Map showing station location     Walking route to/from Gare du Nord

The Gare de l'Est is my favourite Paris terminal station, an elegant station that's much calmer than the hectic Gare du Nord next door, or the bustling Gare de Lyon a mile or two to the south.  Opened in 1849 as the Gare de Strasbourg it was renamed the Gare de l'Est in 1854, and in 1883 it witnessed the first departure of the fabled Orient Express.  It was expanded to its current size in 1931.  As its name suggests, the Gare de l'Est handles trains heading east to Reims, Nancy, Metz, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt & Munich.  It handles the weekly Paris-Moscow Express, & the weekly March-November Venice Simplon Orient Express.

Overview & orientation...   See tips

The Gare de l'Est is a terminus with easy, flat & level access between the taxi rank, concourse & all platforms, so painless to navigate with wheeled luggage.

Platforms are numbered 2 to 30 from left to right, starting with platform 2 on the west side.  Platforms 2 to 12 are designated as the yellow platforms, most trains to & from Germany use these.  Platforms 23 to 30 are designated as the blue platforms, also used by mainline trains.  Platforms 13 to 22 are mainly for suburban trains.  Trains are usually posted on the departure boards 15-20 minutes before departure, but the screens usually indicate whether to wait near the yellow platforms or the blue platforms before an actual number is posted, so you can wait in the right place.

Click here for walking routes to & from the nearby Gare du Nord - I always walk via the Rue d'Alsace, but this involves steps.  For level access, go via the Boulevard Magenta or the rue du Faubourg St Denis.  It is a lot easier to walk than to take the metro one stop!

The Gare de l'Est has a large forecourt and a broad facade with three main entrances.  This is the left-hand end of that facade with the left-hand main entrance.  The photo is taken looking roughly north.

 

The station facade, looking north at the left-hand entrance...

 

...the foyer inside that entrance.

The main concourse, looking east.  This concourse runs the full width of the station, in the photo above the platforms & trains are immediately to the left and the shops, cafes, ticket office inside the station building and the passageways to the station forecourt are to the right.  You can see the TV screens listing arrivals and departures.

 

There is free access from the concourse onto each platform.  Occasionally staff do a ticket check, but there are no gates or barriers to the mainline platforms.

 

The Brasserie Flo, just inside the main entrance, ideal for a beer, coffee or meal while waiting for your train.  It used to be the left luggage office or consigne...

Tips for using the Gare de L'Est...


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