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Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

Carlsbad, California
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54 posts
72 reviews
69 helpful votes
Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

I'll be in London in mid-September but can't help but want to visit Paris for a few hours to see the Eiffel Tower. I was looking at the Viator tours but I know myself and spending that much time on a tour would not be good. So I'm thinking of making a Eurostar train reservation myself that would give me 4 to 5 hours in Paris. Ideally, I'd like to get a hop on/hop off tour, stop at the Eiffel Tower, have lunch, get back on the bus if I have time remaining, then head back to the train station. Would this plan work?

the big blue marble
Level Contributor
17,061 posts
42 reviews
82 helpful votes
1. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

Yes. It would work. A lot of people here will tell you it is a bad idea. You won't really see Paris, but it's all about the journey and I enjoy my day trips to London.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11,321 posts
6 reviews
19 helpful votes
2. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

Try to book as early train as possible from London and as late as possible return.

4 hr. wouldn't be enough for HOHO, but you can go to Eiffel Tower and have lunch.

Book Eurostar train asap on https://www.eurostar.com/ or https://www.trainline.eu/ and don't allow to be transferred to raileurope or eurail websites.

Check in for your return is at least 45 min before train departure - take that into consideration.

Try to book advance ET ticket, or waiting in line will be loooong. www.toureiffel.paris/en

Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
54 posts
72 reviews
69 helpful votes
3. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

So if I drop the HOHO, I should be able to do it? If that's the case I'm thinking, get off the train, catch an Uber to the Eiffel Tower, have lunch, then Uber back to the train station. Or maybe still get the HOHO and take it to the Eiffel Tower, then Uber back to the train station.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11,321 posts
6 reviews
19 helpful votes
4. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

HOHO bus is painfully slow; more so during weekdays. It would be just waste of your precious time.

Get to Trocadero first for the best ET photo opp, before walking across the river for close and personal. Depending on the time used, you may try to get to Ile de la Cite for Notre Dame Cathedral walk around. You will also find more lunch places there as opposed to ET area.

If you get advance ET tickets and after visiting it will see that time is still good, you may take 1 hr river cruise.

the big blue marble
Level Contributor
17,061 posts
42 reviews
82 helpful votes
5. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

Do not use Uber to get back to the station. They do not have access to the bus lanes & traffic is notoriously bad around the Gare du Nord. Use a taxi. You could really use a taxi both ways. Uber is not cheaper in Paris.

Chicago
Level Contributor
6,639 posts
50 reviews
33 helpful votes
6. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

4-5 days isn't enough to see Paris! This amazing city and environs deserve 4-5 months, imo ... but that's me.

Utica, New York
Level Contributor
1,007 posts
2,099 reviews
849 helpful votes
7. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

Echoing another answer, if you only have a few hours, spend the money on a taxi. In this case, your time is more precious than a few euros saved by taking a bus.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4,312 posts
48 reviews
67 helpful votes
8. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

If you do as Tesa suggests - ie get an early train to Paris and a late train back - you can have a LOT more time than 4 hours. Why limit yourself?

The problem with this is, if you mean mid-September THIS year, then regardless of what train you take you will be paying a premium. Tickets for the Eurostar for September went on sale months and months ago.

I just did a dummy booking (on the OFFICIAL Eurostar website) for Wednesday 13th September and these are the results:

7:01am - depart London, arrive in Paris 10:17am (due to time difference) - €102

9:13pm - depart Paris, arrive in London 10:39pm (due to time difference - €63 (last train of the day and cheapest)

So, this would give you about 10 hours in Paris - taking into consideration getting out of the station upon arrival and another 45mins buffer before your train leaves. Plenty of time to see/do a few things.

I've seen other suggest itineraries for day trips, but maybe you could do something like this:

- take the RER B to the St Michel station and explore Ile de Cite (Notre Dame) and the left bank; maybe have lunch on Ilse St Louis?

- take the RER C to Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel station and visit the Eiffel Tower (you probably won't have time to go up, unless you want to climb the stairs to the 2nd level?)

- then maybe taxi to the Louvre via the Arc de Triomphe/Champs Elysees for photos etc OR you could take a Seine cruise from one of the many companies that offer cruises

- travel back to the Gare du Nord area and have dinner at a cafe near the station (walking via the Opera Garnier might take 45mins-1hr; obviously taxi would be quicker)

All of this is just a suggestion, but it shows you what you COULD see/do if you allocate more time in Paris.

Edited: 10:04 pm, August 23, 2017
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3,138 posts
81 reviews
43 helpful votes
9. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

I think the answer always comes out the same: if you think this is a wise use of your time and money, and consider what you expect to be doing on the day before and after this very long daytrip, go right ahead.

10. Re: Is 4 or 5 hours enough time for a quick trip to Paris

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