General Question

ftp901's avatar

What is the cheapest and safest way to travel between London & Paris?

Asked by ftp901 (1276 points ) August 12th, 2010

I’ve never travelled to Europe. I’m thinking about a trip to either Paris or London. I’d like to either stay in Paris and go to London for 1–2 days or stay in London and go to Paris for 1–2 days.

So, which combo would you recommend…and what is a fast, cheap, and safe way to get back & forth?

I speak english & almost no french.

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9 Answers

Megan64's avatar

Use the Eurostar that goes under La Manche. Or fly via Air Lingus or Ryan Air.

ftp901's avatar

…and also, can you do a day trip to either/or from either/or? E.g. Could you conceivably wake up in Paris, go to London for the day and then come back to your Paris hotel to sleep that night? And actually see something in London for the day?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The prices will really vary based upon your departure location and the time of the day/week/year. If this is your first time, your best bet is to work with a travel agent. Before you do though, check out some internet websites that give you a basic understanding of the different airports and methods of travel between London and Paris, such as train or plane.

I’ve been to both, and Paris would have been really challenging if I hadn’t been with someone that spoke a bit of French. If you don’t have someone to translate, I’d probably spend less time there than in London.

Both cities offer so much to see that I really want to recommend staying in one or the other or extending your stay.

jrpowell's avatar

If I was you I would just take the Eurostar. It seems like it is about the same price as flying and the nice thing is the trains leave leave and arrive from the city centers so that saves you a trip to the airport. That will save you a few hours of tube/metro time.

Rarebear's avatar

I was just in Paris and I speak very little French. I did okay learning French with a few podcasts (Coffee Break French is the best). In Paris many people speak English.

iphigeneia's avatar

Definitely take the Eurostar between the two cities. The best thing is that you arrive and depart from the centre of each city.

I was there in June, and while you can survive quite easily in Paris without a lot of French, it is much nicer being able to understand what is going on. Then again, if it’s ‘European’ Europe you’re after, Paris will give you a better idea of the rest of the continent and is richer in landmarks and art. I preferred London myself, but that’s just me.

jrpowell's avatar

I spent about a week in Paris and speak no French. The secret is to just try when you first speak to someone. Usually after a few seconds they would tell me they spoke English. But most people were not so nice if you just walked up to them and started speaking English. So at least attempt some French so you don’t look like a douche. But I had no problem with getting around and getting food and finding places to stay.

answerjill's avatar

If you really want cheap, there are buses that go from London to Paris. They put the bus on the train(!) when it is time to cross the Channel. It is cheap, but uncomfortable and time-consuming.

ftp901's avatar

Great, thanks everyone. Is there anytime of the year when a person would definitely not want to be in Paris or London if they plan to walk around the city? i.e. is it freezing cold from November-February and sweltering hot in July-August? I don’t want to go in either extreme.

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