I love a multi-city itinerary trip, so this post is done in mind with those like me who like to get their money’s worth. The perfect London and Paris itinerary for 6 days. The first city is London and the second is Paris, deeply different but they both have so much beauty to tell.
London is a pomegranate. Sweet, sour, juicy, a fruit to be shelled. Impossible to eat it all together. London is evasive: it escapes definitions. Every time you exit from the tube (metro), it’s a different city. In this Paris and London itinerary guide, you will find some tips for visiting London in 3 days before taking the Eurostar to Paris. Particularly perfect especially if it’s your first time visiting the two cities. I have also shared a one day London itinerary for those short on time as well as tips on the best areas to stay in London for first-time visitors.
- 1 What To See In London In 3 days
- 2 What To See In London In three Days At A Glance
- 3 The Perfect 6 Day London And Paris Itinerary
- 3.1 Day 1 In London – Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
- 3.2 Day 2: London in colour, from Notting Hill to five o’clock tea
- 3.3 Day 3: In London between museums and Camden Town
- 3.4 How To Get From London To Paris
- 3.5 When To Leave London For Paris?
- 3.6 Is it possible to visit Paris in 48 hours? Plus Day 1 In Paris
- 3.7 Day 2 In Paris – Visiting The Main Tourist Sights In Paris
- 3.8 Day 3 In Paris: visit Versailles in one day from Paris
- 4 How Many Days In London And Paris Is Enough?
- 5 Paris And London Tour Packages
- 6 Planning A Trip To London And Paris
What To See In London In 3 days
Keep calm and have a cuppa: it is normal to feel lost. How do you organize an itinerary when there are so many things to see? When visiting a city full of places of interest like London, the important thing is not to get caught up in the desire to see everything. You will never succeed, especially if the time at your disposal is limited. First things first, for tips on getting to central London from Heathrow airport, Gatwick, Standsted, Luton and City Airport, I have linked to my guide on all transport options from tube, overground, coach and taxi options with cost estimates too.
What To See In London In three Days At A Glance
Give yourself priorities. List only the things you absolutely cannot miss. The ones you would eat your hands off. Choose based on your passions and interests, don’t just visit the most famous places.
Day 1 In London: From Borough Market to Buckingham Palace
- Borough Market – delicious food!
- From Tower Bridge to Millennium Bridge
- Tate Modern Museum
- Big Ben, House of Parliament and London Eye
- From Westminster to Buckingham Palace
Day 2 In London: From Notting Hill to 5am tea
- Portobello Road and Notting Hill
- Old Spitalfields Market
- Brick Lane
- Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park
Day 3 Day In London: Between museums and Camden Town
- National Gallery
- Camden Town
Pro tip: While London might be expensive know that there are ways to save money in London also you can combine your visit with exploring many of the free things to do in London. Some of which I have already included in this post.
The Perfect 6 Day London And Paris Itinerary
Day 1 In London – Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
A great place to start your discovery of London is the South Bank, a district between the Thames and Waterloo station, where there are some landmark buildings of the city. You can walk the length of the banks on the River Thames and see many of the tourist sights.
Borough Market, one of the largest food markets in London, with a wide selection of ethnic street food and local products. This place is not to be missed. The nearest subway station is London Bridge. This can be combined with a visit to many cool places to visit in London Bridge.
From Tower Bridge to Millennium Bridge
The iconic towers of Tower Bridge emerge from the river a short distance from Borough Market. The usual photo is a must. We continue towards Westminster along the Thames until we reach another famous bridge, the futuristic Millennium Bridge. Note that depending on your start in London, this place is also great to visit at night. For evening pictures check out my post on Tower Bridge at night.
Behind the Millennium Bridge there are two institutions of London culture: the Shakespeare’s Globe, a modern reconstruction of Shakespeare’s legendary theatre (what a thrill it must be to watch a live show!), And the Tate Modern gallery. Crossing the bridge, you can instead reach the St. Paul’s Cathedral, whose dome soars above the river.
The Tate Modern Museum for Contemporary Art
Visit the Tate Modern, a temple of modern art with over 4 million visitors a year. Admission is free, while seeing its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions is priceless. From Tate Modern’s Switch House you can admire a beautiful panorama of London.
Tate Modern Opening Times
- From Sunday to Thursday, 10am-6pm
- Friday and Saturday, 10am-10pm
- Free entry
Big Ben, Palace of Westminster and the London Eye
From Tate Modern walk along the river bank passing Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge before arriving on Southbank with its cool restaurants, cafes, theatre and cinema and markets. We are in the heart of London: just look up to see some very famous monuments. I’m talking about Big Ben, the clock tower on the northeast corner of the Palace of Westminster, also called the House of Parliament. The profile of these immortal places is reflected in the waters of the Thames.
Currently, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are being renovated. The works, which hide the facades of the visitors, could last until 2021.
Not far away, between the Westminster Bridge and the Hungerford Bridge, is the London Eye, Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. Until 2013 it was the highest point from which to observe London and even today it offers a mind-boggling view.
Westminster Abbey, St. James’s Park and Buckingham Palace
From Big Ben continue behind the House of Parliament towards Westminster Abbey, another symbolic building, where English kings and queens have been crowned and where the most famous characters of British history are buried, from Elizabeth I to Charles Dickens.
Then slip into St. James’s Park, one of the magnificent Royal Parks of London, and hunt squirrels for a few minutes. It is extraordinary how, upon entering a London park, one immediately feels far from the city, the sounds of traffic disappear, and all around there are only meadows, trees and expanses of water.
Walk around the park on one of the long sides until you see Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the monarchy. To be a place so important and super visited (when you change the guard you struggle to see something), it is individually … small.
It is now sunset time, the feet ask for a truce: thus ends the first day of exploration in London.
Pro tip: If you have any steam left and want to experience London at Night I have shared tips on things to do in London at night. There are so many cool things in this 24-hour city. From movie marathons to 24-hr cafes and restaurants in London. Also if looking to stay near this part of London check out my post on hotels near London Eye.
Day 2: London in colour, from Notting Hill to five o’clock tea
On day 2 in London we dedicate it to the discovery of some historic neighbourhoods and markets, which have become a cult for visitors. Not only: let’s take tea at five, one of those experiences to do in London to feel very British.
Portobello Road and Notting Hill
Morning of day 2 in London, the first stop is Portobello Road, a famous street in the Notting Hill district, a reference point for lovers of antique markets and film tourism. The most famous and crowded market is held every Saturday, but the other days of the week it is nice to walk among the shops with colourful signs and photograph pastel facades. Lose yourself in the back streets of Notting Hill, they are a real treat.
Old Spitalfields Market between vintage and new designers
At Notting Hill Gate, we take the tube and get off at the Liverpool Street stop of the Circle line. Here awaits us the Old Spitalfield Market, another historic indoor market famous for it’s vintage clothing and design stands, but there is also street food. They say that the leading designers of the future can be found here.
Brick Lane: street art and food
From Old Spitalfield Market in just a few steps you are on Brick Lane, London street famous for street art and multicultural soul. Especially in the past, this area was known as “Bangla Town” due to the high concentration of South-East Asian immigrants. Today this feature has made it a trend zone, a reference point for ethnic cuisine, especially Indian.
On Sunday, Brick Lane is filled with Londoners and tourists, attracted by its vintage clothing, antiques and street food market. Walking through the neighbourhood, you can admire extraordinary works of street art, including some works by Banksy. You can also combine your visit to Shoreditch with a food tour, for more read my post on how I ate through East London.
Five o’clock tea at the K + K Hotel George
Five o’clock tea is a tradition rooted in the Victorian era. Is that why making it feel so deliciously out of fashion? We tried this experience in the luxurious garden of the K + K Hotel George in London. For a wide selection of afternoon tea in London, check out my post with lists of affordable afternoon tea in London.
Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park at sunset
After tea, a digestive walk is needed. And which place in London at sunset is more romantic than Kensington Gardens? In the literary tradition, this park is linked to the books of Peter Pan: it is here that the first volume is set, featuring the eternal child born of the pen of James Matthew Barrie. If you are lucky, you might happen to spot some fairy.
To the west, Kensington Gardens are connected to the famous Hyde Park, so you can walk around either.
Also Read: If you are still in the mood for more and want to experience London nightlife then I have just the guide for you!
Day 3: In London between museums and Camden Town
The third day in London is a mix of classic and contemporary, a race against time to visit some of the remaining attractions.
Trafalgar Square and National Gallery of London
The morning begins in Trafalgar Square, the famous square with the column of Admiral Nelson resting on four bronze lions. Right here is one of London’s most visited museums, the National Gallery.
The beautiful building houses a free permanent collection, which includes some of the most famous paintings in the world: Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo, the Sunflowers by Van Gogh, paintings by Caravaggio, Turner, Constable, Monet, the Flemings … A true and true own temple of art. If you love museums and galleries read my post on free museums and galleries in London.
The National Gallery: useful info
- Open daily, 10 am-6pm (Friday until 9pm)
- Free entry
From the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, if you love a bit of retail therapy then head over to check out Oxford Street. The famous shopping mecca of London with high street stores, department stores and boutiques.
Also Read: If you love shopping, there are plenty of places to score bargains in London check out my post on the best places to shop in London cheaply.
Camden Town Between Vintage And Street Food
So many paintings bring an appetite. We then move on the tube to Camden Town, one of the most alternative and punk neighbourhoods in London. A veritable jungle of colours, smells and markets one inside the other, in which street food and antiques blend together like in the other London markets. You will need at least 2-3 hours in the area to explore.
Also Read: If you have more time in London another cool place to check out that is within easy reach from Camden is the beautiful Little Venice in London near Paddington.
Natural History Museum of London
After lunch, we visit another famous London museum. In addition to its precious collection, the Museum of Natural History deserves a visit especially for its architecture: the mighty entrance hall with its grand staircase and historiated windows, the huge blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. We remain speechless.
Natural History Museum: useful info
- Open every day, 10 am-5.50pm
- Free entry
Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus
The last stop in London before the return is in its beating heart, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, which is usually decked out with hundreds of Union Jacks. This is a very lively place in the collective imagination, seen on TV or in the cinema, so crossing them is almost surreal.
Don’t miss a visit to the huge Waterstones bookshop of Piccadilly: six floors and over 200,000 volumes make it the largest bookshop in Europe.
That covers your 3 days in London! Up next is Paris! BUT – Before you leave London make sure you are dont miss out on the best London souvenirs to buy.
How To Get From London To Paris
London and Paris are two of the great international European capitals. Between them is the Channel, a stretch of sea that separates both territories. And a train that unites them. Currently, the Eurostar, a high-speed train, is responsible for covering the route between these two capitals.
There are different types of tickets depending on the route and class chosen on the train. There are one-way tickets to different cities with round-trip stops or combined tickets. Prices start at £29 and reach £490. In short, you have a lot of options to choose from. The London Paris Eurostar travel time is under 3 hours and you arrive in the middle of town. This is my preference compared to travel via flight from London to Paris when you will land in smaller airports and require a coach to get into the city in addition to all the airport security madness which is long and a tad painful if you add to that the baggage restrictions.
The cheapest prices are obtained by accepting certain conditions and restrictions. For example, exchange limits or reimbursement offers applied for weekends or reservations that must be made a specific number of days in advance.
On the company’s website you will find the wide range of fares and ticket types. In addition, on the website of the National Society of French Railways (SNCF) you will find more information and the possibility to book online.
Pro Tip: The more in advance you book your tickets the higher the chance of getting cheaper tickets.
Other transport Options: Flights from London to paris as well as London to Paris Coach travel but I would not recommend this unless you are travelling on a shoestring as the journey is LOOOOONG!
When To Leave London For Paris?
This all depends on the price of the train ticket. So you can leave on the evening of day 3 in London. There are trains leaving London around 8pm and you can be in Paris before 10pm. Note that this means you need to book your Paris accommodation to start from this day. You can also opt to leave on the morning of day 4 in London.
There are Eurostar trains leaving as early as 5.30am. You can arrive in Paris and start exploring as early as you want. Just make sure your Airbnb or hotel in Paris allows for early check-in so you can drop of your bags and head to the nears cafe to load up on caffeine and a croissant. I have shared a post on cheap hotels in Kings Cross if you want to stay central but close to Kings Cross St Pancras for the Eurostar train.
Is it possible to visit Paris in 48 hours? Plus Day 1 In Paris
So you have arrived in Paris and checked into your cool hotel with views of Eiffel Tower. It’s now time to go exploring. The route to Paris in 48 hours crosses the main monuments, gardens and commercial streets of the city. You can go shopping, visit the attractions, the museums, have a coffee, stroll in the parks. Also a mandatory day trip to Versailles.
To start the tour of the city with impetus, I suggest you see the Eiffel Tower right away! One of my favourite spots is Trocadero where I have seen many a sunrise in Paris. You will have the best impact arriving by metro at the Trocadero stop, where you will come across the grandiose tower and the extensive Champ de Mars, the park where the symbol of the city is located.
From the Trocadero stop you will arrive at the base of the Eiffel Tower, where you will find the ticket offices. You can buy various types of tickets to reach the different floors of the tower; we recommend reaching the third floor, where the highest lookout point is.
After visiting the Eiffel Tower, you can reach the Latin Quarter, one of the busiest and cheapest places to dine. I recommend that you take the RER to Champs de Mars (Eiffel Tower to the Saint-Michel station).
Places to check out in the Latin Quarter include:
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Shakespeare & Company Bookstore
- Grand Mosque of Paris
- Jardin des Plantes
After dinner you can have a drink in the area or take a walk to see the illuminated monuments. Crossing the Île de la Cité from the Latin Quarter, you will arrive at Notre Dame from any bridge of the Seine. Along the island, you can reach the Hotel de Ville, the seat of the Paris municipality. In the evening there are plenty of options from evening dinner cruises on the Seine to night tours exploring Paris. After dinner, a nice walk crossing many of the beautiful Bridges of Paris is another pleasure that is underestimated.
Also Read: If views are your thing then check out my post on the best viewpoints in Paris which also includes cafes and restaurants with views.
Day 2 In Paris – Visiting The Main Tourist Sights In Paris
Today’s itinerary is particularly extensive when you will tick of many of my top 20 things to do in Paris, but will allow you to visit the most important places in Paris. Reaching the Hôtel National des Invalides around 10:00 and finishing the route at Montmartre at 20:00, you will have 3 hours to walk and 7 hours to do what you want.
Start the Paris tour at 10:00 at the Hôtel National des Invalides. The nearest metro stations are those of Invalides, Varennes and La Tour-Maubourg. Inside the church, under the central dome, there is the tomb of Napoleon.
Near the Invalides, there is the Rodin Museum, very convenient to visit and highly recommendable. In his garden you can contemplate the most famous works of the French sculptor.
Crossing the area surrounding the Invalides you will arrive at the Pont Alexandre III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris. Going forward in a straight line you will reach the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. The latter building, with free entrance, has an excellent decoration and an interesting atrium.
Heading towards Avenue Winston Churchill you will come across the Elysian Fields and, to the left, with the Arc de Triomphe. Walking without haste you can observe the luxurious shop windows in the area or have a coffee in one of the pleasant bars you will find along the way.
In our opinion, although not as spectacular as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe offers the best views of Paris. It is therefore more than advisable to climb to the top of the Arc.
Returning back towards the Elysian Fields, and after walking more or less for half an hour, you will arrive at the Place de la Concorde, where you will see the Luxor obelisk. From the centre of the square you can observe the Champs Elysées to the west, the Tuileries Garden to the east, the National Assembly to the south and the Madeleine Church to the north.
Walking towards the Madeleine you will walk along the Rue Royale, one of the most famous shopping streets in Paris. You can enter the church and then, coming back, take the Saint Honoré street on your left.
Walking along Saint Honoré you will see Place Vendome to the left, guarded by the famous column that imitates that of Trajan in Rome.
Coming out of the square and crossing back the previous route indicated, you will arrive at the Tuileries Garden. Crossing them you will reach the Louvre Museum, a visit to which you can dedicate the desired time. We advise you to be selective in choosing the rooms and works to see. Make sure you buy skip the line tickets for the Louvre as there can sometimes be queues.
Leaving the museum to the north, you can take the Avenue de l’Opéra, a commercial street that built Napoleon III to communicate the Louvre with the Palais Garnier, the Opera building that you can visit if you wish.
Passing the building you will reach the Haussmann Boulevard, where there are the Lafayette and Printemps galleries, two luxurious department stores. We recommend that you enter the Lafayette Galleries just to see its famous dome. When you visit Printemps don’t miss out on the views in the terrace cafe at Printemps.
If you want to learn more about the area, you can walk to the Grandes Boulevares metro station, where you will find the Hard Rock Cafe and the Grévin Wax Museum.
The following stop is at Montmartre, which can be reached by taking the metro (Blanche) or walking towards Rue Montmartre to the Blanche square, where the famous Moulin Rouge is located.
The Boulevard de Clichy is a bohemian street with lots of nightlife and shopping, which can be defined as the “red light” area of Paris.
Walking east on Boulevard de Clichy, you will arrive at the Anverse metro and follow the signs for the Montmartre funicular. You can use this means of transport or climb the 200 steps to reach the top, as you prefer.
Once you get to the top of Montmartre you can visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and walk its streets. Following the flow of tourists, you will reach the Place du Tertre (better known as the Painters Square), one of the best places in Paris to dine without spending much.
After dinner, you can watch (at 11:00 pm) a show at the Moulin Rouge. But if you don’t want to pay for your expensive ticket, you can still spend the evening in one of the many bars in the neighbourhood.
Day 3 In Paris: visit Versailles in one day from Paris
When planning a trip to Paris another element to consider are easy day trips from Paris. Thanks to the genius of the artists who made it and to the size and personality of its client, King Louis XIV, the castle of Versailles is among the most subdued and famous in the world.
The visit of the French capital cannot be separated from an excursion to Versailles, only 17 km from the centre of Paris, easily reachable in about 30/40 minutes by RER or car or bus from the centre of Paris.
The site is so vast that a single day of visit would be less than exhaustive, however, considering the average duration of a tourist stay in Paris, if you have little time available, it is possible to organize an excursion to Versailles, guided or not, in half or full day. In summer especially, when it is possible to watch the spectacle of musical fountains and the weather is more favourable, it is really worth spending a whole day in Versailles to visit the palace and its beautiful gardens!
The palace of Versailles represents one of the most beautiful masterpieces of French art of the seventeenth century. A simple hunting lodge at the time of Louis XIII, it was transformed into a splendid royal palace by the Sun king who transferred the court there in 1682 and remained the official seat of power until the French Revolution. Later, the beautiful royal residence was transformed into a Museum dedicated to the History of France by the will of Louis Philippe and a series of works flowed into its halls that still bear witness to the great events of French history.
The large park that extends behind the palace represents one of the greatest treasures of Versailles. From the central window of the gallery of mirrors, an enchanting panorama unfolds, extending from the foot of the building as far as the eye can see through a long perspective embellished by the work of the architect André Le Nôtre: fountains with elegant sculptures, water games, flower beds and canals.
The big and the small Trianon
The Grand Trianon is a luxurious and refined “dépendance” of the Palace of Versailles that the Sun King had built inside in the park by the architect Hardouin Mansart in 1687, as a refuge from the oppressive court life and sweet meeting with the lady of Montespan. One cannot help but succumb to the charm of this building with elegant and intimate proportions, a small palace of pink marble and porphyry surrounded by enchanting gardens. A part of the building is currently used as the residence of the President of the French Republic.
The “Petite Trianon” was the favorite place of Marie Antoinette who found an oasis of tranquillity in which she could live a simple life, far from the pomp and tyranny of the label.
There you have it, 2 days in Paris with a day trip to Versailles. If you have more time I have also shared my 5 days in Paris itinerary which is more extensive with additional places to check out like Foundation Louis Vuitton and La Defense and more.
Also Read: If you are visiting Paris in winter make sure to pack accordingly as the weather can be both wet and cold.
How Many Days In London And Paris Is Enough?
In other words how many days to spend in London and Paris? I get asked this a lot. This really depends on your budget. Both cities can be done on the budget with enough research. Both are pretty big in terms of places to visit and things to do. At a minimum, I would suggest doing 2-3 days in each one. Hence the 6 day London and Paris itinerary.
Three days in London also allows you to add a day trip if you so wish to the many beautiful cities in the UK. The same for Paris there are so many day trips beyond Versailles that are worth checking out for example explore Monet’s Garden in Giverny. I would say 3 days in each city but if you hating planning and want to really maximise your visit I would highly recommend incorporating tours in your visit to London and Paris. You can also do London and Paris in 5 days by cutting out one day from London or cutting out the day trip to Versailles.
Paris And London Tour Packages
I alluded to this in the above question of how many days is enough for your London and Paris itinerary. There are plenty of tour operators offering London & Paris travel packages. You can have day trip tours from London to Paris, these include a guided tour of the city too and include hustle-free travel from London to Paris by train. For additional inspiration on Paris and London tour packages see below:
- Combine one or two Contiki London and Paris tour packages: Take this 3 day, or this 3 day or 4 day London tour and combine it with this Paris package tour.
- You can also get great deals on packages for London and Paris on Lastminute.
- For Paris tour packages from London also have a look at Get Your Guide.
Planning A Trip To London And Paris
If you are planning a trip to London, Paris and Amsterdam I have linked to another itinerary I have done that captures the two cities from a different angle so you can mix and match places that interest you more between these two posts. If you have time for 2 weeks in London and Paris itinerary you can even include Scotland, Amsterdam or even Brussels too.
I have shared a lot on the blog on Paris and London to help you plan your trip and itinerary with ease. Each of the different itineraries on the blog share something different so you can switch it up and add or remove things according to your interests. Other things to considering when planning your itinerary for London and Paris is what to pack. I have covered both London Spring/Summer packing lists as well as what to wear in winter in London and Paris.
Also Read: If you are planning a trip to London, Paris and Rome you can combine this itinerary with my Rome itinerary.
Best Time To Visit London And Paris
You cannot plan best itinerary for London and Paris without considering the best time to visit. Each period brings its own elements. Spring in London or summer means cherry blossoms and better weather of course. But remember than Spring and Summer when the kids are off school means endless queues at museums and just overall busy cities. I would say the best time to visit would be just before the kids leave school. You have better weather and also less crowds.
Visiting Paris and London in the Autumn and Winter means cool holidays like Halloween and Christmas. You get to experience the popular festivities around the holidays and see just how the city embraces the events. This also means packing for the cold weather. Towards the end of the year, it can also get even busier as people travel for the New Year celebration too. So bear that in mind whether doing a 6 day or even 8 day trip to London Paris
If you planning a trip to Paris and London and want to visit during the quiet period and possibly cheaper too, I have found that prices can be a lot cheaper in November and just after the New Years celebrations but definitely before Valentines Day!
Where To Stay In Paris And London
When planning all the cool things to do on your London and Paris in a week itinerary, you cannot forget about accommodation. I have covered this area extensively for London with recommendations for hostels in London to cheap hotels in central London. I have also included for those that love a bit of luxury, hotels with views of the Thames, which also includes a staycation at the Luxurious Shangri La Hotel within the Shard. In addition, I also linked above the best areas to stay in London for tourists.
For where to stay in Paris I have covered places to stay in Paris with balcony views which also provides tips on cheap places to stay in Paris. I have also used Airbnb in Paris which I have also shared on the blog. There are plenty of places to choose from whatever your budget. I normally book my accommodation via Booking.com so you can find extensive deals on Paris hotels and London hotels on that site.
So, that was a rundown of my travel itinerary for London and Paris in just 6 days! So have you been to Paris or London before? What was your experience like, or do you have questions about your upcoming visit to London or Paris?
Need more travel tips for London and Paris? Also See:
- Why You Need To Visit To The Colonnes de Buren (black and white columns in Paris)
- Romantic Things To Do In London
- Why You Need To Visit London’s Greenwich Village
- Visiting The Unmissable Musee d’Orsay In Paris
- The Best View Points In London
- Sunrise In London – The Best Spots To Capture It
- Don’t Miss This Parisian Hidden Gem
- The Best Day Trips From London
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