Paris’s Busiest Train Station, the Gare du Nord, is also the Busiest in Europe:
Gare du Nord is the busiest of Paris’s six terminus stations, followed by Gare Saint-Lazare and Gare de Lyon. As the name implies, the station services trains for the north of France as well as train services to the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and Northern Germany. For anyone travelling on the Eurostar to and from London St Pancras, Gare du Nord is the home to the Paris Eurostar.
Gare du Nord
There are six terminus railway stations in Paris and Gare du Nord, in the 10th arrondissement, is the busiest. The main entrance on 18 rue Dunkerque is graced by nine large statues above the cornice. These represented the original eight international destinations, with the central statue representing Paris. On the lower level of the facade, the 14 smaller statues represented the 14 French towns that Gare du Nord connected to. However, these days with more and more destinations added, the number of destinations far outnumber the statues.
With 44 platforms and serving around 190 million travellers each year, Gare du Nord is Europe’s busiest railway station. Plans are underway to build a hallway between Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est which is set to be implemented when the LGV Est starts serving the station. The LGV (Ligne à Grande Vitesse) is the next generation of fast trains and expands on the existing TGV services. When linked, the Gare du Nord-Gare de l’Est station will have a total of 77 platforms, making it largest station in the world.
Gare du Nord International Services
The Gare du Nord is serviced by the following high speed train services:
- Paris – Lille – London (Eurostar to/from London St Pancras)
- Paris – Brussels – Amsterdam (Thalys)
- Paris – Brussels – Cologne – Essen (Thalys)
- Paris – Brussels – Ostend (Thalys)
- Paris – Charleroi – Namur – Liège (Thalys)
Other Networks that use Gare du Nord
- TER Picardie
Metro, RER, Buses
The Gare du Nord station connects with the Paris Metro network, the RER (Réseau Express Régional) as well as several bus routes.
RER – To/from Charles de Gaulle Airport – Take the RER Line B. Travel time is about 35 minutes
Metro – There are two metro lines running through Gare du Nord – Line 4 runs from the north of Paris (Porte de Clignancourt) to the south (Mairie de Montrouge), and Line 5 from the north-eastern suburb of Bobigny to Place d’Italie, which has extensions to the Gare de Lyon. La Chapelle metro stop on Line 2 is connected to Gare du Nord, but the walk may be a long one.
Buses – Bus 26 goes to Gare Saint-Lazare, bus 43 to Gare de l’Est, bus 65 to Gare de Lyon
Gare du Nord has ATM machines, money change, left luggage service (near platform 3) and wireless internet. The Paris Tourist Information office is represented here as well. It is a practical and busy train station and has just about any services that a traveller may need. However, travellers coming in from London St Pancras will find it disappointing as it lacks charm or comfort and it is not the kind of place that you will want to hang around for longer than necessary. Some travellers complain about scammers and unsavoury characters hanging around the station. We’ve used the Gare du Nord station for our trips on the Eurostar and didn’t encounter any problem, but would mention that we’ve noticed unsavoury characters hanging around inside the Paris metro stations as well.
Book your Train Travel
Gare du Nord
18 rue Dunkerque
0500 to 0100
How to Get there:
By Metro – Gare du Nord is on Metro lines 4 and 5.
RER – Line B from Charles de Gaulle Airport
By Bus – Bus 26 from Gare St Lazare, bus 43 from Gare de l’Est, bus 65 from Gare de Lyon
Other services – Transilien, Intercités, TER Picardie
Gare du Nord Map: