Map of routes and landmarks in Paris
1. Eiffel Tower
3. Notre Dame Cathedral
4. Triumphal Arch
5. Musée d'Orsay
Flag and Coat of Arms of Paris
Paris city limits: ~2.5 million
Metropolitan area: ~12 million
Nearby cities and towns
Saint-Denis (10 km / 6 mi)
Versailles (27 km / 17 mi)
Orléans (133 km / 83 mi)
Amiens (158 km / 98 mi)
Orléans (226 km / 140)
Tours (239 km / 149 mi)
Brussels, Belgium (320 km / 199 mi)
Paris and its surrounding areas are extensive, so visitors are encouraged to plan their method of transportation ahead of time.
Paris's public transportation is managed by RATP, which oversees the metro, public buses and the tramway. The metro is the quickest and cheapest method of transport. Its 16 lines and 300 stations cover nearly the entire city.
Paris has two airports: Paris-Charles de Gaule and Paris-Orly, both of which are about 40 minutes away from the city center by car or public transportation. The G7 taxi service is stationed at both airports and offers services for people with limited mobility.
Train company SNCF manages train transport in all of France, and is a useful and affordable way to travel short and medium-length distances between Paris and other French cities and towns (travelers are advised to buy tickets ahead of time).
In the early 20th century, this metropolis known as the “city of lights” staked its claim as the cultural, political and economic power of the West. The question is, is Paris still all that it was? It does indeed still hold all the charisma it could ever need – Paris has helped make France one of the most visited countries in the world. As for the rest, you’ll have to decide for yourself after immersing yourself in the Parisian life, having strolled down its grand boulevards like Champs Elysées, visited its magnificent museums and sipped numerous coffees in its chic cafés. Complete the experience by treating yourself to some fine dining along the Seine, accompanied by a freshly baked baguette and a glass of exquisite wine.
Speaking of what attracts visitors – the Eiffel Tower is now the most visited monument of the world and the symbol of Paris, though it did initially receive criticism for its design. Built by Gustave Eiffel, it was inaugurated in 1889 as the main attraction of the Paris World Fair. At 324 meters (1,063 feet), the monument towers over Champs Mars, the surrounding open space with crisscrossing paths and florid gardens. It was the tallest structure in the world until 1930, when it was dethroned by the Chrysler building in New York. You can get a great view of the Eiffel Tower from afar atop the hill of the Montmartre historical district, at the foot of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This beautiful basilica was designed by Paul Abadie following the Franco-Prussian War and was inaugurated in 1919. Below the basilica lie the romantic streets that were once home to artists like Dali, Picasso, Renoir and Van Gogh. A tranquil escape from the flurry of the city, Montmartre’s artistic effervescence has made it a notable tourist attraction.
These artistic currents have vigorously flowed through Paris for centuries. Paris’s many museums are witnesses of the city’s long relationship with art, with the Louvre at the front. The most visited and largest museum in the world (nearly three times the area of the British Museum), the Louvre exhibits numerous collections of ancient civilizations, as well as the works of world-famous artists like Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Delacroix, Caravaggio, Goya, Van Gogh and Rubens, among others. Just a few hundred meters from the Louvre are the Orsay and Orangerie Museums, which complete Paris’s collection of western art, with the world’s largest repertoire of impressionist and post-impressionist art.
In this city of showy splendor and luxury, the famous Versailles Palace is perhaps what most stands out in extravagance (see route 6). Less-known but equal in opulence is Garnier Palace. This palace exhibits a large, multi-colored marble dome suspended 30 meters (100 feet) in the air, a majestic main stairway and ceilings painted by the esteemed Marc Chagall. Built by Parisian architect Charles Garnier, who also constructed the Monte-Carlo Casino of Monaco, the palace is now home to the Paris Opera House.
Though most agree that Paris is a charismatic city, it’s not so easy to concur in which season it is most charming. Only one way to find out… so, until next time! Paris awaits you…
Website of Montmartre tourism
Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier)
Museum l'Orangerie (Realism/Impressionism)
Galliera Museum (museum of fashion)