Are you cosmopolitan, well-heeled and consider yourself a culture vulture? Then this infographic is for you. Produced by the House Trip Amsterdam team, they present a rundown of six of the greatest European cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Paris and Rome – it takes a light-hearted look at the longstanding cultural rivalries that define the continent, and attempts to find a winner. It comes as close as humanly possible to presenting a ‘scientific’ study of each city: measuring them against criteria such as the number of Michelin starred restaurants, the oldest surviving building, UNESCO world heritage sites and ease of living. The result is a colourful, enticing infographic that challenges our notions about each location, as well as offering a cheeky look at their cultural high and low points. Scroll down for a look at the finished product, but first we’re going to take you on a quick tour of some of the highlights:

A Sense of History

For the uninitiated, some of the historical facts the HouseTrip team have unearthed to support their work may be surprising. For instance, we were unaware that the Ancient Synagogue at Barcelona dates way back to the 4th century BC; meaning it’s 400 years older than the city that houses it! Another surprise was learning that Rome’s oldest building (the Pantheon) only dates back to 125AD. Granted, that’s still old – but considering the Eternal City was founded in 753BC, it’s still remarkably recent. Also guaranteed to startle some people is the tallying of World Heritage sites. Although it will come as no surprise that Barcelona boasts 8 or London 4, the fact that Rome and Paris only managed to scrape one each will have Francophiles and students of ancient history up in arms.

Competition aside, one of our favourite sections was the ‘Famous Natives’ one. Detailing the famous sons of each city, it’s a guaranteed argument starter – as film fans crow over London’s Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, while art lovers go into raptures over Barcelona and Pablo Picasso. Also, we’re betting this is the only infographic on the internet with the gumption to put Voltaire and Brigitte Bardot on an equal footing!

Practicalities

However, it’s not just the abstract that this infographic focuses on. Happily for holidaymakers, the authors have included sections looking at stuff like the price of specialised museum passes and what they give you access to. Aside from stirring up the competition, it also acts as a useful guide, showcasing the best tourist deal in each city. Personally, we were pretty impressed by the ‘Museum Pass Berlin’, which gives visitors 3-day access to over 50 museums and only costs 24 Euros.

This section is also partnered with a rundown of the best museums in each city and what to expect in each (from Rembrandt’s famous ‘Night Watch’ to the Louvre’s most-visited exhibition: the Mona Lisa). A quick tour of each city’s best architecture is also a delight to read: pitting old against old (the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia); new against new (the Shard and Berlin’s quirky TV Tower); and world-famous church against, well, you get the idea (Notre Dame and St Peter’s Basilica).

Ease of Living

Finally, one of the cheekiest sections in the entire infographic looks at a 2012 report into the ‘livability’ of each city (how easy it is to live there) and assigns each of our six culture capitals a ranking. We’re predicting a few cheesed-off Londoners and Romans (55th and 49th respectively) and a number of jubilant Parisians (the highest-ranking, placed at 16th on the scale). Exactly what sort of spirited arguments this section might ignite, we can hardly imagine.

So: how do you reckon your favourite city fares against the competition? Are you betting on Paris’s livability and high-class restaurants, or London’s vast swathe of free museums? Scroll down to the infographic to find out how your culture capital compares to the rest:


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