Cheapest way to travel between London and Paris
Posted on Jul 8th 2019 By obptravel
Everybody knows that London and Paris are two of Europe’s most iconic cities. The British and French capitals have been friends as well as rivals throughout history, and are hugely important from an economic, cultural and political standpoint. Entente Cordiale matters aside, both cities are also very well connected to each other. Only 343km (213m) apart and separated by the English Channel, there are plenty of options to travel between London and Paris by air, sea, rail or bus/car (anybody remember the hovercraft?). So what is the quickest way? And the cheapest? And is it true that you can cycle? We describe all the options available for every pocket.
Make no mistake about it. The best way to travel between London and Paris is to take a Eurostar train. It takes just 2 hours 16 minutes to travel from city centre (St. Pancras International) to city centre (Gare du Nord). Some services also stop at Ashford and Ebbsfleet along the way. It is a short and comfortable ride on a modern fleet of trains, fully equipped with WiFi and a bar on board. Trains are frequent, with about 18 daily services each way, and almost always on-time. Despite a few hiccups with the service in recent years, most people travelling between London and Paris continue to choose the Eurostar as their preferred transport option.
However, this convenience also comes at a price. Unfortunately, the Eurostar is often in high demand and ticket prices are generally expensive. So what can you do to pay less? First all, we highly recommend that you follow Eurostar on social media or subscribe to their newsletter. That way you will find out first hand when they have ticket sales or other promotions. They tend to have ticket sales around January and September, and maybe other times throughout the year. You need to act fast, as the cheapest fares go fast.
Secondly, book your tickets with Loco2 or Trainline rather than on Eurostar’s website, so at least you can get some cashback with your purchase.
Last, you can join a forum or Facebook group where customers who have changed their travel plans, re-sell their tickets so they do not lose their money. However, please understand that this is forbidden and Eurostar could stop you from boarding the train if they find out.
Flights, buses and BlaBlaCar
You can, of course, fly between London and Paris. Air fares are usually cheaper than Eurostar, especially at the last minute. The flight is only about 50 minutes. Currently, Air France, British Airways, Easyjet and Vueling have flights to Paris (CDG) from several London airports (LHR, LGW, LTN, STN, SEN). Use our flight comparison search engine and find the best flight combination at the lowest price. Remember to add a further 27GBP (30EUR/34USD) per person to your journey at least to cover for the cost of public transport from/to the airport in both cities.
Did you know you could also take a bus? The journey takes about 8h each way (includes the Eurotunnel crossing) and you can find tickets for as little as 45GBP (50EUR/56USD) return. There are several companies that operate services between London’s Victoria Coach station and Bercy or Gallieni in Paris. The best option is to just use an aggregator like Busbud.
You also have the option of BlaBlaCar. If you don’t already know, it is a website/app for carpooling. Many people drive from London to Paris and, as a passenger, you can connect with drivers offering empty seats for a fee. If you have a pet, this is by far the cheapest way to travel between both cities, as it does cost a lot of money to transport pets in and out of the UK.
And for the sports nutters, there are many organised groups that organise bike rides from London to Paris. So yes, it is also possible to cycle if you really want to.
We hope we have at least given you more options if you want to travel between London and Paris, and that you are able to save some money on your next trip. Good luck finding that cheap ticket!