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Travel Packages to Paris: Flights, Trains, and Deals

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Trains to Paris: Stations, Fares, and Buying Tickets
Travel Packages to Paris: Flights, Trains, and Deals

Eurostar Trains at Waterloo Station in London.

©2006 Timothy E. Baldwin

If you are traveling to Paris from within continental Europe or from the U.K., traveling to Paris by train can be a great alternative to flying. For one thing, Europe counts more and more bullet trains (called TGV for 'high-speed train' in France) that can cut rail travel time down by half. The Eurostar train connects London to Paris via the channel tunnel, or "chunnel", making for a truly unforgettable experience. There's also the advantage of foregoing endless airport lines-- not to mention getting a closer glimpse of the French or European countryside. Last, but not least, you'll be choosing a much more environmentally friendly mode of travel, and reducing your carbon footprint-- something you can definitely feel good about even if you do end up spending a bit more money. If you have extra time and you're traveling to Paris from elsewhere in Europe, rail travel may be the right option for you.

Buy direct: TGV train ticket center via Rail Europe

Main Paris Train Stations

Paris has six major train stations serving both domestic and international destinations.

  • Gare du Nord is the hub for trains traveling from the U.K., Northern France and Northern Europe. The Eurostar train arrives at Gare du Nord from London.
     
  • Gare de Lyon is a destination for trains from Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, the French Riviera, Geneva, and Italy. Many of the trains arriving at Gare de Lyon are bullet trains. For example, you can get from Lyon to Paris in 2 hours and from Marseille to Paris in 3 hours.
     
  • Gare d'Austerlitz serves destinations in southwestern France (namely Toulouse and Bordeaux), the Loire Valley, and Spain.
     
  • Gare Saint-Lazare serves the Normandy region (central Northern France) and England (non-Eurostar).
     
  • Gare de l'Est is the hub for trains coming from Eastern France (Strasbourg, Alsace), parts of Germany, Luxembourg, and central Eastern Europe.
     
  • Gare Montparnasse is mostly reserved for bullet trains serving Nantes and Bordeaux.

For rail fares, schedules, ticketing and reservations, visit the SNCF national rail company website.

NEXT: Paris by Train: The Eurostar

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