If you’re traveling to Paris from Northern Europe, chances are you’ll pass through Gare du Nord. This sprawling train station, also known as Paris-Nord, is the busiest in the French capital.

Whether you’re arriving from the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, or the Netherlands, Gare du Nord is your key to unlocking the city.

Getting Around

Gare du Nord Paris()

As a major transport hub, Gare du Nord connects you to a wide range of services:

  • Regional rail lines (RER, TER, and Transilien)
  • National and international high-speed trains (TGV, Eurostar, and Thalys)
  • Metro
  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Vélib’ bike rental

One of the handiest connections is the direct link to Charles de Gaulle Airport via RER line B. The journey takes about 30 minutes with no transfers – a real time-saver if you’re on a tight schedule or have an early flight.

Where to Eat

Gare du Nord Paris

While the 10th arrondissement around Gare du Nord might not be the prettiest part of Paris, it has some solid dining options. Here are two to try:

La Grille

If you’re in the mood for a good steak, head to La Grille. This local favorite specializes in grilled meats, and their entrecote de boeuf with béarnaise sauce and filet de boeuf with green peppercorn sauce are both excellent. The service is friendly and efficient, making it a great spot for a business lunch or a casual meal.

  • Address: 80 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière
  • Phone: 01 45 23 74 00
  • Walking time from Gare du Nord: 10 minutes

Chez Michel

For a taste of Brittany in the heart of Paris, try Chez Michel. This cozy bistro serves up hearty portions of regional specialties like kouign-amann, a rich butter and caramelized sugar pastry. Other standouts include the crab and coconut salad, veal stew, and Iberian-style roasted pork chops. The staff is welcoming and accommodating, even if you arrive with luggage in tow.

  • Address: 10 Rue de Belzunce
  • Phone: 01 44 53 06 20
  • Walking time from Gare du Nord: 4 minutes
  • Reservations: Recommended

Where to Stay

If you’re looking for a convenient place to rest your head near Gare du Nord, consider the Hotel ibis Gare du Nord La Fayette. This clean, modern hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the station and offers 24-hour reception – perfect for late-night arrivals. The rooms are reasonably priced, and while the breakfast buffet is a bit pricey, it’s a step up from the typical Parisian fare of a croissant and coffee.

  • Address: 122 Rue la Fayette
  • Phone: 01 42 85 21 81
  • Walking time from Gare du Nord: 5 minutes

A Bit of History

Gare du Nord Paris

Gare du Nord has a storied past dating back to the mid-19th century. The original station, designed by architect Léonce Reynaud, opened in 1846 to link Paris with the Belgian border. In 1860, the facade of this first building was removed and relocated to Gare de Lille-Flandres in the city of Lille to make way for renovations.

The new Gare du Nord, built in a neoclassical style under the direction of architect Jacques Hittorff, was completed in 1865. Hittorff, chosen for the project by Baron James de Rothschild, is also known for his work on the nearby Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul and various buildings along the Champs-Élysées and Place de l’Étoile (now Place Charles-de-Gaulle), site of the Arc de Triomphe.

Insider Tips

Gare du Nord Paris()

  • If you’re traveling with a Eurail pass, be sure to validate it before boarding your train at Gare du Nord
  • The station can be crowded and hectic, especially during rush hour. Keep an eye on your belongings and give yourself plenty of time to navigate the crowds
  • For a quick and affordable snack, grab a croque monsieur or quiche from one of the station’s many cafes and bakeries
  • If you have some time to kill, take a stroll down nearby Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis. This lively street is lined with a diverse array of shops and restaurants reflecting the neighborhood’s multicultural character

With its rich history, convenient location, and wealth of transit options, Gare du Nord is the perfect starting point for your Parisian adventure. So whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, be sure to take a moment to appreciate this iconic gateway to the City of Light.

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