Eurostar London to Paris?

Old Jul 16th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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Eurostar London to Paris?

Anyone made this trip? We were thinking of taking the earliest train over to Paris and just staying the day and returning on the last train. Yes, it would be quick and grueling but we're planning on going in "leisure class" on the train and aren't trying to do too much. This will be at Christmastime, so it might be either very deserted or packed depending on the shoppers I guess. I was wanting to see how Paris looks during the holidays. I KNOW London will be just beautiful!

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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 04:29 AM
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I would encourage you to do this. I only wish the airlines were as comfortable and convenient as the Eurostar. And Paris at Christmastime is spectacular, as always.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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It's perfectly doable; if you know exactly what you are doing, you can see a lot. If you don't know Paris well, take a tour to make the best of the few hours you have available.

One weirdness that I consistently notice among visitors to Europe from the U.S. is that they often spend a great deal of time in London and only a day or two in Paris, even though it's actually easier to objectively justify doing it the other way around (Paris has more famous things to see than London). I suppose people are put off by a perceived language barrier, or by the baseless rumor that holds that French people are hostile to Americans (I don't know where that got started, but it's completely untrue).
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Paris is fantastic of course -- but to say "Paris has more famous things to see than London" is plain silly. Paris is very compact and one can get a good feel for Paris and visit maybe 50% of the major sites in a week to 10 days. Can't do that in London.

Now back to betsy's question. Yes you can do a day trip. Hundreds do it every day. But a few things to consider. You need to book well in advance to get reasonable airfares - and you can't know the weather in advance. It will be cold - but whether it is stormy or not makes a difference. Both cities are fine in bad weather - but if I was doing a lightening fast day trip I'd hate for it to be on a really nasty day.

(BTW "leisure class" doesn't have anything to do w/ "leisure" - it is just a fare category so it won't be slower, faster, more comfortable or anything - simply cheaper)

It will be dark very early - not really a problem since Paris is lovely w/ all the bldgs illuminated. But just so know you won't have hours and hours of daylight to view sites in Paris.

The Eurostar fare isn't horrible (especially w/ purchase far enough in advance) but it is fairly expensive for just one day.

I am not trying to talk you out of going - Paris is wonderful - but you need to balance the pros/cons.

How long are you in London? Have you been before? Can you spare two days/one night in Paris? If you are in London a week or less and have not been there before you will not even scratch the surface in that length of time. It might be better to save Paris for another trip.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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You will have a very hectic day but if you can spare a day from London and have never been to Paris then go for it. If you are going to be in London for a week or less I'd say no. There is so much to see in London that taking time out to go to Paris will be rough.

The Eurostar is a nice train, 2nd Class is fine (I think that is what you refer to). Seats are nice, there are restrooms, a separate car that sells food (you just walk down to it) and an attendant that comes along with a food trolly selling snacks/drinks/etc.

Paris is a beautiful city, more so then London (visually appealing is what I mean) but I adore London as there is so much to do.

I agree with Janis, it will be dark by 4-4:30 so you need to plan your day accordingly if you go to Paris. It also will be dark in the a.m. till after 7:30.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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I posted a thread in this
Europe area in April on the perception of French rudeness and recieved an almost unanimous response that the myth of French rudeness is overstated, if not completely false. I apologize I do not know how to cut and paste links to threads, but mine was hardly the only thread on that topic. Taking a day trip to/from London/Paris saves you the bag-drag of needing to/from Lodging sites and seems perfectly reasonable to me. If the weather is not completely horrid, a visit to the Musee Rodin was one of many highlights of my trip there. But what made it special was seeing his sculptures outdoors - may not be a nice option in Dec. but there again, why not?
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Betsy, from your other post, you said you've already been to London about a dozen times. So a day trip to Paris is definitely in order, although I think you would be happier staying overnight.
I've done many, many day trips to Paris from London and Brussels and while they are fun, around 4 pm, my energy really flags and I gaze longingly at all those hotels. Maybe you are one of those people who can go go go all day; I can't. If you do feel the need for a mid-afternoon break, one of my favorite "pit stops" is the L'Esplanade restaurant/cafe

It's my default place to recharge because the chairs are cushy and upholstered (not spindly wood and rattan) and they serve a good selection of reviving Mariage Freres tea (as well as plenty of other drinks). Relaxing there for about 45 minutes with a pot of tea gives me the energy to keep moving.

I think you should go for it, but stay overnight if you can.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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Going to Paris for just one day is like taking just one bite of your favorite dish. It's too fabulous!

Why go for just a day? Why subject yourselves to a "quick and grueling" (and not inexpensive) trip?

You can't possibly run out of things to do in London.

I agree that you should save Paris for another trip, and really see it properly.

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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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As BTilke says in your other post you mention visiting London many times. There can never be TOO many, but if you don't already have a full plate of things you want to do in London, I'd recommend staying a couple of days in Paris instead of a hectic day trip.

Also - this trip is at Christmas - is it actually over the holiday - or just near Christmas? London does shut down tight on Christmas day.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Personally, if I had already been to London a dozen times and wanted to see Paris, then I would flip the trip around and make Paris my base and see London on a day trip instead. Which has nothing to do with my liking Paris a lot more than London, I swear! ;-)
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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As others have said, many people make a day trip of it. You can't beat city center to city center in less than three hours. On a weekday you can leave London as early as 05:34 and arrive in Paris at 09:23. You can leave Paris as late as 21:13 and arrive in London at 22:57. However, I certainly add my vote to those who recommend staying at least one night so you have most of two days in Paris.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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i go on day trips to paris somewhat often..for work.

i would never do this for fun.

too much travelling in one day...not enjoyable for me. remember, the travel times quoted don't include time taken getting to the train station or time spent waiting around. when you add this and multiply by both directions, you end up spending far too much of the day in transit.
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