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Heavens Jan 15th, 2006 03:56 PM

Do you recommend the Chunnel?
We will be in Dublin for five days. Then will need to get from Dublin to Paris. Is taking the Chunnel a good way to get to Paris? I know it may not be the cheapest or the fastest, but just for the experience would you recommend it or no? Thanks for your time.

GeoffHamer Jan 15th, 2006 04:04 PM

The tunnel goes from England to France, not from Ireland. The "experience" is no different from going through any other railway tunnel: there's nothing to see. If you take the Eurostar train from London to Paris, you will have the excitement of travelling in a train at 186 mph, but you can experience that on a TGV in France or on other high speed European trains.

P_M Jan 15th, 2006 04:15 PM

I assume you are thinking of traveling by ferry from Ireland to the UK, then by train to London, then by Eurostar to Paris. If money is not a concern, what about time? The way I see it, vacation time is precious. This route will take a lot more time than I would care to spend, so I would fly.

Gavin Jan 15th, 2006 06:33 PM

I agree with GeoffHamer. Just fly to Paris and if you want to experience a high speed train do it in France. The tunnel is dark and you don't see anything.

tropo Jan 15th, 2006 06:58 PM

I have been told that the Eurostar is quicker than flying, when comparing the time taken to & from Heathrow Airport and Paris, then transfers into the city. Anyway, we travelled on the Eurostar between Paris & London, and the best part is the fast journey through small tunnels & across the French countryside, as the Chunnel, no its dark, and nothing to see.

P_M Jan 15th, 2006 07:00 PM

tropo, I can believe the Eurostar is quicker than flying from London, but the OP is coming from Dublin.

janisj Jan 15th, 2006 11:23 PM

I suggest you look at a map of Europe - there are two bodies of water and three countries between Dublin and Paris.

Are you confused - Did you mean London instead of Dublin? If you did mean Dublin - then flying is the only practical way to get to Paris..

fishee Jan 15th, 2006 11:34 PM

If you are going to Paris from London (rather than Dublin) then the eurostar train (chunnel) is great. You don't waste time and money travelling to airports since neither LHR or CDG are centrally located in London or Paris. You also only need 30 min check-in time for the eurostar. With an ipod, the countryside scenery is great and you're only in the actual tunnel for around 20 minutes. robespierre and some other Fodors regulars persuaded me not to fly from LHR to Paris and I'm so thankful for the advice. Only potential problem is the cheapest tix are non-refundable and non-exchangeable so make sure your travel plans are firm -- r/t tix are cheaper than one-way so buy r/t and toss the return if necessary.

flanneruk Jan 15th, 2006 11:55 PM

What is it about the London-Paris train that's caught your imagination?

Although many people dismiss the experience as being no different from any other train, that may well be an excitement for people with no experience of fast, regular, intercity trains (though Heavens, if in this category, could experience this a lot more easily by taking a TGV train from Paris to, say, St Pierre des Corps for a a quick trip round Tours, then back to Paris - all in a morning)

If you've spent most of an average lifetime regarding the London-Paris journey as something that needed a plane or boat, there IS a certain excitement about going through French immigration in the middle of London and seeing the Eurostar departure board surrounded by all the mundanities of London's suburban trains. The (30 sec max) view of Westminster from the Eurostar, incidentally (though best seen approaching Waterloo) is one of the most spectacular views on Europe's railway system: the only urban views to compare are the view of Durham from Britain's East Coast line, or the view of the Bosphorus from the train as it comes into Sirkeci from the west.

Whether these excitements are worth it is up to you. With Dublin-Paris flights often going for €1 (in theory), you're certainly going to find the train journey soaks up a huge amount of time and money, relative to simply flying.

Unless the tiny detail of travel fascinates you greatly (and it's nothing to be ashamed of), I'd save the Eurostar till you're actually in London, then take a daytrip over to Paris.

PS. DON'T call it Chunnel. It marks you as the kind of person who uses words found only in bad travel columns.

fishee Jan 16th, 2006 12:09 AM

flanneruk always speaks the truth -- thanks again for your help! Hey, can you check out my ORD-Milan question which I just posted? any ideas?

Heavens Jan 16th, 2006 09:59 AM

Thanks all. Yes, I was thinking about train from Dublin to London, then taking the train to Paris, thinking it was something to see and experience. But wondering whether it was worth the extra time and probably extra money. After reading your many helpful posts, sounds like flying is the best route here. Thanks all. As usual, Fodors expertise saves me much time and money so that we can really enjoy our trip.

oldie Jan 16th, 2006 10:16 AM

You still seem a bit confused.
You can't get a train from Dublin to London.
You would have to take a ferry to somewhere like Hollyhead and then take a train to London.
From there you would travel through the Channel Tunnel to Paris.
I agree that flying is your best bet.

Grandma Jan 16th, 2006 03:06 PM

The best thing about the train from London to Paris is the convenience. Otherwise, not very exciting...unless you're into the history of the tunnel, etc., etc.

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