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Paris - A hub of hubs

Gare de L'Est
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Paris is France's major rail transport hub with local and high speed trains arriving from all over Europe. There are six main rail stations, as well as a station specifically geared to auto-trains that carry passengers and their vehicles on longer distance trips. Each Paris train station is a hub of international and domestic train services. All are linked to the Metro and RER systems.


Traveler's Tip - Paris train stations are big, busy, confusing places with shops, restaurants and hurrying travelers and staff. Arrive at least a half hour early for your train so that you have plenty of time to find your way.

Gare du Nord, the terminal for trains from the UK, northern France and northern Europe is Europe's busiest rail station. The Eurostar high speed rail link from London ends here. This station also links Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany via Thalys, an international high speed European rail company.

Gare de Lyon is Paris's gateway to the sunshine. Trains connect to south and southeastern France - Lyon, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Marseille, the French Riviera - Geneva and points in Italy. French TGV (Trains de Grande Vitesse) high speed trains, capable of reaching 320km (200mph) in regular service, can reach Marseille in three hours from this station.

Gare d' Austerlitz is the hub for southwestern and central France, with connections to Toulouse, Bordeaux, the Pyrenees and the Loire region. Elipsos trains to Barcelona in Spain also leave from here.

Gare Saint-Lazare is the second busiest rail station in Europe, serving up to 450,000 passengers every day. This is the hub for destinations in Normandy, including Cherbourg, Le Havre, Caen and Rouen and, via ferry connections at Cherbourg and Le Havre for those who prefer slow travel, to England.

Gare de l'Est, also known as Paris-Est is the place to catch trains from eastern France, Germany, Luxembourg and Eastern Europe. One of the oldest and grandest stations in Paris, it is the departure point for the legendary Orient Express.

Gare Montparnasse is used by TGV trains to destinations in Bordeaux, the French Atlantic coast and parts of the southwest as well as Elipsos trains to Madrid. This is the most modern looking of the Paris stations, having been completely rebuilt in the 1960s.


Gare de Bercy is a specialist station geared to auto-trains that carry passengers and their vehicles to other similar stations in France and Europe. It handles sleeper trains to Italy - Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice and Milan and medium-distance services to destinations in Burgundy.


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