Do you want to get from London to Paris by train? It’s easier than you think. Initially, I booked a roundtrip ticket to London. Paris never crossed my mind until I decided to look up how far the train ride was. When I realized I could take a train with Eurostar from London to Paris over a week-long trip, I IMMEDIATELY PUT IT ON MY ITINERARY. If you plan to go to London and Paris, here is what you should know.
Where to purchase
There are lots of places to book train tickets online. It’s hard to know which one is legitimate and which to book. I had heard of Eurostar before through a friend who travels frequently. When I did a little digging, Eurostar was the train line I went with.
How much are Eurostar tickets
Taking the Eurostar is a fast and convenient way to travel from London to Paris, but it isn’t the cheapest. In total, I paid around $250 for a roundtrip ticket. The ticket prices do vary depending on the day and time you travel. One of the cheapest ways to travel is by bus, but it will take you four times as long to get to where you need to be. The cost of Eurostar tickets is worth the extra pay for how convenient and easy they are to use.
You will depart from St Pancras International
Taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris begins at St. Pancras International. The departure station is different from the underground in London. It’s essential to check and see how far away you are from St. Pancreas before your departure. Our hostel is about a 50-minute travel distance from the train station. We take a bus and a train to get there.
Address: Euston Rd., London N1C 4QP, United Kingdom
Arrive an hour before your departure
The recommended time is 90 minutes, but. You will only need a little time. Just like taking a flight, arriving ahead of time is essential. For my first time taking the Eurostar, I came around two hours before departure to be sure I knew how to check-in. I waited at the station most of that time, but it was better to be early than late.
You can bring food and drink
Although check-in when taking the Eurostar from London to Paris is similar to airports there are some differences. Unlike airline travel, you can bring food and drink with you. I carried a full water bottle with me through security.
If you went through customs at the airport, you know the drill. They will scan your passport and photograph you to ensure you match your ticket. It took less than 2 minutes to get through customs.
Boarding starts 20 minutes before
Twenty minutes before departure, you can get settled into your seats. Read the train car on your ticket to know which number to get on.
You can purchase food at the station or on the train
If you don’t have food, there are places you can purchase, either before or on the train. There are few food options at the St. Panceras, but if you are looking for something light, they have ham and cheese croissants and coffee options. At 6:30 in the morning, everyone waiting for our train is just hoping for some coffee.
If you don’t have time to purchase at the station, you can buy on the train, but I don’t recommend it. I was in train car 13, and the food and drink available for purchase was in car 9. Not a far walk, I thought. I order a sandwich and a glass of water and return to my seat. What I should have realized is how bumpy the train ride would be. I hold my glass of water and wallet in one hand and the sandwich on a plate in the other as I graciously and carefully walk back to my seat. I was sure the sandwich would fly off the plate any moment. I balanced it as best as possible and returned to my seat. Although food is on the train if needed, eating before or after your ride is best.
The train is only 2 hours 20 minutes.
I assumed that the train would be a lot longer than it is. Paris and London are relatively close, and you can take a quick weekend trip. It’s a shorter distance from my parent’s home to my route to college when I lived in North Carolina.
There is a time difference in Paris
Although my departure time says 7 am and arrival says 10 am, the train is only 2 hours. However, upon arrival in Paris, it will be an hour later due to the time change between countries.
You will travel through a tunnel
Much like the metra, you will travel through a tunnel for a good portion of the duration of the trip. I look out and see nothing but black walls. It doesn’t last forever; eventually, you will see the French countryside. When we finally make it through the tunnel, the sun is just starting to come up in the French country. The green grass, yellow crops, and quaint farmhouses make this a peaceful sight.
It’s quiet on the train
Unlike the metra, the train is quiet. I can hardly hear anything coming from the outside. Most people have headphones in, quietly take, sleep, or read. If you want to take an early train and get some sleep beforehand, that’s possible.
Seats come in twos, and they are comfortable
If you are traveling with another person, it’s perfect. If you are traveling alone, just like a plane, you will have a seat partner. The seats lay back in a comfortable position and have leg rests. Airlines should take notice of the comfort of Eurostar trains.
There is wifi on the train
Since I don’t have an international data plan, I am grateful for any chance of wifi I get. The wifi on the Eurostar is fast. You can watch Netflix, scroll through Instagram, or catch up on emails. It isn’t the most reliable internet source, so if you do have to do work, have a hotspot ready.
You can also purchase Metra tickets on the train
You can purchase Metra tickets if you are hurrying for your next destination. On our train, it was in cars eight and nine, close to the food car. Now, please don’t make our mistake and wait until we arrive at the Paris station. The line was so long that it took nearly 45 minutes to purchase our tickets.
Traveling the Eurostar from London to Paris was a new experience I would happily do again. If you do decide to fly instead. Here are a few recommendations;
Things Every First-Time Flyer Should Know but Doesn’t