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London Or New York? We Put Both To The Test

Interest July 19, 2017 By Hugo
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It's a debate that has wrangled on for years and years and one which probably won't reach a consensus anytime soon, but that hasn't stopped us revisiting the age-old question, 'London or New York?'

Shutterstock/Alice Day

From the outside, it would seem both are similar, with incredible cultural venues, premier nightclubs and mouthwatering cuisines all but confirming the global dominance of these two metropolises will long continue.

But there can only be one winner, so we've decided to split this article into three parts by going through the positive attributes of both London and New York before coming to a conclusion you'll probably disagree with. 

London

Transportation

Until recently, London's transport was stuck in the dark ages compared to other big cities due to its inability to give its millions of users a 24-hour night service. However, once a new London mayor was elected last year, things soon got moving, and the majority of the main lines now run 24-hours on Friday and Saturday,

However, New York has long had a 24-hour subway in operation, but the reason London comes out top, in this case, is that the quality of the trains are cleaner and the stations are better managed. In a New York subway carriage, rats are still regular sightings which is plain nasty.

Green Space

New York's Central Park is wonderful and a place the city congregates to when the urban jungle gets all too much, and we're not dismissing its charms and beauty but London's greenery trumps New York's quite easily.

Shutterstock/XHStudio

In fact, there are parks, commons and even national parks spread across London's vast stretches of concrete; some sequestered away to the extent you wouldn't believe you were even in London. Indeed, while Central Park is all well and good, London boasts Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Clapham Common, Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Regents Park and many others. The list is endless and one of the main reasons London is such a brilliant place to live.

Weather

London's weather isn't great- far from it. The days are often dominated with overcast skies and wet drizzle yet it's a well-known fact that it rains more in Rome than it does in London, while temperatures in the Big Smoke rarely go below freezing. Even the summer months see warm, pleasant temperatures, sometimes exceeding 30 degrees.

But more often than not, the temperatures are just about right with it never being too hot or too cold, despite British people having a reputation for always complaining.

In New York, you get both extremes. In the winter and sometimes even autumn, snowstorms, torrential downpours, and freezing temperatures are commonplace while the humidity, 35+ temperatures and dry perspiration in the summer months make it almost insufferable. 

Population

Admittedly, both these cities have near-identical populations at 8.3 and 8.4m respectively, but what makes London more desirable in this case is the space, with Britain's capital being 138 square meters larger than its rival across the pond.

New York is, therefore, naturally more crowded, while the overarching skyline can sometimes make its inhabitants feel trapped in a labyrinth of no escape as opposed to a premier city.

Culture

Stepped in history and laden with world-class museums, galleries and iconic monuments and attractions, London is a mecca for culture lovers, and it's hard to find many other cities that come close to matching London's vast array of cultural offerings, and that includes New York.

Why? Because while New York may also boast many of the above, it hasn't got nearly as many, with London's 492 attractions easily passing New York's 295. That said, New York does possess more music venues and theatres, but aside from that London is a clear winner here.

Safety

Unlike many other major cities in America, New York is considered one of the safest ever since the city saw a major cleanup under the guidance of Giuliani’s mayorship in the 90s but it it still has 4x the homicide rate of London.

Clearly, this has a lot to do with gun ownership being illegal in London, but on the whole, London is still a much safer city to walk through at night.

New York

Conveniences

New York is a dream for those who want things at the drop of a hat, so it's little wonder it has long been called The City That Never Sleeps. There's the 24-hour subway, which unlike London's tube network runs every day of the week while shopping stores, whether they be clothing stores, drug stores or grocery stores, are often open at all times. 

In London, such shops are harder to come by even though some have 24-hour licenses. To put things into perspective, Yelp lists around 800 stores in London open 24 hours a day, while in New York the figure is closer to 6.000.

Eateries

This was a hard one to judge because both cities offer tons of mouth watering establishments, but when it comes to finding the best food in the world, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place in the world than New York. 

From Little Italy to Chinatown and Koreatown, New York is home to some of the best restaurants and food districts on Earth, and though London isn't short on good grub either, Europe's most famous city only has 62 Michelin-starred restaurants compared to New York's 126. 

Nightlife

It's the City That Never Sleeps, so of course, New York's nightlife betters London's despite it having fewer clubs and bars. That said, with more relaxed licenses, nightclubs can stay open for longer than London's, and it's not unusual for bars to stay open till 4 am.

Shutterstock/ Drop of Light

The best clubs, meanwhile, can stay open till way past 6, while on weekdays bars are usually open till around 2 and sometimes 3 am compared to the majority of pubs in London which often close around 11.

Cost of living

New York has a reputation for being grossly unaffordable, but when compared to London's huge problems with income inequality and surging housing prices, it almost seems affordable. 

Britain's Daily Mail also reported that London is the most expensive city in the world for tourists, while The Independent, another British news outlet, placed London as the 15th most expensive city in the world, 11 places ahead of New York (26). 

Conclusion: London

Okay, so we may be biased considering the Trave Lane offices are based in London, but we still think we've done both cities justice and it's clear to see that London slightly edges New York. But only just. Take away New York's amazing eateries and bars and clubs, and London comes out top in a photo finish.

Sure it may not have imposing skyscrapers and 24-hour drug stores, but it doesn't need to. And if we're being honest, the history alone in London makes it a city that is a cut above the rest of any other place on Earth and it's little wonder it's now overtaken Paris as the most visited city on Earth. 

So start spreading the news, New York, London is back on top.

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