Five reasons to travel Eurostar

Here are five very good reasons for taking Eurostar instead of the plane.

Since its first service in November 1994, the Eurostar group has been providing passengers with a high-speed rail option between the United Kingdom (UK) and mainland Europe. Initially only linking London and Paris, Eurostar now connects London with various destinations in France (e.g. Paris, Lille, Lyon and Euro Disney) and Brussels in Belgium. One can also reach major cities in Germany and many train stations in the Netherlands by taking Eurostar and one other connection. With frequent timetables and incredible efficiency, Eurostar offers a wonderful alternative to flying between the above-mentioned destinations.

Three classes are available on the Eurostar: Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier. When we took the Eurostar in January this year, from Gare du Nord in central Paris to London’s St Pancras station, we opted for the Standard Premier, which gave us privileged boarding, a better coach, extra luggage allowance and a light meal. Departing Paris around 5.30pm and arriving at St Pancras two and a half hours later (taking into account the one-hour time difference), whilst enjoying a delicious dinner on-board, couldn’t have worked out better! 

It’s probably fairly evident by now that I am a Eurostar enthusiast, but allow me to now share my five top reasons to eschew any other mode of transport in favour of this train.

passengers standing outside eurostar trains

1. Fast check-in
Firstly, our experience when checking in, going through immigration and passing security at Gare du Nord, was significantly less stressful than that of our airport experiences in Europe. Fewer passengers mean shorter queues and less time waiting. The security measures are sufficient without being tedious and over-invasive. And it’s quick. 

2. Super short journey time
Eurostar travels at speeds of up to 300km per hour. This means journey time is super quick, just three hours from London to Paris. Last time I flew, it took a total of nine hours, point to point. With frequent departures (London–Paris is hourly for most of the day), it’s a super-efficient offering. 

3. City to city
Part of the reason why Eurostar is so quick is that it is a city-to-city centre experience. So when you arrive, you face much easier access to your accommodation, and are on the spot for local metro connections. Contrast this with arriving, for example, at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris (located 25km from the centre of Paris) and facing a convoluted journey that’s 50-plus minutes by bus, or an €80 taxi fare. 

4. Affordability
While there are some great airfare deals, particularly since the arrival of EasyJet, the cost of travelling by Eurostar is comparable when you factor in time and additional airport transfers. A regular fare starts around € 75, but you can access some great Eurostar deals if you are flexible about the time and day you travel. 

5. It’s fun!
Train travel has a lot going for it. It’s more enjoyable and relaxed than plane travel. There’s much more room, far greater comfort and it’s definitely more social, since it is easier to walk up and down the carriage and strike a conversation. 

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    Lucy Fallick is an avid traveller, saving her pennies at every chance to explore and experience our own backyard and the rest of the world. Rightly or wrongly, she strongly believes she inherited her itchy feet from her travel-writing mother (aka her trip-planning partner in crime).





    COMMENTS

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    Wattap
    21st May 2016
    7:37am
    We were shocked to find the train quite grotty and needed an upgrade. I'd recommend taking your own food/drinks. The trip itself goes very fast and is nothing special but the convenience outweighs the complaints.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2016
    4:59pm
    True I have to agree with your comment.
    MICK
    21st May 2016
    9:52am
    Eh Gad....is this nepotism? Just kidding.
    Whilst we have travelled on the bullet train in Japan Europe is yet to come. Maybe next year.
    I have to say that we are fans of cattle class as not looking for the add-ons but rather getting from point A to Point B at the best rate. I'll look into Eurostar for our 2017 trip to France. We had intended to rent a Renault for the month as there are great leasing deals which come up but the train is a good compromise, although it is unlikely we will get to where we need to get to via this method of transport. Certainly worth a look though.
    Thanks for the info. Can never get too much of that.
    Doodlebug44
    21st May 2016
    12:00pm
    I found the departure tax from Heathrow very high and by travelling Eurostar to Paris then flying home from there outweighs the train fare.

    4th Jan 2019
    10:25pm
    I found the flight charge from Heathrow high and by going Eurostar to Venice at that point flying home from that point exceeds the train passage iVapeUK


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