The easiest way to travel between Paris and London is by train. The Eurostar runs from the heart of Paris to the heart of London in 2 hours and 17 minutes. The train runs at speeds of up to 185mi/hr while outside of the tunnel, and 100mi/hr while in the tunnel or underground. Not to mention, when traveling by train between the two cities, you don’t need to hassle with bags being overweight, taking liquids out of your luggage, etc; like you do when you travel by plane.
If you’re traveling between London and Paris, taking the Eurostar is what I would recommend. It runs between the two cities about 13 times/day, so there are plenty of options to choose from. You can purchase train tickets here.
What You Need to Know About Taking the Train Between Paris and London
How Many Bags Can You Take on the Train?
As far as baggage is considered, you can take as many bags as you can carry onto the train. Also, there is no weight limit so you’re freely able to travel between the two cities without worrying about your bags being too heavy, or having to pay extra baggage fees for the number of bags you’re bringing with you.
What Train Station Do You Leave from & Arrive to?
The Eurostar leaves from and arrives to Gare du Nord in Paris. It leaves from and arrives to St. Pancras International in London.
Gare du Nord is located in Western Paris. And St. Pancras International is located in Central London.
Both train stations are quite large and have both domestic and international trains arriving. For that reason, I’d give yourself plenty of time to navigate the station so that you’re not stressed on day of departure. When you depart from Gare du Nord, the Eurostar is located upstairs. In both stations, simply follow signs for international departures.
When Should You Get to the Train Station Before Departure?
When traveling internationally between London and Paris, you’ll need to arrive an hour early before departure. Because you’re traveling between countries, you’re required to show your passport and go through security. This is why it’s important to arrive an hour early.
In my experience, departing from London is much more hectic than departing from Paris. The London terminal is much more congested and the lines tend to be quite a bit longer than they are in Paris. With that being said, an hour should still give you plenty of time.
Do You Need Your Passport?
When traveling between two countries, yes, you need your passport.
What’s Security Like?
There is security when you arrive to the train station, before you get on the train. But it isn’t nearly as intensive as it is were you to travel by plane. You aren’t required to remove your laptop, liquids, etc. But your bag does go through an X-ray machine. You will also be required to go through an X-ray machine similar to the ones at the airport.
Before and after clearing security, you will go through passport control. So you’ll show your passport to the agents at the country where you’re departing from, get it stamped, go through security, show your passport to the agents in which country you’re headed to, and get it stamped. When you arrive to your destination, you don’t need to go through passport control again because you did it before departure.
When Should You Buy Your Train Ticket?
Train tickets are cheapest, the furthest out you buy them. Ticket prices can be exorbitant the longer you wait, so if you know you want to take the train between Paris and London, I suggest purchasing tickets right away. (I always use Omio when booking train travel in Europe).
That being said, it’s also much cheaper to travel during the week versus the weekend. If possible, I encourage you to book train tickets on weekdays.
Can You Take Food & Drink on the Train?
You can take food and drink on the train, however you can’t take drinks through security. In both London and Paris, after you pass security there will be food and drink option in the lounge before boarding the train. You will want to wait until then to buy any drink for your trip.
However, this does not apply to closed water bottles/drinks. I was able to take a full water bottle through security with no issue. However, when I departed from Paris I grabbed a coffee from PAUL (right outside of security) and they wouldn’t let me pass with it. I’m thinking that if I had a closed mug of coffee it would have been fine, but because it was a cup it wasn’t allowed.
Is There WiFi on the Train?
There is WiFi on the train, but it isn’t great. I wouldn’t rely on having service, and instead I’d just make sure to create a plan before leaving.
Are There Assigned Seats on the Train?
There are assigned seats on the train, but you’re unable to choose where you sit (aside from purchasing a first class ticket versus a coach ticket). That’s why, if you’re traveling with someone else, you should purchase your tickets together so you have a better chance of sitting next to each other.
Once you get your ticket, you’ll see that it’s classified by both your compartment and your seat. For instance, if you’re in compartment 11 seat 60, you’ll need to find compartment 11 (shown on the outside of each train and ordered numerically), get in that specific compartment, and then find seat 60.
Traveling between Paris and London is pretty straightforward. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!
If you’re planning on taking the train between cities, don’t miss… From Paris: How to Have the Best Day Trip to London
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