Eurostar train from London to Paris

Buy tickets from £45 at www.eurostar.com

  Buy tickets direct from Eurostar at www.eurostar.com & print your own ticket.

  Eurostar bookings usually open 180 days ahead.

  You can buy tickets to Paris or Brussels starting in 130 UK towns & cities or buy a separate train ticket to London as explained here.

  Business Premier & Standard Premier = 1st class with drinks & meals. Standard = 2nd class.

 Tips on choosing a specific Eurostar seat

  Tips if you have to travel at short notice

 Buy special connecting UK train tickets

  Suggested hotels in London & Paris

What is Eurostar?

Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train linking London with Paris, Lille & Brussels via the Channel Tunnel at up to 300km/h or 186 mph.  Eurostar is owned 55% by SNCF French Railways, 5% by SNCB Belgian Railways & 40% originally by the UK government but now sold to overseas investors.  Eurostar carries passengers not cars, don't confuse Eurostar with Eurotunnel, the company which owns the Channel Tunnel whose car-carrying trains shuttle road vehicles across the Channel.  Eurostar started running in 1994.  This page explains all you need to know about travel by Eurostar.

Planning your trip...

  The video guide: London to Paris by Eurostar

  Eurostar routes & train times with PDF format timetable download

  Eurostar fares & how to find the cheapest prices

  How to buy Eurostar tickets online or by phone

  Eurostar's 3 classes explained

  Tips on choosing the best Eurostar seats with Eurostar seat numbering plans

  Useful Eurostar phone numbers

Checking in, on board, the journey...

  London St Pancras station

  Check-in procedures

  Eurostar's classic trains   Refurbished e300   New e320 trains

  On-board facilities, food & WiFi

  Luggage on Eurostar

  A Eurostar journey from London to Paris...

  Ferry alternatives to Eurostar & V-S-Orient Express to Paris

  Hotels in London or Paris (also see Eurostar & hotel packages)

Eurostar information on other pages...

  Taking a bike on Eurostar & European trains   

  Taking a pet on Eurostar & European trains

  Direct Eurostar to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille

  Direct Eurostar to the French Alps ski resorts

  Travel within Paris by metro, taxi or private transfer

  Luggage storage at stations in London, Paris, Lille & Brussels

  Eurostar through tickets from 130 UK towns & cities to Paris & Brussels   

  Buy special tickets from any UK town or city to connect with Eurostar

  UK to anywhere in mainland Europe via Eurostar

  General European train travel information

  Scotland to Paris by Caledonian Sleeper + Eurostar

  Cornwall & Devon to Paris by sleeper train + Eurostar

The video guide:  London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar routes & timetables

London to Paris, Lille & Brussels...

Direct Eurostars to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, the French Alps & Disneyland Paris...

Faster & more reliable than flying...

Eurostar fares...

How to find the cheapest fares...

If you have to travel at short notice...

One-way & open jaw fares on Eurostar...

Children & babies...

How to buy tickets

Buy Eurostar tickets online at www.eurostar.com...

Buy tickets by phone:  08432 186 186 (UK) or +44 1233 617575 (overseas)

Buying tickets if you're travelling beyond Paris or Brussels...

If your journey starts at a UK station outside London...

Eurostar's 3 classes explained

Standard class...

Also known as 2nd class, standard class is comfortable, carpeted and air-conditioned, and all seats have an individual reading light and fixed or drop-down table.  You'll have access to the two cafe-bar cars, or you can bring their own food & drink on board.  Only cars 5 & 14 have power sockets on classic Eurostars, but all seats have power sockets on the new e320 and refurbished e300 trains.  There will be free WiFi on e300 and e320 trains, although there's no WiFi on the classic trains.  Standard class seats on the classic trains don't recline, those on the new e320 and refurbished e300 trains can be reclined slightly.

2nd class seating ona classic  Eurostar   Standard class seats on a refurbished e300 Eurostar

Standard class seating on a classic Eurostar...

 

Standard class seating on a new e320. e300 trains are similar.

Standard Premier: 1st class for leisure... 

Standard Premier offers first class seating with fares aimed at upmarket leisure travellers & budget-conscious business travellers.  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in and no access to the business lounge, tickets non-refundable and only changeable for a fee.  A complimentary cold light meal and one round of alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks are served at your seat.  There are power sockets at all 1st class seats on all types of Eurostar, and free WiFi on the new e320 and refurbished e300 trains.  All seats adjust from upright to a slight recline and all seats have an individual reading light and fixed or drop-down table.  Although confusingly using the word 'Standard' in its brand name to help attract business travellers whose companies don't officially allow first class travel, make no mistake, this is indeed first class.  Standard Premier replaced Leisure Select (which used to have the same hot meal & drinks service as Business Premier) in September 2010.

Is Standard Premier worth the extra?  Standard class is perfectly adequate, and it's only a 2 hour 20 minute journey to Paris, two hours to Brussels after all.  There's no need to pay more if you don't want to.  But compared to standard class, Standard Premier gives you wider seats with more leg & elbow room, the chance to choose solo seats or tables-for-two, it's often quieter with few families and kids, and of course there's the included light meal with wine, beer, tea, coffee & soft drinks.  So yes, it's a nice experience!  See what the price difference is for your dates, as I've seen Standard Premier cost only £10 more than Standard, given Eurostar's dynamic pricing.

1st class seats - Business or Standard Premier - on a classic Eurostar   Standard Premier meal

Standard Premier seating in a classic Eurostar...

 

Standard Premier complimentary meal...

Standard Premier breakfast   1st class seats on a refurbished e300 Eurostar

Standard Premier cold breakfast

 

Standard Premier seating on an e320 or e300 train.

Business Premier: 1st class for business...

Business Premier uses exactly the same 1st class seating as Standard Premier, but in designated coaches and with fully-flexible & fully-refundable tickets, access to Eurostar's Business Lounges in London, Paris & Brussels and a 10 minute minimum check-in.  The fare includes a complimentary hot airline-style meal, champagne (a particularly nice Monopol brut), wine, beer & soft drinks served at your seat.  There are power sockets at all 1st class seats on all Eurostars, and free WiFi on the new e320 and refurbished e300 trains.  All seats adjust from upright to a slight recline, and all seats have an individual reading light and fixed or drop-down table. 

Eurostar 1st class seats - Business or Standard Premier   Business Premier breakfast

Business Premier seating in a classic Eurostar...

 

Business Premier cooked breakfast...

Eurostar Business Premier dinner   1st class seats on Eurostar e320

Business Premier dinner...

 

Business Premier seating on an e320 or e300 train.

Standard Premier and Business Premier passengers are accommodated in separate first class carriages but the seating is identical, with a spacious seating arranged 2+1 (2 seats, aisle, 1 seat) across the width of the train.  Eurostar vary the allocation of first class cars on each train between these two classes according to demand.  1st class seats have extra legroom compared to the higher-density seating in Standard class which has a 2+2 (2 seats, aisle, 2 seats) configuration.  See the Tips for choosing your seat section below for a Eurostar seating plan.

Choosing your seat

  Manage a booking at eurostar.com

The Manage a booking feature...

Eurostar seat numbering plans...

Tips for picking the best seats on Eurostar...

Useful telephone numbers...

Eurostar contact numbers...


Sponsored links...

 


St Pancras International station

Station facilities...

The gothic facade of London St Pancras

St Pancras' beautiful gothic facade...  The station building is now a luxury hotel, the Renaissance, accessed from the forecourt via the big archway in the photo above.

London St Pancras station, lower level   London St Pancras station, upper level

Lower level:  Entrance from street & Underground.  Shopping & food outlets.  Eurostar departures & ticket office...

 

Upper level:  Champagne bar, statues, upmarket bars & restaurants, track & trains.

A bit of history...

Check-in for Eurostar

You must check in for Eurostar 30 minutes before departure...

Check-in at London St Pancras...   See station plan

Entrance to departure area at London St Pancras   Eurostar check-in gates

This way to check-in!  This is the passageway off the main retail mall with check-in gates on the left, Eurostar ticket office & ticket machines on the right...

 

You scan your ticket barcode to open the automatic gates, then through security, then a passport check, and you're in the departure lounge!

Eurostar departure lounge at St Pancras

Departure lounge...  The Eurostar main departure lounge, with seats, mobile recharging bar, info desk, cafe, shop, toilets & bar.  In this photo you can see the travelator up to the platform, and the shop at the back.  The blue bench seating in the centre of this photo has now been improved with more regular seating of the brown type.

Business Premier lounge at London St Pancras   Time to board the Eurostar to Paris!

Business Premier lounge...  If you are travelling Business Premier you can use the Business Lounge with complimentary wine, spirits, beer, tea, coffee & soft drinks.

 

Boarding...  When boarding is announced, staff open the glass doors and passengers go up the travelators to the platform above.  There are six platforms, 5-10.

Check-in at Paris Gare du Nord...  See station plan

  • To reach the Eurostar check-in gates you must go up to the first-floor balcony overlooking the main concourse using the escalator opposite platform 17, then walk along the balcony to the Eurostar check-in gates which are at the platform 3 end.

  • Once past the ticket gates, French then British passport checks and the security scan, the departure lounge is on the first floor alongside platform 3 (there isn't a platform 1 or 2 at Paris Nord!).  It has seats, toilets, shops & cafe outlets.

  • If you have a Business Premier ticket you can use the Business Lounge with complimentary wines & spirits, soft drinks, tea coffee and snacks.  The entrance is at the very far end of the terminal, just keep walking forwards!

  • Eurostar trains leave from Paris Nord platforms 3, 4 5 & 6.  When boarding is announced 15-20 minutes before departure, you follow everyone else directly out of the terminal onto a short footbridge and down the travelator onto the platform.

Location of Eurostar check-in at Paris Gare du Nord

This photo is taken from ground level with my back to the trains and the main exit to the street in front of me, hidden behind the information kiosk.  It shows the balcony accessed from escalators opposite platform 17, leading to the Eurostar terminal.

Eurostar departure lounge, Paris Nord   Business Premier lounge at Paris Nord

Eurostar departure lounge at Paris Nord.  There are toilets, shops and cafes.

 

Business Premier lounge at Paris Nord, located at the far end of the Eurostar terminal.

Check-in at Brussels Midi...   See station plan

  • The main concourse at Brussels Midi is a wide and (it has to be said) gloomy street-level passageway running underneath all 22 platforms.  Eurostar trains leave from platforms 1 & 2, and the Eurostar terminal opens off this concourse at the platform 1 end.  It's marked Channel Terminal.

  • Inside the Channel Terminal doors you'll find a small waiting area with the Eurostar ticket gates, then passport checks (Belgian followed by British) then the X-ray & metal detector security scans.  Once in the large departure lounge there is a car-bar, jewellers and chocolate shop.

  • If you have a Business Premier ticket you can use the Business Lounge with complimentary wines & spirits, soft drinks, tea coffee and snacks.  The entrance is just past the cafe to the left as you walk in to the main departure lounge.

Entrance to Eurostar terminal at Brussels Midi   Eurostar departure lounge at Brussels Midi

The entrance to the Eurostar terminal in Brussels...

 

Inside the departure lounge at Brussels Midi...

Cafe in Eurostar departures, Brussels Midi   Food & drink area, Eurostar Business Premier lounge at Brussels

There's a cafe (pictured here), jewellers & chocolate shop...

 

Business Premier lounge. This is the drinks area.

On board the Eurostar train

There are now three types of Eurostar train...

There are now three types of train in service with Eurostar. 

  • Eurostar's classic trains still operate the majority of departures, dating from 1994 when Eurostar started.

  • e300 trains are the original train refurbished with a whole new interior.  One is now in service with more to follow in 2016. 

  • e320 trains are all-new trains built in 2015 by Siemens, now entering service mainly on the London to Paris route.

Eurostar's classic trains...

Most departures are still operated by Eurostar's original class 373 trains, also known as TMST (Trans-Manche Super Train) introduced in 1994 when Eurostar started.  They were refurbished with an interior by designer Philippe Starck in 2004 & 2005, you can find a virtual tour inside a Eurostar train at www.eurostar.com

Eurostar train to Paris seen at London   2nd class seating on Eurostar

A Eurostar at London St Pancras...

 

Standard (2nd) class seats are 2+2 across the car width.

2nd class table for four   Eurostar boarding in  London

Most seats are unidirectional, but there are some bays of 4 like this... Eurostar seating plan.

 

A Eurostar boarding in London...

Eurostar 1st class seats - Business or Standard Premier   Eurostar cafe-bar

1st class seats used as Standard Premier & Business Premier are arranged 2+1 across the car width, some unidirectional, some solo seats, some tables for 4, some tables for 2.

 

Cafe-bar.  There are two bars on each train in cars 6 & 13, selling tea, coffee, wine, beer, snacks & hot dishes such as chicken tikka massala. Pounds, euros & cards accepted.

Eurostar's refurbished e300 trainsFirst one now in service...

  • The first original Eurostar (TMST) has now been refurbished and entered service designated e300 - the 300 refers to its 300km/h top speed.  It's no mere change of the seat covers, it's a whole new interior, similar to the brand-new e320 trains which Eurostar has on order.  The refurbished trains feature free WiFi in all classes, power sockets at all seats, and USB sockets as well as power sockets in 1st class.

  • Only one e300 is currently in service, a second may join it in February 2016.  The refurbished (e300) and unrefurbished (TMST) trains will be used interchangeably, so there's no way to know if you'll get one or the other, it'll just be a nice surprise if it's an e300.  They have 18 cars.

  • The seat layout is similar to the original TMST with a few slight differences, but currently there's no e300 seat plan.  Notably seats 61 & 65 in cars 7, 8, 11 & 12 no longer face each other over a table, but are both solo seats, face to back.

e300 power car   1st class seats

The first freshly-refurbished e300...

 

1st class (Standard Premier & Business Premier)...

Standard class seats   e300 cafe-bar car

Standard class seats on an e300...

 

One of two bar cars on an e300, larger than e320...

The new e320 trains - first new trains now in service....

  • Eurostar introduced their brand-new e320 trains onto a handful of London-Paris departures from 20 November 2015.  Built by Siemens, the new trains feature free WiFi in all classes and power sockets at all seats.  The designation e320 refers to the train's top speed, although it can't currently exceed 300km/h on the London-Paris route.  And yes, seat 61 is still the best seat in the house - if you pick seat 61 in the right first class car!

  • Click here for e320 seating plan.

  • How to tell if you're booked on an e320:  If you visit the Manage a booking link at www.eurostar.com and select the option to choose your seat, if the train has 16 cars then it's planned to be an e320.  If it has 18 cars it's either an original Eurostar (known as TMST) or possibly a refurbished original Eurostar train known as an e300.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar's new e320...

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320

Standard class.  Sockets & free WiFi at all seats.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9...

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320

Baby-changing facilities in all toilets...

 

13% more luggage space per passenger...

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320

Seat 61?  A table for two in 1st class...

 

An e320 at St Pancras.


Luggage & facilities on board

  Food from the cafe-bar
 

Chicken tikka massala, wraps & a cider bought from the Eurostar cafe-bar...

Food & drink on Eurostar...

Power outlets for laptops & mobiles...

WiFi & mobile phone access on Eurostar...

  Luggage stack on Eurostar...

You bring your bags with you and put them on the luggage racks.  Large racks near the entrance doors easily take large items.  Anything up to back-pack sized will fit on the overhead racks above your seat.

Luggage on Eurostar...

Left luggage lockers in London, Paris & Brussels...

Taking a bicycle on Eurostar trains:  See the bikes by train page...

Taking dogs & pets on Eurostar trains:  See the pets by train page...

Travellers with disabilities on Eurostar...


A journey from London to Paris on Eurostar

The train leaves St Pancras...

The train manager makes his announcement that your Eurostar train to Paris is about to leave, the door alarm sounds and the doors then hiss shut.  As you settle into your seat, the brakes hiss off and the Eurostar very gently eases itself out of the magnificent arched trainshed of St Pancras International Station.  At this stage, the train is heading north, but almost immediately it makes a sharp right-hand turn past the huge steel gasometers that have been a familiar sight behind Kings Cross/St Pancras for years and which are now, believe it or not, listed structures.  Within a minute or two the Eurostar enters a covered bridge across the tracks leading out of the adjacent Kings Cross station, which becomes a long tunnel under east London taking the Eurostar east and south.

Boarding in London   Dartford Crossing

A Eurostar boarding at St Pancras...

 

Passing the QEII road bridge across the Thames...

...East London & the Dartford Crossing...

About 5 minutes after leaving St Pancras, you'll see a glimpse of daylight and the platforms of Stratford International station, only served by the domestic high-speed trains.  Around 8 minutes after leaving St Pancras, the Eurostar train emerges from the tunnel and starts crossing the wastelands of east London, past warehouses and run-down housing estates.  Just 10-12 minutes from St Pancras you'll see the impressive Queen Elizabeth II suspension bridge on the right, which carries the M25 London orbital motorway across the River Thames at the Dartford Crossing.  The Eurostar now plunges back into a short tunnel for its own crossing underneath the Thames, emerging the other side in the county of Kent.  Some Eurostar trains now call at Ebbsfleet station in north Kent, near the M25 motorway.

...over the Medway Viaduct...

The Eurostar train is now running at its full service speed of 186mph (300 km/h), with traffic on the adjacent London-Dover M2 motorway almost standing still in comparison.  Just 15-20 minutes after leaving London, the train crosses the most dramatic structure on the new high-speed line, the viaduct high over the River Medway.  To the right of the train as it crosses the viaduct, you'll see small boats moored on the muddy riverbanks far below you.  To the left of the train, over the top of the adjacent M2 motorway bridge, you can see Rochester Cathedral and Rochester Castle in the distance.

The river Medway

...across rural Kent...

Now at last you're in green and pleasant rural Kent, with villages nestling at the foot of the chalky hills to the left.  A few Eurostars still call at Ashford International station, a major railway junction in east Kent, but most Eurostars now 'fly' over the town on a huge flyover, with the station way below you, the town centre to the left and the old Southern Railway Ashford works to your right.

...into the Channel Tunnel...

Just 35 minutes from St Pancras, the fields and hedgerows of east Kent give way to the roadways and check-in lanes of the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal.  This is where cars and lorries are put on the Eurotunnel car-carrying shuttle trains to go through the tunnel to France.  Your Eurostar train passes through the middle of the terminal non-stop, and the train manager announces that you are about to enter the Channel Tunnel.  Passing through the Channel Tunnel takes just 20 minutes, and is something of an anti-climax.  The Channel Tunnel (sometimes called the 'Chunnel', but usually only by Americans) is just like any other rail tunnel, only a bit longer.  As a precaution, the yellow fire safety doors between each pair of coaches are closed during the tunnel transit, but you can still pass through freely if you want.  You still get phone reception inside the tunnel now, with mobile data too.

Entering the Channel Tunnel   Leaving the Channel Tunnel

Entering the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone...

 

Leaving the Channel Tunnel near Calais...

...welcome to northern France...

The tunnel is dark, so nothing to see, and no, you can't see the fishes...  But the Eurostar soon bursts into the daylight again at up to 100 mph, and you're now in France.  You'll see the French terminal for the car-carrying trains away to your left.  If you look to the horizon on the left, you can just see the distinctive clock tower of Calais town hall.  A handful of Eurostar trains call at Calais-Fréthun, a few miles from Calais town centre, but others just start accelerating onto the French high speed line.  Unlike conventional railways, the high speed line follows the contours of the land more like a motorway, and you will feel the Eurostar rising onto the hills and settling into the dips.  The area of Northern France crossed by Eurostar is largely flat farmland, dotted with villages built around ancient stone churches.  The variety of church spires you can see is remarkable!  The Eurostar may call at Lille or simply pass through on the centre tracks.  The line to Brussels curves off to the left soon after Lille.  Paris is now less than an hour away...

Scenery in Northern France

...your train arrives in Paris!

The high-speed line to Paris ends just short of Paris Gare du Nord, and the Eurostar passes seamlessly onto a short stretch of conventional line to complete its journey into Paris Gare du Nord, the historic terminus where the traditional boat trains from Calais or Boulogne used to arrive.  The Gare du Nord is also the station for trains to Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne in Germany, and you will see red and silver Thalys trains arriving and departing from these places.

When you arrive in Paris at the Gare du Nord, you get off the train and walk forward straight off the end of the platform onto the main station concourse, and either out into the streets of Paris, or turn left and head downstairs to the metro.  There are no checks or other formalities to go through, you just walk off the train into central Paris, it's that easy!  For the taxi rank, walk off the end of the platform onto the concourse, turn right and walk out of the side entrance.  This video may help you know what to expect.

Eurostar arrives at Paris Nord   Paris Gare du Nord - exteriorl

In Paris, you just walk off the train onto the station.

 

The magnificent Gare du Nord...


Changing trains in Paris or Brussels...

Changing trains & stations in Paris:  See the Paris metro page...

Changing trains in Brussels:  See the Europe page


The train & ferry alternatives to Eurostar

London to Paris by train & ferry:  See the London to Paris by train & ferry page...

London to Amsterdam, Germany, Eastern Europe & Scandinavia via the Harwich-Hoek van Holland ferry...

Northern England & Scotland to mainland Europe by ferry...

London to Paris in luxury by Venice Simplon Orient Express, £690:  Click here


The European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe/Maps--Atlases/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.


Hotels & accommodation in London or Paris

Find a hotel in London or Paris...

You can find a hotel in London, Paris or almost anywhere worldwide at www.hotelscombined.com, just use the search box below.

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

A special Paris hotel for a romantic break...

Room 14 at l'Hotel, Paris   Main stairway, l'Hotel, Paris

Room 14 at l'Hotel, next door to room 16 in which Oscar Wilde spent his last days...

 

The distinctive light well at l'Hotel.  Each floor has its own circular landing.

Hotels convenient for the Gare du Nord & other Paris stations...

London St Pancras Renaissance 5-star Hotel, right at the Eurostar station...  Click to book the hotel

St Pancras station in London   A suite in the main building of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

5 stars... The magnificently-restored St Pancras Renaissance HotelAbove left:  A Chambers room.

The Great Northern Hotel...    Click to book the hotel

Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross   Great Northern Hotel en suite

Cheaper hotels near London St Pancras...


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