Paris vs. Berlin

Paris and Berlin are two European hubs that are the very definition of opposites. True, they lie on the same continent and attract millions of tourists each year. However, the similarities stop there. The cities are like chalk and cheese - sporting dissimilar ambiances and boasting varied charms.
Paris vs. Berlin

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Paris is a capital known for its traditional vintage appeal, evidently seen on its streets, and heavy preservation of culture. It’s a hotbed for works of art that are several centuries old and landmarks that tell the story of the land. The city is the perfect combination of history and beauty, often irresistible to people with a taste for the classics.

On the other hand, Berlin is the city of cool, filled to the brim with once-in-a-lifetime encounters. It’s where people go for an unforgettable night of fun, tasteful liquors, and modern musical masterpieces. The German capital is also the zone for many startup businesses. It’s a city providing endless opportunities for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The cities may differ greatly, but there’s no denying that both of them are worth visiting. Paris is for those who want to take a trip down memory lane, and Berlin is for those who wish for an everything-at-once experience.

Still having a dilemma about which site to go to? Check out this guide to help you decide on your next getaway destination.

Paris

Paris is a place unlike anywhere else in the world, literally. You’d seldom find someone who doesn’t think the city is worth a visit, be it a quick trip or a month-long getaway. This is no surprise, especially as the French capital has everything anyone could ever want.

Good food, great atmosphere, and full of noteworthy tourist spots – who wouldn’t want to tour the famous city of Paris? There’s no denying it’s one of the most beautiful sites ever, but it has more up its sleeves than the aesthetics.

In fact, you can liken Paris to a beautiful lady with plenty of substance. It has long been a hotspot for arts and culture, making it a haven for virtuosos of different fields. It’s also the fountainhead of fashion, thriving in trends that are copied by people all over the globe.

If that’s not enough reason, then you may want to steal a glimpse of the capital’s tourist spots. Of course, there’s the domineering Eiffel Tower and the world-class Louvre Museum. However, there’s plenty more where these spots came from, making Paris a unique destination you won’t want to miss in your lifetime.

What Makes Paris Unique?

Signature Café Culture

You may think that hanging out at a coffee shop is a mundane, everyday thing – but wait until you land in Paris. The city’s café culture is the strongest in the world, with many people thirsting for the experience on their bucket lists. You’re sure to fall in love with the French capital with this alone, especially if you find the bistro that tickles your senses.

There is plenty to explore, including those that have outdoor wicker chairs with a view of famed gardens or sparkling lakes. Some even offer a diverse menu on top of a huge selection of coffees. Tip: to experience a genuine Parisian coffee break, pair your hot drink with a croissant or a small dessert on the side.

This is a must-do during your trip, especially if you’re a true-blooded coffee aficionado. Keep in mind that spending time leisurely at a café is a common occurrence in the city. However, what makes the experience unique is the ambiance, which is considered one-of-a-kind.
In fact, which city comes to mind if you see people sipping coffee while enjoying the sun on sidewalk tables? Paris, that is.

Love Is in the Air… Daily

Some parts of the world only get to officially celebrate love on Valentine’s Day – not in the French capital, though. As the most romantic place globally, you’ll find that love is in the very air Parisians breathe. Their history is brimming with romanticism, but the city itself is overflowing with passion and devotion.

Every corner of this urban area has the potential to be the background of movies that make you weak in the knees. Iconic bridges overlook the brightest beacon Paris has to offer, world-class museums home to works of art of varying cultures, vintage streets brimming with people speaking the language of love—

All of these are in the recipe that will lead you to visit Paris with your special someone. Who knows, you may even find the urge to propose or tie the knot within the French capital’s city walls. There’s also nothing stopping you from traveling alone in this place full of romance. After all, Paris is the city of all kinds of love, including love for oneself.

Fountainhead of Trends and Fashion

There’s no denying that Paris mainly carries the fashion industry on its back. It’s the homeland of several big-name brands that spearhead rising trends globally. Big fan of Chanel, Jacquemus, Louis Vuitton, and Dior? Well, the French capital may just become your heaven once you decide to drop by.

The city is the homeland of shopaholics, with several stores scattered throughout the streets. For instance, there’s the Champs-Élysées, one of Paris’ districts. It’s solely dedicated to selling clothes from only the most glamorous fashion brands. The shops here are more on the expensive side, but they’re worth it if you want to spoil yourself.

On the other hand, there are also budget-friendly options in other parts of the city. Local boutiques, open-air markets, and even vintage shops are all accessible for your convenience. Be ready to tour the cobblestone streets of the French capital and fill your trunks with high-end Paris fashion.

Jaw-Dropping Tourist Spots

Parisians may be one of the luckiest people in the world, not only in terms of food and fashion. They also wake up every morning navigating the romantic city of love, with jaw-dropping architecture left and right. Of course, there’s the Eiffel Tower, the most famous landmark in the town, perhaps in all of France. However, the French capital has so much more to offer than this.

First, Paris is filled to the brim with castles and churches that retain most of their original form. They’ll surely tickle the history buff in you, especially once you witness them in all their glory during your trip.

There’s the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, a tall gothic architecture with gargoyles and lifelike sculptures. The Palace of Versailles is also there for your enjoyment, a baroque-style castle home to former French royals.

The city itself is a work of art, donned in Hausmann style and considered a neoclassical wonder. Every step you make will make you wish you’d witnessed Paris’ transformation – from dark medieval to the present one it has today. The streets are vintage and will trigger a trip down memory lane, despite you being a first-time tourist.

While traveling towards your lodging, you’ll be tempted to take a long way home. Don’t resist this; your feet may be leading you to a spot you didn’t know you needed to see. Check out some of the most beautiful landmarks in Paris below:

  • Cimetière du Père Lachaise
  • Paris Pantheon
  • Palais Garnier
  • Jardin du Luxembourg

The Promised Land of Art

Ask an art connoisseur where they’d like to go, and they’d most likely say Paris. This is no surprise since the city has an irresistible charm to artists and aesthetes alike. The French capital has long established itself as a hub for unique works of art, both for local and nonlocals.

In fact, you could even consider the museums built within the metropolis as masterpieces, too. Take the Musée d’Orsay, for example. Before being an attractive hotspot, this particular architecture is known as Palais d’Orsay. It’s where the French government hosted meetings for the Council of State and the Court of Auditors way back in 1810.

It also became a rail station for visitors eager to see the 1900 Paris Exposition. It only became a museum in 1986 and became home to several art pieces, including:

  • Self Portrait (Vincent Van Gogh)
  • Camille Sur Son Lit De Mort (Claude Monet)
  • The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer (Edgar Degas)
  • Banquette de Fumoir (Hector Guimard)

Aside from the Musée d’Orsay, there are 129 other museums worth visiting in the city of love and light. A day is not enough to see all these exhibits, especially if you want to truly appreciate the artwork. Here are some of the most famous galleries you shouldn’t miss on your trip:

  • Louvre
  • Petit Palais
  • Grévin Wax Museum

Berlin

As a city of youngbloods and firestarters, Berlin has no shortage of exciting things to offer. Yes, it may not be as old or vintage as Paris, but expect its charms to beguile you differently. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why it belongs on the list of well-known cities in Europe.

One of which includes the fun you get in the city’s never-ending nightlife. Stimulating pubs and nightclubs with legendary alcohol to keep you buzzed throughout the night? Endless activities you can engage in no matter what time it is? The city is a gem when it comes to these, so partygoers and those looking for something new should definitely drop by.

The German capital is not just about fun and booze, though. It’s also gaining traction when it comes to economic and technological growth. Berlin is not called the continent’s Silicon Alley for nothing, so expect the city to offer more than just a night of rest and leisure.

The cherry on top of all these is that the city is known as a multicultural hotspot. It’s the perfect getaway trip if you’re looking for something new to cross off your bucket list. Plenty of factors make Berlin unique; you just need the drive and heart to travel to discover them.

What Makes Berlin Unique?

Hidden Pockets of Nature

Many of the world’s cities boast of their gray asphalt jungles, with little to no traces of nature. Not Berlin, though; it’s a modern metropolis able to retain its green spaces and natural waterways. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you go; you’ll surely find hidden pockets of nature in this bustling urban area.

Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe and the most eco-friendly one for tourists throughout the continent. It’s chock-full of residents focused on sustainability, with a strong desire to turn the capital into a thriving green site. For instance, you’ll find most Berliners preferring to bike towards their destination – some would even walk if they felt like it.

This is something you may want to try if you’re visiting the city. There are plenty of rest stops along the way, many of which are open green spaces waiting for your enjoyment. Here are some spots you can check out during your stay:

Grunewald Forest

If you’re in Berlin for its natural spots, you might as well go to the biggest one the city can offer. Make your way into Grunewald Forest, the city’s largest green space lush with pine trees and scenic lakes. You’re free to roam this area and explore various sites, be it by walking, jogging, or cycling.

There’s no shortage of hidden gems in the Grunewald Forest. In fact, the plethora of activities it provides both to tourists and locals alike are top-notch.

Refresh yourself in the cool waters of Teufelssee Lake or drop by Teufelsberg, an artificial hill dating back from the Cold War. There’s also the Jagdschloss Grunewald, the city’s oldest palace that doubles as a 16th-century hunting den.

Pfaueninsel

Germany is home to one of the most famous storytellers to date, the Grimm Brothers. They’re the ones who crafted Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, among many others. As such, it’s no surprise that its capital, Berlin, is full of spots that look straight out of a fairy tale. One of these sites is Pfaueninsel, more commonly known as Peacock Island.

This particular nature reserve is where you can unleash your inner royal, like a princess running around a rose garden or a milky summer palace. You can also get a glimpse of ranch life and milk beautiful cows on the island’s dairy farm. You’re also free to enjoy the abundance of peacocks strolling down the grounds with their gorgeous feathers and noble gait.

City That Never Sleeps

It’s not an understatement to say that the fun in Berlin never stops, even in the wee hours of the night. In fact, the city’s nightlife activities are second to none, especially if you’re out for a good time. From hardcore nightclubs to speakeasy bistros, Germany’s capital can offer them all.

The bars are the bomb, but wait until you include German beer into the equation. The result will be a mind-blowing experience you’ll crave all throughout your life. You can party nonstop and visit several hotspots until the sun comes up. The most notable ones include the Monkey Bar, which gives you a unique rooftop view. There’s also the Geist im Glass, which offers a breakfast menu for its overnight patrons.

If you’re not into drinking, worry not because Berlin nightlife offers more than alcohol and dancing. Hip music venues and nighttime festivals are common in the city, so you get your fair share of enjoyment even after sunset. As a bonus, there are plenty of street art and graffiti murals to explore, a fun activity you can do during twilight hours.

Spot of Vintage Gems

Not into fast fashion and other trendy items that are only cool for a fleeting moment? Well, you may want to roam the aisles of Berlin to hunt for good spots selling classic, ageless gems. The city is teeming with vintage shops from left to right; entering one may as well bring you a step back in time.

These outlets are home to a wide range of unique pieces, be it from well-known designers or eccentric one-offs. Here are some of the unique ones you can visit on your Berlin itinerary:

  • PicknWeight.Visiting this shop is like a genuine treasure hunt; you’ll never know if you’re getting something of your type for sure. However, skimming through every item is worth it, especially with the deals the shop offers. It’s a bulk vintage shop that sells goods by weight and provides great deals and 20% discounts.
  • Trash Schick. If you live for punk authenticity, then say no more. This vintage shop is home to several edgy collections, including tatted denim, spiked leathers, and metal studs. However, despite the tough-looking interior, the shop advocates for a good cause, with part of its earnings going to charity.
  • Femme Designer Secondhand. As shown in the name, this shop sells pre-owned designer pieces. Worry not, though, because they’re high quality and often only used once or twice. The results are timeless classics that you can avail of for attractive prices.

City of Diversity and Contrast

If you were to describe Berlin in a few words, you’d most likely call it a cultural melting pot. This is for a good reason: factor in its brimming artistic touch, attractive nightlife scene, and magnetic business set-up. You can’t forget the German capital’s ever-flowing nature hubs and its abundance of events that made a mark in history.

All of these led to Berlin’s overwhelming diversity, be it in terms of people or sources of the hustle and bustle. First, the city is rich in multicultural neighborhoods like Lichtenburg, Kreuzberg, and Neukölln. It’s the right place if you don’t mind exploring different cultures, including Turkish and Vietnamese.

Visiting the city is also worthwhile if you’re a history geek with a love for natural hotspots. Berlin has no shortage of historical sites, the main one being the great Berlin Wall. Although it has been weathered over time, it’s still a landmark that showcases the capital’s plight during the Cold War. Other landmarks include the Brandenburg Gate, which symbolizes the reintegration of Germany. There’s also the pleasant Treptower Park, built during WWII.

No matter where your feet take you during the trip to Berlin, you’ll find noteworthy nature spots. There is an abundance of parks, lakes, and rivers that are mostly untouched despite the city’s modernization. All in all, the German capital offers you an everything-at-once experience you’ll remember your whole life.

Which Is Better – Paris or Berlin?

Paris and Berlin are two European cities that stand neck-to-neck when it comes to attracting tourists worldwide. Both places have standout beauty and charisma, which makes choosing between them a difficult thing to do. However, picking which is better between the two capitals boils down to one thing – what your soul is craving.

Paris is very much an old city, with history evidently found in its cobblestone streets. It’s home to the grandest museums you’ll ever see and works of art that dates back to ancient times. It’s also the city of love and light, making it the ideal destination for romantics at heart.

Going to Paris may just be the remedy you need if you feel overwhelmed by your environment’s hustle and bustle. True, it’s a city well-known for being a tourist hotspot all year round. However, you’ll surely fit right in with the vintage Parisian sophistication and all the well-kept traditions. It’s even more of a haven if you’re an old soul with a strong love for art and aesthetics.

On the other side of the spectrum is Berlin, one of the coolest cities in the world. It may not be as old as Paris, but you can find a thing or two to adore in this fun German capital. Fond of alcohol, going out, and interacting with people of different personalities? How about going to beaches and other pockets of nature that are beautiful beyond imagination?

Berlin has all these to offer, perhaps even more. In fact, the city’s economy is growing at a rapid pace, enough for it to be called Europe’s Silicon Valley. If you’re an entrepreneur with a fun, edgy side, no doubt the city that never sleeps is the right one for you.

FAQ

Paris to Berlin Distance?

Identifying the distance from Paris to Berlin depends on which mode of transport you will use. Check out available travel options and their respective distances below:

  • Via Plane. Flying from Paris to Berlin will cover about 879 km (546 mi). It’s the quickest route by far, lasting an hour and a half on average.
  • Via Car. The distance between the two cities is 1055 km (656 mi) when going by car. Ideally, you should reach Berlin within 11 hours, but this may vary depending on your route.
  • Via Train. The journey from Paris to Berlin via train is 878 km (546 mi). You’ll arrive at your destination after about 11 hours and 19 minutes of travel time.
  • Via Bus. Commuting from Paris to Berlin requires you to cover a distance of 1051 km (653 mi). On average, you’ll reach the city of Berlin from the French capital after 19 hours and 20 minutes.

How Much Bigger Is Berlin Than Paris?

Berlin, Germany’s capital city, is nine times bigger than Paris in terms of land area. To put it in numbers, Berlin spans a whopping 892 sq. km (344 sq. mi), while Paris only covers 105 sq. km (41 sq. mi). The difference between the two areas is approximately 787 sq km (304 sq. mi), big enough to be the size of another small city.

In terms of population, Berlin is also bigger than Paris. The former occupies the second place based on the number of residents within city limits in all of Europe. On the other hand, Paris gets the seventh seat on the list, according to the findings of City Monitor.

Berlin to Paris Flight Distance

The flight distance from Berlin to Paris spans an average of 546 mi (879 km). If you’re riding a commercial liner under normal conditions, you’ll reach the city of light after 1 hour and 50 minutes.

This is the fastest option if you’re under a time limit; it’s also the most convenient one to boot. There are plenty of airlines traveling this route on a daily basis, so you won’t have trouble booking a flight. You could even bag a plane ticket for $30 or less if you’re lucky enough to avail of it on certain days.

Berlin to Paris by Overnight Train

Sleeper trains as a mode of travel are outside your range of options if you’re planning to go from Berlin to Paris. This is unfortunate, especially since they offer comfort and convenience in one. They’re also budget-friendly, ideal for people planning to tour the two cities.

If you’re looking for an alternative, you may want to consider riding daytime trains instead. However, note that there are no direct railway routes from Berlin to Paris. You’d have to change once during the journey, which may take 11 hours and 19 minutes on average.

Another option you have is taking a sleeper bus from Berlin to Paris. This is your most viable choice if you want to travel between the two cities during the night. However, if you’re short on time, you’re better off picking other modes of travel since commuting via bus may take about 19 hours or so.

Paris to Berlin by Car

Traveling from Paris to Berlin by car will have you driving a distance of about 1055 km (656 mi). If you’re going directly to your destination, you’ll be steering the wheel for about 10 to 11 hours. It’s a long drive, but no need to worry as there are plenty of rest stops en route.

Tip: you should have your Crit’Air sticker ready since you’ll be passing through the low-emission zones of Paris. This is nonnegotiable since all routes passing from the city to Berlin will go through the restricted traffic zone.

Paris to Berlin Drive Time

On average, the direct drive time between Paris and Berlin will range from 10 to 11 hours. Of course, this will highly depend on your route and if there will be some traffic along the way. There are also detours to consider, especially if you’re on a road trip with friends.

In fact, traveling by car from Paris to Berlin may even take you days. This is because there is no shortage of fun stopovers to explore. For instance, you can tour the city of Reims, located in the northeastern part of France. It’s famous for its top-of-the-line champagne houses and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.

There’s also the old city of Cologne in western Germany. It’s your ideal stopover if you’re into high gothic infrastructures. There’s also the Museum Ludwig, which houses many 20th-century art masterpieces.

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