Paris is at the top of most travel lists for obvious reasons. It is a cultural hub for fashion, food and wine, art, and architecture. There is so much to do in the City of Love – visit the Louvre to see one of the world's most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa, then take a trip to the popular Eiffel Tower, or you can take a day out to wander around the Musee d'Orsay and soak in the beauty of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Your trip to Paris is not complete without visiting Arc de Triomphe, a performance at the Moulin Rouge, or shopping at the Champs Elysees.
Since London is also one of the world's most visited tourist cities, the best option for touring both cities is by the Eurostar. This direct train connects both London and Paris, taking off from London St Pancras to Paris Nord station, and taking a total of 2 hours 15 minutes, with an up to 14 trains making the trip daily.
The Rail Route: London to Paris
Eurostar is the best option when it comes to train travel from London to Paris. There is a train departing from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord every hour, 7 days a week throughout the year, with Christmas day being the exception.
The train ride from London to Paris covers a total of 305 miles or 491.8 km, lasting up to 2h15 non-stops.
In some occasions, Eurostar trains make stops to pick up passengers joining the trip at Ebbsfleet International, and a few stops at Ashford International at Kent. A few Eurostar trains also make stops at Calais Frethun.
Facilities On-Board the Train
There are several modern facilities onboard Eurostar trains to make your trip more comfortable. On Eurostar's new e320 trains and upgraded e300 rains, there are USB ports and power sockets at all seat classes, located under the armrest. The sockets are UK-type 3-pin and the European type 2-pin, so you could either type on your seat, but the seat next to you will have the other socket type.
On the regular trains, all cars in Standard Premier and Business Premier are fitted with power sockets, but in second class only cars 5 and 14 have seats with power sockets. Ensure that you book seats in cars 5 and 14 if you need a seat with sockets, except you are boarding the new e320 trains.
Free WiFi, Movies and TV Shows
There is free WIFI in all classes on the e320 and refurbished e300 trains. However, there is no Wi-Fi service on the unrefurbished standard Eurostar trains. On the new and refurbished trains with WiFi, you will have access to a selection of movies and TV shows that you can stream at no extra cost.
There are reliable mobile voice and data reception throughout the journey, including the Channel Tunnel, where mobile service is provided by French telecommunication companies towards the northbound tunnels, and the British telecommunications company towards the southbound tunnel.
Before departing from London at St. Pancras, there is free WiFi for everyone at the station. But WiFi must be paid for in Paris.
There is a seat for every budget with basic facilities such as power sockets and free Wi-Fi, so that you can stay connected throughout your trip.
There is a Cafe Metropole, an onboard bar buffet where you find drinks, snacks, and meals anytime on the trip.
Dining Facilities onboard the Train
Business Premier seats come with a complimentary 3-course meal with wine and champagne, with menus created by master chef Raymond Blanc. On the Standard Premier, you will get a simple cold tray meal with white or red wine, soft drinks or beer, coffee and tea.
All Eurostar Trains are Completely Non-Smoking.
Passengers onboard have access to two bars located in 6 and 133 on classic trains and refurbished e300 trains, and in cars 8 and 9 on the e320 trains. The cafe-bars serve a variety of drinks including beer, spirit, wine, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks such as sandwiches, wraps and hot dishes such as Chicken Massala. The bar accepts both credit card and cash payments. You can eat and drink in the bar area, but there are no seats. Also, you can choose to take your food and drinks back to your seat. You are allowed to bring your food and drink, even your favourite bottle of wine.
London to Paris fare starts at £44 or £58 for a one-way and return ticket respectively if you book your seat in advance. Standard Premier seats start from £112 for a one-way ticket and £168 for a return.
You can book a London to Paris trip 180 days ahead.
You may be wondering how these fares work – Eurostar train fares are dynamic just like airlines. As departure days approaches, prices are expected to increase and the cheapest seats usually sell out quickly, so it is advised that you book early. For instance, a Standard Premier seat cost £44 if you book several months ahead, but that price gradually increases to about £191 if you book the same ticket on the departure date. Also, one can expect tickets to increase on popular dates, days and trains than less popular ones.
How To Buy Tickets
Tickets can be purchased online. For instance, Eurostar bookings normally open 180 days (6 months) before departure.
There are several options to buy tickets, especially if you are using other train services. But if you plan on boarding the Eurostar from London to Paris, the easiest way to get a ticket is to buy from their website.
Technology has transformed the way we purchase tickets, as you can now print your tickets yourself or you can download them and show them using the app. Also, you can pick up your tickets from ticket machines at the train station.
Tips For Taking the London to Paris Train
- Purchase your tickets in advance. The cheapest seats are often limited and get sold quickly, and once they are gone, you are left with the more expensive seats.
- Bring your food, snacks, and drinks. Most trains have dining cars and bars, but if you have a specific food or drink that you would like to have onboard, we recommend bringing yours.
- Trains are always on time and will leave at the exact departure time. Try to get to the station as early as possible since you need to go through border patrol before boarding the train and this could take some minutes if there is a line.
- Don't be late. Trains leave exactly on time so arrive at the station early. You’ll need to go through border patrol before getting on the train and this can take more than a few minutes if there's a line.