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London to Europe without the Eurostar

If you want to travel from London to Paris or vice versa with Eurail this summer, you may need to find an alternative route (Pass holder reservations sell out quickly). We highly recommend that you consider the two-hour crossing from Dover to Calais with P&O Ferries instead - while they offer no discounts for Pass holders at this time, it's the fastest route to travel between mainland Europe and the United Kingdom.  


Book Eurostar seat reservations for August & September at least four weeks in advance. Book tickets for the ferry as soon as possible. 
London to Europe without the Eurostar route 5

Cities visited on this trip: 


1. London, England

2. Dover, England

3. Calais, France

4. Paris, France


For this itinerary, we recommend:

  • Eurail Pass: Global Pass
  • Reservation for the P&O ferry (not included in the Pass)


1. London, England

Once you reach the bustling city of London, no trip to the capital is complete without standing outside the gates at Buckingham Palace or enjoying the following hotspots: 


  • Explore the fascinating complex of the Tower of London, and marvel at the Crown Jewels, but don't get too close to the Beefeaters who patrol the grounds.
  • Head to Trafalgar Square to sit on the friendly lions who protect the rest of the city and dodge the thousands of pigeons who consider this iconic square home. 
  • Book last-minute tickets to a Westend show from TKTS in Piccadilly Circus - you can get cheap tickets to The Lion King, Wicked or Les Misérables (subject to availability). 

Travel time:




Reservation needed:

  • London

    London St Pancras

  • 1h 5m

    Reservation optional

  • Dover

    Dover Priory

You can also travel from London Bridge in under two hours without a reservation with your Eurail Pass. 

2. Dover, England

You can travel from London St Pancras to Dover Priory in just over one hour (reservation optional) or London Bridge to Dover Priory in less than two hours with your Eurail Pass.  


If you have time to explore this port city before the ferry leaves, store your luggage with Stasher at a verified location, and enjoy the following activities: 

  • Hike along the coastal path towards South Foreland Lighthouse to catch a glimpse of the stunning White Cliffs of Dover - home to rare birds such as peregrine falcons, buzzards, and sparrowhawks (but don't waste your time looking for bluebirds). 
  • Storm the castle! Perched high above the English Channel, you can explore England's longest-serving fortress, step into the grandeur of the Great Tower, and walk the lengths of the secret wartime tunnels. 
  • Check out Dover Museum in Market Square to see the world's oldest known seagoing vessel. Here you'll find a well-preserved Bronze Age wooden boat that has survived for over 3000 years. 

What's on the ferry

  • The Club Lounge serves wine and other beverages
  • Have a sandwich or snack in the Family Lounge
  • Children can enjoy the kid's club (summer season only)
  • Beat your best score in the Video Arcade Room
  • Cross the channel in style and watch the world go by

Travel time:




Reservation needed:

  • Dover

    Dover, Eastern Docks

  • 2h 7m

    Reservation required

  • Calais

    Calais Docks

Sadly, there's no discount to travel on P&O Ferries with your Eurail Pass, so you will need to pay full price for the crossing. 

3. Calais

When you reach the beautiful port of Calais, you can enjoy the stunning beaches of the Côte d'Opale, or easily continue your journey into the heart of France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and beyond. 


If you spend a night or two in Calais, be sure to: 

  • Dip your toes in the water at Blériot-Plage and stroll down this long, sandy beach - it gets busy in the summer, so keep going if you want to find a more secluded spot. There's also a city beach for small children.
  • Head to the Instagrammable Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville). It's an excellent example of Flemish architecture. It provides the perfect backdrop for Rodin's Burghers of Calais (a statue of six savours who sacrificed their freedom for the benefit of the besieged town).
  • If you're a history buff, you should visit an authentic bunker that houses the city's World War II museum. It's only a small exhibit, but who can resist seeing all the objects from the everyday life of a town under occupation? 

Travel time:




  • Calais

    Calais Ville

  • 1h 51m
  • Amiens


  • 1h 9m
  • Paris

    Paris Nord

You can pay extra to travel on the TGV trains on this route in two hours with your Eurail Pass (reservation mandatory).

4. Paris, France

Although our suggested itinerary ends in Paris, you have unlimited options once you reach the continent with your Eurail Global Pass. However, if you roll into Paris, be sure to tick these activities off your bucket list: 

  • Want to find a treasure trove of beautiful books? Search for this hidden gem opposite Notre Dame in the city: Shakespeare and Company is a quintessential bohemian bookshop you will love to explore. 
  • Travel like the rich and famous as you take selfies on the Champs-Élysées; this well-known shopping street is a true shopaholic's playground.
  • Climb the 674 steps to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and then take the lift to the top floor for picture-perfect views of the City of Light. 
Woman reading a book in Paris

Eurail 7-day Global Pass


You can travel for 7 days within the period of 1 month across 33 countries. We know paying extra for the ferry is not ideal, but you have over 30,000 destinations at your fingertips with the Eurail Global Pass.

  • Standard prices start from $ 309

  • Free for kids under 12

Eurail mobile Global Pass