Paris and London attract many tourists every year. Both cities make people dream and attract many foreigners who want to share moments with the locals and discover their culture, monuments, and gastronomy. Here are some criteria to help you make your choice between these two cities.
Here is a summary table of the weather conditions in Paris and London. You will get a preview of the average temperatures in January, April, July and October. You will also get an overview of the average annual rainfall and the sunshine rate.
London is known as a rainy city, yet the rainfall in Paris and London is similar. Temperatures also are very similar, but they are a little higher in Paris.
|The average annual temperature||11.7 °C||10.8 °C|
|The average temperature in January||4.3 °C||4.8 °C|
|The average temperature in April||10.7 °C||9.4 °C|
|The average temperature in July||17.7 °C||17.8 °C|
|The average temperature in October||12.6 °C||11.8 °C|
|The average rainfall||720 mm||690 mm|
|The sunshine rate||About 2,000- 2,100 h||About 1,500 – 1,600 h|
Here is a website where you can find weather data by city.
Although London is considered a particularly rainy city, the weather characteristics in Paris are very similar. However, Paris is a sunnier city.
Here is a summary table of the surface area of Paris and London. London is much larger than Paris, and the number of inhabitants per km2 is much smaller.
|Surface area||105.4 km2||1 572 km2|
|Population||2.175 million||8.908 million|
|Inhabitants of the urban area||10.784 million||10.100 million|
|Density||20 641 inhabitants/km2||5 667 inhabitants/km2|
London is a city much vaster than Paris, and its density is much lower. However, if we take into account the urban area, Paris has more inhabitants than London.
Paris is not really known for its cleanliness. With the graffiti on the walls, the rubbish on the pavements, the dog excretions and the dirtiness of the underground, the city is often denounced for its lack of cleanliness.
As in any large city, the cleanliness depends on the area. Tourist areas such as the Champs Élysées are cleaned by private contractors and are often considered the priority areas for cleaning.
London is not a model for cleanliness either. There is also rubbish on the pavements. However, the city seems to be cleaner than Paris. For example, while the underground in Paris is considered dirty, the underground in London is rather considered a model of cleanliness.
Just as in Paris, tourist areas are cleaner than less known areas. For example, the Mayfair district, located in the City of Westminster, is a clean area.
Paris is known for its lack of cleanliness while London seems less dirty, although it is not a model in terms of cleanliness. Yet, its underground is considered an example of cleanliness.
Courtesy of locals
Parisians are not really known for their courtesy and kindness. In general, they are seen as unfriendly and rude.
Londoners are known for being rather friendly, easy-going, and very polite. There are some exceptions, but in general, Londoners are friendly and welcoming.
While Parisians are seen as unfriendly and rude, Londoners are rather considered as friendly, polite and welcoming.
Here is a table illustrating the price differential (food, accommodation, transports, etc) in Paris and London:
|1 l of whole milk||€1.29||€1.09|
|1 kg of tomatoes||€2.81||€2.15|
|1 kg of apples||€3.21||€2.28|
|Full menu in a fast food restaurant||€9||€7|
|Basic lunchtime menu in the business district||€17||€13|
|1 pair of sport shoes||€106||€96|
|A pair of jeans (Levis or similar)||€93||€92|
|1 summer dress in a shop like Zara or H&M||€32||€41|
|1 l of gas||€1.43||€1.37|
|Price of an underground ticket||€1.90||€5.60 € – 6.90|
|Price for a week (bus or underground)||Navigo Pass starting from €19.85||Travelcard starting from €40.40|
|Taxi ride by day, on weekdays||– €4 or €7 (immediate or advance order)
– Pick-up: €2.60
– Price per kilometre: €1.09
|– Pick-up: €3.50
– First 280 metres: €2.80
– Every additional 140 metres: €0.20
– From €19, each additional 98 metres: €0.20
|Taxi ride by night, on weekdays||– €4 € or €7 (immediate or advance order)
– Pick-up: €2.60
– Price per kilometre: €1.38
|– Pick-up: €3.50
– First 280 metres: €2.80
– Every additional 140 metres: €0.20
-From €19, each additional 98 metres: €0.20
|Ride with Uber||– Pick-up: €1.20
– Price per kilometre: €1.05
|– Pick-up: €2.80
– Price per kilometre: €1.40
|Tube of toothpaste||€2.09||€1.95|
|Price of a water bottle (1,5l)||€0.89||€0.96|
|1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)||€8||€10|
- Food in London is on average 20% cheaper than in Paris
- Clothing is on average 7% more expensive in London than in Paris
- Transports in on average 79% more expensive in London than in Paris
- Accommodation in London is on average 1% cheaper than in Paris
For more information on prices in London and Paris, visit this website. It will help you make a comparison or find out more about each city.
Concerning clothing and accommodation, prices in Paris and London are very similar. However, although London is cheaper in terms of food, transport prices are much more expensive than in Paris. The underground ticket is about 3 times more expensive and the weekly pass is twice as expensive in London.
Regarding taxis, although the prices are not calculated in the same way, the pick-up is more expensive in London, and the prices of the rides seem to be more expensive in the British capital too.
Underground and bus in Paris
The underground in Paris is made up of 16 lines and 302 stations. The ticket costs 1.90€.
On weekdays, the first underground leaves at 5:30 am and the last at 12:30 am. On Fridays and Saturdays, the service is extended by one hour.
As for buses, there are 316 lines and more than 12,000 bus stops.
The city is divided into zones and prices are different in each zone.
In Paris, you can choose among several packages. With each package, you can use several means of transport: underground, RER (high-speed train service linking Paris to the suburbs), tram and train.
- For example, with the Navigo monthly and weekly travel passes, you can make unlimited travels in the chosen zones. Here are some prices: Weekly Navigo starting from €19.85 and Monthly Navigo starting from €65.20.
- With the Navigo Liberté + Pass, the ticket costs €1.49. The advantage of this pass is that there is a limit, set at €7.50 per day. Even if you travel a lot you will not exceed this amount.
- Tourists can choose the Paris Visite package for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days. With this pass, you can make unlimited travels for the number of days you chose. Here are some prices: 1 day starting from €12 OR 3 days starting from €26.65 OR 5 days starting from €38.35.
Underground and bus in London
The underground in London is made up of 13 lines and 270 stations. The city is divided into 9 zones, and the prices are different in each zone. For example, a ticket in zones 1-3 costs €5.60 and a ticket in zones 1-6 costs €6.90.
You can access the underground from 5:00 am to midnight (last departure) and some lines are accessible 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are 400 lines and more than 15,000 bus stops in London. A single ticket cost €1.70.
The main lines run from 5:00 am to midnight. Some buses also run at night (main lines or N buses).
Public transports in the British capital are quite expensive. So opt for a Travelcard or an Oyster card rather than a single ticket.
- The Travelcard gives you unlimited access to the underground for 24 hours to 7 days. Two options are available: the Peak Card, allowing you to travel before 9:30 am, and the Off-Peak Card, allowing you to travel after 9:30 am. The Travelcard is a very good option for tourists. It is available monthly or annually for Londoners only. Here are some prices for the Travelcard: 1 day starting from €14.60 OR 7 days starting from €40.40.
- You can also choose the Oyster Card. This card uses the Pay-as-you-go system. You can choose among two prices: the Peak one or the Off-Peak one, and you can recharge your card whenever you want.
- You can also take use the Visitor Oyster Card which will allow you to travel without paying more than €7.20 per day. Here you can see some prices for the Oyster Card. The ticket is available starting from €2.80 and the daily limit is available from €5.60. The card costs €5.70 but this amount is repaid when you return the card.
With the cards, you can take different means of transports: bus, underground, tram, DLR (the light rail system), London Underground (the suburban trains).
Summary table for underground and bus in Paris and London:
|Underground and buses in Paris||Underground and buses in London|
|Number of lines||16 for the underground and 316 for the bus (RATP)||13 for the underground and 400 for the bus|
|Number of stations||302 for the underground and 12,000 for the bus||270 for the underground and 15,000 for the bus|
|Price for an underground ticket||Starting from €1.90||Starting from €5.60|
|Price for a bus ticket||Starting from €1.90||Starting from €1.70|
|Price for a week||Navigo Pass
Starting from €19.85
Starting from €40.40
|Paris Visite package
Starting from €12.00 for 1 day, or €38.35 for 5 days.
€5.70 the card (repaid at the return) + the ride starting from $2.80.
From a certain amount spent, you are no longer charged.
Price for a month
|Pass Navigo Liberté +
Every ride costs €1.49 but you pay a maximum of €7.50 per day
| Monthly Travelcard
Starting from €163.50
Starting from €65.20
Vélib’ is the bicycle rental system in Paris. There are 1,400 stations and about 20,000 bicycles, including 35% with electrical assistance.
- Several passes are available, including the V-Découverte pass, valid for 24 hours or the V-Séjour Pass, valid for 7 days. With each pass, you can take up to 5 Vélib’ at one time.
- For regular users, other passes are available such as the V-Plus Pass.
Here are the prices:
- For V-Découverte and V-Séjour passes: 0 to 1€ per 30 minutes, 1 to 2 € extra for 30 to 60 minutes and 1 to 2 € per 30 minutes beyond 60 minutes.
- With the V-Découverte Pass, you will pay €5 for the bicycle rental and €15 with the V-Séjour Pass.
Santander Cycles is London’s bicycle rental system based on self-service. There are 400 stations and more than 6,000 bicycles. You can use the bikes 24 hours a day.
In addition to the usage fees, you must pay the access fee. You can sign up from the kiosks located in the bike stations.
- The access fees will cost you €2.30 for 24 hours OR €11.50 for 7 days OR €103.20 for a year.
- Concerning prices you can see them here: the first half-hour is free THEN you will pay €1.10 for each additional half-hour AND €6.00 up to 2 hours
The number of stations is similar in both cities. Yet, London has more bus lines and stations than Paris, and Paris has more underground lines and stations than London.
Paris also has more bicycle stations and more bikes.
Regarding prices, London transports are very expensive. On average, they are 79% more expensive than in Paris. While an underground ticket cost €1.90 in Paris, it is three times more expensive in London. On a monthly basis, a season ticket costs less than €80 in Paris while it costs more than €150 in London!
In Paris, there are more than 150 museums, about 70 public libraries, almost 400 cinema screens, and about 130 theatre halls.
In Paris, you can access some museums for free such as the Musée d’Art Moderne, the Maison de Balzac (Balzac House) – apart from exhibitions -, the Maison de Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo House) and a few others. Except for these museums, you have to pay to visit the majority of the Parisian museums.
Certain people can enjoy reduced prices such as young people aged from 18 to 26, students, holders of the “Paris Pass Famille” and “Famille nombreuse” cards and some others.
Some people can also enjoy free visits such as people under 17, jobseekers or people with minimum wages, among others.
Find more information here (French website).
Here are some museums to visit in Paris:
The musée du Louvre, the largest museum in Paris with a surface of 210,000 m2. Discover the 8 areas of the museum: Egyptian Antiquities, Sculptures, Works of Art, etc. Almost all eras and trends are represented in this museum. Admire the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo or the Louvre pyramid.
Price: €15. More information on free admission here.
The Grévin Museum and its 200 wax statues representing actors, politicians, sportsmen, etc. Take a look at Lady Gaga, Louis Armstrong, Georges Clooney, Barack Obama and Charles de Gaulle.
Price: between €17 and €25
The National Museum of Natural History which gathers museums, galleries, gardens and zoos. You can discover the Jardin des Plantes for free, the Musée de l’Homme for about €10 and the Zoological Park for €20.
Prices: free, €10, €20 depending on the áreas
The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Museum of Science and Industry) and its interactive exhibitions. You can take part in experiences on volcanos, oceans and space.
Price: about €8
In Paris, you will have the opportunity to visit numerous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, a must-see.
Price: between €10.50 and €26.10
You can also visit the Arc de Triomphe, at the top of the Champs-Élysées, on the Place de l’Étoile.
Finally, you can admire theNotre-Dame Cathedral, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica located in Montmartre and the Panthéon (€11.50).
In Paris, most shops open from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, from Monday to Sunday. Some department stores such as The Galeries Lafayette or Printemps close at 8:00 or 8:30 pm. Few shops are open on Sunday, except for shops located in the Champs-Élysées or in tourist areas. These shops are opened from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
The Galeries Lafayette is a must-see in Paris, with almost 3,500 international brands spread over 70,000m2. You can also find restaurants, and attend cultural events. Most shops are luxury ones, but you can also find shops at affordable prices.
Printemps Haussmann is also a luxury shopping centre that spread over three buildings and 27 floors!
Amusement park / theme park
There are many amusement parks located near Paris. You will find at least one park to have fun! You can choose among the Parc Astérix, a theme park based on the comic book Asterix, La Mer de Sable, a Wild West theme park, and Disneyland Paris.
In London, there are more than 230 museums and about 50 theatres.
Unlike Paris, you can visit most museums for free in London.
Here is a list of museums to visit:
The British Museum, one of the oldest museums in the world. This museum traces the history of mankind from its creation. You can look at many rare objects and works, from prehistory to the present day.
Price: free except for temporary exhibitions
The Natural History Museum, dedicated to living species coming from all over the world and all eras. You can see dinosaur skeletons.
The National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square, where you can admire many masterpieces made by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh or Leonardo da Vinci. Nearly 2,300 paintings are displayed in this museum.
Price: free except for some temporary exhibitions
The Science Museum, where you can learn about the evolution of scientific and technical inventions and discoveries.
Price: free except for the temporary exhibitions and the 3D Imax cinema
You can also visit historical monuments such as Tower Bridge. You can visit the interior and discover the two towers where the archives documents are displayed, you can also see the engine room. Parts of the floor are made of glass so that you can see under your feet!
A few metres away you can also visit the Tower of London. Here, you can discover the collection of weapons and armour, the Tower’s guards and the Crown Jewels!
Finally, you can also admire Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Elizabeth II, Queen of England. You can also admire Big Ben, the huge clock and Westminster Palace, the headquarters of the British Parliament.
The majority of London shops are open from Monday to Saturday and some are even open on Sunday. Many shops close at 7:00 or 8:00 pm but some also close at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.
Oxford Street is London’s shopping street. It is 2.5 km long and gathers more than 300 shops. You will find luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior as well as affordable multinational brands such as Zara, H&M and Primark.
Covent Street is also a very tourist-oriented area, known for its open market dedicated to handicrafts, but you can also find shops and restaurants.
Finally, Camden Town is a district known for its numerous markets and its colourful facades with 3D signs.
Amusement park / theme park
Visit the famous Harry Potter studios where you can discover legendary places such as the cupboard under the stairs, the Great Hall, the Gryffindor boy’s dormitory and many others.
Price: about €54 for a normal ticket, €65 for the full Studio Tour
You will find many activities in Paris and London. Everyone will find something they like with museums, monuments, shops and amusement parks.
However, London has two advantages. While in Paris you have to pay to visit many museums, in London you can visit most of the museums for free.
Regarding shops, the opening hours are also wider in London.
Paris’ renown is well established in terms of gastronomy. The French capital is considered one of the capitals of gastronomy thanks to its numerous starred restaurants: There are about 115.
You can discover some culinary specialities in Paris. Here are some dishes you can enjoy:
- The croque-monsieur and the croque-madame, made out of a slice of ham between two slices of sandwich bread, with grated cheese on the top, all of which is then baked in the oven. You can also eat a croque-madame, served with an egg on top.
- The tournedos Rossini, consisting of a thin piece of beef served on a toast, accompanied by a slice of foie gras and slices of truffles.
The French capital is also known for its numerous pastries, you can discover some here:
- The millefeuille made of puff pastry and pastry cream, recognisable through its icing.
- The opéra cake made of sponge cake (known as Joconde in French) with coffee and chocolate buttercream
- The Saint-Honoré cake made of puff pastry and cream puffs, covered with caramel and pastry cream or whipped cream
Here is a selection of Parisian restaurants with different atmospheres and prices:
L’Archimède, a restaurant located near the Canal Saint-Martin where you can taste French gastronomic dishes at a reasonable price, such as beef filet or sea bream.
Price: about €30
La Gazette (French website), a restaurant located in the 16th arrondissement where you can taste French dishes. You can choose among salmon filet, or rib steak, and for dessert a berry pavlova or a poached William Peer.
Price: about €40
Le Loulou Montmartre, a restaurant where you can see the rooftops of Paris. You will have the opportunity to taste black pudding and apple and cinnamon, duck and butternut and maple syrup or roasted camembert with honey.
Price: about €20
Le Jules Vernes, the gastronomic restaurant located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Here, you can taste dishes cooked by chef Frédéric Anton.
Price: from €35 to 250
Here are some Parisian pastry shops where you can taste the best French pastries:
The pâtisserie des Martyrs (French website) owned by Sébastien Gaudard. You can taste delicious pastries such as religieusex (cream puffs), caramelised choux and eclairs.
The Stohrer patisserie, the oldest pastry shop in Paris, where you can taste traditional pastries such as rum babas.
British food is often known for being unappetising. When we think of British food, we imagine these dishes: eggs, sausages and beans for breakfast, or blood pudding and bacon.
Yet, British food can be more refined than what you might think at first.
There are more than 70 starred restaurants in London.
Explore the culinary specialities in London. Here are some dishes you can taste:
- Fish & Chips, one of the most famous dishes in London
- Roast Lamb and mint sauce
- Sunday Roast, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, a savoury cake made with eggs, milk and flour
You can also enjoy British desserts:
- Apple pie
- Scones, small butter bread, served with fresh cream and jam
- Jelly, the typical dessert made of fruit juice and gelatine
Here is a selection of London restaurants with different atmospheres and prices:
The Duck & Waffle, a restaurant located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. You can taste different dishes, including the famous Duck & Waffle, a duck leg confit served on a waffle with maple syrup and mustard sauce, served with a duck egg.
Price: about €20 – €40 for some dishes
The Bluebird, a sophisticated industrial-style restaurant where you can enjoy a steak tartare, a Caesar chicken and prawns. The Bluebird also has a bar where you can enjoy cocktails, champagne and wines.
Price: €20-30 and €50-80 for some dishes
The Goring Dining Room, where you can enjoy a starred cuisine such as a Norfolk turkey, a beef Wellington, a selection of cheeses and a seasonal pie for dessert. You can also enjoy the Afternoon Tea and the pastries served with the best tea mixtures from all over the world.
Price: €30 to 80
Here are some typical London pubs:
The Cittie of Yorke, with its rustic appearance and a wide choice of drinks.
The Antelope, known for its traditional taps and modern interior.
The Prospect of Whitby, considered to be one of London’s oldest pubs, where you can taste local beers and admire the Thames.
Finally, here is a selection of tea rooms where you will have the opportunity to discover the British tradition:
Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, a tea room reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury, located near St Paul’s Cathedral, where you can enjoy some pastries.
Here are some examples to illustrate food prices:
|A dozen eggs||€3.25||€2.52|
|500 gr of chicken||€6||€3.91|
|1 kg of onions||€2.17||€1.28|
|1 kg of potatoes||€1.70||€1.41|
|1 kg of bananas||€2.07||€1.30|
|A bottle of water (1,5 l)||€0.88||€0.99|
|A bottle of imported beer (0,33 cl)||€2.27||€2.29|
In general, food is less expensive in London than in Paris.
In terms of restaurants, there are more starred restaurants in Paris than in London.
There are many restaurants in both cities, both gourmet or affordable, and there are typical establishments in each city. You will find many pastry shops in Paris, whereas you will find pubs and tea rooms in London.
Regarding food, it is cheaper in London than in Paris.
Here is a table with the characteristics of hotels in Paris and London:
|Number of hotels||About 1,600||About 1,500-1,600|
|The average price for 1-star Hotels (per night)||€76||€74|
|The average price for 3-star Hotels (per night)||€113||€127|
|The average price for 5-star Hotels (per night)||€442||€357|
Here is a list of affordable hotels:
The Hotel des Batignolles (3 stars), located near the Montmartre district.
Price: Double room starting from €55 in low season and €65 in high season
The Hotel Clairefontaine (3 stars), located near Paris-Montparnasse (the railway station area). You can enjoy a room in which tourists can meet.
Price: Double room starting from €70 in low season and €80 in high season
The Hotel du Maine (2 stars), located near the metro station.
Price: Double room starting from €75
Here is a list of luxury hotels:
The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme (5 stars), located near the Opera Garnier. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a good meal at the restaurant Le Pur, a Michelin-awarded restaurant.
Price: Room starting from €689
The Grand Hotel du Palais Royal (5 stars), located in the 1st arrondissement and close to the Musée du Louvre. Some rooms have a private balcony and you can have access to a spa and a gym.
Price: Room starting from €370 in low season and €420 in high season.
The Renaissance Paris Vendôme Hotel (5 stars), located near the Jardin des Tuileries and the underground station. Some rooms have a private balcony, and you can have access to a fitness centre.
Price: Double room starting from €350
In London, it is common for guests to leave a tip to doormen, luggage handlers and cleaning staff.
Here are some affordable hotels:
The London House Hotel (3 stars), located near Hyde Park and Notting Hill.
Price: Double room from €85
The Montana Hotel (3 stars), located in the King’s Cross district. It is the perfect place for Harry Potter fans wishing to see Platform 9 ¾.
Price: Double room starting from €80
Here are some luxurious hotels:
The Langham London (5 stars), located near shops and famous theatres. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a spa and a restaurant.
Price: Starting from €450
The Ritz London (5 stars), considered one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in the world. You can discover its sumptuous interior.
Price: Starting from €500
The Four Seasons Hotel (5 stars) located in Park Lane where you can enjoy high-quality services.
Price: Starting from €550
Paris and London have about the same number of hotels (1,600) with a slight advantage for Paris. Prices are also close. Each city has affordable hotels and much more expensive luxury hotels.
In Paris, there are a little more than 60,000 Airbnb accommodations, and there are a little more than 70,000 accommodations in London.
In both cities, the majority of accommodations are flats, but there also are some houses. In London, rooms are also available in boutique hotels and many Londoners offer a room or a studio within their accommodation, which is rarer in Paris.
Here are some affordable accommodations:
This Parisian-style artist’s studio which can accommodate up to 2 persons.
Price: Starting from €130
This renovated flat located in the 5th arrondissement, which can accommodate up to 4 persons.
Price: Starting from €55
Here are some independent accommodations:
This 3-floor house located in the 14th arrondissement.
Price: Starting from €250
This renovated flat with a cosy atmosphere located in the 5th arrondissement.
Price: Starting from €170
Here are some affordable accommodations:
This bedroom with a bathroom located in the Limehouse district. You will have a balcony and will share the common areas.
Price: Starting from €60
This independent studio located in a house on London Fields.
Price: Starting from €90
Here are some independent accommodations:
This vintage house located in the cultural centre of London. This house can accommodate up to 4 persons. You will have the chance to admire beautiful works of art within the accommodation.
Price: Starting from €180
This flat located in the Tower Bridge district. It can accommodate up to 4 persons.
Price: Starting from €90
This renovated house available for 4 persons, in the heart of East London.
Price: Starting from €150
Both cities have many Airbnb accommodations. In Paris, flats are the most common accommodation. In London, many flats are available too, but rooms in houses or boutique hotels are the more often offered accommodations. Therefore London seems to have a greater diversity of accommodation but in Paris, Airbnbs are often entire homes.
Each city has positive and negative points. Transport is more affordable in Paris, but museums are not free. The city is considered dirty and Parisians are considered rude and unfriendly, but gastronomy is famous all over the world.
In London, transport is very expensive but many museums are free. The food is often considered unappetising, but it is more refined than most people think.
In both of the cities, many accommodations are offered, such as hotels or Airbnb accommodations. These accommodations can be affordable or luxury ones.
It is up to you to decide which criteria are the most important to you.
Advice, best plans, great places; I will help you in your search for trips, activities, hotels and restaurants. Whether it’s for a walk, a weekend, an afternoon or merely to find a trendy place to eat, I can give you all the pointers you need for your endeavor. Just follow the guide!