Paris by train

Paris

Where can I easily get to Paris by train and where to look for tickets? How to hit the right Paris train station? This chapter will answer all your questions.

Where to buy tickets?

Trains to Paris are mainly operated by the French state carrier SNCF, but also include Eurostar trains from London and Thalys trains from the Netherlands.

On long-distance services and TGV express trains, it's always worth buying tickets at least 14 days in advance. The price goes up as the departure date approaches.

Tickets for all routes, including Eurostar or Thalys trains, can be purchased on the SNCF website.

Buy your TGV ticket via sncf-connect.com

Paris railway stations

There are several train stations in Paris, but none are central and they are not well connected to each other.

The stations are terminals and the tracks always end at them. This system is known from London or Moscow, for example, and dates back to the 18th or 19th century, when different railway companies built their own lines.

Large railway stations are well equipped with services such as mini-markets with takeaways, restaurants, fast-food outlets or even toilets.

Gare du Nord

The largest of Paris's train stations is also the main international train hub in Paris. It lies in the 10th arrondissement of Paris and is very well connected to the metro and the city's RER trains.

Trains to the following international and French destinations run from Paris North Station.

International connections Domestic connections
London Amiens, Calais, Dunkirk, Lens, Lille,
Beauvais, Arras, Laon
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag
Brussels, Antwerp
Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen

Paris North station is served by the following public transport lines.

  • RER trains
    • Line C (blue) - direction CDG airport, Châtelet - Les Halles, Notre-Dame, Antony (ORY airport), Massy, Stade de France
    • Line D (green) - direction Gare de Lyon, Châtelet - Les Halles, Stade de France
    • Line E (purple) - the station near the station is called "Magenta", goes in the direction of Gare Saint-Lazare
  • Metro
    • Line 4 - direction Gare de l'Est, Gare Montparnasse, Châtelet - Les Halles, Notre-Dame
    • Line 5 - direction Gare de l'Est, Gare d'Austerlitz, Bastille, Place d'Italie
  • Buses
    • Lines 39, 54, 91 - direction Gare de l'Est
    • Lines 26, 34 - direction Gare Saint Lazare
    • Lines 43, 45 - other directions
  • Hotels near Gare du Nord - Hotel Habituel ****, Hotel Flanelles Paris ****, Hôtel Hor Europe ****

Gare de Lyon

This station is similar in size to Gare du Nord and is the most important domestic station and international entry point from Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

International connections Domestic connections
Basel, Zurich, Geneva,
Lausanne
Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Mulhouse, Dijon,
Montpellier, Nimes, Narbonne, Perpignan,
Grenoble, Avignon, Annecy
Turin, Milan
Barcelona

Lyon station in Paris is served by the following public transport lines.

  • RERtrains
    • Line A (red) - direction Gare Saint-Lazare, Châtelet - Les Halles, Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, La Défense, Vincennes, Disneyland
    • Line D (green) - direction Gare du Nord, Châtelet - Les Halles, Stade de France
  • Metro
    • Line 1 - direction Châtelet - Les Halles, Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, La Défense
    • Line 14 - direction Gare Bercy, Gare Saint-Lazaire, Châtelet - Les Halles
  • Buses
    • Line 91 - direction Gare de l'Est and Gare Montparnasse
    • Lines 24, 57, 63, 91 - direction Gare d'Austerlitz
    • Lines 24, 77 - direction Gare Bercy
    • Lines 29, 61- other directions
  • Hotels near Gare de Lyon - Mercure Paris Gare de Lyon ****, Novotel Paris Gare De Lyon ****

Gare de l'Est

An important station for eastbound directions from Paris, it is located near Gare du Nord in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.

International connections Domestic connections
Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Saarbrücken,
Mannheim, Ulm
Strasbourg, Reims, Metz, Nancy, Colmar, Troyes
Vienna, Salzburg
Luxembourg

The following public transport lines serve the eastern Paris railway station:

  • RER trains
    • Line E (purple) - the station near the station is called "Magenta", it goes in the direction of Gare Saint-Lazare
  • Metro
    • Line4 - direction Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Châtelet - Les Halles, Notre-Dame
    • Line 5 - direction Gare du Nord, Gare d'Austerlitz, Bastille, Place d'Italie
  • Buses
    • Lines 39, 54, 91 - direction Gare du Nord
    • Line 91 - direction Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz
    • Lines 38, 39, 46 - other directions
  • Hotels near Gare de l'Est - NH Paris Gare de l'Est ****, Hôtel D'Alsace ***, Ibis Styles Paris Gare de l'Est ***

Gare Montparnasse

The largest station on the south bank of the Seine, it offers connections mainly to the south and south-west of France and to the border town of Hendaye on the border between France and Spain.

The station is located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

International connections Domestic connections
Hendaye/Irún Angers, Birarritz, Bordeaux, Brest, Nantes, Toulouse (TGV), Tours,
Le Mans, Lourdes, Pau, Poitiers, Rennes, St Brieuc, St Malo

Paris Montparnasse station is served by the following public transport lines:

  • Metro
    • Line4 - direction Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Châtelet - Les Halles, Notre-Dame
    • Line 6 - direction Gare Bercy, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Place d'Italie
    • Line 12 - direction Gare Saint-Lazare, Montmartre, Concorde, Solferino
    • Line 13 - direction Gare Saint-Lazaire, Invalides, Champs Élysées, Stade de France
  • Buses
    • Line 91 - direction Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est
    • Lines 59, 88 - other directions
  • Hotels near Gare Montparnasse - Ibis Paris Gare Montparnasse ***, Hotel Miramar ***

Gare d'Austerlitz

The station is located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, on the other side of the river Seine from the "Gare de Lyon".

After the modernisation of Gare Montparnasse, this station lost most of its TGV connections. It mainly serves the slower long-distance Intercites trains to the south and centre of France. Two services a day also run on the route via Tours to Nantes.

There are no regular international trains from Gare d'Austerlitz.

International connections Domestic services
-- Toulouse (Intercités), Bourges, Limoges, Orléans,
Latour-de-Carol (Andorra), Nantes (2x daily)

Paris d'Austerlitz station is served by the following public transport lines:

  • RER trains
    • LineC (yellow) - direction Notre-Dame, Invalides, Eiffel Tower, Versailles
  • Metro
    • Line 5 - direction Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Bastille, Place d'Italie
    • Line 10 - direction Notre-Dame, La Motte-Piquet, Janel, Boulogne
  • Buses
    • Line 91 - direction Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est
    • Lines 24, 57, 63, 91 - direction Gare d'Austerlitz
    • Lines 61, 89, 215 - other directions
  • Hotels near Gare Austerlitz - Libertel Austerlitz ***, Hotel OFF Paris Seine ****

Gare Saint-Lazare

Trains to the whole of north-west France, especially Normandy, start at the station in the 8th arrondissement north of the centre of Paris.

International services do not run regularly from this station.

International services Domestic services
-- Caen, Cherbourg, Dieppe, Le Havre, Rouen

Paris Saint Lazare station is served by the following public transport lines:

  • RER trains
    • LineE (purple) - direction Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est
  • Metro
    • Line 3 - direction Bourse, République, Pere Lachaise
    • Line 12 - direction Gare Montparnasse, Montmartre, Concorde, Solferino
    • Line 13 - direction Gare Montparnasse, Invalides, Champs Élysées, Stade de France
    • Line 14 - direction Gare Bercy, Gare de Lyon, Châtelet - Les Halles
  • Buses
    • Lines 26, 34 - direction Gare du Nord
    • Lines 20, 32, 42, 43 66, 94 - other directions
  • Hotels near Gare Saint-Lazare - Hilton Paris Opera ****, Timhotel Opera Madeleine ***, L'Ouest Hotel ***

Gare Bercy

The smallest of Paris' termini, this station is located just next to Gare de Lyon and serves mainly the slower long-distance trains to central and central-eastern France.

Although many guidebooks suggest that Bercy station is directly connected to Lyon station, the opposite is true and it is only possible to walk between the stations on foot (about 400 metres) or by bus or metro.

International connections Domestic connections
-- Clermont-Ferrand, Auxerre, Vichy

Paris Bercy station is served by the following public transport lines:

By train to London under the English Channel

A very interesting option to get to Paris is the now legendary Eurostar high-speed train through the Eurotunnel tunnel under the English Channel, which connects the French capital with London.

The Eurostar trains cover a distance of over 460 km in 2 and a quarter hours, making their journey every two hours. Single tickets start at 57 eur when bought at least three weeks in advance. As the departure date approaches, tickets rise to values around 140 eur.

The most straightforward way to buy tickets is via the official French rail websites or the UK connection finder trainline. Ticket prices are always the same.

All Eurostar trains arrive in Paris at Nord station. In London, they stop at St. Pancras station.

This article may contain affiliate links from which our editorial team may earn commissions if you click on the link. See our Advertising Policy page.