London vs Paris: Which City is Better?

Every time we plan a trip to Europe, the question of London vs Paris arises. The United Kingdom and France are top-rated destinations and are on everyone’s bucket list for good reasons.

The magnificent landscapes and historical landmarks, the museums, the food, and the culture are just a few reasons why these two European capitals are so beloved.

In this article, I will outline the differences between these two cities, provide you with my recommendations, and offer some tips along the way. Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below which one you prefer from this article or your own experiences!

London vs Paris: Which City is Better to Visit?

As a travel fanatic, it’s very hard for me to choose one over the other as I enjoyed both equally. Growing up in Canada, in Montreal, a French-speaking province, we were immersed in the history of both cities. I also had the advantage of being fluent in both French and English, making the trip go smoothly.

Quebec has an old European vibe to it, making the cities quite familiar to me.

But to be honest, if I personally had to choose one to visit over and over, it would be London. What about you?

Overview Of London

London’s cultural scene is a true wonderland. From the treasure troves of the British Museum to the artistic marvels of the Tate Modern, every corner oozes creativity. Although steeped in history, the blend with modernity is nicely balanced. The West End theaters deliver breathtaking performances, and when it comes to food, London is a culinary dream, offering everything from classic fish and chips to eclectic dishes at Borough Market. The city’s diverse immigration waves are palpable through its food, where you can find everything you desire.

London seamlessly blends tradition with trend, making it a destination where history meets the avant-garde. Whether strolling through Hyde Park or navigating the Tube, every moment in London is a chapter in a captivating adventure.

The friendliness of the people is also very touching; they are always helpful, sweet, and caring. Given the city’s diversity, you will feel right at home.

Overview of Paris

Paris, The City of Light, where every cobblestone street whispers tales of history and love, captured my heart from the moment I arrived. I had lived through the books, yet my eyes were mesmerized. From the Gothic beauty of Notre Dame to the artistic haven of Montmartre, Paris seamlessly weaves elegance into its architectural tapestry. Paris is not just a city; it’s an artistic haven.

The culinary scene is a celebration of flavor, and if you thought you knew what gastronomy was, you haven’t been to Paris. Pastries, cheese, and wine become part of a sensory symphony you will remember.

As I mentioned earlier, I had the advantage of speaking the language fluently, which made me blend in more. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Parisians can be very uptight and may come across as condescending or rude to foreigners, but this is not a representation of the rest of the country. So, learning your ‘Bonjour!’s and ‘Merci!’s will help smooth things out a little bit!

London vs Paris: Differences

LondonParis
LanguageEnglishFrench
CurrencyPoundEuro
Electric outlets3-pronged outlets2 round-pronged outlets
DrivingThe left side of the roadThe right side of the road

London vs Paris: Places of Interest

London and Paris are cities with so much history that you would need more than a few visits to discover it all. In the following, I mention the most important tourist attractions that will cover the basics in discovering these two capitals.

While some of these attractions may be overrated in my opinion, you can’t visit the city without checking them out. A few of these attractions might be removed for a second or third trip or replaced by less renowned attractions but just as fun.

Top attractions in London

  • The Tower of London
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
  • The London Eye
  • Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market
  • Hyde Park
  • The West End
  • The Shard

Consider getting the London Pass, which offers discounts on a variety of attractions!

Top attractions in Paris

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur Basilica
  • Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe
  • Versailles Palace
  • The Seine River Cruise
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Les Invalides

London vs Paris: Museums

Top museums in London

London prides itself on having a vast collection and many free exhibitions of their permanent collections and galleries that you can check out here. For special exhibitions, there may be a small fee.

The following four museums are, for me, the unmissable ones that I would revisit every few years because they are simply stunning:

  • The British Museum
  • Tate Modern
  • Natural History
  • National Gallery

Top museums in Paris

Paris offers fewer free entries compared to London, but check out this site before you travel to maybe match your travel days with the free entries.

  • Louvre Museum
  • The Musee d’Orsay
  • The Auguste Rodin Museum
  • Musee de l’Orangerie

London vs Paris: Cuisine

London’s food scene

The options for food in London are never-ending. You will find many alternatives depending on your diet, and a mix of cuisine from all over the world thanks to the multicultural nature of the city. The city houses budget-friendly restaurants as well as upscale cuisine; you just have to explore different neighborhoods.

Once there, you have to try the Fish and Chips dish, as well as an authentic full English breakfast. These two meals are signature dishes from the English capital.

To experience the English culture fully, don’t forget to go into a pub and enjoy a cozy atmosphere, or have afternoon tea.

Paris food scene

Paris is a bit more snobbish in its approach to food and takes pride in having many Michelin-starred restaurants. The city embraces a more upscale vibe with its croissants, escargots, and Coq au vin. Parisians take their meals very leisurely and can spend hours dining.

To live an authentic French experience, don’t forget to take your café au lait in an outdoor cafe and stop by different boulangeries and patisseries.

London vs Paris: Weather

On average, the weather in London ranges between 6 and 19 degrees. London is renowned for having many grey skies and heavy rain. Being an island, it tends to be colder in the winter, but in the summer, it’s not too hot either.

Paris has a similar weather pattern but is sunnier and experiences less rainfall. The temperature in Paris ranges between 4 and 20 degrees.

London vs Paris – Source

As a Canadian, the weather in both cities doesn’t concern me much, and even in the winter, it’s milder than what we experience here in Montreal. However, if you prefer a warmer and sunnier holiday, Paris from June to August would be your best bet.

London vs Paris: Transportation

Get around London

Getting around London is quite easy but can be pricey. You have several options depending on whether you are trying to save time or money.

  • The first way to get around is the tube, one of the most iconic underground rail networks in Europe.
  • Red double-decker buses are not just a British symbol but also a practical and affordable means of transportation.
  • Other options include the overground in some sectors and the Docklands Light Railway in others.

Get yourself an Oyster Card which covers most public transport and offers a discounted price with a 7-day travel card.

You could also bike around using the Santander Cycle with unlimited rides for £20, or simply walk around, as the city is easily walkable. Properly planning your trip could help reduce transportation costs.

As a last resort, I would suggest a taxi or Uber, but keep in mind it’s very expensive and may not save much time due to traffic in the city.

Get around Paris

In Paris, public transit is a bit less expensive compared to London

You can get the Navigo Easy Pass that allows you to travel on the Metro, RER lines, Tramway, and more.

Paris is also a very walkable city, and you can bike around using the Velib’ services for €10 per day. Similar to London, Paris has a lot of traffic, so taxis and Ubers are not always the best solutions, although they are always an option!

London vs Paris: Accommodation

Where to stay in London

Budget friendly recommendation
The Pride of Paddington

The Pride of Paddington Hostel

  • You are located in the heart of the city, with quick access to the metro (Paddington Underground Station) and near a lot of activities.
  • You get a free private taxi to pick you up from the airport which is located 30 min away.
  • 5 min walk away from Hyde Park and 15 min away from Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.
  • Private bathrooms and wifi are available.
  • Heating and Air conditioning are available.
  • Amicable staff and comfortable rooms.
MID RANGE RECOMMENDATION

The Ampersand Hotel

  • Located yet again in the heart of the city near South Kensington Underground Station, Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods and Hyde Park
  • Each room is equipped with a mini bar, a flat-screen TV, and an en suite bathroom.
  • The decoration of each room is bold and Victorian, it feels very English.
  • The building is in itself very Victorian and elegant with large staircases and chandeliers.
  • You get a free pick-up at the airport.
  • Many restaurants and stores in the surrounding area.
high end recommendation

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

  • Located opposite Big Ben, and the House of Parliament, this is one of London’s nicest, most luxurious hotels.
  • 5 min walk from the London Eye, theaters, and many restaurants.
  • The plaza has its own 24hrs gym, swimming pool, sauna, and steam rooms.
  • Buffet style breakfast included.
  • Home of awarding winning Brasserie Joël and Ichi Sushi & Sashimi, which specialises in sushi and sashimi.
  • Live entertainment in the evenings.

Where to stay in Paris

Budget friendly recommendation

Aloha Hostel

  • Only 2 km away from the Effiel Tower, this hostel located in the 15th arrondissement is perfect for a short stay near the main attractions.
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
MID RANGE RECOMMENDATION

Hôtel Le Bellechasse Saint-Germain

  • Very calm hotel, on a calm street, walking distance from the Louvre and the Seine.
  • Easy access to many attractions from metro Solférino
  • Chic and trendy decor, designed by Christian Lacroix
  • French breakfast is included with Room service.
high end recommendation

Hôtel Vinci Due & Spa

  • Situated in the heart of Paris, this hotel is located near Orsay Museum, The Louvre, and the Luxembourg Gardens.
  • Not just a hotel, but also a wellness center.
  • Airport transfer available from Orly Airport.
  • Magnificient view of the city!

London vs Paris: Cost of living

I noticed that Paris was less expensive just from my bank account during my visits, and if you compare most categories on numbeo, you will find that Paris is generally cheaper than London.

Everyday expenses, including groceries, transportation, and dining out, tend to be relatively higher in London. Accommodation costs are also higher, given that utilities such as heating, gas, and water are more expensive in London.

I do have to admit that you can cut a lot of costs by staying away from the center of the cities and carefully planning your trip to be as budget-friendly as possible. While both London and Paris have a high cost of living, individual circumstances and lifestyle choices greatly influence the overall expenses.

London vs Paris: Day trip

Top day trips from London

#1 TOUR

Windsor Castle, Oxford, Stonehenge

  • Entrance ticket to Windsor Castle interior
  • Entrance ticket to Stonehenge
  • Walking Tour of Oxford
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
#2 Tour

Cambridge Day tour

  • Panoramic views of the city from the Tower of Saint Mary the Great
  • Visit Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Visit King’s College
  • Visit the University of Cambridge
  • Free time to visit on your own
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points

Top day trips from Paris

#1 TOUR

Versaille Palace

  • Skip the line is perfect for peak season as the Palace of Versailles is a very tourist attraction.
  • Train ticket from Paris included
  • Guided tour of the Palace
  • Free time available at the Gardens
  • Worth the money
#2 TOUR

Monet’s Gardens in Giverny

  • Transportation included departing from Paris
  • Priority entrance onto the Estate of Claude Monet
  • Perfect for art lovers who want to learn more about Monet’s life.
  • Small group for a personalized experience.

London vs Paris: Nightlife

The vibes in both cities are very different from each other. London offers a lot more variety and choices depending on what you are looking for.

Pubs, iconic clubs, live music in bars, music events, and theaters are dispersed throughout the city. You can find more upscale places or more urban ones, and everything is easily reachable. Younger people seem to really enjoy the nightlife in London.

Paris, on the other hand, is more known for cabarets, late-night dinners, and romantic walks along the Seine. Not that nightclubs don’t exist, but they are not as renowned as in London. The nightlife scene has been in decline, but it’s not dead yet!

FAQ’s

What is the distance from London to Paris?

Traveling from London to Paris is quite a road trip. Covering the 350 miles will take you about 6 hours by car!

You have other ways to travel between the capital cities, such as by train (2h30) or by plane (1h30). For a cheaper alternative, you can take a flexibus but it makes multiple stops, extending the journey to 9 hours.

Is it more expensive in paris or london?

London is a more expensive city overall, from public transit to dining. Activities also tend to cost more there, and accommodation can be quite pricey, especially near the center of the city.

Is london or paris bigger?

London covers approximately 600 square miles, while Paris covers around 40 square miles.

Although Paris is smaller in size, it has a higher population density than London.

Is london and paris in the same time zone?

No, Paris is one hour ahead of London. Geographically, France is slightly more east than the UK, which means the sun sets in Paris first, making the day in Paris a bit longer.

London is in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), while Paris is in Central European Time (CET).

Which is Better, London or Paris?

Each city has its strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your age, marital status, and hobbies, you may find one city better suited to your preferences than the other. I believe trying both is the best way to decide which is the better fit for you. And, of course, you can always change your mind later! No matter what you choose, you’re bound to have a great time and create memories for a lifetime!

Have you tried these 2 europpean cities? Which one you preferred? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Sofyah,

Follow:
SofyahOv
SofyahOv

Sofyah Ov is the founder of Sofyahscorner. Through her travels, she emphasizes the art of living comfortably while adventuring, showing readers how to strike a harmonious balance between world exploration and the soft life. Having lived in 3 different continents, the writer, passionate traveler, and lifestyle enthusiast would love to teach you how you can have it all!

Sharing is caring!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, Sofyahscorner.com may earn a commission from the sale. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps support the ongoing content creation and maintenance of this website.

Leave a Reply