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TGV - Changing Trains in Paris

Chris Coburn

A few words of advice for changing trains when traveling through France

If you're traveling by the TGV train from Amsterdam, Brussels, London, or other destinations north of Paris to the south of France, arrange to make your connection in the town of Lille, if possible. Eurostar (from England) and TGV trains arrive in Lille. Direct connections are available from Lille to most French destinations and the connection is easy, usually just a change of platform.

If you must connect in Paris, allow LOTS of time. Eurostar and TGV trains from the north terminate at Gare du Nord, and departures to the south are from one of seven other stations scattered around the city, depending on your destination. You will have to either leave Gare du Nord and take a taxi to your departure station, or take the Metro.

Going from the Metro to the TGV train at the Montparnasse Station

Beware of making a Metro connection from a TGV train at Gare du Nord to another TGV at Montparnasse. The Montparnasse station is enormous; we walked with our luggage within the station for almost an hour, going up and down countless staircases to get from the Metro stop to the TGV platform, and arrived just in time to watch our train to Tours depart without us.

We had allowed 1.5 hours from our arrival at Gare du Nord to our departure at Montparnasse and it wasn't nearly enough; 2.5 or 3 hours would be much safer. We relied on the woman in Amsterdam who sold us the tickets who said we'd have plenty of time. Maybe there is a shorter way through the Montparnasse station, but we were not able to find it.


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