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Buying Eurostar to Paris from 3rd party site

Are 3rd party sites legit? they seem to have lower pricing with add ones and freebies and are cheaper than autostart website. If doing a day trip from London to Paris, once you arrive in Paris how do you get to Eiffel Tower, Louve, etc from train station ? Esp since I don't speak French.....

Posted by
533 posts

Which third-party site are you looking at? Trainline.eu is legit, I know for sure. Others may not be.

Before you get to Paris, study a map of the city and a map of the Metro. You'll be arriving at Gare du Nord, which you should see on both maps. It doesn't take much French to know that "Tour Eiffel" is the Eiffel Tower and "Musee du Louvre" is the Louvre. The tangled network of Metro lines is a little confusing at first, but it's not that hard to figure out how to get from any one station to any other.

If you get lost or confused, go up to anyone who looks like they can help and ask "Parlez vous anglais?" Be on your guard with anyone who approaches you and offers to help, or runs up to you and asks "Do you speak English?" Scammers are out there, but most Parisians are good people who will gladly help you enjoy their city.

Posted by
3681 posts

What's the “autostart” website? The internet thinks it's a car accessory.

Eurostar tickets are easily bought from its website www.eurostar.com
The big price variation depends on how far in advance the ticket is purchased. For instance, the cheapest ticket for the end of this week is about 150 pounds. Four months ahead and the price is 100 pounds cheaper.

The French rail system charges about the same, give or take. Use this site to avoid the RailEurope bump: https://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ You have already seen the recommendation for Trainline.

Some agencies such as Last Minute sell the tickets but with a mark-up.

To navigate Paris mass transit: http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/
The Getting Around section includes an interactive trip planner.
Also useful: www.parisbytrain.com

Posted by
13480 posts

As khbuzzard said, you don't have to speak French to find your way around. We don't and managed the Paris metro system just fine.

Buy yourself a one-day zone 1-3 transit pass and use it for the metro. There's lot of good info here:

http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/

Get yourself metro and Paris map and spend a little time with them to get an idea of where the sites you want to see are located and where the nearest stations are to them.

On the maps, locate the nearest metro station to the place you want to go and the nearest station to where you currently are. Then find the colored line that indicates your most direct route between them. All metro lines are identified by color (on the map), number and their terminus at both ends.

Then find your platform. You want to be sure to find the one for the train heading the direction you want to go. Your correct platform will be identified by the station at the end of the line going that direction. For instance, to get to Père Lachaise from Opéra we needed to travel east of Opéra on line 3. The eastern terminus of that line is Gallieni so that's the platform we wanted. Going back Opéra we reversed it and went to the Pont de Levallois/Bécon platform, which is the terminus of the line on the west end.

You may need to change lines along the way to get to where you want to go. On the metro map, white ovals and circles designate stations where you can do that. Solid circles along a route designate stops.

Here's a map to help you get started. :O)

http://www.aparisguide.com/maps/metro.htm

Posted by
533 posts

I think "autostart" might just be autocorrect for "eurostar."

The Eurostar website will give you prices in different currencies, depending on what you tell it your home country is. Those prices don't necessarily line up exactly with the current exchange rate. I once was able to save a few dollars by using trainline (or rather, its predecessor Captain Train) to buy tickets at the euros price, which at the time was a bit cheaper than the US dollars price.

Posted by
361 posts

Thank you all for replying. The site is Visitlondon.com- and its under day tours- its Paris one day that includes a one hour Seine river boat ride, a zone pass for the metro, and train tickets. Is this a legit site? Right now for May 2017 tickets only $154 and much more on Eurostar.

Posted by
27713 posts

You have misread the webpage. It is not $154, it is £154 - that is 154 of your British Pounds. Your profile says you are from USA, in which case you need to convert to US Dollars. At today's rate that is about $197, plus any charges from your card company.

Posted by
2125 posts

Yes it's a legit site. Tickets are shown at £154; on the Eurostar site a comparable ticket on 10 May is £156.

Posted by
361 posts

Thank you for the replies. I do understand it is 154 in British pounds and that its equivilant to $197 US dollars, however its still much cheaper than the Eurostar and you get add ons for free. I was just skeptical because you meet the person giving you your voucher across the street from the train station at a coffee shop

Posted by
5457 posts

Caroline88, it does sound like you have to buy your own Metro ticket to get from Gare du Nord to the pickup point. I realize that you are stuck with the time frame you have now. But do you really think you will never be in Europe again in your life? It's a shame you have to spend 100 pounds extra for a last-minute train ticket. BTW, I have been to Paris at least 7 times, and I have never been on the Seine boats ... It's also a shame you can't spend the night, and make the most of your first trip to Paris, instead of rushing around for a few hours.

Posted by
361 posts

Hello, yes its only a one day visit to the Eiffel Tower and perhaps the Louve- we have approx 8 hours give or take from when train arrives or leaves and I may not be able to ever visit again so it will be a nice train ride through English countryside to the beautiful city of Paris 😀

Posted by
914 posts

Hi Caroline,

Also take a look at Grayline or Golden Tours, which appears to have the Grayline symbol on their website. They have a few day options to Paris including train, boat, zone-Metro pass, etc. Yes, they also mention picking up your packet at a certain location where they likely have a kiosk or representative on the London side. Reading the reviews will give you an idea of the extent of escort/guide they provide.

I bring this up because I've used Grayline in the U.S. and have had decent experiences and it's a legit company. Not to say the one you found is not, of course, but you've probably at least heard of Grayline.

Posted by
361 posts

Hello, yes its only a one day visit to the Eiffel Tower and perhaps the Louve- we have approx 8 hours give or take from when train arrives or leaves and I may not be able to ever visit again so it will be a nice train ride through English countryside to the beautiful city of Paris 😀

Posted by
436 posts

On the Eurostar website I see £122 for May 30 taking the first train to Paris and the last train back. The exact date matters since the lower cost seats sell out and be sure you don't go on Monday when the Louvre is closed.

Are the added attractions worth the price difference? Are the additions for activities you would want to do anyway and you have time for? Do they book first/last train to maximize your day?

Do not set Eurostar to price in US dollars since that raises the fare.

Enjoy your trip and I hope you can go again someday.

Posted by
2933 posts

Don't forget to take your passport with you. Since it's just a day trip, it might be easy to forget that.

Posted by
216 posts

Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, not Mondays. Musée d'Orsay is closed Mondays. If you want to see both pick later in the week.

Get a good map of Paris and print off a Métro map. Look for the stations near the sites you want to see. Many stations will have a helpful pictogram: an Eiffel Tower or a pyramid for the Louvre or a wedding cake dome thing for Sacre Coeur.

You should spend the $20 for an English guide book which will tell you exactly which stops to use for major sites. You won't have time to go anywhere obscure so your chances of not being able to find the sites you will visit are virtually nil. You can also check which days each museum has late night hours Buy a 2 day Museum Pass. You cannot afford to stand in lines for too long. Give your pass to someone in line as you leave your last museum.

You can do a lot in Paris in one long, exhausting, no messing around day:
1. Go straight to the Eiffel Tour and walk up the stairs to level 2, buy ticket to top at ground level. As soon as you ave walked around the top, get in line for the elevator down.
2. Walk across the river to Trocodero and admire the views.
3. Métro to l'Arc de Triomphe. Climb. admire the radiating spokes. Or cross UNDER the street and admire. Cross back UNDER te street to
4. Walk the Champs Élysées. If you tire head to a Métro station and go to Place de la Concorde. Admire.
5. Walk through the Jardins de Tuileries. If you love Monet or French masters, go to L'Orangerie. Sit next to a pond and rest. Maybe jump on a trampoline to get your energy up for . . .
6. The Louvre: see (the back of people's heads as they stand in front of) the Mona Lisa, better yet look at the really large, beautiful Marriage Feast at Cana opposite (you'll be the only one), some Greek sculpture, French masters. Get the back across the river to the next museum. Make sure you have food with you. Waiting in (on - if you're a New Yorker) line is for eating and meeting people, don't you know!
7. Musée d'Orsay. Head upstairs to the Impressionists. first take photos through one of the big clocks. Have a sit down refreshment in the Café.
8. Bus or Métro to Notre Dame. Go inside. The line is long but moves quickly unlike the line to the towers which is long but moves slowly.
9. Walk around Notre Dame. Cross bridge to Île St. Louis and get ice cream at Berthillon.
10. Head back to Gare du Nord or if you were really quick, first head to the Pompidou to admire the boldness of it. Buy souvenirs.

Posted by
11236 posts

Make life easy on yourself...

When you arrive at Gare Du Nord, catch one of the Hop-On, Hop Off buses. it will take you past all the sites and you can get off and on where you like. You will also get commentary on what you see.

Most of the people answering have been to Paris many times and wouldn't think of taking this. But for a first timer, with only one day, maximize your time and let someone else do the driving.

Or do it on your own and get very familiar with the metro system.