All about our trip that included taking the Eurostar from London to Paris, Saturday evening Mass at Notre Dame and a lovely sunset cruise on the Seine.
On the fourth day of our trip, which also happened to be a Saturday, we packed our bags, checked out of our hotel in London and boarded the Eurostar to take us to Paris. The Eurostar is the fastest and most convenient way to get from London to Paris (or Brussels). The train goes about 190 miles per hour through the countryside and under the English Channel. The entire trip takes a little over two hours.
The train leaves almost every hour from London St. Pancras station for the Gare du Nord in central Paris.
Eurostar is not covered by railpasses and always requires a separate, reserved train ticket. The prices vary depending on how far ahead you reserve your ticket and what seats you choose with prices increasing the closer you are to the departure date.
Through a friend, we discovered a website called The Man in Seat 61. This site covers just about all you need to know about train travel from the UK and it was extremely helpful in planning our Eurostar trip. On this website, we learned about the various seat configurations and tips on choosing the best Eurostar seats. Since my husband and I were traveling with our two children, we wanted to make sure we were seated together. We chose four seats together with a table in the middle which was perfect for us to eat lunch on.
We purchased our Eurostar tickets in advance (which saved us money) and picked up our tickets at the train station on the morning of our departure. If you’re planning a trip on the Eurostar, you might be interested to know that you can also arrange for print-at-home tickets to be sent via email as well.
You must check in at least 30 minutes in advance for your Eurostar trip. It’s very similar to an airport check-in. You’ll pass through security, bags will be inspected and you’ll show your passport to customs officials. You’ll see TV monitors throughout the station which will help you locate your departure platform.
Although you can purchase food and drinks on the train, we chose to pick up sandwiches and bottles of water at one of the several businesses serving food at the station. We enjoyed Costa coffee shops throughout England and found one conveniently located at the station.
The trip was very exciting for my kids and I loved passing through the beautiful countryside and seeing the small and large villages. The actual English Channel crossing takes about a 20-minutes and you may not even realize you’re passing through it.
We arrived in Paris a couple of hours later and took a taxi to our hotel, the Hotel du Palais Bourbon. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s extremely difficult to find hotels that sleep more than 2 to a room but we found this hidden gem on Trip Advisor. It’s a great little boutique hotel, nothing fancy but slept all four of us comfortably. We were within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, the Rodin Museum, the Metro line and numerous patisseries. Our room was quiet and overlooking a quiet courtyard. Although the rooms were very nice and the hotel was in a great location, if we were not in need of a family-sized room, I would have chosen a hotel with a little more personality.
After we checked into our hotel, we dropped off our bags and walked toward the Metro station, purchased tickets and got on board.
Our first stop was Notre-Dame.
Unfortunately, we only had one full day and two half days in Paris (not nearly enough time!) so we didn’t tour Notre Dame. On a previous visit, My husband and I toured Notre Dame and I highly recommend it. If you’re visiting, make sure you climb the stairs to see the gargoyles and plan to spend some time in the Crypt.
We were able to bypass the long line of visitors waiting to get into Notre Dame by attending Saturday evening Mass. What an experience! If you let the gentleman near the entrance know that you are there to attend Mass, he will let you in without waiting in line.
After Mass, we strolled along the Seine and stumbled upon one of the Love Lock bridges. Yes, there is more than one Love Lock bridge.
We ended our day by taking a boat tour on the Seine…
Bonne nuit, Paris!
I’d love to hear from you, if you have any tips to share about taking the Eurostar please let me know. I hope to travel on it again and would love to know what you liked and didn’t like and any valuable tips to help others prepare for their trip. Thanks, guys!
Other posts on our recent trip to London…
Thank you so much for reading! Next up, we’ll explore Versailles, visit Buckingham Palace and see a play in London’s West End Theatre District! Be sure to subscribe to never miss a post.