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How to Change Train Stations in Paris, Brussels and Lille

Posted by at 08:28 on Thursday 17 February 2011

Brussels: In Brussels Midi (‘Zuid’) station, Eurostar coaches 11 to 16 provide the quickest route to access the platforms for onward journeys. From the Quick Connections exit, turn left out of the double doors and look for your connecting train on the departure boards. High speed trains to various destinations (including Amsterdam and Cologne), normally depart from platforms 3-6, though do check the departure boards to be sure. For ‘Any Belgian Station’ including Bruges and Ghent, remember to look out for the terminating station on the departure boards. For Bruges, this tends to be either Ostend of Knokke/Blankenberge. For Ghent it can be Ostend, Knokke/Blankenberge or De Panne.

Lille: For connections to destinations in France, go upstairs from the platform to the main station where the departure board gives the train times and platform number for your onward journey. Train s are normally displayed on the departure board about 15 minutes before departing.

Top Tip for Eurostar: Buy a carnet of 10 metro tickets onboard Eurostar in the bar-buffet (it saves having to queue for them at Gare du Nord)

Top Tip for Eurostar: Quiet carriages are 8 and 11. Power sockets are in all Standard Premier carriages, but only in carriage 5 for standard tickets (the one adjacent to the bar-buffet).

Top Tip for Eurostar: Missed a connection? Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection because of a delay on the preceeding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager). Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow)The modern new entrance of Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Photo Anouk van den Eijnde/greentraveller.The modern new entrance of Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Photo Anouk van den Eijnde/greentraveller.

Eurostar Connections in Paris:

Eurostar arrives at Gare du Nord, which is in the 10th arrondissement (district) of Paris near the Canal St. Martin and the historic Place de la République, which has many bars, restaurants and cafés. Gare du Nord has many connections to Northern France and onwards by Thalys trains to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

>> These hotels close to Gare du Nord get good reviews

To take the train to many other destinations in France and beyond, you will need to change to one of Paris’ six other train stations. Other than Gare de l'Est (which is a short walk away), the Metro is usually the easiest way to make the trip - it costs €1.70 for a one-way journey, though some stations are linked by the fast 'express' rail network RER ('Regional Express Network'). Click here for a map of the Paris Metro. Here is our quick guide to how to cross Paris to the various train stations from Gare du Nord

Please note: The transfer times given here are the minimum amount of time we recommend you should allow between the scheduled arrival of your Eurostar in Paris and the scheduled departure time of your connecting train from Paris. Don't forget, when you catch the return Eurostar back to London, you should factor in the compulsory 30-minute check-in time in addition to the transfer time.

Gare du Nord to Gare de l’Est:                

For travelling to
: Basel, Strasbourg, ReimsZurich, the ICE train to Frankfurt and the City Night Line sleeper train 'Perseus' to Berlin and the City Night Line sleeper train 'Cassiopeia' to Stuttgart and Munich

>> These hotels close to Gare de Nord/Gare de l'Est get good reviews 

What to do:
>
Exit Gare du Nord, turn left then at the main intersection t
urn right (slightly downhill) along Rue du Fauberg Saint-Denis for about 400m then left along Rue de Chabrol to Gare de l'Est. It's about a 10-minute walk, but if you've got alot of luggage, allow for longer. We recommend you allow at least 25 minutes for the transfer. It's worth getting to Gare de L'Est in good time as there's a lovely cafe/restaurant just inside the station that serves decent coffee.

Watch this short video for how to cross from Gare du Nord to Gare de L'Est:

 


> Alternatively, it is one stop on the metro line - from the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for Metro line M4 to Gare de l'Est (which is signposted 'direction Porte d'Orléans').

The Return Journey:
Turn right at the end of the platform, walk along the concourse and exit Gare de l'Est via the side entrance. Turn right, climb the long set of stairs and turn left onto Rue de Dunkerque. Gare du Nord will be straight ahead. 
> Alternatively, follow the signs for Metro Line M4 (which is signposted 'direction Porte de Clignancourt). Don't forget the 30 minute check-in for Eurostar.
Transfer time: Allow 25 minutes. 

Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon:

For travelling to:
 Grenoble, Nice, Lyon, Chambery, Avignon, Marseille, Perpignan, Geneva, Lausanne, the high-speed TGV train to Barcelona and the high speed Artesia TGV to Turin and Milan

>> These hotels close to Gare de Lyon get good reviews

What to do: 
> From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for RER line D (which will be signposted 'direction' 'Melun', 'Malesherbes' or 'Corbeil Essonnes'). 
>It's just 2 stops from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and takes a little over 10 minutes (plus there's a short 5 minute walk to the connecting TGV departure platforms), but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.

The Return Journey:
> Follow the signs for RER line D (which will be signposted 'direction Orry la Ville' - usually platforms 2 & 4). Take the line two stops direct to Gare du Nord.

Transfer time:
Allow 50 minutes

The magnificent interior of the Le Train Bleu in the heart of Gare de Lyon. Surely it's the best station restaurant in Europe. Photo Richard Hammond/greentravellerThe magnificent interior of the Le Train Bleu in the heart of Gare de Lyon. Surely it's the best station restaurant in Europe. Photo Richard Hammond/greentraveller

Gare du Nord to Gare d’Austerlitz:                 

For travelling to:
Cahors, Rodez, Montauban, St Gervais, Chamonix, Carcassonne, on the Elipsos trainhotel 'Francisco de Goya' to Madrid and the Elipsos trainhotel 'Joan Miro' to Barcelona

>> These hotels close to Gare d'Austerlitz get good reviews

What to do: 
> From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for Metro line M5 to Gare d'Austerlitz (which is signposted 'direction Place d'Italie'). 
> It's 9 stops from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz and takes 20-30 minutes, but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.

The Return Journey:
> Follow the signs for Metro line M5 to Gare du Nord (which will be signposted 'direction Bobigny Pablo Picasso). At this station, the Metro Line M5 is overground, opposite the main station entrance. The metro will cross the Seine before heading underground for the rest of the journey.

Transfer time:
Allow 50 minutes
 

Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse:
For travelling to: Agen, Biarritz, Bayonne, Bordeaux, Nantes, PauToulouse

>> These hotels close to Gare Montparnasse get good reviews

What to do:
> From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for Metro line M4 to Montparnasse Bienvenue (which is signposted 'direction Porte d'Orléans').
It's 14 stops from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse and takes 25-35 minutes, but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer time.

The Return Journey:
> Take the Metro line M4 to Gare du Nord (which will be signposted 'direction Porte de Clignancourt').

Transfer time: Allow 50 minutes

The 700-800m walk from Gare de Lyon to Gare de Bercy takes 10-15 minutes along the often busy rue de Bercy. Photo Richard Hammond/greentraveller.The 700-800m walk from Gare de Lyon to Gare de Bercy takes 10-15 minutes along the often busy rue de Bercy. Photo Richard Hammond/greentraveller.

Gare du Nord to Gare de Bercy:                    
 
For travelling to:
Auxerre, Aurillac, Avalon, Clermont Ferrand, Sens, and the Artesia sleeper train 'Palatino' to Bologna, FlorenceRome and Naples or the Artesia sleeper train 'Stendhal' to Milan or Venice.

>> These hotels close to Gare De Bercy get good reviews

What to do:
> From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for RER Line D (which will be signposted 'direction' 'Melun', 'Malesherbes' or 'Corbeil Essonnes'). Take RER Line D two stops to Gare de Lyon.
> Take Metro line 14 a single stop from Gare de Leon to Bercy (which will be signposted ‘M14 direction Olympiades’)
> Alternatively, you can walk from Gare de Lyon. Exit the station and walk onto the forecourt, turn left into the rue de Bercy, running alongside the station. Gare de Bercy is 700-800m away. 

The Return Journey: 
> Exit the station and walk onto the forecourt, down the steps and across the road straight ahead of you. The Metro station will be just around the corner. Take Metro line 14 one stop to Gare de Lyon. From here, take RER line D two stops to Gare du Nord (which will be signposted 'direction Orry la Ville').

Transfer time:
Allow 50 minutes
 


Gare du Nord to Gare Saint Lazare:             

For travelling to:
Vernon, Cherbourg, Dieppe, Lisieux

What to do:
> From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow signs for RER Line E (which will be signposted ‘Haussmann Saint Lazare’)
> It’s one stop from Gare du Nord to Gare Saint Lazare

The Return Journey:
 
>
 Follow signs for RER line E (which will be signposted 'directionTournan & Chelles Gournay'). Take the line 1 stop to Magenta, which is connected to Gare du Nord.

Transfer time:
Allow 25 minutes

> For more information about onward connections by train in France, see all our Train Journeys in France.

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