Facts About Paris
Paris is the capital of France and its most populated city with a total of 2,175,601 residents as of the year 2018. Paris has been one of the biggest urban centers in Europe for diplomacy, fashion, finance, science, arts and gastronomy since the 17th century. It is the seat and center of Government for the region and province of Ile-de-France or Paris Region.
Here are some interesting facts about Paris:
- The Eiffel Tower was initially a temporary installation for 20 years, having been built for the World Fair I 1889.
- Paris was originally Lutetia, a Roman city.
- Paris has a single stop sign as believed.
- There are three Statue of Liberty replicas in Paris.
- A Paris apartment remained unoccupied and locked for 70 years with the rent paid every month. However, with the passing away of the renter, a painting by Boldini was found in it, valued in excess of $2 million.
- Emmanuel is the name of the main Notre Dame Cathedral bell and it weighs more than 13 tonnes.
- There are 6,100 rues or streets in the city.
- The first public screening of any movie was by Auguste and Louis Lumiere in December 1895 with the cinematographe, their invention.
- Eiffel Tower visitors have to climb 1,665 steps for arriving at the top unless they take the elevator instead.
- Paris received a whopping 38 million visitors for 2019 with the most visitors from UK, USA, China and Germany. It was the world’s second highest visited destination in 2019 after Bangkok.
- The 80,000 seater Stade de France was developed for the FIFA World Cup held in 1998.
- Paris hosted the Olympic Games in 1900, 1924 and will host again in 2024. The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, 2007 Rugby World Cup and 1960, 1984 and 2016 UEFA European Championships were held here. It is known for the annual Tour de France bicycling race.
The Paris Region achieved a GDP of $808 billion or €709 billion for 2017. The city is the world’s second costliest after Singapore. Paris has the 5th busiest global airport system with three commercial international airports, namely Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Beauvais-Tille Airport and Paris-Orly Airport. Paris-Le Bourget is a general aviation airport.
Cost of Living in Paris
You can expect to pay around €15 for a meal in a regular restaurant and €1.70-2 for a one-way local transportation ticket. €75 will be a monthly transportation pass cost while basic utilities will cost around €178.65 on average. Apartment rentals usually vary between €650-4,000 in Paris.
Tips for Visiting Paris
Here are some useful tips for visiting Paris:
- ATMs are the safest places to withdraw money and exchange currency.
- Most establishments require debit/credit cards with a chip and pin. Magnetic stripe cards do not work.
- Most establishments will also take cash for transactions worth more than €10. However, avoid carrying excessive cash with you for safety reasons.
- Travel insurance is recommended for a safer trip. Paris has SOS Medecins for on-call doctors.
- The best views of the city are from the Arc De Triomphe.
- The Louvre is the world’s biggest art museum with 35,000+ artworks including the Mona Lisa. Do not be overwhelmed. Plan the itinerary carefully.
- Buy a 10 pack ticket or Paris Pass for metro transportation.
- Dinner services start late around 7.30PM at most Paris restaurants which may also close between lunch and dinner.
- Tipping €1-2 is desirable for good service at restaurants.
- Good manners are important in Paris and you should greet people with a warm Bonjour.
- A tourist pass will help you save 30-50% on sightseeing costs. Choose from the Paris Museum Pass, Paris Pass and Paris Fast Pass.
Things to Do in Paris
Q. What are the most popular things to do in Paris?
Popular activities in Paris include visiting the Eiffel Tower, Latin Quarter, exploring Le Marais, eating pastries at Rue Royale, visiting the Chateau de Versailles and relaxing at Ile Saint-Louis.
Q. What are some free things to do in Paris?
Free things to do in Paris include exploring the Jardins des Tuileries, Champs Elysees, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral and Musee de la Sculpture en Plein Air.
Q. Does Paris have many romantic attractions?
Romantic attractions in Paris include Place des Vosges, Palace de Versailles, Palais Garnier, Ile Saint Louise, Sacre Coeur Basilica and Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
Q. What are the most family-friendly things to do in Paris?
Family-friendly things to do in Paris include the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay scavenger hunt, gargoyle’s view from Notre Dame Cathedral and checking out the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.
Q. What are the more unusual things to do in Paris?
Unusual things to do in Paris include the 5 Statues of Liberty, Rue des Degres, the smallest street in the city, Rue Denoyez, the most artistically elevated street, Asian Pagoda at the 8th arrondissement and more.
Places to Visit in Paris
Some of the best places to visit in Paris include the following:
- Eiffel Tower – The biggest attraction of Paris, it was built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. It is 324 meters high and one of the world’s most visited monuments.
- Notre Dame Cathedral – One of the city’s biggest landmarks, it showcases spellbinding architecture and was completed in 1345. The sculptures and gargoyles add to the enchantment.
- Louvre Museum – The biggest and most visited global art museum, it has the famous Mona Lisa amongst thousands of artworks by the world’s biggest legends.
- Champs Elysees or Arc or Triumph – The triumphal arch was commissioned to Jean Chalgrin by Napoleon and was built in the 19th century. The panoramic terrace offers a fabulous view of Paris. The Arc de Triomphe lies on the Place de l’Etoile that goes to the Champs Elysees, the world’s most beautiful avenue.
Places to Eat in Paris
Top places to eat in Paris include the famous Le Fouquet’s which opened in 1899. This legendary restaurant is a must-visit along with other top choices including Café de Flore, Tour d’Argent, Le Relais Plaza and L’As du Fallafel.
Street Food in Paris
Top street food choices in Paris include baguette sandwiches, crepes, souvlakis, assorted cheese, tacos, croissants, steak tartare and the famous escargots. You can also try Jambon-beurre which is classic Parisian street food and macarons.
Shopping in Paris
The Champs Elysees is the luxury shopping hub of Paris and you will find stores by top names like Louis Vuitton, Guerlain and Cartier here. Other shopping spots include Rue Saint-Honore, Rue de Rivoli, Avenue Montaigne and Boulevard Haussmann among many others. Paris is the fashion capital of the world and a veritable shopping paradise.
Transportation in Paris
The IDFM syndicate manages public transportation and contracts to the RATP that operates bus lines, tramway lines, the Metro and suburban railway lines. There is a consortium of private bus operators too. Paris has six vital railway stations along with the busiest subway network in the EU (European Union), namely the Paris Metro. The light rail network aside, Paris also has three commercial airports including the Beauvais-Tille Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris-Orly Airport. There is the general aviation Paris-Le Bourget airport for private business flights.
Weather in Paris
The best time to visit Paris is between April and June and October and early November. Weather remains pleasant in these months. Paris is a destination that can be visited round the year. Summers between June and September are ideal for outdoor festivities.