 to 90 days before your travel time and, again, the earlier you book the lower the price will be.
How much does it cost to travel to Alpe d'Huez by train?
Once more, it depends. On average, one-way standard prices between London and Alpe d'Huez by train start at around €100 when booked well in advance. If it's Paris you're travelling from, then one-way standard prices for the tart at around €55.
Travelling by train in France
SNCF (Societé Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français) is France's national railway company, owned by the French state, operating throughout continental France and Monaco. There are over 32,000 kilometres of railway laid all across the country, a good chunk of them sustaining high-speed services, the world-renowned TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) which reaches average speeds of around 320km/h. Trains connect cities and towns all around France and even cross the border into Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. Many routes will begin in Paris, stopping at convenient stations throughout the country before arriving near Alpe d'Huez.
How do you get from Paris to Alpe d'Huez by train?
To travel between Paris and Alpe d'Huez, get on a TGV train from Gare de Lyon to Grenoble and then a private transfer or a public bus will take you from Grenoble train station to Alpe d'Huez. You'll get from the Eiffel Tower to the slopes in around five hours.
London to Alpe d'Huez by train
There are no direct Eurostar ski trains from London to Alpe d'Huez. This means that, in order to get from the UK's capital to Grenoble train station, you'll need to take a minimum of two trains plus a local Paris metro, commuter train or taxi.
How do you get from London to Alpe d'Huez by train? – A step by step guide
Taking at least nine hours, the fastest and easiest route to get to Alpe d'Huez from London by train is via Paris.
- Hop on a Eurostar train from London St Pancras or Ashford (Kent) to Paris Gare du Nord. The journey takes around 2h15-2h30.
- You'll need to change train stations in Paris, from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon. There are several ways to do it and you should allow at least one hour for this connection:
- Book a taxi. It takes between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Get on Line D of the RER (‘Réseau Express Régional’) suburban commuter trains towards Melun/Malesherbes. It takes under 10 minutes.
- Hop on Metro Line 4 towards Montrouge and change in Chatelet to Metro Line 14 towards Olympiades. It takes 15 minutes.
- From Paris Gare de Lyon, hop on a high-speed TGV train to Grenoble via Lyon Saint-Exupery airport. These run a few times per day, taking around three hours to reach their destination.
- Private transfers run from Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez. There are also regular public buses operating between Grenoble and Alpe d'Huez. It takes around 1h45 to reach the resort. (see 'Getting from the train station to Alpe d'Huez' below).
Getting from the train station to Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez is around 1h45 by private transfer from Grenoble airport. The average price of a one-way private transfer from Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez starts at around €160.
There are also regular public buses running from Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez every day throughout the year, with increased frequencies during the winter.
How do you get from Grenoble train station to Alpe d'Huez?
The bus station in Grenoble, known as the 'gare routière' is located in the same building as the train station, just a short walk away. For a year-round regular bus service, hop on Transisère bus number 3030 to Bourg d'Oisans (Agence Transisère VDF stop) and then change to the Transisère 3020 bus which goes all the way to Alpe d'Huez, stopping at Les Bergers, the Palais des Sports and the Rond Point des Pistes among other places. These buses operate several times per day throughout the year and take around 1h45 to reach the ski area.
Available in the winter only, Transaltitude also runs direct buses from Grenoble Gare Routière to Alpe d'Huez a few times per day. The bus transfer time is around 1h45.
Find the current bus timetables on our Bus Services page.
Booking train tickets to Alpe d'Huez
For more information and timetables, or to purchase train tickets online, visit the Eurostar website (train travel from London to Paris) and the SNCF (National French Railway Services) website (train travel within France). If you have questions, you can also book by phone but bear in mind that there may be a booking fee involved.
Luggage & sports equipment on trains to Alpe d'Huez
Being able to carry more luggage with you is one of the main bonuses of travelling to Alpe d'Huez by train, especially if you want to bring your fat powder skis, heavy split board or your bulky downhill mountain bike with you.
How much luggage can you carry on Eurostar trains?
Eurostar's standard luggage allowance includes two large bags (85cm max) and one small piece of hand luggage. On Eurostar trains to Lyon, you can carry one pair of skis or one snowboard with you in addition to your two bags. However, on trains to Paris, skis and snowboards are included as one of your two large pieces of luggage. They must be kept in a protective case that covers them.
Bikes can only be taken on Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels. All non-folding bikes or those over 85cm long need to travel with EuroDespatch, Eurostar's luggage service. Boxed bicycles and fully assembled bikes will be transported for an additional fee. Limited spaces available. If you're travelling with any dangerous sports equipment, such as mountaineering gear: ice axes or crampons, you'll need to contact EuroDespatch in advance.
How much luggage can you carry on French trains?
French TGV and TER trains let you carry luggage and bikes (boxed or in a bag measuring max. 120 x 90cm). There is no maximum number of pieces or weight limit but you must be able to carry all your luggage by yourself. Skis are also allowed on TGV trains (max. 2m).
Snowcarbon Journey Planner to Alpe d'Huez
Snowcarbon was launched in 2009 as the one-stop source for train travel to the Alps after its founder, Daniel, realised how hard it was to figure out which ski resorts could be reached by train and how. They offer a very helpful tool, the Snowcarbon Journey Planner which you can use to design your train trip, from viewing the recommended journey times for any date during the season to journey and transfer information to and from the train station.