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London to paris day tour


sghamby

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We did this several years ago and had a great day. True lovers of Paris will be ill at the suggestion of only one day but one day is far better than no day - and like us, it was a great introduction for a return trip of many days.

 

We took the early eurostar and returned late that night after a full day in Paris seeing the sights. We toured on our own, using the metro starting at the train station where we arrived. It was easy and enjoyable. Had a great dinner and then on to London. Highly recommend the experience if you are limited on time.

 

This was the night prior to the July 7th bombings in London so had we gone a day later we would have had the opportunity to stay in Paris for more than one day.

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Since we live in London we did that trip a few times.

Leaving London early in the morning by Eurostar you will arrive in Paris and be able to visit the city on your own. All the most important sights are one next to the other and you can easily move by the "Metro".

You will have a "glance" to the City and be back in London in the late evening.

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Has anyone taken the Eurostar from London to Paris for a Day Tour? If so, did you then tour Paris on your own.
As another Londoner, I've also done this a couple of times. Be warned: It is hard work. You will spend about seven hours of your day simply travelling from your London hotel to the first sight in Paris, and vice versa. That's about seven hours on Tubes, taxis, trains etc which could be spent sightseeing in London instead. Unless you know London really well already, or you have a real yen to sit on a train for the sake of sitting on a train, my advice is always not to waste those seven hours on mere transport. Paris will still be there, and she deserves a week - nay, a month - all to herself. Not just one paltry (half) day.
True lovers of Paris will be ill at the suggestion of only one day but one day is far better than no day ...
But that's not the choice. The choice is between a (half) day in Paris plus a lot of wasted time sitting on one's backside, or a full day in London.
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But that's not the choice. The choice is between a (half) day in Paris plus a lot of wasted time sitting on one's backside, or a full day in London.

 

Here is a reprise of our full day in Paris. We left Sloane Square by taxi at a quarter to six am and arrived at the eurostar terminal after six. We boarded eurostar for a 6:40 am departure and arrived in Paris at 10:30 local time. We had a nice breakfast on board, enjoyed the countryside as it whizzed by and relaxed for the day to come.

 

We spent the day in Paris finally leaving for the terminal by metro before 8 PM which gave us a full day of sightseeing in Paris or a little more than nine hours, which in my world is a more than full day of activity. We left Paris just before 9 PM and arrived back in London at 10:30 PM local time. In bed before 11:30. It was so nice to rest on the way back to London as eurostar is a very comfortable ride. The next morning just after 9 AM reports were coming in of the tragedy that had struck London. A rather somber day.

 

London is wonderful but so is Paris. Both deserve great time but an introductory visit to Paris or perhaps your only chance to see Paris should not be missed if you are so inclined.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was going to start a new thread on this but my questions are close enough the the OP's that I guess I'll just join in this one.

 

I'll be in London for six days in July, following a cruise. I was thinking of using one of the those days for a day trip to Paris via the Eurostar.

 

My first impulse was the escorted tours on the theory that with time being so limited, and this being our first time in Paris, having a guide to lead us around, avoid lines, etc. would be worth the extra cost.

 

Has anyone had a good experience using one of the escorted day tours from London?

 

What's starting to turn me off of the escorted tour is that they visit the Eiffel Tower but only the first or second level. Apparently lines are so long that a visit to the top is out of the question with the limited time we'll have. Going to the tower but not going to the top is kind of like kissing your sister, no? Takes all the thrill out of it.

 

Also they include a visit to the Louve to see the Mona Lisa, but I have have images of rushing past all the incredible artwork without time to absorb or appreciate it, ala that "European Vacation" movie with Chevy Chase.

 

So now I'm thinking the time spent going to the 1st or 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower and running though the Louve might be spent better doing other things.

 

So, can newbies (who speak no french, short of "oui", "bonjour" and "chardonnay"), really see the sights on their own during this busy time of year given the limited amount of time?

 

Or, if we get to Paris on our own are their better tour options available in Paris that we can hook up with when we get there?

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Has anyone had a good experience using one of the escorted day tours from London?

 

 

Yes, we used Premium Tours, and took the 2 Day tour to Paris from London. I highly recommend the tour.

 

Day 1:

 

We left London around 7am on the Eurostar. The tour guides met us on the train as we were crossing the channel. Asked whether or not you wanted a guided tour of the Louvre or not. (take the guided tour).

 

Arrived in Paris, 10:30 or so, not sure if there was a time change? Boarded a very nice motor coach for the panoramic tour of Paris. They pointed out all the places to go and where we were along the way.

 

We arrived at the Eiffel Tower around lunch time. The group then split up, the 1 day tour group went up to the 1st deck restaurant for lunch. Since we took the 2 day trip, we were escorted to the River Seine for a scenic 3 course meal with all the wine we wanted, on a very nice river boat. The lunch cruise was about 2hrs long, so when we returned to the Eiffel tower, we did have to rush a bit to get back on schedule with a quick trip to the 1st level of the tower to get some pictures.

 

We re-boarded the coaches to go to the Louvre, and were escorted on the guided tour to almost every one of the really famous works of art there. It wasn't rushed, and we were given information along the way about each of the pieces we were viewing.

 

The Louvre is huge, and those that did not take the guided tour, did not get to see all of the things we saw for sure. The guide new exactly which way to go to get to the places quickly and to avoid other tours.

 

I think we met back at the inverted pyramid around 4-4:30 that day and made our way back to the coaches. We probably had about 2 hrs in the Louvre.

 

Th coaches arrived back at the Gard de Nord train station around 5:30, and those that were on the 1 day trip, went directly to wait on the Eurostar return trip.

 

Our group met with the tour guide and she went over the transportation tickets we had (good for metro, rails, and buses), and took us to the hotel across the street from the train station. Everything was perfectly arranged. The check in was a breeze, and we were in our room by 6:00pm.

 

We found the bar, and asked about the places to go at night to see the city lights and eat. The square is all I remember, but it was way up on the hills overlooking the city. We took a taxi, although we could have taken the metro if we had know where we were going.

 

We got our pictures, and found a nice restaurant in the square for dinner. After some great food and wine, we taxied back to the hotel and made our way to the bar for a nightcap and to thank the bartender for the tip on where to go.

 

Even though it sounds like we had a hectic day, it was really not bad at all, since everything but dinner was all pre-arranged.

 

Day 2: The hotel had a free breakfast buffet included with our room, so while eating, we made our plans for the day. Where to go. We had seen so many things on the bus tour the day before, we couldn't decide where we wanted to go first. We ended up going to Notre Dame cathedral via the metro. From there we took the metro to the Arc d Triumph?

 

We walked the grand boulevard, (forgot the name) leading from the Arc to some of the shops and restaurants. Stopped at a sidewalk cafe along the way for lunch. Then back on the metro to go back to the square to see the artists who setup their works during the day. Up on the hill, there is also a very large cathedral that rivals Notre Dame in its works, but not in size.

 

We wandered back to the square again for some wine and cheese in one of the bars on the square. It was really beginning to get crowded and we found out why. It was May day and was a holiday in France.... go figure.

 

We rode the funnicular down the hill, to the metro stop and made our way back to the hotel. Then out for some shopping before we went to dinner. We found a nice brassarie near the hotel and had a really great meal, and the hotel gave us a coupon for 15% off to boot.

 

Then it was back to the hotel, grab our bags, and headed across to the train station to catch the 7pm Eurostar back to London.

 

To sum this up, you can do Paris in a day but I doubt you can do it without a tour unless you are very well versed on Paris already. The 2 day tour we opted for was perfect. A day on a guided tour, and a day on our own after seeing the city the day before.

 

Did 2 days do Paris justice, no, but it did afford us an opportunity to see most of the highlights of Paris, even if it was only for a short time.

 

Would we go back and do the 2 day again? You bet. But since we have seen the stuff on day 1, we would have to seek out another tour.

 

We will probably go back and spend a week at some point, but we also want to see other parts of Europe, so planning that trip will take some time to arrange....

 

jw:cool:

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Yes, we used Premium Tours, and took the 2 Day tour to Paris from London. I highly recommend the tour.

 

Day 1:

 

We left London around 7am on the Eurostar. The tour guides met us on the train as we were crossing the channel. Asked whether or not you wanted a guided tour of the Louvre or not. (take the guided tour).

 

Arrived in Paris, 10:30 or so, not sure if there was a time change? Boarded a very nice motor coach for the panoramic tour of Paris. They pointed out all the places to go and where we were along the way.

 

We arrived at the Eiffel Tower around lunch time. The group then split up, the 1 day tour group went up to the 1st deck restaurant for lunch. Since we took the 2 day trip, we were escorted to the River Seine for a scenic 3 course meal with all the wine we wanted, on a very nice river boat. The lunch cruise was about 2hrs long, so when we returned to the Eiffel tower, we did have to rush a bit to get back on schedule with a quick trip to the 1st level of the tower to get some pictures.

 

We re-boarded the coaches to go to the Louvre, and were escorted on the guided tour to almost every one of the really famous works of art there. It wasn't rushed, and we were given information along the way about each of the pieces we were viewing.

 

The Louvre is huge, and those that did not take the guided tour, did not get to see all of the things we saw for sure. The guide new exactly which way to go to get to the places quickly and to avoid other tours.

 

I think we met back at the inverted pyramid around 4-4:30 that day and made our way back to the coaches. We probably had about 2 hrs in the Louvre.

 

Th coaches arrived back at the Gard de Nord train station around 5:30, and those that were on the 1 day trip, went directly to wait on the Eurostar return trip.

 

Our group met with the tour guide and she went over the transportation tickets we had (good for metro, rails, and buses), and took us to the hotel across the street from the train station. Everything was perfectly arranged. The check in was a breeze, and we were in our room by 6:00pm.

 

We found the bar, and asked about the places to go at night to see the city lights and eat. The square is all I remember, but it was way up on the hills overlooking the city. We took a taxi, although we could have taken the metro if we had know where we were going.

 

We got our pictures, and found a nice restaurant in the square for dinner. After some great food and wine, we taxied back to the hotel and made our way to the bar for a nightcap and to thank the bartender for the tip on where to go.

 

Even though it sounds like we had a hectic day, it was really not bad at all, since everything but dinner was all pre-arranged.

 

Day 2: The hotel had a free breakfast buffet included with our room, so while eating, we made our plans for the day. Where to go. We had seen so many things on the bus tour the day before, we couldn't decide where we wanted to go first. We ended up going to Notre Dame cathedral via the metro. From there we took the metro to the Arc d Triumph?

 

We walked the grand boulevard, (forgot the name) leading from the Arc to some of the shops and restaurants. Stopped at a sidewalk cafe along the way for lunch. Then back on the metro to go back to the square to see the artists who setup their works during the day. Up on the hill, there is also a very large cathedral that rivals Notre Dame in its works, but not in size.

 

We wandered back to the square again for some wine and cheese in one of the bars on the square. It was really beginning to get crowded and we found out why. It was May day and was a holiday in France.... go figure.

 

We rode the funnicular down the hill, to the metro stop and made our way back to the hotel. Then out for some shopping before we went to dinner. We found a nice brassarie near the hotel and had a really great meal, and the hotel gave us a coupon for 15% off to boot.

 

Then it was back to the hotel, grab our bags, and headed across to the train station to catch the 7pm Eurostar back to London.

 

To sum this up, you can do Paris in a day but I doubt you can do it without a tour unless you are very well versed on Paris already. The 2 day tour we opted for was perfect. A day on a guided tour, and a day on our own after seeing the city the day before.

 

Did 2 days do Paris justice, no, but it did afford us an opportunity to see most of the highlights of Paris, even if it was only for a short time.

 

Would we go back and do the 2 day again? You bet. But since we have seen the stuff on day 1, we would have to seek out another tour.

 

We will probably go back and spend a week at some point, but we also want to see other parts of Europe, so planning that trip will take some time to arrange....

 

jw:cool:

 

WOW! That sounds like a wonderful introduction to Paris. I thought I could do it on my own. After reading on this board, researching, I purchased round trip airfare to/from Paris. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle at 8:15 am. Out of the airport by 9:30 (with our luggage in tow) found the Air France bus into Gare de Lyon to check luggage. That was a chore, nobody seemed to know where it was or how to get there. It ended up being in the basement way at the back of the station. Finally by about 10:30 we were on the streets of Paris trying to find the Batobus on the Seine. That looked easy on the map, but streets don't go through, you have to criss-cross to get to the river. Then walk down the riverbank, no sidewalks, or walk paths, to get to the dock. Finally on the boat and away from the dock around 12 noon(what leisurely lunch at a sidewalk cafe???). The boat ride was interesting, but at each stop (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc) there were at least 50-100 stairs to climb to actually get to each site, we knew with our mobility issues, we couldn't make those kind of climbs, so we had to be satisfied to jump off the boat, take a couple of photos and get right back on the same boat. No waiting for the next boat. Again nobody ever mentioned that the river actually sits so far below street level. We had a rushed trip through Paris, saw the sights from the River Seine, then back to the Gare de Lyon to pick up our luggage at 3:00 to get to the airport by 4 for our 7:00 flight to Rome. I probably wouldn't do it this way again, but at the time, I thought 7-8 hours would be plenty of time for a taste of Paris, but unfortunately the actual time it takes made it only 4-5 hours actually in Paris.

 

Your tour sounds absolutely the way to go if you have just a quick timeframe to see Paris.

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Thanks, jwjax. Sounds like what I wanted to hear. I think Premium Tours is the way to go, I'll just have to live without getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It'll give me a reason to return when we have more time.

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There is also a guided two hour english tour of the Louve that you can book yourself right at the museum. It's a little hard to find the sign up spot, but if you ask around, somebody will point you in the right direction. It was an excellent and very inexpensive tour.

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