Everything you need to know about our 10 days in London and Paris, including hotels, itinerary, food and links!
Happy New Year, friends!
First post of 2024 and it’s not cake, or even food for that matter!
We loved sharing our recent trip to London and Paris with you and with so many requests for itineraries and links, I thought I’d put everything all in one place for you to refer to.
We left Christmas night and arrived in London the morning of the 26th. I love that Salt Lake City has a direct flight to Heathrow Airport. We were able to sleep a bit and not have to worry about making a connection in the winter. Heathrow is really easy to navigate and taking the Underground from the airport to the city is really quite easy.
I recommend getting the Oyster Card (what you use to pay for all your tube rides) ahead of time. We had ours mailed to us in Utah so we were ready to go as soon as we arrived in London.
This was our second time in London. We first visited back in 2021 during the kids’ fall break in October. I’m going to include that itinerary below (5-day London Itinerary 2021) because we did a ton of new things this time, but if you’re going to London for the first time, I’d definitely take a look at our first trip and include some, if not all, of those activities and sites.
I loved seeing London at Christmastime, but it was packed! As magical as all the lights are, I way prefer London in October when it was quieter and warmer. That being said, we still had a magical time.
Here’s a look at what we did this time around.
6-Day London Itinerary 2023
Hotel: Marriott Marble Arch
Day 1: We arrived in London mid-day. After dropping bags off at the hotel, we headed to the kids’ favorite spot for pizza – Bread Ahead. Bread Ahead has multiple locations around the city, but not all of them have pizza. We like the location in Chelsea. And while the kids love the pizza by the slice, you must get the filled donuts too. Anything with a cream and berry filling end up being our favorites, even over caramel and chocolate.
From there, we went to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Last time we were in town, Big Ben was being renovated and we didn’t hit the Abbey. We also met up with some of Ryan’s family who had already been in town for a few days.
I’ll add this in the previous itinerary, but make sure you hit the Churchill War Rooms across the street!
That evening, we walked around Covent Garden, had dinner at Nandos (another easy favorite, that is also super kid-friendly), and grabbed Venchi’s. Knoops is also in this area and has our favorite hot chocolate.
Day 2: We were not early risers this trip (hard to do with a teenager), so we had made reservations for brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn. This is actually one of my favorite restaurants in New York. I was thrilled to see a location in Notting Hill.
From Notting Hill, we walked to Abbey Road. I loved the quite streets on our walk and it was actually so fun to take pictures and video on Abbey Road. Heads up, it may take a minute to get your picture. There will be other people there and the street is not blocked off to drivers.
That afternoon we took the tube to Oxford Street for shopping before we headed to a Chelsea football match at Stamford Bridge. Even if you’re not a football/soccer fan, these games are still so fun to go to. The energy of the fans is unreal.
We ended up just grabbing burgers at Five Guys before the game. They have locations EVERYWHERE, which is so funny because we have that right here in Utah. We wanted to go to Honest Burger, but it was packed. So… put Honest Burger on your list and know Five Guys can be your backup. Haha!
Day 3: Day trip to Windsor Castle with Ryan’s family – this town was so neat and you’ll want to plan for at least half a day here.
Back in London, we had dinner at Farmer J’s (super delicious healthy option with multiple locations) and then did some more shopping/strolling through Regent Street.
Day 4: We spent the morning exploring Marylebone, my new favorite area of London. It’s such a charming, non-crowded neighborhood with great shops and restaurants.
After Marylebone, we took the tube to Borough Market and fought major crowds to get lunch. I definitely think Borough Market is worth seeing, but I recommend going during off times.
That afternoon we grabbed chocolates at Harrods, saw the Parent Trap house, had a slice of pizza at Bread Ahead again and saw the Lion King. West End shows are a must for me on these trips!
Day 5: day trip to York! This was such a neat town and if the weather hadn’t been so bad, I think I would have loved it even more. We started with Doe Doughnuts and hot chocolate (get the dark) and then explored York Minster.
After York Minster we walked to the Shambles (a street that inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter) and then had lunch at Fat Hippo. Westin proclaimed the fried chicken sandwich his favorite meal of the trip!
We didn’t get a chance to walk the City Wall or go to Betty’s for tea, but both were highly recommended to us.
Instead, we grabbed dinner at Wagamama (easy and kid-friendly), and then treats from Brew and Brownies. Make sure you go there!
Shambles Fat Hippo
Day 6: Our final day in London and New Year’s Eve – we started the day at the Hyde Park Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building for church, then headed to Covent Garden for brunch at The Breakfast Club (so delicious) and a showing of Matilda.
After the show, we walked around the shops, grabbed cupcakes from Lola’s and had the yummiest pizza at Japes.
We capped off the night with Knoops hot chocolate and the longest walk home since most of the Underground stations were closed for the New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
The Breakfast Club Matilda Japes
Before I get into our 3 days in Paris, here’s a quick look at what we did in London the first time:
7-Day London Itinerary 2021
Hotel: Marriott Kensington (I liked this location a bit better than Marble Arch)
Day 1: Morning arrival, church, Bread Ahead, Big Ben, Churchill War Rooms
Day 2: Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden, Hamley’s and Oxford Street,
Day 3: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Tower of London, Peggy Porschen, football match at Wembley
Day 4: day trip to Cambridge (my favorite part of the entire trip), breakfast at Fitz Billies (get the cinnamon rolls), punting tour (a must!), King’s Cross
Day 5: Harry Potter Studio Tour (plan for at least half a day to do this), Wagamama for dinner, Crumbs and Dollies for dessert, Wicked.
Day 6: Kensington Palace, Bread Ahead, Harrods for chocolate, Mary Poppins
Day 7: High Street Kensington, Knoops, Oree Bakery, Holland Park, Portobello Market, Covent Garden, Venchi’s.
3-Day Paris Itinerary
Hotel: Ceramic Elysees (this wasn’t the nicest, but everything was expensive due to the holiday and it was so hard to find a place that had a room that fit all four of us. The location was near Arc de Triomphe, which was fine, but I prefer to stay on the other side of the river.
Day 7: travel day to Paris from London via Eurostar. The trip was less than two and a half hours. Just plan for a at least an hour to do customs and security at the train station.
Day 8 (1st full day in Paris): we started at the Arc de Triomphe since our hotel was right down the street. From there, we strolled and shopped the Champs Elysees.
By 12:30pm, we were walking the neighborhoods to Buvette for brunch. We usually had cereal or protein bars at our hotel first thing in the morning, and then had two meals out, and many, many snacks!
After a super yummy meal, we continued our walk to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, where we also had crepes and macarons before walking back down to the Louvre.
The Louvre wasn’t open, but we wanted the kids to see just how big it was. Ryan, Westin and I visited Paris about 11 years ago and went inside the Louvre. It truly is massive. If you go, I suggest making a list of the major art pieces (like the Mona Lisa) and just hitting those. I also highly recommend going to the Musee de Orsay over the Louvre. We didn’t go this time, but I’ve been two times before and love this museum so much!
We finished the evening walking through the Place de la Concorde and back up the Champs.
Basilica de Sacre Coeur Dear Jane cookies Louvre
Day 9 (2nd day in Paris): from our hotel, we walked to the Eiffel Tower, stopping to get Pierre Hermes macarons on the way. I know Laduree is super popular and you’ll see them all over the city – I just don’t think they are worth standing in the long lines for. We liked Pierre Hermes macarons better and I got lots of recommendations for Carette too.
We took lots of pictures and video in front of the Eiffel Tower but didn’t go up. Again, the lines for everything were so long because of the holiday and we only had three days – so we did things fast 🙂
From the Eiffel Tower, we walked to Napoleon’s Tomb, then headed to Saint-Germain for lunch at Les Deux Margot (pricey but delicious and a famous restaurant with lots of history) and shopping.
That afternoon we visited the Notre Dame and had the most delicious flan and pastries at Le Flan de Notre Dame. While you’re in that area, make sure you also go see Sainte-Chapelle! Stunning stain glass inside!
Pro-Tip: Buy passes ahead of time.
We crossed the bridge and shopped around the 3rd Arronsignment before heading to dinner at Ober Mamma. Another fabulous pizza and pasta spot. Make reservations!
Saint-Germain Sainte-Chapelle Shopping Ober Mamma
Day 10 (3rd day in Paris): another day trip! This time to Versailles! It was my first visit to Versailles and it did not disappoint. Wow, that palace is truly grandeous and extravagant and so fun to see. Make sure to rent bikes or golf carts to explore the gardens (we didn’t get to because January is the one month they don’t have them), but I hear it’s so dreamy! Oh and make sure to get pastries at Maison Kuntz.
Maison Kuntz Outside Versailles Hall of Mirros Palace courtyard
Links for Clothing and Accessories
Some of our favorite travel essentials all linked here.