By Rick Steves, Steve Smith and Gene Openshaw
No kidding. The most exciting single day trip from London is Paris, less than three hours away by Eurostar train. Paris offers sweeping boulevards, sleepy parks, world-class art galleries, chatty crêpe stands, sleek shopping malls, the Eiffel Tower, and people-watching from outdoor cafés. Climb Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower, master the Louvre, and cruise the grand Champs-Elysées boulevard. Many fall in
Like London, Paris has several major train stations, each serving a different region. The Eurostar train from London's St. Pancras station zips you to Paris' Gare du Nord station. Train information booths, change offices, the Métro, and taxis are easy to find. You'll need currency in euros to function in Paris (available from any ATM). Passengers departing for London on the Eurostar must check in on the second level at least 30 minutes in advance. A peaceful waiting area overlooks the tracks.
A Whirlwind Day in Paris
7:00 Depart London, setting your watch ahead one hour.
10:15 Arrive in Paris, take a taxi or the Métro to Notre-Dame.
10:30 Explore Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle.
13:00 Taxi or Métro to the Arc de Triomphe.
14:30 Walk down the Champs-Elysées and through the Tuileries Garden.
15:00 Tour the Louvre.
18:00 Taxi or Métro to Trocadero, walk to Eiffel Tower (if you ascend, allow plenty of time for delays).
One hour before departure, catch a taxi or the Métro back to Paris' Gare du Nord train station.
Catch late train back to London (usually 20:45 but always confirm train times when you buy your ticket) and set your watch back one hour.
Arrive back in London (usually 22:00).
Steve Smith and Gene Openshaw are the co-authors of Rick Steves' Paris.