Paris has several major train stations leading to the regions, but one of the best for sightseeing is the Gare de l’Est (East Station), which we will introduce here.
As the name suggests, the station serves trains heading eastwards.
Surprisingly, the area around the station is not crowded and there are relatively few suspicious people, so first-time visitors can feel at ease.
There are also many cafés and shops in the station, so you will never get bored of sightseeing.
Of course, the historic buildings are another attraction.
Now let me introduce you to some of them.
Gare de l’Est
Gare de l’Est
Address：Place du 11 novembre 1918, 75010 Paris, France
- RER : line E
- Metro : lines 4, 5 and 7
- Bus: lines 31, 32, 35, 38, 39, 46, 54, 56, 91.
The name ‘East Station’ is not because it is located east of Paris, but because it is the departure station for trains heading to the east side of the city.
It is the fifth largest station in Paris, with more than 35 million passengers a year.
The station was built by architect François-Alexandre Duquesney and engineer Pierre Cabanel de Sermet.
Opened in 1849 under the name Embarcadère de Strasbourg.
In 1854, the name of the station was changed to the current ‘Gare de l’Est’.
In 1883, the station became the first station for the Oriental Express to Constantinople.
Extensions in 1885 and 1900.
Additional construction in 1926 and 1931.
If you use East Station, you may be concerned about security.
Many people are concerned because it is located right next to the less reputable North Station.
However, as far as the East Station premises are concerned, there is no problem.
Unlike North Station, East Station is not served by the RER B line, so trains coming through unsafe areas are not served.
If anything, it is mainly people heading eastwards or coming back, so it is not too crowded.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it is safe, and if you are as attentive as you normally are in Paris, you can avoid trouble.
Pickpockets etc. are of course present, so please be careful with your personal belongings.
Map of East Station premises
A map of the East Station premises was surprisingly hard to find, but I was able to locate it on the SNCF website.
Click on the link above to open the PDF file.
The main ground floor is very clearly laid out.
Enter through the main entrance and you will see a line of departure platforms from No. 2 to No. 30 on your left, so head for the platform when your destination is displayed on the electronic board.
There is a metro entrance on the basement floor.
It is easily accessible via an escalator.
The station offers a wide range of facilities.
There are many shops and restaurants on the ground floor, as well as luggage storage (coin lockers) and toilets on the basement floor, which are clean and well maintained.
Overall, the station is cleaner and easier to understand than other major stations.
The front of the station is tidy, not too crowded and does not have the dubious atmosphere of the northern stations.
Vehicle access is also restricted, making it possible to use the front of the station in peace.
When you enter the station, you are first greeted by an electronic board.
Please check the destination and departure platform when using the service.
The platforms are quite spacious.
The red glow in the middle is the stove.
In the early hours of the morning and during cold weather, everyone is flocking to this stove.
Of course, this is only available in winter, so if you go during the coldest months, try to warm up.
Very long station turnstiles.
There is also a sense of history in the train stops.
TGVs are standing by.
After all, seeing the train raises the anticipation of the journey.
The open ceiling and the staircase on the left hand side are typical of European stations.
Lots of benches are placed.
If you want to buy tickets on the day, this is the place to come.
Lots of food shops are open from early in the morning, so there is no need to worry about what to eat on the train.
There are many apparel, grocery and cosmetics shops in the station.
It is a bit like a shopping mall.
Restaurant at Gare de l’Est.
KUSMI TEA shop in East Station.
There is a very large Starbucks.
There are also many shops around the escalators leading to the Metro.
Large windows in the doorways let in light.
This is a historical view.
This is the central entrance and exit.
It can be quite crowded at certain times of the day.
Even if you don’t go anywhere, East Station is a great place to visit and see for sightseeing.
There are many accommodation options in the area and many people stay here.
Please visit if you have time.
Shops at the station also open around 6am-7am, including clothing and general shops as well as bakeries and kiosks.
If you are staying in a place where you can walk to East Station, and you get up early in the morning but can’t think of anywhere to go, why not take a walk and visit?
Note, however, that many shops are closed on Sundays.
Thank you again for reading to the end of this issue.