A trip comprising of London and Paris is one of the most classic Europe routes you can take. From iconic monuments, stunning cultural sites and amazing food, there’s plenty of exciting things in store for you!
Credit: GIPHY With so many things to see, do and eat in these two amazing cities, it can be overwhelming when it comes down to planning out your trip. So, we’ve come up with a week-long itinerary that’ll help you make the most out of your journey in London and Paris ?
Public transport in London and ParisBefore we dive into it, let’s cover the important matter of public transportation in London and Paris since this is primarily how you’ll be getting around when exploring the cities! LondonCredit: London Underground on FacebookThe London Underground also known as the Tube, is one of the best ways to get you around places in a short amount of time. For a more scenic option that’s just as efficient, travel on the famous red double-decker buses instead. In order to navigate your way through the city with these public transports, purchase an Oyster card - a pre-loaded card that subtracts your fare as you go through the ticket barrier in the Tube or as you tap into the bus. ParisThe Paris Visite pass allows unlimited travel on the metro, tramway, bus, RER and SNCF Transilien networks in Paris. It’s valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days and allows you to travel either anywhere in Paris (zones 1 to 3) or beyond the city (zones 1 to 5, including airport connections, Disneyland Paris and more).
Day 1: Arrive at Heathrow International Airport
- Head to the nearest ticket machine before going to The London Underground and buy yourself an Oyster card. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to get around the city and you can use the card on most of London’s public transport.
- Take the Tube to central London. In Heathrow, there are three stations - one between Terminal 2 and 3, one at Terminal 4 and another at Terminal 5.
- Check into your accommodation and get ready to explore London!
Explore Westminster (2h)
Note: Do note that Big Ben is under renovations until 2021 with the tower obscured by scaffolding, so you can’t take selfies with a full view of the famous clock towers ☹️
- As the heart of the city’s politics, history and culture, Westminster is a great spot to start off your adventure in London!
- Standing majestically over the River Thames, snap a stunning shot of the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben.
- Just across the river, catch a glimpse of the impressive wheel of the London Eye. If you’re planning to ride it, we recommend that you purchase the ticket in advance. Not only is it cheaper, but it’ll save you time from queueing up!
Admire the beauty of Westminster Abbey (2h)Credit: David McKelvey on Flickr
Mango Tree (1h)
- Stroll over to Westminster Abbey where the royal British coronations and burials are held. Famous English literary figures like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Geoffrey Chaucer are also buried here.
- This also happens to be the venue for many royal events, including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton ?
- Take a 10-minute stroll to Mango Tree for delicious contemporary Thai cuisine! ? (Do note that all meat used in the restaurant are halal-certified except for the duck. Since the restaurant is not halal-certified, we recommend that you dine at your own discretion.)
Day 2: Harry Potter field trip
Have a magical day at Warner Bros. Studio (7h)
Credit: Karen Roe on Flickr
- A place where you can solemnly swear that you are up to no good, here’s the perfect chance to live out your Harry Potter dreams and embark on a tour of a lifetime at the Warner Bros. Studio ?
- Do note that the studio is located outside the city near Watford Junction, so you would need to spare around 7 hours for this tour.
Credit: Karen Roe on Flickr
- When purchasing your ticket in advance, you can opt for the package that includes transportation. If you do, the bus will pick you up at a location of your choice (King’s Cross, Central London or Birmingham) and take you directly to the studio.
- Otherwise, you can travel by train from Esuton to Watford Junction. From there, a shuttle bus is provided to transport visitors back and forth between the studio and the station.
- After a brief introduction by the tour guide, prepare to go on a magical adventure as you step into the jaw-dropping space of the Great Hall.
- The tour is largely self-guided, so you are free to roam around the studio as long as you want. The best thing about this experience is that the many set, costumes and props have been retained as in the films, so you get to truly immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter ?
- Make sure to snap some memorable photos of yourself!
Poppies Fish and Chips (1h)
Note: This restaurant serves non-halal meat and alcohol, but their fish batter is alcohol-free and cooked separately in groundnut oil. If you have any questions or concerns, you can ask their friendly staff for further assistance.
- A trip to London won’t feel complete unless you have a taste of Britain's signature dish - fish and chips!
- Stop by Poppies Fish and Chips, one of the few places where you can get Muslim-friendly fish and chips ?
- With a retro diner-style interior, this restaurant serves crispy battered fish fried to golden perfection along with tasty chunky fries.
Experience the bustle of Borough Market (2h)Credit: Borough Market on Facebook
- Start your day at one of London’s largest and oldest food markets - Borough Market. From fresh produce to baked goods and confectioneries, it’s easy to understand why this place is a favourite for foodies and local chefs.
- Besides the stalls, there are also many cafes where you can have breakfast and coffee.
- If you need to perform your afternoon prayers, head over to Holborn Mosque.
Explore Covent GardenCredit: Garry Knight on Flickr
- What was home to the largest food and vegetables market in London is now a fully-transformed high-end shopping district with theatres and entertainment.
- While the fresh market has been moved to New Covent Garden, the original building now houses hip cafes and a vibrant bazaar.
Admire artworks at National Gallery (2h)
- See one of the world’s greatest collection of paintings at the National Gallery, dating back to as far as the 1300s ?
- Admission is free, with opening hours between 10am to 6pm daily (except Friday, where it’s open from 10am to 9pm).
- Appreciate the work of world-renowned artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir,Cezanne and Van Gogh.
Visit Buckingham Palace (1h)
- Make your way to the residence of Her Majesty the Queen for a royal touch to your trip!
- If you want the catch the highlight of Buckingham Palace, the Changing of Guard ceremony, you might want to arrive bright and early as it takes place at 10.45am (lasting for 15 minutes, with the handover at 11am).
- Please note that the ceremony may not happen every day, therefore it’s important to double-check times and days ahead of your trip (you can do that here!).
Browse the goods at Harrods (1h)
- Known for its lavish interior, Harrods is home to expensive, tongue-twisting labels that is every shoppaholic’s paradise ?
- From souvenirs to household items and luxury accessories, take your time to visit all the floors and even if you don’t make a purchase, observing the bustling shoppers is exciting enough!
Kensington Gardens (1-2h)
- Take a breather by going on a relaxing walk through Kensington Gardens, one of the Royal Parks in London.
- While you’re here, don’t forget to pay Kensington Palace a visit as well! Once the childhood home of Queen Victoria, the palace is now the official residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Dinner at Bayswater (1h)
- As you walk through Kensington Gardens towards Albert Memorial, make an exit at Bayswater Road where the famous Malaysia Hall is located.
- As a hotspot for many Malaysian travellers, you can easily find many halal restaurants such as Noodle Oodle, Banana Tree and Satay House ?
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge (2h)
- Get your morning walk along River Thames and take in the sight of London's most famous bridge - the Tower Bridge.
- While it's fun to take a long walk across it, you can also climb the tower to an elevated glass floor! Get a thrilling look of all the cars, buses and pedestrians moving beneath you as they travel over London Bridge.
- If you choose to walk across the glass walkway, purchase your ticket as early as 24 hours in advance to save some money! Bear in mind, that depending on crowd levels, you may still have to wait in line to enter the glass walkway.
- Oozing with history, Tower of London has served as a royal palace, prison, place of execution and the symbol of the monarchy in England for nearly 1000 years. Whether you're a history buff or not, this is a must-visit destination in London that will help you to understand the deep history and culture of the city that you're visiting.
- Have a look at some of the fascinating displays like the Crown Jewels - a stunning exhibition piece of diamond studded crowns and scepters, among many other things.
- You can even join the Yeoman Warden Tour to get fascinating lessons about the history of London and events that occurred at the Tower of London.
Leadenhall Market (2h)
- Making an appearance in the first Harry Potter film, step into the beautifully designed space of Leadenhall Market and feel yourself getting transported back into time ?
- Despite its old architecture, you can find a mix of modern and historic stores here. From home to high end fashion brands, wander through the different alleyways to see all the different shops you can uncover.
British Museum (2-3h)
- The British Museum is one of those places where you could spend a whole day wandering the galleries, and still not manage to see everything! Split across 10 different departments, the museum houses artefacts and pieces from around the world.
- If you're low on time but want to get the best out of your visit, make sure not to miss the Rosetta Stone (ground floor gallery 4), mummies (Egyptian Room, gallery 62-63), and easter island status (ground floor room 24).
- Start your shopping trip at the Marble Arch and stroll down Oxford Street. This area is known for its large department stores and brands such as Primark and H&M.
- Head over to Bond Street if you're looking for classic designer labels and then Regent Street for the world’s largest toy store - Hamley’s
Day 5: Paris-boundCredit: Uzoamaka Madu on Facebook
- After a good 4 days in London, it’s time to move onto the next destination - Paris!
- Hop onto the Eurostar - a high-speed railway service that takes you directly from London St Pancras to the centre of Paris at the Gare du Nord in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- With a reservations only service, you can book up to 4 months in advance (the earlier you do, the better the fare).
- Check into your accommodation and let the Parisian adventure begin!
- From Gare du Nord, take the RER B train. Then, transfer to RER C line at St.Michel/Notre Dame stop and get off at the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel Tower (1.5h)
#HWWT Tip: Since the Eiffel Tower is a crowded place, be extra careful of pickpockets.
- What better way to kick off your Paris trip than to visit the city’s best-known icon?
- Standing at 300 metres tall with a complex iron-framed structure, this amazing landmark is a must-visit on every single traveller’s list.
- Make your way to Place du Trocadero, a large square in the heart of the area for the best photos with the tower in the background.
The Louvre (2h)Credit: Todd Lappin on Flickr
- As the world’s largest and most visited museum, the Louvre is undoubtedly an icon in Paris. One glance at its unique structure and you’ll know why many flock to this place for a visit.
- Admire world-renowned paintings like the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa and stunning sculptures like Venus de Milo.
- Fun fact: Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was filmed here as well as Beyonce and Jay-Z’s music video!
Arc de Triomphe (30m)
- Another famous monument in the city is Arc de Triomphe that stands majestically at the centre of Place Charled de Gaulle. Inspired by Italy’s Arch of Titus, this monument honours those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Champs-Elysees (1h)Credit: Nexxt PRESS on Flickr
- Time to take a light stroll and unwind at Champs-Élysées. Feel like a Parisian as you stroll past the luxury boutiques, flagship stores, posh hotels and fancy restaurants lining up the streets.
- Don’t forget to stop by L'Éclair de Génie for some authentic eclairs! This boulangerie is not halal-certified but the eclairs are made with fish gelatin. Take note that some of their seasonal flavours may contain alcohol, so ask the staff for any inquiries.
Le 1818 (1h)
- Located in the Victor Hugo area, this charming halal French restaurant is named after the year Victor Hugo's first novel released! Savour delicious dishes like the Veal Filet Mignon and Breaded Chicken Ballottine for that true French dining experience!
- Do note that Le 1818 serves foie gras on its menu. As the restaurant is not halal-certified by a central body, we recommend that you dine at your own discretion.
Du Pain et des Idees (30m)
- Before starting your day, pick up some escargot pistache chocolat from Du Pain et des Idées. Don’t worry, the real escargot is not a part of the ingredient - it refers to the snailshell-like swirl pattern on the pastry! ?
Walk around Paris' coolest district - Le Marais (2h)Credit: Andrea Schaffer on Flickr
- Navigating the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys in Le Marais is a fascinating experience. One of the oldest districts in Paris, Le Marais is lined with historic buildings with grand architecture, museums as well as trendy boutiques and cafés you’ve dreamt about.
- A guided walking tour is available if you would like to know more about the district.
- After all that walking, take a short break and unwind at Place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris. The garden is every bit like a typical French garden, and one of the few where you can sit on the grass.
- If you’re interested in Picasso’s works, Musée National Picasso is also located nearby!
Prayers at Grand Mosquee de Paris (30m - 1hr)Credit: Istvan on Flickr
- Visit Grande Mosquée de Paris, an Alhambra-inspired mosque located in the Latin Quarter. Do your prayers here and take in all the intricate architectural details and decorations. There’s also a tearoom, restaurant, hammam and shops here.
- Fancy something a little sweet to keep your day going? Indulge in French desserts at Boulangerie & Salon de Thé 17 Rue Daubenton, a halal bakery just a stone’s throw away from the mosque.
Visit Jardin du Luxembourg (2h)Credit: Joe deSousa on Flickr
- Also known as Luxembourg Gardens in English, this beautiful area holds 106 statues as well as the monumental Menici fountain.
- With ample seating, children's entertainment, a tennis court and music pavilion, this is the place to be for a fun and relaxing time.
- It's also one of the most scenic places to have a picnic!
Musee d'Orsay (2h)Credit: Phil Smith on Flickr
Credit: Shadowgate on Flickr
- Originally a train station in 1900, then used as a mailing centre during WWII, to a theatre, to finally – Musée d’Orsay. Now, it displays collections of art from the period of 1848 to 1914.
- Admire the works by popular Impressionist artists like Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Also check out the museum’s giant transparent clock, which is pretty eye-catching on its own.
Sacré-CœurCredit: Jonathan on Flickr
Credit: Jonathan on Flickr
- As you explore the grounds of La Marais, don't forget to make a stop at Sacré-Cœur!
- The Sacré-Cœur is a famous Roman Catholic Church built in 1875 and it took seven architects to complete this Romano-Byzantine styled building.
- Check out their national monument - the grand pipe organ! It was unanimously considered one of the most remarkable in France. It is also one of the most widely heard pipe organ in the world.
- Being the second highest point in Paris at 130 metres high, enrich yourself with the view of the entire city of Paris here.
Day 7: Versailles
Palace of Versailles (3-4h)Credit: Jonas Witt on Flickr
- From Paris, take the RER C line train to Palace of Versailles, also known as Château de Versailles. At the train station, follow the signs to Versailles Château-Rive Gauche and be sure to check the monitor before boarding the train because not all of them will get you to Versailles Château-Rive Gauche! The journey takes around 45 minutes.
Purchase a round trip ticket so you can avoid the queue when returning to Paris later!
Credit: Thibault Chappe on Flickr
- You haven’t seen glamour yet until you’ve been to Château de Versailles. Once home to the kings and queens of France, this palace is perhaps the most extravagant place in Europe ?
- Château de Versailles opens its door at 9 am, and you are encouraged to be there early and purchase your ticket in advance to skip the queue!
- The first king to live in Versailles, Louis XII bought land and build a château for his hunting trips. Meanwhile, Louis XIV wanted to show his power through architecture. He radically transformed the place, thus the splendour and magnificence of the palace.
- The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery and largest room in the palace. At 73m long, the gallery pays tribute to France’s political, economic and artistic successes.
- Check out the Queen’s Apartments and the Petit Trianon where Marie Antoinette once resided and spent the most of her time! Many of her portraits are also on display.
Prayers at La Mosquée de Versailles (30min - 1h)Credit: La Mosquée de Versailles on Facebook
- After finishing your tour at the Palace, head out to Mosquée de Versailles (or Association des Musulmans de Versailles) for your prayers. Take bus 171 from Château de Versailles to Jean Mermoz, and walk 500m down Rue Jean Mermoz.
- Make your way to Essaouira to fill your stomach. This Moroccan restaurant serves halal authentic North African food ?
Head back home
- At last, we've come to the end of our trip and it's time to say au revoir, Paris!
- From Versailles, take the RER C train and transfer to the RER B train at Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame which will bring you all the way to the airport.
- If you're catching a plane back home from Heathrow, then get off the RER B train and hop onto the Eurostar from Gare du Nord to London St Pancras. There is a direct line from St Pancras that takes all the way to Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3 stations.
So there you have it, the London-Paris itinerary that you never knew you needed! We hope this itinerary has equipped you with all the information you need to plan that dream Europe vacation