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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   France   >   Towns and Cities   >   Paris



Paris is the capital and largest city of France. The city is located in the Île-de-France region on the river Seine and has an estimated population of 2,153,600 as of 2005.

Paris is an extremely popular tourist destination and is visited by approximately 30 million foreign tourists each year. There are numerous places to see in place including the Arc de Triomphe, the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, the Champs-Elysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Grande Arche, the Invalides, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Notre Dame cathedral, the Opéra Garnier and the Panthéon.

Additionally, another place you will want to see, especially if you have a family is Disneyland Resort Paris. This is a holiday and recreation resort in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town suburb, approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the center of the city. The resort includes:
  • Two theme parks - Disneyland Park (the main Disney park, based on Disneyland California, with five "lands" each based on a different theme or time period), and Walt Disney Studios Park (a theme park based on film and how movies are made).

  • An entertainment district - Disney Village - containing shops, bars and restaurants.

  • Golf Disneyland - A Disney-themed golf course, principally for adult visitors but also with a children's section.

  • Seven Disney-owned hotels.
Paris is of course also a very important center of business, industry and government. The Paris region produces approximately one quarter of France's GDP, and La Défense, which is the largest purpose-built business district in Europe contains the headquarters of many major French companies as well as 15 of the world's 100 largest companies. Many international organizations including UNESCO, the ICC and the OECD, also have offices in Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral:
Notre Dame in Paris

Key Facts about Paris

Arc de Triomphe:
Arc de Triomphe
Here are some facts about Paris:
  1. Paris is the capital and largest city of France.

  2. Paris is located in the Île-de-France region on the river Seine.

  3. Paris had an estimated population of 2,153,600 as of 2005.

  4. Paris is an extremely popular tourist destination and is visited by approximately 30 million foreign tourists each year.

  5. There are numerous places of interest, historic sites, and tourist attractions in Paris, including, perhaps most famously, the Eiffel Tower.

  6. The Disneyland Resort Paris is also within easy reach of the city. It is located in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town suburb, approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the center of the Paris

  7. Archaeological digs have revealed that the earliest permanent settlements in the Paris area, were probably around 4500 BCE.

  8. A Celtic tribe, the Parisii, inhabited the area from around 250 BCE. They are known to have constructed a settlement at Île de la Cité (a natural island in the River Seine in Paris).

  9. The Romans conquered the area in 52 BCE. The Roman settlement built in the area, which eventually grew to beconme a prosperous city, was known as Lutetia or Lutetia Parisorum. This later became known as Lutèce.

  10. Julian (331 to 363), Prefect of the Gauls, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor in Île de la Cité in 360. Julian remained in Paris until his death in 363, effectively making Paris de facto capital of the Western Roman Empire during this period.

  11. With the collapse of the Roman Empire, Paris was largely abandoned, but Clovis the Frank, first Merovingian dynasty, made Paris his capital in 508.

  12. The Carolingans moved the Frankish capital to Aachen, but in 987 AD, Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected King of France, and Paris again became the capital of France.

  13. During the Hundred Years War, Paris was occupied by the English, and for a time lost its position as French capital. However, after French victory in the war, the French capital again returned to Paris.

  14. Paris was the scene of many of the important events of the French Revolution (from 1789), as well the coup by Napoleonn which established the French Consulate, and later, the First French Empire.

  15. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870 to 1871), Paris was beseiged by the Prussians. After the war, it was also the scene of an attempted revolution, the Paris Commune, which was bloodily suppressed by the French army.

  16. In 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened in Paris. It was built for the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair held in the city.

  17. The first Paris Métro Line (underground railway line) opened in 1900, to coincide with the 1900 Universal Exposition (another World's Fair held in Paris).

  18. During World War I, the advancing Germans came to within earshot of the city in 1914, before being driven back by Anglo-French forces at the First Battle of the Marne.

  19. In World War II, Paris was occupied by the Germans from June 1940 until August 1944. Central Paris survived the war relatively unscathed, as the Allies mostly only bombed targets in the suburbs, and the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz refused to obey direct orders from Adolf Hitler ordering the destruction of the city (Dietrich von Choltitz is sometimes known as the "Saviour of Paris" for this action).

  20. Since World War II, parts of Paris have suffered from deindustrialization, whilst other parts have shifted their economies to high-value services and high technology. In 2007, then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, launched a massive urban renewal project known as Grand Paris, aimed better integrating the city and improving its economy.

Attractions and Places of Interest in Paris

Some attractions and places of interest in and near Paris include:

Weather in Paris

For current weather information, we recommend:

Related Links

Related Links:
  • Da Vinci Code Tour

  • Louvre Guided Tour

  • Paris Museum & Sightseeing Pass
    The Paris Pass is a sightseeing card which gives holders FREE ENTRY to over 60 sights and tourist attractions in Paris. Some of the most popular attractions which can be visited free with the Paris Pass are the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, a Seine river cruise, an open top bus sightseeing tour, the Grevin Wax Museum and the Palace of Versailles - to name but a few.

Comments about Paris

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Books about Paris

Here are some books about Paris:

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Lonely Planet Paris (Travel Guide)

By Lonely Planet & Christopher Pitts

Paperback (416 pages)

Lonely Planet Paris (Travel Guide)
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  • Lonely Planet
Product Description:

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Paris is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Stroll through the iconic cityscape; marvel at the abundance of museums bursting with masterpieces; or savour the moment at a Parisian brasserie; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Paris and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Paris:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, fashion, architecture, music, art, film, literature
  • Free, convenient pull-out Paris map (included in print version), plus over 45 colour maps
  • Covers Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Louvre, Les Halles, Montmartre, Le Marais, Menilmontant, Belleville, Bastille, Ile de la Cite, Ile St-Louis, Latin Quarter, St-Germain, Les Invalides, Montparnasse and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Paris , our most comprehensive guide to Paris, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

  • Looking for just the highlights of Paris? Check out Pocket Paris, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, gift and lifestyle books and stationery, as well as an award-winning website, magazines, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Rick Steves Pocket Paris

By Rick Steves & Gene Openshaw

Released: 2017-06-13
Paperback (220 pages)

Rick Steves Pocket Paris
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Product Description:
Rick Steves Pocket guidebooks truly are a “tour guide in your pocket.” This colorful, compact 220-page book includes Rick's advice for prioritizing your time, whether you're spending 1 or 7 days in a city. Everything a busy traveler needs is easy to access: a neighborhood overview, city walks and tours, sights, handy food and accommodations charts, an appendix packed with information on trip planning and practicalities, and a fold-out city map.

Included in Rick Steves Pocket Paris:

Sights: the Orangerie Museum, Rodin Museum, Cluny Museum, Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb, Pompidou Center, Carnavalet Museum, and Picasso Museum

Walks and Tours: the Historic Paris Walk, Louvre Tour, Orsay Museum Tour, Eiffel Tower Tour, Rue Cler Walk, Left Bank Walk, Champs-Elysees Walk, Marais Walk and Versailles Day Trip

Frommer's EasyGuide to Paris 2017 (Easy Guides)

By Anna E. Brooke

Brooke Anna E
Paperback (336 pages)

Frommer s EasyGuide to Paris 2017 (Easy Guides)
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  • Frommer s Easyguide to Paris 2017
Product Description:
A strong case can be made that Paris leads the world's other cities in art and cuisine, in architecture and history, in music and sculpture, in philosophy and political ferment, in nearly every other area on interest to the visitor. It has to be seen and experienced.
Frommer's Easy Guide to Paris is a portable tribute to Paris and a map to enjoying it in the fullest manner possible. The book is fully updated yearly and includes:
- Quickly scanned, smartly-curated lists of the city's highlights and a selection of unique itineraries so you can make the most of your vacation time.
- Exact pricing for hotels, restaurants, attractions, tours and more so there's never any guessing, plus practical information on how to get around, change money and more.
- Detailed maps, including a handy pull-out map and metro stop information for every place in the book
- Fascinating information on the culture, history, art history and cuisine of the city that will make your visit richer
- Picks in all price categories, so you can splurge or be frugal.
- Side-trips to Giverny, Versailles and more.
-16-page photo guide with vibrant photographs at the front of the book plus black and white photos throughout

Little Black Book of Paris, 2017 Edition

By Vesna Neskow

Peter Pauper Press Inc
Hardcover (230 pages)

Little Black Book of Paris, 2017 Edition
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  • Little Black Book of Paris 2017 Edition
Product Description:
2017 Edition. Let this sleek little guidebook help you locate City of Light landmarks, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes, hotels, chic shops, and after-dark stops!
  • Color-coded, numbered entries in the text are keyed to full-color neighborhood maps in each chapter.
  • A city map inside front cover shows you where each neighborhood is located.
  • 10 fold-out maps, including 7 Paris neighborhood maps, a map of attractions on the city's outskirts, an area ''Excursions'' map, and a Paris Metro and RER transportation map.
  • Includes coverage of Belleville and Menilmontant, Paris neighborhoods growing in popularity!
  • ''Top Picks'' direct you to not-to-be-missed attractions.
  • Full-color spot illustrations throughout liven the text.
  • ''Notes'' pages let you record your own discoveries.
  • 4-1/4 inches wide by 5-3/4 inches high.
  • Elastic band attached to back cover keeps your place or keeps book closed.
  • Concealed wire-o hardcover binding; book lies flat for ease of use.
  • ''Black Book'' travel guide format doesn't look ''touristy.''
  • Author Vesna Neskow lived in Europe for 13 years. She speaks six languages. Her television work has been produced by CBS and broadcast on NPR, and she has written for the New York Times Book Review.

National Geographic Walking Paris, 2nd Edition: The Best of the City (National Geographic Pocket Guide)

By Pas Paschali

Paschali Pas
Released: 2016-03-01
Paperback (192 pages)

National Geographic Walking Paris, 2nd Edition: The Best of the City (National Geographic Pocket Guide)
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  • National Geographic Walking Paris The Best of the City
Product Description:
See the delights of Paris with 15 carefully curated itineraries, written by an expert travel writer, that showcase the city's best sights. Fun features include in-depth looks at major icons, "best of" lists of quintessential things to see and do, and insider information full of local knowledge. A "travel essentials" section has planning tips and hand-picked hotels. Travelers will find top-notch, streamlined, and useful information that goes beyond the internet basics to ensure a rewarding, authentic, and memorable urban experience.


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