London to Paris by Eurostar train, bus or plane?

Road, rail and air options to find cheap route between Paris and London


Gare du Nord station Paris

Heart of Paris: Eurostar takes passengers to Gare du Nord station

On this page

Best route to Paris?

On paper you have a choice of three modes of travel using public transport between London and Paris: train, coach and air.

 

In reality, the majority of people travelling city centre to city centre choose the Eurostar train service. As the fastest and most stress free option it is with good reason.

However the Eurostar trains are not the cheapest way to travel between the two cities, by some way.

 

That honour goes to the low-cost coach services that we cover on this page.

 

However, while the Eurostar trains whisk you city centre to city centre in just over 2 hours, the fastest coaches that use the tunnel between England and France rather than the ferry services take 7.5 hours to do the same journey.


Eurostar fares are also highly volatile. At popular times and dates or if you buy tickets at very short notice fares can be eye-watering and make air travel an option to consider in addition to the coach services.


The airlines that fly between London and Paris tend to be either the national carriers like British Airways and Air France feeding transit passengers into long distance flights.

 

However, there are also the option of low-cost budget airlines like easyJet.

All three options are covered here ...

Eurostar trains

The Eurostar train service takes just two 2 hours and 15 minutes between Paris and London, so with an early start it's possible, and many people do, to take a day trip to Paris or London. There are day return fares to encourage you to do this.

 

The Eurostar trains start at London St Pancras International station and finish in the centre of Paris at the Gare du Nord. Both stations are major transport hubs for their respective cities.

Eurostar express train London to Paris

Book early: London to Paris on same day


Eurostar trains run at minimum hourly frequencies between London and Paris. There are no overnight services.

 

First services start very early morning, last departure is mid to late evening. Scheduled journey times are 2 hours 15 minutes to Paris and 1 hour 51 minutes for London to Brussels.

 

Eurostar offers 3 different classes of seat to meet your needs and seat numbers are allocated. You're allowed 2 medium-sized items with a maximum length of 85cm, plus 1 item of hand luggage. You need to check in at least 30 minutes prior to departure.


Eurostar fares

Eurostar is a reservations only service and you can book up to 4 months in advance.

 

The further ahead that you book, the more likely you'll be able to pick up the best fare. Non-flexible tickets (no exchanges or refunds allowed) are cheaper than tickets with fewer restrictions.

 

Eurostar fares are dynamic, there will be different costs for different schedules on the same day. Fares can be eye-watering if you book late or are trying to travel when an event is on at your destination so do try and plan well ahead.

 

Full details of the service, an explanation of the classes of ticket and current fares for your dates can be found by clicking through on the banner link below.


Eurostar Train Tickets & Timetables

Eurolines or FlixBus coach services

If you want to go between Paris and London cheaply and are in no hurry then using the coach services may be your preferred solution.

 

Two companies Eurolines and FlixBus (who now also operate Megabus outside the UK) go head to head between London and Paris with daily services year round both day time and overnight.

Flixbus Coach

Both companies use modern air conditioned coaches, some with free Wi-Fi and are backed by global corporate parent companies. Both companies use Victoria coach station as their terminus in London.

 

Victoria coach station is quite central, 10 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace and Victoria railway station and London Underground station.

 

Victoria is also a major London hotel district with accommodation options for all sectors of the market.

 

Some coach services use the ferry across the English Channel, some use the tunnel. The fastest schedules are around 7.5 hours compared to 2 hours 15 minutes on the Eurostar trains.

 

There are both daytime and overnight schedules year round.

 

The Eurolines Paris terminus is Gallieni, a purpose-built coach station integrated with a Paris Metro station but not as central as Victoria in London.

 

The FlixBus or Megabus terminus is Porte Maillot, more central near the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe but is little more than an open air strip of tarmac reserved for coaches.


Eurolines From London
Megabus Low Cost Inter City Buses

Flights between Paris and London

Before the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the start of the fast Eurostar trains London to Paris was one of the busiest aircraft routes in the world.

 

Today, people flying between Paris and London are a very small portion of the market. If you are travelling city centre to city centre it makes no sense at all to fly, being slower and more expensive.


Most of the market now is for people interconnecting on flights rather than travelling city centre to city centre.

 

The respective flag carriers British Airways and Air France still operate services from Heathrow to Paris. Air France fly additional services from City airport while easyJet, the low cost budget airline, flies to Paris from Luton airport and from Gatwick.

 

The carrier easyJet also offers hotel and flight packages in either direction between Paris and London (see banner link below).


Copyright © 2002-2017 Travellers Toolkits Ltd All Rights Reserved