If you are traveling to or from Paris this spring, you might be somewhere in Gare de Lyon. This is a train station located within the city of Paris blocks away from the River Seine. You might take a train to some of the neighboring countries in Mainland Europe. Before you do, we’ll be showing you some of the places to check out in and around the station and how to get around with ease. While you’re in the area, you can use the luggage storage in Gare de Lyon so you don’t have to take all your bags with you when you just want to explore the sights in and around the station. Paris is a large city with so many things to check out. However, if you are pressed for time because you are waiting for a train, don’t let that discourage you. There is so much you can do in this area. If you ever find yourself in Gare de Lyon, keep reading to see what you should check out while you’re there and more.
Choose A Destination And Go
Gare de Lyon has train destinations that will take you to major cities in Southeast France. You can also choose from seven different lines that will take you to various cities in neighboring Switzerland. Want to travel to Italy? There are trains that will take you to various cities including Bologna, Milan, Rome, and almost any place in between. If you feel like taking a weekend trip or a week-long excursion, you can just hop on the train and go. Just pay attention to the schedule of when the trains are departing so you can be able to plan ahead. Instead of waiting in line to buy your tickets, you can purchase them online using your mobile device.
Check Out The Clock Tower
One of the most distinctive features of Gare de Lyon is the Clock Tower located near the main entrance of the station. The clock itself looks like a similar version to London’s ‘Big Ben’. It’s got the clock face on all four sides and has brass Roman numerals that were painted by hand. It’s one of the best architectural structures you can find in Paris other than the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. If you see this clock tower anywhere in Paris, you will be able to know exactly where the station is. Some may use it as a bit of a guiding post to see how close they are to it.
Enjoy a meal at Le Train Bleu
Le Train Bleu is a restaurant that was frequented by celebrities of ages past. They would eat here before boarding a train to somewhere on the French Riviera or Monaco. You can eat, relax, and enjoy the beautiful art that surrounds you. There are plenty of ceiling frescoes, moldings, and chandeliers that you never want to take your eyes off of. Not bad for a restaurant that is located within a train station, right? You can also check out the portraits of some of France’s most recognized cultural figures including Edmond Rostand, the author of Cyrano de Bergerac.
It’s Safe, But Keep Your Guard Up
The area in and around the Gare de Lyon station is safe. However, since it’s a place where tourists come in and out of, pickpockets may situate themselves in the area to distract and steal from unsuspecting tourists. With that in mind, you want to make sure you protect your belongings and keep them in a safe place where they know not to look (like in your suitcase). Make sure to keep things like your wallet in your front pocket. Some will say that the area near the station is not safe, even at night. That could not be farther from the truth.
Reading The Board In French
If you are traveling from abroad (especially the United States), reading the departure board for your train can be frustrating. Especially if you know little to no French. Luckily, it’s the only thing you’ll want to use if you’re planning on boarding a train. The French (and all of Europe) use the 24 hour clock (meaning 1PM is 1300 and 9AM is 0900 or 900). Under ‘heures’ (or hours in French), you will know when your train is leaving. The next French word to look for is ‘Voies’ or halls. This will be the platform where your train will be departing from. Thankfully the signs indicating the hall you’re in will be in both French and English.
You can read the board and know when your train is leaving so you can explore the area at one of the best times of the year. There’s nothing quite like exploring Paris or even parts of Europe in the springtime.