Paris or London?
How could I choose between two cities which attract millions of visitors annually ? London is four times as large as Paris and has 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. London has London Eye, Paris has Eiffel Tower, London has pub food, Paris has croissants – ok, I have to admit this one goes to Paris -, London has British Museum, Paris has Louvre…
But let’s not allow emotions get the best of me and get down to the numbers.
I am working with two scenarios:
- return trip from New York to both cities
- return trip from Budapest to both cities
Time frame? April 5-12, 2014, a totally random week. Valentine’s won’t mess with the prices and nor would Easter. I didn’t do any check to find the cheapest days to fly on, just a random dates search.
The flight search engine I use spit out these results*:
- New York – Paris – New York 621 euros/ adult on Aeroflot
- New York – London – New York 653 euros/ adult on Kuwait Airways
- Budapest – Paris – Budapest 167 euros/ adult on Air France
- Budapest – London – Budapest 110 euros/ adult on WizzAir
Let’s take a look at Hotel Direct for hotels in London and Paris for the dates, as well. We have to sleep somewhere, right?
Another internet search and here’s the data (2 adults in one room):*
Paris: economy double 336 euros / 2 adults / 7 nights (19th arr)
London: double room 474 euros / 2 adults / 7 nights (breakfast included; Central London)
What to do
Just run a search and you’ll easily find that London has plenty more things to do for free than Paris. My favorites are the museums, of course, with British Museum leading the list. Art galleries, festivals , British Library are also on the free to visit list.
While Paris scores with a cemeteries, churches , a history museum (Musée Carnavalet) and places to walk. Forgive me , but London takes this one. Louvre is Paris’s pride but it cannot be visited for free.
We all know that London is not exactly famous for any mouth-watering dish. However, there are a lot of ethnic restaurants available so if you crave , for same, some Greek salad, you are bound to find it.
On the other hand, Paris is the home of baquets, croissants and dishes which make your mouth water. So, yes, Paris wins the food duel.
A city can be as “expensive” or as “cheap” as you want it to be. Everything depends on your travel style. You may be comfortable in a double room in a hostel at the outskirts of the city, or you won’t mind eating cheap street food every day while you visit. You may love to explore the free things to do, but you might also have other things planned.
It is hard to choose between the two cities. It is very hard. I chose once. I chose London. Now, every time I want to plan a new trip, I always add both of them to do list of possible destinations.
*valid at the time the article was written on January 24, 2014.