Arts & Culture

Paris vs London: which city is better?

The rivalry that sears across the channel may be age-old, but it’s based on mutual affection and respect. The question of which city is better – London or Paris – will probably remain unanswered for generations.

That shouldn’t stop you from exploring both cities for yourself, however. Today, Paris is reachable from London with a short hop on the Eurostar train. It’s the perfect way to experience both cities side by side. Let’s take a look at what both cities have to offer and how they compare.


Paris has earned global renown for the quality of its cuisine. Haute Cuisine – literally ‘high cooking’ in French – is considered the standard for European cookery. The city’s restaurants have earned 81 Michelin Stars compared to London’s 61. For these reasons, we must give the prize in our first category to Paris.

Don’t write London off, though. With hundreds of restaurants and an innovative food scene, London is always evolving as one of the most interesting culinary landscapes in the world. London’s deeply entwined cultural mix means that we enjoy a diverse palette, from delicious curries to sumptuous steaks.


Paris has its fair share of great music. There’s certainly something romantic about hearing the lively bounce of a jazz-manouche street artist as you stroll through Montmartre. Many bohemian cafes and wine bars in Paris double up as impromptu gig venues during the evenings, and there’s an eclectic mix of progressive styles to hear.

Although the scene is buzzing in Paris, it can’t compare to the maturity of London – possibly the world’s greatest musical city. From Tin Pan Alley to the Troubador, Camden and Abbey Road – you’ll find more musical history here than you could ever experience in a single visit. Unfortunately for Paris, London wins the music category hands-down.


The Louvre vs the Tate, the Pompidou vs the National Gallery; let’s just face it, these are impossible choices. Both cities have broad collections of the finest art in the world.

We could go on; both have some of the biggest names, including Da Vinci, Picasso, Dali, Turner, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. When it comes to art, it might be a case of visiting both cities and making up your mind. After all, art is a very personal experience. For this one, we’ll have to call it a draw.


This is another tough choice. The nightlife in London is well-established, with some of the world’s top clubs. Fabric, XOYO, Ministry of Sound, Cargo, and Studio 338 provide some of the most progressive music and dance scenes worldwide. Paris is known for having a slightly over-pretentious scene.

However, the big-name clubs in the city have an unparalleled pedigree. La Locomotive, Batofar, Chez Castel and Le Montana provide extraordinary experiences (if you can get through the door).

Although it’s a close draw, we’ll have to give the prize to London for nightlife. Paris is magnificent, but its nose-in-the-air door policies and relatively early curfews give London the edge.

All in all, it’s a very close call between the two cities. If we had to give you an outright winner? Well, we will always be Londoners. For us, it’s the king of cities. But if we had never visited Paris, we’d have missed out on many beautiful experiences too.

Both are cities you simply have to visit at least once in your lifetime. To reach Paris from London, check out our London to Paris by rail tours.