Tuesday, November 19, 2013

London vs. Paris

A few weeks ago, one of my most favorite blogs that I read (Selena at Oh, The Places We Will Go) began co-hosting a series of posts on Paris and London. Selena is a London-gal and her co-host (Amy from Créatrice Mondial) is a Paris-lady. I thought it would be so much fun to participate since 1.) I live in London, 2.) Paris is the only city in Europe I have visited twice, and 3.) I don't know if I am a Paris or a London person but I know that I loooooove Paris and I looooooove living in London.
I felt it would be best if I compared some of my favorite things about each city - some of the tourist attractions but only the ones I have experience with because I haven't done everything, and also point out some random things that make each city unique. 
Before I begin, these notes are strictly my opinion, based on my experiences. I also think it's best if I ignore admission prices for attractions... London is obviously way more expensive!

Landmark Sight:
London Eye vs. Eiffel Tower
 {London Eye in London}
{Eiffel Tower in Paris}
The two "landmarks" of the city... I have climbed the Eiffel Tower, but I have yet to ride the London Eye, so this is based solely on their looks and how I feel about each. The London Eye is a pretty neat sight, especially at night as it becomes green and blue and glows. But hands downs, the Eiffel Tower is THE MOST magical thing I have laid my eyes on. And at night, the sparkling on the hour every hour is the coolest thing in the world!
Paris +1

Tower Bridge vs. Pont Alexandre III
 {Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London}
{Ponte Alexandre III on the Seine in Paris - Source of Photo}
Absolutely no comparison here. Pont Alexandre III is one of the most famous in Paris with ornate statues, but Tower Bridge is one of the coolest bridges ever. Yes, there are other famous bridges in Paris, but do any of them compare to Tower Bridge? No.
London +1

Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur
 {Westminster Abbey in London}
 {St Paul's Cathedral in London}
 {Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris}
{Sacre Coeur in Paris}
This is really tough to choose! I guess I will give three points to my favorite, two points to my second, one point to my third fave, and zero to my least favorite in order to be fair. And I also can only choose based on the outside as I have not been into St. Pauls yet. +3 to Paris for Sacre Coeur - it sits on top of a hill and is so elegantly clean looking. It is just really pretty! +2 to Paris for Notre Dame. Westminster Abbey and Notre Dame are very similar on the outside, but Notre Dame has a much more dramatic back. +1 to London for St Pauls. It has a massive dome and huge in general, but it doesn't impress me as much as the first two. As for Westminster Abbey, I am going to give London an extra +1 because Westminster is probably my favorite from the inside. It is filled with tombs of famous people which is different than the others. Plus, how cool is it to walk down the same aisle as Will and Kate?!? And also show Isaac Newton that you understand gravity by standing on his tomb...
London +2, Paris +5

Day Trip to a Palace:
Windsor Castle vs. Chateau de Versailles
 {Windsor Castle in Windsor, West of London}
{Palace of Versailles in Versailles, Southwest of Paris}
I can only compare these two based on the exterior, and its surrounding areas because I have yet to go into Windsor Castle. Even though I visited Versailles in the winter when all of the flowers were dead and statues were covered to protect from the freeze and all of the fountains were turned off, the palace grounds is pretty amazing stuff! It's absolutely huge with a massive pond, ornate fountains and a maze of shrubs that make you wander like a little kid. And the interior is extremely vibrant with painted ceilings and the walls are covered in beautiful tapestry (but I am not using that in my choice for favorite).
Paris +1

Other Famous Sights
Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Palace of Westminster, The Catacombs, Arc de Triomphe, Sainte Chapelle
{Buckingham Palace in London}
{Tower of London in London - Source of Photo - I have not a single picture of this place!}
{Palace of Westminster in London}
 {The Catacombs in Paris}
 {Arc de Triomphe in Paris}
{Sainte Chapelle in Paris}
You have probably noticed that I have skipped over museums - yup, I am not a museum person so I haven't been in to any museums in Paris - it isn't fair for me to judge that area. I will do this the same way as the churches, but I can compare based on interior. +5 to London for Buckingham Palace - I was absolutely stunned after visiting the Palace, it totally shocked me! +4 to Paris for Sainte Chapelle - this place literally took my breath away when I entered the room. Buckingham Palace and Sainte Chapelle were super close for top! +3 to Paris for The Catacombs - one of the most unique things I have done while traveling, and it was totally worth an early wake up and waiting in line. +2 to London for The Palace of Westminster - this is one of my favorite buildings in all of the world, with so many little windows, and it lies right along the river so you can see the whole thing in one look. +1 to Paris for the Arc de Triomphe - the arch is huge, the roundabout is frightening and you get views down Champs-Elysees and toward La Defense. And London gets zero points for the Tower of London - possibly not fair since I have not been inside, but I have always felt castles are more impressive from the exterior, but with this one, I am not one bit impressed with its exterior (Sorry! Scotland spoiled me!).
London +7, Paris +8

Iconic Skyscraper:
The Shard vs. The Grande Arche
 {The Shard in London}
{The Grande Arche in Paris}
I absolutely cannot choose which skyscraper is my favorite! Seriously, I just wanted to tell yall that I think both buildings are so super cool! The Shard is tall and sleek and looking up at it from the bottom boggles my mind on how someone could climb the outside of it. As for the Grande Arche, it is really unique as well! Not the tallest building, but it much bigger than you'd expect when you're standing next to it. There are steps up toward the middle where you can enjoy the view toward the Arc de Triomphe and out toward the west. Both very cool, so they tie :-) But I give +1 to London because it also has the Gherkin, the pickle shaped building which is another iconic building. Unfair? Maybe, but who cares!
London +1

Regents vs Luxembourg
 {Regents Parks in London}
{Luxembourg Gardens in Paris}
Luxembourg is one beautiful park! Filled with flowers and playgrounds and little palaces. It was beautiful in the summer! Maybe you are wondering why I didn't choose London's most famous park - Hyde Park. Because comparing Hyde Park to Luxembourg is like comparing apples and oranges. Regents Park is a stunning beauty! It has loads of rose gardens and pathways filled with beautifully landscaped shrubs and flowerbeds. Not taking this into consideration, but nothing beats London parks - nothing!
London +1

Pubs vs Cafes
{Ales in a Pub in London}
{Wine on a Cafe Patio in Paris}
This is a tough one, too. London has pubs literally everywhere. You can find different ales at each one. My brother-in-law drank over 50 different beers during his visit and didn't repeat a single one!! Pubs offer a variety of different foods and are usually pretty casual. Paris has cafes everywhere. All of them have outdoor seating which is perfect for people watching and in the winter they have heat lamps so you will stay warm. Its more common to drink coffee during the day and then wine in the afternoon and evening. They offer food as well, and sometimes they can expect a bit more from you as far as dress/price. This was a really tough choice, but if I have to choose my favorite...
London +1

Tube vs. Metro
 {a sign for the Tube at Parliament Square in London}
{a sign for the Metro in Montmartre in Paris}
London has the oldest underground on the planet, built over 150 years ago. It is pretty amazing to think about what it has gone thru as the guinea pig. It can be slow. It is often delayed. Distance between stations can be quite far sometimes. Certain lines shut down on the weekends. The positive is the trains usually come every minute or so, and it is pretty easy to navigate. Paris on the otherhand has a pretty fast underground system, and there are rarely delays. Stations are usually pretty close to together so you can easily find a station when walking. The trains are quite roomy, so it isn't as uncomfortable to stand. The negative side to this is the station names can be confusing as they are in French (some names sound similar), so it isn't as easy to navigate as the tube.
Paris +1

Random Things:
Smoke - Paris is pretty smokey, so sitting on a cafe patio can get frustrating. London +1
Crowds - Both cities are very crowded, but the crowds in London are overwhelming. Paris +1
Gypsies & Beggars - I rarely come across beggars in London (for some reason more lately though). Paris was much worse though. London +1
Shopping - Can you compare this? No! Both are fashion capitols of the world. Both have VERY different styles. Both have loads of major shopping streets. Both can be expensive, but both also have their budget areas. Tie!
Markets - London has the BEST markets! Everytime Luke and I go exploring, we find a new market (we came across four this weekend). London +1
Architecture - Not that London doesn't have great buildings, but Paris's renaissance style buildings all over the place make 10 miles of walking a romantic activity. Paris +1
London +3, Paris +2

Final Score: London 16, Paris 18

Such a close score!!! But to sum it up, it looks like I am more of a Paris person! I kind of expected this from the beginning, but really wasn't sure how it would all add up. I think rather than saying that I am a "Paris person", we can say that I am a "person who loves living in London, and would also love to live in Paris". Yes?

What is your favorite - Paris or London??

London has always been known as a rainy city, but in actuality, Paris has more rainy days than London. Source

(Click here to read how London redeemed itself and what I love about London.)

Today, I have linked up with 
Selena at Oh, The Places We Will Go and 
Amy at Créatrice Mondial for 
Cheers, Madame!
Creatrice Mondial

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