Although there is plenty to see and do in London, if you are planning a visit to the city then it might also be worth remembering that there are also plenty of great European cities which can be discovered thanks to the Eurostar. It is possible to reach Paris in less than 3 hours via the Eurostar and it is then possible to connect to a whole host of other fantastic destinations and cities across mainland Europe. It would be very simple to combine a few days exploring London with a few days exploring Europe and we have chosen just some of the places you could visit:-
The most obvious destination choice is Paris; it takes just over 2 hours to reach the French capital from London when travelling by train and there is a lot to be said for this romantic city. Landmarks such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower cry out to be seen and there are a whole host of wonderful restaurants and cafés to boot; not to mention, of course, the very famous theme park which is also situated here. Other great attractions worth mentioning include the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Montmatre and Palais Garnier. With Paris being such a short train journey it would be entirely possible to visit just for the day (albeit with perhaps an early start needed) before returning back to your London accommodation, such as the London City Suites By Montcalm.
You can travel to Brussels directly on the Eurostar and it will take you around 2 hours to do so. This Belgian city is fast becoming a firm favourite for weekend breaks and getaways and is home to a number of attractions worth visiting. These include the centre of Fine Arts, the Belgian Chocolate Village and Mini-Europe. Brussels also has a thriving business quarter which may be relevant if you are travelling to London for work and perhaps staying at The Montcalm for Business.
You can only get as far as Brussels on the Eurostar but if you wanted to visit a quaint town with all the charm of Brussels and then some, it is worth catching a further train from Brussels to Bruges. Think cobbled streets, towering medieval architecture and more chocolate shops than you could shake a stick at and you’ve just about captured the essence of this wonderfully charming Belgian destination. It would take you a total of 3 hours to reach Bruges from London. Be sure to climb the Belfry which will allow you to experience a panoramic view across the city and head to the Markt to see the Provinciaal Hof, a dominating gothic structure made all the more remarkable when you realise it is home to the post office!
Probably the shortest journey on the list, if you are staying in the Club hotels London and want to hop on a train and be back again by nightfall then Lille should definitely be considered; it takes little over an hour to reach this French destination. Often considered to be one of the most underrated French cities there is plenty to see and do here from the breathtaking architecture of the Palais de Beaux Arts to the world famous flea market which arrives in the city on the first weekend of September every year. This Flemish city has a lot to offer visitors and it is well worth the short train journey it would take to reach here from London.
Another city which requires a connecting train at Brussels, a visit to the capital of Bavaria will take around 2 hours. Home to fascinating Baroque buildings, museums, beer halls and all manner of attractions in between, Munich is a pretty good all-rounder when it comes to keeping visitors entertained. It is perhaps best known for the annual Oktoberfest celebration but is a worth a visit at any time of year. You could explore the 18th century Nymphenburg Palace, wander the Englischer Gardens or visit the Hofbräuhaus am Platz; a legendary beer hall.
Once thought of as the destination for hen and stag parties from the UK, Amsterdam is another European city which has undergone a change and is now becoming increasing popular with all kinds of travellers. It would take over 4 and a half hours to reach Amsterdam making it less viable as a day trip but a short stay in this city would certainly be an enjoyable undertaking. Attractions worth seeing include the legendary network of canals, the Van Gogh Museum which is home to the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world, the home of Anne Frank, Vondelpark and Royal Palace of Amsterdam. The city is also home to a number of fantastic restaurants, bars and coffee shops which are also worth visiting. The Dutch capital certainly has a lot to offer visitors.
The longest journey on our list it would take a grand total of 6 and a half hours to reach Marseille from London but you won’t regret a journey to this southern coastal city. Marseille has long been a crossroads for trade and as such it is brimming with history from the 19th century avenues to the souk-like markets. The Old Port of Marseille, the Palais Longchamp and the Marseille Cathedral are all worth exploring although you may prefer to spend your time just wandering around the different markets which crop up here, taking in the sights and sounds and appreciating that you are making the same journey as people have for hundreds of years. Finally, one of the best things about choosing to visit Marseille by train is the views you will get as you pass through France and then home again; you might actually never want to leave.