How to transfer train stations in Paris

Paris train station transfers are very common, since most journeys from the UK to Europe go via Paris. The most common Paris transfers are between the Eurostar terminal at Gare du Nord and major train stations elsewhere in the city.


Choosing suitable trains

If your journey involves changing trains in Paris, you may be required to travel between two stations. This will be shown as a "transfer" in search results. This is different from an "interchange" which involves changing trains at the same station.

We usually recommend a minimum of one hour for a Paris transfer. However, some search results may display a shorter interchange. For these, we display a warning. You should only book these trains if you are confident crossing Paris between the named stations.

If you would prefer more time to change trains, or want to allow for lunch or a stroll along the Seine, you can increase the amount of time between trains

Connecting from Gare du Nord

From Gare du Nord to Gare de l'Est
This is an easy 10 mins walk. Here's a map of the quickest route (with stairs). Or consider this step-free route on busier roads. Or you can take a very short taxi ride for around €10. You can go by Metro but it is only one stop and usually quicker to walk. 

From Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon
At the end of the Eurostar platform look for signs to RER line D. Once you've bought your ticket, which you can do in the buffet car on Eurostar trains usually) follow the signs to 'RER D direction Melun / Malesherbes'. As long as you're heading in the right direction, all trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The RER trip takes around 7 mins and the whole transfer should take no longer than 25 mins.

Train expert Mark Smith, The Man in Seat 61, has made a short video about the Metro/RER trip from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon

From Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz
As you approach the end of the Eurostar platform look for signs to Metro Line 5, direction Place d'Italie. It's a direct line and should take you around 20 mins.There are nine stops between Gare du Nord and Gare d'Austerlitz. 

From Gare du Nord to Gare de Bercy
At the end of the Eurostar platform look for RER line D, direction Melun/Malesherbes and stay on the train for the short ride to Gare de Lyon (as above). At Gare de Lyon you can either leave the station and complete the last 1km on street level on foot or by taxi, or take Metro line 14, direction Olympiades and go one stop to Bercy.

From Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse
From the Eurostar platform head to the Metro Line 4, in the direction of Mairie de Montrouge. The entire journey should take no more than 30 mins.

From Gare du Nord to Gare Saint Lazare
At the end of the Eurostar platform, look for RER trains and take RER line E westbound in the direction of Haussmann St Lazare. Haussmann St Lazare is the last stop on the line and also the correct one for Gare Saint Lazare. This is roughly a 30 mins transfer. 

From Paris stations to Gare du Nord

From Gare de l'Est to Gare du Nord
Walking between Gare de L'est and Gare du Nord is a simple route that takes less than 10 mins. There's little point taking the Metro as it's quicker to walk. Here's a map. You can also opt to take a 10 mins taxi ride for around €10.

From Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord
Take RER line D in the direction of Creil. This is a direct train and takes about 7 mins. The whole transfer between stations should take no longer than 25 mins.

From Gare d'Austerlitz to Gare du Nord
Take Metro line 5 in the direction Bobigny Pablo Picasso. It's a direct line and the journey should take no more than 20 mins. There are nine stops to Gare du Nord. 

From Gare de Bercy to Gare du Nord
From Gare de Bercy there are a couple of options to reach Gare du Nord. Either take Metro Line 6 (direction Charles de Gaulle Étoile) and go four stops to Place d’Italie, and then change onto Metro Line 5, direction Bobigny Pablo Picasso, to Gare du Nord. Alternatively, walk from Bercy to Gare de Lyon and the get the northbound RER (direction Orry-la-Ville–Coye) direct to Paris Nord. This is probably the faster route since the RER only stops a couple of times.

From Gare Montparnasse to Gare du Nord
At Gare Montparnasse you will need to walk around 700m through an underground subway to get from the main train station to the Metro at Montparnasse Bienvenue. It's well signposted, but there are some steps.  Take Metro line 4 in the direction of Porte Clignancourt. The entire journey should take no more than 30 mins.

From Gare Saint Lazare to Gare du Nord
At Gare Saint Lazare, follow the signs for RER Line E. Board Line E in the direction of Tournan and Chelles Gournay. You'll travel one stop, exiting at Magenta. This station connects with Gare du Nord undergound; just follow the signs for the Eurostar. The total travel time between trains should take no longer than 30 mins. 

From Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris

The regional (RER B) train departs Charles de Gaulle airport terminals 1 and 3 for Gare du Nord, Denfert-Rochereau and Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame stations every 10-15 mins on weekdays. We cannot sell these tickets on Rail Europe, but you can purchase tickets on the day at the airport. More information about this route, including a terminal map, can be found on the Charles de Gaulle airport website.

Paris Metro map and route planner

If you need a route that isn't featured, the following resources may be helpful to plan your trip:

Buying Paris Metro tickets

From a machine

The simplest way to buy Metro tickets is from a machine at the station. The machines in the Paris Metro are straightforward to use, with multiple languages supported. 

See this useful step-by-step visual guide to ticket vending machines for the Paris Metro, bus, tram and RER.

On the Eurostar

You can also buy a carnet of Metro tickets on Eurostar trains (A 'carnet' is a book of 10 one-way tickets called "T" tickets.) These are sold in the restaurant car for a small markup but it means that you don't have to queue when you get to Gare du Nord. These are valid for a single trip between any two Paris Metro stops or the RER, and they don't expire so you can save them for a future trip if you don't use them all. 

Maps of major rail stations in Paris