Well, hello! It’s been awhile. I took quite a long hiatus from blogging because my life was pretty crazy and eventful from May through…well now! I finished off the school year in May, left a week later for a two-week trip to Paris, London, and Iceland, then came back and moved to OKC a week after that. I started at a new school, in a new grade, in a new city, all the while trying to hold things together at home without any family around. School started and it’s been pretty nonstop ever since, especially because my husband is a football coach, so August through November is go, go, go! It’s been a little overwhelming, but I finally feel like I’m sort of starting to settle a bit and slow down.
So with all of that said…I’ve been cooking this little post for awhile now. Enjoy 🙂
Having traveled to both Paris and London now, I immediately noticed some differences between the public transportation in both cities. I couldn’t help but compare the two and the significant pros and cons that accompany both. I do want to preface that I have been to Paris three times and spent two days in London. I spent all of my time going to the major attractions in London such as Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
So, which city makes it the easiest for travelers to get around? Here are my thoughts.
- Like any city’s public transportation, the metro is fairly easy to get around once you know your stops and what lines connect. What I find helpful about the metro is that many of the main stops in the center of the city are named after major monuments near that particular stop. If you are going to the Trocadero, guess what? You get off at the Trocadero stop!
- In Paris, you can buy a metro pass that’s good for a week and not worry about having to refill it within that week.
- This past June, Paris adopted a new card swiping system called Navigo Easy. The Navigo card is an effort to negate the effects of paper cards littering the city, keep up with the times in updating technologies, and hopefully make the swiping process faster.
- One thing I didn’t notice until I went to London was the amount of stairs within the Paris metro stations. Paris is not quite as handicap friendly when it comes to using the metro. At some stops there are escalators, but stairs seem to be most common.
- Size also seems to be a con for public transport when comparing Paris and London. After visiting London, I noticed that Paris metro stations, for the most part, are smaller and more crowded.
- The Tube does a fantastic job of providing many handicap-friendly stops as well as the use of escalators in every major station (at least the ones I went to while I was there- in the main “touristy” spots)!
- Having been to Paris three times, I was pretty shocked at how effortlessly I was able to understand and figure out stops in London compared to Paris. The Tube seemed to click instantaneously for me getting around London. For some reason, Paris did not. This might differ person to person, but for me, the Tube was straightforward, even though it was my first time visiting.
- The Tube stations flow really beautifully. There are significantly more swiping stations to swipe your Oyster card and much more open space. Of course, London is significantly larger than Paris, so keep that in mind!
- The Oyster Card was a bonus for me using the Tube. It’s much more sturdy than a weekly metro pass and seemed to be easier to keep track of.
- The London Tube has a sense of humor. At many of their major stops, there were signs with riddles or sarcastic jokes for the day. It’s the little things, ya know? I really enjoyed that quirky detail.
- With London being larger than Paris, the stops seemed to be more spread out. We had to walk much farther between Tube stops than in Paris. Get ready to get your steps in!
- We had to refill our Oyster card multiple times on our two-day trip. It seemed much more expensive to keep it refilled in that short amount of time.
So, which one is preferable and more user-friendly? In my opinion, London is the winner when it comes to its public transportation. London seemed to have more pros that I think make the difference in your traveling experience. I was pleasantly surprised with The Tube and how accessible, spacious, and understandable it was. Don’t get me wrong, Paris will always be my soulmate city, but London takes the cake on getting around underground!
What do you think about the Metro vs. the Tube? Which one would be your preference and why?
Until next time…Au Revoir!