Paris is France’s capital and most populated city. It is located on the Seine River in northern France, in the heart of the Île-de-France area, commonly known as the région parisienne, or “Paris Region.” Paris has a total size of 105 km2 (41 mi2) and a population of 2,241,346 people.
Paris was built in the third century BC by the Parisii, a Celtic tribe who gave the city its name.
For ages, Paris has drawn artists from all over the globe who come to educate themselves and find inspiration in the city’s immense pool of creative resources and galleries. As a consequence, Paris has earned the moniker “City of Art.”
The Louvre, the world’s most visited art museum, as well as the Musée d’Orsay, known for its collection of French Impressionist painting, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, a museum of modern and contemporary art, are all located in Paris. The Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century), the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century), the Eiffel Tower (1889), and the Basilica of Sacré-Cur atop Montmartre are all noteworthy architectural icons in Paris (1914).
Paris is also recognized for its gourmet cuisine and three-star restaurants, as well as for its fashion, notably the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week. Paris is home to the majority of France’s main universities and grandes écoles, as well as the country’s major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
Paris – Info Card
|POPULATION :||City: 2,240,621 / Metro: 12,341,418|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC +1)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 62%, Muslims 7%, Others 6%, Unaffiliated 25%|
|AREA :||105.4 km2 (40.7 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.40%|
• Female: 51.60%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||75056 / 75001-75020, 75116|
|DIALING CODE :||+33 1|
Tourism in Paris
Paris, France’s cosmopolitan capital, is one of Europe’s greatest agglomerations, with 2.2 million people living in the compact (105 km2) core city and about 12 million in the metropolitan region. Paris, located in the north of the nation on the Seine River, has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, bursting with historic connotations and remains enormously important in the fields of culture, art, fashion, gastronomy, and design. It is known as the City of Light (la Ville Lumière) and the Capital of Fashion, and it is home to some of the world’s most luxury fashion designers and cosmetics, including Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Guerlain, Lancôme, L’Oréal, and Clarins.
Grand Paris (the City and three surrounding districts) had 22.2 million tourists in 2015, a 1.1 percent reduction from 2014, owing to two series of fatal terrorist incidents. The United States (1.8 million, a 3.6 percent decrease from 2014), the United Kingdom (1.08 million), Germany (725,000), Italy (622,000), and Spain received the greatest number of international visitors in 2015. (609,000). Arrivals from Russia (211,000) were down 37% from 2014. Arrivals from the rest of Europe totaled 1 million, a 4.9 percent decrease from 2014. 746,00 visitors came from China, a 40% increase over 2015; 481,000 came from Japan, a 23% decrease over 2015. Arrivals from the Near and Middle East increased by 0.7 percent to 535,000. Arrivals from the Americas outside the United States were 910,000, a 4.9 percent decrease from 2014; 395,000 from Africa, a 6.5 percent rise from 2014; and 1,065,000 from Asia and Oceania excluding China and Japan, a 14.6 percent increase from 2014.
According to the MasterCard Global Cities Destination Index, Paris was the third busiest airline destination in the world in 2015, with 16.06 million tourists, after London (18.8 million) and Bangkok (16.06 million) (18.24 million). According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism-related industries employ 393,008 people in Grand Paris, accounting for 12.4 percent of the total labor force. These industries include hotels, catering, transportation, and leisure.
MONUMENTS AND ATTRACTIONS
In 2015, 74.7 million people visited the city’s museums and monuments, a 7.2 percent decrease from the previous year owing to well reported terrorist incidents. The Notre Dame Cathedral was the city’s most popular tourist attraction in 2015, with 13.6 million visits. In 2015, the Louvre museum had 8.4 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world. The Basilique du Sacré-Cour (10 million visits in 2015), the Eiffel Tower (6.917,000 visitors), the Centre Pompidou (3,060,000 people), and the Musée d’Orsay were the other top cultural attractions in Paris (3,439,000 visitors). Disneyland Paris, near Marne-la-Vallée, 32 kilometers (20 miles) east of Paris, was the most visited tourist destination in France in 2015, with 14.8 million visits.
The most visited sites in Paris are situated in the city center, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Sainte-Chapelle; Les Invalides, where Napoleon’s mausoleum is located, and the Eiffel Tower are located on the Left Bank, south-west of the center. Since 1991, the banks of the Seine from the Pont de Sully to the Pont d’Iéna have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other sites are located east to west along Paris’ historic axis, which extends from the Louvre to the Tuileries Garden, the Luxor Column at Place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Grande Arche de La Défense.
Several additional well-known sites are situated in the city’s outskirts, including the Basilica of St Denis in Seine-Saint-Denis, which is the cradle of Gothic architecture and the royal necropolis of French kings and queens. Three more UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in the Paris region: the Palace of Versailles in the west, the Palace of Fontainebleau in the south, and the medieval fairs site of Provins in the east.
As of 2013, the City of Paris has 1,570 hotels with 70,034 rooms, of which 55 were designated five-star, the majority of which belonged to foreign chains and were largely situated between the center and the Champs-Élysées. Paris has always been known for its opulent hotels. The Hotel Meurice, first established in 1817 for British visitors, was one of Paris’s earliest luxury hotels. The coming of railroads and the 1855 Paris Exposition brought the first stream of visitors and the first modern large hotels: the Hôtel du Louvre (now an antiques mart) in 1855, the Grand Hotel (now the Intercontinental LeGrand) in 1862, and the Hôtel Continental in 1878. The Hôtel Ritz on Place Vendôme was the first to open in 1898, followed by the Hôtel Crillon in an 18th-century structure on Place de la Concorde in 1909, the Hotel Bristol on rue de Fabourg Saint-Honoré in 1925, and the Hotel George V in 1928.
Climate of Paris
Paris has a typical oceanic climate for Western Europe.
Throughout the year, the weather is pleasant and fairly damp.
Summer days are often warm and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 °C (59 to 77 °F) and plenty of sunlight.
Spring and fall offer moderate days and cool nights on average, although they are shifting and unpredictable. Surprisingly warm or chilly weather may occur at any time of year.
Winter days are frigid but typically above freezing, with temperatures hovering about 7 °C (45 °F).
Geography of Paris
Paris is situated in central France’s northernmost region. By road, it is 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of London, 287 kilometers (178 miles) south of Calais, 305 kilometers (190 miles) south of Brussels, 774 kilometers (481 miles) north of Marseille, 385 kilometers (239 miles) north of Nantes, and 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of Rouen.
Paris is situated in the north-bending arc of the Seine River and consists of two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which represent the city’s oldest component. The river’s mouth in the English Channel (La Manche) lies about 233 miles (375 kilometers) downstream of the city, which was founded circa 7600 BC. The metropolis sprawls over both sides of the river.
The city is rather flat overall, with the lowest point being 35 meters (115 feet) above sea level. Paris features numerous significant hills, the tallest of which is Montmartre, which rises 130 meters above the city (427 ft).
Economy of Paris
Today, the City of Paris’ economy is predominantly centered on services and commerce; of the city’s 390,480 businesses, 80.6 percent are involved in trade, transportation, and various services, 6.5 percent in construction, and just 3.8 percent in industry. In the Paris Region, or Île-de-France, the scenario is similar. 76.7 percent of businesses are in trade and services, while 3.4 percent are in industry.
According to the 2012 census, market services accounted for 59.5 percent of jobs in the Paris Region (12.0 percent in wholesale and retail trade, 9.7 percent in professional, scientific, and technical services, 6.5 percent in information and communication, 6.5 percent in transportation and warehousing, 5.9 percent in finance and insurance, 5.8 percent in administrative and support services, 4.6 percent in accommodation and food services, and 8.5 percent in various other market services).
In 2010, the Paris Region had 5.4 million paid workers, with 2.2 million concentrated in 39 pôles d’emplois, or commercial districts. The greatest of these, in terms of personnel count, is known as the QCA, or quartier central des affaires; it is located in the western part of Paris, in the 2nd, 8th, 9th, 16th, and 18th arrondissements. In 2010, it employed 500,000 paid workers, accounting for around 30% of salaried workers in Paris and 10% of those in the Île-de-France. Finance and insurance (16 percent of district employment) and business services were the most active industries in the central business district (15 percent). In addition, the neighborhood has a high concentration of department shops, shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants, as well as government buildings and ministries.
La Défense, immediately west of the city, is the second-largest commercial area in terms of employment, and it is where many corporations established their headquarters in the 1990s. It employed 144,600 people in 2010, with 38% working in banking and insurance and 16% working in business support services. Neuilly-sur-Seine and Levallois-Perret, two additional prominent neighborhoods, are expansions of the Paris commercial center and La Defense. Another neighborhood, which includes Boulogne-Billancourt, Issy-les-Moulineaux, and the southern portion of the 15th arrondissement, is a hub of media and information technology activities.
The top ten French firms featured in the Fortune Global 500 for 2015 all have their headquarters in the Paris Region: six in the City of Paris’ central business area, four in the Hauts-de-Seine Department, three in La Defense, and one in Boulogne-Billancourt. Some corporations, including as Société Générale, have offices in both Paris and La Défense.
With a GDP of €624 billion (US$687 billion) in 2012, the Paris Area is France’s top economic region. In 2011, its GDP ranked second among European regions, while its GDP per capita was the fourth highest in Europe. While the population of the Paris area accounted for 18.8 percent of metropolitan France in 2011, the GDP of the Paris region accounted for 30 percent of metropolitan France’s GDP. In 2015, it housed the global headquarters of 29 of France’s 31 Fortune Global 500 firms.
The economy of the Paris Region has steadily changed from industrial to high-value-added service sectors (banking, IT services, and so on) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). Through the central Hauts-de-Seine department and the suburban La Défense business area, the Paris region’s most concentrated economic activity positions the city’s economic center to the west of the city, in a triangle formed by the Opéra Garnier, La Défense, and the Val de Seine. While the Paris economy is dominated by services, and industrial employment has fallen significantly, the area remains an important manufacturing center, notably for aeronautics, autos, and “green” sectors.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 global cost of living assessment, Paris is the world’s second most expensive city. In the poll, it is joined by Oslo, Zürich, Geneva, and Copenhagen as the most expensive European cities. The ranking analyzes over 400 distinct prices over 160 items and services, and it is used to compute cost-of-living allowances and compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers.
Internet, Comunication in Paris
One advantage of Paris having official and numbered districts is that you can quickly identify which arrondissement an address is in by its postal code, and you can readily get the postal code for a Paris location if you know its arrondissement. Simply add 750 or 7500 to the beginning of the arrondissement number, with 75001 being the postal code for the first arrondissement and 75011 being the postal code for the eleventh, and so on. The 16th arrondissement has two postal codes, 75016 for the area south of Rue de Passy and 75116 for the area north of Rue de Passy; all other arrondissements have just one postal code.
Most “tabacs” offer phone cards, but make sure you know where you can use them before you purchase them, since some establishments still sell cartes cabines, which are difficult to use because cabines are scarce.
Paris has free Internet access through 400 Wi-Fi access points located across the city, including numerous public parks. On your laptop or PDA, look for the network “PARIS WI-FI_” (followed by several numbers).
Starbucks, which is free, is another choice. McDonald’s, Columbus Café, and select Indiana Café outlets are also available. There is also the Wistro network, which is provided by individual coffee shops. You may narrow your search by arrondissement. In general, many cafés and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi.