Taking the metro or RER...

Paris Gare du Nord, showing the way to the metro & RER

 

1.  Arriving by Eurostar.  When your Eurostar arrives at the Gare du Nord, simply walk forwards off the end of the platform onto the main concourse and turn left, following the sign in the foreground for 'Metro & RER'.  You go down the steps into the metro.

  Sign at the entrance to metro line M5 at Paris Gare du Nord
 

2.  Follow the signs.  You find your way on the metro with a line number and a 'diréction'.  For example, from the Gare du Nord to the Gare d'Austerlitz, you'd follow the signs for metro line M5 'diréction Place d'Italie'.  See the recommended metro routes further down this page.

  Machine selling Paris metro tickets at the Gare du Nord metro station
 

3.  Buy a metro ticket using these machines.  They have a touch screen & an English language facility.

  Paris metro train
 

4.  The metro runs every 2-3 minutes and calls at all stations.  Metro line M5 links the Gare du Nord with the Gare d'Austerlitz, metro line M4 links it with the Gare Montparnasse.  Metro & RER map.

  RER (express metro) train in Paris
 

5.  The RER (express metro) runs every 5-10 minutes on its own tracks from its own platforms, and consists of suburban trains running in tunnels under Paris.  They are usually double-deck as shown here, and have far fewer stops than the ordinary metro, so they're faster.  RER lines are identified with a letter, A B C or D, plus a 'direction'.  RER line D links the Gare du Nord with the Gare de Lyon in just 2 stops.  Metro & RER map

 

Taking a taxi...

The taxi rank at Paris Gare du Nord

 

Taxis:  Alternatively, you can take a taxi.  This is the taxi rank at Paris Gare du Nord, where there's often a long queue (as you can see here) but it moves fast and you should be in a taxi within 10 minutes.  Beware expensive private hire cars which also tout for business.  Crossing Paris by regular taxi costs €16-€20, but is painless.

  Crossing Paris by taxi.
 

Pre-book a taxi:  Or you can pre-book a taxi, such as this G7 Taxi, see the taxi information.

 

   

Eurostar arrives at the Gare du Nord in  Paris, 10 minutes' walk from the Gare de l'Est but a 30-minute metro or taxi ride from the other Paris stations.  Train journeys from London to Switzerland, Italy & Spain often involve crossing Paris by metro or taxi between stations.  It's easy enough, just a little daunting for first-timers.  Here is a quick guide to changing trains & stations in Paris by metro, taxi or RER (Réseau Express Régional = express metro).

On this page...

  How to cross Paris by metro or RER

  Metro routes from the Gare du Nord

  Metro routes to the Gare du Nord

  How to cross Paris by taxi

  Book a private transfer across Paris

  Left luggage lockers in Paris

  Lunch in Paris between trains?

  Video guide: Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon by metro 

  Click for Paris metro map on the official Paris metro & RER website...

How to cross Paris by metro or RER...

Metro map: www.ratp.fr

How long should you allow to change trains in Paris? 

How much does the metro cost?

How do you buy tickets?

Finding the right metro platform...

How to cross Paris by taxi... 

Should you take a taxi or the metro?

  • A taxi is a painless way to cross Paris, especially if you have large amounts of luggage, although it costs more and actually takes a bit longer than the metro or RER.  If I'm travelling alone, I simply take the metro or RER, but if I'm with my wife, kids and lots of luggage, or just with my wife and it's a special occasion, I prefer to take a taxi.  The extra cost can be a sound investment.

How much does it cost?  How long does it take?

Paris taxi cost calculator:  www.worldtaximeter.com/paris

How to pre-book a taxi...

Wheelchair-accessible taxis...

Private transfers...

Book a private transfer across Paris, or between station & hotel...Supershuttle Paris private transfer

A private transfer that means someone is waiting for you, holding a card with your name on it, when you walk off the platform in Paris.  There's no need to spend 10 minutes in the taxi queue.  A private minivan also holds up to 8 passengers, with plenty of room for luggage, most taxis are ordinary saloon cars for up to 4 passengers.  On the other hand, a private transfer costs from €52, significantly more than the €17-€22 you'd pay for a taxi.


Metro routes from the Gare du Nord...

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare de l'Est

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare de Lyon       Step-by-step video guide

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare de Bercy

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare d'Austerlitz

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare Montparnasse

Gare du Nord ▶ Gare Saint Lazare


Video guide: Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon

How to take the RER metro from Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon...

If you still find crossing Paris daunting, this 2-minute video will show you exactly what it's like, where to go and what to do, step-by-step.  The whole journey takes as little as 25 minutes concourse-to-concourse, but always allow at least an hour between trains, preferably more.



Metro routes to the Gare du Nord...

Gare de l'Est ▶ Gare du Nord

Gare de Lyon ▶ Gare du Nord

Gare de Bercy ▶ Gare du Nord

Gare d'Austerlitz ▶ Gare du Nord

Gare Montparnasse ▶ Gare du Nord

Gare Saint Lazare ▶ Gare du Nord


Lunch in Paris between trains?

Breakfast in London, lunch in Paris, dinner in...

Why not book an earlier Eurostar than the one you need and have a meal between trains in Paris?  Breakfast in London, Lunch in Paris, Dinner in Nice, Milan, Barcelona, Geneva...  It also means that if (heaven forbid) there's a delay to your Eurostar, you'll still make your onward connection.  Here are three good places to eat between trains:

Train Bleu restaurant exterior, Paris Gare de Lyon Hall 1  

The wonderful Train Bleu restaurant at Paris Gare de Lyon.  See the Train Bleu page for details.



How long to allow to change in Paris...

Here is a summary of how long to allow to make connections across Paris.

Recommended time to allow to change trains in Paris...

The minimum connection times shown here are the minimum amount of time you should allow between the scheduled arrival of your train in Paris and the scheduled departure time of your connecting train from Paris.

Travelling FROM London If your onwards train departs from the Gare de l'Est, only a 10 minute walk from the Gare du Nord, where Eurostar arrives... At least 45 minutes, maybe longer if catching the last train of the day.
If your onwards train departs from any other Paris station, typically a 30 minute RER or métro ride from the Gare du Nord... At least 60 minutes, maybe longer if catching the last train of the day.

90 minutes perhaps, if catching the last train of the day or a long-distance sleeper train which you cannot afford to miss.

Travelling TO London Arriving at the Gare de l'Est, only a 10-minute walk to Paris Nord from where Eurostar departs... 60 minutes minimum, which includes the compulsory 30-minute Eurostar check-in time.  if you miss the Eurostar because your train is significantly late, the Eurostar staff should let you catch the next one, assuming seats are available.
Arriving at any other Paris station, typically a 30 minute métro or RER ride to Paris Nord... 1 hour 30 minutes minimum, which includes the compulsory 30-minute Eurostar check-in time.  if you miss the Eurostar because your train is significantly late, the Eurostar staff should let you catch the next one, assuming seats are available.

Since the opening of the new UK high speed line, roughly 85-90% of Eurostars normally arrive within 15 minutes of the advertised time, but it is not unknown for problems in the Channel Tunnel to delay a Eurostar by an hour.  If you're connecting with (say) a long distance sleeper train which you can't afford to miss, then better safe than sorry!  What to do if you miss a connection.


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