Heathrow Airport - Cardiff - London - Paris

Hello, I am traveling to Europe next month, starting in Great Britain. We are flying into Heathrow, late in the evening, and staying at a hotel near the airport (advise?). the next morning, we are headed to Cardiff for 2 days, then back to London for 3 days, and then on to Paris for 3 more days. Could you please help me choose the best rail plan options for me needs, and recommend some hotels near the train stations? (I have many Hilton/Doubletree points, so those would be best). Thank you for your help, Linda
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 09, 2015 19:46
    Hi Linda. Thank you for your question.

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would just be to purchase regular point-to-point tickets.

    A connection from the Heathrow Airport to Cardiff would first involve taking the Heathrow Express into the city of London. Conveniently, the Heathrow Express arrives into the Paddington station, which is the station in London from where trains to Cardiff depart. The Heathrow Express departs once every 15 minutes. The ride to Paddington takes about 15 minutes from terminals 1, 2, and 3, and about 23 minutes from terminal 5.

    Special tickets are issued for the Heathrow Express, which would be purchased here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/heathrow-express/index.html.

    You would purchase tickets and check schedules for other trains by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering a route. The trains between London and Cardiff are 'First Great Western' trains. The trains from London to Paris are high-speed 'Eurostar' trains.

    Trains operating within the United Kingdom (including the 'First Great Western' trains) can generally only be booked within 60 to 90 days of an intended date of departure. 'Eurostar' trains are unique in that they can generally be booked 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure.

    While we are the United States-based seller of European tickets and passes for the North American market, we do happen to have a link on our website from where you would be able to browse and book hotels in Europe. You would click 'Hotels' on our homepage. The direct link is: http://www.raileurope.com/us/hotel/hotel_search.htm.

    Since you'll be staying London and Paris for a period of days, you would want to consider purchasing city passes for public transit in those cities.

    For London, there is the London Travel Card or the Visitor Oyster Card, which would both cover the Tube, the Overground, buses, trams in London, as well as the Docklands Light Railway and National Rail services operating within the city.

    You would purchase the London Travel Card here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/london-travel-card/index.html.

    You would purchase the Visitor Oyster Card here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/visitor-oyster-card/index.html.

    For other city passes in London, please click here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/britain/london/.

    For Paris, there is the Paris Pass or the Paris Visite.

    The Paris Pass covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris. You would purchase the Paris Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-pass/index.html.

    The Paris Visite just covers local transportation in Paris, including the Métro, RER, and city buses. With the Paris Visite, there is an option just for central Paris (zones 1-3) and there is another option that covers zones outside of central Paris, as well (zones 1-5). You would purchase the Paris Visite here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html.

    For other city passes in Paris, please click here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/france/paris/.
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