I’ve taken the Eurostar between Paris and London a few times now and every time I do, I’m reminded how this is truly the easiest way to cross the channel between the two famous cities. The Eurostar train is easy, quick, efficient and a whole lot easier than going to the airports in both Paris and London. In a quick 2.5 hours you’re in a new place, having had a smooth and easy journey in between and if it makes sense for your itinerary in Europe, this really is the way to go! And if you end up on the Eurostar, buzzing under the English channel in a comfortable train environment, here’s some tips for your journey along the way.
Buy your Eurostar tickets in advance.
The Eurostar tickets tend to go up in price the closer you get to your departure date, so be sure to buy them in advance instead of when you arrive at the station like other train systems.
Arrive at least 40 minutes before your departure time.
Because you’re going from the UK to the EU, you have to go through security for the Eurostar journey. On your ticket they’ll tell you to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time but in case it’s crowded or security is taking a while, I’d recommend 40 minutes.
Be prepared to go through security.
You’ll go through security, and while it’s not nearly as stringent as an airport, it still takes a bit of time. So be prepared to go through a metal detector and put your bags through and x-ray machine.
Leave time to shop in the train stations.
Both train stations have good shopping so leave some time to wander and pick up some goodies! Especially in St. Pancras in London, I love to pop into their Fortnum and Mason store there to pick up stuff so make sure you factor in extra time at the station if you want to.
No need to buy a first class ticket.
The Eurostar train is really comfortable and I’ve always found the main cabins to be really spacious and comfortable, leaving no need to buy a first class ticket. So unless you need a lot of space or don’t want to be among the commoners, the main cabin is more than fine for a quick journey.
Have a plan when you arrive in Paris or London.
It’s helpful to have an idea of how you’ll get to where you need to go when you arrive in Paris or London before you get there. Will you connect to the RER/metro systems in Paris? Or the tube in London? Or will you get a cab or walk from the train station? Look into that before you arrive so you know where to head once you arrive at your destination.