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Paris has six major train stations. If you are traveling outside of Paris or to another country by rail you will indeed pass through one of these six stations. Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare du Nord, Gare Saint Lazare. Click here for a map of all six station locations.
Gare Saint Lazare : Major destinations - Normandy.
Gare Montparnasse: Major destinations - Brittany, Atlantic coast, and southwest France.
Gare du Nord: Northern France, Belgium, Luxenbourg, Netherlands and the UK (Eurostar)
Gare de l'Est: Eastern France and Germany.
Gare de Lyon: South & southeast of France and Europe.
Gare d'Austerlitz: Loire Valley, and ordinary trains to Southwest France, Spain and Portugal.
On vacation and taking a train trip longer than three hours? Consider a 1st class ticket, it's worth the cost and will add to your vacation experience. The Europeans do 1st class quite well and the price isn't much more than 2nd class in most cases. Note: Many rail passes from RailEurope are 1st class by default, a very good deal indeed.
Most long distance trains in Europe require a reservation as well as a ticket. Yes, it seems odd to pay for your train ticket than find out there is an additional fee for your seat. It's just the way it is in Europe.
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