The Main Station in Metz
This large and somewhat pompous train station was built between 1905 and 1908 by a German architect named Kroeger during the period of German annexation. It was intended to symbolize the wealth and power of the German Empire, but also to be a functional building especially for the use of the German military. The neighborhood around the station is known as the Imperial Quarter because it was built in the same period in the same neo-Romanesque style.
As of 2006 there were three EuroCity trains per day in each direction between Frankfurt am Main and Paris, and they all stopped in Metz, which was the last stop before or after Paris. These trains then took just under three hours to reach Paris non-stop, but that time has been reduced to one and a half hours since the new TGV line (train a grand vitesse) was opened in 2007. However, Metz and Frankfurt are on different branches of this new line, so connections between these two cities have gotten worse.
Between Frankfurt and Paris the travel times have been reduced from 6 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours 45 minutes, starting in December 2005, but these trains do not go by way of Metz.
For security reasons (as of 2006) there are no longer any facilities for left luggage at the Metz station. So there is no longer any way you could leave your luggage at the station and have a look around the city between trains.
Second photo: Service and waiting area in the main station.
Third photo: A large poster showing what the station was supposed to look like by the time the new TGV line opened in 2007.
High-speed TGV trains from Metz to Paris on my Paris page.
Metz does not have any streetcars or subways (that’s trams or underground lines to you), so for public transport they have to rely on buses.
The bus system is quite logical after you get the hang of it. The most useful lines for tourists are the two minibus lines that go by somewhat different routes from the main station to the Prefecture, which is right in front of the opera house on Place de la Comedie, and back again. A single fare is EUR 0.70, and you can get an all-day pass for all the buses for EUR 3.00.
All the bus lines come together at Place de la Republique, where there is also a ticket and information office called Espace Bus. (Have you noticed how everything in France is called an Espace nowadays? Rather nice, actually.)
Driving in Metz
Reports of horrible construction near the train station turned out to be unfounded as the construction had wrapped up so the hotel I was most worried about finding turned out to be the easiest to find. I printed directions from either via Michelin or Google Maps and had the other loaded onto my iphone, between the two I located the ring road which all good French cities seem to have. After that I had a map of Metz, the only thing lacking on which was the one way directional signs. But we managed to get in and out of the city every day without high stress levels and left the car in the garage to explore the city.
From Germany by train
The most direct connection from Metz to any German town is the train line to Saarbrücken. There are train connections at least every two hours with added frequencies at peak times. For most of these connections, you will have to change trains at Forbach where a connection is guaranteed. Trains in Forbach depart from the same platform in both directions so that you can easily step from one train into the other. A Special fare for the border region (17,80 EUR day return Saarbrücken-Forbach – as of 2011) makes Metz a perfect daytrip destination from Saarbrücken.
In case you are travelling from the Northwest or Southwest of Germany, a connection via Luxembourg or Strasbourg may be viable too.
Take a mini-train around!
This mini-train starts from Place d'Armes near the Cathedral and the tourism office. You can see the historical and architectual heritages of the city. You can listen in: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Russian. The cost of the train is 5,50 € per person.
There is almost no free parking in downtown Metz. If you are staying a short time, there is a parking lot behind the cathedral. For a longer visit, park in one of the underground parking garages. Cathedrale is closest to the tourist information office, and Theatre is across the Moselle by the theater. There are two parking garages at Place de la Republique on the fringe of the old town, Republique and Arsenal. Be prepared to pay around 1.15 euros an hour.
I drove and think a car is...
I drove and think a car is best..I tried to get an organzied tour..but nothing was available so ventured out alone. I know that I missed a lot and wished that I had a guide or someone that could tell me about the area...
If you are in Luxembourg,...
If you are in Luxembourg, Saarland (Germany), or Lorraine (France - in this area Metz is located) there is a joined train ticket that let you travel among these areas for 24 hours.
It is really cheap: 640 Flux = 100 FF = 30 DM for the first traveller and 320 additional Flux for each traveller for the second to the fifth if you are a group.
I used it and I achieved to go in the same day from Luxembourg to Metz and then Saarbrucken and back to Luxembourg! :-)
You can get the ticket in every train station of the region ask for: 'Voyager sous les Etoiles, Saar-Lor-Lux Ticket'
I went to Metz from Luxembourg...
I went to Metz from Luxembourg by train. Travel takes about one hour only. Anyway early reservation may be necessary for finding a place to seat sometimes. Alternatively you can reach there via Strasbourg(air travel then train).
If you want to go to...
If you want to go to Sierck-les-Bains, just follow the Moselle from where ever you come ;-)
Is best done on foot, for streets are narrow.
Beautiful train station!
This is a most beautiful station I have ever seen. Its a magnificent and huge building. You can come to Metz bythe first train TGV by 3 h and a half from Paris.
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