After each trip I make to the city of love I always come back to the same question from people..
‘I would love to go to Paris, what is the best way to get there?’
Being lucky enough to live in the UK so Paris is only several hours away at the most, I have traveled to the city on three different forms of transport. The first by Car, the second by train (Eurostar) and the third by Plane. Here are my tips for all three ways to travel to the most romantic place on earth- Paris.
Traveling by car is a good and reasonably priced option for a group larger then 2-3 people. If you would like to take the ferry then your journey to Paris would start in Dover so you would need to take into account how long it would take you to get there from where you are based. The ferry then takes approximately 1 and half hours to get over to Calais in France. I wouldn’t recommend stopping off there for too long as there is not really anything to see/do (any shopping can be saved for the way back). The drive to Paris will then take approximately 3 hours. It is a cost effective and luggage effective way to travel but would take up nearly an entire day of precious Paris time just to travel over. Also if you get car sick or you don’t have a particularly comfy vehicle then this may not be the best idea for obvious reasons.
FYI- You can also use the Eurotunnel car shuttle from Kent so you can take your vehicle on board the tunnel rail-line and be in Paris in 2 and a half hours. However I have no experience with this service.
By Train (Eurostar)
In just 2 hours and 15 minutes you get from London St Pancras to Paris Gare Du Nord. If booked in advance you can travel for as little as £69 return which is roughly the amount you would spend flying with a budget airline. For me the perks of travelling on the Eurostar are endless, I’m not a great flyer so I avoid the worry of that and the comfort on the Eurostar I find is better than on flights. Another thing to take note of is that you can take a decent amount of luggage with you too at no extra cost so you are avoiding the overpriced check-in luggage charges you get with budget airlines. You will also be taken right into the centre of Paris, so this means no added stress of getting transport from an airport when you arrive. You also get to go through the countryside of northern France which on sunny days is worth the longer journey, add on top the fact it is an excuse to visit London for a day/Night if you will need to travel there. This is also a great option for people flying in from other parts of the world to then go on to Paris. Rather than face another flight, you can enjoy the experience of European rail travel. However, be prepared for major ear popping when you are going under the channel so keep hard boiled sweets to hand!
I have to admit that flying to Paris if you live close to an airport in the UK is probably the most convenient and cheapest option available. I personally live in the South West region of the UK and the quickest way for me to get to Paris is the hour flight from Bristol International Airport. You can also get good deals with budget airlines, my personal preference being Easyjet who in the past I have travelled with for around £30 e/w. The only bother is to transfer from the airport (usually CDG) to the city centre when you arrive into Paris. However, like most big cities the transport links make it fairly easy to find your way around.
Overall, the driving option seems best for families or larger groups and particularly people that already live in the south/south-east region of the UK. Traveling by Eurostar is the better option if you live in or near London or if not, just quite fancy extending your city break to bit of Time in England’s capital too (always a nice add-on). The third option to travel by plane is convenient and budget friendly for families, couples, groups of friends and single travelers and probably the best option for most people.
What about my personal preference? For the experience, luggage allowance and comfort I would recommend the Eurostar as the best way to travel from the UK to Paris.
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