Please sign in to post.

Eurostar london -Paris. Is this a Crazy Idea?

ive been lookin for the past couple of days on the eurostar web for lowest tixs, but not having any luck with the days i want to go. Its weird that i see really cheap tixs on the day that im flying into london, which is in less than 3wks. 1st question: does Heathrow airport hold bags for passengers? if so, for how long? I know LAX does it.
2nd quest: my flight gets in around 930am. do you think i will have enough time to board the 12:24 train from heathrow, if thats including getting my ostercard and (it available) the arranging of leaving my bag at the airport (dont know how long that might take)? 3rd quest: i will arrive in paris by eurostar at 3:50pm and take the last train back which leaves at 913pm. is this enough time to catch the metro to the eiffel tower take pics there and come back? how many hrs do you think i have to play with? im givinging it 4hrs. 4pm- 8pm, then im giving myself and hour to get back to the eurostar station. yes, this might seem crazy to lots of people but i just want to be able to say ive been in paris. lol thanks

Posted by
27401 posts

so flight gets in "around 9:30"? On a good day you will be walking out of the Customs door from the Arrivals Hall into the open terminal in 60-90 minutes. Split it down the middle and its 10:45. If the plane's not late. Half an hour to find the Underground ticket office, join the queue, get your Oyster card and work out the route and wait for the Tube train. Now its 11:15. Sit back and enjoy the ride on the Piccadilly Line, it will take just under an hour. 12:15. You say "board the 12:24 train from heathrow". I assume you mean from St Pancras. That would be train 9024. There are two problems now... first is the absolutely strictly enforced minimum 30 minutes before departure Eurostar check in dead-line. (In fact we were in Paris last week and the queue was nearly half an hour just to get to the check in area). If your ticket hasn't gone through the check-in gate 30 minutes prior you don't go. So you need to be in the act of checking in before 11:54. But its already 12:15 and you are still in the Underground station with 10 minutes walking before you get to the check in. oops. The second problem is you haven't yet left off your luggage. You could do that at St Pancras or at Heathrow but either way you better figure another 15 minutes for that. So, crazy or not, that's beside the question. Can it physically be done? So, mel, where can you get the 45 to 60 minutes you are short? I dunno. You might get way lucky and your flight might be an hour early and you might get through border control at LHR in 10 minutes but I doubt it. Often at LHR planes are parked remotely and passengers bussed in, giving additional delay. to be continued ...

Posted by
27401 posts

... continued... Once in Paris your very expensive photo may work out. But you can't just rock up at Eurostar check in at Gare du Nord at 2100. (BTW - don't know what day of the week this is but train 9063 doesn't run on Saturday nights). You must be at the check in machine before 20:43. Aren't you going to be jetlagged so you will sleep through the whole thing? I hope that you decide to buy full fare fully refundable tickets.

Posted by
6445 posts

Just a personal opinion but that seems like an awful lot of time and money spent just to say you went to the Eiffel Tower and took pictures. Save Paris for another trip.

Posted by
86 posts

dont know if ill ever b back to europe. doubt it. next time ill b old and grey! lol

Posted by
3923 posts

ANyway you can spend the night in Paris? Seems like a lot of money for a few hours (and the tower looks sooo amazing lit up at night...) but I understand the thing of maybe not getting back at all...as long as you don't mind the crazy travel time/jet lag/money, then go for it, I guess ;)

Posted by
86 posts

Monte, nothing is wrong with ol and grey! lol @ nigel, thanks for the advise! i will have to spend even more money on tixs on a whole new day. leaving @ 7am getting there @ 1017am. then taking the last train out at 9:13pm. so if i leave the eiffel around 7pm, it should be enough time to check in and board my outbound train? that would give me 8hrs to play with and take my "expensive photo(s)" lol. hey u guys i got this idea from Rick. u know visit paris for a day, but i was trying to do the speed version of it. ha i would stay over night in paris, but i already paid for a room in london & will be blowing lots money on a round trip ticket to paris. i will be paying $234 yikes! im still going to wait. the web site keeps changing prices during the day. i saw inbound for $51 "last ten seats"then it was "sold out." then i looked at the website again later on the day and guess what? wait for it... i saw $51 "last ten seats" once again, so i guess those last 10 seat werent "sold out." lol

Posted by
80 posts

Mel, Many people recommend on planning on taking the next to last Eurostar out of Paris. This helps in case you miss your train you still have a chance to get on the last train. I am old and grey and have been to England twice in said condition and plan on a third trip in 2013 with a side trip to Paris. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
2 posts

To be honest i don't think thats bad if you don't mind the money. You can easily get to the Eifel tower, Louvre and walk along the river if you take the underground ( the name escapes me) there is a stop nearby most of the attractions and cabs are plenty. I say go for it! And i don't know about luggage i usually just carry everything on my back. Oyster card should not take long at all. just make sure you have small bills or 1 pound coins because your american credit card will not work on the machines and you do not want to wait in line at the service desk! Have fun!

Posted by
86 posts

@ roy i thought i can buy an oster card with my credit card. i keep reading over and over again, the key is to keep the card in for 10 secs or maybe that rule only applies to atms? i think i should try to stay in Paris overnight, if finding a hotel is not a problem. i had a hard time booking a hotel in london. but then ill be paying for a room in london, that im not sleeping in. any1 want to buy a room? lol

Posted by
12739 posts

Mel, Taking that last Euro Star back to London is cutting it close, which makes me really nervous. They say be in line for Euro Star security and passport check 30 mins prior to departure, make that 45 mins. If this helps with the luggage situation: at Gare du Nord there are no coin lockers, it's a left luggage facility, where you have to check in your stuff, they zap it, as done at the airport, you get a receipt for pick-up. Don't know about the left luggage at Heathrow. Are you going from Heathrow to Kings Cross/St Pancras by Tube...that'll take just under an hour. Take that Heathrow Express from Heathrow to Paddington, (left luggage facility is at Paddington ...near the left luggage is an ATM where you can get GBP as well as Euro), the Express is more costly, but it's under 20 mins, then use the Oyster Card to get to St Pancras by Tube. I think that 4 hour window you're giving yourself can be done if you hustle. Have Euro coins ready to get some Metro tickets from the machines. Don't stop to listen to any joker offering you free tickets or buying one from him, whatever...a scammer. I've seen it there. Don't forget to reset your watch...the time difference between London and Paris. By your own timetable, be on the Metro to the Eiffel Tower by 4:20 PM. That gives you 1/2 hr to check in the luggage (if it's still with you), dodge the crowds, buy the Metro tickets, and waiting time for the Metro.

Posted by
86 posts

thanks every1 for the info. I decided to get a hotel in paris for the night eventhough i wasted money on a booked room in london. blllaaah! this last min. trip is costing me $$$ and i dont have a travel buddy to spit the cost! eeerrr lol.

Posted by
3923 posts

Glad you booked a room - make sure you catch the light show on the Eiffel - I only saw maybe 2min of it, but it was neat...and when you are spending that much on a trip, what's another couple hundred...
;)

Posted by
86 posts

@ nicole. lol the eiffel tower night show? i didnt read about that in rs guide. is it only once a night? i wanted to take pics of it at night.

Posted by
27401 posts

unless it has recently changed it is every hour throughout the evening every day.

Posted by
3923 posts

I'm pretty sure once it's dusk/dark - it'll be every hour on the hour til ?? We were there at 10pm one night (mid-Sept) - just coming around the trees and I'm fumbling for my camera......and it stopped...I was so bummed - so try to get there a little ahead of the hour...we are returning this year and it is def on my list of 'do not miss this time!'. Better planning will be used ;) It may go about 10min, but pls correct me if I'm wrong. And I laugh (and shudder) when I think back to our Eurostar to PAris - we had flown overnight fr Nfld arriving Heathrow 6:30am...customs...so on...then into Pancras, had some breakfast, then caught the train....which apparently my hubby and I slept thru almost the whole thing! When I think back, I have no recollection of that train ride other then leaving London, some fields, then PAris...and hubby doesn't rem much more then that - I just am thankful that no one stole our bags...and really hope I wasn't drooling/snoring lol ;p

Posted by
86 posts

@ nicole. i was planning on sleeping on the train. but then i thought i wouldnt sleep on a nyc train. lol but idk if im going to pass out or not. im taking the train the day after i arrived in london so i might pass out from the whole time zone thing. im going to use my bag as a pillow and hope no1 tries to rob my "pillow" lol

Posted by
3923 posts

Yeah, we hadn't planned on sleeping on the train, but it just happened - but the funny thing, it took me a few weeks (if not months) to reflect on the train trip and realize I remembered NONE of it! And you hear thesee horror stories about peole taking your bag - we may have stuffed them under the seats or something...

Posted by
178 posts

We are also taking the train to Paris from London... is it doable to take the 12:21 if our flight gets in at 8:30 or should we wait and catch the 1:55? Is it any easier to buy Eurostar tickets online (does it save time)? Thanks!