Paris or Rome?

Old Jul 24th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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I love both cities for many of the same reasons mentioned above and would be terribly split if I had to choose for a next trip -- but if budget is a concern, and my experience may be different -- I found Rome to be slightly less expensive than Paris for lodging, food, etc.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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And I have always found Paris to be less expensive for everything from hotels to meals to groceries to street food to souvenirs. I think that's often just in large part a measure of how familiar you are with a place and how well you know how to find bargains.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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As this discussion demonstrates, some people love Rome and some love Paris. I love French food and found the food in Rome less varied. But I loved the ancient history in Rome and could spend a whole week poking about the old stones. I find Paris easier to negotiate on my own. When I think about a solo trip, I always think of Paris. But this could have something to do with being able to speak French.

There is really no wrong choice here. Take a look at some guide books, or read some trip reports here on Fodor's. See which inspires you the most.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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I've often said that if they could put Paris in Italy it would be the best of both worlds.

I found Paris to be more walkable and easier to get around on public transport. There is a lot of "eye candy" in the form of shop windows and street markets. Rome's many and varied piazzas, the summer evening energy, the history...

Given that you are a medieval history buff you might prefer Paris but there are some wonderful walking tours in Rome that can really pique one's interest. Scala Reale is one that we used and we had a reasonally priced tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's for just our family of four. Looking at their website, it appears they have changed somewhat but it is a place to start.
For Paris tours, I recommend Paris Muse.

Nikki said it "there is really no wrong choice."
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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I too have been to both. Just returned from Rome. I would opt for Paris. Easier to navigate and more to do indoors if the weather does not cooperate. Broad boulevards rather than narrow cobblestone alleys where one constantly dodges Vespas and autos. Many more parks and more varied cuisine. The Eiffel Tower is simply breathtaking.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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What a wonderful dilemma! I would have to say Paris. After an initial trip to Europe 25 years ago sampling several cities including Paris and Rome, it is Paris I have returned to again and again. I found it much easier to navigate on foot and public transport and have had some wonderful experiences with Parisians (my French is self-taught so very poor).

I suggest the Hotel Valadon or Hotel du Champ de Mars in the 7th, for budget friendly hotels. Both hotels are very near a wonderful cheese shop on the rue du Champ de Mars (sorry I can't remember the name) where you will also find Epicerie Fine and some good bakeries--all you will need for picnics. I have had picnics in late Sept. so may still be possible in October. And if it does turn chilly Paris has the best hot chocolate.

Someone else mentioned the Cluny which I loved and you must also visit the stunning Sainte Chapelle. Wrap that up with a visit to Notre Dame nearby.

Please let us know what you decide and post your impressions when you return.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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I second the recommendation for the Hotel du Champs de Mars. for short stays. It is right around the corner from the rue Cler shopping street, as well as being very close to many nice restaurants and is well located for metro stops. For stays of a week or more, we like the apartments offered by Paris
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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I suggest Hotel Des Grandes Ecoles, in the fifth.The hotel is located in the middle of a garden and is surrounded by tall walls..

At night is so peaceful that you forget that you are in Paris.
Around the corner is the famous Rue Mouffettard with his outdoor market.
We spent 4 days there, really enjoyed it.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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You're going to put too much stress on yourself if you assume this is your one chance to see either city.You'll have a much better time if you assume that you will be back and that it's okay to miss something good. So rather than thinking "either Paris or Rome," why not think in terms of which one you'd like to see first, then do that city on this trip and save the other for the next. You will be back.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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That is a great response ! Having just been to both last year i'd have to say Paris first if i had to choose. You can make a trip to the Louvre, sit in a small cafe , sample the wonderful bakeries there. You must see the magnificent Eiffel tower. I think you can spend a bit more leisure time there, wandering some of the neighborhoods. First hop on a hop on/ hop off bus so you can catch the main sites, landmarks, try a boat ride on the Seine. A city like Paris you could return to time and time again if possible. As for Rome, someone made a point about the weather and the light clothing you will have packed with you, that is a big consideration. I liked Rome but it does feel more busy somehow , even hough both cities have insane traffic. Ofcourse in Rome you have alot of ancient history .The Colliseum was unbelievable to see, and the Forum, and the beautiful Trevi fountain. You really can't go wrong either way.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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A delicious problem indeed. If it were me I would go to Rome because I have more Paris experience. I think I agree with the sentiment that Paris is easier to cope with but that might be a function of greater familiarity however Rome seems more chaotic to me. The Paris metro is much better than Rome's. It really comes down to what interests you more. Enjoy the choosing.
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