Paris is and always have been a great place to travel to, it’s history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:
Paris, capital of France
It’s 105 square kilometres which is about 41 square miles, it was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city it’s name.
In the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre. It’s also the home of one of the oldest Universities in history; The University of Paris.
In the 17th century Paris became one of Europe’s major finance, commerce, fashion, science, and arts center, a position that still keeps today.
Paris is the banking and financial centre of France, houses the headquarters of 29 of the 31 French companies ranked in the 2015 Fortune Global 500.
The city is also a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, serves two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle which is the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport, and Paris-Orly.
The Paris Metro opened in 1900, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It’s the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro.
The central area of the city along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral (12th – 13th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (1900); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre (1914).
Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, which includes Haute Couture, Paris Fashion Week for Men, and Paris Sping and Summer Collections.
Paris has alot of restaurants that are three stars or better, known for it’s fine food.
Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération are France’s major newspapers.
The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are also based in Paris.
If you are a sports fan you will like to visit the 80,000 seat Stade de France, which was constructed for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint Denis.
Paris was also the hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.
Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics – and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 were all held in the city, and every July the cycling Tour de France finishes there.
The Louvre Museum has some 35,000 artworks. View the paintings, sculpture and architecture from 450 BC to the 19th century.
Among the most popular is Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.
The museum has an English-speaking tour guide, with audio headsets, great for those who like to stand behind the crowd.
Enjoy a walking tour of the Palais Garnier, Paris’ premier opera house, it’s one of largest opera houses in Europe.
The Opera Garnier, as it is often called, inspired the setting for the famous musical, ‘Phantom of the Opera.’
There you will see the Grand Foyer, the main staircase (Grand Escalier in French).
The Neo-Baroque décor of this beautiful palace was designed by French architect Charles Garnier in the late 19th century. A guided tour usually takes an hour and a half to complete.
One of the unique things of France is that it offers you the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride, over Fontainebleau.
One of the highlights is watching the balloon inflation process, then taking a flight over the Fontainbleau countryside.
This was a former hunting ground of French royalty.
Once above you can view the whole town, the castle, and the wildlife of the forest.
When you land, you get to enjoy a glass of Champagne for the traditional toast des aéronautes, and then return by vehicle to the starting point.
Montmartre is the hilly part of Paris, decorated by a staircase that leads to the famous Sacré Coeur Cathedral.
There is another church on the hill, the older Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which is the founding place of the Jesuits.
The area is also famous for its nightlife and artists. The Moulin Rouge the cabaret that invented the can-can, a feisty French dance that put Montmartre on the map.
During sometime in their life artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Modigliani, Renoir and Dali all lived and or worked for some time in the area.
The Dali Espace museum is also worth a visit. Then make your way into a different kind of Paris as you stroll along quiet country streets that will make you forget you’re in a major European capital!
At the highest natural point you can appreciate two stunning views: the magnificent Sacré Coeur basilica on one side, and a panorama of Paris on the other.
If you are about to travel to Paris, do not forget to pack the right adapters for your small appliances. Otherwise, you will get yourself into trouble.
Electricity in France—and more generally in Europe—comes out of the electrical outlets at 230-240 volts. In the US, the voltage is 110 volts.
The Paris train, metro, RER, tram and bus system uses a smart card called Passe Navigo Découverte for week passes.
These passes are open to visitors as opposed to normal Navigo passes which are for residents of Ile-de-France only.
The services included are any metro, RER (suburban) train, buses (RATP/Noctilien/Optile), and trams up to the zone limits of your pass.
You can buy a Navigo Découverte pass at nearly any Metro, RER, Transilien train ticket window that normally sells tickets and passes.
Have a good time in Paris, take lots of pictures and share some with us, bon voyage!