Vienna or Paris

by - 28.4.12


--Naturhistorisches Museum--
Many of my friends who travel abroad often would ask how Vienna fare against Paris. These two cities are very distinct and I can't help but be biased about the former to the point of saying that it is still one of the top (most of the time, first) cities in the Mercer's annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.

The last time I was in Paris was 5 years ago, it still  remains a top priority for us when we plan travels but you know, first impressions really matter. Diversity, is something not comparable but  I put up this list to help my friends so I'd just show this whenever they ask again.

Cost of Living

According to surveys, it is 26% cheaper to live in Vienna than in Paris. That's comparing Food, Housing, Clothes, Transportation and Entertainment. Only Personal Care in Vienna goes up by 9% compared to Paris'. (source: So to compare, you  would spend €3,000 in Paris but with the very same standards you would only need about €2,229 in Vienna.

Housing and Accommodation 

Whether one's own or staying short term, whether in hotels or apartment rentals in Paris France, it's more expensive compared to Vienna. Why, tourism-boost is much ahead there than it is in Vienna, it's natural that the rates are higher. As for housing, a few friends living there always say it is better to have a shared flat if you're single.


Vienna's railway system is one of the most organized and the wagons and stations are cleaner than any of the other cities I've been to (gotta mention Singapore and Budapest as well for cleanliness). Connections to different lines in the Metro is easier too with those lines intersecting at some points and escalators along with elevators are available. Buses and trams are also easily accessible. I'm not sure now but most of the stations in Paris do not have elevators, we used the stairs mostly...we still had a stroller then and it wasn't the easiest trip. That gives an advantage though - to walk - which will give you more time to appreciate bits and pieces of the romantic city...and if you take the bus, the operators are sweet and'd feel relaxed while also viewing the scenery.

Ticket-wise, I've already forgotten about Paris' rates but Vienna offers different tickets depending on individual needs.


French cuisine wins, hands down. Foie Gras,Coq au vin, Pommes duchesse, Crème brûlée, Eclairs, macarons and there's a lot more goodness that Paris can offer. Vienna boasts of Tafelspitz, Wiener Schnitzel, Selchfleisch, Apfelstrüdel and Sacher Torte. Depending on your preferences of course, the two cities are very different in this department and has a variety to offer.


Paris is one of the Big Four - Fashion capitals of the world. It follows that it's more expensive there as in most other cities, not only Vienna. If you're for haute couture and you have the means to spend on such then by all means, indulge. If you're on a budget-limit yet still want to enjoy branded items, visit Vienna and you'll find that there are also a lot of shopping streets to suit your fancy.

musee du louvre
--Musee du Louvre--

Vienna is the music Capital of the world. You will find music, theatre and opera a part of daily Viennese living. Museum-wise, Paris has the Louvre, so if you're an art enthusiast it is much better to experience the Louvre than Vienna's smaller museums where you're not allowed to take photos. ^_^

Architecture-wise, Vienna's gothic, baroque castles and an ensemble of such integrated in parks, gardens is like reliving classic era when you walk on cobblestones in the city's hidden streets. Paris' wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing that made it so romantic, one might often think of Robet Doisneau's  Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville) while going on a walk.

Disneyland Resort Paris is a must for kids...Vienna despite boasting a big Ferris wheel cannot compare to the entertainment that Paris brings. It's true what reviews said, Vienna could be boring...that is, if you don't know the places to go...Comparing, entrance to certain establishments are also higher in Paris...perhaps to the Opera is an exception.

Vienna and Paris are two distinct cities, whichever you decide to choose on your next vacation, I hope you enjoy it well and make the most out of that vacation to make memories. If you can, visit the two cities and experience the best of both worlds!


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  1. I don't think I would consider living in Paris. But a visit for a few weeks is definitely a go. I don't know much about Vienna but the place is really an A+ according to some people I know who've been there once or twice.

  2. either or can do for me, i love Europe!

  3. i wish i could visit both at length.

    in my bucket list is a trip to (one trip together) Vienna, Prague, and one other city in Germany :) i just have to save up for it :)

  4. I've surfed the net more than three hours today, and your blog was the coolest of all. Thanks a lot, it is really useful to me

  5. I love this post about Vienna vs. Paris! I have a love affair with both cities, and I agree with you on all accounts :-)

  6. Having once lived in Paris, «Louis» can say that he is truly fond of that city - but he wishes he had been able to visit Vienna. He thinks he would like it very much!

  7. love the positive comparison on both cities. for one thing, they're both great cities with different charisma. and gee, it would be fascinating learning french on one city then german on the other:)

  8. I would love to visit both cities.