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How To Plan A Day Trip from London to Paris By Train Or Tour Bus!

PLAN AN EPIC DAY TRIP FROM LONDON TO PARIS

Embarking on a spontaneous day trip from London to Paris might sound like something out of a dream. But guess what? It’s totally doable!

In this blog, we’re diving into the exhilarating world of planning a day trip from London to Paris, whether you’re up for a high-speed train adventure on the Eurostar or a laid-back journey via a guided tour.

I have tackled a day in Paris so you most certainly can too! But a word of warning, prepare for a jam-packed day ticking off the major sights!  From the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe to indulging in Paris’s finest pastries. 

A day trip to Paris is one of my fondest memories. So, if you’re on the fence, I highly recommend you make the most of how truly easy it is to hop on a train and in just 2 hours you’ve arrived in a totally different country.

Get ready to unlock the secrets to making the most of those precious hours in the City of Light with these top tips for taking a day trip to Paris from London! 

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✔️ Flights: Book your flights on Skyscanner 

➡️ Car rental: Rent your car on Discovercars

✔️ Travel insurance: I recommend World Nomads

➡️ Accommodations: Book your stay at booking.com

✔️ Activities: Arrange your adventure trips and tours

How to Plan a Day Trip from London to Paris

Let’s dive into how you are going to plan your day trip from London to Paris, starting off with transport.

There are 2 main options I recommend, the first being catching the train to and from Paris and the second being taking an organized tour.

Below is a detailed breakdown to help you plan your ultimate trip from London to Paris.

day trip from london to paris

Day Trip From London To Paris By Train

Embarking on a day trip from London to Paris by train is by far one of the most convenient and affordable options.

Begin your trip by booking your Eurostar train tickets ahead of time, ideally, several weeks in advance, to secure the best prices and availability. No seriously, prices jump significantly the later you book!

➡️ Book your Eurostar Train Tickets Here

Prices for Eurostar tickets 

Tickets from London to Paris start at around 65 euros and can go up to 270+ euros for one-way tickets. Return tickets can cost anywhere from 129 euros to 431+ euros. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!

Prices significantly increase the closer the departure date. So it’s essential to book tickets in advance to secure the cheapest tickets.

The Eurostar offers a range of seats, including Standard, Standard Premier, and Business Premier. Choose a class that suits your preferences and budget. Seats are comfortable, with ample legroom and space to store your belongings if you aren’t heading back to London. 

Ultimate guide to taking a day trip from london to paris by train

Catching the Eurostar from London to Paris

Your journey will start at St Pancras International Station in London. Arrive at the station at least 45 -60 minutes before your departure time to allow for check-in and security procedures.

Check-in for the Eurostar is similar to flying. Have your passport and ticket ready for verification. Yes, you need your passport, don’t forget it!

After check-in, you’ll pass through security, including baggage screening and passport control.

Once through security, follow the signs to your designated departure area. The Eurostar terminals are well-signposted, making it easy to find your way. Listen for announcements about boarding, and have your ticket and passport readily available.

If you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask for help! 

You will be taking the Channel Tunnel train to Paris – yup, the one that dives underwater through the English Channel! It’s a pretty cool experience! 

The train from London to Paris takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic ride as you pass through the picturesque countryside and the Channel Tunnel. 

Eurostar trains provide Wi-Fi, power outlets, and an onboard cafe bar for refreshments. You can stay connected, catch up on work, or simply unwind during the journey.

When you arrive at Paris Gare du Nord Station, follow the signs to the exit. You’ll pass through French immigration and customs before officially entering Paris.

Gare du Nord is well-connected to the Paris Metro, which is an efficient way to navigate the city. Purchase single-use tickets or a day pass to access the metro lines and reach your desired starting spot in Paris.

When it’s time to head back to London, ensure you arrive at Gare du Nord 45 – 60 minutes in advance of your return train. Then follow the same procedures in reverse, including check-in, security, and passport control.

Click here to book your return train tickets from London to Paris

Considering alternatives?

Catching a bus– it’s a bit of a marathon, taking more than seven hours. Not the best deal, right? If you’re driving, you’ll clock in just under six hours, unless you hit traffic. 

What time should you catch the train to Paris?

I suggest you kick start your day trip from London to Paris nice and early to make the most of your day. The first trains from London depart at 5:40 am/6 am and the last trains back to London are around 8 pm. Note that train times differ on weekends and weekdays. 

➡️ Check the Eurostar Times Here

Taking a guided tour is a great way to embark on a  day trip from London to Paris

Day Trip To Paris From London By Guided Tour

Another excellent way to conquer a day trip from London to Paris is by booking an organized tour.

Organized tours often include Eurostar Train Tickets but will go above and beyond by offering a bus tour once you arrive in Paris, meals, and a knowledgeable tour guide.

If you want to completely relax and leave the itinerary planning to the experts, taking a guided tour could be for you.

Guided Luxury Paris Day Trip with Optional Lunch at the Eiffel Tower

Summary

⭐ 4.5/5 1169 reviews
✔️15 hours
✔️Return Eurostar tickets
✔️Panoramic sightseeing tour of Paris
✔️3-course Lunch including wine at the Eiffel Tower restaurant (if upgrade option selected)
✔️ 1-hour Seine River cruise
✔️ From EUR 354.42
❌Louvre Museum entry
❌Hotel pickup and drop-off

Experience the ultimate Parisian day excursion on this private Eurostar journey from London. This tour is the next step further from just hopping on the train and exploring Paris on foot, offering guided commentary and an airconditioned bus that makes getting around a breeze.

Start your tour off on a high-speed Eurostar train (tickets are included in the tour price) from St. Pancras International and on arrival, you’ll kick off with a panoramic coach tour.

Spot iconic landmarks like the Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe, with glimpses of the Louvre Museum along the way.

You will also hop on a 1-hour Seine River Cruise to see more Paris attractions, including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower from a unique angle. 

Feeling like spoiling yourself? Opt for a lavish upgrade and indulge in a delectable 3-course lunch at a stylish Eiffel Tower restaurant. Revel in the magnificence of top Paris sights, including the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. 

➡️ Book your Guided Luxury Paris Day Trip from London 

The Eiffel Tower is a must see on every day trip to Paris

Eiffel Tower Champagne Lunch and Paris Day Tour from London

Summary

⭐ 4.5/7 5 reviews
✔️16 hours
✔️Return Eurostar tickets
✔️Fully escorted tour
✔️3-course Champagne lunch at the Eiffel Tower
✔️ 1-hour Seine River cruise
✔️Skip the line ticket to the First Level of the Eiffel Tower
✔️ From EUR 436.78
❌Hotel pickup and drop-off

Hop on the Eurostar at St. Pancras Station for a jam-packed 16-hour adventure to Paris and back from London on this next fantastic tour option. As you arrive at Paris Gare du Nord, your guide will be by your side as you hop onto your swanky private coach, ready to kick off your Parisian escapade. 

Brace yourself for iconic spots like the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, and Place de la Concorde.

When you reach the Eiffel Tower, hold onto your hat – the view is jaw-dropping. Plus, you’re in for a treat at Madame Brasserie with a 3-course Champagne lunch. This is a bucket list experience!

Lunch done, it’s time for a different angle of Paris. Get ready to cruise down the romantic River Seine for an hour. The boat’s all glass with an open-air deck – perfect for soaking in those stunning panoramic views while you listen to your own audio guide.

Back on your comfy coach, get ready for another round of Paris sightseeing. Think Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Place de la Concorde.

Your last stop? The Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur area. You’ll have a bit of free time here – check out Sacré-Cœur, chill at a café, or shop for some souvenirs.

Then, it’s a wrap as you head back to Gare Du Nord.

Book the Eiffel Tower Champagne Lunch and Paris Tour From London

View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe on a quick visit Paris

Day Trip from London to Paris Itinerary

Planning a day trip from London to Paris can be a little overwhelming since there is so much to see and do, from visiting iconic sights, tasting delicious food, and enjoying a taste of Parisian culture.

I have conquered Paris in a day and it was an incredible experience. You truly can tick off a lot of bucket list sites since Paris is such a walkable city that’s easy to get around.

Here are my top recommendations on what you should add to your 1 day in Paris itinerary.

Morning: 6 am – 1 pm

Catch an early train from London to Paris.

➡️ Book your Eurostar Train Tickets Here

Arrive at Gare du Nord and transfer to metro line 4 to towards Bagneux – Lucie Aubrac.

When you arrive you have a leisurely 600m walk to your first stop… The Louvre!!

Discover world-famous artworks like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo at the Louvre. Even a short visit can give you a glimpse of its artistic treasures.

If you need a bite to eat, stop at one of the many cafes and patisseries that line the streets. Latte and a Pain au chocolat anyone?

Next up take a 15-minute walk from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde through the beautiful Tuileries Garden. The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located in the heart of Paris and makes for a beautiful stroll.

Then take an 8-minute walk from Place de la Concorde to the Pont Alexandre III, a gorgeous bridge that makes for perfect photo ops!

Lunch 1 pm- 3 pm

The next stop is a bigger walk at around 1.8km but, don’t worry because it’s time for a bite to eat and perhaps something to drink!

In 20-30 minutes you will arrive at the center of the Champs-Élysées, a famous avenue in Paris, France. It is known for its shops, cafes, theaters, and monuments

When you arrive I’m sure you’re pretty hungry and ready for a break. Enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants on the Champs-Élysées, ranging from casual to fine dining.

Dine in a Michelin-star restaurant such as Yannick Alléno or settle into somewhere more low-key such as Le Chatet du 8ème, a cozy crêperie

Views from the Eiffel Tower on a day trip to Paris from London

Afternoon 3 pm-5 pm

When you get to the end of Champs-Élysées you will find the Arc de Triomphe. 

Climb up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for panoramic views of Paris including the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Next up, take a 30-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower or take line 6 on the metro from Bir-Hakeim station to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station to reach the Eiffel Tower for a scenic picnic.

Having a picnic by the Eiffel Tower is a quintessential Parisian experience, and there are countless reasons why I have added it to your itinerary.

Pick up some fresh baguettes, cheese, and wine at a local market, and enjoy a simple yet delicious meal in a beautiful setting. 

Make sure you also line up and travel up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s a view you will never forget

Seine river cruise at sunset is a wonderful way to see the city from a new perspective

Evening 5 pm-10 pm

After your picnic, stroll down to the Seine River for a sunset cruise.

➡️ Book your Seine River Cruise in advance before it sells out

A sunset Seine cruise in Paris is a magical experience that allows you to see some of the most beautiful sights in Paris as the sun goes down. 

The warm glow of the setting sun, combined with the twinkling lights of the city, creates a truly enchanting ambiance. Spot the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum from a unique unforgettable angle.

OK, now it’s time to head back to London!

You have to go through immigration again at Gare du Nord, so plan to arrive at least 45 – 60 minutes before your departure.

If you’re coming back from the Eiffel Tower, your best route is to take line 9 from Trocadéro to Mairie de Montreuil and switch to the 4, taking it to Gare du Nord. It should take around 35 minutes.

Then enjoy that high-speed Eurostar train ride back to London. 

Sitting on the Pont Alexandre III overlooking Paris

What can’t you do on a day trip from London to Paris?

While a day trip from London to Paris is an exciting adventure, there are certain things that might be challenging to fit into your tight schedule.

Here’s what you might find difficult to do during your brief visit.

Extensive Museum Visits

Exploring museums like the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay thoroughly requires significant time. You will need to prioritize specific exhibits or artworks if they are on your bucket list.

Relaxing Pace

Paris is a city meant to be savored slowly. A day trip means you’ll have to keep to a quick pace to cover the main attractions.

Exploring Lesser-Known Areas

While you can hit the major landmarks, delving into off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods might be tricky.

Long Meals

Enjoying a leisurely multi-course French meal is a wonderful experience, but on a day trip, you’ll likely opt for quicker dining options like a baguette to go or a crepe at a cafe.

Nightlife

Unfortunately experiencing Parisian nightlife, from elegant dinners to lively bars is not really possible on a day trip from London to Paris if you are planning on heading back to London.

Shopping Extravaganza

If shopping is your thing, a quick visit might limit your time to explore the city’s numerous boutiques and markets.

Full Cultural Immersion

Immersing yourself in local life, attending events, or interacting with locals extensively won’t be to the same depth as if you were to stay longer.

Non-Touristy Experiences

Finding those hidden gems or connecting with locals might require more time than a day trip allows. Plus you won’t have much room for spontaneity.

Remember, a day trip offers a glimpse into the city of Paris, but it’s impossible to capture everything in just one day. Prioritize your must-dos, embrace the adventure, and make the most of your fleeting visit!

Standing out the front of the Louvre museum, a must see attraction to add to your itinerary

Travel Tips For a Day Trip From London to Paris

Ready for a whirlwind adventure from London to Paris? 

With these tips in your travel toolkit, you’re all set for an unforgettable day trip from London to Paris. 

1. Early Start

Kick off your day trip with an early morning departure from London. Catch the first Eurostar train to maximize your time in Paris.

2. Book in Advance

To save time and money, book your Eurostar tickets well in advance. Don’t forget your passport – you’re crossing borders!

✔️Click here to book your Eurostar Train Tickets From London To Paris

3. Factor in getting to and from Central Stations

Both London’s St Pancras International and Paris’ Gare du Nord stations are centrally located, making it easy to access attractions right off the train. But do make sure you have a plan to get to and from the stations so you don’t miss the train!

4. Itinerary Planning

Plan your must-see attractions ahead of time. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral are iconic stops you can’t miss.

5. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Consider using a hop-on hop-off bus to get around the city quickly and efficiently, covering major sights without wasting time.

6. Seine River Cruise

A boat cruise along the Seine River offers a unique perspective of Paris’ landmarks. It’s a relaxing way to see the city.

7. Café Culture

Embrace the Parisian café culture. Grab a croissant and coffee for a quick breakfast or lunch on the go. 

8. Language Basics

 While many Parisians speak English, a few French phrases can go a long way. It shows appreciation for their culture. I noticed in restaurants and cafes it can be particularly helpful to have a few phrases up your sleeve. At least download Google Translate on your phone. 

9. Museum Strategy

If you plan to visit museums like the Louvre, prioritize the must-see exhibits to make the most of your time. Museums can suck up a lot of time if you’re not careful. 

10. Avoid Rush Hour

When returning to London, avoid the evening rush hour. Opt for a later Eurostar to make your journey back smoother.

11. Try Some Local Treats

Indulge in local treats like crêpes, croissants, and pastries. Trying the local food is an essential part of your Paris experience.

12. Comfortable Shoes

Paris is a city made for walking. Comfortable shoes will make exploring the charming streets much more enjoyable, trust me…

13. Safety

Whilst Paris is generally considered safe for travelers, be mindful of your belongings and surroundings. Pickpocketing can be an issue in crowded tourist areas.

14. Relax and Enjoy 

Remember, it’s a day trip – you won’t be able to see everything. Relax, savor the moments, and make a mental list of what to explore on your next visit.

Visiting the Pont Du Gard on a day trip from London to Paris

Alternative Days Trips From London

There are several exciting day trip options from London to other countries as well that I thought were worth mentioning if you want to explore alternatives.

Here are a few of my suggestions.

Brussels, Belgium

Just a little under 2 hours away by train, Brussels offers a mix of historic architecture, delicious chocolate and waffles, and the iconic Atomium. Don’t forget to explore the Grand Place and the charming streets of this European capital.

Lille, France

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes by Eurostar, Lille boasts charming architecture, lively markets, and a charming old town. Explore the Palais des Beaux-Arts and wander through cobbled streets lined with cafes.

Calais, France

Less than 2.5 hours by train, Calais is known for its iconic white cliffs and rich maritime history. Visit the Calais Lace Museum and enjoy the coastal ambiance.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Around 3 hours and 15 minutes by train, Rotterdam showcases modern architecture and a bustling port. Enjoy the Markthal and visit the Kunsthal art museum.

Remember to plan ahead, consider travel times, and check for any visa requirements or travel restrictions before embarking on your international day trip from London.

You can tick off a lot of attractions on a 1 day trip to Paris

FAQs: Day trip from London to Paris

Moving onto some commonly asked questions about taking a day trip from London to Paris.

Is it worth doing a day trip from London to Paris?

A day trip from London to Paris can be an exciting adventure, allowing you to experience the essence of two iconic cities in a short timeframe. 

You’ll have the opportunity to see some of Paris’s most famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum. This is the perfect taste of Paris.

But it’s important to consider the travel time involved and make the most of your day, aka rise and shine nice and early! If you opt for the train the journey is around 2 hours and 15 minutes one way. 

This means you’ll have to factor in at least 4 hours and 30 minutes of travel time. So if you like a sleep-in and traveling at a slower pace, you may need an extra day or 2. 

But if you’re seeking a quick glimpse of Paris and are prepared for an efficient well-organised itinerary, a day trip can offer a taste of the infamous Paris charm! 

How much does a day trip to Paris cost from London?

Eurostar Train tickets from London to Paris start at around $65 Euro and can go up to $270+ Euro for one-way tickets. Return tickets can cost anywhere from $129 Euro to $431+ Euro. 

Prices significantly increase the closer the departure date. So it’s essential to book tickets in advance to secure the cheapest tickets.

Is it worth visiting Paris for 1 day?

Visiting Paris for a single day can be like a whirlwind adventure, giving you a snapshot of the city’s famous sights and vibes.

You could hop up the Eiffel Tower, nibble on a croissant by the Seine, and say a quick “Bonjour” to the Louvre. 

But keep in mind that Paris has a lot to offer, and squeezing it into one day might feel a bit like speed dating – you’ll get a taste, but there’s so much more to explore if you have the chance to stay a bit longer.

Looking for the perfect itinerary, check out my ultimate guide to making the most of 1 day in Paris! 

The Wrap-Up: Day Trip From London to Paris

And that wraps up my guide to planning a day trip from London to Paris!

From hopping on the Eurostar to cruising the Seine, we’ve squeezed in the Eiffel Tower, panoramic views, and even a Champagne lunch – talk about a jam-packed day.

Whether you were snapping pics of the Eiffel Tower, munching on croissants, or simply soaking in the Parisian vibes, I hope this day trip left you with a taste of the magic both cities have to offer.

As you head back to London, remember the cobblestone streets, extravagant bridges, magnificent artwork in the Louvre, and the feeling of gazing up at iconic landmarks.

Until next time, Paris – you’ve left an impression that’ll stick around until your next adventure.

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