Imagine having breakfast at the foot of Big Ben, then enjoying lunch beneath the Eiffel Tower on the same day

…without ever setting foot on a plane.

Yes, crossing off two iconic stops on your European bucket list is not only possible, but practical. All you need to do is hop on a train from London to Paris and this high-speed rail line will whisk you to the City of Lights in less than three hours.

No long lines at the airport.

No convoluted travel itinerary stitched together with taxis, buses, and subways. Simply board a Eurostar train in London’s city center then say bonjour to Paris.

Image Credit: Getty Images. Image Location: Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eurostar: From London to Paris with Love (& Champagne)

All the frequent flier miles in the world can’t compare to certain benefits only offered via train travel. 

First, it’s way less of a hassle. Compare a realistic itinerary from London to Paris: 

  • By plane: You make your way from your hotel to the airport, jump through hoops just to get to the terminal, do the awkward single-file shuffle to your seat, endure the horde of impatient passengers trying to get off the plane, collect your luggage, hail a cab or take a train to your hotel, then – finally – take an exhausted look at the Eiffel Tower. 
  • By train: Board your train at London St Pancras station, cozy into your seat without worrying about liquid restrictions or super-strict baggage limits, enjoy a croissant from the on-board Café Métropole, walk around and stretch your legs at your leisure, then suddenly find yourself at Paris Gare du Nord refreshed and ready to sightsee.

Traveling by train isn’t simply transit to your vacation, it’s a relaxing and convenient part of your vacation. 

And let’s be real: a photo of you sipping Champagne and munching through a menu curated by a Michelin-starred chef on a Eurostar train will get way more likes than a selfie taken from the middle seat of a coach-class flight.

Image Credit: Getty Images. Image Location: St Pancras International Station, London

“Chunnel” Vision: A Glimpse at London to Paris Train Travel

Look at a map, and you’ll notice a rather large obstacle separating the chip shops of London from the cafés of Paris: the English Channel. Even at its narrowest, this waterway still creates a 20-mile gap and there’s not a bridge in sight.

But who said anything about traveling above the water?

The Channel Tunnel, or the “Chunnel”, is a 31-mile-long connector largely hidden beneath the English Channel, allowing the UK and mainland Europe to hold hands in not-so-secretive fashion. Trains travel through the tunnel’s two railways dozens of times each day, and have for 30 years, so there’s no reason to pack your floaties out of fear. Besides, you’ll only be under the Channel for 20 or so minutes, not even long enough to finish an episode of Emily in Paris. 

Image Location: Paris Gare du Nord Station

Cheap Train Tickets From London to Paris

Rail travel is the best way to travel from London to Paris if you’re the type that loves comfort, convenience, and not blowing your travel budget on $10 bottles of water at the airport. Cheap train tickets from London to Paris are certainly available, though many Americans are thrilled to discover affordable airfare options as well. While the average flight time between the two cities is a mere 1 hour and 20 minutes, add in early arrivals at the airport plus travel time to and from the airport, and you’ve suddenly lost half of a day just getting from the Thames to the Seine.

Or, just spend 2 hours and 37 minutes on a train. Even when you account for the +1hr time difference in Paris, you’ve still banked the valuable time needed to thoroughly enjoy the wonders of the Louvre.

Aside from the logistical benefits, rail travel is the most sustainable way to travel that doesn’t include hoofing to the coast and swimming the English Channel yourself. Plus, you can easily hop a train from Paris back to London, providing a cheap and easy way to enjoy a day trip to the most romantic city in the world while still having a full night of West End pub hopping ahead of you.

Want to book tickets?

Download the Trainline App today to find the best deals on Eurostar trains between London and Paris. And looking for inspiration for what to do when you arrive? Take a look at our travel inspiration guides for London and Paris.

Header Image Credit: Frederic Köberl on Unsplash. Image Location: St Pancras International Station, London