In Britain, we’re not afraid to say that London is the world’s greatest capital. But we will admit that Paris is a close contender. Even though 200 miles, a border and a sea separate the two cities, you can indeed go to Paris from London for the day. But is a day trip to Paris from London worth it? Totally. Here’s why:
- Journey time is short
- Advance train tickets are inexpensive
- Paris is awesome (even if it’s no London)
Let’s dive into the details.
London to Paris by train
The most convenient way to reach Paris from London is by train. You might assume that flying would be faster, but check-in queues, security checks and even airport transfers can be a nightmare. So, what can you expect from the train journey?
14 Eurostar trains go to the French capital from London St Pancras daily, and the journey takes under 2½ hours. Hop on the first train at about 5.30 am, and you’ll be walking the streets of Paris by 9 am (Paris is an hour ahead of London).
You will need to go through security and immigration checks to board Eurostar. However, arrive 45 to 60 minutes before your train departs, and you shouldn’t experience any problems. British and French immigration authorities will check your passport at London St Pancras. There are no further checks when you arrive in France.
Now, do you believe Eurostar is more convenient than flying?
Spending the day in Paris
Paris is one of the world’s most precious cities. With classic sites to visit like the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, Napoleon’s Tomb, the Louvre and many, many more, you can put together the trip of a lifetime in just a short weekend from London. Treat yourself to a croissant in Montmartre, a coffee overlooking the Seine or a cocktail next to the Moulin Rouge. For more great suggestions on how to spend the day in Paris, take a look at our list of unmissable activities in the city.
Returning to London
The final train from Paris Gare du Nord station leaves for London just before 9.15 pm, arriving at around 10.30pm GMT. We recommend heading to the station about 60 to 75 minutes before your train departs. That gives you over 11 hours to explore the French capital.
Paris Gare du Nord station is conveniently situated very close to the city centre. Using the Paris Métro, you can reach landmarks including Notre Dame and the Centre Pompidou (one of the world’s foremost contemporary art museums) in less than 20 minutes. Thanks to the capital’s dense metro network, you can go almost wherever you like given you’ll have so much time to kill. Better still, a day pass that covers all metro stations in zones 1, 2 and 3 costs just eight euros. Did we mention that a day trip from London to Paris is ultra-convenient?
How much does Eurostar cost?
We can’t deny that Eurostar train tickets can be expensive. Book your tickets in advance. Like, very far in advance – unless you’re willing to cough up nearly 400 quid on the day.
If you plan your day trip a few months in advance and lady luck is on your side, you can buy a return ticket for as little as 60 pounds. Realistically, you’ll be looking at paying closer to 100, which we’re sure you’ll agree is quite ‘bien.’
Londoners, get yourselves to Paris for the day! For as little as 100 or so pounds, you can go to Paris, explore the city and arrive back home in time for bed. In short, a day trip to Paris from London is definitely worth it. Oh, and it’s also really convenient.
For the easiest way to book your trip, take a look at our London to Paris tours. They’re simple and convenient and you’ll have the guidance of expert tour operators to keep you abreast of the local history.