Take the overnight train to Munich, then travel through mountains and forests, passing waterfalls and alpine villages, and arrive in beautiful Innsbruck in time for lunch. Bordered by mountains, this lovely city is an enclave of charm. Its old town is a fairy tale illustration of cheerful cafes, churches and neatly polished shops, and as a regular location of the Winter Olympics, its sporting facilities are second to none- including the world famous ski jump designed by architect Zaha Hadid. Explore galleries, palaces and cosy cafes, or take the funicular railway and cable car up the soaring Nordkette Mountain and admire all of the city laid out before you, its rivers and roofs glittering in the sunlight. Return home 3 days later with memories that will last forever.
On Friday nights from late December to mid-April (but not 25 January to 25 February) the Paris-Munich City Night Line sleeper train is extended to Innsbruck, arriving at 09:46, with no need to change at Munich.
(No sleeper train between Paris Munich from 25 January to 25 February due to engineering works)
Go from the champagne bar of St Pancras to the heart of Paris in under three hours.
Check-in at The Eurostar terminal is smooth and simple, with e-ticket machines and a brisk security scan. Queues are usually short, though there may be a slight delay at rush-hour and weekends.
Check-in is open until 30 minutes before departure, and once checked in, there is a large passenger lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops and cafes including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating, with a travelator which delivers passengers directly to the platform, and makes it easy to manoeuvre luggage. There’s also a lift if you prefer.
There is a buffet car on board the train, and an optional executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi.
The Eurostar sets off from the beautifully refurbished St Pancras station, speeds through the countryside and takes just twenty minutes to dash through the Channel Tunnel and emerge in France. The journey is deceptively fast- the comfortable train rockets trough Kent, beneath the channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport.
The train arrives at the Gare du Nord in Paris after two hours and fifteen minutes.
Leave in the afternoon and the Eurostar will pull into the Gare Du Nord two hours and fifteen minutes later, in time for cocktail hour.
Days 1 - 2
Make your way to the Gare De L'Est, which is just a fifteen minute walk away, or you can take a taxi from the front of Gare Du Nord, and take the overnight train down to Munich on the excellent City Night Line service. Before setting off to the Gare De L'Est you could have dinner at one of the excellent brasseries opposite Gare Du Nord or even take a picnic on the train.
Days 2 - 3
In the afternoon, after lunch, take the funicular railway and cable car up the Nordkette mountains for an amazing view of Innsbruck. Have dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants, such as The Lichtblick and finish the night with a cocktail at Café 360 with its incredible view.
The following day spend the morning visiting the Bergisel ski jump and landsmuseum, which houses the Tirol panorama. Have lunch back in the old town or, for a treat, at Chez Nico. In the afternoon, wander the old town to see the Golden Roof and the wonderful Hofburg Palace
Take an early evening train back to Munich in time to catch your connecting overnight train to Paris- there is a buffet car on board, or take a picnic.
Make your way to Gare Du Nord to catch the Eurostar back to London St Pancras, allowing at least forty-five minutes for check-in. The journey only takes just over two hours, so you should be back in plenty of time for your connection to your onward journey home.
Of course, if you can't bear to leave, you could always stay for just one more night in Paris...
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