Travel by Train

Travel by Train

Take the train to either Poitiers or Niort from either Paris, Gare Montparnasse or preferably onwards from EuroLille or Lille Flanders.Be aware that some services will go via Paris and the walk from the Metro to the SNCF station at Gare Montparnasse is at least 15 minutes and when you arrive at Montparnasse there are two sets of stairs or escalators to negotiate before you are at the platforms where trains to Poitiers depart. When booking tickets Rail Europe will allow at last an hour to make your connection from Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse. To save yourself time and trouble you can buy Paris Metro tickets on the Eurostar trains, queuing for Metro tickets at Gare du Nord can easily add 30 minutes to your transit time.

On arrival at Gare du Nord you need to head for Metro line 4 – purple in colour and take Metro direction Porte D’Orleans (General LeClerc) – the actual journey time between the Metro stations is estimated at 14 minutes.

The ticket machines at Gare Montparnasse can be a bit frustrating, if possible get all your tickets in advance (you can only collect Eurostar tickets from the self service machines at St Pancras station).

The Paris Metro is a pretty user friendly system – their website offers plenty of advice on getting around.

Check to see if you can take a train from Lille direct to Poitiers instead of travelling via Paris.

If you are catching a connecting train from Lille be aware that some trains go from Gare Lille Flandres as opposed to Gare Lille Europe which is where Eurostar services arrive. It is a short walk from Lille Europe to Lille Flandres stations.

Don’t forget to Validate your tickets when travelling on French railways – look out for the little yellow machines marked Composter vos billets.

If you are likely to travel regularly by train in France SNCF operate a range of discount cards that are worth considering.