We will be flying into Paris CDG and are scheduled to arrive at 6 am. We plan to catch the Chunnel to London that morning. How much time should we plan to allow us to calmly travel from CDG to the Eurostar Chunnel train station?
As much as I like the Chunnel train, since you are already at the airport you might want to consider flying to Heathrow via BA or AF, and taking the tube or Heathrow Express into central London. But if you want to use the Chunnel train, you will have to allow about an hour for immigration, 30 minutes to navigate the airport to the RER station, and an hour to get to get to Gare Du Nord Station, and you must check in 30 minutes prior to departure. Keep in mind if your plane lands late and you miss your Chunnel connection your tickets will be worthless:( http://parisbytrain.com/charles-de-gaulle-airport-cdg-to-eurostar-station/
The Paris Eurostar train to London departs within the Gare du Nord station. Here's a LINK to further information on its location. One of the quickest and easiest ways to ge there from CDG is to take the RER B from terminal 2 into Paris. It takes 25 minutes to get to Gare du Nord once you are on the train. Allow more time as you transition through the airport and immigration. If you are not arriving at Terminal 2, you can take the automated CDGVAL from your terminal to the Terminal 2 train station. I believe that the Eurostar has a rule that you must check in 30 minutes before departure.
By the way, nobody uses the word "chunnel" to describe the Eurostar between Paris and London. People here know what you're referring to, but the term is slightly cringe-worthy in some circles, so unless you want to appear to be fresh off the pumpkin truck, you might want to break the habit of using it.
Thank you all for the replies - they're very helpful. And David, consider the habit broken. But as I am indeed 'fresh off the pumpkin truck' there may be others popping up now and again! But I shall try my best.
The nice folks who operate the Chunnel train, offer discounts from some popular attraction throughout London. More details at the Chunnel Train site: http://tinyurl.com/chunnel-discounts
Please , no offense intended but why are you not flying direct to Heathrow , am very curious ?
No offense taken. I've wanted to see Europe for decades. Husband prefers this side of the ocean but loves me so we are finally off to Europe (YAY!!!!). After sketching a very rough itinerary and booking tickets husband expresses earnest desire to see London (where people speak English :)). Wife who earnestly wants husband to have a blast and go back to see even more of Europe, immediately adds London to the itinerary ;).
I think I understand your methodology ! Hopefully once he gets his feet in on the other side of the pond he will be more inclined to take a full dunk on the other side of the channel . After all , being a little further south the water is a little warmer . Have a great time !!!! Steve
I think you and husband will be much more comfortable if you stay the night in Paris before embarking on your trip to London. EuroStar is very unforgiving about customs and/or other delays involving planes. In the alternative, plan on lunch in Paris and an afternoon train to London. Congratulations on being a happy couple that knows how to compromise. Please give your husband my assurances that finding English speakers at the airport, train stations, and your hotel is unlikely to be a problem in Paris. He'll like London better after he's unjetlagged. :)
Nancy, just my 2 cents but I'd suggest spending a couple of days in Paris before traveling to London for another couple of days. You are going to have major jetlag the first day and I think it would be a real challenge to navigate from CDG to the train station to a hotel in London when you're not running at 100% capacity. If this is your first time in Europe, you won't get a good impression of either country. I'd suggest that you slow down a bit and start your vacation off on the right foot. Hope you have a great trip!
Yes, IF you're planning to spend time in Paris (and we'll ALL wail if you aren't LOL!), I advise staying in Paris first, then going to London, etc. I always try to be as efficient as possible and often take a train immediately after landing in order to get my trip 'started', but my days of doing that are over now (since my last trip). I've finally learned to 'waste' (I used to think) that first day and get my legs under me before I carry on with my trip. Give yourself a day to get acclimated - rest, get used to the foreign languages all around you, get your bearings. Your body and head will thank you! And Good Job on changing your plans so everyone's happy ;-)
Can't believe anyone would fly into Paris just to get on the train to London...can't believe anyone would "rather" see London than Paris. Hint: Most Parisians speak English, too.
Wow! Never expected so many responses. We're still ironing out the itinerary details but we are getting closer. Thank you everyone for the input and I am taking it all into consideration!
FYI, we just added a quick trip to visit friends in Croatia :O!
Agree, you would likely be better served by seeing Paris first, then heading off on your sidetrip to London. Paris is a beautiful city with things to offer for every energy level or state of jet lag. Since you are arriving in the morning, take your time coming in and drop off your bags at your hotel (room likely won't be ready in the AM)and then see how you feel and what you are up for. Maybe just a leisurely walk from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde or maybe something more adventurous. Many first-time travelers to Europe struggle their first day on the ground - not to worry, perfectly normal.When you do get to Paris Nord for your trip on the eurostar, just look for the signs for their dedicated area.
hi, i agree with staying in Paris for some time. you never know it may grow on you. and if youre polite and not the rude American type, they will be nice too. i dont know about you, but i find it fun to try and learn some of the local lingo. it woudlnt hurt to learn to say "thank you" in french either. happy trails.
@Dave, In considering which option to choose, be sure to include the costs for the EuroStar and other transportation TO London ad then BACK to Paris. That will use part of that $200 per person, so not sure how much you'll actually be saving. Realistically, to get from CDG to Gare du Nord, check-in a minimum of 30 minutes prior to your train, waiting times, the trip to London and then getting to your hotel is probably going to be about six hours (or more). That probably won't be a pleasant experience for anyone after a long trans atlantic flight. Despite the cost issue, my suggestion would be to use open-jaw flights, inbound London and outbound Paris, as that will likely mean a more pleasant holiday for all. It will also be more efficient and won't waste any of your valuable holiday time. As this is your first trip to Europe, I would highly recommend reading Europe Through The Back Door prior to your trip, as it provides a LOT of great info on "how" to travel in Europe. Use the city or country-specific Guidebooks to plan touring in London and Paris. If you're just going to be in the cities, even the Pocket Guides would probably be fine. Bon Voyage!
Just picked up on this thread, and we are considering the same issue. It turns out it is about $200 per person cheaper to fly to Paris than to London, which adds up for a family of 4! We are planning to do both London and Paris. I was thinking it would be best to fly into Paris, and catch an afternoon train to London for our first "wasted" day. Then, spend our 5 days in London, and take the train back to Paris for the other 5 days, before flying out of CDG to return home. Does this sound like a good plan, or would it be better to spend the first part of the trip in Paris, train it to London, and then take the train back to Paris the night before we fly out. I'm thinking we lose an extra day by doing this, as the first day flying over will be wasted anyway due to jet lag?? This is our first trip to Europe as a family, and would love suggestions.