Like reading all the books in the world, or watching all of its movies, we can’t travel everywhere and decisions have to be made given legitimate budget and time restrictions where to go. Sometimes a person travelling only has time to go to one place even when the choices he/she has are limitless. The question that is being posed here, and it is a tough one, is where they should go if they had to choose between the amazing city of lights Paris and an equally amazing Barcelona. The criteria that will be used to address this question will be three fold: aesthetic – the city’s overall look on the streets, its architecture and the fashion of its population; things to do – the sites of the city and various activities and natural amenities (beaches, mountains, etc) nearby to visit; and finally, fun – the possibilities for enjoyment from the city’s restaurants, cafes, bars, and even just the city’s people themselves.
This is a tough one almost like choosing between apples and oranges. The choice of which aesthetic comes down to the effervescent, colourful Mediterranean energy of Barcelona versus the more detached Northern, sophistication of Paris. Each city beautifully represents its geography and the pathos of its citizens. The choice is difficult, but the Paris twisting streets and hidden squares takes just a slight edge by a hair.
Things to Do
These are both world class cities with much going on in them. The worlds of art, architecture and fashion have all smiled down on both Barcelona and Paris. Each city also has several iconic sites – Notre Dame, the Eifel Tower, and Champs Elysees in Paris and La Sagrada Familia, Gotti’s Park Guell, and Los Ramblas Street in Barcelona – that give these cities an abundance of things to do. One edge that Barcelona has however is its nearby beaches and its proximity to the Mediterranean.
Once again an extremely close call between these two world cities in this category. Each city is large with several different districts – each with varied characters – that allow alternative ways to have a good time. Perhaps what gives Barcelona its slight lead in terms of “fun” is the overall Spanish attitude of fun and good times. When people come to Barcelona, the locals are having fun, the visitors are having fun, and everyone is having fun. Paris can be a great time too, but with the sophistication of the city’s citizens also comes a touch of snobbishness.
Overall: Well Barcelona did win two of the three categories so it is the winner. However, take the win with a grain of salt as Paris really is an amazing city and was very close in the categories it did not win.