If you’re looking to book a city-break in a fantastic European city some time soon, then, choosing just which place for your visit will be your first decision. Indeed, you’ll face quite the conundrum there; so many incredible cities to visit in the continent. That said, if you’re yet to visit either of them, you might well come down on choosing between two incredible capital cities – either London or Paris.
But just which of them to choose? The UK capital or the French capital. In which case, here follow are some major facts and details about both metropolises to help you make your arduous decision…
London vs. Paris – the lowdown
In terms of what London offers? Well, with the awesome Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben, of course), the legendary British Museum, the iconic River Thames, the terrific Tower Bridge and the brilliant Buckingham Palaces, there’s much, indeed, to see and do in the UK capital if you’re looking to book one of those much admired spa breaks London.
Alternatively, if you’re talking Paris’s finest attributes, there’s the extraordinary Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Louvre museum, the dream of a theme park resort that’s Disneyland Paris (celebrating its 30th anniversary this year) and, of course, exquisite rooftop restaurants and brasseries, high-quality designer boutiques and top-notch high-street stores.
When’s best to visit?
So, what time of year is best to book a city-break in either of these amazing metropolises? Well, let’s compare:
- London – the terrific capital of the UK is great to visit throughout the calendar year thanks to its mild climate. That said, should you be choosing to visit the place on a bit of a budget, then the best time to visit may be the autumn months (between September and November).
At this time of year, you’ll find the crowds of the summer season have dispersed, with temperatures tending to range from 11-15°C (or even higher) and events including the Totally Thames Festival, Diwali and Hallowe’en providing vibrant colour and fun during the day, before you return to your accommodation and enjoy fine dining at the likes of The Montcalm Restaurant.
- Paris – perhaps the best time of year to visit the French capital is in the summer months, generally between June and August. In these weeks of the year, you’ll find the weather warm with many hours of sunshine and, although it’s peak season (so, there are many tourists flitting here and there), the city’s inhabitants tend to leave the city come the summer and go on holiday themselves, leaving out-of-towners free reign to explore the place and enjoy all it has to offer.
How long should your city-break be?
Truly, with so much to see and do in either city, you may feel you can never spend enough time visiting either London or Paris. That said, if you’re planning a budgeted city-break in one of these two capitals, then your best bet may be to book into accommodation like Montcalm hotel for three or four days.
That way, you’ll guarantee yourself a good deal of leisure time to discover all their mainstream landmarks and attractions, as well as their lesser known, more tucked-away nooks and crannies that only the trendy those-in-the-know tend to, yes, know about.
What to see and do?
Planning to spend a few days in either London or Paris, then? In which case, you’ll definitely want to know about at least one or two of the major attractions both cities offer visitors, to help you make up your mind between these two amazing European capitals:
- The London Eye – undoubtedly one of its city’s major landmarks, this giant Ferris wheel is pretty much always visible on the South Bank skyline when you’re in the Westminster/ Waterloo vicinity. It stands tall on the Thames, just across the water from the Houses of Parliament (see below).
The Eye features 32 individual capsules, each of which holds up to 25 people, thereby affording those who go for a ride on the attraction a wonderful opportunity to see all the charm of the city for themselves from a sensational vantage point (you might even be able to see the hotel you’ve booked into; say, The Montcalm At The Brewery!). A ride on the Eye lasts up to an hour – and, to save time and not queue, why not book your ticked in advance?
- The Houses of Parliament – if you’re taking one of those ever-popular walking or bus-based tours of the city, be sure you book one that passes this glorious example of Victorian neogothic architecture.
The site of the iconic Elizabeth clock-tower (with its instantly recognisable clock face) and the legendary ‘Big Ben’ bell that tones every quarter-of-an-hour. The Houses of Parliament include the legendary House of Commons and House of Lords, the seats of British democratic power.
- The Eiffel Tower – of all the French capital’s landmarks, the Eiffel Tower simply has to be the most famous and, frankly, the most visited. And for good reason. Its construction was completed in 1899 and it was named after its creator Gustave Eiffel – and, fittingly, has come to be known locally as ‘La Dame de Fer’ (‘The Lady of Iron’).
Offering all its visitors supreme views of the city and the surrounding area, in every direction, its very top is, unsurprisingly, its most-visited aspect, yet its vividly decorated restaurant is also hugely popular with well-heeled diners.
- The Louvre – one of the world’s leading destinations for lovers of great artworks, the Louvre is one of the finest art museums and/ or galleries on the face of Planet Earth.
Vast and effortlessly elegant inside and out, this magnificent venue is famed for the likes of the Venus de Milo statue, Antonio de Correggio’s masterpiece ‘Venus and Cupid with a Satyr’ and, of course, the most famous and most notorious painting in all the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Quite frankly, is there any point in visiting Paris if you don’t pop into the Louvre to cast your eyes on the Mona Lisa?