Eurostar Travel

Old Feb 9th, 2011, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 79
Eurostar Travel

Fellow Fodories,

On a sudden fancy, we are thinking of taking a day trip to Paris, cutting our March sojourn in London from six days to five. Think that still leaves us enough time to see London while enjoying some of the highlights of Paris. We are thinking of taking the 5.30 am train from St Pancras. Is arriving 40 minutes before departure OK? Are there customs to clear as we will be traveling between two countries? 3 of us have US passports, one is non-US/EU.

Thanks for the help as always.
reddy2go2 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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30 mins is the "required" time. You will need that, as yes there are customs etc which can take a while. However, I can't imagine - but I could well be wrong that there wouldn't be crowds at 5.30am!! You will be exhausted I think from starting that early - but you will get a full day out for sure!! Give yourself 10 mins extra sleep - mind you the train pulls out at EXACTLY the scheduled time, if it is 11.58, then it goes at 11.58 not at 12.00. From memory Gare du Nord was more congested and you certainly needed the 30 mins. Hope this helps, everyone has to go through passports, Eu and US the same.
schnauzer is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 11:45 PM
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YOu will clear passport control and security in London on teh way to France, and in Paris on the way back. We always get to st pancras an hour before the train. Its much faster than at the airport and not that much different if you have an EU passport. I've never taken a train that earlier so not sure if 40 mins will do - it depends how many people are on the train.

You will need to take a taxi likely (or maybe a night bus) to get to St Pancras at 4:30am because there is no regular public transport at that hour.
jamikins is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 11:47 PM
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Is your accommodation in London near St Pancras - if not you will have a very early morning to get to the station on time. However, that doesn't mean I think you shouldn't go.

You could catch up on some sleep on the train if you like. One day in Paris sounds like a great idea - better than no day in Paris!
cathies is online now  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:47 AM
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"but I could well be wrong that there wouldn't be crowds at 5.30am!!

You would be.

The advance check in time given on a ticket allows enough time for security and French immigration (there's no Customs within the EU: that's the whole point). But you need to have checked in, not just got to the station, by then. Checkin times vary by class of travel.

Note that Eurostar prices go up the closer you get to departure. The best deals for mid-March will have gone already. You need to book NOW
flanneruk is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:32 AM
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And check NOW with your nearest French consulate/representative the position on visas for France, particularly for the non-US/EU person.

A later departure would still give you time to see quite a bit of Paris. A train around 7 gets you into Paris at around 10.45 local time. But at that time of day, you really would be advised to get to St Pancras an hour before departure time, particularly if there's any chance of the French immigration police double-checking your non-US/EU person's status.

Psychologically, check-in always seems to take an age if there's any sort of queue, though in reality it might only take 10 minutes to get through all the stages: I always over-estimate for peace of mind.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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I would urge you to get there at least one hour ahead of your scheduled departure to avoid last minute hiccups.....and yes you will need to breeze through immigration.....
innocentspirit is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 79
Thanks for the feedback. 5.30 am does sound daunting. We may take the 7 am train if getting there at 10.15 still allows us to get a good slice of Paris. It will mean getting to St P by 6 am which is OK. We will return by the 9.15 pm train, making it a long and hopefully memorable day.
reddy2go2 is offline  
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