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Paris, the capital of France, world famous for its fashion, art, cinema and food. It is famously known as the City of Light (being the first European city to introduce gas lamps in the streets) and today it is one of the top travel destinations in Europe. Trains to Paris take passengers straight to its vibrant urban center, where iconic landmarks, museums and cafes abound. Paris’ six central train stations – Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est, Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare Saint-Lazare, and Gare Montparnasse – connect major cities throughout Europe, including the high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel.
Read on to discover which trains travel to Paris
The Louvre Museum, Paris. Credit: Unsplash
The main train station in Paris is Gare du Nord, a hub for trains departing and arriving in Paris on the Eurostar from London, Brussels, Lille, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. There is access to the Metro, RER and national trains across north of Paris from this station.
The second railway station in Paris is the Gare de l'Est, just a short 10 min walk from Gare du Nord. Gare de l'Est is the oldest railway station in Paris, accessible via metro or bus. Trains at this station mainly serve eastern points, including Munich, Hamburg, and Berlin.
Gare d'Austerlitz, formerly known as Gare d'Orléans, is one of the oldest railway stations in Paris. The train station is the gateway to central France, the Pyrenees, the Toulouse region, and even the Mediterranean coast. The train station was completely revamped into a modern station.
Gare de Lyon railway is a hub for passengers heading to the south-east regions of France . The train station is famously known for Le Train Bleu restaurant, a historic restaurant which was built for travelers visiting Paris for the Universal Exposition of 1900. Gare de Lyon is the gateway for trains to Provence, Rhone Valley, and the French Riviera. The train station is a also serves Switzerland, Italy, and Languedoc-Roussillon.
Gare Montparnasse serves trains going from Paris to Madrid, and western and south-western France, including Tours, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Rennes. The railway station also has trains running to the western suburbs of Paris. The train station is on Metro lines 4, 6, 12, and 13.
Lastly, Gare Saint-Lazare, has trains traveling to Normandy and Paris’ south-western and western suburb areas. The train station is ideal for departing for Dieppe and Mont-St-Michel. Gare Saint-Lazare is accessible on Metro lines 3, 12, and 13.
Paris has six major train stations, also known as the gares, Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est, Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare Saint-Lazare, and Gare Montparnasse, serving various destinations across France and the rest of Europe.
The main train station in Paris is Gare du Nord, a hub for trains departing and arriving in Paris on the Eurostar. Gare du Nord, the central station, is also Europe’s busiest train station, mainly serving North Paris and the Eurostar from London, Brussels, and Lile. If you want to catch a train to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, Gare du Nord also serves those routes.
The second railway station in Paris is the Gare de l'Est, just a short walk of about 10min from Gare du Nord. Gare de l'Est is the oldest railway station in Paris, accessible via metro or bus. Train at this station mainly serves eastern points, including Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and even Moscow.
Gare d'Austerlitz, formerly known as Gare d'Orléans, is one of the oldest railway stations in Paris. The train station is the gateway to central France, the Pyrenees, the Toulouse region, and even the Mediterranean coast. The train station was the go-to departure point when catching a night train to Spain but has since discarded the sleeper trains. The train station was completely revamped into a modern station.
If you are heading to the south-east region of France, Gare de Lyon railway station is a suitable station to arrive or depart. The train station, known as Le Train Bleu restaurant, a historic restaurant, was built for travellers visiting Paris for the Universal Exposition of 1900. Gare de Lyon has a clock tower, the gateway to Provence, Rhone Valley, and the French Rivera. The train station is a hub for France's southern destinations and also serves Switzerland, Italy, and Languedoc-Roussillon.
The other train station in Paris with trains to Madrid, and western and south-western France, including Tours, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Rennes, is Gare Montparnasse. The railway station also has trains running to the western suburbs of Paris. The train station, formerly known as Gare de l'Ouest, is the only railway station in Paris demolished and rebuilt in a modern era and is a major urban terminus. The train station is on Metro lines 4, 6, 12, and 13.
Lastly, Gare Saint-Lazare, has trains travelling to Normandy and Paris’ south-western and western suburb areas. The train station is ideal for departing for Dieppe and Mont-St-Michel. Gare Saint-Lazare is accessible on Metro lines 3, 12, and 13.
There are three train providers operating trains to and from Paris. The train company you use for your journey depends on the place you are travelling to and from, and the station you depart or arrive in. SNCF is a well-known train company for local transit to and from cities like Marseille and Lyon. The international destinations from which the company operates include Germany and Spain. The SNCF trains travelling to Paris include intercity trains, TER, and TGVs. TER mostly serves short routes, TGV serves routes like Bordeaux, Nice, and Marseille, while intercity trains commonly offer night travel. SNCF TGV network also has Paris to St. Tropez trains with about a 5h travel time.
Thalys trains are ideal when travelling from Amsterdam or Brussels to Paris. The provider has high-speed trains to Paris allowing a travel time of about 1h 22 min from Brussels to Paris and relatively high-speed transit from the other locations to Paris. Thalys offers direct and connecting Paris trains depending on the destination or origin train station to Paris. The trains emit about 20 times less carbon than cars and 30 times less carbon than flights travelling to and from Paris.
The Gatwick Eurostar is one of the popular train companies serving Paris, and mostly offers transit from London. The trains operate from Gare du Nord station and are also high-speed trains. About 13 Eurostar trains travel from London to Paris daily, therefore hard to miss a train. The train company offers daily travel to Paris and is one of the most active providers on Pris routes.
If you are boarding your train to Paris at Gare du Nord, the terminus has easy flat-level access between the concourse, taxi ranks, and platforms hence one of the easiest to navigate, especially with wheeled luggage. The railway station has 36 platforms where 1 and 2 are not for public use; 3 to 6 are for Eurostar trains to and from London; platforms 7 and 8 for Thalys trains to and from Amsterdam, Brussels, and Cologne; platforms 9 to 18 for TGVs and TERs trains for north France and Lile; while 19-36 for TER and suburban trains. The main ticket offices at this station are in the main concourse opposite platforms 3 to 6.
Gare de Lyon is an easy-to-navigate, flat-level station with all the platforms, the concourse, and taxi ranks on the same level. The main departures board is in the center of hall 1, while another is in hall 2, the far wall. The platforms in Gare de Lyon have automatic ticket gates, enhancing easy and fast ticketing. Hall 3 is one floor down from hall 2, accessible via escalators. To access all the platforms in the station, take the stairs or escalators from hall 3.
Gare de l'Est, is another train station to board your train from Paris. The station has platforms numbered 2 to 30. Platforms 2 to 12 mostly serve trains to and from Germany; platforms 13 to 22 for suburbans; while 23 to 30 are for mainline trains. To know your train departure and location, check out the departure boards. The departure boards help in informing you of where to be for your train departure.
Paris Gare d'Austerlitz train station has 21 platforms, with the main station building where the main hall and ticket office are north-facing the Seine. If you arrive at the station by taxi or Metro, you will enter the main building through the roadway on the north side. The station still undergoes construction; therefore, the train departure platforms may change from time to time.
If you are boarding your train at Gare Saint-Lazare train station, a taxi service is the best way to get to the train station from different parts of the city. The terminus has 27 platforms, where local trains depart from platforms 1-4, the west end. Platforms 18-27 serve intercity trains. The main ticket office in the station is on the far east end of the street level floor in the shopping mall. The subsidiary ticket office is at the extreme east end of the concourse close to platform 27. You can also use the self-service ticket machines in many locations in the station.
If you depart from Gare Montparnasse, the main entrance to the station is on Level 0, the street level, through the glass façade main doors. Use the large escalators to access level 2, where all the platforms, trains, concourses, and ticket offices are. The station has 28 platforms, where platforms 1 to 9 are used by TGV trains, 10-17 by local trains and suburban trains, and platforms 18-24, also by TGVs. Ensure you get to the ticket gates early as they are shut about 2 minutes before train departures. You can visit SNCF Grand Voyageur First Class lounge on level 3 while you wait for your train departure.
There are various kinds of train tickets that you can purchase when travelling to Paris, depending on the class of service you want to travel. You can buy a First Class, Second Class, Prem’s, or Business First Class train ticket from and to Paris. SNCF train tickets to Paris vary with flexibility and price. If you are looking for the best price for a train ticket to Paris, you can book from the SNCF with advance-purchase discounts of up to 50% off the full train fare. You can buy the type of ticket suited for you electronically with the Omio website and app. There of benefits to buying your train ticket with Omio, including safe-keeping on the ticket on your Omio account, it is a fast and convenient way to buy a ticket with zero hustle. You can travel n the trains to and from Pris using your e-ticket without having to print the ticket. All you need to do is present a valid Identification Card and the e-ticket when boarding your train to and from Paris.
Buying cheaper tickets to or from Paris is one of the ideal ways to save money on your trip. If you are looking for the cheapest train ticket to and from Paris, consider purchasing your ticket in advance. You can buy the ticket about 3 months in advance as tickets tend to sell out cheaper when bought in advance. Flexibility in travel dates and times is also a good way to acquire cheap train tickets to Paris. Being flexible with your travel dates allows you to check out various schedules and compare prices, where you can book a ticket for the day with the cheapest prices. Lastly, consider slower and connecting trains that cost cheaper, compared to the fast and direct trains.
Paris is one of the cities worldwide with most of its trains being electric trains, which makes the city train transport eco-friendly. When looking for an eco-friendly way to travel to Paris, consider trains. Trains not only have minimal carbon emissions compared to other means of transport but also minimize emissions by self-driven vehicles by offering bulk transportation. Most of the trains in Paris are electric, meaning they have low to no carbon emissions hence sustainable in terms of the energy used. Gaining preference among Paris travellers is e-tickets. E-tickets reduce the use of paper which in the long run reduces wastage rate hence environmentally sustainable.
Got a few hours between trains? Put your things in the station’s lockers and dip out to take in some of the city’s sights. There are plenty of things to do around the main train stations including cafés, boulangeries for a quick pastry, or bars where you can relax with a glass of French wine. If you’re looking for free things to do in Paris, we recommend these three activities – all in easy reach of Gare du Nord station.
Travel to Paris on Fjord Line, Eurostar and NS International | IC Brussel trains with Omio. When comparing schedules and tickets, we will also show you other options with multiple connections or other travel modes if they’re available.
Renfe is a Spanish train company that operates throughout the country including trains to Paris. It offers a wide range of services, including high-speed AVE trains, regional trains, and night trains. The AVE trains are the fastest and most comfortable way to travel, with speeds of up to 300 km/h. Regional trains are slower but offer more stops and are ideal for shorter trips. Night trains are a great way to save money and time, as they allow you to travel overnight and arrive at your destination in the morning. Renfe offers several types of tickets, including single tickets, return tickets, and season tickets. Onboard facilities include comfortable seating, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and power outlets. The most popular routes for Renfe are Madrid-Barcelona, Madrid-Seville, and Madrid-Valencia. These routes offer travelers the chance to explore some of Spain's most beautiful cities in comfort and style.