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Must see attractions in Paris, France

Updated on November 23, 2014

Bienvenue, and thank you for visiting us!

Bienvenue, and thank you for visiting us!

Whether you're strolling along the Seine or soaking up city life from a sidewalk cafe, you'll see why Paris is synonymous with the word style. Of course, you can't miss the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles and the Louvre. But be sure to spend a quiet moment in the Jardin de Tuileries and savor an eclair from a patisserie or a glass of Beaujolais in a romantic bistro. From culinary delights to cultural sights, haute couture to heady romance, Paris will tempt every one of your senses.

Paris is the capital of France. Located on the river Seine, Paris is known as being one of the most beautiful and romantic destinations. The city of Paris with an estimated population of over 2.2 million people, is one of the most populated metropolitan city in Europe.

You will find a rich influcence of culture, art, food and fashion. Paris is home to the wold's famous fashion designers and cosmetics such as Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, L'Oreal and Lancome.

Most famous for its landmarks landmarks, such us the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe , Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum and many more makes Paris one of the most popular tourist destination in the world.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower

Étant la plus saisissante manifestation de l'art des constructions métalliques par lesquelles nos ingénieurs se sont illustrés en Europe, elle est une des formes les plus frappantes de notre génie national moderne.
Being the most striking manifestation of the art of metal structures by which our engineers have shown in Europe, it [the Eiffel Tower] is one of the most striking of our modern national genius. — Gustave Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most visited monument in the world; The tower was named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel. It was built as the entrance arch for the Word Fair in 1889. Three of the tower's levels are accessible for visitors.

You will find restaurants on the first and second level. Jules Verne is the expensive restaurant on the second floor, accessible with a private lift. The tower is 324 meter (1,063 ft) tall.

Interesting Facts:

The Eiffel Tower was the world's tallest building from 1889 to 1930

Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes of paint every seven years to protect it from rust.

The Eiffel Tower was the inspiration for the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, England.

The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level.

The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.

Novelist Guy de Maupassant-who claimed to hate the tower-supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure.

One of the great Hollywood movie cliches is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to 7 stories, only a very few of the taller buildings have a clear view of the tower.


Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Arc de Triomphe

On ne fait rien de grand sans de grands hommes, et ceux-ci le sont pour l'avoir voulu.

Nothing great is done without great men, and they are great because they wanted it. - Charles De Gaulle

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the Place de l'Étoile.

Officially, it is the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, as a smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel exists nearby. It is located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The triumphal arch honours those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.

Interesting Facts:

The monument stands 50 m (160 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep.

It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence.

Napoleon's body passed under it on 15 December 1840 on its way to its second and final resting place at the Invalides.

The sword carried by the Republic in the Marseillaise relief broke off on the day, it is said, that the Battle of Verdun began in 1916.

The inside walls of the monument list the names of 660 persons, among which 558 French generals of the First French Empire.

The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, marking the end of hostilities in World War I, Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel.

A United States postage stamp from 1945 shows the Arc in the background as victorious American troops march down the Champs-Élysées and U.S. airplanes fly overhead.

Champs Elysees

La plus belle avenue du monde.

The most beautiful avenue in the world.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafes, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. With rents as high as €1.1 million (USD1.5 million) annually per 1,100 square feet, it remains the most expensive strip of real estate in Europe. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology.

Interesting Facts:

The Champs-Élysées were originally fields and market gardens, until 1616, when Marie de Medici decided to extend the garden axis of the Palais des Tuileries with an avenue of trees.

By the late 1700s, the Champs-Élysées had become a fashionable avenue; the bosquet plantings on either side had thickened enough to be given formal rectangular glades (cabinets de verdure).

Queen Marie Antoinette drove with her friends and took music lessons at the grand Hotel de Crillon on the Place Louis XV.

Over the years, the avenue has undergone numerous transitions, most recently in 1994, when the sidewalks were widened.

The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has slightly changed its character, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the City of Paris decided in 2007 to ban the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the avenue. In 2008, however, American clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch was given permission to open a store.

The avenue runs for 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique.

Louvre

"La peinture est une poésie qui se voit au lieu de se sentir et la poésie est une peinture qui se sent au lieu de se voir"

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. - Leonardo da Vinci

The Louvre is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris, France and is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible.

Place de la Bastille
Place de la Bastille

Place de la Bastille

Madame, si c'est possible, c'est fait; impossible, cela se fera.

Madam, if a thing is possible, consider it done; the impossible? That will be done. — Charles Alexandre de Calonne

The Bastille was built between 1370 and 1383 as part of the defenses of Paris, the structure was reputedly converted into a prison in the 17th century by Charles VI of France. At that time it primarily housed political prisoners, but also religious prisoners, "seditious" writers, and young rakes held at the request of their families. It began to acquire a poor reputation when it became the main prison for those taken under lettres de cachet issued by the King of France.

Interesting Facts:

The Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris, where the Bastille prison stood until the 'Storming of the Bastille' and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution; no vestige of it remains.

The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) which commemorates the events of the July Revolution (1830) stands at the center of the square.

Other notable features include the Bastille Opera, the Bastille subway station and a section of the Canal Saint Martin.

The square is often home to concerts and similar events.

Prior to 1984, the former Bastille railway station stood where the opera house now stands.

The square straddles 3 arrondissements of Paris, namely the 4th, 11th and 12th. The square and its surrounding areas are normally called simply Bastille.

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the 14th of July, 1789.

Eiffel Tower Web Camera

So you can't make it to Paris just now? No problem, you can still get a live view of the Eiffel Tower, right from home and your PC!

Click here to view the Eiffel Tower Web Camera!

Paris districts
Paris districts

Town Structure

Population of Paris: est 2,152,423

Population of France: 65,447,374 as of January 2010

Region: Île-de-France

Town Structure:

There are 20 numbered districts (called Arrondisements) numbered with the zip codes 75001 to 75020. The districts run through Paris like a spiral from inside out. The spiral begins in the historic center, which is the area around the Louvre, the Palais Royal and Forum des Halles, and ends after two and a quarter turns clockwise extending to the east of the city, the District of Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Each district has a mayor ( maire d' arrondissement) who resides within the district. Each district is divided again in quarters which are numbered 1-80 throughout the districts.

Complete Listing of the 20 districts and its quarters:

1. Arrondissement du Louvre

  • 1. Quartier Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois
  • 2. Quartier des Halles
  • 3. Quartier du Palais-Royal
  • 4. Quartier de la Place Vendôme

2. Arrondissement de la Bourse

  • 5. Quartier Gaillon
  • 6. Quartier Vivienne
  • 7. Quartier du Mail
  • 8. Quartier de Bonne-Nouvelle

3. Arrondissement du Temple

  • 9. Quartier des Arts-et-Métiers
  • 10. Quartier des Enfants-Rouges
  • 11. Quartier des Archives
  • 12. Quartier Sainte-Avoye

4. Arrondissement de l’Hôtel de Ville

  • 13. Quartier Saint-Merri
  • 14. Quartier Saint-Gervais
  • 15. Quartier de l’Arsenal
  • 16. Quartier Notre-Dame

5. Arrondissement du Panthéon

  • 17. Quartier Saint-Victor
  • 18. Quartier du Jardin des Plantes
  • 19. Quartier du Val-de-Grâce
  • 20. Quartier de la Sorbonne

6. Arrondissement du Luxembourg

  • 21. Quartier de la Monnaie
  • 22. Quartier de l’Odéon
  • 23. Quartier Notre-Dame-des-Champs
  • 24. Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés

7. Arrondissement du Palais Bourbon

  • 25. Quartier Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin
  • 26. Quartier des Invalides
  • 27. Quartier de l’École Militaire
  • 28. Quartier du Gros-Caillou

8. Arrondissement de l’Élysée

  • 29. Quartier des Champs-Élysées
  • 30. Quartier du Faubourg du Roule
  • 31. Quartier de la Madeleine
  • 32. Quartier de l’Europe

9. Arrondissement de l’Opéra

  • 33. Quartier Saint-Georges
  • 34. Quartier de la Chaussée-d’Antin
  • 35. Quartier du Faubourg Montmartre
  • 36. Quartier de Rochechouard

10. Arrondissement de l’Entrepôt

  • 37. Quartier Saint-Vincent-de-Paul
  • 38. Quartier de la Porte Saint-Denis
  • 39. Quartier de la Porte Saint-Martin
  • 40. Quartier de l’Hôpital Saint-Louis

11. Arrondissement de Popincourt

  • 41. Quartier de la Folie-Méricourt
  • 42. Quartier Saint-Ambroise
  • 43. Quartier de la Roquette
  • 44. Quartier Sainte-Marguerite

12. Arrondissement de Reuilly

  • 45. Quartier du Bel-Air
  • 46. Quartier de Picpus
  • 47. Quartier de Bercy
  • 48. Quartier des Quinze-Vingts

13. Arrondissement des Gobelins

  • 49. Quartier de la Salpêtrière
  • 50. Quartier de la Gare
  • 51. Quartier de la Maison-Blanche
  • 52. Quartier de Croulebarbe

14. Arrondissement de l’Observatoire

  • 53. Quartier du Montparnasse
  • 54. Quartier du Parc de Montsouris
  • 55. Quartier du Petit-Montrouge
  • 56. Quartier de Plaisance

15. Arrondissement de Vaugirard

  • 57. Quartier Saint-Lambert
  • 58. Quartier Necker
  • 59. Quartier de Grenelle
  • 60. Quartier de Javel

16. Arrondissement de Passy

  • 61. Quartier d’Auteuil
  • 62. Quartier de la Muette
  • 63. Quartier de la Porte Dauphine
  • 64. Quartier de Chaillot

17. Arrondissement des Batignolles-Monceaux

  • 65. Quartier des Ternes
  • 66. Quartier de la plaine de Monceaux
  • 67. Quartier des Batignolles
  • 68. Quartier des Épinettes

18. Arrondissement de la Buttes-Montmartre

  • 69. Quartier des Grandes-Carrières
  • 70. Quartier de Clignancourt
  • 71. Quartier de la Goutte d’Or
  • 72. Quartier de La Chapelle

19. Arrondissement des Buttes-Chaumont

  • 73. Quartier de La Villette
  • 74. Quartier du Pont de Flandre
  • 75. Quartier d’Amérique
  • 76. Quartier du Combat

20. Arrondissement de Ménilmontant

  • 77. Quartier de Belleville
  • 78. Quartier Saint-Fargeau
  • 79. Quartier du Père-Lachaise
  • 80. Quartier de Charonne

History of Paris

The History of the town Paris dates back over 2000 years. During this period the city developed from the small celtic settlement Lutetia to the tribe of Parisii to today's metropolis and the capital France.

Ancient Times

The city grew since the middle of the third Century BC from the Celtic Settlement Lutetia to the tribe of Parisii on the Seine island (Ile de la Cité). The name Lutetia was first mentioned 53 BC in the 6th book of Julius Caesar on Gallic War (De Bello Gallico).After they first failed, the Romans approached Lutetia a second time in the year 52 BC.

They set fire and destroyed the bridges before they went into position. The victorious Romans left the island and positioned themselves on the left bank of the Seine, later called Montagne-Sainte-Genevieve hill, a new Roman city. There they built hot springs, a forum and an amphitheater. The city was know in the Roman Empire as Civitas Parisiorum or Parisia.

A great resource for a detailed overview of the History of Paris and History of France is Wikipedia: History of Paris

Upcoming events in Paris

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