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Day Trip to London from Paris

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Jul 9th, 2013, 08:51 AM
  #1
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Day Trip to London from Paris

Me and 2 other ladies are traveling to Paris for a week in late September. We are trying to do as much as possible during our stay. Can you tell me if it is feasible to plan the day trip ourselves or have a travel agent make the reservations, etc...? I feel like we should have an agent do it, in case the tour buses are not conveniently situated walking distance from the channel. I'm willing to pay the extra just for the convenience, but may be economical to do it ourselves. Any suggestions on this and a reputable tour company to select if we do it ourselves.... Secondly, while in Paris staying in the Ltn Qtr... can someone give me an outline of what to see arriving on Friday departing on 26th. Since we are unguided on the Paris leg, I would like to see all we can from one area to the next without wasting time looking for things and/or getting lost. Thank you for any input.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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You don't need a travel agent to arrange a day trip from Paris to London. Simply book a train ticket online as soon as possible here www.eurostar.com

<> no idea what you mean by this. It's city centre to city centre on the train - you won't see the Channel, you'll go under it.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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No buses involved, and no Channel involved. As sofarsogood says - you get on a train in the middle of Paris and get off in the middle of London. If you book ahead the round trip Eurostar (the train) fare can be quite reasonable. At the last minute they can be very expensive.

>>Secondly, while in Paris staying in the Ltn Qtr... can someone give me an outline of what to see arriving on Friday departing on 26th. Since we are unguided on the Paris leg, I would like to see all we can from one area to the next without wasting time looking for things and/or getting lost. <<

Start by getting a guide book and read up to see what sorts of things interest you and where they are. No one here can plan your trip - but we definitely can help you arrange the places you want to see so they make sense and you don't waste time.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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Got it... you get on a train in the middle of Paris and get off in the middle of London. Can you suggest a good guide book or any should do?
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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The train through the channel tunnel, the EuroStar, can be hugely expensive, or not so much - look at a brutally early departure and you'll save a ton, then come back on a late train and save again. Usually that's how it works. Besides, you want to have as many hours as possible in London for just that one day.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I like the Michelin Green Guides for Paris.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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eurostar.com is the official site of the Chunnel trains as Yanks are fond of calling the technically named Eurostar trains running thru the Channel Tunnel Rail Link - and there is a special day return fare - and yes it is mainly available on the earliest trains that day trippers would take. Tickets are non-refundable and non-changebale I believe. For more on Eurostar Chunnel trains and bookings check out these superb IMO sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (if you think you need an agent's help booking try Byron there whom I have bought passes from for years --- but it is easy to book your own Chunnel tickets at www.eurostar.com too; and www.ricksteves.com.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 05:11 AM
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If you're staying on the left bank in the Latin Quarter, you'll probably take the RER B to Gare du Nord to get the Eurostar -- as many of us Yanks call it . You get off at the St Pancras station in London from which a half-dozen of tube lines can take you to wherever you want to go in the city in minutes. (...and the British Library is nearly right next door to the station.)

I agree that, with one day in London, you should catch the earliest train you can get up for and take the latest train back to maximize your visit.

London is in a different time zone than Paris (1 hr earlier), so you can easily arrive in time for the opening times of the main sights. The ~2:17 trip takes only ~1:17 off the clock, so, for example, the 7:43 train arrives in London at 9:00.

Disclaimer -- I've never done the London day trip from Paris, but I have done the Paris day-trip from London. Lots of fun, and not too expensive if you book early and take early/late trains -- as mentioned before.

SS
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Jul 10th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Thank you SS; didn't consider the different time zone!

How much in advance should I purchase the Eurostar tickets? I'm not leaving until September, do you suggest now, or a few weeks prior to arrival? Thank you all so much.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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As soon as possible - the cheap seats sell out first. The longer you leave it, the more you will pay.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 07:42 AM
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I would also recommend Rick Steves' guide books to help you decide what to do in Paris and London.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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In Eurostar terms, "a few weeks prior to arrival" in late September IS NOW. Tell the Eurostar website you live in France to get the best rates for a Paris to London return.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Ditto -- buy your tickets immediately for the best prices.

A single day in London can be many things -- it is very hard to make suggestions, depending on your interests. I'm a history lover, so my single day would be:

7:43 Eurostar arrives St Pancras 9:00 am
British Library - opens at 9:30 I believe
Tube to Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross station)
Bus (or fast walk) down Whitehall to Parliament Square - you'll see the horse guards and a lot of interesting buildings and statues.
Westminster Abbey
Thames cruise from Westminster Pier to the Tower
Afternoon in the Tower
Tube back to Trafalgar (Ch. Cross or walk from Embankment)
Quick pop-in to Nat. Gallery or Portrait Gallery (free admission so if you miss a lot of it, it's no loss) -- assuming you go on a day when they are open past 6 pm.
Tube back to your train...last one leaves for Paris ~8:30 pm

This is very ambitious...maybe too ambitious...but it MAY be doable if you hurry your food and don't get on the wrong tube train too often ...and I did NOT take into account waiting in any lines...things MAY not be so bad in late September.

Also, you only have one day, so, naturally my list misses a lot of things other Fodorites would rather see. Listen to us all, do a little research, and make the hard choices.

SS
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Jul 10th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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PalenQ-

You are the only one I have seen here using "Chunnel". Have taken it myself several times - as have friends and colleagues and just called it Eurostar - or "train".

Note that buying 90 days out gets you the best prices - with a continual rise the closer you get to departure date.

As to what to see/do - unless you tell us your interests (museums, architecture, fine dining, clog dancing, ballooning???) how can we possibly make recos?
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Jul 10th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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nytraveler - I'll wager that more folks - Yanks that is call those trains Chunnel trains and as evidence at least that it is a common name both in the UK and US check out the list below of folks selling 'Chunnel Tickets', including one UK outfit.

Chunnel Tickets - London to Paris by Train from $63‎
www.raileurope.com/Chunnel-Tickets


Chunnel Tickets - channel tunnel train tickets
chunnel.org.uk/chunneltickets.htm‎


Chunnel tickets. Where to find Chunnel Tickets: Chunnel trains for cars runs from Folkestone in Kent to Calais in northern France, in about 35 minutes. There are ...


Should I buy a Chunnel ticket before going to London (for travel to ...

So you may not have known anyone but there are many that do and that is why RailEurope highlights their advertising post Chunnel Tickets I would think.

Americans are likely to call it Chunnel and many many have here on Fodor's so I like to use both to clarify.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 02:23 PM
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Virtually no in the UK calls it the chunnel. In fact no-one even says channel tunnel. It's always Eurostar.

This is supposed to be a board that gives helpful advice to fellow travellers. You are advising people to call the link something that will make them look stupid and/or ignorant. I don't rate that as very helpful.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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Is it really such a crime against humanity to use a nickname ? ?
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Jul 10th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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Palenque constantly uses that nickname to be pedantic. He has been told many times by Fodorites from many countries that that term is not commonly used and often considered a bit cringeworthy. It may not be a crime to use a nickname, but you have to be a bit of a twat to encourage people to make themselves look foolish when they are trying to get help and advice about a transport option they are not terribly familiar with.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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Rich: You sort of need the history. PQ posts that over and over and over and (well you get the idea) because he is on the paint and forgets that he's done it before. He's always shot down and always comes back --- claiming that Americans call it that . . . even after MANY Americans post that he's wrong (but that is what paint will do to one - memory is the first thing to go )
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Jul 10th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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I lived in London when the tunnel was under construction and every day we had an update on progress of the Chunnel . . And they were not yank telecasters
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