Are you thinking of traveling to London from Paris for a day? If so, you’re in the right place! Here you will find all the answers on how to get from Paris to London and the best guide on what to visit in London in one day.
London is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities, and there is so much to see and do. If you opt for traveling by train the journey takes just over two hours and you will enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
Once you arrive in London, there is plenty to keep you busy. You can visit some of the most emblematic places in the city, such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, or Westminster Abbey.
Read on to find out how to get from Paris to London in one day and what to see once you’re there!
How to Get from Paris to London? The Best Options
Did you know that the distance from Paris to London in a straight line is only 344 kilometers?
These two great European capitals are very close to each other so you can have breakfast overlooking the Eiffel Tower and lunch facing the Thames on the same day!
There are many transportation options to get to London from Paris. You can go by train, bus, plane, car, or even ferry across the famous English Channel.
In this article, we will focus on the two best options for how to get from Paris to London on a day trip.
But before we go any further, keep in mind these two key points:
- France is one hour ahead of England, so keep an eye on each country’s timetable.
- To enter England, you must go through border controls, so you must carry all the necessary documentation.
Traveling from Paris to London by Train
Definitely, the fastest and most practical way to travel from Paris to London is using the high-speed train, the Eurostar. The train crosses the English Channel underwater through the well-known Eurotunnel.
- The trip lasts approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes; the Eurostar travels 320 kilometers per hour.
- The trip is direct; it is not necessary to get off at any time.
- There are many departures daily, from approximately 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
- The train departs from two central and main stations in each city:
- In Paris, the Gare du Nord station. You can use the metro, lines 4 and 5, or the RER suburban trains to get there. Several buses stop there.
- In London, the St. Pancras Station International. It joins the King’s Cross subway line, which is convenient for getting around the city center from there.
Regarding prices, as you can imagine, this option is too good to be cheap.
The most common prices are between €89 and €120 each way.
But if you take it out with time, you can get some tickets that cost a minimum of 50€. On the other hand, if you take it out too far in advance, prices can be around 250€.
Therefore, if you choose to travel by train, I recommend purchasing your tickets as far in advance as possible to save money.
Tickets can be purchased either at the train stations themselves or online.
The Best of Traveling by Train to London
- You don’t have to arrive hours in advance like at an airport.
- Security checks are much faster
- When you get off, it’s like getting off the subway.
- Arriving in central London, from this station, you can reach the main attractions in a few minutes by subway.
EXTRA TIP: plan what you will take in advance so you take everything you need and do not have to make extra expenses at the destination. You can download the PDF here; the price is up to you!
Travel from Paris to London by Plane
The second option on how to get from Paris to London on a one-day getaway is by plane. Although I already tell you that this option is not my favorite.
The flight between these two European metropolises takes approximately one hour, making it seem like a high-speed option at first.
But if we add the transfers from the city center to the airport and the anticipation with which you have to be at the airport, it ends up being a much slower option than the train.
The price of the flights ranges from 25€ to 60€ approximately, depending on the date you travel, the schedule, and how far in advance you buy the tickets.
The airlines that make the most trips between these two cities are mainly Easyjet, British Airways, and Vueling.
Here you can have a look at the flights for your travel dates. But before you make a decision, read on.
Most flights from Paris to London depart from Charles de Gaulle airport, about 25 kilometers from the city.
- The fastest and most economical way to get to the airport from various stops in the city center is to use the B (blue) line of the regional RER train.
- The ticket price is 11,40€ and the trip lasts between 30 and 45 minutes depending on where you are.
There are also some flights departing from Orly airport, especially those of the airline Vueling. This airport is located about 20 kilometers from downtown and is the city’s second airport.
- The most practical option to go from the center of Paris to Orly airport is to take the OrlyBus at Denfert-Rochereau, which is easily connected by metro lines 4 and 6 and with the RER line B train.
- The ticket price is 10,50€ and the travel time is about 25-35 minutes according to the traffic on that day.
In London, the ideal is to arrive at Heathrow airport, the main airport in the city, which is located about 25 kilometers from the center.
- The most practical and cheapest way to get from Heathrow to the center of London is by subway, using the Piccadilly line (dark blue), which has very central stops such as Piccadilly Circus, King’s Cross, or Covent Garden.
- A single ticket costs £5.90, and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on where you decide to get off.
London’s Gatwick airport is another option chosen by low-cost airlines. It is located about 45 kilometers from the city and is London’s second most important airport.
- The fastest and most economical way to get to London is to take the Gatwick Express train, which takes only about 30 minutes to get to Victoria Station in the city’s center.
- The trip costs £19.90 each way when buying a return ticket.
How to Go from Paris to London by Train or by Plane?
Although in principle traveling by plane is cheaper than by train, if we add the transportation to the center of each of the cities, round trip, the difference does not end up being so noticeable.
Especially if we do not get a very cheap fare on the flight.
In addition, the same thing happens over time. In principle, the plane trip is shorter because it only takes 1 hour versus the 2 hours of the train.
But if we add to that flight time the time it takes to get to the airports and the time it takes to go through all the relevant controls, we realize that the plane trip ends up being longer than the train trip.
The best option for a day trip to London from Paris is to take the high-speed train, Eurostar, although it is also the most expensive option.
Now that you know how to get from Paris to London, I’ll give you some recommendations on what to see and do in the English capital so that you can make the most of your trip.
10 Tips for Visiting London from Paris on a Day Trip
Visiting London from Paris in just one day is a whirlwind trip, but it’s certainly possible thanks to the Eurostar train connecting the two cities through the Channel Tunnel. Here are ten tips to help you make the most out of your day trip:
- Book the Eurostar in Advance: The Eurostar is the fastest way to travel between Paris and London. If you book well in advance, you can get good deals. Opt for the earliest departure and the latest return to maximize your time in London.
- Travel Light: Since you’ll be returning to Paris the same day, only bring essentials. This will allow you to move swiftly without the burden of heavy luggage.
- Have a Plan: London is a vast city with a plethora of attractions. Prioritize what you really want to see. For a day trip, focus on a few major sites rather than trying to see everything.
- Use the Underground: The London Underground, or ‘The Tube’, is one of the fastest ways to travel around the city. Get an Oyster card or a contactless payment card to tap in and out easily.
- Stay Central: Focus on central London attractions like the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and the Tower of London. They are relatively close to each other, making it feasible to explore in one day.
- Join a Guided Tour: To cover more ground and get insights into the history and culture, consider taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour or a guided walking tour.
- Quick Eats: To save time, eat on the go. London offers numerous street food options, quick-service restaurants, and food markets. Grab a classic British sandwich or fish and chips to experience local flavors without a long sit-down meal.
- Avoid Shopping: While London is a shopper’s paradise, browsing stores can consume a lot of time. If shopping is a priority, focus on one area like Oxford Street or Covent Garden, but be mindful of the clock.
- Digital Tools: Use mobile apps for navigation, booking, and tickets. Citymapper is particularly useful for navigating public transportation in London. Also, many attractions offer online ticketing, allowing you to skip queues.
- Keep an Eye on the Time: Lastly, always be aware of the time. London is captivating, and it’s easy to lose track of hours. Set alarms or reminders to ensure you make it back to St. Pancras International for your Eurostar return trip to Paris.
Remember, while it’s tempting to pack in as much as possible, the goal should be to enjoy and savor your experiences without feeling too rushed.
What to See in London in 1 Day? Main Attractions
London is a beautiful and vibrant city with many attractions to visit. If you only have one day, it is essential to organize your itinerary well to make the most of your time in the city.
Don’t miss this guide to the top attractions in London in one day!
Visit Buckingham Palace during your day trip. This is the royal palace that serves as the official residence of the British monarchy and recalls many unforgettable historical moments of the United Kingdom.
The palace’s interior can only be visited during the summer months when the royal family is on vacation, and the visit must be booked well in advance.
However, the experience of walking around its exterior and watching the changing of the guard is enjoyed year-round.
Big Ben is the name by which the clock tower of the British Parliament is known.
Although the name refers to the bell inside, the famous tower and its iconic clock have become a city symbol and a visitor must-see.
Be sure to take a picture with the slender figure of Big Ben in the background.
The London Eye
The huge glass cabins of this 135-meter-high Ferris wheel and its strategic location next to the Thames make it one of the city’s best viewpoints. London Eye is one of the best viewpoints in the city.
You will have magnificent views of Big Ben and the classic London scenery from here.
Thames River Cruise
Just as the Seine gives that special touch to Paris, so does the Thames to London. Seeing the city from the water on a boat ride is an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
In addition, the tourist boats are a practical and comfortable way to discover London. Like the tourist buses, you can get on and off as many times as you wish at the four stops along the route.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is an iconic historic castle approximately 1,000 years old. It is surrounded by a moat and situated on the banks of the Thames.
Throughout time it has been used for different purposes: defensive fortress, royal palace, prison, and the royal mint, among others. It currently houses the British Crown Jewels and can be visited inside.
Westminster Abbey is the main Anglican church in the world and the oldest and most famous religious temple to visit in London.
It has been declared a World Heritage Site and, since 1066, has been the place of choice for coronations, weddings, funerals, and many of the burials of English monarchs and famous people of the United Kingdom, such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, or Charles Dickens.
London Sightseeing Bus
The London sightseeing bus is one of the best ways to visit the city in one day. It allows you to visit the main places of interest efficiently because you can get on and off at any of its stops.
Some tour stops include Westminster, London Bridge, the Tower of London, and the London Eye. All a must on your visit to the British capital.
In addition, the bus has an audio guide in English that tells you about the historical landmarks and curiosities of the places you visit.
The British Museum
The British Museum in London is one of the world’s most important and most visited museums of history and culture.
It houses valuable objects from all continents that tell the history of humanity.
Some of its best-known pieces are the Parthenon marble from Athens, the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian room, and the most important Moai found outside Easter Island.
Admission to the museum is free. And you can book a free tour of the Museum to tour its rooms and learn about its most valuable works.
Free Walking Tour of London
This free walking tour of London is ideal for getting to know the British capital.
During the tour, you will visit many of London’s must-see sights such as:
- Buckingham Palace,
- Trafalgar Square,
- St. James’s Square,
- St. George’s Square,
- Westminster Abbey, and many more.
All in English and with a specialized guide who will tell you about the history and essence of the city.
Please don’t leave it to the last minute because spaces fill up quickly. Book your place on the free tour of London now.
Is it Worth Visiting London as a 1-day Trip from Paris?
Now that you know how to get from Paris to London in one day and what to visit once you arrive in the British capital, the question is: Is it worth it?
For me, visiting London is always a good idea. I love this city; I lived there for six months and have been back many more times.
So, if you are short on time and want to get to know the British capital, a day trip from Paris is an excellent option.
If you leave early and travel by train, you will have many hours to explore London.
You will be able to tour some of its main attractions, and there will always be time to return in the future if you are left wanting more, which is most likely.
Have a great trip and enjoy London.
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