Paris Gare de l'Est/Paris Est

Paris, (France)

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About the station

The Gare de l'Est aka Paris Est train station has a comparatively rare quality of being as stunningly beautiful inside as it is on the exterior - though it would look even more magnificent without the enormous posters that hang down from its roof.

It's not only beautiful, it's also enormous - and it's this combination which earned it a place on our list of most awe-inspiring European stations.

Despite its size it's a fairly easy station to navigate, so taking a train from here is usually a delight.

The station takes its name not from its location, it isn't on the eastern edge of Paris city centre, but from the location of the destinations that can be reached from here by train.

So this is the station to head to if you will be departing Paris for the likes of Belfort, Metz, Nancy, Reims or Strasbourg.

The high speed trains to central Germany and Luxembourg also depart from here.

Also worth knowing:

(1) Paris Est station is comparatively easy to use.

The platforms/voies which the TGV, IC and TER trains depart from, are all linked to the one concourse - which is at street level behind the station buildings.

(2) The concourse is large and airy, so the station rarely feels crowded - despite the specific voie/platforms, which trains will be leaving from, being confirmed no more than 20mins before departure.

Heaters are scattered around the concourse in winter.

(3) One thing to watch out for is that the TER trains tend to depart from the middle set platforms/voies (as you face the trains) - but the long distance trains, including the TGVs, depart from the voie/platforms/tracks either side of these - to the left and right sides of the concourse.

(4) On the station map, these two areas on the left and right sides of the concourse, used by the long distance voie/platforms, are zoned.

The area on the left, in front of platforms/voies 2 -13, is the
'plateforme jaune' (yellow zone).

The area on the right, in front of platforms/voies 22-30 is the ‘plateforme bleu' (blue zone).

Although there are a lack of signs on the concourse - and around the station in general, pointing out the directions to, and locations of, these blue and yellow zones.

(5) However, these zones used on the long distance train departure 'Grandes Lignes' screens - to indicate where on the large concourse, you should wait before boarding a train.

The specific voie/platform/track that a train will be departing from will only be confirmed around 10-20mins before departure.

Prior to the confirmation of the voie/platform/track, a yellow or blue square will be shown beside each departure on the 'Grandes Lignes' departure screens.

If you see a yellow square, then your train will ultimately be departing from voies/platforms 2-13.

If you see a blue square, then the train will be departing from voies/platforms 22-30.

So for easy boarding, you can head for the side of the concourse that your train will be departing from.

(6) If your train IS departing from the blue zone - then this is furthest away from the main entrance and the metro station concourse.

So aim to arrive at the Gare de l'Est a minimum of 10mins before your train is due to depart.

In contrast, the 'plateforme jaune' (yellow zone), the location of voies/platforms 2–13, is directly ahead of the main entrance to the station and in front of the Metro station exits.

(7) If you can’t see the station that you’re travelling to on the departure screens, find your train using the train number.

This will be a 4 digit number, which will be printed on your ticket -  so match this number to the train number that will be on the departure screens.

(8) Don't forget to stamp your tickets at the yellow machines at the entrance to each voie/platform/track.

(9) The Metro/RER station has escalator and lift access up to the main concourse - but the Metro station has its own hall in the middle of the station.

(A zone 1 single journey ticket is valid for the RER and Metro - there are no specific RER tickets).

(10) The left luggage office is at the same level as the Metro/RER entrance.

1st Class Lounge
Bus Station
Car Hire
Information Desk
Left Luggage
Step Free
Taxi Rank
Terminus Station

Useful links

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Accessing the other main line Stations in Paris

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Conveniently Located Quality Hotels and Hostels

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Our General Guide to Using French Stations

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