We leave London today bound for Paris with a heavy heart. We do love London & the Cotswold and wish we would be back soon. We will be taking the Eurostar from St Pancras, London arriving Paris at Gare Du Nord. Travelling time will be 2 hours 21 minutes arriving Gare Du Nord at 2:52 p.m.
St Pancras International waiting hall. You need to go through customs airport style, as well as French immigration here. You board your train on the upper floor.
The Eurostar train that we boarded.
Eurostar’s train interior. There are forward facing & backwards facing seats. So book which one you fancy. Hand carry baggage are place overhead (ample clearance, 2 tiers) while bigger one at dedicated areas near the exit. The coach are air-conditioned and toilet available.
Safely arrived at Gare Du Nord.
Gare Du Nord train station.
In Paris, we had booked Hotel Richmond which is just across the street from Gare Du Nord. It’s hardly one minute walk from the exit of the station. We had chosen this hotel as we will be traveling to Amsterdam by train via Gare Du Nord. The location of this hotel avoids us from the need to take the metro, as Paris metro stations rarely have escalators and has many staircase going up & down unlike London’s tube. If you have big or heavy luggage, I advise you take a taxi. Don’t tire and frustrate yourself and curse unnecessarily. You’re on holiday.
For Muslim travelers, there are a number halal restaurants around Gare Du Nord. The nearest is to your right exiting the hotel about three shop lots away.
Hotel Richmond just across Gare Du Nord. Taxi stand is just in-front of the hotel.
Gare Du Nord from the doors of Richmond hotel.
Our room on the 3rd floor.
A couple of English cabel channels available.
Useful Paris metro route. Click to enlarge. Credit : mapaplan.com
Once hotel check-in settled and we had our late lunch, we are set to explore Champs Elysees. We took the bus outside Gare Du Nord and dropped-off nearby Champs Elysees Clemenceau and started walking toward Arc de triomphe. Along the sidewalk, you’ll find cafes with people drinking coffee and people watching people. The sidewalks were busy with tourist and locals as it was a Sunday. What you’ve seen in the movies of Champs Elysees is what you’ll experience, minus the sound of accordions.
First day Paris attractions itinerary. 1. Champs Elysees, 2. Arc de triomphe, 3. Concorde & 4. Louvre Museum.
No mistake where we are.
The sidewalk of Champs Elysees.
The sidewalk of Champs Elysees leads to Arc de triomphe.
Classic scene of cafes by the sidewalks of Champs Elysees.
Aah, the LV store. You need to queue to get in. Insane!
The busy street at Champs Elysees with Arc de triomphe in the background.
Naturally after walking down Champs Elysees we ended up at Arc de Triomphe. From Champs Elysees avenue, we crossed over to the centre of the roundabout via an underground passage. Here you’ll find a counter to purchase ticket to go up the Arc de Triomphe. So, if you just want to view it from ground level, proceed to the stairs to go up. Do not join the queue of people purchasing the tickets.
The construction of the Arc de Triomphe was ordered by Napoleon, the French Emperor in 1806. He built it to honor of his French army at that time. The construction of Arc de Triomphe was completed in 1836, long after Napoleon’s death in 1821.
The busy Champs Elysees leading up to Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe from the centre of Champs Eleysees.
The Arc from the sidewalk of Champs Elysees. See the people at the top? Yes, with a ticket you can go up. We didn’t.
View of the Arc nearer to the roundabout. Impossible to cross to the Arc, use the underground passage.
The majestic Arc de Triomphe.
The foot of Arc de Triomphe. There was a ceremony going on, no sure what.
View from Grande Armee avenue, the opposite side of Champs Elysees avenue.