I thought I’d do a little comparison between two great capital cities; London and Paris, having fairly recently visited both. We may think of Europe and it’s strange foreign ways as being a totally different universe but what was remarkable was how similar they both were!
Both of these cities are old. London dates back to about 50 AD, but Paris was a small fishing village in around 250 BC. Obviously, things have change, grown, and developed since then but not surprisingly there are plenty of impressive old buildings still standing. On the right is St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and on the left is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Construction start on Notre Dame in 1163, and St Paul’s was consecrated in 1300. They both remain big tourist attractions. Of course construction continues and St Paul’s is now crowded by modern buildings. In Paris, there seems to be less of these modern abominations and more of the old town.
Paris drove me a little crazy as it was so busy. This may be the main way it reminded me of London; there were people everywhere. It was always busy. Apart from Sunday morning when it was absolutely dead!
Ah, food! The most important thing! The main problem for me in France is the lack of vegetarian food. The UK isn’t always fantastic but at least I know I can go into any restaurant and they will be able to provide me with something I can eat. Not so in France where meat remains a staple. Our trip to London was quite hipstery and I did eat my first smashed avocado on toast with poached egg. In Paris, the avocado did feature on a few menus although Google translate thought advocat toast was a toast lawyer…I did get some camembert though. In Paris a lot of the restaurants closed at 2pm and reopened at 7pm which was a little annoying, and weirdly they give you bread with your as not as a starter. Both cities are expensive!
On the right I’m at the British Museum, on the left is The Louvre. Both London and Paris have a range of large art galleries and museums. They both get busy at peak times, they both have great exhibitions, they are all worth a visit. The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum in London are all free. The Lourve costs 17euro, The Cite des science et de l’industrie costs 12euro, the Musee d’Orsay costs 12euros, the Centre Pompidou costs 14euros. That’s your difference.
In conclusion, they are both beautiful, interesting, busy, expensive, exciting places to visit. In my mind London wins, because if I lived in France I might starve!
What do you think? Any preference?