How to Get from London to Paris: Top Travel Options Compared

Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by April Nicole

How to Get from London to Paris
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Planning a trip from London to Paris can seem daunting with so many travel options available.

As someone who has frequently traveled between these iconic cities, I understand the confusion and frustration many face when deciding the best way to make the journey.

Whether you’re seeking the fastest route, the most scenic experience, or the most cost-effective option, knowing how to get from London to Paris efficiently is crucial.

From high-speed trains to budget-friendly buses, and even flights, each method offers unique advantages and challenges. In this guide, I’ll share my expertise and personal tips to help you navigate your way seamlessly between these two cultural capitals.

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If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of how to get from London to Paris:

How to Get from London to Paris

By Train

How to Get from London to Paris

The Eurostar is undoubtedly one of the most popular ways to travel from London to Paris. Here’s why:

  • Departure Points: The Eurostar departs from St Pancras International in London.
  • Duration: The journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, making it one of the quickest options.
  • Cost: Prices can vary, but if you book in advance, you can find tickets for as low as £39 one-way.
  • Convenience: The train takes you from city center to city center, avoiding the hassle of airport transfers.

Tips for Booking Eurostar Tickets

  • Book Early: Tickets are usually cheaper if booked well in advance.
  • Travel Off-Peak: Off-peak tickets are more affordable and trains are less crowded.
  • Check for Deals: Eurostar frequently offers discounts and special deals, so keep an eye out.

By Air

How to Get from London to Paris

Flying is another fast option, but it comes with its own set of considerations:

  • Major Airlines: British Airways, Air France, and easyJet are some of the airlines offering direct flights.
  • Departure Airports: Flights depart from major London airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton.
  • Duration: The flight itself is around 1 hour, but you need to factor in airport transfer times and security checks.
  • Cost: Airfare can be quite variable, often ranging from £50 to £150 depending on the season and how early you book.

Tips for Booking Flights

  • Compare Prices: Use comparison websites like Skyscanner or Expedia to find the best deals.
  • Consider All Airports: Sometimes flying from a smaller airport can be cheaper.
  • Watch for Sales: Airlines often have sales, so subscribe to newsletters for alerts.

By Bus

Bus Travel: The Budget-Friendly Option

Traveling by bus is the most cost-effective way to get to Paris:

  • Major Bus Services: Companies like FlixBus and Eurolines operate between London and Paris.
  • Departure Points: Buses typically depart from Victoria Coach Station.
  • Duration: The journey can take between 7 to 9 hours.
  • Cost: Tickets can be as cheap as £15 if booked in advance.

Comfort and Convenience of Bus Travel

  • Overnight Options: Opt for an overnight bus to save on accommodation and maximize your time in Paris.
  • Amenities: Modern buses offer Wi-Fi, power outlets, and comfortable seats.

By Car

Driving: Flexibility at Your Fingertips

Driving offers the most flexibility and the opportunity to explore at your own pace:

  • Driving Route: The most common route is via the Channel Tunnel (Eurotunnel Le Shuttle) or taking a ferry.
  • Channel Tunnel: The Eurotunnel Le Shuttle takes around 35 minutes to cross the channel.
  • Ferry Options: Ferries from Dover to Calais take about 90 minutes.
  • Duration: The total driving time from London to Paris is around 6 to 7 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Cost: Costs include tolls, fuel, and ferry or tunnel fees, which can add up but offer the flexibility of travel.

Considerations for Driving

  • Plan Your Route: Use navigation apps to plan your route and avoid traffic.
  • Check Traffic Updates: Be aware of potential traffic delays, especially around major cities.
  • Parking in Paris: Parking can be expensive and scarce in Paris, so plan accordingly.

Booking Tips

Best Time to Book for Cheapest Fares

  • Advance Booking: For trains and flights, booking 2-3 months in advance usually yields the best prices.
  • Off-Peak Travel: Traveling during weekdays or off-peak seasons can save money.
  • Flexible Dates: Use flexible date search options to find the cheapest travel days.

Websites and Apps for Booking

Discounts and Deals

  • Student Discounts: Many transport services offer discounts for students.
  • Loyalty Programs: Sign up for loyalty programs to earn points and get discounts.
  • Travel Cards: Consider a rail pass if you plan on traveling more within Europe.

What to Expect on Arrival in Paris

Train Stations (Gare du Nord)

Arriving at Gare du Nord, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Paris. The station is well-connected to the city’s public transport network, including the metro, buses, and taxis. Nearby, you’ll find plenty of cafés and shops to start your Parisian adventure.

Airports (Charles de Gaulle, Orly)

Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) are the two main airports serving Paris. Both are connected to the city center by RER trains, buses, and taxis. CDG is larger and busier, while Orly is closer to the city center, making transfers slightly quicker.

Bus Terminals

If you arrive by bus, you’ll likely disembark at one of Paris’s major bus terminals, such as Paris Bercy Seine. From there, you can easily access public transportation to reach your final destination.

Driving in Paris

Driving in Paris can be challenging due to traffic and narrow streets. It’s often easier to park your car and use public transport to get around. Look for secure parking garages and avoid driving during peak hours.

What to Do Once You Arrive in Paris

Attractions

Paris is brimming with world-famous attractions and hidden gems. Here are some must-see sights:

  • Eiffel Tower: No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this iconic landmark. Consider visiting in the evening to see it sparkle.
  • Louvre Museum: Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other masterpieces, the Louvre is a must for art lovers.
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral: Despite the recent fire, Notre-Dame remains a symbol of Paris’s history and resilience.
  • Montmartre: Explore this charming neighborhood, known for its artistic history and stunning views from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Recommendations

  • Le Marais: Wander through this historic district with its narrow streets, chic boutiques, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Canal Saint-Martin: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the canal, lined with trendy cafés and street art.
  • Butte-aux-Cailles: Discover this quaint village-like neighborhood with its unique architecture and relaxed vibe.

Accommodation

Finding the right place to stay in Paris can make your trip even more enjoyable. Here’s a quick guide to the best options:

Types of Accommodation

Best Neighborhoods to Stay In

  • Le Marais: Central and lively, with plenty of dining and shopping options.
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés: Known for its historic cafés and charming streets.
  • Montmartre: Offers a bohemian atmosphere with stunning views.

France Travel Planning 🇫🇷

Accommodation 🛌

  • Booking.com – Find diverse accommodations, enjoy easy booking with great deals, and rely on real reviews and 24/7 support.
  • Expedia.com – With its user-friendly interface, it simplifies the process of booking hotels and holiday packages to France.
  • VRBO.com – Your go-to platform for unique and comfortable vacation rentals in France.

Transportation 🚘

  • DiscoverCars.com – Offers a seamless booking experience, ensuring you find the ideal car for your adventures in France.
  • GetTransfer.com – Is the ultimate solution for your travel transfer needs, offering an efficient, flexible service and comfortable transportation.
  • Trainline.com stands as a quintessential tool for savvy travelers seeking to navigate France’s extensive rail network with ease and confidence.
  • Skyscanner.com – Simplifies your travel planning with its user-friendly interface, offering a comprehensive comparison of flights.

Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷

  • Viator.com – Stands out as a trusted resource for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences across the globe.
  • GetYourGuide.com – Offers an extensive collection of tours, activities, and attractions in France.
  • ParisCityVision.com – This tour company specializes in crafting exceptional experiences across Paris and France.

Communication 📱

  • Orange Sim Card – Discover seamless connectivity on your French travels with an Orange Holiday Europe Sim Card, a top choice for tourists.
  • Airalo.com – The world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIM cards).

Travel Insurance ✈️

  • SafetyWing.com – Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re protected in almost every corner of the world.
  • Travel Insurance Master – Visit their website to discover the ideal insurance plan that aligns with your travel dreams.

These are only a few of my favorites; for more, see my comprehensive guide to the top travel booking websites for France.

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