Before moving from Berlin to Paris two months ago I knew the city just from a weekend trip a few years ago. One could think that the cities aren’t that different from each other, both have a huge art scene, old beautiful buildings and are well-known European cities. That’s why I’d like to share my first, but already a little settled view on the Paris in comparison to Berlin. As I am a native Berliner living in a big city is nothing new for me. Actually I realized while living here that Paris is even smaller than Berlin (a 787km² difference!). Therefore I personally experience the local traffic as very chill, since I am living in the center, it never took me over 35 minutes to go anywhere and in addition it does not take a lot of time to walk through a whole district as well.
But what is more exciting about Paris is the lifestyle here. The city in general seems to be, on the one hand, full of busy and stressed workaholics, especially during the day, and on the other hand, full of laid back people who spend time with their friends in Cafés or bars. What is special with Cafés and bars in Paris is that many French people actually stand outside and smoke, even if it is autumn or nearly winter. Overall I have got the feeling that in Paris a lot of people prefer going to bars rather than clubs, whereas in Berlin going to (techno-) clubs is a huge thing. When it comes to this I really have a hard time finding someone who actually likes going to techno clubs, but also finding the “good” clubs.
Another difference I found walking around the streets of Paris, was that Parisians really seem to have this so called “nonchalant” style. This fashion style is supposed to be a mixture of chic and casual, which I love so much. In Berlin fashion appears to be more of a shabby chic and, yes, it is true that most of us Berliners wear a lot of black.
What I fell in love with the most in Paris was art. All those interesting and beautiful museums – from the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world (2016), over the modern and contemporary art museums Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo, to all the small independent art galleries of Parisian artists.
Finally – the French food! It is as delicious as you’d probably imagine! Almost all I have experienced about the topic so far is basically feeding the stereotypes. In France they usually eat at least 3 courses: the main dish, cheese with baguette, and a dessert. So, a lot of cheese and baguette, wine, and mousse au chocolat. But what really surprised me was the huge variety of Asian restaurants in some districts. You will find anything you are keen on no matter if it is Japanese, Korean, Chinese or Thai. Once a Parisian guy told me that French people think that after the French food, Japanese food is the best. In addition I was also told by Parisians at a party that rosé wine is not considered as a good wine and they would only drink it occasionally during the summer. Obviously it was not the best idea to bring a bottle of rosé to them, so make sure you don’t repeat my mistake if you get invited to a French home party. However I don’t really know if those things they told me are true and perhaps I will change my mind after living longer in Paris!