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Angoulême International Comics Festival Everything You Need to Know: Trains, Hotels & Passes #parisalageek #angouleme

Ultimate Guide to the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême

Getting to the Angoulême International Comics Festival on a budget

If you’re looking for information about the Angoulême International Comics Festival, then this is the place for you. I’ll talk about my own experience booking train tickets, reserving a hotel, and buying the actual festival tickets. This is part one of many posts on the 45th Angoulême International Comics Festival, so check back often for more information and pics.

Paris à la Geek presents our Angoulême International Comics Festival Review on Youtube

Watch our new webseries, Paris à la Geek as we walk you through this ultimate comic town and highlight our favorite moments and places.

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Festival Details

Angoulême hosts the world’s third largest comics festival after Comiket in Tokyo, Japan (click here or here) and Lucca Comics & Games in Lucca, Italy (click here).

Genre Comics, BD, Manga,…whatever you call those fun books with sequential art
Location(s) Angoulême, France
Frequency annual
Years active 1974–present
Date(s) last weekend of January
Founders Francis Groux, Jean Mardikian, Claude Moliterni
Attendance over 200,000
Leader Franck Bondoux

Angoulême by Train

Here are the links to the English language sites for the main SNCF trains. I decided not to include buses because the trains are so much quicker (at least from Paris) and the Ouigo prices can’t be beat! Ougi was launched in 2013 as the low-cost alternative to the regular SNCF TGV service. However, look around! If you find alternatives, let me know in the comments and I’ll add your information here.

SNCF TGV Regular price
SNCF Ouigo Cheap!!



Angoulême Hotels

Reserve a hotel as EARLY as you can! Rooms go fast. The city’s population is just over 40,000. During the festival there are over 200,000 visitors…so doing the math you can see that there aren’t many hotel rooms available.

Helpful Advice?
• You might want to book your accommodation before buying your train ticket,  just in case.
• If you can’t find a place to sleep, you can visit the festival for one day. You can do and see a lot from morning until night.

Angoulême Transportation

City Buses

For the 2018 Festival, bus lines were FREE! That means you can travel around town and see all of the exhibits for free. In the past I read they cost 1€ per day, which isn’t bad either.

FREE Shuttles

To support traffic on the buses, the city also provides regular FREE shuttles from the train station to the main festival (at the top of the hill) every 15 minutes. Click here for more information.


Angoulême BD Festival Tickets/Passes

Buy passes from the ticket booth a.k.a. “Billetterie”

Alright! You’ve figured out how to get to Angoulême and where to stay and now you need to buy your passes. I’ll use the 2018 Angoulême BD Festival for these examples. For more current information, please visit the official website, click here or visit the main site (click here) and look for la Billetterie.

Passes allow you full access to the city

It’s amazing! When you buy your passes, that little bracelet allows you to enter all of the exhibits, activities and conferences, as well as the city’s tourist attractions. Since every part of the city joins in the Festival, you can also visit the Musée de la Bande Dessinée, Musee d’Angouleme, Musée du papier d’Angoulême, and more. Even the beautiful churches and the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre d’Angoulême (1100 – 1128) have exhibits and author signings (focusing on Christian themed BD).

Buying Passes Early

As is often the case, buying early saves you some money. The Tarifs et Billetteries section has all of the latest information information. You can buy a one day pass, a four day pass or a Master Class pass (scroll down for more info on that).

Using 2018 as an example:

• Kids from ages 10-17: one day pass was 11€ and the four day pass was 24€
• Adults: one day pass was 16€ and the four day pass was 35€  (*the adult one day Saturday price was 22€)

Passes for Angoulême International Comic Festival / Festival international de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême

Buying Passes at the Festival

If you buy your pass the same day (at the event), it’s a little more expensive and there is no child/youth discount. Everyone over the age of 10 pays the same.

Using 2018 as an example:

• One day pass: 19€ for Thursday, Friday or Sunday
• One day pass: 25€ for Saturday
• Four day pass: 40€

Passes for Angoulême International Comic Festival / Festival international de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême

What About Kids under 10? They’re FREE!

I was scratching my head trying to figure out how much I had to pay for my kids, who are both under 10. I finally found this little image and realized that children under 10 get in for FREE. Woohoo! Parents love free admission whenever possible.

Master Class Passes

From what I understand, the Master Class is a 4-day pass giving access to all the festival areas plus an exclusive event with a special guest. In 2018, the two special guests were Naoki Urasawa and Hiro Mashima.

Naoki Urawa is called one of the artists that changed the history of manga. Some of his titles include Pineapple Army (パイナップルARMY) – written by Kazuya Kudou Yawara, Master Keaton (MASTERキートン) – written with Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki Happy! , Monster, 20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) / 21st Century Boys (21世紀少年), Pluto (2003–2009) – written with Takashi Nagasaki (based on a work by Osamu Tezuka) and Billy Bat – written with Takashi Nagasaki.

Some of Hiro Mashima’s titles include Fairy Tail, Fairy Tale Zero, RavePlue’s Dog Diaries (プルーの犬日記), Mashima-en (ましまえん), Nishikaze to Taiyou (西風と太陽) Hoshigami no Satsuki (星咬の皐月)

For more information, click here (from 2018).

Passes for Angoulême International Comic Festival / Festival international de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême