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Paris and London: Differences between Two of Europe’s Most-Visited Cities

October 20, 2023

London and Paris have shared a friendly rivalry for years over which city is more appealing to travelers. Looking at annual tourism statistics it is pretty close with both cities drawing tens of millions of visitors into their realms every year. They also regularly swap top spots. However, that is pretty much where the similarities end between two of the greatest capitals in the world.

According to statistics, Paris has two attractions visited by most tourists – the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, whereas – although there are many – London has none showing up statistically. But visitors tend to stay in London longer than they do in Paris. Perhaps it’s just all subjective and comes down to personal taste: Some people, if asked, would choose Paris, while others would opt for London or vice versa.

Have a look here at some of the disparities and decide for yourself:

How Crowded? How Large?

London’s population hovers at about 9 million, while Paris proper has far fewer residents at 2.2 million. The population of Parisian suburbs is not counted in the city’s population numbers, while London’s metro areas are counted. With that, London has almost four times the population as Paris, so crowding can be an issue. Paris is compact, while London’s urban sprawl is vast. In Paris you can walk pretty much anywhere, while in London, it takes some time to get from point A to point B. There are places that get crowded in Paris such as at the Eiffel Tower or the Tuileries Gardens, but London can get even more so, especially in locations like Oxford Street where you would be hard-pressed not to step on someone’s toes at times.

Crazy crowds on Oxford Street in London.

What about the Weather?

We all know London’s reputation as “Foggy Old London Town.” London is painted as rainy and misty with rare sunshine. Paris, on the other hand, is thought of as sunny and warm. Both cities get the same amount of rain every year, but Paris does, indeed, get far more sunshine. Paris also has distinct seasons being on the continent – with warmer summers and colder winters. When planning a visit to either city, spring and fall are the best times.

Fall in Paris is good for the soul. [Source:]

Tremendous Townhouse Priscilla

The exclusivity and privacy of Townhouse Priscilla will certainly enhance your luxury vacation in London.  Known for its superb West End location, interior design, lavish luxury amenities, and commanding size, Priscilla stands amongst London's finest homes. Set over eight floors, this home dazzles guests with its near palatial stature. Six beautifully-appointed bedrooms can accommodate up to 12 guests. A glamorous rooftop terrace delivers 360-degree views over London's iconic cityscape. A gorgeous al fresco deck offers an exceptional entertaining area before the sparkling lights of one of the world's most enchanting cosmopolitan centers.

[Comfort and elegance abound at Townhouse Priscilla.

The Shopping Scenes

Shopping is excellent in both cities. It’s kind of funny, but many Parisians love shopping in London, while Londoners will hop onto the Eurostar for some Paris shopping. The high fashion boutiques in Paris are delightful and Coco Chanel’s timeless style is something to which many fashionistas aspire. London shops have a more hip vibe to them – think Carnaby Street, Kings Road and Vivienne Westwood. Much of London style is still conservative with old money still having suits tailor-made and choosing timeless labels such as Burberry. Price points for high-end products are similar in both cities.

Shopping at Harrods in London is a luxe experience. 

Dining and Drinking

Here is where you can really find differences between the two cities. London is brimming with old-world pubs where people can enjoy a pint or two and traditional British fare, while Paris has its brasseries and patisseries filled with people enjoying coffee or wine and decadent baked goods. Both cities have wonderful fine dining establishments, but the food is very different. After the working day is done, many Londoners head to their favorite pubs which serve great beer, while in Paris terraces are replete with people enjoying a glass of wine or an aperitif. Dining in Paris is more organized and formal usually starting with a glass of champagne, followed by about three courses or more and cheese. In London, dinner is at about 6 or 7 (or 8 in the finest establishments). In Paris, people are still having dinner at 10, even during the week.

Dining is more formal in Paris and dinner is served later in the evenings. This is the beautiful setting at L’Oiseau Blanc in Paris. [Source:]

Sultry Townhouse La Maison

Right on the river on the serene islet of Ile Saint Germain, Townhouse La Maison is just a romantic boat ride upstream from the core of Paris. This home is a poster for urban, contemporary glamor. Teeming with unique highlights, this home features an independent studio, music room, wine cellar, fitness room, and spa. Four sumptuous bedrooms accommodate eight discerning guests in utmost comfort, luxury, and discretion. This exclusive vacation rental presents a vast reception room opening onto a large teak terrace. A focal swimming pool dominates the deck, embraced by lush gardens and Seine river access. A private boat for up to 11, directed by an experienced skipper, beckons escapades with friends or family.

The chic open spaces of Townhouse La Maison make for wonderful entertaining.

The Locals

The reputation of rude waiters in Paris is most often unfounded. Saying “bonjour” and at least trying to order in French goes a long way. And, as anywhere, saying please and thank you is just being well-mannered. Being polite with locals anywhere will serve travelers well. It’s the same with Londoners, although you have the advantage of locals speaking English in London.

French waiters have the reputation of being rude, but that’s not always the case.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Breakfast in Paris is certainly different than in London. And English breakfast is heavy and hearty and comes with eggs, bacon, potatoes, baked beans, fried mushrooms, sausages, black pudding and toast or fried bread. Add to that coffee or tea and juice. In Paris, croissants or baguettes are the norm and usually served with butter, preserves and coffee.

A full English breakfast.

Whether it’s London or Paris or both that you would like to visit, we will plan the most amazing getaway for you. Not only do your exclusive accommodations come with full services and around-the-clock support, but LVH will also create a tailor-made itinerary for you with experiences you will love spending your precious time doing. We invite you to reach out to one of our client relations team associates who will begin planning your extraordinary Paris or London vacation. You decide and we will take it from there!

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