Paris vs Barcelona – Which City to Visit

Paris or Barcelona, Where to Go?

Paris and Barcelona are wonderful destinations in Europe to visit. Since they both boast world-renowned attractions, a rich history and culture, mouthwatering cuisine, and lots of charm, deciding which one to travel to isn’t the easiest task. 

So Barcelona or Paris, which is better to visit? To help you in this difficult task, we wrote this article comparing Barcelona vs Paris in various categories. So keep reading to discover whether Paris or Barcelona will be your next vacation spot!

Tourist Airport

Paris or Barcelona: Where to Go?

1. Tourist Attractions in Paris and Barcelona

Eiffel Tower at Sunrise

Barcelona and Paris are both beautiful cities with plenty of things to see to learn more about the historical and artistic past of these two European cities.


Paris is renowned all over the world for its stunning landmarks. The city’s long list of tourist attractions includes iconic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Besides the many architectural wonders of such historical importance, Paris also boasts incredible museums, starting with the famous Musée du Louvre and including others such as the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou.


Barcelona has a fantastic architecture that blends different styles, which gives the city a beautiful appearance. Not by chance, among the top tourist attractions are the Medieval buildings of the Gothic Quarter, the Modernist buildings, and the unique Sagrada Familia. Other must-see landmarks in Barcelona are Parc Güell, Casa Milà, the famous La Rambla Street, and La Boqueria Market.  


Although both Paris and Barcelona offer visitors incredible attractions, Paris definitely takes this category home for us as you can spend weeks in the city and still have things to visit.  

2. Food & Drinks in Barcelona vs Paris

Onion Soup

Food is always an integral part of the traveling experience, and this is especially true for trips to Paris and Barcelona.


France is famous everywhere for its cuisine, and its capital city is one of the best places to try the local dishes.

From melt-in-your-mouth foie gras to audacious escargots, Paris offers an incredible array of dishes that will make you want to stay forever.

To explore Paris’s cuisine, we suggest you take this food tour through the Le Marais district to sample typical street foods while learning more about Paris’ history.

If you want to know more about Paris’ sophisticated and elegant cuisine, check out our Paris food guide.


Barcelona boasts a flavorful and vibrant cuisine with delicious mountain and sea dishes. What’s interesting about Barcelona’s food scene is the tapas tradition, small plates of savory dishes meant to be shared among the diners.

Typical tapas foods are patates braves and croquetes, while for a more complete meal, you should try the calçots amb salsa romesco (seasonal in February – March) and the botifarra amb mongetes.

A fabulous way to discover Barcelona’s tapas culture is by joining this food tour through the El Born neighborhood to discover Catalonia’s history and culture through food.

If you want to know more about Barcelona’s culinary scene, look at this Barcelona food guide.


When it comes to food, Paris and Barcelona are incredible European cities to visit, but Paris’ sophisticated cuisine is worth a trip to the city for itself.

3. Parks and Natural Spaces in Paris and Barcelona

Tuileries Garden in Paris
Jardin des Tuileries vs Parc de la Ciutadella

When visiting a big city for some time, you might need to take a break from the monuments. Luckily, both Barcelona and have green spaces where you can wind down.


Paris is an incredibly green city, and visiting its many parks and gardens is the best way to discover the heart and soul of Parisian life.

Among locals’ favorite spots are Jardin du Luxembourg, Les Tuileries, and Jardin des Plantes.

You will also find two forests within Paris’s territory: the Bois de Boulogne with the splendid Orangerie and the Bois de Vincennes with a stunning château.

Last but not least, Paris’ Seine River is one of the best spots in the city for enjoying long walks or a picnic on a sunny day!


Barcelona boasts several beautiful parks, ideal for enjoying the city’s mild climate. Park Güell, Parc de la Ciutadella, and the Labyrinth of Horta are ideal for relaxing and admiring beautiful views over the city.

Barcelona parks also offer visitors sightseeing opportunities, especially Park Güell, where you can visit stunning architectural elements crafted by Antoni Gaudí.

If you love the beach, you must spend some time in the La Barceloneta neighborhood. A perfect spot for a relaxing stroll by the sea all year round or enjoying water activities during the summer, La Barceloneta is right in the city’s center – so you can’t miss it!


Nature lovers will surely have a lovely time in Paris and Barcelona, but this category has a clear winner: Paris, thanks to its over 400 gardens and parks.

4. Day Trips from Paris vs Barcelona

Moret-sur-Loing France

If you would like to see other places besides Paris or Barcelona during your trip, you can take many great day trips from both cities.


The area around Paris is beautiful, with plenty of charming towns and French châteaux to explore on day trips from Paris. Starting from the famous Château de Versailles, you can take trains from Paris to virtually anywhere else, including the not-to-be-missed Giverny, Mont Saint-Michel, Château de Fontainebleau, and Disneyland Paris.

Whatever you like to visit for your day trip, you will surely find your jam at an easy distance from the French capital.


Many people visiting the Catalan capital don’t take into consideration that there are lovely places nearby that make for great day trips from Barcelona.

Barcelona is well-connected by train to picturesque medieval towns, historic cities, and seaside wonders.

Among the best day trips from Barcelona are the cities of Girona and Tarragona, the Monastery of Montserrat, the Dali Museum in Figueres, and the Port Aventura theme park.


It’s hard to choose which between Paris vs Barcelona is the best base for a great day trip. Our vote goes to Paris as there is more variety in terms of places you can visit and activities you can do during day trips.

5. Nightlife in Paris vs Barcelona

Both cities offer fantastic nighttime venues where you can spend hours chilling and having fun. From cocktail bars to theaters to nightclubs, you will find what you like in Paris and Barcelona.


Paris is a great city to explore during the day, but when it comes to nightlife in Paris, Barcelona wins it hands down, whether it’s variety, atmosphere, location, and price. Sure, there are night Seine cruises and fun Parisian cabarets, but these attractions are mainly for tourists.


Barcelona is among the top destinations in Europe for its nightlife. With clubs open until the sun goes up again and animated by international DJ sets, you will love Barcelona if you are a party animal.

Barcelona also has bars, pubs, and outdoor terraces with music and a great vibe for a more laid-back evening. Depending on your taste (and your budget), head to the Gothic Quarter and the Raval neighborhood or the Eixample and the upper neighborhoods to experience the best that Barcelona offers at night.  


Paris might offer more romantic nighttime adventures, but Barcelona is the ideal destination to have fun and enjoy memorable nights.

6. Transportation to and around Paris and Barcelona

The Parisian Metro

Both cities have well-developed transportation systems that make it easy to get to and around them.


You can fly to Paris from anywhere in the world. The French capital has two major airports, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY), both about 10 km away from the center. There is also a smaller airport, Beauvais (BVA), which is about 60 km away from the city and is mainly used by low-cost airlines.

Once in the city, there are countless ways to get around, but the best one is the Paris metro, which has 14 interconnected lines and will get you everywhere there is a tourist attraction. To reach the areas in the region, like Disneyland Paris, there are the RER and the Transilien train systems.


Barcelona has only one airport, Barcelona El Prat (BCN), which is more a regional hub than an international one, so many overseas flights usually have a scale in Madrid before arriving in Barcelona.

Since the Catalan city is so compact, all the tourist attractions are pretty much within walking distance from each other. If you don’t feel like walking too much, you can take the metro. With eight lines, the Barcelona metro runs far more often than buses and trams, so it’s your best bet when getting around.

To reach the areas in the region, like Girona or Port Aventura, there are the Ferrocarrils Catalans and the RENFE train systems.


The Paris metro is more extensive than Barcelona’s due to the bigger size of the city. Besides the well-developed metro, Paris is overall more accessible from abroad both by air and train.

7. Budget to visit


When it comes to the budget you should consider during your trip to Paris or Barcelona, Paris will require more money for the same trip’s length. 


Paris is considered one of the most expensive destinations in the world. While it is undeniable that a trip to Paris is not cheap, you can save lots of money by making smart choices, particularly choosing your Paris accommodation not in the more central Arrondissements and eating in small bistros and brasseries rather than restaurants. Since the city has a great public transport system which is also affordable, you won’t have a problem enjoying your time.


Barcelona used to be a cheap destination to travel to, but this is not the case anymore. While accommodation in Barcelona is cheaper than in Paris, some of the city’s tourist attractions, like the Sagrada Familia and Palau de la Música, are pricey.

Food-wise, Barcelona is cheaper than Paris, especially if you stick with tapas and street food. But the price difference Barcelona vs Paris in restaurants is narrower than in the past.

Barcelona is particularly expensive in nightlife entertainment, with the hottest clubs having high entrance fees.


Paris is generally more expensive than Barcelona due to the higher cost of accommodations, dining, and attractions. Shopping in Paris is more expensive too.

BUT If you are looking for a luxury trip to Europe, then the City of Light is the place to go! From a hotel with an Eiffel Tower view to haute-couture shopping and Michelin-starred restaurants, there are many ways to spoil yourself in Paris!

Which is Better: Barcelona or Paris?

Question Mark

As much as Paris checks all the boxes for us, it comes down to your preference and what you want from your next vacation.

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Quirky Parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light! Read more about me.