How to travel by train from London to Paris, France
Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Paris, France.
A perfect urban break, Paris boasts a café culture and dining scene to satisfy even the most demanding foodie, a range of cultural attractions to suit all ages and interests, and some of the most alluring backstreets in Europe. Yet with over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, some of Europe’s greatest museums, beautiful open parks and endless art galleries, this is not just a city for young fashionable couples. Read more about Paris in Green Traveller's Guide to Paris.
Journey Time: from 2hrs 16 mins
Sample timetable: Depart London 1.31pm, arrive Paris 4.51pm
Changes: None, it is a direct train
Frequency of Departures: 24/day
Carbon emissions: 4.1kg (flight would be 64.2kg)*
Bike hire at Station? Yes, there are several of the city's Velib cycle hire stations just outside the station's exit
Train Tickets provided by Trainline:
What's the journey like?
It's a direct train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Paris Gare du Nord. On board Eurostar, there’s a bar-buffet carriage that sells a range of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including champagne, as well as snacks and wholesome, hearty dishes. For those with standard premier tickets, light refreshments are served at your table, including a fresh, light, healthy meal, tea, coffee and soft drinks, and a glass of wine or beer. It’s about 30 mins from London to the Channel Tunnel, then, after about 20 minutes, you emerge for the quick onward journey through the beautiful countryside of northern France into the heart of Paris. This direct service is a fast and efficient way to travel from London to Paris, arriving in the centre of Paris in just over 2 hours.
Bienvenue à Paris! Paris Gare du Nord is one of the busiest train stations in Europe. It is the gateway to Northern France, has connections to Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands, and is also connected by metro and RER to the other mainline train stations in Paris for onward connections to the rest of France and beyond. The station is in the 10th arrondissement (district) of Paris near the Canal St. Martin and the historic Place de la République, which has many bars, restaurants and cafés.
Where to stay in Paris: There are lots of hotels conveniently near Gare du Nord, see below.
Mob Hotel is a particularly environmentally friendly and socially conscious hotel that's in the heart of St Ouen, just a few miles north of Gare du Nord and close to the Garibaldi metro station (line 13). The hotel is all about being socially engaged within its neighbourhood (the artistic creations of local craftspeople are everywhere), but it also has strong eco credentials, such as water jugs rather than plastic bottles, refillable toiletries and organic cosmetics in the rooms. The restaurant is fully organic with a seasonal menu that draws on produce from farming cooperatives or direct from local producers (they also make their own honey and beer).
Green Hotels in Paris: If you're looking for a particularly eco-friendly hotel, then these have all been certified by an accredited ecolabel: Hotel Gavarnie (near the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides Museum) | Hotel Le Pavillion (a former convent in the Saint-Dominique area) | Amélie Hotel (2-star) | Hôtel Malar (10 minutes from the Champs Elysees).
Other hotels near Gare du Nord:
Beyond Gare du Nord
From the exquisite elegance of the Place des Vosges to the gargoyles of Notre Dame and the gracious boulevards built by Haussmann, it would be implausible not to love Paris. It is, of course, a city big on romance and on urban chic. And these striking factors result in no small part from the great seam of inventive energy here. Paris continually pushes the boundaries of landscaping, architecture and civic engineering.
In 1889 Gustave Eiffel’s new ironwork tower was radical. Today such creative drive continues with a notably green theme. At Porte de Versailles, to the south west of central Paris, Le Projet Triangle is taking shape. A pyramid structure rising 200 metres, it is designed to optimise the generation of solar and wind power for use within the property.
Getting around Paris
From Paris Gare du Nord, you can take the metro to cross the city (there are 298 metro stations throughout the capital), as well as RER trains, which connect to many of the other main rail stations and Parisian suburbs. Just outside the station is one of docking station of the city’s successful self-service bike hire scheme known as Velib. The scheme allows you can pick up and drop off bicycles throughout the city at over 1,000 locations. You need a credit card to hire the bikes (a deposit is held as insurance in case you damage or loose the bike), but it’s free to use the bikes for the first half hour; thereafter it costs a few Euros depending on how long you take the bike.
For more information about where to stay and eat in the French Capital, plus local attractions and other things to see and do, see Green Traveller's Guide to Paris:
For more routes by train to France and beyond, see our Flight-Free Rail and Ferry Journey Planner