Montpellier train station – the quick guide

Montpellier train station, Gare St Roch

CC Image courtesy of styeb on Flickr

Montpellier train station links the city to the rest of France and beyond. TGVs ferry passengers to Paris, Barcelona and Geneva, while local trains connect the city to Nîmes, Sète and other neighbouring towns. Chances are you’ll have to pass through the station at one time or another.

 

Fortunately departing from Montpellier train station is a relatively painless experience. It is well linked by tram to the rest of the city and walking distance from anywhere in the centre. If arriving by car you come in at the first floor. Just head down the escalator to reach the platforms. Most people arriving on foot will come in at the ground floor entrance opposite McDonald’s. It’s just a few minutes from Place de la Comédie.

 

There are lots of machines on the ground and first floors for buying tickets and collecting any prebooked online.  If you’re in the centre of town and need a ticket desk or machine, SNCF has a shop on Rue St Guilhem. The yellow SNCF machines are for buying or collecting TGV tickets. If you’re just travelling locally use the red machines.

 

All the machines have an English language option at the start and are pretty reliable. If you run into any problems head up to the first floor where on one wall there is a row of ticket desks. Queues mean this is generally the slower option but is necessary sometimes. We, for example, found the machines or website were unable to handle a Montpellier to Barcelona booking.

 

Before arriving at Montpellier train station

 

The SNCF website can cope with most requests though. Tickets ordered online can be collected from machines at Montpellier train station, delivered or printed from home. Collecting from the machines is easy – just insert the card you booked with – but if you have problems take your confirmation email to the ticket desk. If printing your own tickets at home, be careful to click through to the final document. The confirmation email isn’t enough.

 

Compostage for validating French train tickets

CC Image courtesy of reallyboring on Flickr

In many cases delivery is the best option. It’s free and tickets arrive within days. If you have tickets delivered or collect them in advance, be sure to validate them at Montpellier train station before boarding the train. To do this you need to feed your ticket into one of the small yellow compostage machines shown in the picture. There’s a wallmounted machine between the entrance to platform one and the stairs down to the underpass and several others dotted around the station.

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