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Train from London to Paris

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Train from London to Paris

Does it take very long to go through customs in Paris when taking the eurorail from London? We arrive at Paris Nord at 2 and have booked a tour at the Eiffel at 5:30, later this month. We are US citizens. We will also return to London, via the eurorail. Again, are there long waits at London customs or is it easy to do? Is Gare du Nord the same as Paris Nord?

Thank you.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
London
England, UK
Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord
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Paris, France
Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Train from London to Paris

On the way to Paris, you actually clear customs in London. You are dealing with the large train load of people but because people arrive at staggered times to leave, the lines aren't too bad. The same when you leave Paris, you have to clear EU border control for leaving the EU and then clear British customs all before you board the train. These lines aren't that bad either, even if you arrive just before the 30 minute window before the train departs, you will get through quickly. We never have waited that long to clear in either London or Paris.

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Ile-de-France, France
London
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West Sussex, England
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2. Re: Train from London to Paris

Customs and immigration is all dealt with *before* boarding the Eurostar at St Pancras. When you get off the train at Gare du Nord (this is the same as Paris Nord) you simply walk straight out into the station and follow the signs for metro or taxi or bus. Are you planning to go first to your hotel and drop off luggage, or is this a day trip?

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Hotel At Gare du Nord
Hotel At Gare du Nord
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Paris, France
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
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for London, Devon
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3. Re: Train from London to Paris

With Eurostar (not Eurorail) immigration and security takes place before boarding the train, in both directions. That's why you have to be there 30 minutes before. There are no customs to speak of. At your destination you just walk off the train.

Brussels
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4. Re: Train from London to Paris

< Does it take very long to go through customs in Paris when taking the eurorail from London? >

As far as I know, there is no customs inspection at all in Paris when you arrive from London on the Eurostar. Your passport is checked and stamped by a French immigration official before you get on the train in London. That only takes a moment.

< We will also return to London, via the eurorail. Again, are there long waits at London customs or is it easy to do? >

UK customs carries out spot checks on travellers arriving in London from Paris on the Eurostar. You would be very unlucky to be picked out. If you were, the customs inspection would take only a few minutes. Your passport is checked by French and then UK immigration officials before you get on the train in Paris.

< Is Gare du Nord the same as Paris Nord? >

Yes.

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London
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Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord
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Paris, France
Brussels
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5. Re: Train from London to Paris

< On the way to Paris, you actually clear customs in London. >

No you don't. Customs are not interested in outgoing passengers.

< The same when you leave Paris, you have to clear EU border control for leaving the EU>

UK is in the EU. You are not leaving the EU when you travel from Paris to London. You are leaving the Schengen Area. Before departure from Paris, French border police check the travel documents of outgoing passengers and UK immigration officials then check them for entry to the UK.

< then clear British customs all before you board the train. >

No. British customs is not present in Paris. There is a UK customs control point at London St Pancras station where the Eurostar arrives. It carries out spot checks on travellers arriving in London from Paris (or Brussels). There is no systematic customs inspection.

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Brussels
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Belgium
Braintree...
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6. Re: Train from London to Paris

We will have our luggage with us. The hotel is in the Champs De Mars area, so we are thinking we can drop the luggage there before going to the tower. Thank you.

London, UK
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7. Re: Train from London to Paris

Just one small addition to the above, if you are travelling on US passports, you will have to fill in a boarding card at Gare du Nord - these are available at counters along the passage on the way to check-in. I assume they are collected by the UK immigration officers.

In general the longest potential source of delay on arrival at either end is walking along the platform if you happen to be at the back of the train (although this is offset by a shorter walk when boardin).

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Hotel At Gare du Nord
Hotel At Gare du Nord
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Paris, France
Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: Train from London to Paris

Yes, take taxi to hotel, about 15 euros, dump luggage, then you can walk to ET.

New Zealand
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9. Re: Train from London to Paris

Remember, too, that passengers go through a security check similar to at airports when wallets, belts, etc need to be removed to go through the scanner with your bags.

Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: Train from London to Paris

But, as noted, on arrival at Gare Du Nord you will simply walk off train. Period.

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Hotel At Gare du Nord
Hotel At Gare du Nord
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Paris, France