London-Paris by Eurostar Train (with Kids)

Updated: October 26, 2017

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If you’re taking the train between London and Paris then you’re taking Eurostar. We did the return trip recently and loved it. The train departs from St Pancras station in London, goes through the Chunnel, and arrives at Gare du Nord station in Paris. The train trip from London to Paris takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Tips for taking the Paris-London Eurostar train with kids

  • Buy train tickets in advance and as early as possible. There are a limited number of the cheapest seats and once they’re gone you have to buy the more expensive Premier and Business Premier tickets.
  • Bring food and snacks. Trains do have dinning cars but if you want specific food or treats be sure to grab them before boarding.
  • Don’t be late. Trains leave exactly on time so arrive at the station early. You’ll need to go through border patrol before getting on the train and this can take more than a few minutes if there’s a line.

Eurostar also does these routes:

  • London to Brussels
  • London to DisneyLand Paris
  • London to (Paris) to Avignon
  • London to the French Alps (Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne, or Bourg-St-Maurice)
  • There are also connecting trains to all over Europe (more info here on destinations)
Finding our way to the Eurostar terminal in London

The Eurostar terminal is located at St. Pancras station in London – follow the signs from the tube stop to get to the international trains

Pick up your tickets at the ticket kiosks

So easy a child can do it. If you booked in advance you grab your tickets from one of the many ticket kiosks at St Pancras station in London.

Print tickets

You enter your reservation code and then print the tickets. An attendant is there if you need help.

Eurostar ticket office in London

If you need further assistance or didn’t buy your tickets in advance there is a fully staffed and very helpful ticket office.

Waiting room for Eurostar trains in London

After passing through border control you find your train on the departures sign and wait for the boarding announcement.

People boarding the train in London.

People boarding the train in London.

To the train.

On the train platform looking for our coach.

Sign to help find your coach.

The train coaches are marked on the platform and on the train itself.

Gare du Nord in Paris.

In Paris the drill is pretty much the same. Take the metro to the Gare du Nord subway stop and then read the signs to find the Eurostar departures.

Train departure board in Paris.

Important: even though this board shows the departure for London you need to get to the Eurostar lounge to go through border patrol and board the train.

To the Euostar boarding area.

Go up these stairs just a short distance from the general train area.

e-tickets and ticketing office for Eurostar Paris.

Where you’ll find the e-ticketing kiosk and the main ticket office.

Border patrol for the U.K.

Then fill out some paperwork (which takes about 3 minutes per person), through border patrol (there can be a line), and onto your train back to London.

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24 questions and comments

  1. Paris with 2 Young Children

    Hi Dave, I’m planning a trip in February with an 8 and 4.5 year old. If you only had 3 days (we may have 4, I haven’t booked yet) aside from a river trip and the Eiffel Tower (a must for the 8 yr old) which other things would you suggest? The bike tour thing sounds fab but my youngest can’t ride yet so think that might be out for us!
    Any advice on how to get the most from our short trip would be really appreciated! There’s always more to see than time available! Thanks, Katie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      There are plenty of things to do that are kid friendly in Paris at that time of year. For museums, which are weather friendly in February, a great one for kids is the Natural History Museum. You also might want to check out the Guignol puppet shows at the Théâtre du Luxembourg. It’s inside the Luxembourg Gardens and the shows are really fun for all ages. This particular theater is indoors and perfect for the cold and rain you might encounter and if the weather is nice there is also a great playground there. Another unique thing is to explore the covered passages, the precursor to shopping malls. These old historic monuments are where people used to stroll around under glass roofs that protected them from the weather and they could shop comfortably. Most of them are in the 2nd arrondisement and the shops range from antiques to toy shops to bookstores selling old postcards. In general, I am weary of suggesting the super popular tourist sights since there are generally long lines and big crowds and it really depends on your kids. But since you’re going in February, there will be less people and it’s worth it to check out the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Catacombs.

  2. Where Can I Board the Paris Eurostar in England

    So the London station is the only one where the train leaves from if I want the train to Paris?

    Nadya

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      The train departs from St. Pancras International station in London and then stops in Ebbsfleet and Ashford before going through the Chunnel and getting to France. In France the train stops in Calais and Lille before getting to Paris.

  3. Booking Train Tickets from London with Kids

    Hi David, just checking on the cheapest way to prebook tickets from London to Paris also London to Cambridge return?
    Would you recommend seeing Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre with kids 8-9?
    thanks so much,
    Danielle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      The cheapest way to prebook Eurostar from London to Paris is via the official Eurostar website (booking in advance is highly recommended). You can also book London to Cambridge tickets online but unless you’re booking weeks in advance, you won’t save much as Cambridge ticket prices don’t change a great deal and then you’ll have to stick to a specific time slot, which will make your travel plans less flexible. I suggest just buying them from a ticket machine at Kings Cross Station (you can travel to Cambridge from London Liverpool Street also but the trains are less comfortable and take longer). From Kings Cross they run two times per hour and as long as you don’t travel during peak hours (before 10am or between 4.30 and 6.30pm) ticket prices are pretty much what you get online.

      I know 8-year old twins who saw Wicked and loved it so yes, your kids should enjoy it.

  4. Buying Tickets for Toddlers on Eurostar

    Hi,
    We will be travelling with 2 year old twins London to Paris in June on a Thursday morning..
    Is it correct to assume the train will be completely full?
    We are intending on buying one ‘Child’ ticket to put two toddlers on one seat (even though children under four year olds can travel for free on our lap) + 2 adult tickets in the table seat formation.
    Our hope is that the 4th seat in the ‘table’ formation would be filled last, are we dreaming?
    Regards,
    Luke

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      It’s definitely possible to have an open seat but not likely. If budget allows I’d buy all four seats and enjoy the ride instead of saving money and worrying.

  5. Tax Refund on Eurostar London/Paris

    Hi there,

    I am going to Paris and London in December, do I need to file tax refund in each country for the things that we buy in each country? And is there any tax refund counter at Gare du Nord train station?
    Thanks

    Hsienny

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      Yes, you will need to file a tax refund in each country. In France, the way it works is that you can claim back the VAT (value added tax) only under specific circumstances. The shop must display the ‘Tax Free Shopping’ sign or sticker and you must also purchase at least 175 euros of merchandise on the same day and at the same store. Once you do that, ask for a tax refund form or slip while you are at the shop because they will need to sign it as well. Also be sure to keep the receipt itemizing your purchases, just in case. Unfortunately, there is no tax refund counter at Gare du Nord train station. You only get a tax refund when you leave the EU, and guessing from your question you are traveling to London by Eurostar. If this is the case, and you are not leaving France from a French airport, you’ll need to file the paperwork with a tax refund office like Premier Tax Free, Global Blue, Travelex, or Detaxe.com.

  6. Late Train from London to Paris

    Hi! We are planning a trip to Paris in March with our 3 kids (6,4 and 7 months). We plan to take a trip to London for a full day. In order to maximize our time there we were thinking to take the latest train out of London at 20:01 arriving in Paris at 23:29. From my research it seems that Paris metro stops running at 0:30. With a stop at border patrol do you think we would be able to catch metro prior to its last run? If not, are taxis readily available that late at night to accommodate all 5 of us? Thanks for any advice!
    Whitney Franks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      Border patrol is done as the train is moving between England and France (on board the train) so you won’t have to clear it after your arrival. The train is usually on time so you should be fine for the metro. Taxis (for family of 5) are easy to get at the station in any case.

  7. How to Go from Paris to London in December

    Hi,

    We are travelling to Paris in December. Thought of going over to London for few days. How should we make our way from Paris to London. Where to catch the Eurostar train in Paris. Thank you

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      It leaves from the Gare du Nord in Paris. Book tickets in advance.

  8. Day Trip from London to Paris with Kids

    My family and I are travelling from Australia to the UK in December…I thought a trip over to Paris for the day would be fun – especially to see The Eiffel Tower…is this do-able in a day – to then hop back on Eurostar?

    Dee

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      It would be a full day but is absolutely doable. Catch the 7am train from London to Paris and you’ll get there by 10:20am. There are evening trains from Paris to London pretty much every hour up to 9:13pm (and you arrive in London 80 minutes later with the time change). So you could easily have 10 hours to explore. Book your Eiffel Tower tickets in advance and hit that first then work your way back to Gare du Nord with possible detours through the Latin Quarter, Louvre Museum, and the big Paris department stores decorated with Christmas lights.

  9. Eurostar with Young Child

    Thank you so much. This is very informative and has put my mind at ease. First time travelling via Eurostar with my young one and had no clue where to start.

    Thank you ?

    Kim

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      It’s an enjoyable ride and much less stressful than flying. Do plan on arriving at the station at least 45 minutes before your departure.

  10. Direct Train from London to Paris?

    I thought the train stops at Calais and we must change trains there. Was I misinformed? Also is there a combo ticket that includes museum passes for Paris? I thought i read that on line. Thank you for any help.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      The London to Paris Disneyland train often requires a train change at Lille (in France) for a TGV train to Marne La Vallée station. But the London to Paris train is always direct.

      Yes, there is the Paris Museum Pass that covers many of the most popular attractions in Paris. It can save some money but its big advantage is to skip the lines at places like the Louvre, Versailles, Musee d’Orsay, and Sainte Chapelle.

  11. Mei

    Hi ! May i know if my train from Paris to London on 9.45am , what time I should be reach station ? And what is the public transport i can reach train station eurostar in Paris ?

    Many thanks !! 🙂

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      I would arrive at the station 30 to 45 minutes before departure. Metro lines 4 and 5 and RER B,D,E go to the Gare du Nord train station.

  12. Tracey

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the information. Can you please tell me how long border control is in Paris and London?

    We are taking a day trip from Paris to London return in October and I want to know how long we will be delayed getting through. We are from Australia. Will we need our passports?

    Many thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave My Little Nomads

      Hi Tracey. It took us about 20 minutes to get through border control. Yes, you will need your passports. Good luck.

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