Travelling on a Eurostar train
At a glance
- High speed train
Launched in 1994, Eurostar is the high-speed train operating between the UK and mainland Europe. Eurostar specialises in speedy travel, air-conditioned comfort, easy check-in and ultra-reliable trains that travel through the Channel Tunnel to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.
Eurostar can travel at a speed of up to 300km/h, with many trains leaving London St Pancras everyday bound for France and Belgium. Several services also stop at Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International in Kent, UK. The most popular route, between London and Paris, runs every day of the week except 25 December.
Eurostar also runs a direct service between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Eurostar's network extends to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille and the EuroDisney resort at Marne la Vallée-Chessy, although some of Eurostar’s services are seasonal. During the summer period, from May to September, Eurostar has direct services between London and Avignon. During the winter period, from December to April, Eurostar directly links London to Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne and Bourg-Saint-Maurice, enabling access to over 40 ski resorts across the Alps, including Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Méribel and Les Arcs. Unfortunately this ski service will not be in operation during 2020/21 winter season due to the repercussions of COVID-19.
Most Eurostar trains from London to Brussels also stop at Lille Europe, where you can easily connect onto the French TGV network. Some Brussels-bound services also stop at Calais. You can read all you need to know about Eurostar's superb subterranean service in our Eurostar blog.
Before you board
Make sure you have a valid ticket before boarding.
There is airline-style check-in with passport control and security screening of your luggage at the Eurostar terminal at your station of departure. You need to label your luggage and arrive well before departure time.
If you’re a citizen of a non-EU country, you will need to complete a landing card to hand to immigration staff.
When travelling with Eurostar, you should follow the "Check-in and Ticket Time Limit" instructions which can be found on your ticket under "Additional Information." Usually, though, passengers are required to check in at least 30 mins before their scheduled departure time.
Allow 60 mins check-in for seasonal Eurostar routes (Avignon, Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne and Bourg-Saint-Maurice). Note that the seasonal ski service is not in operation during the 2020/21 season.
Travelling with Eurostar is simple, fast and blissfully stress-free. Onboard Eurostar, you’ll find a sleek and efficient service. Every Eurostar train has two onboard cafés and free wifi.
One of the best things about travelling with Eurostar is that there’s no weight limit for your luggage as long as you’re able to carry your own bags and store them safely in the luggage racks onboard.
Booking and printing options
Eurostar tickets are open for bookings 180 days in advance.
Eurostar is a reservation-only service.
All Eurostar tickets are issued as Print at Home tickets.
Eurostar train tickets have no hidden fees and they include the price of your seat reservation.
Get the lowest prices on Eurostar by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.
Opt for off-peak Eurostar trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak Eurostar trains are more affordable than ones running mornings and evenings along with those running around the holidays, Fridays and Sunday afternoons.
Classes of service
Most Eurostar trains offer three classes of service – but trains to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, and the EuroDisney resort, as well as seasonal services from London to the French Alps, have just two classes: Standard and Standard Premier. As above, sadly there will be no ski service during 2020/21.
Eurostar Business Premier
As a Eurostar Business Premier customer, you need only to check in 10 mins before departure. But go early and enjoy the Eurostar Business Premier lounges. Seating is identical to Standard Premier. Included in the fare is a three-course meal served at your seat. Book 48 hrs before departure to specify your dietary requirements (eg. vegetarian, kosher). A Business Premier ticket is fully flexible and if your travel plans change on the day, you'll be guaranteed a seat that suits you on another train.
Eurostar Standard Premier
Standard Premier (previously called Leisure Select) broadly equates to First Class on Eurostar. Seating is much more spacious than in Standard Class with three seats across the corridor rather than four and power sockets (UK and continental plugs) at every seat. A complimentary light meal is served at your seat, a continental breakfast served before 11 am, and a two-course cold meal plus wine/beer and tea/coffee thereafter. In Standard Premier, you also gain access to Eurostar’s on-board selection of magazines.
Eurostar Standard Class
Standard Class seating on Eurostar trains is in open-plan carriages with pairs of airline-style seats on both sides of the central aisle and a small number of four seats around tables. There is ample luggage space in the racks at the end of each carriage and above seats. Legroom is adequate rather than spacious. On Eurostar’s classic Standard Class carriages, only coaches 5 and 14 have power sockets at every seat.
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