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.
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,
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.
If you are planning on taking the Eurostar to London, there are tickets in different price brackets for each train, once the lower fare tickets are sold, a higher rate kicks in. In February 2013, the lowest current fare, without regard for any special promotions, is £69 round trip and you can book the tickets 120 days before travel on the UK site and the European site, I found that you could buy tickets farther out if you booked on the US site so it's worth looking there if you are traveling during a busy time. You don't have to be a UK resident to book on eurostar.co.uk but I'm not sure if the converse applies to UK residents trying to book on the US site (eurostar.com).
It also appears that once the lowest price tickets are gone, they are gone as the tickets at that level are non refundable and only so many issued at each price point. In July 2011, we traveled in 2nd class, my niece who was 17 qualified for a youth ticket, the lowest fare there is £59 (February 2013 increased to £66). In 2nd class, you can visit the dining car but otherwise no food or beverages are served. The seats are comfortable enough, I don't think I looked at our seating assignment because I would have changed it, we were in a 4 seater facing another couple.
The 1st time I traveled I found a cheaper 1st class fare on www.raileurope.com than the 2nd class fare on Eurostar's website so I booked the 1st class tickets on raileurope.com, it's worth a look if you miss out on the cheapest level of fares. In 1st class the seats were a bit wider and they served a meal, for a 2 1/4 hour train ride, I thought it wasn't necessary to sit in 1st class.
If you choose flexible date on eurostar.co.uk you should be able to see what dates if any have the £69 fare left. One more hint, check both eurostar.co.uk and eurostar.com, the 1st time I booked the US site was much higher than the UK site. Clean out your cookies before checking otherwise it will direct you back to the one you started on.
The Eurostar leaves from the Gare du Nord in Paris and arrives at St. Pancras station in London. You clear immigration before boarding the train so you don't have to do it once you've gotten off the train. You must check in 30 minutes before departure, there is security and immigration to go through and a waiting room on the other side with a couple of places to get a snack.
Took an early Eurostar train from Paris to London.
Arrived at Gare du Nord station and the direction signs are clear and concise. Scanned our e-ticket on the validation machine. Didn't have any problem getting to the Border Police (french and british next to each other). After clearing, move to platform and boarded the train.
Train ride is rather smooth and within 2 hours, we were in London's Saint Pancras International Station.
On board the train, there are power outlet (at the sides of the window seats) that you can connect your electronic devices to or use to charge your electronic devices before reaching London. European type 2 round pin outlet.
Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) is the easiest and best way to get from London to Paris and vice versa. The fast train travels under the English Channel from London's Waterloo station to Gare du Nord in Paris.
The trip takes 2.5 hours (although mind the 1 hour time difference).
Book your tickets online and turn up a little in advance to pick then up at the station (the ticket will say 45 mins, but 30 is really plenty).
Book a return ticket if you're coming back, as they can be significantly cheaper than one-way tickets.
The benefits: Not much security, connects directly to the hearts of Paris and London rather than having to shlep all the way to Heathrow / CDG, and it's not uncomfortable either ... beats the pants off plane travel any day.
This is a very cheap, easy and comfortable way of travelling to London. The standard ticket is UK£59.00 for a return journey. The Leisure select is a bit more costly, but still cheaper than airfare. The tunnel crossing is only 20 minutes and you hardly notice it. You dont have the hassle of checking in at the airport, although you do have to check in but it is much easier & quicker.
Famous Eurostar line connects London and Paris withing 2 1/2 hours.
Depart from London Waterloo Station and arrive direct to central Paris at Gare Du Nord Station. The best option and well connected.
Plus points. You dont have to waste so much of time to go to airport and going through the security. I felt its as the most convenient mode of transport to Paris.
If you are coming from London, the Eurostar train is a great way to travel to Paris. One way trip takes about 2.5 hours. There are early morning trains leaving Waterloo International Station in London and evening trains leaving Gard du Nord in Paris. I went for a one day tour of Paris and it was perfect.
My one day tour was arranged with Golden Tours of London. If you are planning to visit the Eiffel Tower, you can avoid wasting your time standing in the long lines by going with one of these tour groups. Group tours have a special entrance to the Eiffel Tower and bypass the queue going straight to the top of the line.
As the trains from my local station stop at Waterloo Station, and our hotel was less than five minutes' walk from the Gare du Nord, we found the Eurostar very convenient for us. We left very early in the morning and really enjoyed the three hour train journey, as part of our trip. We had a very quick and efficient service, when we came to check in and board the train and found it was a very comfortable and relaxing way of getting there and back. There is an on board café, where we bought drinks but we didn't try any of the food, as we had bought some snacks from a café in Waterloo Station before we left.
I used it again to travel to Paris on my way to Morocco, just before the service stopped running from Waterloo. It won't be as convenient for me any more but I hope I'll use it again anyway.
Travelling from Paris to London - very civilised and quick. There are three classes on board the service - standard, leisure and business.
Leisure and business class offer refreshments on board - and with business you can enjoy their lounge.