Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Going from Paris to London via Eurostar: Customs question

Going from Paris to London via Eurostar: Customs question

Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 376
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Going from Paris to London via Eurostar: Customs question

Hi all:

Can anyone give me a rough estimate of how long I can expect to spend in customs after a Paris to London Eurostar trip? We're coming from Paris to meet up with some friends in London and I need to give them a rough estimate of when to expect us.

Thanks,
Jennie
Jennie is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,770
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would say 5-10 minutes, absent problems. If memory serves, you get off the train, walk down to the customs area, get in line, and then it is only a matter of how fast the line moves.
Bitter is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:39 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't remember spending any time -- my passport was barely looked at at some point.
sfowler is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:45 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few minutes (5 maybe) was all it took us, they looked at passports and we were on our way again. There can be lines tho and if someone has a problem it can slow the line up.
Lori is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Could anybody tell me how much is the Paris-London Eurostar fare?
Is the trip by boat cheaper?
Which one is the most exciting?
pveras is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 08:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow. You guys all lucked out. When we did the same trip a few years ago, the line was SO LONG! I'd say it took at least an hour. Hopefully you'll have the experience of all these others, Jennie.
Statia is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:38 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We arrived in london at almost midnight. Took us as quickly as we could walk.
John
John71cove is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 434
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This was so quick for us that I barely even remember it as an event. I think it took a couple of minutes, no more than 5.

In 2000, I recall the fare being fairly expensive. I can't really remember what it was though. I know it was over $100 a person.
daria is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 376
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh dear, I hope we have a "majority" experience and not one similar to Statia's! We will be arriving in London in the afternoon (around 4:30pm) so I'm hoping that's not "rush hour."

pveras: We got the "passholder" rate on the Eurostar because we have a France & Italy Eurail pass. It was $75 each way. Not sure how much full price is. I don't know how much the boat trip costs (although I feel certain it's cheaper, but don't know by how much), but I do know it takes a LOOOONG time compared to the Eurostar. Like several hours versus only 3. In fact, when we started planning this trip, we kind of wanted to go that route, but after looking at the time involved (we'd basically be spending the majority of one day traveling back/forth), we decided to go on the Eurostar. Whatever you decide, though, good luck!

Thanks again everyone. You're great!

Jennie
Jennie is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:28 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've heard the trip is soon going to take only 2 1/2 hours on the Eurostar. We took it last month, arrived mid-day, and customs only took about 10-15 minutes.
KathrynT is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:31 AM
  #11  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi pveras,

Go to www.eurostar.com for fares and schedules.

The ferry, although interesting and less expensive, is an all-day journey.
ira is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:35 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since both countries are in the European there is no customs check, but there is a passport check, and perhaps the differing stories come from people who are Union citizens and glide through at walking pace and unfortunates who are not, and stand in line.

Waiting for friends is dull, and you might like to agree with yours to meet on the main platform and concourse level of the station (one floor up by lift from the international level), with them seated at the nearest coffee bar. I hope later to tell you which coffee bar that is.
Eurostar fares are a mystery, controlled by people whose MBA has displaced their common sense. In London, the best buy is a return ticket at 60 pounds or about 90 euros, bought at a Eurostar sales desk. Then you throw away the return half. I guess much the same is true in Paris: you buy in the Gare du Nord early during your time in Paris. You can easily spend over 100 dollars if you admit you want only a single ticket.

For P Veras. The rail sea rail system costs 50 pounds or about 75 euros single. You find detail low down on the France pages of the valuable site
http://www.seat61.com/. The Gare du Nord staff do not sell this ticket, but know who does. The journey is twice as long as Eurostar, but you certainly know you are travelling, and have the splendid view of the white cliffs of Dover and of the medieval cities of the Old Dover Road. Sundays excepted, for an extra 15 euros you can cut an hour, and use TGV, thus: Paris Gare du Nord 0958, Calais Ville 1140, free bus service, Calais Port 1300, ninety minutes for lunch in Flanagan?s Brasserie, leave coffee to see the cliffs, Dover Eastern Docks 1330, free bus, Dover Priory station 1423, cross the platform at Faversham 1504 to 1508, Victoria 1617. Meet at the coffee shop nearest platform 3 at Victoria. The standard route lies via Ashford to London Charing Cross, but it misses the sights of the Victoria train: 1440 the orchards and hop vines of the garden of England, 1456 distant view of Canterbury Cathedral, 1535 views of Rochester Cathedral and Castle (both medieval) and England?s biggest second hand bookshop, 1540 views of the Victorian Medway Bridge and of the Medway, and so to Victoria. At no time do you stand in slow lines, which are a speciality of Eurostar travel, nor are you chivvied by Eurostar staff.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

[email protected]

ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:37 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jennie,

After reading the responses here, I would tend to think that our experience was just a fluke. We actually arrived late after being held up a couple hours in Lille due to a bomb threat on our train (and this was pre-9/11).

So, when we finally arrived Waterloo, we were shocked that we had that long line to contend with and only had a day in London. It must have been some odd happening that day...I wouldn't worry.
Statia is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:49 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are there other borders within the EU which require that you show your passport? Some that I have crossed, ie Italy- Greece have no such requirement.
DougP is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:06 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Union has two kinds of member. Countries in the Schengen agreement have no frontier control between them. A handful on the fringe of the Union area have frontier control: Britain, and I think Ireland and Denmark. About a decade from now I expect no frontier control from Lisbon to Budapest, nor from Tallinn to Syracuse.

[email protected]
ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:17 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 376
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Again, I just can't thank you all enough for your help. I always get such helpful information here!

Our friends will meet us at our flat in South Kensington. They will have actually arrived in London a couple of days before us. I just wanted to be able to tell them approximately what time (i.e. Will it be between 5 & 6 or more like between 6 & 7?) we expect to be there so that they can fit as much sightseeing in as possible before breaking off to meet us.

Again, thank you all so much!
Jennie
Jennie is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:40 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ben Haines:

Don't mislead our American friends. The new EU states absolutely do NOT join Schengen on accession - and won't till the existing members are happy they will not get an influx of poor Easterners. As long as the UK remains the world's most popular destination for asylum seekers, it will remain politically impossible for the UK to abolish passport controls. And as long as N Ireland remains politically important to the Republic, the Republic will want to avoid a passported border with the North - and so will stay out of Schengen as long as the UK does.

And if any of that changes within the next decade, I'll eat my Euro-shaped pasta. Raw.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 01:56 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do agree that the new member countries to the east will join Schengen when they are allowed to. I expect ten years: what do you expect ? My use of the word expect in my last note showed that this is my own guess, not a stated deadline anywhere. The only Americans I have misled are those who do not understand the word expect: I should think these are few.

I do agree on Britain and Ireland. As you say, as long as the UK remains a very popular destination for asylum seekers, it will remain politically impossible for the UK to abolish passport controls. So the next task is to wonder how long the UK will remain very popular. I expect ten years: again, what do you expect ?

You see that I have by-passed the idea that the UK is the most popular destination: let us return to it. My own impression from the BBC world service and the Independent newspaper over the last ten years is that the answer is yes for those Commonwealth countries and regions that have already sent many people to Britain. Britain is top destination for Punjabis, I think, and many Africans. But you will know from visits to Paris that Francophone Africans much prefer to move to France, and to stay there, though the young people of these groups now have the EU passport that lets them come to Britain unhindered. I gather (and our readers can help us here) that the USA is top choice for very many people, even from the ex-British Caribbean, and certainly from Latin America and China.

I am glad we agree on much.

Ben Haines
ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2003, 08:51 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi all,
thanks a lot for the tips.

I really appreciate your help.
See you
pveras is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Zvi
Europe
17
Apr 24th, 2019 02:05 PM
jackrabbit99
Europe
13
Jun 6th, 2011 05:58 AM
monicainindy
Europe
14
Feb 19th, 2010 02:25 PM
ddena
Europe
5
Oct 17th, 2009 02:26 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -