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London- Paris-Amsdterdam..... best logistics to see all three....

Heading to London in mid June 2020. Trip will be about 12 days..... would like to spend three nights in each London, Paris and Amsterdam. I know some will say that is too much but I would like to have a few nights in each place. Flying into London might make most sense with taking the Chunnel to Paris for 3 nights ( or vice versa) and then Amsterdam. But I am open to whatever order makes the most sense and an interesting way to travel between cities. Will likely travel open jaw with departure from whichever city we hit last. Any ideas or suggestions on how to do this most effectively and most interestingly will be appreciated.
thank you

Posted by
7702 posts

For example you could fly into London, take the Eurostar to Paris (2 hours 20 minutes) and then take the Thalys to Amsterdam and fly home from Amsterdam.

Google Eurostar and Thalys for their respective websites and buy your tickets there. Prices get more expensive as the date gets closer, so buy as soon as you are sure of your plan for the best prices (but then you are locked into taking those specific trains on those specific dates/times).

Allow extra time at London’s St Pancras station when boarding Eurostar, as you have to be through the check in gates and then go through British Emigration, then French immigration, before security (like at the airport). The benefit to this is that when you arrive in Paris, there are no immigration formalities, and you simply walk off the train.

Taking the Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam is simpler, without the passport check since both are in the Schengen zone.

You won’t have enough time in any of these cities but if you want to do this, it is doable.

Posted by
5708 posts

The order is irrelevant, save for London needs to be first or last, as you have precious little time for these three big hitters without wasting time crossing the channel twice. Take the train between all three. It’s easier by Eurostar going London to Amsterdam than vice versa due to customs requirements.

The term Chunnel is not in common parlance here - no one under 35 would have any idea what you were talking about!

Work with whatever flights work best from your home airport.

Posted by
3354 posts

Travel times between the cities:

  • London-Paris: 2:20
  • London-Amsterdam: 3:41
  • Paris-Amsterdam: 3:17

Add 30 minutes check in time for the Eurostar. And at the moment there are no direct trains Amsterdam-London, although if the rumours are correct there might be in June. To minimize travel time the best route would be London-Paris-Amsterdam, but Paris-London-Amsterdam would not be that much slower and might be easier for flights since you could get an open jaw ticket with Air France to Paris and back from Amsterdam with KLM (depending on where you plan to start the trip).

Posted by
2927 posts

The term Chunnel is not in common parlance here - no one under 35 would have any idea what you were talking about!

Haha, but most of us on this forum, if not 98%, are well over 35, and it is the term used at least in my area of the USA. If I said I took the Eurostar to Paris, I'd just get a blank star from most people, so saying Chunnel alleviates the need to explain and not make people feel uncomfortable. IMO

Posted by
1800 posts

Check www.skyscanner.com for flights. It's cheaper to take EuroStar to London than out of London because the GBP is stronger than the Euro, however, you pay more in taxes flying out of London than flying in. You can also fly nonstop between London Southend (SEN) and Amsterdam for $28 on EasyJet.
EuroStar and low budget carriers are cheaper the further out you buy, but not true with flagship carriers.

Posted by
5708 posts

I don’t care what age people are on this forum - the Chunnel isn’t a phrase that anyone over 35 uses in Europe and no one under 35 will have a clue what you are talking about!

Posted by
1063 posts

"Haha, but most of us on this forum, if not 98%, are well over 35, and it is the term used at least in my area of the USA."

Jennifer is referring to what the Channel Tunnel is referred to over here, NOT in America. Also there are two types of train that use the tunnel, Le Shuttle (cars, lorries) and the Eurostar (passenger), so saying Eurostar eliminates any confusion over which service you are talking about. The "Chunnel" was a term used by some not so well thought off tabloid (red top) papers in the mid 90's but never caught on (except in America apparently).

Posted by
4736 posts

I have come to the conclusion that Eurostar itself using the term 'Chunnel' in its USA-facing website is so Americans continue give the impression of being rubes to British people over it, the term having a strong whiff of the era of Nixon, flares, queues down the street to fill your car, and the New York Jets and Derby County being top sports teams. The only time I see the term Chunnel used on the UK is the occasional newspaper headline short of space.

Posted by
28121 posts

Derby County isn't a top sport team? Somebody better tell my former boss...

Posted by
7702 posts

It's cheaper to take EuroStar to London than out of London because the GBP is stronger than the Euro,

This simply isn’t true. You might pay marginally more if you buy in one currency or another, but not enough to make any difference in which order you decide to visit the two cities.