ATM at Gard du Nord

I am arriving into Paris via Eurostar in May and was wondering if ATMs are readily available at Gard du Nord? I have heard all the horror stories about the ATMs and ticket machines there so I actually plan to have all 3 of my kids stand around me while I figure it out. I'm planning to take a taxi from Gare du Nord to our apt in the 6th so need cash for that. Should I buy euros before I leave home? Or do I chance finding an ATM there? I have the same question for Heathrow. Have they replaced their ATMs with travelex machines? Last time I was there in 2010 I unwittingly used one and paid a hefty conversion fee while my friend used the one right next to it and it was a regular ATM. That was just my bad luck.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6829 posts

You'll have no problem finding an ATM at Gare Du Nord.
Heathrow still has those Travelex machines, use your credit card at the airport until you reach central London, where you can find a "real" ATM.

Posted by Claudette
huntington beach, ca, usa
471 posts

Thanks Michael! Do u know if I can use my credit card to buy our Oyster cards? I was planning to take the tube into London.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1337 posts

hi, when i was in Paris and France and the UK, i had no problem finding an ATM to accept my card. I never used the "travelex" type, just the regular bank. you may want to do some homework and research your bank or credit union and find out what charges you will get using your card overseas. see what they charge for ATM and the use of Credit Cards (CC). Also, some banks/credit unions have sister institutions overthere and dont have fees. but you will need to find out whats available. in order to buy the Oyster card using your credit card, you will need to use the ticket booth. happy trails.

Posted by Claudette
huntington beach, ca, usa
471 posts

Thanks again Michael! That's two less things I have to worry about now. Whew!

Posted by Claudette
huntington beach, ca, usa
471 posts

Thanks Ray! I've already checked those items off my list. Thank goodness for my credit union!

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1337 posts

hi again, youre welcome. also, youre going to have fun in Paris! happy trails.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8735 posts

so I actually plan to have all 3 of my kids stand around me while I figure it out Claudette, Please don't worry about the figuring out ATMs and having to go into Cowboys and Indians defences and circling the wagons with the girls. Really. ATMs are all pretty much the same world wide. A big metal box with a name on the outside and a keypad and some slots. They work the same way, and as soon as you put your card in the slot and it realizes that you are a foreigner it will ask you if you want to communicate in English, or it may just switch. You won't have to use it in a foreign language unless you get really rural and have bad luck. If so, just go on to the next one which will be more California Girl friendly. If you limit yourself to ATMs attached to banks you won't have to worry too much. If you turn up to one which says Travelex on the outside, move on...

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
647 posts

There are plenty of ATMs in GDN. I always use them when I get off the Eurostar and have never had a problem. Your problems will only begin when you exit the station and the peddlers will come at you with a slip of paper explaining their plight in English. DO NOT STOP or even make eye contact. They pass you over as a lost cause and go for the next tourist. GDN is kind of a sketchy area (a friend of mine got jumped just outside of the station), so don't hang around there all day. I've never had a problem there, but have heard stories.

Posted by Claudette
huntington beach, ca, usa
471 posts

Thanks for the tips. I have read and read horror stories about ATMs and having someone stand at your back while you're using one. My friend and I did this in Italy so thought I would use the same strategy in Paris. Better safe than sorry, right?

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2685 posts

Hi, As suggested above, don't use the TravelEx at Gare du Nord. That booth used to be Thomas Cook. Good defensive strategy you're using at the Gare du Nord ATM esp. if you have luggage. You could wait to cross the street from Gare du Nord since the bank ATM are there.

Posted by Mary
Vancouver, WA
46 posts

If I remember correctly, when I took the Eurostar from London to Paris in 2010. I used the ATM in the Eurostar terminal in London just before boarding the train to get Euros. Worked great. Also purchased carnets of Metro tickets while on the train. Got Paris Museum pass at Gard du Nord tourist kiosk. Plan to do the same this June when I make this trip again.