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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.
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 ...
The Eurostar train service takes just two 2 hours and 16 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 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.
The fastest journey time to Paris is 2 hours 16 minutes, with the average journey time being 2 hours 28 minutes.
From London to Brussels the fastest journey time is 1 hour 48 minutes, with an average of 2 hours 3 minutes.
Eurostar offers 3 different classes of seat: Standard, Standard Premier (with meal) and Business Premier.
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 is a reservations only service and you can book up to 180 days in advance, with some exceptions. For example, direct trains to Disneyland Paris can be booked online up to 280 day in advance, depending on when you book.
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 and timetables
• Best value fares on Eurostar • Route maps • Timetables
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, National Express 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. 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 hours compared to 2 hours 16 minutes on the Eurostar trains. There are both daytime and overnight schedules year round.
The National Express Paris terminus is in Bercy; located just inside Bercy Park with improved access to the local area. Bercy is a large recently developed district of Paris just to the south-east of the centre of Paris near to the River Seine.
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.
Cheapest prices from London to Paris
• Book in advance and save even more • Travel in a luxury coach with free Wi-Fi • The cheapest way to get to Paris
Cheapest prices from London to Paris
• Large bus network • Comfortable buses with toilets • Free Wi-Fi • Snacks for sale onboard • Carbon efficient coaches
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).
Fastest travel from London to Paris
• Best prices guaranteed • ATOL protected • Fly to Paris in 1 hr 15 min