Photo: EQRoy/Shutterstock

The Complete Guide To Navigating Each Paris Train Station

Paris Train Travel Insider Guides
by Morgane Croissant Mar 17, 2023

There is not one main train station in Paris, but multiple ones, each linking the French capital to a specific region of France and Europe. From Gare de Lyon, you can make your way to southeastern France, as well as Barcelona, Zurich, Geneva, and parts of Italy. From Gare du Nord, you can easily catch a high-speed train to Amsterdam and London, or simply make your way to the north of France. Paris’ train stations are well-oiled systems that keep the railway network organized in a city and country where traveling by train is always preferred to any other modes of transport.

What are the 6 railway stations in Paris?

There are six railway stations in Paris:

  • Gare du Nord: Gare du Nord is for trains that serve the north of France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of northwestern Germany. Address: 18 rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris
  • Gare de Lyon: Gare de Lyon is for trains that serve the southeast of France, Switzerland, parts of Italy, and parts of Spain. Address: Place Louis Armand, 75012 Paris
  • Gare de l’Est: Gare de l’Est is for trains that serve the east of France, Germany, and Luxembourg. Address: Place du 11 novembre 1918, 75010 Paris
  • Gare Montparnasse: Gare Montparnasse is for trains that serve the west and southwest of France, including the Atlantic coast, and all the way to the Spanish border and beyond to parts of Spain. Address: 17 boulevard de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris
  • Gare d’Austerlitz: Gare d’Austerlitz is for trains that serve central-western France. Address: 85 quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
  • Gare St. Lazare: Gare St. Lazare is for trains that serve Normandy and the west of the Île-de-France (the region surrounding Paris). Address: 13 rue d’Amsterdam, 75008 Paris

All six train stations in Paris are linked to the metro system, and/or the regional express trains (RER) that serve Paris and its near suburbs, and/or the Transilien trains, i.e. the commuter rail network that serve the Île-de-France .

Note that there is a train station inside Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, allowing certain travelers to catch their train directly from the airport without having to use the RER and metro systems to cross the city to get to one of the train stations mentioned above.

What is the main railway station in Paris?

Paris Train Stations: Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord. Photo: EQRoy/Shutterstock

There is not one main train station in Paris, there are six of them. The busiest of them all is Gare du Nord with 220 million travelers passing through every year. Gare du Nord has the heaviest railway and passenger traffic in all of Europe and is one of the biggest train stations in the world.

What is the nicest train station in Paris?

Photo: V_E/Shutterstock
Photo: EQRoy/Shutterstock

Besides Gare Montparnasse, a structure of glass and concrete that is rather unsightly, the other five Parisian train stations have beautiful architectures. That said, Gare de Lyon, with its Belle Époque style and its famous four-dial clock tower, might be the nicest of them all — inside and out. The iconic bar and restaurant Le Train Bleu, with its amazing 1900 decor is located within Gare de Lyon, and it’s a sight to see even if you don’t have a train to catch (make a reservation). Note that going inside the train station’s 220-foot tall clock tower is only possible at certain times of the year.

What is the difference between Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est?

Paris Train Stations: Gare de l'Est

Gare de l’Est. Photo: Richie Chan/Shutterstock

Even though Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est are very near each other (only a seven-minute walk apart), the two train stations serve different areas of France and Europe. Gare du Nord is for trains that serve the north of France, England (London via the Eurostar), Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of northwestern Germany (all three destinations are served by the Thalys high-speed train). Gare de l’Est, however, is for trains that serve the east of France, Germany, and Luxembourg.

Is it safe to walk around Gare du Nord?

Despite receiving nearly 700,000 travelers per day and having a heavy police presence, Gare du Nord is generally considered unsafe. If you travel via Gare du Nord, watch your belongings, do not linger, and try to not travel via this train station at night or on your own. Avoid the area in front of the train station where many ill-intentioned people hang out and do not go in the street right behind where drug users and sellers have set up camp.

Why is the Gare du Nord famous?

Gare du Nord is famous for being the arrival and departure train station of the Eurostar, the high-speed train that connects London to Paris in just a few hours via the world’s longest underwater tunnel.

Unfortunately, Gare du Nord and its surrounding neighborhood are also infamous for being one of the most dangerous areas of Paris. Do not linger around Gare du Nord and avoid this area if at all possible.

Which train station is TGV Paris?

There is no train station named “TGV Paris” in Paris. That said, the TGV area of Gare Montparnasse is often referred to as “Montparnasse 2 – Gare TGV”.

Note that TGV is an acronym that means “Train à Grande Vitesse”, i.e. high-speed train, and that TGVs serve the four following train stations in Paris: Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l’Est et Gare Montparnasse.

How do you transfer from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon?

The easiest way to go between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon is by using the line D of the regional express train, also known as RER D, going towards Melun or Malesherbes. The journey is direct, takes less than 20 minutes, and costs $2.25 (2.10 €). The RER D is colored in green on the public transport map of Paris.

Where to stay in Paris near the city’s six train stations

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

For places to stay in Paris, check out Matador‘s lists of Airbnbs in Paris’ coolest neighboods and of the best boutique hotels in the city.

If you want to find accommodation near Gare de Lyon, take a look at the hotels we previously selected. If you’re looking for a hotel near Gare du Nord or Gare de l’Est (those stations are very close to each other), look at our recent selection.

The best hotel near Gare Montparnasse: Pullman Paris Montparnasse


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The Pullman Paris Montparnasse is a four-star hotel located in the lively Montparnasse neighbordhood on the Left Bank of the river Seine, with Montparnasse Train Station just a couple of minutes away on foot. Each room has air conditioning, as well as a flat-screen TV, minibar, and private bathroom with hairdryer. Room service is available 24/7. The hotel also has a fitness center, a café, two restaurants, and two bars, including the reservation-only outdoor Skybar located on the 32nd floor that offers a panoramic view of Paris.

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The best hotel near Gare St. Lazare: Le 12 Hôtel


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Hotel Le 12 is a recently renovated four-star property with an unmatched style. The decor incorporates elements of the industrial world, stained glass art, and soft materials to create a comfortable, modern, and unique hotel experience. The hotel is situated steps away from Gare St. Lazare, and just a 15-minute walk from Opéra Garnier, les Galeries Lafayettes, and Printemps. All the rooms are soundproofed and have flat-screen TVs, satellite channels, tea and coffee making amenities, and private bathrooms with RITUALS toiletries and towel dryers. A continental buffet breakfast is served daily, and bicycle rentals are available on request.

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The best hotel near Gare d’Austerlitz: Hotel OFF Paris Seine


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Moored at the foot of the Austerlitz Station, OFF is the first floating hotel and bar in Paris, with a lounge bar with a panoramic view over the Seine and a plunge pool. Rooms offers views of either the Left or Right Bank of the river Seine, and have flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, free WiFi, and a safe. A buffet breakfast is served at the lounge bar daily and brunch is available on Sunday. The hotel also serves tapas dishes based on French regional produce, as well as signature cocktails, in its bar-restaurant.

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