The trip from Paris to London is common for many backpackers, as a lot of people will fly into London as their first destination, and then head onto Paris to begin their exploration of the European continent. Let’s examine the different ways to get from London to Paris and the costs involved.
Since it’s unlikely that you’ll get a lift over with the Manchester football hooligans in a big red bus (‘EuroTrip’) style, then you will need to organize an alternate form of transportation.
Of course I’m only going to list the budget options, as this is a backpacker site after all, and not intended for use by business professionals or those traveling without any regard for cost!
If you’re after some specific information, use these links to navigate the post.
The company EuroStar operates trains from London St Pancras International station to the Paris Gare Du Nord International station. These trains go underneath the English Channel in a tunnel built just for this purpose.
Both of these stations are easily accessible via the London Tube system and the Paris Metro system, which is a big plus for getting to your hostel quickly without the fuss of airports.
The EuroStar is a direct train, and will take 2h and 21m to arrive.
Hang on, how much is this going to cost me?
Whilst being a great way to travel from London to Paris, unfortunately the EuroStar is one of the more expensive options. Obviously if you book in advance you will often get a much better deal, and there are discounts for youths (those under 25).
In the low season it’s possible to book a train ticket from London to Paris for £38 (about 60 USD). If you don’t book ahead, you can be looking at over $200, so it can be expensive!
This is the most leisurely way to travel from London to Paris in my opinion as you leave and arrive in the center of each city, without dealing with luggage collection and airport to city transportation like you would in a flight.
There are obviously numerous flights from various London airports to Paris. I personally find flying more annoying than a train for relatively short distances, as you have to get to the airport, check in your luggage do the whole customs thing and so on.
A flight will take about an hour and ten minutes from London to Paris.
So what’s the cheapest way to fly from London to Paris, Tom?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Almost every time the cheapest option you have for flying London to Paris is using the budget airline EasyJet.
I actually don’t mind EasyJet, I think they’re a lot better than RyanAir for example, and I’ve never had an issue using them – and they definitely offer the cheapest flight for the London to Paris route.
A ticket will cost you anywhere from £20 if you book well in advance, to £50 – £100 if you don’t. There are always ‘web specials’ so keep an eye out for those. Remember that booking in your backpack will also cost you £9 – £15, as will getting transport to the airport. So don’t forget to add this into your ‘price flight’ when comparing travel options.
Luton Airport is about 48km (or 30 miles) north of London, and you cannot get there via the Tube system unfortunately. Here are the different ways to get to Luton Airport from Central London.
The trains run into the London Luton Airport Parkway, and then you need to catch a shuttle bus to the actual airport. This shuttle bus will cost you about £1.50.
There are two companies that run the trains to and from Luton Airport and London City:
First Capital Connect:
East Midlands Trains:
The easiest and cheapest way is via the RER trains which will take you directly into the city.
These trains leave from within the airport, and tickets will cost you €9 – €10.
You will need Euro coins or an appropriate bank/credit card to pay at the self service ticket machines.
The train will take about 34 minutes.
EuroLines is the cheapest option for if you’re after a bus from London to Paris. It will take a lot longer, and is less ‘luxurious’ then the train. But for those on a budget, this or a booked in advance EasyJet flight is the way to go.
The tickets will cost you anywhere from £25 to £50 plus, all depending on if you book in advance and whether it’s the peak season of the summer months.
There are Youth Discounts for those aged 13 – 25.
How Long Is It Going To Take?
This bus will take about 10 hours, the only real bonus here is that it’s possible to get a night bus. This can save you on one nights’ accommodation and still get you to your desired destination of Paris! This can be a real win for us budget travelers.
The other big advantage to trains and buses in my opinion is that you can hop-on, relax, and you picked up and dropped off in the centre of the city, so you can hop straight onto the Metro or Tube and head to your hostel straight away.
So there we have it, the three options (with EuroStar being the most expensive option) to get from London to Paris cheaply and on a budget.
It’s one of those trips that a lot of backpackers and travelers will make at some point, so it’s always important that you investigate all of the options available that will best assist that bank account of yours!
If you have any questions or want to leave a comment, then don’t hesitate to do so.
Safe travels out there!
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