Travel from London to Paris

Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Travel from London to Paris

What is the most economical and efficient travel mode to go from London to Paris? Train, plane, ferry, ???
MicheleSC is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:32 PM
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If you're going from city center to city center, it's hard to beat taking Eurostar, which will certainly be the quickest (taking into account the required early arrival at an airport plus the transporatation at either end of the journey) if not the most economical at the same time.

There are many past posts here about the best way to get the best prices on Eurostar if you want to do a search on the topic.
Patrick is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 04:00 AM
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A ferry is good if you have a car, for 4 people and a car with P&O it was £60 return. But eurostar is probably best for going straight from london to paris.
a1234 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Cheapest: Coach - about £15 each way at the moment. Long trip though.

Most efficient (and easiest): Train.

Worst of all worlds: Plane, especially the budget airlines out of Luton or Stanstead..
david_west is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 05:47 AM
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Eurostar without a doubt.
Curt is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 07:17 AM
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Cheapest eurostar fares are often thru RailEurope if in US - $90 one way or return (same price) for trains departing Mon-Thu between 11am and 3pm; otherwise price jumps to $120 - any train Mon-Thu or $150 any train any day. check these prices with for prices in pounds - on weekends when RE only offers the $150 option pound prices may be cheaper but the $90 fares i believe are cheaper than any in pounds. Actually there is a 'day return' fare of $94 that is good for any day - there seem to be no controls on whether you actually return or not - this fare would be best on Fri, Sat and Sun travel. Seniors 60 and over can get a $90 on any train any day; youths under 26 as low as $45 up to $75 (Fri, Sat Sun). RailEurope charges a $15 booking fee per order and a mailing fee; i always use BETS (800-441-2387), a RailEurope agent who are Eurostar experts and don't charge some of RE's mailing fees - or less fee. Seats at $90 or day returns at $94 can be hard to book so do it as soon as you know - can be booked up to 9 months in advance - this would lock in these cheap fares which one would think are due to go up to match UK fares at some point. The day return can be especially hard to book on Fri, Sat and Suns.
If you have a railpass there is a passholder fare of $75 each way - this is a great fare because it can be changed once in Europe up until the time of the train - the other fares i mention above are non-refundable, non-changeable - except senior and youth fares which can also be changed one in Europe. Actually on Fri, Sat and Sun when the $150 one way is the lowest thru RE you can get a $170 one way first class ticket - $20 more and lots more seat room and a gratis meal with wine or Champagne. Plane fares could be cheaper but then factor in cost of getting to airport, time needed to check in, retrieve bags after landing then paying more to get into the city - trains take under three hours city center to city center - and it's a nice ride as you glide thru northern France at speeds up to 186 mph - a weird thing in the Chunnel itself - the tracks cross over so that when you get out your train is one the other of the two track route than you were before you went into the tunnel - supposedly because trains in UK travel on the other side of the track than they do in France or Belgium! Anyway a great experience. Eurostar serves Waterloo International station in London - right in the heart of town just steps away from the Thames.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Unless money is the primary issue, take the Eurostar. And, if you think about flying, as mentioned before, be sure to factor in ALL the costs, transportation to and from the airports etc. Personally, after taking the Eurostar a couple of years ago from London to Paris, I would not do it anyother way, but that's just me.
crefloors is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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Posts: 5,641 lists 'from 59 pounds as their cheapest fares for those over 25 years old - or 'from' about $108 so RailEurope's $90 one way or return fare is a bargain!
PalQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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I've used Mele, an agent from Hawaii who's booked my Eurostar tickets twice now. They're $94 if you book EARLY -- up to 180 days in advance now -- we buy the RT ticket and just don't get on the train going back...

Check her website out at, or e-mail her directly at [email protected] She'll be happy to answer any questions and help you buy your tickets.

I researched the ferry idea, and it would take about 9 hours between trains to Dover, the ferry ride, then a train to Paris from Calais...very expensive too comparatively speaking. Flying -- heck, who wants to go through airport security more than you have to? The Eurostar leaves Waterloo station (right in the heart of London, and puts you in Gare du Nord, a trainstation in Paris in 2.8 hours all for less than $100. I say you can't beat that!

Happy travels,

jules4je7 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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I agonized about this very thing last the time, British Airways had a nice cheap fare to/from London & Paris. After I factored in the security timeframe at the airport, it took exactly the same amount of time from point to point using Eurostar as it did for flying. The only thing that made flying slightly cheaper & efficient for me was, I knew how to catch the metro to/from the airport to my hotels. So I think it depends how cheap you can get your plane tix.

But Patrick is right--going from city center to city center, the Eurostar is hard to beat.
MelissaHI is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Eurostar, nice and easy.
enroute is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Thanks to all for your most helpful responses. We will try the Eurostar!
MicheleSC is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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One point though to consider - we were planning on Eurostar then decided to fly.
We are starting in London, rented a car and visiting relatives and ending up in Coventry as we found a flight from there to Paris for 15 pounds (plus taxes) each. This allows us to just drive one way and got a good price for a car for a week and the airport drop off - no one way rental charge.
Many little airports such as Exeter, Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester, Luton, Stanstead etc offer flights to Paris and other locations. Ryan Air is cheap of course
It is one option to consider.
Falltrippers is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 07:00 PM
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I don't care how cheap planes can be - the hassles of checking in and retrieving baggage and then still having to get into the city is a hassle i prefer to avoid - and the actual train trip - traversing rural Kent in the UK and then northern France, not to mention the thrill of going thru the actual Chunnel (UK residents - yes it's a name rarely used locally but it's in travelers' vernacular - referring to a recent anal complaint from UK residents that the word Chunnel was rarely used in the UK and should be eschewed!) and going up to 186 mph on one of the world's fastest trains - all in all an experience that is priceless in my opinion!
PalQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 09:05 PM
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Just took the Eurostar, the day after the July 7 bombings; even then, with much tension, heightened security, and the like, the mid-day travel was efficient and comfortable.
annw is offline  

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