Hi Am trying to take a 1 night trip from London to Paris via Chunnel, as I would like to see Versailles. Will be mostly in Bath area for my 2week stay visiting student daughter @ U of Bristol, but this may be my only trip ever to Paris. Any tips on a reasonable place to stay overnight with access to Versailles?
Jumping on someone else's suggestion from a while ago. You could get almost two full days in Paris/Versailles- if you take the early train to Paris and the late train back the next day. Probably doesnt work if you need to get all the way back to Bath. But it is something i would try and work on. I cant imagine being in Paris and not having some time to see the City.
Actually a few more days off of Bath and onto Paris is a no-brainer in my mind
Any place in Paris will have access to Versailles by way of the Metro plus the RER (essentially a commuter rail) to Versailles-Rive Gauche. And there are hotels in the town of Versailles itself. RS has full details in his Paris or France books, and you could easily jot them down in a bookstore if you didn't want to buy the book for a single day's trip (though if I were you, I would). Get your ticket for Eurostar early, as buying shortly before departure is quite expensive. From Bath, you will take the train into Paddington Station and then take a taxi (my preference in this situation) or the Underground to St Pancras to catch the Eurostar. Allow time to get from Paddington to St Pancras and for the 20 to 30 minute security check before boarding the Eurostar.
I am sure other posters will tell you that they would rather see Paris, even if for one day, than Versailles. I agree in advance, but I assume you have thought this through and are set on Versailles. If you can, though, after you check into your Paris hotel, think about taking the Metro & funicular up to Sacre Coeur/Montmartre for a spectacular view of Paris at night. Try to squeeze in a little time to stroll the Champs Elysee or the Seine before your return train to London.
"and for the 20 to 30 minute security check before boarding the Eurostar. " It is an absolute mandatory minimum 30 minute check in and security check unless you are a First Premier regular traveller. Miss the 30 minutes and, almost always, you miss the train and your non-changeable reservation isn't worth the paper its printed on. BTW - Versailles is NOT Paris. Nice, but not Paris.
If you are going to be in Bath for most of your two weeks, then you would find it much quicker and cheaper to fly from Bristol Airport to Paris. It might not be quite as relaxed as the Eurostar journey, but it could give you a lot more time in Paris. Air France have three flights each way daily, and return fares in February are currently £100.
Thank you all for your very helpful tips. I have since decided to make the overnight stay at least 2 nights. Does anyone have any tips on reasonable accommodations (not too "touristy") in a good location to taking transportation to Versailles? I will also pick up RS's book on Paris/France. I like the idea of possibly flying from Bristol airport. But would the chunnel (& getting there from Bath) still be a better value?
Time is money. Look at the time you would spend flying compared to train from bath to london, to Eurostar to paris. And then the same amount of time to return. I would fly and get more time sightseeing
Could you plan the Paris trip so that your return could tie into your flight home, i.e. Paris-London-home rather than Paris-London-Bath-London-home? Maybe even do a combination of flying and Eurostar in different directions, or fly from Bristol and return to Heathrow (or wherever you're flying home from). (By the way, I did a quick Eurostar one-night trip to Paris from London a few years ago and with lots of planning was able to see an amazing amount of Paris in a short time. I'm so glad I did it.)
I would encourage at least one direction on the Eurostar (preferably LON to PAR). It is one of the great experiences of European travel (versus the drag and pain it was to get between the two cities pre-chunnel).
To clarify, LON is the IATA designator for all airports within the Londona area. PAR peforms a similar function for Paris. The cities themselves have no abbreviation.
Thanks to all again. I have now ramped up the trip to 3 nights in Paris! I think we will fly from Bristol and back. I would like to experience the Chunnel but I think it may take too much time, as we are going to be staying in Bath area. I appreciate all of your comments!
If it makes you feel better, the idea of traveling under the English Channel is much more enticing than actually doing it. The trip itself is just a train ride with a rather long portion of it in the dark. I'd fly and save the "experience" for another trip when you have more time for travel.
"If it makes you feel better, the idea of traveling under the English Channel is much more enticing than actually doing it. The trip itself is just a train ride with a rather long portion of it in the dark. I'd fly and save the "experience" for another trip when you have more time for travel." I guess we all have our opinions, but I couldn't disagree more. It is a fascinating ride -- you see a lot over a short period of time. Love arriving at Gare du Nord. Pancras is an amazing place too (except the mice in the waiting area).