Listen up, jet-setter! If you’re thinking about planning a trip to the historic cities of London and Paris, get ready to be blown away. Picture this: historic landmarks, charming cobblestone streets, mouthwatering cuisine, and a whole lot of adventure. When I travel, I tend to like to a flexible itinerary. With Paris and London, you absolutely must have a plan. Everyone in the world is visiting these cities, and lines to all of the places we wanted to visit were long. You’ll want to book guided tours to all of the places you most want to visit.
Planning a trip like this can be OVERWHELMING. There is so much to do! To see! To try!
We made some great decisions, discovered some great tips – and yes, made some mistakes.
We recently visited London and Paris, and have some great insights on what to do – and what NOT to do – after our trip.
Costco Travel Deals
We used Costo Travel which made planning easy. From Myrtle Beach, we drove to Charlotte for the direct flight to Heathrow and direct return flight from Paris. The package included flights, transportation to and from the airport, the train from London and Paris, and a $600 activities credit to London. You can choose from several hotels and pick your room type. The package made it simple to book and a lot less overwhelming than trying to pick out accommodations all by ourselves.
From London to Paris: Tips for planning an Unforgettable Family Adventure
When planning a trip to London and Paris, here are some tips to ensure a memorable and well-organized experience:
- Create an itinerary: Start by outlining your desired activities and attractions in both cities. Research and prioritize the must-see landmarks, museums, parks, and other attractions. This will help you make the most of your time and avoid missing out on anything important.
- Book your landmark tickets in advance and book as many guided tours as possible: In London, we quickly realized that every place we wanted to visit was teeming with crowds and long lines. Plus, some of the places we wanted to visit (the Louvre in Paris, for example) had limited times and availability. In order to have a smoother and more enjoyable experience in Paris, we decided to book everything we could in advance, preferably with the assistance of a knowledgeable tour guide. We found that using Get Your Guide (a trusted affiliate partner of the GTG) made the process even more convenient. if you’re looking to avoid the chaos and embrace a stress-free journey, we highly recommend booking with Get Your Guide.
- Book accommodations close to transportation: Both London and Paris are popular tourist destinations, with a million different options. I suggest finding a hotel close to a Hop On Hop Off tour, which make exploring each of the city’s major landmarks easy and entertaining. In London, we were a 3 minute walk from the bus stop. In Paris, it was a 20 minute walk and I wished we had been closer.
- Research local transportation: Familiarize yourself with the public transportation systems in both cities. London has the famous Underground (also known as “the Tube”) which you can use Apple Pay from your watch or phone – but each person has to use their own card. Plus, Maps has a public transportation option which gives you specific directions for the Tube. Paris also has an extensive metro system. Plan your journeys and consider purchasing travel cards or passes to save money and simplify your transportation needs.
- Research entry requirements: It looks us about 6 weeks to get our expedited passports, but I’ve heard it can take much longer so start the process well in advance if you need a passport. To take a child out of the country, both parents need to be present at the passport office. Check the latest entry requirements and any travel advisories before your trip to avoid any last-minute surprises.
- Learn basic French phrases: While English is widely spoken in London, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic French phrases for your time in Paris. Locals appreciate the effort and it can enhance your overall experience. We were told by one tour guide to at least learn Bonjour to greet, Merci to say thank you, and s’il vous plaît for please.
- Pack accordingly: Consider the weather and season when packing for your trip. London and Paris can have unpredictable weather, so it’s wise to pack layers and be prepared for both rain and sunshine. Don’t forget essential items such as comfortable walking shoes, adapters for electrical outlets, and a universal travel plug. The weather went from high 70s and 80s when I packed to high 60s by the time we arrived in London so my suitcase didn’t have the best mix for the weather. We went in August. (here’s my favorite travel garment bag that zips into a duffel bag, fyi.)
- Carry a cross body bag: I carried my small travel camera (the Sony ZV1), passports, wallet, phone, and added a tracking Apple tag in a little Lululemon camera crossbody bag.
- Bring adapters I got a few adaptors from Amazon.
- Explore local cuisine: Both cities offer a diverse selection of culinary delights. Prioritize trying local dishes and exploring various dining options, from traditional pubs in London to charming cafés and bistros in Paris. Don’t forget to indulge in iconic treats like fish and chips in London or croissants and macarons in Paris.
- Stay flexible and enjoy the journey: While planning is crucial, don’t forget to leave some room for spontaneity and relaxation. Embrace the unique charm of both cities, immerse yourself in their culture, and allow yourself to experience unexpected discoveries along the way.
We recommend booking Tours & experiences with GetYourGuide.com
Get Your Guide is the easiest way to book guided tours and experiences. The app makes it super simple to find an experience and keep all of your tickets in one place. The tickets to attractions aren’t marked up, plus you have the option of adding walking tours and guides. Everything we booked through Get Your Guide was excellent. Highly recommend!
London Things to Do
Paris Things to Do
from london to paris by eurostar
Taking the train from London to Paris is a popular, convenient, and comfortable option for travel between these two iconic cities. Here’s what you need to know:
The train transportation was included in our Costco Travel package. When booking, we added preferred times. We had a separate confirmation email with a train ticket information.
train from london to paris tickets
Seating Options: Standard Premier train tickets were included in our Costco package. Eurostar offers different seating options, including Standard Class, Standard Premier, and Business Premier. Standard Class provides comfortable seating with ample legroom, while Standard Premier offers additional benefits such as a light meal and more spacious seats. Business Premier provides a premium experience with access to lounges and enhanced services.
What to Expect: Taking the eurostar from london to paris
The Eurostar high-speed train is the most common way to travel from London to Paris. It offers a seamless and comfortable journey, taking you from the heart of London to the center of Paris in just over two hours.
Arrive early: You’ll need 60 – 90 minutes to get through the lines and passport control. We arrived about 30 minutes prior and had to rush and it was STRESSFUL!
Departure Stations: Eurostar trains depart from London St Pancras International station and arrive at Paris Gare du Nord station. Both stations are easily accessible and well-connected to the city center.
Passport Control: Before boarding the Eurostar, you will go through passport control. Make sure to have your passport ready and allow sufficient time for the process.
Luggage: Eurostar has specific luggage allowances, so make sure to check the guidelines before your journey. Generally, you are allowed two large items of luggage and one small hand luggage per person.
How long is the trip from london to paris by train?
Just 2 hours! With comfortable leg room, Wifi, and lunch, the approximately two hours on the high-speed train flew by and we did not even realize we went through the Chunnel!
Arriving in Paris: Once you arrive at Paris Gare du Nord, you will be in the heart of the city. From there, you can easily access public transportation or consider walking to your hotel if it’s nearby.
Have a fantastic time exploring London and Paris, y’all! Hope this was helpful.
London in 3 Days
Part 2: Experience the best of London in 3 days
Paris in 4 Days
Part 3: experience the best of Paris in 4 days