From London to Paris by Eurostar Train - An American Tourist in Paris
Eurostar High Speed Train
Travel From London to Paris in One Day
It may seem inconceivable or just plain crazy, but I did travel from London to Paris one day in early August, and I had a wonderful and memorable time.
Train Travel - European Style
I took the Eurostar high speed train from London’s St. Pancreas International Station to Paris Nord Train Station (Gare du Nord).
The Eurostar offers three options for seating: Standard, Standard Premier, and Business Premier.
I chose Standard Premier as there was a special discounted price for the return trip and I decided to upgrade for the London-Paris trip ($16 extra).
Eurostar Coach #11
When you finally decide on the type of seating, you must also decide on the price.
The choices are: non-flexible (non-refundable, non-exchangeable), semi-flexible (refundable and exchangeable with payment of fee), and fully flexible (fully refundable and fully exchangeable).
I chose non-flexible as it was the most reasonably priced in its category and I knew I would be taking this trip; nothing short of a world war would stop me.
I was quite pleased as I had a single, comfortable seat (coach 11, seat 41) with a light breakfast included. On the return trip I had a lovely vegetarian dinner.
Newspapers and a variety of European magazines were available (free of charge).
A Seat With a View
Traveling Through The French Countryside
The ride through the Chunnel (English Channel Tunnel) lasted only twenty minutes, with speeds at 100 miles per hour. Unless you see the lights flash by, you wouldn’t even know you were in the tunnel under water.
The French countryside came into view shortly thereafter. I must admit the cypress trees reminded me of the artist Vincent Van Gogh and the rolled hay was reminiscent of a Millet painting. I was truly in France!
Paris' Metropolitain (Subway)
Traveling in Paris
After much research and reading internet blogs on Paris, I discovered that Paris Nord Station was in central Paris. There isn’t a ‘downtown Paris.’
I decided to take a cab to the Louvre (only 15 minutes away). My main concern was taking the Metropolitain (Metro) and being amongst those who might pickpocket.
Yes folks, it is prevalent throughout Europe, and should be taken seriously.
Helpful Travel Tips
Conceal your money and credit/debit cards. Thieves work in pairs with one person distracting you while his/her partner snatches your wallet.
The UK uses Pounds as currency, France uses Euros (cash machines are available at train stations).
Paris is in another time zone, one hour later than London, but the good news is you’ll be back to London one hour earlier (just in time for dinner).
Europe is on what we Americans call "military time": 18:00 is 6 PM.
So, the next time you visit London, take a day trip to Paris. You'll love it!
All photos in this article are by the author, Camille Gizzarelli.
One Traveler's Advice
The same camera I took to Europe is the Canon below.
No goods or services were accepted in the preparation or writing of this article.
I have since recommended the Eurostar train and I have had friends take my advice and take the trip from London to Paris or vice versa. They have thanked me as they enjoyed the trip.
You may want to opt for Eurostar e-mails as they sometimes offer discount fares or packages and keep you posted as to the latest travel information by rail.
Maybe you should plan a trip sometime soon!