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London to Paris?

My husband and I are taking the Paris in 7 Days tour from April 5-11. We are flying in to London on April 2 and spending a few days exploring London, then we need to get from London to Paris the morning of April 5. I have heard this is best done either via train or plane but I can't decide which to choose. Which option is easiest? I know we would take the Eurostar if going by train but which airlines are best?

The same goes for after the tour... We are flying out of London on April 12 so we need to decide how to get back to London after the tour ends in Paris on April 11.

I know it would have been easiest to get open-ended tickets that flew out of Paris but we had actually booked our plane tickets last June and were going on a different tour with a different company and they cancelled our tour last week so this is a last minute change.

Posted by
1 posts

My husband and I did exactly this in July 2014. We flew Air France from Paris to London and got a great fare of $75 CAD including taxes, etc. Great price and was less than the train fares I could find.

Posted by
9914 posts

It sounds like you already have your plane tickets.

I would probably also want to go to Paris on the 4th which would severely cut in to your time in London. I say this because on one RS tour I had this year a couple started in London and was flying to Amsterdam the day the tour started. Their plane got cancelled, they were bussed from Gatwick to Heathrow where another flight was cancelled and they finally made it to Amsterdam very late in the evening missing the first night of the tour.

You will not want to miss the first night of your Paris tour. You will do a general tour of Paris and your guide will get you set up with your Metro Pass and your Museum Pass. If you have not been on a Rick Steves tour, you will enjoy this! I loved the Paris tour and got to see so much. The guide was just wonderful! I also loved having the listening systems as the guide could give us instructions without others hearing. Plus her side jokes were wonderful.

I would take Eurostar both ways.

Posted by
31521 posts

The EuroStar will be much easier and probably faster and cheaper (depending on when you buy your tickets). Considering the usual airport hassles (to & from the airports, check-in, security, waiting, boarding & de-planing, etc.), train will be a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Check the excellent Man In Seat 61 website for good information on purchasing EuroStar tickets well in advance at a discount. However choose carefully as these are likely non-refundable and non-changeable. Also note that you MUST be checked in at least 30 minutes prior to departure or you lose your seat. Leave lots of time at London St. Pancras, as you'll also go through French Passport control there.

Posted by
11450 posts

I agree with Ken.. Eurostar is cheaper then flying IF you buy the tickets early out.. as early as you can.. and also count in the money you save getting to and from airports.. can't remember what it was in London.. think we paid 8 or 9 GBPs to get from Russell Square to airport on regular tube line ( Heathrow Express was a lot more!!) and from CDG airport to Paris its will be at least another 10 euros each to take RER in.. if you elect to taxi.. 50-60 euros..

I have gone back and forth between London and Paris 5 times now.. it would never occur to me to fly , city center to city center ,, more relaxing.. no need to be at airport 1.5 hours in advance.. and commute to airports ( roughly 45 minutes to an hour each way)..

Trick is buy Eurostar tickets as soon as they open for sale for your dates.. and I always buy on the official Eurostar website.. NOT Raileurope.. I have heard good reports of another site.. think its called El Capitaine or something like that..

Posted by
11450 posts

Just went on checked on the Eurostar site.. cheapest seats seem snapped up.. cheapest I could find for an April 5th , return April 11th was 255 GBP total for both of you.. about 390 dollars I think.. what a shame.. well you can search out some of the airlines.

Posted by
16883 posts

Train is both faster and easier, from downtown station to downtown station. Remember that you must check in at lest 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled departure. Avoiding two huge airports would be a good thing. Buy Eurostar tickets now for the best prices, since seats are limited at each rate. There's nothing wrong with buying these e-tickets through Rail Europe but is the site that already has them available.

Posted by
2490 posts

I am not sure what times you need, but I have found April 5 for 57.5 GBP each, Apr 11 for 46 each, that's about $311.

There are various Easyjet roundtrips from $98-$115 each per round trip ticket, again, don't know what times work, n.

Posted by
1878 posts

No way would I consider dealing with London/Paris airports when I can take the Eurostar. It's really no contest. Even if it's more expensive, I would take the train (o.k. not if it's $500 more expensive). You should factor in transit time and expense to and from airports, along with the much higher risk of delay when flying. Not to mention traveling on a train is way more pleasant that flying. We did Eurostar from London to Paris in 2000 and it worked great.

Posted by
4735 posts

5 April is Easter Sunday. Maybe not as prime a day as Good Friday, but probably still a potentially popular date so early booking of whatever might be advisable. This is why the cheapest seats have gone already for all but one train.

If you can get a flight on the same airline on Paris to London that you are flying back on 12 April this may be worth considering if they allow through bags checking if necessary etc. Otherwise it would be travel on 11 April.