A visit to London and Paris is a classic European trip. Climb the Eiffel Tower, stroll up the Champs-Elysees, visit the world-class museums of the Louvre and the British Museum, and even take a day trip to Stonehenge. With this London Paris itinerary, visit two of Europe’s grandest cities and make some lifelong memories.
10 Day London Paris Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in London
Day 2: London: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden
Day 3: London: Tower of London, Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral
Day 4: London: British Museum and Greenwich
Day 5: London: Day Trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath
Day 6: Travel to Paris: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe
Day 7: Paris: The Historic Center of Paris, Musee d’Orsay, & Montmartre
Day 8: Paris: Catacombs, Montparnasse Tower, and the Louvre
Day 9: Paris: Versailles
Day 10: Fly Home
Where to Stay in London
Where to Stay in Paris
Best Time to go to London & Paris
London Paris Itinerary: Day 1
Arrive in London
Depending on your flight, most likely you will arrive in London in the morning. Check into your hotel and get settled. Only take a nap if you desperately need one. It’s better to drink some coffee and stay awake so you can adjust to the time change as quickly as possible. It’s amazing what getting out into the sunshine can do to revive tired travelers. However, it is London, so there is the chance that the sun will be hidden behind the clouds.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Normally, we do not recommend bus tours. Unless you are in London. This city is huge and the list of sites to see is long. Taking a bus tour is a great way to get an overview of this amazing city. Plus, it’s the perfect, low-key activity for jet-lagged travelers.
To get an overview of the city, I recommend the Red Route with Big Bus. This route takes you past the main sites without going too far out of the way. Enjoy the journey as you glide by Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and the River Thames.
Westminster Bridge, Big Ben & Parliament | London Paris Itinerary
Take a Ride on the London Eye
A ride on the London Eye is another ultra-touristy thing to do in London, but if this is your first time in the city, it’s thrilling to look down on the River Thames, Parliament, and out at the London skyline. You can purchase your tickets online in advance on the official website. If you want to skip the line and save time, purchase the Fast Track option, which is available on the official website and through GetYourGuide.
View from the London Eye | London Paris Itinerary
Have dinner and go to bed early to get that much needed sleep.
For full details on visiting London, I highly recommend you read our 5 Day London Itinerary post, which provides a similar but more in-depth itinerary, with trip costs, opening hours of attractions, money saving tips, maps, and links to buy all of your tickets online.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 2
Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Whitehall, Covent Garden
Westminster Abbey is the site of the coronation of the monarchs of England, royal weddings, and the funeral of Princess Diana. Thousands of people are buried in tombs and in the floor of the Abbey, including Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. Included with your entry fee is an audio guide that explains the history of this amazing place. Plan your visit and tour Westminster Abbey in photos in our Guide to Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey | London Paris Itinerary
To avoid waiting in line, it helps to pre-purchase your tickets online and arrive at Westminster Abbey 15 minutes before opening time.
From Westminster Abbey, walk through St. James Park to The Mall to Buckingham Palace. Most visits here are quick, with just a view of the Palace through the fence, but if you get your timing right, you can watch the Changing of the Guard.
The Changing of the Guard occurs every other day at 11 am (usually Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). In the summer, the Changing of the Guard may occur daily. This schedule can change and the ceremony will not occur in inclement weather. Click here for the up-to-date schedule.
If you want to watch the Changing of the Guard from the best vantage points and learn more about this tradition, this walking tour gets great reviews.
Buckingham Palace | Ewelina W/shutterstock.com
Next we will be walking over to Whitehall. Restaurants on Whitehall either mediocre or expensive (your best bet on Whitehall is The Red Lion). There are numerous restaurants to try just south of Buckingham Palace, including Bon Gusto (Italian), Quilon (Indian and Asian), or Buckingham Arms (bar/pub located on at 62 Petty France).
Churchill War Rooms
After lunch, walk to the Churchill War Rooms. This museum has two parts to it. At the Churchill Museum you learn about the life and legacy of Winston Churchill. Then you enter the Cabinet War Rooms. This is the underground bunker where Churchill and his staff ran their operations during World War II.
You do not need to be a history buff to appreciate this visit. We all found this fascinating, even Tyler and Kara.
Get more out of your visit on this small group tour which includes the Churchill War Rooms and a guided walking tour of the war sites in Westminster.
From the Churchill War Rooms, continue the walk towards Big Ben. Before long, you will be able to see some of London’s most iconic sites: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Parliament.
Of course, while you are here, it’s hard to miss Big Ben, one of London’s most famous symbols.
#10 Downing Street
From Parliament, walk up Whitehall. You will first come to #10 Downing Street, the official home of the British Prime Minister. The entrance is protected behind a fence with armed guards, but you will be able see the residence from a distance.
Horse Guards Parade
Walk one more block north on Whitehall to Horse Guards Parade. This is a large, gravel area used for parades and a daily changing of the guard (at 11 am).
Continue the walk north to Trafalgar Square. This is one of London’s most popular public squares. It has been the site for anti-war demonstrations, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and victory parades.
Covent Garden is a district in the West End that is now a popular shopping and dining area. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring this neighborhood.
There are numerous restaurants in this area, including a cluster of restaurants and shops in Apple Market.
Covent Garden | London Paris Itinerary
Neal’s Yard is a colorful alley in Covent Garden. It’s worth the quick visit just to take a photo. Just around the corner is Neal’s Yard Dairy, one of the best spots in the city to sample artisanal cheese.
If you want to see London illuminated at night, this 90-minute open bus tour goes past London’s most iconic sights, such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, just to name a few.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 3
Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Borough Market, Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sky Garden
Tower of London
For nearly 1000 years, the Tower of London has served as a royal palace, prison, place of execution, stronghold for riches, and the symbol of the monarchy in England. This is absolutely a must-visit destination in London. This was our favorite history lesson in London, plus the crown jewels are stunning, and probably the best in all of Europe.
The one-hour Yeoman Warder tour is not only educational but also entertaining (even for kids!). It’s a fascinating lesson about the history of London and the events that occurred at the Tower of London.
This highly rated tour fits perfectly into today’s itinerary. It begins with the Opening Ceremony of the Tower of London by the Beefeaters, followed by a visit to the Crown Jewels and ends with skip-the-line access to the Tower Bridge Experience.
Stroll across the bridge and take in the view down the River Thames.
Tower Bridge | London Paris Itinerary
You can also climb the tower to an elevated glass floor (click here to learn more). From here, it’s a thrilling look down at the pedestrians, cars, and buses traveling over London Bridge.
The View from The Shard
From Tower Bridge, walk west along the Thames River to The Shard. You know you are heading in the right direction if you see a building that looks like a giant piece of broken glass pointing up to the sky. This is The Shard, one of London’s newest editions to its skyline.
At the View from The Shard, you will have the highest view over London. It’s pricey, but it may be worth it on a day with clear weather. Click here to purchase tickets in advance.
Lunch at Borough Market
From The Shard, walk a few blocks to Borough Market. The food options are endless at this market. Stalls specialize in different cuisines from around the world, so this is a great place to sample some new foods or assemble a picnic lunch to enjoy back on the banks of the River Thames.
Note: Borough Market is closed on Sundays. However, there are numerous restaurants nearby if you are here when the market is closed.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
Continue your walk along the River Thames to the Globe Theater. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 and hosted plays written by Shakespeare. A modern version of the Globe Theatre was built in 1997 on the site of the original theatre. Visitors can take a tour of the theatre or watch a performance.
Sitting next door to the Globe Theatre is Tate Modern, a museum that is home to modern art. This is a place that most people seem to either love or hate. Either you will think the art is rubbish or you’ll think that it’s brilliant. Personally, we found it to be bizarre, which is exactly why we liked it. We kept our visit quick (about an hour) and were still able to tour most of the museum.
Built in 2000, Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Thames River. It has been featured in several movies, including Harry Potter and Guardians of the Galaxy. Walk across Millennium Bridge and continue on to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Millennium Bridge | London Paris Itinerary
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral dates back to the late 17th century. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London of 1666. Recent historical events that have taken place here include the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and the funeral of Winston Churchill.
For us, the highlight was climbing the steps to the Whispering Gallery and to the rooftop for views over London. Tickets can be purchase in advance through the official website and GetYourGuide.
View from St. Paul’s Cathedral
Monument to the Great Fire of London
After your visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, walk east to the Monument of the Great Fire of London. This is a permanent reminder of the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed the city of London. Christopher Wren was also the architect for this monument. If you still have energy, you can climb its 311 steps for another view over London.
Monument to the Great Fire of London
Some people say that this is the best view of London. What’s even better is that a visit here is free. From its large observation deck, you can look out over the River Thames and see many of the places you walked to today.
You need to book your visit online in advance (do so on the Sky Garden website). This is a great spot to enjoy dinner with a view or find a nearby restaurant or pub.
Sky Garden | London Paris Itinerary
London Paris Itinerary: Day 4
British Museum and Greenwich
The British Museum is one of the world’s greatest museums. This museum contains a massive collection of historical artifacts that were amassed while Great Britain was a major world super power. See the Rosetta Stone, a portion of the Parthenon, Egyptian mummies, and hieroglyphics. As you wander through these rooms you will be amazed at how much stuff the British Empire gobbled up during their world rule.
The British Museum website has lots of great information on how to organize your time and how to keep kids interested. To have the best experience, check out their recommendations.
There are several great things to do in Greenwich and this is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Old Royal Navy College
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Greenwich. It once served as a naval hospital and later as a naval college. Now, this site is being used as a filming location for many famous movies such as The King’s Speech, Patriot Games, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises.
Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian
Here is your chance to stand over 0° longitude, placing one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one foot in the western hemisphere. You can also visit the planetarium museum. Since this observatory sits on top of a hill, you have a great view over Greenwich and the River Thames from here.
Prime Meridian | London Paris Itinerary
The Cutty Sark was the fastest ship of her time, the world’s sole surviving tea clipper ship. Tours are available daily.
Up at the O2
The O2 is an entertainment district with an arena, music club, cinema, and restaurants. Up at the O2 is a 90-minute experience where you get to climb onto the O2 roof. The views over London from the top are spectacular.
You can do the climb during the daytime, at sunset, and at twilight.
Visit the Up at the O2 website for full details, hours, cost, and how to schedule your visit.
End the day with dinner and drinks.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 5
Day Trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, & Bath
One of the best day trips to take from London is to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the lovely city of Bath. It’s a long but memorable day.
You can do this on your own if you rent a car for the day. There are also tour companies that you can hire. Going by tour is good for those who don’t feel comfortable driving (you will have to drive on the left side of the road!) and for those who like the ease of joining a tour group.
Windsor Castle is the longest occupied castle in Europe. It is a royal residence of the Royal Family.
A visit to Windsor Castle generally lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. During this time, you tour the state apartments and St. George’s Chapel. The Changing of the Guard occurs at 11 am daily throughout the summer and on alternate days the remainder of the year.
During the summer months, expect a queue to enter the castle, so it helps to get here before opening time to avoid waiting in line.
Check the official website for closure dates which occur throughout the year.
Windsor Castle | London Paris Itinerary
Stonehenge, this mysterious ring of standing stones, is one of the UK’s most famous icons. These stones may have been standing here for 5000 years!
Stonehenge | London Paris Itinerary
At Stonehenge, you can walk around the circle of standing stones, learn more about the history of this place in the visitor center, and even tour Neolithic houses, located near the visitor center.
Tickets need to be booked in advance in order to guarantee entry into Stonehenge. Learn more about this process and book your tickets here.
Getting Here: By car from Windsor Castle, it is a 75-minute drive (70 miles). From downtown London, it takes 2.5 hours (90 miles). You can purchase your ticket in advance or onsite at Stonehenge.
You can get to Stonehenge from London by bus or train (but you will have to skip Windsor Castle). Click here to learn more.
Bath is a city located in Somerset, England. This city is known for its Roman-style Baths, beautiful Bath Abbey, and the Royal Crescent. This is a great spot to spend an afternoon. Wander the streets, dine in the cafes, and go shopping. There are also numerous tours and activities offered in Bath, from walking tours, to boat cruises, to hop-on hop-off bus tours.
Getting Here: By car, from Stonehenge it is a one-hour drive (33 miles). To get back to London, it is a 3-hour drive (115 miles).
Putting All of This Together
This is a long day and you do not have to visit all three places, of course. We skipped Windsor Castle, only visiting Stonehenge and Bath. We loved Stonehenge. Bath was nice, but it is a long way to go to visit a small but pretty city. If you don’t want a mega day of sightseeing (or you are traveling with kids), you can shorten the day by visiting only Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. We arrived at Windsor Castle just past closing time and it is something that I still regret not visiting.
We rented a car for one day for this road trip. If you have no desire to rent a car, there are numerous tours that you can choose from, to visit Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 6
Travel to Paris
The easiest way to travel between London and Paris is by train. Eurostar trains leave St. Pancras Station in London, travel underneath the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel (or Chunnel for short), and arrive in the center of Paris. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours and prices for a one-way ticket start at £56. You will arrive in Paris at Gare du Nord.
Book your train as early in the day as you feel comfortable doing so, in order to maximize how much time you have in Paris. I would recommend arriving in Paris no later than noon so that you have the full afternoon to see the city.
From Gare du Nord, take the metro or a taxi to your hotel and get settled. Have lunch near your hotel.
What better place to start in Paris than at the Eiffel Tower?
There are two ways up the Eiffel Tower. You can take an elevator or you can walk up the stairs. The queues for the elevators are very long and the queue for the stairs is much shorter. The choice is yours. If you take the stairs, you get to eat more chocolate and crepes later!
If you plan to take the elevator, I highly recommend that you book your tickets in advance or join one of these skip-the-line tours.
There are three levels on the Eiffel Tower. It’s roughly 300 steps to the first level, 300 steps to the second level, and an elevator to the very top. If you take the steps to the second level, on this level you can buy a ticket to take you to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
View from the Eiffel Tower | London Paris Itinerary
Place de la Concorde
This famous square is full of French history. This was the spot during the French Revolution where King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Robespierre were executed by guillotine.
From mid-November to early May a giant Ferris wheel sits in Place de la Concorde. If the line is short and you want a nice view of Paris, consider taking a ride.
Go for a Stroll on the Champs-Elysees
The Champs-Elysees is one of the most recognizable streets in the world. It is famous as being the finish of the Tour de France and the location of the Bastille Day military parade. Restaurants, shops, the theaters line the Champs-Elysees. It has a touristy feel but it’s still worth the stroll.
Along the way, if you want another French treat, consider stopping into Laduree for macarons.
Arc de Triomphe
It’s time to take in the view from the mighty Arc de Triomphe. This is my favorite view of Paris. There’s just something about looking down the Champs-Elysees to the Louvre, out to La Defense, and of course, having the wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. To avoid waiting in line, book your ticket in advance.
Arc de Triomphe | London Paris Itinerary
Dinner and Drinks
End the day with dinner and drinks. If you are looking for a very cool dinner/drink spot, go to the Buddha Bar. We loved it here. The lower level is a restaurant and along the second level are lounge areas with views over the restaurant. It feels like you have left Paris and entered Asia.
There are two locations of the Buddha Bar. We visited both and by far the best location is 8-12 Rue Boissy d’Anglas. From the Arc de Triomphe, take the metro back to Concorde and then it is just a 5-minute walk to the Buddha Bar.
For full details on visiting Paris, I highly recommend you read our 3 Day Paris Itinerary post, which provides a similar but more in-depth itinerary, with trip costs, opening hours of attractions, and how to get around the city. For ideas on what and where to eat, read our article 10 Foods to Try in Paris.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 7
The Historic Center of Paris, Musee d’Orsay, & Montmartre
Sainte-Chapelle is home to one of the world’s best displays of stained glass. It is gorgeous inside, much prettier than the inside of Notre Dame Cathedral.
This is optional, but for those with an interest in French history, you can visit the Conciergerie. This is where people were imprisoned before being taken to Place de la Concorde to be executed. Marie Antoinette is the most famous prisoner.
The Conciergerie is located next to Sainte-Chapelle.
Notre Dame Cathedral
IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire. The cathedral and the towers will be closed until further notice.
From Sainte-Chapelle it’s a very short walk to Notre Dame Cathedral. Unfortunately, since Notre Dame is currently closed, you will only be able to see the cathedral from the outside.
In front of Notre Dame Cathedral a small plaque marks Point Zero (Point Zero des Routes de France), the historic center of Paris.
View from Notre Dame | London Paris Itinerary
Before leaving Ile de la Cite, it’s a quick walk to one of the prettiest storefronts in Paris, Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. This is a small café so you can eat lunch here.
Another good lunch spot is Pom’ Canelle, a restaurant that serves French and European food at reasonable prices. From Ile de la Cite, cross Pont Saint-Louis to Ile Saint-Louis. This island gets fewer visitors than Ile de la Cite and it’s a good spot for lunch and to go shopping. Pom’ Canelle is located here, at 27 Rue des 2 Ponts.
For an amazing ice cream shop, walk just one minute to Bertillon Glacier. This place is world famous for its ice cream and sorbet. In fact, you could skip lunch and just eat here instead (we did!).
Walk Along the Seine
Cross Pont de la Tournelle to the Left Bank. Walk along the Seine. As you approach Pont de l’Archeveche you get a beautiful view of Notre Dame. Pont de l’Archeveche makes a great photo spot of the cathedral.
Continue the stroll along the Seine until you reach Musee d’Orsay.
Musee d’Orsay houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. It is here that you can see Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gaugin and more. It’s literally a collection of the who’s who in the Impressionist art world.
Musee d’Orsay | London Paris Itinerary
Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring Montmartre. This maze of hilly streets is one of Paris’ prettiest neighborhoods to visit.
I recommend getting off at the Lamarck metro station and walking towards the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. This is a very nice walk that takes you past photogenic spots such as La Maison Rose and Le Consulat Restaurant.
Before arriving at the basilica you will walk through Place du Tertre. This small square is filled with artists. Go shopping, grab a drink at a café, or have your portrait drawn.
The Sacre-Coeur Basilica sits atop the highest hill in Paris. The steps in front of the Basilica are a popular spot to watch the sunset. You also have the option to climb the 300 steps to the top of the Dome for an even better view.
Sacre-Coeur | London Paris Itinerary
For dinner, take your pick from restaurants in the area. We ate at Le Relais Gascon, a wonderful little place that prepares French food.
In the evening, you can watch a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge, which is just a short distance from the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Shows are offered at 7 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm. Sip on sparkling champagne and watch the show “Feerie” with this ticket to the Moulin Rouge. For more information, visit the official website.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 8
The Catacombs, Montparnasse Tower, and the Louvre
Descend under the streets of Paris to walk along hallways filled with bones. It sounds morbid but it is one of the neatest things to do in Paris, in our opinion. It’s also notorious for having long lines throughout the day.
People wait hours to enter the Catacombs. Only 200 people are allowed to enter the Catacombs every 45 minutes, so it’s important to get here early. You can also book your tickets in advance on the official Catacombs website or join this highly rated skip-the-line tour.
Take in the View from Montparnasse Tower
For one of the best views of Paris, visit the observation deck of Montparnasse Tower. There are two levels to visit, the 56th floor, which is completely enclosed by windows, and the observation terrace on the roof. This is also completely enclosed by glass panels but there are a few strategic openings in the glass for your camera.
For some of the best crepes in Paris, walk about five minutes to Le Petit Josselin (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
Afternoon at the Louvre
The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum. This building was once the home to French Kings, including Louis XIV. During the French Revolution in the 18th century, the Louvre was converted to a museum.
If you are an art lover, take several hours and enjoy this spectacular place. However, if you just want to visit the highlights, you can do so in about an hour.
For the best experience, book your ticket in advance to avoid waiting in long lines. There are also several skip-the-line tours of the Louvre. On this 2-hour tour, visit the Louvre with an experienced guide.
The main sites to visit in the Louvre are the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory.
This evening, you have several options. Have dinner in a French restaurant, take a dinner cruise on the Seine, or go shopping at Place de la Madeleine and at the luxurious department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
London Paris Itinerary: Day 9
The Palace of Versailles
Versailles is a royal chateau located on the outskirts of Paris. In 1682, King Louis XIV moved the Royal Court from the Louvre to the Palace of Versailles. For a little more than 100 years, this was the seat of government for France. That ended in 1789 with the French Revolution. The monarchy moved back to Paris and since then, the city of Paris has remained the seat of government for France.
During your visit to Versailles you will tour the palace and get to stroll through the gorgeous gardens. We visited on a rainy day, not the best weather for photography, but on a sunny day this place looks stunning.
How to have fun with kids on a rainy day in Versailles.
How long does a visit last? If you’re fast, it takes 3 to 4 hours to zip through the palace and walk a part of the gardens. Some people spend all day here, touring the entire gardens as well as the estate of Trianon.
Learn more about everything you can see and do in Versailles on the official website.
Afternoon in Paris
If you do not spend all day in Versailles and get back to Paris during the afternoon, there are several spots to try. Take your pick from one of three museums, the Rodin Museum, the Pompidou Center, or Musee de l’Orangerie, or visit Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
See our Paris itinerary post for full details.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Dinner and Drinks in Le Marais
End the day with a visit to Le Marais, one of Paris’ most interesting neighborhoods.
If you are looking for a budget meal, consider trying one of the falafel restaurants along Rue de Rosiers. The most famous spot is L’As du Falafel. We ate at Mi-Va-Mi, another popular spot, simply because it was the only one open during our visit.
If you don’t feel like eating falafel on your last night in Paris, there are many great cafes and restaurants in the area.
Fly home or continue onto your next destination.
Where to Stay in London
London is enormous. To maximize your time, either stay in the city center or pick a hotel within walking distance of convenient Tube station.
LUXURY: The Savoy. This world-famous hotel dates back to 1889. It sits on the River Thames and from here it’s just a short walk to Covent Garden and the British Museum. Have a drink in the famous American Bar and dine in Gordon Ramsey’s Savoy Grill.
MIDRANGE: The Sanctuary House Hotel. Just a 5-minute walk from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, this is a great mid-range hotel to consider if you want to be centrally located in London. Rooms are tastefully decorated and there is a traditional pub on the ground floor that offers hearty meals like fish and chips.
BUDGET: YHA London St Pancras. If you are visiting London on a budget, this property is a great choice. This hostel sits just across the street from St. Pancras station. It gets very good reviews and it is easy to get anywhere in London with its handy location near multiple tube lines.
For more recommendations on where to stay, read our Best Hotels and Neighborhoods Guide for London. Learn where to stay for a great view of city and get recommendations whether you are looking for a budget hotel, luxury hotel, or if you are traveling as a family.
Where to Stay in Paris
We have visited Paris three times and here is where we stayed.
Hotel Brighton. This is the most expensive hotel on this list but it’s worth it if you want an awesome view over Paris. Located on Rue de Rivoli right across from Tuileries Garden, you will be able to see the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe from your room. Request a high floor, preferably one with a balcony, for the best experience.
Hotel de La Bourdonnais. This hotel is located near the Eiffel Tower. From our room, if we hung our head out of the window, we could see the top of the Eiffel Tower. This hotel is under new management since our visit and it looks like things have changed for the better. We liked here, but not as much as the other two hotels in this list.
Le Relais Saint Honore. On our most recent visit to Paris we stayed at Hotel Le Relais Saint Honore. Our favorite thing about this small, boutique hotel is its excellent location. The Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Place de la Concorde, and Palais-Garnier are all within a 10-minute walk. The Tuileries and Pyramides metro stations are less than 5 minutes away. The rooms are small but tastefully decorated and the staff is friendly and speaks English. You don’t get the awesome view in this hotel but we loved the friendly staff and the location.
For more recommendations on where to stay, read our Best Hotels and Neighborhoods Guide for Paris. Learn where to stay for a great view of the Eiffel Tower and get recommendations whether you are looking for a budget hotel, luxury hotel, or if you are traveling as a family.
Best Time to Visit London and Paris
London and Paris are very popular destinations and they can be crowded almost all year. The largest crowds occur between May and September and during the holidays of Easter and Christmas.
The best times for this London Paris itinerary are late April into May and the month of October. Temperatures are pleasant and crowds are manageable.
If you have any questions about this London Paris itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to London & Paris
LONDON TRAVEL ADVICE: Here are 12 important things to know if it will be your first time in London.
LONDON ITINERARY: In our article 5 Days in London, we include detailed daily itineraries for exploring London. You can do all five days or follow just a day or two, if you have less time in the city.
BEST OF LONDON: For a list of the top experiences in London, read our article Best Things to Do in London. Tour Westminster Abbey in photos and plan your visit in our Guide to Westminster Abbey.
LONDON AT CHRISTMAS: For an overview of what to do, here are 15 things to do in London at Christmas. We also have guides to the best Christmas lights and best Christmas markets. Learn how to put it all together in our London Christmas Itinerary.
PARIS: For the top experiences in the city, read our article Best Things to Do in Paris. Learn how to visit Pere LeChaise Cemetery, plan your time with our 3 Day Paris Itinerary, learn where to get the best views of Paris, and read our Paris Food Guide for information on what to eat in Paris.
FIRST TIME IN EUROPE: If this is your first time in Europe, don’t miss our article 7 Things to Know when Planning Your First Trip to Europe.
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Could you provide a 7 day itinerary with London and Paris. I only see a 10 day itinerary
Sure. Day 1 – Arrive in London, see London. Days 2 and 3 – London. Day 4 – morning train to Paris, afternoon in Paris. Days 5 and 6 – Paris. Day 7 – more time in Paris or fly home. Basically, from the itinerary in this post I took out two days of London and one day from Paris. You can pick the days you don’t want to do and ignore them. For ideas on what to do on your first day in London, if it is a half day, take a look at day 1 of our 5 day London Itinerary. Cheers, Julie
Thanks Julie for the amazing itinerary and suggestions. We are planning to travel this coming May 2023 and would love to know about the overall expense to carry out a trip something similar to this.
Hello Ronit. Thanks for writing in. For two people in a mid range hotel, you will spend around $175 to $250 USD per night. For food, the average is roughly $75 to $100 per person for each day, more if you add in alcohol or fine dining restaurants. Public transportation within the cities is relatively cheap. You have to add on the cost of the train from London to Paris and entrance fees/tours in both cities. As a very rough estimate, for two people on a mid range budget, you will spend $500 to $700 per day. This does not include flight costs to get to and from London and Paris. Cheers, Julie
Hi there, Firstly, thank you for your amazing site and recommendations….they are amazing and incredibly informative!! We are just in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Europe. We are aiming for March 2023 and our first choice of destination is Ireland. We had discussed having this be our main destination and then jumping off from there to visit a few other destinations in Europe for a day or two each. After reading many of your posts and itineraries I’m beginning to think this might not be the best option? Travelling will be my husband and I and our two 16-year-old girls. They have their hearts set on a visit to Paris and my husband is hoping to visit Rome and we are open to other must see’s while there if time and costs permit. Would you have any suggestions on a trip that would include Paris, Italy (open to other destinations) but having Ireland be the main purpose of the trip? Thank you in advance for any suggestions or advice you provide me. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!
Hello Kerry. Take a look at our article Things to Know when Planning Your First Trip to Europe because it will have some tips to help you out. Paris needs 3 days and Rome needs 2 to 3 days. With travel time, that is a 7 day trip (taking a flight between Paris and Rome). Ireland needs a minimum of 5 days, but 7 to 10 is better. I don’t know how long you are thinking, but to do Ireland + Rome + Paris, you need about 14 days, without it being too rushed. With 10 days, you could do a London + Paris + Rome trip. Travel by train from London to Paris and fly to Rome. Book your flights to Europe open jaw, meaning that you fly into London and out of Rome (and you can do this trip in the opposite order, of course). Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie
Do weekend days affect the stops on this itinerary? If we fly Friday evening and arrive in London on Saturday morning, that puts day 1 and 2 on a Sat and Sun. And then while in Paris it would be day 8 and 9 would be over a weekend. Do you think that will make those stops significantly more busy, and maybe we should fly other days? We are looking at the end of October. Thank you!
Yes, places will be more busy on weekends, but in our experience, it’s not a huge difference. It’s more important to make sure your itinerary aligns with days when the sights are open. For example, the Louvre is not open on Tuesday. So I think it is fine to keep your dates but just take note of the hours of the sites. You may have to change the order of the days if something is closed. Cheers, Julie
Hello! I am planning a trip for my Birthday- October with my adult daughter. Super excited and scared! Came across your article and so happy because it contains some very helpful info so thank you!! I noticed in comments you planned without travel agent. I want full experience but afraid of cost – different travel fees, hotels etc. I will figure it out. My question:
If this was my last trip to Paris/France where are the key areas or places to visit? Asking because there are so many sites and places and due to cost, time and exhaustion lol just from reading lol. What places should we visit? And safest areas for 2 women?
Sorry it’s long ! Thank you!!
If you follow this itinerary, you will see the highlights of London and Paris as efficiently as possible. And these areas are safe for two women (I would not hesitate to do this itinerary solo). You do have to watch out for pickpockets, particularly in Paris. Get a tamper safe purse (we love the brand Pacsafe) and keep your valuables safely stowed in your bag. I use a cross-shoulder Pacsafe bag and have never had any issues in Paris, or anywhere else. If you follow this itinerary, the easiest way to do the Bath and Stonehenge day trip is to book a tour, or just skip it all together. If you have any other questions please let me know. Cheers, Julie
Hi – I have only 6 hours to see the paris , I am reaching their by n11 am from London . I looked up at your Itinerary and its really very nice . Can you pls help answer the following questions ?
1. Can I do Eiffel Tower ( not going inside ) , place De La Concorde and Champs , Arc de Trimpohe together ? they all are close by and walking distance ? I am thinking I f they all are connected , I can do it from 12 to 4 pm
2. How far is the Louvre Museum from Eiffel tower by Cab ? Also is Notre Dame Cathedral close to the museum . I can do all these by 5.30 pm . I saw your notes on how to do museum in an hour .
I am also following your itinerary 5 days stays in London . Great job by you guys . Its so helpful .
Thanks a lot for putting together these Itinerary .
Hello Rachna. Since your schedule is different, here is the order I recommend to make the most of your time.
If you really want to see Notre Dame, start here (take a taxi from the train station or ride the metro). From Notre Dame, it is about a 20 minute walk to the Louvre and it’s a beautiful walk so it’s worth it. You will walk right along the Seine. Google maps can give you walking directions. Do a super fast tour of the Louvre. Consider buying a ticket in advance so you don’t have to wait in the ticket line. From the Louvre, walk through Tuileries Garden to Place de la Concorde and then continue up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. From the Arc, ride the metro (line 6) to the Trocadero station. When you emerge from the station, you will have a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. Walk across the Seine to get closer to the tower. And that would be an awesome 5 hours in Paris.
I hope you have a great time!! Cheers, Julie
You are awesome , thanks Julie . Will follow as directed by you !
Also few more questions if you could help :
1. I plan to visit London Eye , Tower of London and St. Paul Cathederal from Inside . IS it worth buying London Pass ? or should I just get tickets online . I plan to cover it on different days . I saw online London Pass says 1-2-3 days pass so it means these need to be covered in those days only . I am there for 5 days so need the flexibility to go wherever I want on whichever day.
2. Any cheap but good bars would you suggest in Central London or any other areas…. and also any famous ones ?
If you only plan to go inside of those three places, the London Pass probably is not worth it. However, if you plan to visit more, you can add up the entrance fees to those sites and compare it with the London Pass, to see if it saves you money.
I don’t have any recommendations for bars in the area. We didn’t do that on our visit to London because we had Tyler and Kara with us and they were very young. But, that sounds like a great thing to do and I am sure there are some good ones, but unfortunately I don’t know any to recommend.
This itinerary is fantastic! I’m using it as a guide for a 5 day Paris, 4 Day Disneyland Paris, 5 Day London family trip in June/July of this year. One question about Stonehenge & Windsor Castle. I have no issues driving in a city or on the wrong side of the road and am looking forward to renting a car to escape London for a day.
Any tips on a car rental? We’re staying at the Andaz Liverpool St I’d love to rent a car somewhere easily accessible in the city close to the hotel with a return at LHR (we’re spending the night near LHR) as we depart the following day.
Hello Andy. That sounds like such a fun trip!! Tim does our rental car reservations. In Google Maps, he puts in “rental car near xyz,” xyz being the name of the hotel we are staying in. Then, you have to confirm that this company also has a location at the airport and that you can return the car to the airport, rather than the original location. You might have to take the Underground a short distance to get to the rental car company, and there is a small chance that you might even have to go to the airport to pick up the car. Cheers, Julie
We are planning a trip for June 2022 for London and Paris from US. I know it may change, but what are the rules to traveling between countries as a US citizen. All traveling are fully vaccinated. Will we be able to travel freely between the countries with our vaccination card? I hear we have to quarantine in London upon arrival until day 2 negative Covid test? Any insight about traveling around London and Paris during covid is appreciated.
The rules for COVID are constantly changing, so the best thing you can do is get updates in the weeks leading up to your trip. Any rules that are in place right now will most likely change by June. And there is a chance that they could change for the better, with less restrictions. It just depends on what happens with omicron, any other variants that might appear between now and then. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you more, but unfortunately, it is just wait and see. Cheers, Julie
I love the recommendation for the Paris London trip, which I would like to do next year around the end of May. Please let me know who or which travel agent that you recommend that would be able to put that trip together for me and three other people. I mainly interested in the cost That includes everything, such as airfare and hotel stay, transfers to and from the airport.
Hello Maud. I don’t have a specific travel agent to recommend. You can use this itinerary to plan it on your own. But if you feel more comfortable doing this with a travel agent, feel free to share this post with them. Cheers, Julie
Great info, Julia & Tim. I am from Philadelphia & love to travel. I got this idea in my head to travel to UK, France & Italy next year 2022 in June for 3 weeks (June 21 to July 10). We are 4 in our family (son will be 16, so not sure if that is considered a child or adult). I am starting to do my research now. Not sure if I want to plan all this by myself or go with a company that will do everything for me but will cost more…I will read up on your site more to gather info. Thanks!
You’re welcome! Feel free to write back in if you have any questions. For planning purposes, 16 can go either way. Generally, 16 is considered an adult when booking hotel rooms. But sometimes 16 year olds will get discounts on entry tickets into sights, and at other times they will be charged the same amount as an adult. It depends on the sight. Cheers, Julie