Paris is a city that needs no introduction. Known for its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and romantic atmosphere, it's a must-visit destination for travelers from around the globe. But what many visitors may not realize is that Paris also serves as an excellent hub for exploring nearby European cities by high-speed train. In this post, we'll take a closer look at some of the top destinations you can reach from Paris by rail, as well as how to get there and what to see along the way.
While London may not technically be in Europe anymore (thanks to Brexit), it's still easily accessible from Paris via the Eurostar high-speed train. The journey takes just over two hours and deposits you right in the heart of London at St Pancras station. Once there, you'll find endless things to see and do, from visiting iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to exploring world-class museums like the British Museum and Tate Modern.
Belgium's capital city is just a quick 90-minute train ride from Paris on board Thalys or Eurostar trains. Once you arrive in Brussels, don't miss out on sampling some of the country's famous chocolate and waffles or admiring the stunning architecture of Grand Place.
The Dutch capital is another easy day trip from Paris via high-speed train. You can reach Amsterdam in just over three hours on board Thalys trains or slightly longer via Deutsche Bahn trains with a transfer in Cologne. Once there, explore picturesque neighborhoods like Jordaan or indulge in some retail therapy at hip boutiques along Nine Streets.
While it's not quite as close as other destinations on this list (the journey takes around six hours), Barcelona is still within striking distance of Paris by rail. You'll travel aboard TGV or Renfe-SNCF trains through scenic landscapes before arriving in Catalonia's vibrant capital city. There, you can soak up sun on sandy beaches, marvel at Gaudi's whimsical architecture, or sample delicious tapas at bustling markets.
As mentioned earlier, getting between Paris and London couldn't be easier thanks to Eurostar trains which operate multiple services per day between St Pancras International station in London and Gare du Nord station in Paris. Trains run every 30 minutes during peak times and take just over two hours each way.
In addition to the destinations listed above, there are plenty more places you can travel to from Paris by rail. Here are some popular routes:
France's second-largest city is just two hours away from Paris via TGV trains. Lyon boasts a charming Old Town with winding cobblestone streets lined with bouchons (traditional restaurants) serving up local specialties like coq au vin.
Travel south along France's Mediterranean coast to reach Marseille via TGV trains which take around three hours each way. Once there, visit Vieux-Port (Old Port) which has been a bustling center of commerce since ancient Greek times.
Switzerland's largest city is reachable by rail from Paris via both TGV Lyria or ICE Deutsche Bahn trains with transfers in Basel or Mannheim respectively taking approximately four hours each way.The picturesque old town features several historic churches including Fraumünster church known for its impressive stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall.
Traveling by high-speed train can be an affordable way to explore Europe, but there are still plenty of ways to save money and travel on a budget. Here are some tips:
One of the easiest ways to save money on high-speed train tickets is to book in advance. Many rail companies offer discounted fares for tickets purchased well ahead of time, so be sure to plan your trip as early as possible.
Keep an eye out for deals and discounts offered by rail companies or travel agencies. For example, Eurostar often runs promotions with reduced fares or special package deals that include hotel stays or attraction tickets.
While direct routes may be the most convenient, they're not always the cheapest option. Consider taking a slower train or making a transfer along the way to save money on your journey.
Many rail companies charge extra fees for checked baggage, so try to pack lightly and bring only what you need for your trip. This will not only save you money but also make it easier to navigate train stations and board trains quickly.
Eating out at restaurants can quickly add up, especially in touristy areas. Instead, opt for local markets or grocery stores where you can pick up fresh produce and snacks for much less than restaurant prices.
22 Rue Barrault, Paris, France
Au Pacific Hotel's convenient central location means you can get to popular attractions quickly and easily - the iconic Eiffel Tower is only a 15-minute walk away, while Avenue Emile Zola Metro Station is just 350 metres away. The hotel also offers great transport links to Orly Airport (25 minutes' drive) and Charles de Gaulle Airport (30 minutes' drive). Gare de Montparnasse Train Station is only one metro stop away from the Pacific Hotel on line 6. Other close by attractions include Paris Expo Porte de Versailles which is reachable in 20 minutes on the metro and Parc des Princes Stadium, only 10 minutes' drive away.
The hotel's air-conditioned en suite rooms are equipped with satellite TV and a minibar, as well as providing free fiber-optic WiFi access throughout. Guests can also enjoy daily newspapers in the lobby and make use of the 24-hour front desk service. A buffet breakfast is served each morning, offering a variety of hot and cold beverages and food.
Other nearby attractions include Marais and Beaubourg districts, which are both within walking distance of the hotel. The Eiffel Tower and Montmartre district are easily accessible via direct transport from Strasbourg Saint-Denis Metro Station. In addition, Gare de l’Est is 9 minutes away by metro while Gare du Nord is located 10 minutes away.
21/23 Avenue De La Porte De Châtillon, Paris, France
At hotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon, guests can enjoy modern accommodation with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room includes a flat-screen TV and access to a shared bathroom. There's also a 24-hour front desk available for added convenience. For those looking to stay comfortable during their stay, microfibre towels are available for an additional cost of EUR 3 each at the hotel. In addition, guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast for an additional charge or take advantage of vending machines in the lobby.
Guests can enjoy a freshly prepared buffet breakfast each morning featuring organic and fair trade produce. Motel One Paris-Porte Dorée is conveniently located in the 12th district of Paris just a 6 minute walk from Porte Dorée Metro Station making it easy to explore the many attractions in the area. Popular sites such as Opéra Bastille, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Pompidou Centre and Place de la République are all within 6 km of the property. Paris - Orly Airport is 12 km away providing quick access to other parts of France.
57 - 63 Avenue Jean Jaures 19 Arr. , Paris, France
Paris truly serves as an excellent hub for exploring nearby European destinations by rail thanks to its central location within Western Europe coupled with world class transport infrastructure provided by national railway companies such as SNCF ,Deutsche Bahn etc . Whether it’s soaking up sun on Mediterranean beaches , sampling Belgian chocolate , marvelling at Swiss alpine scenery , exploring Dutch art galleries or immersing oneself into any one of Europe’s cultural capitals – all these experiences become possible when based out of one most romantic cities -Paris!