We caught the train from London Waterloo station and in 3 hours we had arrived in Paris at the Gare du nord station. When on the train its so comfortable its more like air travel ,and you dont even realise you are travelling under the channel when the train rushes into the tunnel for about 15 minutes! All in all a great experience.
In March 2001 I rode my first Eurostar or Chunnel as it sometimes popularly called. I found round-trip airfare thru Travelocity for $378 Cincinnati/London and paid RT $158 via Eurostar London/Paris. I learned that the total was definitely cheaper than flying directly to Paris and got to see 2 cities to boot!
I rode the Eurostar from city center of London (Waterloo Station) to city center of Paris (Gare du Nord) & then back. There were plenty of seats to choose from and I just took one from wherever. It didn't seem to make a difference. However, I did ride the Eurostar in March which is low season so maybe it might be more crowded during the time you'll be traveling.
Also, you might consider the time you save in getting taking the Eurostar. In the time you've take a train to the airport, go thru security, board the plane, fly, go thru customs on the other end, grab your luggage you could have just taken a train & it would have been cheaper.
Plus, taking the train you get to see the lovely countryside of France. And the thrill of arriving in Paris is just amazing!
This past trip I captured a photo of the trains snaking into Gare du Nord from behind the station on boulevard de la Chapelle, which borders between the 18th & 10th arrondissements (3rd photo).
Photos: February 3006 & November 2007
I found the Eurostar to be a very comfortable way to travel - I was in Standard Class. There are 4 other classes on the Eurostar these are: First Class (you will get champagne!), Premium (for people with money - definitely not a backpacker thing), Business and Disneyland Castle Class.
All carriages are air-conditioned and (depending on length of trip) food and drinks are available - in some classes, like Standard you have to buy your snacks from the "on-board bar-buffet', or if you're in First Class (and on a London>Paris trip) you can get a 3 course meal served to you at your seat.
When I went on it, the train was very crowded and it was very noisy. But this was in the height of tourist season, so I don't know if it would be like this all year round or not.
If you want travel from London to Paris the very good way and fastest and quite is by EuroStar trains there is 2 trips per day and it take about 3.5 hour . if you book earlier you can have 1/2 price really , i booked before 2 weeks so i have 59 £ , if i book after it will be 69-149 £ and this price for go and back , if you want one way ticket there is only business class and cost 149 £ so take Leisure 2 way it,s better .
The easiest way to get to Paris from London is the Eurostar train. [It's even faster if you catch it at Ashford, Kent where we did]. You are only under the channel for about 20 minutes -- in fact that is rather a non-event in my view.
By booking well in advance and accepting a ticket that has no flexibility whatsoever we were able to buy 4 return fares for £216 ( February 2009). I thought that was pretty good value.
The train experience was also highly satisafactory. It left on time, was smooth, comfortable and altogether a very pleasant journey - in both directions.
I think my only criticism would be that at Paris Gare du Nord station the signs indicating where to check-in did not seem to be very obvious. It was only by chance that we spotted a noticeboard to take the escalator behind us that we knew where to go. Not much of a criticism really!
Check-in consisted of feeding the card tickets into a machine which then triggered the rotating gate. There were two passport control checks in Paris outbound and the usual security scanners. Once through all of these we waited in a holding area until the train departure was called. We then had about 15 minutes to board the train and find our reserved seats. I understand that only tickets with seat reservations are allowed - there's no standing in the aisles on Eurostar. It really was very easy and straightforward. The entire journey with the 30 minute minimum check-in time was just over 3 hours. Très bien Eurostar.
Connection between London and Paris are superb. The Eurostar trains whisks you betwen the two cities, via the channel tunnel, in under three hours.
Offers are often very good : either through the Eurostar website, through agents, or (if you keep a good lookout) through 'voucher' type offers in National newspapers.
As the number of trains expands, it will be possible in time to get more direct connections, or even through trains from place like Peterborough or Doncaster. I can see Eurostar will have a ready market in those place for short-breaks in Paris, but the other way round ?
Can you imagine the advertising "Bored of Art , culture, fine architecture, superb food and elegant fashion ?.....then find the opposite in rainy Doncaster....once visted, never remembered."
From London, the Eurostar is definitely the most convenient way to get to Paris/Brussels.
It takes roughly 2.5 hours and is usually very prompt, well staffed and the carriages are in mint condition.
Prices start at 85 euros for a return.
I hadn't realised that if you have tickets on the Eurostar trains you qualify for discounted rail fares from your home station to London.
I was lucky that when I went to my local station in Bedfordshire to buy our tickets prior to travelling, the clerk in the station ticket office asked me if I happened to be going on Eurostar. When I said yes he immediately offered us the cheaper rates for the tickets which saved about £35 for the 4 of us. Unfortunately we had to travel at the peak time into London and it would have cost us over £120 but in the end we paid about £85.
The tip here is to buy your tickets in advance and say that you have Eurostar tickets - even better take them with you when you purchase your London bound tickets and you should be able to get a substantial saving.
Visit the excellent website below for more details.
Have a good trip,
It has to be the only way to go between these two great capitals.
It currently takes around three hours to be whisked from the Gare du Nord to St Pancreas station in central London. The highlight of the trip must be the 20 minute dive under the English Channel between the two countries. The trip is much quicker than by air when you take into account check-in times and the time taken to get out to / in from the airport.
As my Paris pages have been neglected somewhat in the almost 3 years since we visited Paris in September/October, 2008 I thought it high time to browse through my tips and pictures to see what I had neglected to add over the past couple of years. I figured I might as well start out with our arrival and departure into Paris and let all the other tips in between fill themselves out. Kind of like a folded up crepe with all the goodies in the middle.
Anyway, we arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord via the Eurostar from London. We had lost an hour due to the time change and had a few adventurous times getting on the Eurostar in London, but once we were settled in and the train left the station in London we had a very pleasant trip under the water and onto the main European continent. Our total time aboard the train was really just a little over 2 hours which went by very quickly as we made friends with a couple from Canada who along with their sister, who was living in Europe, engaged us in conversation almost the entire trip. I got a chance to get to the dining car for a bit to eat since we had to leave London, when the sun wasn't yet up.
Upon arrival at Gare du Nord (North Station) we rolled our baggage off the train and proceeded to the main area where we had to next figure out how to get some RER tickets for the RER B Line which would take us close to our hotel. We arrived around 11:15 a.m., so the crowds weren't too big. Anyway, I went over to a machine which again did not like my credit card (the London machines also did not like it) and so after stopping at information and asking where to buy tickets they directed me downstairs to a ticket window manned by actual people.
The line wasn't too overwhelming, but I did wait in line for about 20 minutes as the lady at the counter was in no hurry to service her customers. And then a couple of people before I was going to buy my tickets she shut her window. I heard comments that it was now her lunch time and even though her replacement was not finished with lunch all windows were closed. I'm thinking to myself, well I guess I'm in France. Anyway, a few minutes later the next window opened up with another young female ticket seller. A few minutes later I bought my RER ticket and also asked for a carnet of tickets for the Metro. She thought she was through selling me tickets when I bought the RER ticket and when I asked for the carnet of tickets she just sort of looked at me and sighed. And once again I'm thinking to myself, I hope this is not going to be typical of the French people (fortunately it was not with one other small exception at another train station).
We found the RER and took a short 20 minute ride to the Denfort-Rochdreau where it was an easy 15 minute downhill walk to our hotel.
4 days later on our way out of town we took the Metro by our hotel (we were veteran's with the Metro after 4 days in town) and took it to the Gare de l'est (East Station) for our TGV high speed train ride to Bern, Switzerland. While we were waiting for our train track # to be posted (we got there plenty early), Sue grabbed a quick bite to eat (picture 2) and we struck up a conversation with an American couple on their way to Italy. Our track was finally put on the board and luckily for me I had had a chance to walk around the huge station because our track was on the other side of a wall in an adjacent area next to the main station. Settling into an almost empty (1 other person) car, I thought that, "wow this is strange I thought there would be more people on this train". About 5 minutes before departure a group of 4 and 5 year olds with their adult chaperones boarded the train. That's a story for another tip.
We took the Eurostar from London to Paris. Waterloo to Gard Nord to be exact, which is not too far from the Montmartre area of Paris.
The trip takes around 2 to 3 hours depending on the time of travel. it's s really good way to get to Paris if you don't like the airport.
If you looking for a bargain tickets, its best to book way in advance and keep looking at the website for deals.
A good tip would be to save the hassle and buy your metro pass before you leave London at Waterloo, so you're ready to whiz into action as soon as you arrive.
The Eurostar is one of the easiest ways to get to Paris from several places in Europe. I travelled from London & it was very very easy getting to Waterloo station & down to the Eurostar terminal. Unlike flying you need only be here 45 minutes before the train leaves the station so not the huge down-time you must allow for when travelling via air.
The trip took approx 2 hours 40 and finished in the middle of Paris at Gare du Nord with easy access to the Paris Metro. There are several Metro lines that go through Gare du Nord so getting to your next destination should be easy.
Booking is easy on the Eurostar website. I went online & managed to get tickets at 29.50 pounds and they were mailed to my home in New Zealand. When I got to the station I fed my ticket into the machine just like a Tube ticket.
Customs was easy and not major queuing or delays as you get with Airports. While at Waterloo I also could buy Metro and Museum passes for Paris so I could hit the ground running in Paris.
The train journey was quiet and 20 minutes was spent under the English Channel. The food carriage was close to my own carriage so I could get a cup of tea & something to eat without much hassle.
It cost us £60 per person to travel from London Waterloo to Paris and back. You have to arrive half an hour before departure in order to check in, which is much the same as in airports, and then the journey takes just over 2 hours. Very comfortable trip, and you arrive in the Gare du Nord from which you can get the Metro to pretty much anywhere in the city.
Very convenient, I'd much rather do this than fly to Paris.
From London to Paris, the Eurostar was a smooth journey and a good alternative to flying. The price if you book online and include a hotel in your package works out good value. Trains are not quite Japanese bullet standard but they are modern and comfortable. Onboard food is ok and arriving in the centre of Paris without having to travel from the airport is a bonus.