The French capital is one of the most stimulating cities on earth. Paris is home to more than 2 million people, with another 10.5 million living in the Ile de France area. The river Seine bisects the city into the Rive Droite (Right Bank) north of the river, and the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) south of the river. Paris is divided into twenty districts that radiate from the city centre.
Paris was founded by, and named after, the Celtic tribe, the Parisii.
Paris is a major culture center for Europe and the world.
Capital city (2 125 246 inhabitants – census 1999), North central France, is the commercial, financial, and industrial focus of France, a major transportation hub, and a cultural and intellectual centre of international status.
A beautiful city in which tourism is the main industry, Paris is cut by the River Seine. On the right (northern) bank are many of the most fashionable streets and shops, and such landmarks as the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Louvre, the modern Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) and the Sacré Coeur. The left bank houses governmental offices and is the site of much of the city’s intellectual life. It is known for its old Latin Quarter and for such landmarks as the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Palace and the Panthéon.
The historic core of Paris is the Île de la Cité, a small island occupied in part by the Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Rising above the city is the Eiffel Tower.
Notre Dame Cathedral
A masterpiece of gothic architecture designed by Maurice de Sully, Notre Dame was built between the 12th and the 14th centuries. Until the French Revolution the cathedral remained relatively unchanged. Its massive interior can accommodate more than 6000 people. Its spectacular rose windows are world-famous
The Champs-Elysees is the city’s most famous boulevard. Elegant and broad, it links Place de la Concorde with the Arc de Triomphe.
The Tour de France finishes here and people from all over the world congregate here to celebrate Bastille Day – the French national holiday.
The Palais Garnier is a grand landmark at the northern end of the Avenue de l’Opera in Paris, France. It is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is probably the best-known French landmark. Standing at over 300 meters and weighing 7000 tons, the tower was one of the world’s tallest buildings until 1930. The view over Paris from the top is breathtaking.
The Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon shortly after his victory at Austerlitz, the Arc de Triomphe was not finished until 1836. There are four huge relief sculptures at the base of the four pillars. The day the Battle of Verdun commenced in 1916 the sword carried by the figure representing the Republic broke off. The figure was immediately hidden to conceal the accident. Engraved around the top of the arch are the names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame lies under the Arch.
The Sacré Coeur
The Sacré Coeur is one of Paris’ best-known landmarks after the Eiffel Tower. Built after the 1870 defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, the Sacré Coeur Basilica’s grand collection of 19th century sculptures, architecture, and paintings provide a wonderful insight into the history of that century.
Disneyland Paris is situated just outside of Paris in Marne la Vallée and opened in 1992. Today Disneyland Paris covers about 140 acres, with a theme park to rival any of is competitors. There are literally thousands of attractions to choose from.
The Louvre dates back to 1200 when it began life as a fortress. It became a public museum in 1793. A glass pyramid entrance designed by architect IM Pei was added in the 1980s. Brave the crowds and wander through rooms full of paintings, sculptures and antiquities including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
How to get there
We recommend you to try a search for tickets for Paris flights, you’ll be surprised just how low the Paris flights prices are.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is the largest airport serving Paris and the second busiest passenger airport in Europe after London Heathrow.
Located 23 kilometers (14 miles) north-east of Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport offers numerous transport links to the French capital city by road and rail.
There are six major motorways into Paris:
North: the A1 connects Paris with Lille, Calais and Brussels.
East: the A4 connects Paris with Strasbourg, Metz and Nancy.
South and south east: the A6 connects Paris with Lyon, Marseille and Nice.
South west: the A10 and the A11 connect Paris with Brittany and southwestern France.
West: the A13 connects Paris with Normandy.
A special tourist bus (the Balabus) operates on Sundays and holidays from April-September, circling the main tourist sites.
From May-September the Batobus takes passengers on sight seeing trips on the Seine. This boat runs between the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame daily from 10-7 with stops at the main attractions: 01 44 11 33 44.
Taxis can be hailed from the street or from one of the 470 stands around the city. An illuminated light on the roof indicates that the cab is available.
|Eurostar trains run directly from London to Paris in only three hours. Trains also stop at Lille – which is becoming more popular as a weekend and short break destination.
The easiest way to get around Paris is by the metro (subway) which runs daily from 5:30am-12:30am
UK travelers may wish to journey to Paris on the ferry via a channel crossing route.
Too many to mention! See the Paris festival guide.
Eating Dining Shopping
Restaurant– Offers a complete meal, the cost of a meal correlates to the elegance of the establishment and the reputation of its chef.
Brasserie– Originally a beer serving establishment, brasserie now means a restaurant offering hearty food in addition to the bar.
Auberge– A country inn with both food and lodging. Known for their food, location, picturesque decor, gardens or patios, these are often the best restaurants in France.
Snack Bar– You will find sandwiches, pastries, prepared salads, cold cut plates and other light dishes. Often you will have the option to sit or stand, with slightly higher prices for sitting.
Bar– The bar offers coffee and pastries in the morning, aperitifs, wine, beer, soft drinks, hard liquor and water throughout the day. You may also find pre-made sandwiches, tobacco products and postage stamps.
Bistro– Small family run restaurants. These enjoyable places are often not named bistro, but referred to as one.
Café– This is basically a drink serving establishment that may offer pre-made sandwiches and desserts such as ice cream.
Routier– These are road side dinning establishments, similar to a truck stop but with a bit of refinement.
Paris is as well one of the leading cities in the world of luxuries and fashion. Perfumes, cosmetics and fashion-design world-brands enlighten the city and attract the interest of connoisseur visitors.
If you are looking for rare furniture or small items visit the Flea-markets or Auction Sales. Rare items, beautiful or even astonishing ones, art paintings or jewelry, all that can be found in Paris, at la Salle Drouot or at the Flea Makets.
Paris is more than 2,000 years old. The Gauls of the Parisii tribe settled there between 250 and 200 BC and founded a fishing village on an island in the river that is the present-day Ile de la Cité, the center around which Paris developed.
Paris was conquered by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, and existed as a regional center under the Romans and in the early Middle Ages.
In 987, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, became king of France, and under his successors, the Capetians, the city’s position as the nation’s capital became established. The people of Paris first declared themselves an independent commune under the leadership of Etienne Marcel in 1355-58. The storming of the Bastille in 1789 was the first of a series of key actions by the Parisian people during the French Revolution. Paris also played a major role in the revolutions of 1830 and 1848.
In 1871, during the Franco-prussian war , the city was besieged for four months until France surrendered. After German troops withdrew, French radicals briefly established the Commune of Paris. During World War 1 the Germans were prevented from reaching Paris, they occupied the city during World War II from 1940 to 1944. Paris was again the scene of violence during the student riots of 1968.
Paris today maintains its importance, character, and charm.
Useful telephone numbers
All numbers for Paris and the outskirts of the city begin with 01 and have 10 digits. The country code is 33. (use the country code only when calling to Paris from another country).
Emergency numbers; 17
Police and medical emergencies: 18
For directory assistance: dial 12
Paris operator: dial 13
Tourist office: Phone: 01.49.52.53.54
Airport Information; Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport Phone (0)1 184.108.40.206
Train station: Eurotunnel – Le Shuttle (France) Phone: +331 47 42 50 00
Eurotunnel – Le Shuttle (Great Britain) Phone: 990 35 35 35
National Transport Line; Phone: +33 8 36 68 41 14