Keeping it stress-free
From St Pancras International, it takes two hours and 25 minutes to reach the Eurostar terminus at Paris Gare du Nord. Here, you must change mainline stations to continue your journey, although the fact that you don’t have to wait around for your luggage means that you can be on your way very quickly.
As well as allowing ample time for you to make your connection (hopefully with plenty of time to spare), we provide you with tickets that can be used on the metro, the RER suburban railway or on the bus (time permitting), and give you directions so that you don’t waste precious minutes getting your bearings. On the return journey, the time margin we allow is considerably longer to allow for check-in (passengers are advised to check in two hours before departure; the Gare du Nord's check-in gates close 45 minutes before departure).
Paris’ mainline stations include:
Gare de l’Est (for eastern France and Germany)
The Gare de l’Est is the only station which you can reach on foot from the Gare du Nord – it takes under ten minutes, even at a leisurely pace, with the choice of descending an elaborate, curved flight of steps which featured in a scene in the film Amélie, or taking an alternative route that avoids the steps. If you have time for a meal, you’ll find a good choice of bistros in the streets surrounding the station.
Gare de Lyon (for southern France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland)
By RER, the journey from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon is a mere 10 minutes. The Gare de Lyon was built for the World Exhibition in 1900. If you have time, be sure to visit the historic Train Bleu restaurant and bar, where you can enjoy a drink and/or meal in sumptuous Belle Epoque surroundings. There is even an original fresco of the Mont Blanc Massif, along with paintings depicting other destinations served from the station, such as Marseille. (To eat here, we recommend booking in advance.)
Gare Montparnasse (for western France)
Although Montparnasse is just a 20-minute direct metro journey away from the Gare du Nord, we always allow extra time for your connection here. One of the quirks of the Gare Montparnasse is that the metro station and the TGV platforms are situated 500m apart, linked by an underground moving walkway, so if you have a lot of luggage or are travelling with children, you may find it easier to take a taxi direct from the Gare du Nord.
If you have a lot of time to spare, visit the Montparnasse Tower (there is a lift!) for a superb panorama of the French capital. If, however, your priority is getting something to eat before your onward train, there are plenty of bistros and cafés in the immediate vicinity of the station.
Gare d’Austerlitz (for the Dordogne, and parts of the Loire Valley)
This historic station is in the process of being renovated. You can reach it by metro from the Gare du Nord, with no changes.
Why not stay over?
If you are travelling via Paris, it seems a shame not to spend some time in the city itself
. We can book accommodation for you, and even provide you with a self-guided walking tour of the St Germain district.