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How To Plan A Day Trip To Paris From London By Train


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Georgia Condon



Traveling from London to Paris is a dream for many, and a day trip by train is the perfect way to make that dream come true. With just a short journey across the English Channel, you can immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking beauty of the French capital.


Paris, often called the “City of Love,” effortlessly combines old-world charm with modern sophistication. From stunning landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral to world-class art museums like the Louvre, there is something for everyone in this enchanting city.


Planning a day trip to Paris from London might seem daunting, but with the right information and a well-structured itinerary, you can make the most of your time and create unforgettable memories. In this guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you plan your day trip to Paris and make the most of your visit.


Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, an art enthusiast, or simply curious to explore a new city, Paris offers a wealth of experiences. This guide will cover everything from choosing the right train to booking your tickets, exploring the city’s must-see attractions, navigating the public transportation system, finding dining options, discovering the best shopping spots, and returning to London at the end of the day.


So get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure as we take you through the essential steps of planning your day trip to Paris from London. Let’s dive into the details and make your dream of exploring the “City of Lights” a reality!


Choosing the Right Train

When planning a day trip to Paris from London, the first step is to choose the right train for your journey. Fortunately, there are several options available to suit every budget and travel preference.


The most popular and convenient way to travel from London to Paris is by the Eurostar, a high-speed train that connects the two cities through the Channel Tunnel. The Eurostar offers a seamless and comfortable experience, with frequent departures throughout the day.


Before booking your tickets, consider factors such as travel time, cost, and flexibility. The Eurostar offers different classes of service, including Standard, Standard Premier, and Business Premier. Standard class is the most affordable option, while Standard Premier provides a bit more space and comfort. Business Premier offers a premium experience with additional amenities.


It’s important to note that prices can vary depending on the date and time of travel, as well as how far in advance you book your tickets. To secure the best fares, it’s advisable to book your tickets as early as possible.


In addition to the Eurostar, there are also alternative train options available, such as the Thalys or TGV trains. These trains may have different departure points in London, such as St Pancras International or London Waterloo. While these trains can offer slightly different travel times and prices, they still provide a convenient way to travel from London to Paris.


Before making a decision, it’s worth comparing the schedules and prices of different train operators to find the option that best suits your needs. Websites and travel platforms like Eurostar, Trainline, and RailEurope can provide detailed information on train schedules, fares, and availability.


Once you have chosen the right train for your day trip, the next step is to book your tickets. In the next section, we will explore the process of booking train tickets and offer tips to help make the process smooth and hassle-free.


Booking Train Tickets

Booking train tickets for your day trip from London to Paris can be done easily and conveniently online. Here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and hassle-free booking process:

  1. Plan in advance: It’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance to secure the best fares and availability, especially if you’re traveling during peak seasons or on weekends. Booking early also allows you to have more flexibility in choosing your preferred departure and return times.
  2. Choose a reputable website: There are several websites and platforms where you can book train tickets, such as the official Eurostar website, Trainline, or RailEurope. Make sure to use a reliable and trusted platform to avoid any potential issues or scams.
  3. Compare prices: Before making a booking, compare prices across different websites or platforms. Sometimes there can be slight variations in fares, so it’s worth spending some time to find the best deal.
  4. Consider ticket flexibility: Depending on your travel plans, consider the flexibility of the ticket you’re booking. Some tickets might be non-refundable or have limited flexibility, while others might offer more flexibility in case your plans change.
  5. Choose your seating preferences: During the booking process, you’ll have the option to choose your seating preferences, such as aisle or window seat. Keep in mind that certain seats might have an additional cost, so choose according to your preferences and budget.
  6. Provide accurate passenger information: When booking your tickets, ensure that you provide accurate passenger information, including names and ages. This is important as the information will be cross-checked during the journey.
  7. Check for any promotions or discounts: Keep an eye out for any promotions or discounts that might be available when booking your tickets. This could include special fares for certain days or seasons or discounts for group bookings.
  8. Double-check your travel dates and times: Before confirming your booking, double-check your travel dates and times to ensure they are correct. It’s always a good idea to review the details before making the final payment.
  9. Save your ticket confirmation: Once you’ve completed your booking, make sure to save the ticket confirmation email or download the tickets as a PDF. This will serve as proof of your booking and will be required during the journey.

By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free booking process for your day trip from London to Paris. Now that you have your train tickets booked, it’s time to prepare for your departure from London.


Departure from London

As you embark on your day trip to Paris from London, it’s essential to plan for a smooth departure. Here are some important steps to ensure a seamless start to your journey:

  1. Arrive at the station early: Plan to arrive at the departure station with plenty of time before your scheduled train departure. This will give you enough time to go through security checks and find your designated platform.
  2. Check for any schedule changes: Prior to leaving for the station, check if there are any unexpected schedule changes or disruptions. Websites or mobile apps like Eurostar, Trainline, or National Rail Enquiries provide real-time updates and alerts.
  3. Pack essentials: Before leaving home, make sure to pack all the essentials for your day trip. This includes your passport, train tickets, a valid form of identification, and any necessary travel documents. It’s also a good idea to pack a small bag with personal items like water, snacks, and a guidebook to enhance your journey.
  4. Follow security procedures: Upon arriving at the departure station, be prepared to go through the standard security procedures, which may include bag checks and metal detectors. Ensure you comply with any rules and restrictions regarding luggage size and prohibited items to avoid any delays.
  5. Find your platform: Once inside the station, check the departure boards or screens to find the platform number for your train. Stations like St Pancras International in London have clear signage and staff to assist you in locating your designated platform.
  6. Board the train: When it’s time to board, listen for announcements or follow the directions provided. Make your way to the correct carriage and find your assigned seat. If you have large luggage, there are designated areas to store it securely.
  7. Enjoy the journey: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey as the train glides through the picturesque English countryside and enters the Channel Tunnel. The journey from London to Paris takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, allowing you to appreciate the scenery and anticipate the adventures that await you in Paris.

By following these steps, you can ensure a stress-free departure from London and begin your day trip to Paris with ease. As the train arrives in Paris, get ready to explore the remarkable city that awaits you on the other side of the Channel.


Arrival in Paris

As the train arrives in Paris, you’ll be greeted with a sense of anticipation and excitement for the adventures that lie ahead. Here are some steps to ensure a smooth arrival in the city:

  1. Disembark the train: Once the train reaches its final destination, allow fellow passengers to disembark before making your way off the train. Follow the signs or directions to the platform exit.
  2. Follow signage and instructions: Pay attention to the signage and instructions at the station to navigate your way to the exit. Parisian train stations, like Gare du Nord or Gare de Lyon, have clear signs and information points to guide you.
  3. Exchange currency (if needed): If you require local currency, look for currency exchange counters or ATMs within the train station. Alternatively, you can also withdraw cash from ATMs located throughout the city.
  4. Obtain a map or download a navigation app: Before leaving the train station, acquire a map of Paris or download a navigation app on your smartphone. This will assist in maneuvering through the city and finding your desired destinations.
  5. Plan your transportation: Decide on the mode of transportation you’ll be using to reach your first destination within Paris. The city offers an extensive public transportation system, including the metro, buses, and taxis. Additionally, consider renting a bicycle or using rideshare services for convenient travel.
  6. Explore the city: Step out of the train station and soak in the atmosphere of Paris. Take a moment to admire the architectural beauty, embrace the energy of the city, and get ready to explore the enchanting streets and landmarks that Paris is renowned for.
  7. Find tourist information centers: If you require assistance or additional information about Paris, keep an eye out for tourist information centers located near major train stations. The staff will be able to provide maps, suggest attractions, and answer any questions you may have.
  8. Check-in at your accommodation (if applicable): If you’ll be staying overnight in Paris, make your way to your accommodation to check-in and drop off any luggage. Ensure you have the necessary reservation details and identification ready.

Upon your arrival in Paris, let yourself be immersed in the charm and beauty of this remarkable city. From iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum to the charming cafes and romantic streets, Paris has something to offer every traveler. With your map or navigation app in hand, it’s time to begin your exploration of the City of Love.


Exploring Paris

Paris is a city that captivates the imagination with its rich history, stunning architecture, and artistic wonders. As you set out to explore the City of Love, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Prioritize your must-see attractions: With limited time on your day trip, prioritize the top attractions that you want to visit in Paris. Must-see landmarks include the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Champs-Élysées. Give yourself enough time at each location to fully appreciate their beauty and significance.
  2. Immerse yourself in art and culture: Paris is a city of artistic inspiration, home to world-class museums and galleries. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Louvre, which houses masterpieces like the Mona Lisa, or the Musée d’Orsay, which features a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Explore the vibrant artsy neighborhoods like Montmartre or Le Marais, where you’ll find hidden art galleries and charming cafes.
  3. Stroll along the Seine River: Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Seine River, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the picturesque bridges, enjoy the riverside atmosphere, and perhaps even take a river cruise to see the city from a different perspective.
  4. Indulge in French cuisine: Paris is renowned for its culinary delights. Treat yourself to a delightful lunch at a local bistro, try the iconic French pastries like croissants or macarons, and savor a traditional French dinner at a charming restaurant. Don’t forget to pair your meals with some exquisite French wine or champagne.
  5. Wander through charming neighborhoods: Paris is a city best explored on foot, so take the time to wander through its charming neighborhoods. Discover the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter, stroll along the fashionable boulevards of the 8th arrondissement, or explore the bohemian atmosphere of Montmartre. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
  6. Enjoy the city’s green spaces: Take a break from the bustling city streets and relax in one of Paris’ many green spaces. Visit the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, or admire the floral displays at the Tuileries Garden. These serene oases provide a peaceful retreat amidst the vibrant city.
  7. Capture the iconic moments: Paris offers countless opportunities for breathtaking photographs. Capture the iconic view of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro, snap a picture of the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral, or capture the romance of the city from one of the scenic viewpoints. Don’t forget to document your adventures and create lasting memories of your day trip to Paris.

Exploring Paris is a journey of discovery, where every street and corner holds its own unique charm. Follow your own pace, indulge your senses, and let the magic of the city unfold before your eyes. Paris is a city that will leave an indelible mark on your soul, and your day trip will only scratch the surface of all there is to see and experience.


Must-see Attractions

Paris is home to a wealth of iconic landmarks, historical sites, and cultural treasures. While it’s challenging to see everything in a day, here are some must-see attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your trip:

  1. Eiffel Tower: No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Ascend to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the city or capture the perfect Instagram-worthy shot from the Trocadéro Gardens.
  2. Notre-Dame Cathedral: Admire the Gothic architectural marvel of Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on the Île de la Cité. Explore the stunning interior, climb its towers for a bird’s-eye view of Paris, and marvel at the famous flying buttresses.
  3. Louvre Museum: Immerse yourself in art and history at the Louvre Museum, home to the iconic Mona Lisa. Explore the vast collection of masterpieces, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance paintings.
  4. Sainte-Chapelle: Discover the exquisite stained glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle, a hidden gem located within the Palais de la Cité. The stained glass creates a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors that will leave you in awe.
  5. Champs-Élysées: Stroll down the famous Champs-Élysées, one of the world’s most renowned boulevards. Admire the luxury shops, stop for a coffee at a sidewalk café, and soak in the charm of this vibrant street.
  6. Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur Basilica: Explore the enchanting neighborhood of Montmartre, known for its bohemian atmosphere and artistic heritage. Visit the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica for panoramic views of the city.
  7. Seine River and its bridges: Take a leisurely boat cruise along the Seine River or simply enjoy a walk along its banks. Admire the famous bridges, such as Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf, which add to the charm of the city.
  8. Père Lachaise Cemetery: Pay homage to some of the world’s most famous figures at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Explore the final resting places of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and other notable personalities.
  9. Musée d’Orsay: Step into the former railway station turned art museum, Musée d’Orsay, and admire a vast collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir.
  10. Les Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb: Visit Les Invalides, a majestic complex that houses the military museum and Napoleon’s Tomb. Explore the history of the French military and pay respects to Napoleon Bonaparte.

These are just a few of the incredible attractions that Paris has to offer. Each holds its own significance and charm, contributing to the allure of the city. Take your time to explore and be captivated by the history, art, and beauty that awaits you at every turn.


Getting Around Paris

Paris is a well-connected and walkable city, offering various transportation options to navigate its enchanting streets. Here are some tips on how to get around Paris efficiently:

  1. Public Transportation: The Paris Metro is a reliable and efficient way to travel around the city. With an extensive network of subway lines and stations, you can easily reach almost any destination in Paris. Purchase individual tickets or consider a day pass for unlimited travel. Additionally, buses and trams provide alternative options for exploring the city.
  2. Bike Rentals: Embrace the Parisian culture by renting a bicycle. The city offers convenient bike-sharing programs like Vélib’, allowing you to pick up and drop off bicycles at various stations around the city. Enjoy a leisurely ride through Paris’s bike-friendly streets and along the scenic routes along the Seine River.
  3. Taxis and Rideshare Services: Taxis are readily available throughout Paris. Simply look for the taxi stands or hail a licensed taxi on the street. Alternatively, you can use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft for convenient and reliable transportation.
  4. Walking: Paris is a city meant to be explored on foot. Lace up your comfortable shoes and embark on leisurely walks through its charming neighborhoods and along its iconic boulevards. Discover hidden gems, stumble upon cozy cafes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that Paris offers.
  5. RER Train: The RER (Réseau Express Régional) trains provide a faster way to travel longer distances within Paris and its suburbs. They are particularly useful for reaching attractions outside the city center, such as Versailles or Disneyland Paris.
  6. Navigating Routes: Before venturing out, familiarize yourself with the city’s transportation system. Use mobile apps like Citymapper or Google Maps to plan your routes, check train schedules, and get real-time updates on any disruptions or delays. Paris also has clear signage at metro stations and bus stops to help you navigate your way.
  7. Avoid Rush Hour: To make the most of your time and avoid crowded transport, try to avoid traveling during rush hour. Mornings between 7:30 am to 9:30 am and evenings between 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm tend to be the busiest times on public transportation.
  8. Stay Safe: As with any city, it’s important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Keep your belongings close, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation, to prevent any untoward incidents.

Getting around Paris is part of the adventure, allowing you to soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere from different perspectives. Whether you choose to explore on foot, hop on the metro, or pedal through the streets on a bicycle, each mode of transportation offers a unique experience that adds to the charm of your day trip in Paris.


Dining Options

Paris is renowned for its culinary tradition and offers a myriad of dining options to tantalize your taste buds. Here are some dining suggestions to make the most of your day trip:

  1. Street Food: Indulge in the delectable street food scene of Paris. Grab a fresh baguette sandwich, known as a jambon-beurre, from a local boulangerie or sample savory crepes from street vendors. Don’t forget to try a traditional French pastry, such as a croissant or pain au chocolat, for a sweet treat.
  2. Bistros and Brasseries: Immerse yourself in the Parisian dining experience by visiting a classic bistro or brasserie. These charming establishments offer a cozy ambiance and a chance to savor traditional French dishes like escargots, coq au vin, or boeuf bourguignon. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine for an authentic experience.
  3. Cafés: Parisian cafés are iconic and offer the perfect backdrop for people-watching while enjoying a leisurely meal or a cup of coffee. Stop by a café for a mid-day break, and try a Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame – a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg.
  4. Michelin-starred Restaurants: For a truly exceptional dining experience, treat yourself to a meal at one of Paris’ Michelin-starred restaurants. Renowned chefs create exquisite dishes that are a feast for the senses. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as these establishments tend to fill up quickly.
  5. Farmers’ Markets: If you’re looking for a more casual experience, visit one of Paris’ lively open-air markets. Explore stalls offering fresh produce, cheese, charcuterie, and other local specialties. Pick up some ingredients for a picnic in one of the city’s parks or gardens.
  6. Ethnic Cuisine: Paris is a multicultural city, offering a diverse range of international cuisines. Satisfy your cravings for flavors from around the world by sampling delicious ethnic dishes, such as savory falafel from the Marais district or fragrant Vietnamese pho from one of the city’s many Vietnamese eateries.
  7. Patisseries and Chocolateries: Indulge your sweet tooth at one of Paris’ renowned patisseries or chocolateries. Sample mouth-watering pastries, macarons, and decadent chocolates skillfully crafted by talented pastry chefs. These delightful treats make for a perfect takeaway or a luxurious dessert.

Paris is a food lover’s paradise, offering a range of dining options to suit every palate and budget. Whether you opt for a quick bite from a food stall, a leisurely meal at a bistro, or an extravagant gastronomic experience, the culinary delights of Paris will surely leave you wanting more.


Shopping in Paris

Paris is synonymous with fashion and shopping, offering a multitude of options for every style and budget. Here are some suggestions to make the most of your shopping experience during your day trip:

  1. High-end Fashion: Explore the glamorous world of high-end fashion in Paris. Stroll along the prestigious Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where you’ll find flagship stores of renowned luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior. Visit the Golden Triangle, a district known for its upscale boutiques, or explore the iconic department stores of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
  2. Designer Vintage: Uncover unique treasures at Paris’ designer vintage shops. Head to Rue de la Verrerie or Le Marais district, where you’ll find a plethora of vintage boutiques offering curated collections of designer clothing, accessories, and jewelry from past decades.
  3. Chic Boutiques: Paris is a haven for chic boutiques that offer a selection of trendy and unique fashion pieces. Explore the streets of Le Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, or the trendy areas of Canal Saint-Martin and discover independent boutiques featuring local designers and emerging fashion labels.
  4. Antiques and Flea Markets: Delve into the world of antiques and vintage finds at Paris’ flea markets. Visit Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, the largest flea market in the city, offering a vast array of antique furniture, vintage clothing, and collectibles. Explore the charming streets of Montmartre to find smaller, more specialized antique shops.
  5. Artisanal Crafts and Souvenirs: Bring a piece of Paris home with you by shopping for artisanal crafts and unique souvenirs. Visit Le Marais for specialty shops showcasing handmade jewelry, ceramics, and leather goods. Explore areas like the Latin Quarter or Saint-Germain-des-Prés for bookstore gems or traditional French products like specialty foods, wines, and perfumes.
  6. Open-air Markets: Immerse yourself in the local market culture by visiting one of Paris’ open-air markets. Marché Bastille offers a diverse range of goods, including fresh produce, flowers, and clothing. Marché aux Puces de Vanves is a smaller market known for its antique and vintage items, while Marché Richard Lenoir is ideal for fresh produce, cheeses, and regional specialties.
  7. Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré: Explore the upscale street of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, famous for its luxury fashion houses, designer boutiques, and renowned art galleries. This prestigious avenue is a mecca for fashion enthusiasts and art connoisseurs.

Paris is a paradise for shoppers, with its blend of high-end fashion, vintage treasures, artisanal crafts, and local market finds. Whether you’re seeking designer labels, unique pieces, or a taste of Parisian style, the city offers an array of shopping experiences to suit your desires.


Returning to London

As your day trip to Paris comes to an end, it’s time to plan your return journey to London. Here are some important steps to ensure a smooth and efficient trip back:

  1. Check your return train schedule: Before leaving Paris, check the schedule of your return train to London. Make sure to allow enough time to travel from your location in Paris to the train station.
  2. Arrive at the train station early: Aim to arrive at the Paris train station with ample time before your train departure. This will give you enough time to navigate the station, check for any updates or changes, and locate your platform.
  3. Pack your belongings: Before leaving your accommodation or the city, double-check that you have all your belongings packed and ready to go. Ensure you have your passport, train tickets, and any other essential items secure in your bag.
  4. Follow security procedures: Expect to go through security checks once again when entering the train station. Adhere to the rules and restrictions regarding luggage and be prepared for bag checks and metal detectors.
  5. Find your platform: Consult the departure boards or screens to find the platform for your return train to London. Follow the signage and directions to locate your designated platform.
  6. Board the train: Once the train arrives, listen for announcements or consult the electronic displays to ensure you are boarding the correct train. Find your assigned carriage and take your seat. If you have large luggage, store it securely in the designated areas.
  7. Enjoy the journey back: Sit back and relax as the train transports you back to London. Reflect on your day in Paris, review your photos and memories, or simply take a moment to rest and unwind.
  8. Prepare for border control: As you approach the border between France and the UK, be prepared for a border control check. Have your passport and any required travel documents readily accessible for the border officers to review.
  9. Disembark in London: Once the train arrives in London, gather your belongings and disembark the train. Follow the signs to exit the station and make your way to your next destination within the city.
  10. Continue your London adventures: With your return to London, you can continue exploring the vibrant city. Extend your trip by visiting more iconic landmarks, exploring different neighborhoods, or partaking in cultural activities.

As you journey back to London, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you made during your day trip to Paris. Cherish the beauty and charm of both cities, and savor the anticipation of future adventures awaiting you.



Embarking on a day trip from London to Paris by train is a wonderful opportunity to explore two incredible cities and soak in their unique beauty. From the moment you board the train to the time you return, every step of the journey is filled with excitement and discovery.


During your day in Paris, you can immerse yourself in its rich history, indulge in its culinary delights, marvel at iconic landmarks, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere that makes the city so special. From the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower to the world-class art museums, each attraction offers a glimpse into the allure and magic of Paris.


By planning ahead, choosing the right train, booking your tickets, and familiarizing yourself with the city’s transportation options, you can make the most of your day in Paris. Allow yourself to wander its beautiful streets, savor its delicious food, and embrace the art, culture, and romance that the “City of Love” is known for.


As your day trip comes to an end, you can reflect on the memories made, the sights seen, and the experiences cherished. Remember to plan your return journey in advance, be punctual, and ensure a smooth transition back to London.


Whether it’s your first time visiting Paris or a return trip to relive the enchantment, a day trip from London offers a taste of the French capital’s charm and beauty. So, hop on a train, cross the Channel, and let your adventure in Paris unfold. Bon voyage!