New York or Paris: Which City Wins Your Heart in 2023?

These two cities are expensive, and to enjoy living in them; you’ll need a good income to take care of housing and other living expenses. However, Paris is slightly cheaper and operates at a much “slower” pace compared to New York, which is more fast-paced and high-octane.

The “city of lights,” Paris, also stands out in terms of architectural beauty, which is accredited to Haussman, the architect who designed it. But, when it comes to diversity and density, it’s edged out by New York City, which is considered more driven, energetic, and expansive. Paris vs. NYC is more refined, royal, and prestigious.

Paris is known for its rich history, making it a cultural and political center of Europe. However, this doesn’t negate the appeal of New York as a bustling metropolis. Additionally, its strong commerce makes it an an economic center for the United States.

Differences Between NYC and Paris

NY Vs Paris

One of the most apparent differences between New York and Paris is the primary language spoken in the city. 

As Paris is in France, the common language is French, while you’d find over 800 languages spoken in NYC in addition to English because of immigrant communities. 

Having knowledge of French in Paris would make your experience a positive one.

Language aside, French Parisian culture requires some getting used to and understanding, which is different from New York City, where you can assimilate, blend effortlessly with the crowd, and interact with strangers.

Paris is an old city with outstanding cultural beauty and has preserved its 19th-century buildings while adopting some modern architecture by building skyscrapers.

New York is vibrant and energetic, which can be felt the minute you land at the airport, adding to the fact that NYC never sleeps; it operates 24 hrs non-stop.

Parisians believe in working to live and not living to work, making it a city where working-class people have better working conditions and are treated better.

Still, working for fewer hours than in NYC, where you need to constantly grind or work much longer hours. The pay and wages are better, but it can’t beat the work-life balance in Paris.

In terms of fashion, and considering it’s one of the fashion capitals, Paris residents dress better too; casual is not limited to sneakers; it means a nice outfit that might include a dress jacket and leather shoes.

The healthcare system in Paris is better and affordable and allows for treating all, even uninsured individuals, which is matched by an even better education system.

New York as a city has an extremely high pulse when compared to Paris.

It has a vibrancy and magic that is unmatched by any other place in the world, leading the pack in terms of being internationally focused.

Making it a global city where it is believed that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

Paris vs. NYC Size

people walking around manhattan, nyc
New Yorkers walking around in Manhattan

Staying true to “The Big Apple” reference, NYC is bigger and larger than Paris. It spans 517 miles, while Paris measures 65 square miles.

Population in Paris Vs. New York

NYC is one of the most populated cities in the world, with a population of over 8 million, and the Paris population culminates at over 2 million residents.

The People in NYC

New Yorkers are aggressive and might come off as rude to a newcomer.

It is, however, a character that develops due to the nature of a bustling and chaotic city that never stops moving.

Occasionally, you’ll run into friendly and helpful individuals and enjoy brief moments of conversation, especially when they are not too busy or in a hurry. 

Any rudeness you experience in New York City is not personally directed to you but rather a byproduct of a fast-paced city.

The People in Paris

You will find that people in Paris are not in so much of a hurry; they are much calmer.

They are rarely in a rush or constantly looking at the watches, which to them is acting” anglo-Saxon” and not in a positive way. 

The personalities of people in Paris can vary from neutral to rude.

You will rarely find yourself engaging in banter with locals, and language can be a challenge unless you have a basic understanding of French.

You will occasionally run into pleasant, friendly individuals; avoid talking about work during your conversation since it’s against French culture.

Parisians place great importance on slowing down, enjoying life, and relaxing. If you want to meet and interact with more people, consider joining group activities.

The French people place a lot of value on families and friendships.

If you make friends and build friendships in Paris, rest assured they will be genuine and lifelong.

People in Paris value manners and politeness, but their attitude may change depending on the situation.

Paris Crime Rate vs. NYC

Paris has a lower crime rate than NYC, but there have been cases of muggings, cars getting stolen, and in other instances, houses being broken into.

Gun violence is unheard of, as citizens cannot own firearms unless vetted.

An individual would require government authorization and a medical exam to own one.

These conditions apply to obtaining and using firearms for hunting and sports shooting activities.

Some red zone areas in Paris should be avoided, especially at night, but larger areas of Paris and its surrounding areas are considered safe and there is little risk of encountering any trouble.

Gun-based violence is prevalent in some neighborhoods in NYC, but you should be safe if you stay away from these neighborhoods. Such areas include East Harlem, South Bronx, East New York in Brooklyn, and others.

That being said, many New Yorkers feel safe in the city.

For both cities, it comes down to personal safety and general awareness that an individual should exercise.

Cost of Living in NYC Vs. Paris

Both cities are equally expensive, but Paris is slightly cheaper and has more social benefits where you can live decently on what is considered a minimum wage in NYC.

The same can’t be said for NYC, one of the world’s most expensive cities.

The level of expenditure in Paris varies according to the area or zones and the type of lifestyle one has.

If you have a modest lifestyle, Paris is more affordable regarding housing, clothing, and shopping options.

Rent in NYC is almost double what you’d pay for a similar-sized Paris apartment.

Cost of Food in NYC vs. Paris

If you choose to dine out and buy ready-made food, you will spend more in both cities.

In Paris, you can buy groceries, supermarket ingredients, and other fresh produce from markets.

You can get a coffee for a euro or slightly more, and drinks tend to be cheaper during happy hour, so target that if you’re looking for affordable drinks.

Avoid eating in touristy streets and areas.

Try eating from the food trucks in NYC to get that authentic New York experience by sampling amazing bagels, hot dogs, and other street foods.

For fine dining, you can eat at restaurants that offer an array of worldwide cuisines.

Getting around NYC vs. Paris

Even though not the most eye pleasing and cleanest, NYC’S public transportation system gets you where you need to go, with over 400 train stations scattered throughout the city.

If you are patient and don’t mind being stuck in traffic, you can use taxis though a bit expensive, or opt for buses to help getting around New York.

Paris has an excellent transportation system with around 300 metro stations where you can board trains that will not only take you around Paris but to other countries in the European continent.

Driving can be hectic in the city so it’s not recommended.

Try renting a Velib in Paris. It’s a public bicycle sharing system, similar to a Citibike in NYC.

This video does a great job of describing the Cycling culture in Paris.

The underground train in Paris stops operating by midnight, so if you have to go clubbing or around the city during that time, you’ll have to find other means to get around.

NYC is a 24/7 city; the train runs all night.

Attractions in NYC vs. Paris

New York City has has a ton of attractions. Here are a few of the most famous ones:

  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Times Square

One of the most known attractions in Paris is the Eiffel Tower which some people feel is not worth the effort and money it takes to get up there but still a great symbol of the city of love.

You can enjoy the magnificence and beauty of the tower by doing a perimeter loop and viewing it from Trocadero.

The Arc de Triomphe provides a bird’s eye view as you would get from the top of the Eiffel tower and the Champ Elysees offers luxury shops, fantastic restaurants, and a great place to take photos. 

Other attractions include the Louvre for a glimpse and a picture of the Mona Lisa, Notre Dame, and Musee d’Orsay.

Fun Things to do in Paris

Paris is the ultimate destination for those interested in high fashion, offering numerous opportunities to attend Haute Couture shows and visit the studios of renowned designers. 

The city boasts countless historical monuments if you want to see and appreciate Haussmannian architecture.

A trip to Paris would not be complete without stopping by the local, family-owned shops scattered throughout the neighborhoods.

Make a point of enjoying the hundreds of museums and cultural events.

To help enter major sites, get a Paris Pass, a one-off museum, and an attraction card.

With the one-off Paris Pass, visit the marvelous museums, historical monuments, architectural wonders, and galleries. 

If you don’t have a pass, you can visit the museums on the first Sunday of each month when entry is free.

Fun Things to do in NYC

New York City has a fantastic jazz scene which, to New Yorkers, is an integral part of the city.

You can enjoy live jazz music from some of the best performers and end your evening by enjoying the phenomenal skyline from a rooftop bar or restaurant.

If you are looking for sporting events, you can play tennis at Central Park or go to Bryant Park for a game of ping pong, chess, scrabble, and other outdoor activities.

You can go visit art galleries or catch a Broadway show. Who knows you might get lucky and meet some renowned artists or musicians performing.

Food scene in NYC vs. Paris

a cafe restaurant in paris
Parisian Cafe Restaurant

The NYC food scene is mind-blowing, to say the least, with influences of cultures, different cuisines, and ingredients from all corners of the world.

Your pallet and taste buds are sure to be taken on a journey with numerous foods to sample.

If you have a sweet tooth, Paris will surely take care of that thanks to its unlimited supply of some of the best pastries available in confectionary, bakeries, and chocolate stores.

It’s also a known fact that Paris produces some of the best wines in the world. 

For vegans and organic food enthusiasts, NYC offers more options with numerous vegetarian choices and juice bars.

You can also find good coffee and can enjoy lovely brunches whenever you want.

Entertainment in NYC vs. Paris

The nightlife in NYC has, over time, been touted as superior compared to other cities.

With clubs that operate late into the night and bars and lounges for when you want to take it easy and chill.

Parisians love to entertain their guests and friends at home, which differs from NYC, where they prefer meeting up in clubs or restaurants.

They enjoy their drinks as much as everyone else but most drink for pleasure, not to get intoxicated.

Paris residents enjoy their meals and appreciate the preparation process that goes into creating all the meal courses they pair with fine wines.

To them, you should slowly enjoy a glass of wine; look at the color, take a whiff, smell it, and then taste it.

Weather in NYC vs. Paris

New York City is already known for its intense cold winters and viciously hot summers.

Though not always extreme it’s still tough for individuals not used to such weather.

Spring and fall in NYC are lovely and beautifully balance the harshness with flowers blooming, rich, beautiful colors from leaves in the parks, and warm fashion colors.

The weather in Paris is almost similar to that of NYC, though not as extreme, with slightly warmer summers which can also become extremely hot, and winters that can be too cold.

During summer, you experience longer dusk and sunlight until 10 pm with late sunsets.


Depending on what you’re looking for and your preferences, both cities have more in common than differences and offer fantastic experiences. They are the largest, wealthiest, and greatest metropolises in the world that have enclaves to suit all personalities as long as you have a way of supporting yourself financially.

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