Day Trip From Paris to London: Eurostar Train vs Flying
Are you thinking about making a day trip from Paris to London or vice versa?
Awesome! We did it on our last trip and it was totally worth it! Exploring Europe by train is the way to go!
Let’s explore some of the options for transportation to and from Paris and London.
I wanted to be able to give you great options for transportation. I decided to both fly and take a Eurostar train from Paris to London one way. I tested both of these options out so I could let you know what I thought about each option.
In making this decision I looked at times of departure and duration to make the best choice for our schedule. Let’s explore all of our options for a day trip from Paris to London.
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Booking a Flight from London to Paris
We made an Air France reservation from London to Paris. It was very inexpensive. I have found that airline tickets are typically a little less money than train tickets.
A couple of things to consider when flying
- Finding transportation to the airport
- Being at the airport early
- Checking bags
- Security check
- Customs as you exit the destination airport
We took these things into consideration when planning our day trip from London to Paris. Catching an Uber from our hotel, was not a problem. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The London Airport was very particular with security, so it did take us a longer time as they searched our entire bag.
This was our first time flying Air France. We really liked it. The seats were comfortable and the flight attendants were very nice. We loved that they gave out croissants. It made us even more excited to go to France.
Exiting the airport was an unexpected hold-up for us. I did not think it would take very long but I was wrong. We had to wait in a long line through customs.
Once we made it out it was fine. We were headed to Disneyland Paris which is a short train or bus ride from the airport. If you are headed to downtown Paris your commute time and transportation will take you a little longer.
Does Flying Save Time?
I don’t think it saves that much time when you consider you have to be early and wait in line. The reason we choose to fly from London to Paris was the direct Eurostar train from London to Disneyland Paris did not arrive until 11:00 am.
If we took an early flight we were able to get in by 8:00 am. We wanted to get to the park as soon as possible! Even with having to wait in line and take the bus to Disneyland we were able to get in the park by 10:00 am.
Is it Cheaper to Fly to Paris or Take the Paris-London Chunnel?
It is cheaper to fly. There are great prices from London to Paris. The Eurostar does cost more money but let’s see if it is worth it.
Fly or Eurostar
You will have to decide if it makes sense for you to fly or take Eurostar on your day trip from Paris to London!
Let’s talk about Eurostar (Paris London Chunnel) and what it is exactly!
What is the Eurostar Train or Paris-London Chunnel?
The channel tunnel mostly known as the “Chunnel” is a 31-mile underwater tunnel that connects England to France. The Eurostar Train is the only way to access the Paris- London Chunnel.
Cars are not allowed to drive in the tunnel but a special Eurotunnel Le shuttle train will allow you to bring your car across the English Channel.
What is a Eurostar Train (Paris-London Chunnel)
Eurostar is a high-speed railway services connecting major European cities. In this post, we will talk about the service from Paris to London. This will be extremely helpful as you plan your day trip from Paris to London.
Eurostar Train Tickets For Your Day Trip From Paris to London
Eurotunnel tickets or Eurostar tickets are the same things. It is really easy to book your Eurotunnel tickets.
- Go to the Eurostar Website
- Enter in destination Paris to London
- Enter travel dates
- Number of travelers
- Click search
Once you have completed those steps you will be shown all the different routes available for the day you entered. Please, take note that the schedule has direct trains as well as trains that make a stop.
It is best to look at the prices and time of day you would like to travel. Once you have made your choice click “continue” to pay for your ticket. Super simple! If you have children under 4 they do not need a ticket.
Train Ticket Classes
You might be wondering why some ticket prices are more expensive than others. Travel classes are available on Eurostar.
Business Premier is the most expensive ticket. It has a lot of extra perks such as:
- Access to exclusive lounges with free Wi-Fi, drinks, and snacks
- Free cancellations and unlimited exchanges
- Access to a special gate where you can arrive as late as 10 minutes to departure time
- A three-course, onboard meal
- Taxi ready and waiting for you
- Arrive 45 minutes from departure
- Spacious coaches and comfortable seats
- A light meal and drinks served
- Magazines to look at
- Arrive 45-60 minutes before departure
- Purchase food onboard
- 2 for 1 admission to top museums in the area
Eurostar Train Booking Hot Tip
The earlier you purchase your Eurostar from Paris to London tickets the cheaper it is! I learned this the hard way. I still booked a month ahead of time but the prices had gone up!
As you plan your day trip from Paris to London think about what class you would prefer. If you won’t have time to eat then maybe upgrading wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Download the Eurostar App
The app has your tickets and train times available which is very convenient. One awesome feature of the app is that it has entertainment options you can enjoy as you ride the Eurostar train from Paris to London. There are both films and games on the app to keep you occupied.
Downloading the app is a fun option for your day trip from Paris to London!
Eurostar Train Connection in Paris
If you are traveling by train on your day trip from Paris to London, you will go to Gare De Nord Station to board your Eurostar train to London.
The area is gross, dirty, and questionable all around. I wouldn’t suggest hanging out in this area. I was feeling very uncomfortable with my 12-year-old and I am grateful it was not nighttime.
But don’t worry; it gets better. When you are boarding an international train, you actually go to a separate area that is much nicer.
What to Expect When Boarding the Eurostar Train from Paris to London
You will head up the escalators with your tickets in hand (paper or on your phone) They will be scanned immediately. You will proceed to customs. One very interesting thing about this process is that you go through the exit process with France and immediately go through the entrance process for the United Kingdom. It is kind of cool.
Once, you get through customs, there is a security checkpoint just like at the airport.
The upstairs of this building is very nice. It was clean and had nice snack shops and gift shops. I felt so much better as we waited in this area.
Boarding the Eurostar Train
When you look at your ticket you are assigned a gate number. You will wait at a specific area until it is time to board the train. Once, the time comes you will be escorted down by an employee to the train. Your seat is pre-assigned so it is very easy to find your train car.
Baggage Space on Eurostar
The baggage space is very similar to an airplane. You can put your carry-on size luggage above you. Bigger suitcases can be left in the luggage area as you board the train.
Eurostar Train – Day Trip From Paris to London
I wanted to give you an honest opinion of our experience.
Our Experience on Eurostar from Paris to London
The Eurostar from Paris to London is a really nice train. I had read reviews that would suggest otherwise but my experience was very pleasant. Everything was clean and comfortable. I like that there are entertainment options through the app.
We had standard tickets. I imagine business premier and standard premier would be an even better experience.
One thing that really surprised me about our day trip from Paris to London was that I thought we would be in the Chunnel the entire time. I thought it would be a dark train ride but that was not the case.
How Long Does Eurostar Take From Paris to London?
The total time for the Paris to London Eurostar is around 2.5 hours. Surprisingly, the Paris-London Chunnel only takes about 20-30 minutes to cross. The entire duration of the ride is about 2 and half hours so the majority of the time you can look out the window and see the countryside.
One thing I learned after our trip you can combine the Eurostar Ticket with tours. You will have to look at this and see if it is something that you would be interested in.
Enjoy Your Day Trip From Paris to London
Arriving in London
Once you arrive in London you will be at the St Pancras International Station. This is right next to the King Cross Station! If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it is time to start reading some Harry Potter books!
It was pretty exciting for us since we had already planned a Harry Potter London Vacation! We visited the Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 store. It was an unexpected surprise!
More to Do In London
If you are looking for more ideas about what you can do in London jump on a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour.
Also, check out this 2 day London itinerary, or if you have a little more time this 4 day London Itinerary for even more ideas!
Is a Day Trip From Paris to London Worth it?
Absolutely, a day trip from Paris to London is worth it! You are going to have so much fun.
I hope this post helps you prepare for your day trip from Paris to London in regards to transportation. Riding the Eurostar from Paris to London is awesome! I highly recommend it.
I am excited to hear about your experience on the Chunnel from Paris to London. Comment below and let us know how it went.
If you have any questions, join my Travel Community on Facebook! This is a great group of experienced travelers or those who just love to travel!
Have fun on your day trip from Paris to London!
I will be sure to save this! What a great source of information, thanks!
I’ve never taken the Eurostar before – very interesting to learn more about it!
I have always wanted to fly everywhere but we did this and it was great!
I think both options have their merits. The train is so relaxing I find, bit sometimes to possible!
That is what scares me the most, that I won’t be able to find it but this international experience was different almost like an airport.
What a great thing to do! I’ll keep it in mind when I get out that way
They are really pretty close to each other!
The train sounds like fun. I would definitely go for that option!
It is a cool experience!
I’d prefer to do the train myself. I bet the view is amazing!
It was pretty country side views
I took the eurostar train years ago and I loved it.
That is cool was it to London and Paris?
It’s been a number of years since I’ve taken the Eurostar. I found it to be just as you did. I did sleep during the trip so it was all fine for me. You can do that when you travel by yourself.
We just read books and enjoyed the time!
Thanks for all the details. I will definitely save this for future reference. Eurostar train sounds convenient.
It is a little nicer than your average train!
Excellent comparison train versus flying. I’m planning a Eurotrip via train and you gave some great tips. I’m downloading Eurostar now!
Oh good! I’m glad it helps!
Very helpful tips! I love that you did both so that you could compare the two.
I tend to think that like that know because I want to give a good comparison
Good to know & great tips to consider. I always look for the quickest & most comfortable option for transportation.
I know me too!
When we go to London, we will be taking the Eurostar train to Paris for sure. This was very informational. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad it is useful and will help you one day!
Such a wonderful experience. I have not been on the train. I would like to go.
It is so fun to see more than one country when you go to Europe!
Great post full of excellent information! You would be a great person to travel with! 🙂
Thanks! I really like this crazy plannning part of travel!
That was some fascinating information about the Eurostar!! I just never did the research for it, but you did quite a bit. It’s a fascinating mode of transportation, but I don’t know that I would ever do it. The whole underwater thing. LOL. Sounds like you had an amazing trip!
I like that there is an option to fly and get there fast!
What a great post! I don’t know anything about traveling overseas, so your whole site is an awesome resource.
Oh good! I mostly just go to Europe maybe someday I will go farther!
This is so detailed! Thank you.
I love detail!
Sounds fun! I would give the train a try. Thanks for sharing your experience and helping us to understand what to expect!
I wasn’t sure what to expect and thought I need to write about this!
Great information. I often wondered what the differences would be between the two.
Awesome comparison…I think the train is a great way to see the countryside..but it does take longer! Thank you for sharing your input!
Nice compare and contrast. These type of articles are very useful for making decisions.
I love comparing things so I can make a good choice!
Very interesting! Sounds very fun. I’ve never been to Europe, but this is a great resource for when I do. I love that you got croissants on the Air France flight! Yum!
I know right!
Great tips! Hopefully one day we will be able to do this.
Thanks! I hope you get to too!
What great information on the Eurostar! I will be trying this soon!
Oh good! It is a neat way to travel.
I love trains! I’d always choose that over flight, assuming it fit into the itinerary.
Trains are very relaxing once you are on.
Would love to try the train one day – the whole “under the water part” is what gets to me!
It is so weird sounding but it wasn’t really that bad!
Thank you for this post! We are going to Paris at the end of the year and trying to decide if we are going to London or Italy while we are there. I am definitely saving this post for later! Thank you!
Oh awesome! Both Italy and London are amazing!
We plan to do this so you saved me a lot of research. I bookmarked your post
Oh good! I’m glad it will help you when you go!
Thank you for all of the information! It’s interesting to me that the airline tickets were cheaper than the Eurostar. I haven’t been to Europe yet, but it’s on my bucket list. After doing 23 and me, I learned that I am actually quite a bit English, so I really need to travel there someday.
Yes, the airline ticket are pretty cheap once you are over in Europe.
This is such a cool way to travel! I am glad I know that this option is available.
I never knew until this last trip!
Lisa, you rock! We are going to be in England this Summer and then head over to Paris for my younger brother’s wedding. I’ve been weighing the options of flying vs train and this was SO HELPFUL! Thank you so much!!!!!
I’m so glad it helped! Have fun this summer!
One of these days, I will get to Europe! 🙂
Once you go you will want to go back!
Wow, this looks like a great trip!!
It really was!
Once you go once you will want to go back!
This is awesome information! We were planning to do Europe this past spring and had considered the Eurorail. I am pinning this information for when we do make it! Thanks!
A train ride does sound like so more fun than a plane. Thanks for sharing your experience!
It was a new experience for sure! I’m glad I did it!
How fun! I’ve been in London but not Paris. I’d definitely do the train for a day trip!
It was pretty easy to get back and forth!
Great info! I didn’t even think to see if Eurostar had an app.
If you want entertainment it comes in handy.
I wish I was making that decision right now! Great info for when the time comes 🙂
I know, luckily my next big trip to Europe is not scheduled till 2023
I loved the Eurostar when I went. No question that it’s a prestige project, and they’ve lavished money and comfort on it. When I boarded in economy class, I actually double-checked that I hadn’t accidentally entered first class!
Expensive, certainly, but a terrific train!
I thought it was really nice as well!
The train ride sounds interesting with the countryside views! How was the train station security process compared to the airport?
It was very similar. You had to run your luggage through a scanner and check passports.
What a great comparison – I’d fly Air France just for the on-board croissants! I’ve heard a lot about the Eurostar though, and it seems like a much more enjoyable ride than the plane.
That Croissant was good!
I didn’t know much about Eurostar so this is great to know! How was Disney Land in Paris? Do you recommend to go just for adults?
I went with my 12 year old. We had a lot of fun, we are big Disney fans. We went two days and it wasn’t crowded so we were able to do everything we wanted. I would go 1 day as an adult if you are a big Disney fan. Disneyland Paris is not the same standards as Disneyland in America….it is dirty and paint chipped on the railings…that would never happen at Disney World. With that said we rode every ride like 4 times and the rides are the same pretty much. Eurostar was cool!
I just have a quick question, will the hop on bus be near the train station?
The hop on bus is probably not exactly near the train station. I felt like the train station was far away from everything. The hop on hop off buses are near most of the tourist sites.