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London and Paris are two of the most-visited cities in Europe; two of the most-visited cities in the world, in fact! And the great news is that you can absolutely visit them both on one amazing trip to Europe.
If you’re looking to plan a bucket list trip to Europe that doesn’t require a ton of travel time (or a ton of time off work), then a London and Paris trip is an excellent choice. These two cities aren’t that far apart, but are quite different in history, culture, and overall vibe.
You could of course spend weeks or months in either London or Paris and still not see/do every single thing. But if you’ve got limited time, you can pack all the highlights into one epic 10-day trip.
My husband Elliot and I did just that earlier this year, and now of course I’m going to share all the details with you!
The Perfect 10 Days in London and Paris Itinerary
After cumulative months spent in London and two separate trips to Paris, I think this itinerary really encapsulates the best of both cities! It DOES pack a lot into just 10 days, but what can I say? I tend to be a “do-it-all” type of traveler. If you aren’t, then feel free to tweak this itinerary however you see fit.
(This itinerary also includes suggestions for some guided tours and day trips; if you’re not into those, you don’t have to take them!)
I recommend booking a multi-city flight where you fly in to London and home from Paris, which helps you maximize your time. (You could also reverse this and fly into Paris and home from London, but my husband enjoyed starting in London, which he was more familiar with, and then going to Paris second.)
Day 1: Iconic London
Highlights of Day 1 include: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben/Parliament, London Eye, Southbank, and optional St. Paul’s
If you’re traveling to London from North America, then chances are you’ll arrive quite early in the morning. I’m therefore not going to suggest you pack in *too much* today, in case you’re like me and have trouble sleeping on planes.
(I do, however, recommend trying to avoid taking a really long nap today, as it’ll help you adjust to the time change a lot faster!)
After arriving, you’ll probably want to drop your bags off at your hotel. You likely won’t be able to check in yet, but almost all hotels will hold your luggage for you until your room is ready. (More on hotel suggestions a bit later.)
Pro tip: You have several options for getting from the Heathrow airport to central London. You can take the Piccadilly Line (Tube) right from Heathrow if you’re on a budget. Or you can opt for the new Elizabeth Line, which currently will take you as far as Paddington Station, where you can transfer to other Tube lines or grab a taxi outside. The Heathrow Express also goes from Heathrow to Paddington with no stops. Just note that I do NOT recommend taking a taxi all the way from Heathrow. Allow at least 2.5 hours from when you land to get through immigration and into the city.
Then you can head to the nearest Tube station and head to Westminster to start your first day of London sightseeing! (Westminster is on the Circle, District, and Jubilee Tube lines.)