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Paris
Flag of Paris
Coat of arms of Paris
City flag City coat of arms
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: She is tossed by the waves but is not sunk)
Panorama Paris December 2007.jpg
The Eiffel Tower (foreground) and the skyscrapers of the
La Défense business district (background).
Location
Paris is located in France
Paris
Time zone CET (UTC +1)
Administration
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Paris (75)
Subdivisions 20 arrondissements
Mayor Bertrand Delanoë (PS)
(2008–2014)
Statistics
Land area1 [1] 1,118 km2 (432 sq mi)
Population2 2,203,817  (January 1, 2009 estimate[2])
 - Ranking 1st in France
Urban spread
Urban area 2,723 km2 (1,051 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 10,142,983[3] (2006)
Metro area 14,518.3 km2 (5,605.5 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 11,769,433[4] (2006)
Website paris.fr
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Paris (pronounced /ˈparɪs/ in English, [paʁi]  ( listen) in French) is the capital and primate city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (or Paris Region, French: Région parisienne). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,203,817 (January 2006),[5] but the Paris aire urbaine (or metropolitan area) has a population of 11,769,433 (January 2006),[4] and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.[6]
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[7]
Paris and the Paris Region, with €552.7 billion (US$813.4 billion) in 2008, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France.[8] According to 2007 estimates, the Paris urban agglomeration is Europe's biggest city economy[9] and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris Region hosts 38 of the Fortune Global 500 companies[10] in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in Europe.[11] Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club. According to the latest survey from Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010, Paris is the world's most expensive city to live in.[12]
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Paris region receives 45 million tourists annually, 60% of whom are foreign visitors.[13] The city and region contain numerous iconic landmarks, world-famous institutions and popular parks.

Etymology

The name Paris derives from that of its inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Parisii. .The city was called Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"), during the first- to sixth-century Roman occupation, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate (360–363) the city was renamed Paris.^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
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[14]
Others consider that the name of the Parisii tribe comes from the Celtic Gallic word parisio meaning "the working people" or "the craftsmen."[15] Since the early 20th century, Paris has been known as Paname ([panam]) in French slang (Ltspkr.pngMoi j'suis d'Paname, i.e. "I'm from Paname"), a slang name that has been regaining favor with young people in recent years.[citation needed]
Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumière" ("The City of Light"),[16] a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment, and later to its early adoption of street lighting.[17]
Paris' inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens ([paʁizjɛ̃]  ( listen)). Parisians are often pejoratively called Parigots ([paʁiɡo]  ( listen)), a term first used in 1900[18] by those living outside the Paris region, but now the term may be considered endearing by Parisians themselves.
See Wiktionary for the name of Paris in various languages other than English and French.

History

Beginnings

The earliest archaeological signs of permanent habitation in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC.[19] The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the area near the river Seine from around 250 BC[20]. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC,[19] with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Geneviève Hill and the Île de la Cité. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, but later Gallicised to Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.[21] The collapse of the Roman empire and the fifth-century Germanic invasions sent the city into a period of decline. By 400 AD, Lutèce, by then largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was little more than a garrison town entrenched into the hastily fortified central island.[19] The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation. The Frankish king Clovis I established Paris as his capital in 508.

Middle Ages to 19th century

The Louvre fortress from the early 15th century illuminated manuscript Book of Hours, Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, month of October.
Paris's population was around 200,000[22] when the Black Death arrived in 1348, killing as many as 800 people a day, and 40,000 died from the plague in 1466.[23] Paris lost its position as seat of the French realm during occupation of the English-allied Burgundians during the Hundred Years' War, but regained its title when Charles VII of France reclaimed the city from English rule in 1436. Paris from then became France's capital once again in title, but France's real centre of power would remain in the Loire Valley[24] until King Francis I returned France's crown residences to Paris in 1528. During the French Wars of Religion, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party. In August 1572, under the reign of Charles IX, while many noble Protestants were in Paris on the occasion of the marriage of Henry of Navarre, the future Henry IV, to Margaret of Valois, sister of Charles IX, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre occurred; begun on 24 August, it lasted several days and spread throughout the country.[25][26] During the Fronde, Parisians rose in rebellion and the royal family fled the city (1648). King Louis XIV then moved the royal court permanently to Versailles in 1682. A century later, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution, with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 and the overthrow of the monarchy in September 1792.[27]

Nineteenth century

Paris was occupied by Russian Cossack and Kalmyk cavalry units upon Napoleon's defeat on the 31st of March 1814; this was the first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a foreign power.[28] The ensuing Restoration period, or the return of the monarchy under Louis XVIII (1814–1824) and Charles X, ended with the July Revolution Parisian uprising of 1830. The new 'constitutional monarchy' under Louis-Philippe ended with the 1848 "February Revolution" that led to the creation of the Second Republic.
Throughout these events, cholera epidemics in 1832 and 1849 ravaged the population of Paris; the 1832 epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the population of 650,000.[29]
The greatest development in Paris's history began with the Industrial Revolution creation of a network of railways that brought an unprecedented flow of migrants to the capital from the 1840s. The city's largest transformation came with the 1852 Second Empire under Napoleon III; his préfet Haussmann levelled entire districts of Paris' narrow, winding medieval streets to create the network of wide avenues and neo-classical façades that still make much of modern Paris; the reason for this transformation was twofold, as not only did the creation of wide boulevards beautify and sanitize the capital, it also facilitated the effectiveness of troops and artillery against any further uprisings and barricades that Paris was so famous for.[30]
.The Second Empire ended in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), and a besieged Paris under heavy bombardment surrendered on the 28th of January 1871. The discontent of Paris' populace with the new armistice-signing government seated in Versailles resulted in the creation of a Parisian "Commune" government, supported by an army in large part created from members of the City's former National Guard, that would both continue resistance against the Prussians and oppose the government "Versaillais" army.^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
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The result was a bloody Semaine Sanglante that resulted in the death, many by summary execution, of roughly 20,000 "communards" before the fighting ended on May 28, 1871.[31] The ease at which the Versaillais army overtook Paris owed much to Baron Haussmann's earlier renovations.
France's late 19th-century Universal Expositions made Paris an increasingly important centre of technology, trade and tourism.[32] Its most famous were the 1889 Universal Exposition to which Paris owes its "temporary" display of architectural engineering prowess, the Eiffel Tower, a structure that remained the world's tallest building until 1930; the 1900 Universal Exposition saw the opening of the first Paris Métro line.

Twentieth century

Liberation of Paris in August 1944.
During World War I, Paris was at the forefront of the war effort, having been spared a German invasion by the French and British victory at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. In 1918–1919, it was the scene of Allied victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife. The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, from exiled Russian composer Stravinsky and Spanish painters Picasso and Dalí to American writer Hemingway.[33] On 14 June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France, Paris fell to German occupation forces, who remained there until the city was liberated in August 1944 after a resistance uprising, two and a half months after the Normandy invasion.[34] Central Paris endured World War II practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (train stations in central Paris are terminal stations; major factories were located in the suburbs). Also, German General von Choltitz did not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as ordered by Adolf Hitler, who had visited the city in 1940.[35]
In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle Époque in 1914. The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of the business district La Défense. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER, was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs, while a network of freeways was developed in the suburbs, centred on the Périphérique expressway circling around the city.[36][37][38]
Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the north and eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization, and the once-thriving cités have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and oases of unemployment.[39][40] At the same time, the city of Paris (within its Périphérique expressway) and the western and southern suburbs have successfully shifted their economic base from traditional manufacturing to high-value-added services and high-tech manufacturing, generating great wealth for their residents whose per capita income is among the highest in Europe.[41][42][43] The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s, such as the 2005 riots which largely concentrated in the north-eastern suburbs.[44]

Twenty-first century

In order to alleviate social tensions in the inner suburbs and revitalise the metropolitan economy of Paris, several plans are currently underway. The office of Secretary of State for the Development of the Capital Region was created in March 2008 within the French government. Its office holder, Christian Blanc, is in charge of overseeing President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans for the creation of an integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris") metropolitan authority (see Administration section below), as well as the extension of the subway network to cope with the renewed growth of population in Paris and its suburbs, and various economic development projects to boost the metropolitan economy such as the creation of a world-class technology and scientific cluster and university campus on the Saclay plateau in the southern suburbs.
In parallel, President Sarkozy also launched in 2008 an international urban and architectural competition for the future development of metropolitan Paris. Ten teams which bring together architects, urban planners, geographers, landscape architects will offer their vision for building a Paris metropolis of the 21st century in the Kyoto Protocol era and make a prospective diagnosis for Paris and its suburbs that will define future developments in Greater Paris for the next 40 years. The goal is not only to build an environmentally sustainable metropolis but also to integrate the inner suburbs with the central City of Paris through large-scale urban planning operations and iconic architectural projects.
Meanwhile, in an effort to boost the global economic image of metropolitan Paris, several skyscrapers (300 m (984 ft) and higher) have been approved since 2006 in the business district of La Défense, to the west of the city proper, and are scheduled to be completed by the early 2010s. Paris authorities also made public they are planning to authorise the construction of skyscrapers within the city proper by relaxing the cap on building height for the first time since the construction of the Tour Montparnasse in the early 1970s.

Geography

Paris seen from Spot Satellite
Paris is located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine and includes two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which form the oldest part of the city. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest elevation is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, of which the highest is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft).[45]
Paris, excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, covers an oval measuring 86.928 km2 (34 sq mi) in area.[citation needed] The city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but created the twenty clockwise-spiralling arrondissements (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km2 (30 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) in the 1920s. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks were officially annexed to the city, bringing its area to the present 105.39 km2 (41 sq mi)[46].

Climate

Paris has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) and is affected by the North Atlantic Current, so the city rarely sees extremely high or low temperatures, such as the heat wave of 2003 and the cold wave of 2006.
Paris has warm and pleasant summers with average high temperatures of 25 °C (77 °F) and low of 15 °C (59 °F). Winter is chilly, but temperature is around 3 °C (37 °F) to 8 °C (46 °F), and rarely falls below the freezing point. Spring and autumn have mild to occasionally warm days and cool evenings. Rain falls throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city, it is known for sudden showers. Average annual precipitation is 642 mm (25 in) with light rainfall fairly distributed throughout the year. Snowfall is rare, but the city sometimes sees light snow or flurries without accumulation. The highest recorded temperature is 40.4 °C (105 °F) on 28 July 1948, and the lowest is a −23.9 °C (−11 °F) on 10 December 1879.[47]
Climate data for Paris, France
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
(45)
8.3
(47)
12.8
(55)
15.6
(60)
20
(68)
23.3
(74)
24.4
(76)
25
(77)
21.7
(71)
16.1
(61)
10.6
(51)
7.8
(46)
16.1
(61)
Average low °C (°F) 3.3
(38)
4.4
(40)
6.1
(43)
7.8
(46)
11.7
(53)
14.4
(58)
16.1
(61)
16.7
(62)
13.9
(57)
10.6
(51)
6.1
(43)
4.4
(40)
9.4
(49)
Precipitation mm (inches) 55
(2.17)
45
(1.77)
52
(2.05)
50
(1.97)
62
(2.44)
53
(2.09)
58
(2.28)
46
(1.81)
53
(2.09)
55
(2.17)
57
(2.24)
55
(2.17)
642
(25.28)
Sunshine hours 59 89 134 176 203 221 240 228 183 133 79 53 1,798
Source: MSN Weather[48] 2009-01-06

Cityscape

Panoramic view over the western side of Paris, at dusk, from the top of the Tour Montparnasse.

Architecture

Typical Parisian architecture in the 7th arrondissement.
Much of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-nineteenth century urban remodelling. For centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning in 1852, the Baron Haussmann's urbanisation program involved leveling entire quarters to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing. Most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today. The building code has seen few changes since, and the Second Empire plans are in many cases still followed. The "alignement" law is still in place, which regulates building facades of new constructions according to a pre-defined street width. A building's height is limited according to the width of the streets it lines, and under the regulation, it is difficult to get an approval to build a taller building.
Many of Paris's important institutions are located outside the city limits. The financial (La Défense) business district, the main food wholesale market (Rungis), schools (École Polytechnique, HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD), research laboratories (in Saclay or Évry), the largest stadium (the Stade de France), and government offices (Ministry of Transportation) are located in the city's suburbs.

Districts and historical centres

Galeries Lafayette department store in boulevard Haussmann

City of Paris

.
  • Place de la Bastille (4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, right bank) is a district of great historical significance, not only for Paris, but for France, too.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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    ^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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    Because of its symbolic value, the square has often been a site of political demonstrations.
  • Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement, right bank) is a seventeenth century garden-promenade-turned-avenue connecting the Concorde and Arc de Triomphe. It is one of the many tourist attractions and a major shopping street of Paris.
  • Place de la Concorde (8th arrondissement, right bank) is at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, built as the "Place Louis XV", site of the infamous guillotine. The Egyptian obelisk is Paris' "oldest monument". On this place, on either side of the Rue Royale, there are two identical stone buildings: The eastern one houses the French Naval Ministry, the western the luxurious Hôtel de Crillon. Nearby Place Vendôme is famous for its fashionable and deluxe hotels (Hôtel Ritz and Hôtel de Vendôme) and its jewellers. Many famous fashion designers have had their salons in the square.
  • Les Halles (1st arrondissement, right bank) was formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, and, since the late 1970s, a major shopping centre around an important metro connection station (Châtelet-Les Halles, the biggest in Europe). The past Les Halles was destroyed in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles. The central market of Paris, the biggest wholesale food market in the world, was transferred to Rungis, in the southern suburbs.
  • Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements) is a trendy Right Bank district. It is architecturally very well-preserved, and some of the oldest houses and buildings of Paris can be found there. It is a very culturally open place.
  • Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), next to the Champs-Élysées, is home to luxury brand labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Dior and Givenchy.
  • Montmartre (18th arrondissement, right bank) is a historic area on the Butte, home to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Montmartre has always had a history with artists and has many studios and cafés of many great artists in that area.
  • Montparnasse (14th arrondissement) is a historic Left Bank area famous for artists' studios, music halls, and café life. The large Montparnasse - Bienvenüe métro station and the lone Tour Montparnasse skyscraper are located there.
  • Avenue de l'Opéra (9th arrondissement, right bank) is the area around the Opéra Garnier and the location of the capital's densest concentration of both department stores and offices. A few examples are the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette grands magasins (department stores), and the Paris headquarters of financial giants such as BNP Paribas and American Express.
  • Quartier Latin (5th and 6th arrondissements, left bank) is a twelfth-century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the Left Bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne campus. It is known for its lively atmosphere and many bistros. Various higher-education establishments, such as the École Normale Supérieure, TELECOM ParisTech, and the Jussieu university campus, make it a major educational centre in Paris.
  • Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arrondissement, right bank) is one of Paris' high-fashion districts, home to labels such as Hermès and Christian Lacroix.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées at Christmas 2008.

In the Paris area

  • La Défense (straddling the communes of Courbevoie, Puteaux, and Nanterre, 2.5 km (2 mi) west of the city proper) is a key suburb of Paris and is one of the largest business centres in the world. Built at the western end of a westward extension of Paris' historical axis from the Champs-Élysées, La Défense consists mainly of business high-rises. Initiated by the French government in 1958, the district hosts 3,500,000 m2 (37,673,686 sq ft) of offices, making it the largest district in Europe specifically developed for business. The Grande Arche (Great Arch) of la Défense, which houses a part of the French Transports Minister's headquarters, ends the central Esplanade, around which the district is organised.
  • Plaine Saint-Denis (straddling the communes of Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, and Saint-Ouen, immediately north of the 18th arrondissement, across the Périphérique ring road) is a former derelict manufacturing area that has undergone large-scale urban renewal in the last 10 years. It now hosts the Stade de France, around which is being built the new business district of LandyFrance, with two RER stations (on RER line B and D) and possibly some skyscrapers. In the Plaine Saint-Denis are also located most of France's television studios as well as some major movie studios.
  • Val de Seine (straddling the 15th arrondissement and the communes of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt to the south-west of central Paris) is the new media hub of Paris and France, hosting the headquarters of most of France's TV networks (TF1 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France 2 in the 15th arrondissement, Canal+ and the international channels France 24 and Eurosport in Issy-les-Moulineaux), as well as several telecommunication and IT companies such as Neuf Cegetel in Boulogne-Billancourt or Microsoft's Europe, Africa & Middle East regional headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Monuments and landmarks

Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the twelfth-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the nineteenth-century Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Historical axis is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards: The line of monuments begins with the Louvre and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l'Étoile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even further west to the La Défense business district dominated by square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon, and the Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their deaths during the French Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the Île des Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden. A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Opera and the Paris Opera Ballet, while the former palace of the Louvre now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. The Sorbonne is the most famous part of the University of Paris and is based in the centre of the Latin Quarter. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces including the Gothic thirteenth-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the Église de la Madeleine.

Parks and gardens

Two of Paris' oldest and famous gardens are the Tuileries Garden, created in the 16th century for a palace on the banks of the Seine near the Louvre, and the Left bank Luxembourg Garden, another former private garden belonging to a château built for the Marie de' Medici in 1612. The Jardin des Plantes, created by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants, was Paris' first public garden.
A few of Paris' other large gardens are Second Empire creations: The former suburban parks of Montsouris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau (formerly known as the "folie de Chartres") are creations of Napoleon III's engineer Jean-Charles Alphand. Another project executed under the orders of Baron Haussmann was the re-sculpting of Paris' western Bois de Boulogne forest-parklands; the Bois de Vincennes, on the city's opposite eastern end, received a similar treatment in years following.
Newer additions to Paris' park landscape are the Parc de la Villette, built by the architect Bernard Tschumi on the location of Paris' former slaughterhouses, the Parc André Citroën, and gardens being laid to the periphery along the traces of its former circular "Petite Ceinture" railway line: Promenade Plantée.

Water and sanitation

Paris in its early history had only the Seine and Bièvre rivers for water. Later forms of irrigation were a first-century Roman aqueduct from southerly Wissous (later left to ruin); sources from the Right bank hills from the late 11th century; from the fifteenth century, an aqueduct built roughly along the path of the abandoned Wissous aqueduct; and, from 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq, providing Paris with water from less-polluted rivers to the northeast of the capital. Paris would have its first constant and plentiful source of drinkable water only from the late 19th century: From 1857, the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand, under Napoleon III's Préfet Haussmann, oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that brought sources from locations all around the city to several reservoirs built atop the Capital's highest points of elevation. From then on, the new reservoir system became Paris' principal source of drinking water, and the remains of the old system, pumped into lower levels of the same reservoirs, were from then used for the cleaning of Paris' streets. This system is still a major part of Paris' modern water supply network.
Paris has over 2,400 km of underground passageways[49] dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes. Most of these date from the late 19th century, a result of the combined plans of the Préfet Baron Haussmann and the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand to improve the then-very unsanitary conditions in the Capital. Maintained by a round-the-clock service since their construction, only a small percentage of Paris' sewer réseau has needed complete renovation. The entire Paris network of sewers and collectors has been managed since the late 20th century by a computerised network system, known under the acronym "G.A.AS.PAR", that controls all of Paris' water distribution, even the flow of the river Seine through the capital.[citation needed]

Cemeteries

Paris' main cemetery was located to its outskirts on its Left Bank from the beginning of its history[citation needed], but this changed with the rise of Catholicism and the construction of churches towards the city-centre, many of them having adjoining burial grounds for use by their parishes. Generations of a growing city population soon filled these cemeteries to overflowing, creating sometimes very unsanitary conditions: Condemned from 1786, the contents of all Paris' parish cemeteries were transferred to a renovated section of Paris' then suburban stone mines outside the Left Bank "Porte d'Enfer" city gate (today 14th arrondissement's place Denfert-Rochereau). After a tentative creation of several smaller suburban cemeteries, Napoleon Bonaparte provided a more definitive solution in the creation of three massive Parisian cemeteries to the outside of the city tax wall named Wall of the Farmers-General ; Open from 1804, these were the cemeteries of Père Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and later Passy.
When Paris annexed all communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860, its cemeteries were once again within its city walls. New suburban cemeteries were created in the early 20th century: The largest of these are the Cimetière Parisien de Saint-Ouen, the Cimetière Parisien de Bobigny-Pantin, the Cimetière Parisien d'Ivry, and the Cimetière Parisien de Bagneux.

Culture

Entertainment and performing arts

Paris' largest opera houses are the nineteenth-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille; the former tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. In middle of 19th century, there were active two other competing opera houses: Opéra-Comique (which still exists to this day) and Théâtre Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Théâtre de la Ville).
Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture. This still holds true today; and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. Some of Paris' major theatres include Bobino, Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse. Some Parisian theatres have also doubled as concert halls. Many of France's greatest musical legends, such as Édith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens, and Charles Aznavour, found their fame in Parisian concert halls: Legendary yet still-showing examples of these are Le Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia, la Cigale, and le Splendid.
The Élysées-Montmartre, much reduced from its original size, is a concert hall today. The New Morning is one of few Parisian clubs still holding jazz concerts, but the same also specialises in 'indie' music. In more recent times, the Le Zénith hall in Paris' La Villette quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in Bercy serve as large-scale rock concert halls.
Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, such as Rock en Seine.
Parisians tend to share the same movie-going trends as many of the world's global cities, that is to say with a dominance of Hollywood-generated film entertainment. French cinema comes a close second, with major directors (réalisateurs) such as Claude Lelouch, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated. A specialty of Paris is its very large network of small movie theatres: on a given week, the movie fan has the choice between around 300 old or new movies from all over the world.
Many of Paris' concert/dance halls were transformed into movie theatres when the media became popular from the 1930s. Later, most of the largest cinemas were divided into multiple, smaller rooms: Paris' largest cinema today is by far le Grand Rex theatre with 2,800 seats, whereas other cinemas all have fewer than 1,000 seats. There is now a trend toward modern multiplexes that contain more than 10 or 20 screens.

Cuisine

The Les Deux Magots cafe.
Paris' culinary reputation has its base in the diverse origins of its inhabitants. In its beginnings, it owed much to the 19th-century organisation of a railway system that had Paris as a centre, making the capital a focal point for immigration from France's many different regions and gastronomical cultures. This reputation continues through today in a cultural diversity that has since spread to an worldwide level thanks to Paris' continued reputation for culinary finesse and further immigration from increasingly distant climes.
Hotels were another result of widespread travel and tourism, especially Paris' late-19th-century Expositions Universelles (World's Fairs). Of the most luxurious of these, the Hôtel Ritz, appeared in the Place Vendôme from 1898, and the Hôtel de Crillon opened its doors on the north side of the place de la Concorde from 1909.

Tourism

Paris, Banks of the Seine*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

DSC00733 Notre Dame Paris from east.jpg
Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, on the River Seine.
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Reference 600
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1991  (15th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Paris from the eleventh century was a popular destination for traders, students and religious pilgrimages, but its 'tourist industry' began on a large scale only with the 19th-century appearance of rail travel, namely from the state's organisation of France's rail network, with Paris at its centre, from 1848. Among Paris' first mass attractions drawing international interest were the above-mentioned Expositions Universelles that were the origin of Paris' many monuments, namely the Eiffel Tower from 1889. These, in addition to the capital's Second Empire embellishments, did much to make the city itself the attraction it is today.
Paris' museums and monuments are among its highest-esteemed attractions; tourism has motivated both the city and national governments to create new ones. The city's most prized museum, the Louvre, welcomes over 8 million visitors a year, being by far the world's most-visited art museum. The city's cathedrals are another main attraction: Its Notre Dame de Paris and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur receive 12 million and eight million visitors, respectively. The Eiffel Tower, by far Paris' most famous monument, averages over six million visitors per year and more than 200 million since its construction. Disneyland Paris is a major tourist attraction not only for visitors to Paris but for visitors to the rest of Europe as well, with 14.5 million visitors in 2007.
The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous museums, housing many works of art, including the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo statue. Works by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin are found in Musée Picasso and Musée Rodin, respectively, while the artistic community of Montparnasse is chronicled at the Musée du Montparnasse. Starkly apparent with its service-pipe exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Art and artifacts from the Middle Ages and Impressionist eras are kept in Musée Cluny and Musée d'Orsay, respectively, the former with the prized tapestry cycle The Lady and the Unicorn. Paris' newest (and third-largest) museum, the Musée du quai Branly, opened its doors in June 2006 and houses art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
Many of Paris' once-popular local establishments have come to cater to the tastes and expectations of tourists, rather than local patrons. Le Lido, the Moulin Rouge cabaret-dancehall, for example, are a staged dinner theatre spectacle, a dance display that was once but one aspect of the cabaret's former atmosphere. All of the establishment's former social or cultural elements, such as its ballrooms and gardens, are gone today. .Much of Paris' hotel, restaurant and night entertainment trades have become heavily dependent on tourism.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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Sports

Paris' most popular sport clubs are the football club Paris Saint-Germain FC, the basketball team Paris-Levallois Basket, and the rugby union club Stade Français. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis. It is used for football, rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts annually French national rugby team's home matches of the Six Nations Championship, French national football team for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, and several important matches of the Stade Français rugby team.
In addition to Paris Saint-Germain FC, the city has a number of other amateur football clubs: Paris FC, Red Star, RCF Paris and Stade Français Paris. The last is the football section of the omnisport club of the same name, most notable for its rugby team.
The city's major rugby side is Stade Français. Racing Métro 92 Paris (who also plays in Top 14) is another rugby team, which actually contested the first ever final against Stade Français in 1892.
Paris also hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games and was venue for the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Although the starting point and the route of the famous Tour de France varies each year, the final stage always finishes in Paris, and, since 1975, the race has finished on the Champs-Elysées. Tennis is another popular sport in Paris and throughout France. The French Open, held every year on the red clay of the Roland Garros National Tennis Centre near the Bois de Boulogne, is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world professional tennis tour. The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and FC Barcelona was played in the Stade de France. Paris hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France on 20 October 2007.

Economy

With a 2008 GDP of 552.7 billion[8] (US$813.4 billion), the Paris region has one of the highest GDPs in Europe, making it an engine of the global economy: Were it a country, it would rank as the seventeenth-largest economy in the world, almost as large as the Dutch economy.[50] .The Paris Region is France's premier centre of economic activity: While its population accounted for 18.8% of the total population of metropolitan France in 2008,[51] its GDP accounted for 28.9% of metropolitan France's GDP.[8] Activity in the Paris urban area, though diverse, does not have a leading specialised industry (such as Los Angeles with entertainment industries or London and New York with financial industries in addition to their other activities).^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
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^ Los Angeles Area .
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Recently, the Paris economy has been shifting towards high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc).
The Paris region's most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine département and suburban La Défense business district places Paris' economic centre to the west of the city, in a triangle between the Opéra Garnier, La Défense, and the Val de Seine. Paris' administrative borders have little consequences on the limits of its economic activity: Although most workers commute from the suburbs to work in the city, many commute from the city to work in the suburbs. Although the Paris economy is largely dominated by services, it remains an important manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, especially in industrial sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, and electronics. Over recent decades, the local economy has moved towards high-value-added activities, in particular business services.
The 1999 census indicated that, of the 5,089,170 persons employed in the Paris urban area, 16.5% worked in business services, 13.0% in commerce (retail and wholesale trade), 12.3% in manufacturing, 10.0% in public administrations and defence, 8.7% in health services, 8.2% in transportation and communications, 6.6% in education, and the remaining 24.7% in many other economic sectors. In the manufacturing sector, the largest employers were the electronic and electrical industry (17.9% of the total manufacturing workforce in 1999) and the publishing and printing industry (14.0% of the total manufacturing workforce), with the remaining 68.1% of the manufacturing workforce distributed among many other industries. Tourism and tourist related services employ 6.2% of Paris' workforce, and 3.6% of all workers within the Paris Region.[52] Unemployment in the Paris "immigrant ghettos" ranges from 20 to 40%, according to varying sources.[53]

Demographics

Demographics within the Paris Region
(according to the INSEE 2006 census)
Paris uu ua jms.png
Ile-de-France départements
Areas Population
2006 census
Area
Density
1999-2006
pop. growth
City of Paris
(département 75)
2,181,374 105 km2 (41 sq mi) 20,775 /km2 (53,807/sq mi) +2.61%
Inner ring
(Petite Couronne)
(Depts. 92, 93, 94)
4,326,409 657 km2 (254 sq mi) 6,585 /km2 (17,055/sq mi) +7.13%
Outer ring
(Grande Couronne)
(Depts. 77, 78, 91, 95)
5,024,626 11,249 km2 (4,343 sq mi) 447 /km2 (1,158/sq mi) +4.97%
Ile-de-France
(entire région)
11,532,409 12,011 km2 (4,637 sq mi) 960 /km2 (2,486/sq mi) +5.31%
Statistical Growth (INSEE 2006 census)
Areas Population
2006 census
Area Density
1999-2006
pop. growth
Urban area
(Paris agglomeration)
10,142,983 2,723 km2 (1,051 sq mi) 3,725 /km2 (9,648/sq mi) +5.18%
Metro area
(Paris aire urbaine)
11,769,433 14,518 km2 (5,605 sq mi) 811 /km2 (2,100/sq mi) +5.33%
The population of the city of Paris was 2,125,246 at the 1999 census, lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. The city's population loss mirrors the experience of most other core cities in the developed world that have not expanded their boundaries. The principal factors in the process are a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic migration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975. Factors in the migration include de-industrialisation, high rent, the gentrification of many inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and greater affluence among working families. The city's population loss was one of the most severe among international municipalities and the largest for any that had achieved more than 2,000,000 residents. These losses are generally seen as negative for the city; the city administration is trying to reverse them with some success, as the population estimate of July 2004 showed a population increase for the first time since 1954, reaching a total of 2,144,700 inhabitants.

Density

Paris is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Its density, excluding the outlying woodland parks of Boulogne and Vincennes, was 24,448 inhabitants per square kilometre (63,320/sq mi) in the 1999 official census, which could be compared only with some Asian megapolis. Even including the two woodland areas its population density was 20,164 inhabitants per square kilometre (52,224.5/sq mi), the fifth-most-densely populated commune in France following Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, Vincennes, Levallois-Perret, and Saint-Mandé, all of which border the city proper. The most sparsely populated quarters are the western and central office and administration-focussed arrondissements. The city's population is densest in the northern and eastern arrondissements; the 11th arrondissement had a density of 40,672 inhabitants per square kilometre (105,340/sq mi) in 1999, and some of the same arrondissement's eastern quarters had densities close to 100,000/km² (260,000/sq mi) in the same year.

Paris agglomeration

The city of Paris covers an area much smaller than the urban area of which it is the core. At present, Paris' real urbanisation, defined by the pôle urbain (urban area) statistical area, covers 2,723 km2 (1,051 sq mi),[54] or an area about 26 times larger than the city itself. The administration of Paris' urban growth is divided between itself and its surrounding départements: Paris' closest ring of three adjoining departments, or petite couronne ("small ring") are fully saturated with urban growth, and the ring of four departments outside of these, the grande couronne départements, are only covered in their inner regions by Paris' urbanisation. These eight départements form the larger administrative Île-de-France région; most of this region is filled, and overextended in places, by the Paris aire urbaine.
The Paris agglomeration has shown a steady rate of growth since the end of the late 16th century French Wars of Religion, save brief setbacks during the French Revolution and World War II[citation needed]. Suburban development has accelerated in recent years: With an estimated total of 11.4 million inhabitants for 2005, the Île-de-France région shows a rate of growth double that of the 1990s.[55][56]

Immigration

By law, French censuses do not ask questions regarding ethnicity or religion, but do gather information concerning one's country of birth. From this it is still possible to determine that the Paris and its aire urbaine (metropolitan area) is one of the most multi-cultural in Europe: At the 1999 census, 19.4% of its total population was born outside of metropolitan France.[57] At the same census, 4.2% of the Paris aire urbaine's population were recent immigrants (people who had immigrated to France between 1990 and 1999),[58] in their majority from Asia and Africa.[59] 37% of all immigrants in France live in the Paris region.[53]
The first wave of international migration to Paris started as early as in 1820 with the arrivals of German peasants fleeing an agricultural crisis in their homeland. Several waves of immigration followed continuously until today: Italians and central European Jews during the 19th century; Russians after the revolution of 1917 and Armenians fleeing genocide in the Ottoman Empire; colonial citizens during World War I and later; Poles between the two world wars; Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, and North Africans from the 1950s to the 1970s; North African Jews after the independence of those countries; Africans and Asians since then.[60] Today around 375,000 Jews live in the Paris metropolitan area.[61]

Administration

Paris, its administrative limits unchanged since 1860 (save for the addition of two large parks), is one of a few cities that has not evolved politically with its real demographic growth; this issue is at present being discussed in plans for a "Grand Paris" (Greater Paris) that will extend Paris' administrative limits to embrace much more of its urban tissue.[62]

Capital of France

As the capital, Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon.
The two houses of the French Parliament are also located on the Left Bank. The upper house, the Senate, meets in the Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, while the more important lower house, the Assemblée Nationale, meets in the Palais Bourbon in the 7th. The President of the Senate, the second-highest public official in France after the President of the Republic, resides in the "Petit Luxembourg", a smaller palace annex to the Palais du Luxembourg.
France's highest courts are located in Paris. The Court of Cassation, the highest court in the judicial order, which reviews criminal and civil cases, is located in the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité, while the Conseil d'État, which provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the highest court in the administrative order, judging litigation against public bodies, is located in the Palais Royal in the 1st arrondissement.
The Constitutional Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the Palais Royal.

City government

Arrondissements of Paris.
Paris has been a commune (municipality) since 1834 (and also briefly between 1790 and 1795). At the 1790 division (during the French Revolution) of France into communes, and again in 1834, Paris was a city only half its modern size, but, in 1860, it annexed bordering communes, some entirely, to create the new administrative map of twenty municipal arrondissements the city still has today. These municipal subdivisions describe a clockwise spiral outward from its most central, the 1st arrondissement.
In 1790, Paris became the préfecture (seat) of the Seine département, which covered much of the Paris region. In 1968, it was split into four smaller ones: The city of Paris became a distinct département of its own, retaining the Seine's departmental number of 75 (originating from the Seine département's position in France's alphabetical list), while three new départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were created and given the numbers 92, 93, and 94, respectively. The result of this division is that today Paris' limits as a département are exactly those of its limits as a commune, a situation unique in France.

Municipal offices

Each of Paris' 20 arrondissements has a directly elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor. A selection of members from each arrondissement council form the Council of Paris (conseil de Paris), which, in turn, elects the mayor of Paris.
Composition of the Council of Paris
Party Seats
Socialist Party 72
Union for a Popular Movement 55
The Greens 9
French Communist Party 8
New Centre 8
Citizen and Republican Movement 5
Miscellaneous Left 2
Left Party 2
MoDem 1
In medieval times, Paris was governed by a merchant-elected municipality whose head was the provost of the merchants. In addition to regulating city commerce, the provost of the merchants was responsible for some civic duties such as the guarding of city walls and the cleaning of city streets. The creation of the provost of Paris from the thirteenth century diminished the merchant Provost's responsibilities and powers considerably. A direct representative of the king, in a role resembling somewhat the préfet of later years, the Provost (prévôt) of Paris oversaw the application and execution of law and order in the city and its surrounding prévôté (county) from his office in the Grand Châtelet. Many functions from both provost offices were transferred to the office of the crown-appointed lieutenant general of police upon its creation in 1667. For centuries, the prévôt and magistrates of the Châtelet clashed with the administrators of the Hôtel de Ville over jurisdiction;[63] the latter notably included the quartiniers, each of whom was responsible for one of the sixteen quartiers (which were in turn divided into four cinquantaines, each with its cinquantainier, and those in turn were divided into dizaines, administered by dizainiers):
All of these men were in principle elected by the local bourgeois. At any one time, therefore, 336 men had shared administrative responsibility for street cleaning and maintenance, for public health, law, and order. The quartiniers maintained the official lists of bourgeois de Paris, ran local elections, could impose fines for breaches of the bylaws, and had a role in tax assessment. They met at the Hôtel de Ville to confer on matters of citywide importance and each year selected eight of "the most notable inhabitants of the quarter," who together with other local officials would elect the city council.[64]
Even though in the course of the eighteenth century these elections became purely ceremonial, choosing candidates already selected by the royal government, the memory of genuine municipal independence remained strong: "The Hôtel de Ville continued to bulk large in the awareness of bourgeois Parisians, its importance extending far beyond its real role in city government."[65]
Paris' last Prévôt des marchands was assassinated the afternoon of the 14th of July 1789 uprising that was the French Revolution Storming of the Bastille. Paris became an official "commune" from the creation of the administrative division on 14 December the same year, and its provisional "Paris commune" revolutionary municipality was replaced with the city's first municipal constitution and government from 9 October 1790.[66] Through the turmoil of the 1794 Thermidorian Reaction, it became apparent that revolutionary Paris' political independence was a threat to any governing power: The office of mayor was abolished the same year, and its municipal council one year later.
Although the municipal council was recreated in 1834, for most of the 19th and 20th centuries Paris, along with the larger Seine département of which it was a centre, was under the direct control of the state-appointed préfet of the Seine, in charge of general affairs there; the state-appointed Prefect of Police was in charge of police in the same jurisdiction. Save for a few brief occasions, the city did not have a mayor until 1977, and the Paris Prefecture of Police is still under state control today.
Despite its dual existence as commune and département, Paris has a single council to govern both; the Council of Paris, presided by the mayor of Paris, meets either as a municipal council (conseil municipal) or as a departmental council (conseil général) depending on the issue to be debated.
Paris' modern administrative organisation still retains some traces of the former Seine département jurisdiction. The Prefecture of Police (also directing Paris' fire brigades), for example, has still a jurisdiction extending to Paris' petite couronne of bordering three départements for some operations such as fire protection or rescue operations, and is still directed by France's national government. Paris has no municipal police force, although it does have its own brigade of traffic wardens.

Capital of the Île-de-France région

Departments of Île-de-France
As part of a 1961 nation-wide administrative effort to consolidate regional economies, Paris as a département became the capital of the new région of the District of Paris, renamed the Île-de-France région in 1976. It encompasses the Paris département and its seven closest départements. Its regional council members, since 1986, have been chosen by direct elections. The prefect of the Paris département (who served as the prefect of the Seine département before 1968) is also prefect of the Île-de-France région, although the office lost much of its power following the creation of the office of mayor of Paris in 1977.

Intercommunality

Few of the above changes have taken into account Paris' existence as an agglomeration. Unlike in most of France's major urban areas such as Lille and Lyon, there is no intercommunal entity in the Paris urban area, no intercommunal council treating the problems of the region's dense urban core as a whole; Paris' alienation of its suburbs is indeed a problem today, and considered by many to be the main causes of civil unrest such as the suburban riots in 2005. A direct result of these unfortunate events is propositions for a more efficient metropolitan structure to cover the city of Paris and some of the suburbs, ranging from a socialist idea of a loose "metropolitan conference" (conférence métropolitaine) to the right-wing idea of a more integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris").

Education

In the early ninth century, the emperor Charlemagne mandated all churches to give lessons in reading, writing and basic arithmetic to their parishes, and cathedrals to give a higher-education in the finer arts of language, physics, music, and theology; at that time, Paris was already one of France's major cathedral towns and beginning its rise to fame as a scholastic centre. By the early 13th century, the Île de la Cité Notre-Dame cathedral school had many famous teachers, and the controversial teachings of some of these led to the creation of a separate Left-Bank Sainte-Genevieve University that would become the centre of Paris' scholastic Latin Quarter best represented by the Sorbonne university.
Twelve centuries later, education in Paris and the Paris region (Île-de-France région) employs approximately 330,000 persons, 170,000 of whom are teachers and professors teaching approximately 2.9 million children and students in around 9,000 primary, secondary, and higher education schools and institutions.[67]

Primary and secondary education

.Paris is home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and Lycée Henri-IV.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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Other high-schools of international renown in the Paris area include the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye and the École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel.

Higher-education

As of the academic year 2004-2005, the Paris Region's 17 public universities, with its 359,749 registered students,[68] is the largest concentration of university students in Europe.[69] The Paris Region's prestigious grandes écoles and scores of university-independent private and public schools have an additional 240,778 registered students, that, together with the university population, creates a grand total of 600,527 students in higher education that year.[68]

Universities

The cathedral of Notre-Dame was the first centre of higher-education before the creation of the University of Paris. The universitas was chartered by King Philip Augustus in 1200, as a corporation granting teachers (and their students) the right to rule themselves independently from crown law and taxes. At the time, many classes were held in open air. Non-Parisian students and teachers would stay in hostels, or "colleges", created for the boursiers coming from afar. Already famous by the 13th century, the University of Paris had students from all of Europe. Paris' Rive Gauche scholastic centre, dubbed "Latin Quarter" as classes were taught in Latin then, would eventually regroup around the college created by Robert de Sorbon from 1257, the Collège de Sorbonne. The University of Paris in the 19th century had six faculties: law, science, medicine, pharmaceutical studies, literature, and theology. Following the 1968 student riots, there was an extensive reform of the University of Paris, in an effort to disperse the centralised student body. The following year, the former unique University of Paris was split between thirteen autonomous universities ("Paris I" to "Paris XIII") located throughout the City of Paris and its suburbs. Each of these universities inherited only some of the departments of the old University of Paris, and are not generalist universities. Paris I, II, V, and X, inherited the Law School; Paris V inherited the School of Medicine as well; Paris VI and VII inherited the scientific departments; etc.
.In 1991, four more universities were created in the suburbs of Paris, reaching a total of seventeen public universities for the Paris (Île-de-France) région.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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These new universities were given names (based on the name of the suburb in which they are located) and not numbers like the previous thirteen: University of Cergy-Pontoise, University of Évry Val d'Essonne, University of Marne-la-Vallée, and University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Other institutions include the University of Westminster's Centre for International Studies, the American University of Paris, the Editing American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy, and the American Business School of Paris. There is also a University of London Institute in Paris(ULIP) which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in French Studies ratified by the University of London.

Grandes écoles

The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the prestigious grandes écoles, which are specialised centres of higher-education outside the public university structure. The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands établissements. Most of the grandes écoles were relocated to the suburbs of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s, in new campuses much larger than the old campuses within the crowded city of Paris, though the École Normale Supérieure has remained on rue d'Ulm in the 5th arrondissement. The Paris area has a high number of engineering schools, led by the prestigious Paris Institute of Technology (ParisTech), which comprises several colleges such as École Polytechnique, École des Mines, Télécom Paris, Arts et Métiers, and École des Ponts et Chaussées. There are also many business schools, including , HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD, and ESCP-EAP European School of Management. Although the elite administrative school ENA has been relocated to Strasbourg, the political science school Sciences-Po is still located in Paris' Left bank 7th arrondissement.
The grandes écoles system is supported by a number of preparatory schools that offer courses of two to three years' duration called Classes Préparatoires, also known as classes prépas or simply prépas. These courses provide entry to the grandes écoles. Many of the best prépas are located in Paris, including Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Lycée Henri-IV, Lycée Saint-Louis, Lycée Janson de Sailly, and Lycée Stanislas.[70] Two other top-ranking prépas (Lycée Hoche and Lycée privé Sainte-Geneviève) are located in Versailles, near Paris. Student selection is based on school grades and teacher remarks. Prépas attract most of the best students in France and are known to be very demanding in terms of work load and psychological stress.
The four buildings of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Libraries

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) operates libraries in Paris. Its Paris libraries include François-Mitterrand Library, Richelieu Library, Louvois, Opéra Library, and Arsenal Library.[71]
The American Library in Paris opened in 1920. It is a part of a private, non-profit organization.[72] The modern library originated from cases of books sent by the American Library Association to U.S. soldiers in France.[73] A incarnation existed in the 1850s.[74]

Transportation

Paris has been building its transportation system throughout history and continuous improvements are on-going. The Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France[75] (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP).
The members of this syndicate are the Ile-de-France region and the eight departments of this region. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 654 bus lines, the Métro, three tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, a tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines.
The Métro is Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 300 stations (384 stops) connected by 214 km (133.0 mi) of rails, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis, so numbered because they used to be branches of their respective original lines, and only later became independent. In October 1998, the new line 14 was inaugurated after a 70-year hiatus in inaugurating fully new métro lines. Because of the short distance between stations on the Métro network, lines were too slow to be extended further into the suburbs, as is the case in most other cities. As such, an additional express network, the RER, has been created since the 1960s to connect more-distant parts of the urban area. The RER consists in the integration of modern city-centre subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises five lines, 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails.
In addition, Paris is served by a light rail network of four lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La Défense to Porte de Versailles, line T3 runs from Pont de Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois. Six new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development. Paris also offers a bike sharing system called Vélib' with more than 20,000 public bicycles distributed at 1,450 parking stations, which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way trips. The new ferry service Voguéo has been inaugurated in June 2008, on the rivers Seine and Marne. Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare, are connected to three networks: The TGV serving four High-speed rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, and the suburban rails (Transilien). Paris is served by two major airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris, and the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, near Roissy-en-France, which is one of the busiest in the world and is the hub for the unofficial Flag carrier Air France. A third and much smaller airport, Beauvais Tillé Airport, located in the town of Beauvais, 70 km (43 mi) to the north of the city, is used by charter and low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Le Bourget nowadays only hosts business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum.
The city is also the most important hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the Périphérique, which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, the A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over 2,000 km (1,243 mi) of highways and motorways. By road, Brussels can be reached in three hours, Frankfurt in six hours and Barcelona in 12 hours. By train, London is now just two hours and 15 minutes away, Brussels can be reached in 1 hour and 22 minutes (up to 26 departures/day), Amsterdam in 3 hours and 18 minutes (up to 10 departures/day), Cologne in 3 hours and 14 minutes (6 departures/day), and Marseille, Bordeaux, and other cities in southern France in three hours.

Health

Health care and emergency medical service in the city of Paris and its suburbs are provided by the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), a public hospital system that employs more than 90,000 people (practitioners and administratives) in 44 hospitals. It is the largest hospital system in Europe[76].

International relations

Paris has one sister city and numerous partner cities.[77][78]

Sister city

  • Italy Rome, Italy, since 1956 (Seule Paris est digne de Rome; seule Rome est digne de Paris / Solo Parigi è degna di Roma; Solo Roma è degna di Parigi / "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; Only Rome is worthy of Paris").[78]

Partner cities

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Vincent Cronin (1989). Paris on the Eve, 1900-1914. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-312-04876-9. 
  • Vincent Cronin (1994). Paris:City of Light, 1919-1939. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-215191-X. 
  • Jean Favier (1997-04-23) (in French). Paris. Fayard. ISBN 2-213-59874-6. 
  • Jacques Hillairet (2005-04-22) (in French). Connaissance du Vieux Paris. Rivages. ISBN 2-86930-648-2. 
  • Colin Jones (2004). Paris: The Biography of a City. New York: Penguin Viking. ISBN 0670033936. 
  • Rosemary Wakeman (2009). The Heroic City: Paris, 1945-1958. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226870236. 

Notes

  1. ^ Excluding Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. Legally, with the two Bois, 105.4 km2 (41 sq mi).|url=http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/parisfacts.htm?tab=population
  2. ^ "La population par arrondissement de 1990 à 2009" (in French). Mairie de Paris. 2009-01-01. http://www.paris.fr/portail/accueil/Portal.lut?page_id=5427&document_type_id=5&document_id=8717&portlet_id=11661. Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Paris (00851 - Unité urbaine 1999) - Thème : Évolution et structure de la population" (in French). Insee. http://www.recensement.insee.fr/chiffresCles.action?codeMessage=5&zoneSearchField=PARIS&codeZone=00851-UU1999&idTheme=&rechercher=Rechercher. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Paris (001 - Aire urbaine 1999) - Thème : Évolution et structure de la population" (in French). Insee. http://www.recensement.insee.fr/chiffresCles.action?codeMessage=5&zoneSearchField=PARIS&codeZone=001-AU1999&idTheme=3&rechercher=Rechercher. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  5. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "" Estimation de population par département, sexe et grande classe d’âge – Années 1990 à 2006"". http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/ElpDep_5trages90-06.xls. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  6. ^ Stefan Helders, World Gazetteer. ""World Metropolitan Areas"". http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&dat=32&srt=pnan&col=aohdq&va=&pt=a. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group and Network, Loughborough University. ""Inventory of World Cities"". http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/citylist.html. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  8. ^ a b c (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Produits Intérieurs Bruts Régionaux (PIBR) en valeur en millions d'euros" (XLS). http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/donnees-detaillees/cnat-region/pib_reg.xls. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  9. ^ "World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision Population Database". The United Nations. http://esa.un.org/unup/index.asp?panel=2. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  10. ^ Fortune. "Global Fortune 500 by countries: France". http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/countries/France.html. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  11. ^ Logistics-in-Europe.com, Vertical Mail. ""Paris Île-de-France, a head start in Europe"". http://www.logistics-in-europe.com/pidf-gb/index.html. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  12. ^ Economist Intelligence Unit. ""The cost of living in cities, Trop Cher?"". http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15659589. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  13. ^ Île-de-France Regional Council. "Tourism". http://www.iledefrance.fr/english/sports-loisirs-tourisme/tourism/tourism/. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  14. ^ The City of Antiquity, official history of Paris by The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
  15. ^ (French) Georges Dottin (1920). La Langue Gauloise : Grammaire, Textes et Glossaire. Paris: C. Klincksieck. isbn = 2051002088. 
  16. ^ "English Version of "Presentation of the City"". http://www.paris.fr/portail/english/Portal.lut?page_id=8125. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  17. ^ It is unlikely that Paris' modern appellation of Ville Lumière was given to the capital of France because it was a centre of education, ideas and culture, as it had been such a centre since the Middle Ages. It is more likely, however, that, aside from the apparition of street lighting at night, Paris became known as Ville Lumière in the second half of the 19th century, when baron Haussmann, who had been put in charge by emperor Napoléon III of the drastic transformation of Paris into a modern city, tore down whole quartiers of houses & narrow streets dating back to the Middle Ages, and opened large avenues which let light (lumière) come into the former medieval city.
  18. ^ Dictionnaire de la langue française, Larousse étymologique, Librairie Larousse, Paris, 1971, p. 535
  19. ^ a b c Mairie de Paris. "Paris, Roman City - Chronology". http://www.paris.culture.fr/en/ow_chrono.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-16. 
  20. ^ http://www.celticgrounds.com/chapters/appendix/celtic_tribes.htm
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  30. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), pp. 318–319.
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    "In March 1871 the Commune took power in the abandoned city and held it for two months. Then Versailles seized the moment to attack and, in one horrifying week, executed roughly 20,000 Communards or suspected sympathizers, a number higher than those killed in the recent war or during Robespierre’s ‘Terror’ of 1793–94. More than 7,500 were jailed or deported to places like New Caledonia. Thousands of others fled to Belgium, England, Italy, Spain and the United States. In 1872, stringent laws were passed that ruled out all possibilities of organizing on the left. Not till 1880 was there a general amnesty for exiled and imprisoned Communards. Meantime, the Third Republic found itself strong enough to renew and reinforce Louis Napoleon’s imperialist expansion—in Indochina, Africa, and Oceania. Many of France’s leading intellectuals and artists had participated in the Commune (Courbet was its quasi-minister of culture, Rimbaud and Pissarro were active propagandists) or were sympathetic to it. The ferocious repression of 1871 and after was probably the key factor in alienating these milieux from the Third Republic and stirring their sympathy for its victims at home and abroad."
  32. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), p. 334.
  33. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), pp. 388–391
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  43. ^ "Disposable income per NUTS level 2 regions in Europe". Eurostat. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1996,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=REF_TB_regional&root=REF_TB_regional/t_reg/t_reg_eco/tgs00026. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
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  50. ^ World Bank. "Gross domestic product 2008" (PDF). http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP.pdf. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  51. ^ "Population estimée des régions par tranche d'âge au 1er janvier" (in French). Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/tableau.asp?reg_id=99&ref_id=CMRSOS02139. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  52. ^ ""Les emplois dans les activités liées au tourisme: un sur quatre en Ile-de-France"" (in French) (PDF). Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. http://www.insee.fr/fr/insee_regions/idf/rfc/docs/alapage234.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  53. ^ a b Paris Riots in Perspective. ABC News. November 4, 2005.
  54. ^ ""Chiffres-Clefs – Unité Urbaine – Paris"" (in French). Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. http://www.insee.fr/fr/insee_regions/idf/zoom/chif_cles/uu99/fuu9900851.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  55. ^ Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. ""Enquêtes annuelles de recensement 2004 et 2005"" (PDF). http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/IP061058.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  56. ^ ""Enquêtes annuelles de recensement: premiers résultats de la collecte 2004"" (in French) (PDF). Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/IP1000.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  57. ^ Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. ""Aire urbaine 99 : Paris - Migrations (caractère socio-économique selon le lieu de naissance)"" (in French). http://www.recensement.insee.fr/RP99/rp99/wr_page.affiche?p_id_nivgeo=M&p_id_loca=001&p_id_princ=MIG3&p_theme=ALL&p_typeprod=ALL&p_langue=FR. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  58. ^ Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. ""Aire urbaine 99 : Paris - Migrations (caractère démographique selon le lieu de résidence au 01/01/90)"" (in French). http://www.recensement.insee.fr/RP99/rp99/wr_page.affiche?p_id_nivgeo=M&p_id_loca=001&p_id_princ=MIG2&p_theme=ALL&p_typeprod=ALL&p_langue=FR. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
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External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Paris (disambiguation).
Paris is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, is - with 2.2 million people living in the small (105 km²) central city, and another 8 million people in the suburbs (la banlieue) - one of the largest agglomerations in Europe. Located in the north of the country on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historic associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. Dubbed the City of Light (la Ville Lumière), it is the most popular tourist destination in the world.
Paris and the river Seine
Paris and the river Seine

Districts

Central Paris is officially divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the centre of the city (known as Kilometre Zero and is located at the front of Notre Dame). Arrondissements are named according to their number. You might, for example, stay in the "5th", which would be written as 5e (SANK-ee-emm) in French. The 12th and 16th arrondissements include large suburban parks, the Bois de Vincennes, and the Bois de Boulogne respectively.
The very best map you can get for Paris is called "Paris Pratique par Arrondissement" which you can buy for about €2-4 at any news stand. It makes navigating the city easy- so much that one can imagine that the introduction of such map-books might be part of what made the arrondissement concept so popular in the first place. Alternately you can print your own using our maps.
Each arrondissement has its own unique character and selection of attractions for the traveller:
The Layout of Paris by district
The Layout of Paris by district
  • 1st (1er). The geographical centre of Paris and a great starting point for travellers. The Musée du Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Les Halles, Palais Royal, Comédie-Française, and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel are all to be found here.
  • 2nd (2e). The central business district of the city - the Bourse (the Paris Stock Exchange), Opéra-Comique, Théâtre des Variétés, Passage des Panoramas, Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens and the Bibliothèque Nationale are located here.
  • 3rd (3e). Archives Nationales, Musée Carnavalet, Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Hôtel de Soubise, the Former Temple fortress, and the northern, quieter part of the Marais can be found here.
  • 4th (4e). Notre-Dame de Paris, the Hôtel de Ville (Paris city hall), Hôtel de Sully, Rue des Rosiers and the Jewish Quartier, Beaubourg, Le Marais, Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville, Centre Georges Pompidou, Place des Vosges, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Saint-Jacques Tower and Parisian island Île Saint-Louis can be found here.
  • 5th (5e). Jardin des Plantes, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Musée de Cluny, The Panthéon, Quartier Latin, Universités, La Sorbonne, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Église Saint-Séverin, La Grande Mosquée, Le Musée de l'AP-HP can be located here.
  • 6th (6e). Jardin du Luxembourg as well as its Sénat, Place Saint-Michel, Église Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Germain des Prés can be found here.
  • 7th (7e). .Tour Eiffel and its Parc du Champ de Mars, Les Invalides, Musée d'Orsay, Assemblée Nationale and its subset administrations, Ecole Militaire, and Parisian mega-store Le Bon Marché can be found here.
  • 8th (8e).^ (Musée du Louvre/Les Halles) .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    ^ (Eiffel Tower/Musée D'Orsay) .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, le Palais de l'Elysée, Église de la Madeleine,Jacquemart-Andre Museum, Gare Saint-Lazare, Grand Palais and Petit Palais can be found here.
  • 9th (9e). Opéra Garnier, Galeries Lafayette, Musée Grévin, and Folies Bergère can be found here.
  • 10th (10e). Canal Saint-Martin, Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Porte Saint-Denis, Porte Saint-Martin, Passage Brady, Passage du Prado, and Église Saint-Vincent-de-Paul can be found here.
  • 11th (11e). The bars and restaurants of Rue Oberkampf, Bastille, Nation, New Jewish Quarter, Cirque d'Hiver, and Église Saint-Ambroise can be found here.
  • 12th (12e). Opéra Bastille, Bercy Park and Village, Promenade Plantée, Quartier d'Aligre, Gare de Lyon, Cimetière de Picpus, Viaduc des arts the Bois de Vincennes, and the Zoo de Vincennes can be found here.
  • 13th (13e). Quartier la Petite Asie, Place d'Italie, La Butte aux Cailles, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Gare d'Austerlitz, Manufacture des Gobelins, Butte-aux-Cailles and Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital can be found here.
  • 14th (14e). .Cimetière du Montparnasse, Gare Montparnasse, La Santé Prison, Denfert-Rochereau, Parc Montsouris, Stade Charléty, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and Paris Catacombs can be found here.
  • 15th (15e).^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    Tour Montparnasse, Porte de Versailles, Front de Seine, La Ruche and quartiers Saint-Lambert, Necker, Grenelle and Javel can be found here.
  • 16th (16e). Palais de Chaillot, Musée de l'Homme, the Bois de Boulogne, Cimetière de Passy, Parc des Princes, Musée Marmottan-Monet, Trocadéro, and Avenue Foch can be found here.
  • 17th (17e). Palais des Congrès, Place de Clichy, Parc Monceau, Marché Poncelet, and Square des Batignolles can be found here.
  • 18th (18e). Montmartre, Pigalle, Barbès, Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, and Goutte d'Or can be found here.
  • 19th (19e). Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Parc de la Villette, Bassin de la Villette, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Cité de la Musique, Canal de l'Ourcq, and Canal Saint-Denis can be found here.
  • 20th (20e). Cimetière de Père Lachaise, Parc de Belleville, and quartiers Belleville and Ménilmontant can be found here.
  • La Défense. Although it is not officially part of the city, this skyscraper district on the western edge of town is on many visitors must-see lists for its modern architecture and public art.
Beyond central Paris, the outlying suburbs are called Les Banlieues. Schematically, those on the west of Paris (Neuilly, Boulogne, Saint Cloud, Levallois) are wealthy residential communities. Those to the northeast are poorer communities, often populated by immigrants.

Understand

History

Paris started life as the Celto-Roman settlement of Lutetia on the Île de la Cité, the island in the Seine currently occupied by the Cathédral de Nôtre Dame. It takes its present name from name of the dominant Gallo-Celtic tribe in the region, the Parisii. At least that's what the Romans called them, when they showed up in 52 BCE and established their city Lutetia on the left bank of the Seine, in what is now called the "Latin Quarter" in the 5th arrondissement.
The Romans held out here for as long as anywhere else in the Western Empire, but by 508 CE they were gone, replaced by Clovis of the Franks, who is considered by the French to have been their first king. Clovis' descendants, aka the Carolingians, held onto the expanded Lutetian state for nearly 500 years through Viking raids and other calamities, which finally resulted in a forced move by most of the population back to the islands which had been the centre of the original Celtic village. The Capetian Duke of Paris was voted to succeed the last of the Carolingians as King of France, insuring the city a premier position in the medieval world. Over the next several centuries Paris expanded onto the right bank into what was and is still called le Marais (The Marsh). Quite a few buildings from this time can be seen in the 4th arrondissement.
The medieval period also witnessed the founding of the Sorbonne. As the "University of Paris", it became one of the most important centres for learning in Europe -- if not the whole world, for several hundred years. Most of the institutions that still constitute the University are found in the 5th, and 13th arrondissements.
In the late 18th century, there was a period of political and social upheaval in France and Europe, during which the French governmental structure, previously a monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on Enlightenment principles of nationalism, citizenship, and inalienable rights. Notable events during and following the revolution were the storming of the Bastille 4th arrondissements, and the rise and fall of Napoleonic France. Out of the violent turmoil that was the French Revolution, sparked by the still known Passion des Français, emerged the enlightened modern day France.
The Paris of today was built long after the Capetian and later the Bourbon Kings of France made their mark on Paris with the Louvre and the Palais Royal, both in the 1st. In the 19th century, Baron von Hausmann set about reconstructing the city, by adding the long straight avenues and replacing many of the then existing medieval houses, with grander and more uniform buildings.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
New wonders arrived during La Belle Époque, as the Parisian golden age of the late 19th century is known. Gustave Eiffel's famous tower, the first metro lines, most of the parks, and the streetlights (which are partly believed to have given the city its epithet "the city of light") all come from this period. Another source of the epithet comes from Ville Lumière, a reference not only to the revolutionary electrical lighting system implemented in the streets of Paris, but also to the prominence and aura of Enlightenment the city gained in that era.
The twentieth century was hard on Paris, but thankfully not as hard as it could have been. Hitler's order to burn the city was thankfully ignored by the German General von Choltitz who was quite possibly convinced by a Swedish diplomat that it would be better to surrender and be remembered as the saviour of Paris, than to be remembered as its destroyer. Following the war, the city recovered quickly at first, but slowed in the 1970s and 1980s when Paris began to experience some of the problems faced by big cities everywhere: pollution, housing shortages, and occasionally failed experiments in urban renewal.
During this time however, Paris enjoyed considerable growth as a multi-cultural city, with new immigrants from all corners of the world, especially La Francophonie, including most of northern and western Africa as well as Vietnam and Laos. These immigrants brought their foods and music, both of which are of prime interest for many travellers. Today there are more nationalities represented in Paris than even in New York (over 100).
Immigration and multi-culturalism continues in the 21st century with a marked increase in the arrival of people from Latin America, especially Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. In the late 1990s, it was hard to find good Mexican food in Paris, whereas today there are dozens of possibilities from lowly taquerias in the outer arrondissements to nice sit-down restaurants on the boulevards. Meanwhile Latin music from salsa to samba is all the rage (well, alongside Paris lounge electronica).
The 21st century has also seen vast improvements in the general liveability of Paris, with the Mayor's office concentrating on reducing pollution and improving facilities for soft forms of transportation including a huge network of cycle paths, larger pedestrian districts and newer faster metro lines. Visitors who normally arrive car-less are the beneficiaries of these policies as much as the Parisians themselves are.

Climate

Being located in Western Europe, Paris has a maritime climate with cool winters and warm summers. The moderating effect of the Atlantic Ocean helps to temper temperature extremes in much of western Europe, including France. Even in January, the coldest month, temperatures nearly always exceed the freezing point with an average high of 6°C (43°F). Snow is not common in Paris, although it will fall a few times a year. Most of Paris' precipitation comes in the form of light rain year-round.
Summers in Paris are warm and pleasant, with an average high of 23°C (75°F) during the mid-summer months. Spring and fall are normally cool and wet.
Average Temperatures in Paris
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High/low °C 6/1 7/1 10/3 13/5 17/9 21/12 23/14 23/13 20/11 15/7 9/3 7/2
High/low °F 43/34 45/34 51/38 57/42 64/49 70/54 75/58 75/57 69/52 59/46 49/39 45/36

Get in

By plane

Paris is served by three international airports - for more information, including arrival/departure times, check the official sites.

Charles de Gaulle International Airport (Roissy ICAO: LFPG, IATA: CDG) [1]

The major hub airport to the north-east of the city. It's notoriously confusing, so allow plenty of time for transfers. There are three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 (which is huge and subdivided into 2A through 2G), and Terminal 3 (formerly T9). Terminal 1 and 3 are next to each other, whereas mass Terminal 2 is in another building. The newest exception is terminal 2G which is a seperate building and is only reachable via navette/bus in 10-15 min (bus leaves every 20 min) so allow extra time. The free CDGVAL shuttle train connects the terminals together. Everything at this airport is very expensive, especially food. There are hardly any benches around and don't even consider looking for an outlet to charge your cell phone or laptop. There are no public shower facilities in the airport. Air France lounges have such facilities, and the departure lounges have showers. Lounge access is included for Air France business and first class travelers. The members of the Air France and cooperating frequent flyer programs may gain access with sufficient status. There is a possibility that some lounges may grant access to travelers on their flights for a fee. If you consider paying for access to the lounge, inquire when checking in for your departure. If you must have a shower and your frequent flyer status (and charm) are insufficient to gain entry to a lounge, the airport hotels generally have rooms available (in Sep 2009, the Sheraton in Terminal 2 at the train station charged €155).
When you arrive at CDG, you should note what terminal you arrived at (2A, 2D, etc.), because when you come back to the airport to depart at the end of your trip, the RER subway train makes two stops at CDG to cover the three terminals, but there are few indications of which airlines are at which terminals. Have a close look at your air ticket to figure out which terminal you are departing from. Air France and associates leave from Terminal 2.
Say that again, please?
The RER B station named "Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 1" is a misnomer - it actually serves Terminal 3, not Terminal 1. However, the CDGVAL train links Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
.For getting to or from Paris, the RER commuter train, line B, has stations in T3 (from where you can take the free CDGVAL shuttle train to T1) and T2; trains to Paris (the stops are Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, Luxembourg, Port-Royal, Denfert-Rochereau and Cité Universitaire) leave every 7-8 minutes (alternatively 1 direct to Paris Gare du Nord and 1 stopping train).^ (Musée du Louvre/Les Halles) .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Adult tickets cost €8.50, and for children between 4-10 fare is €5.95 (as of Jul 2009) each and take around 35 minutes to Gare du Nord, 45 minutes to Denfert-Rochereau, making this the fastest and cheapest way to connect. Tickets can be purchased either through green (sometimes blue) automated ticket vending machines ("Billetterie Ile-de-France") or through the ticket office serviced by transport authority personnel. The automated ticket machines accept Euro coins of €2, €1 and 50, 20, 10, 5 cent denominations and give change. Note that Euro notes are not accepted. There is one separate automated machine which changes €20, €10 and €5 notes to €2 and €1 coins. However, due to the high demand, the machine frequently runs out of coins. There are currency exchange centres, but they explicitely state notes will not be changed for coins. Alternatively, smart-chip credit cards can be used on the ticket machines. But, some none-Eurpoean credit cards are not accepted. Because of the above limitations, purchasing tickets from the ticket office may seem to be an attractive method. Although there are many counters, the queues can be very long. Although it is a nuisance, the fastest way to get some tickets is to take a lot of Euro coins with you.
Trains for Paris are leaving usually from platforms 11 and 12. Look or signs saying "RER B" or "All trains go to Paris". When using the ticket from and to the airport (as with tickets for the RER commuter trains in general) you have to use it to enter and to exit the train. Always keep the ticket handy as the SNCF officials sometimes check for tickets, and if you are without one you may be fined €40. This means that after you put the ticket into the entry gate and are cleared to pass, you must retrieve the ticket from the machine and keep it with you until you leave the train system including any connections.
Alternatively, the Roissybus service connects all terminals directly to Opéra Garnier in central Paris, but it's subject to traffic jams and rush hour, so it averages 60-90 min even on a good day. Air France buses [2] are offering two stops in Paris (Porte Maillot, Montparnasse) from CDG with a 50-min ride. To reach a specific address into the city, this shared shuttle service [3] costs €19 per person and is available from CDG and ORY. There is also a TGV station in T2 for high-speed connections, mostly towards Lille and Brussels, but there are also some trains that head south to eg. Rennes and Nantes, bypassing Paris.

Orly International Airport (ICAO: LFPO, IATA: ORY) [4]

This airport is southwest of the city, and served by a southern branch of the RER-B line that heads in the direction of Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse (not Robinson). This older international airport is used mainly by Air France for national lines, and other international carriers in Europe. Orly is roughly 40 min from Paris via the OrlyBus, which departs from Métro Denfert-Rochereau (ligne 6); the price is €6. The private Jetbus service goes directly to Métro Villejuif and is quite inexpensive. Another option is bus 285 that takes you to the Métro Villejuif - Louis Aragon(Line 7) in 15 min, but it stops on the way and is designed for commuters and not for travellers. Bus 285 costs €1,5 and runs every 10 min, stopping at airport level -1.
The Orlyval light rail connects the two terminals to each other and to the RER B line at Antony. It runs every 4-7 min and cost €9.85 for transfer to Paris, including connections to central area metro stations. The RER B from Antony runs through Paris to Aéroport Charles de Gaulle.

Beauvais (Aéroport de Paris Beauvais Tillé ICAO: LFOB, IATA: BVA) [5]

This airport, a distance north of the city, is a smaller regional airport that is used by some low-cost carriers such as Ryanair (list flights [6]) and WizzAir. The airport operates a shuttle service connecting with the Métro at Porte Maillot station. Buses run even during the wee hours of the morning (6AM). Buses leave 20 min after each flight arrives, and a few hours before each flight departs. Exact times can be found on the Beauvais Airport website. The journey will take about an hour in good traffic conditions, and costs €14 each way (as of Dec 2009).

Airline Shuttles

.In addition to public transport, Air France operates shuttles between Charles de Gaulle and Paris (€10-12), Orly and Paris (€7.5) and between the two airports (€15).^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Note that if you have connecting Air France flights that land and depart from different airports, you would still generally need to fetch your luggage after landing, catch either the Air France shuttle or a taxi (readily available at all airports) to the other airport and check-in again. This altogether could take up to 2 hours particularly if traffic is at its worse. It is also common to lose time during disembarking, as passengers often need to get off at the tarmac and get on buses which will bring them to the terminal building. Be sure to have sufficient time between flights to catch your connection. Note that check-in counters usually close 30 min before the flight departs, longer if flights are international carriers.
If you arrive to CDG Airport at night you'll need a Noctilien bus to get to the city center. The bus stops in all three terminals (in terminal 2F it will be the second level in departure section - it is very difficult to find, but it really exists). The bus leaves every 30 min after 12:30AM (see timetable [7]). The buses you'll need are N121 and N120; the price is €7.
Paris is well connected to the rest of Europe by train. There is no central station serving Paris, the six different stations are not connected to each other. You will probably want to know in advance at which station your train is arriving, so as to better choose a hotel and plan for transport within the city.
The SNCF (French national railway authority) [8] operates practically all trains within France excluding the Eurostar to St Pancras, London [9] and the Thalys to Brussels and onward to the Netherlands [10] and Germany [11]. There are also a few local lines of high touristic interest which are privately owned. All SNCF, Eurostar and Thalys tickets can be bought in railway stations, city offices and travel agencies (no surcharge). The SNCF website allows to book and buy tickets up to two months in advance. There are significant discounts if you book weeks ahead. Reduced ticket prices are different for each day and each train and can be used only on the train the reservation is for. Surprisingly, round trip tickets (aller-retour) with a stay over Saturday night can be cheaper than a single one-way ticket (aller simple). A very limited selection of last minute trips are published on the SNCF website every Tuesday, with discounts of more than 50%.
There are a number of different kinds of high speed and normal trains:
  • TER. Regional trains : TER are slower, stopping at almost all stations.  edit
  • Corail Intercité. normal day (no special name) operate to and from most cities in France and are usually your best bet for destinations all over France. These are the trains you'll find yourself on if you have a Eurail pass, and don't want to pay extra for reservations.  edit
  • Corail Téoz. As Corail Intercité but you need a reservation.  edit
  • Corail Lunéa. .night trains (no special name) operate to and from most cities in France and are usually your best bet for destinations all over France.^ Destination by Name for a Family Drivable from my big city for a Vacation with a Deal for a Group Just added: .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    ^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    ^ Top 10 Home Top 10 Destinations Top 10 Best Service Top 10 Beach Hotels View All .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    These are the trains you'll find yourself on if you have a Eurail pass, and don't want to pay extra for reservations.
     edit
  • TGV, [12]. The world-famous French high-speed trains (Trains à Grande Vitesse) run very frequently to the Southeast Nice(5-6h), Marseille (3h) and Avignon (2.5 h), the East Geneva (3h) or Lausanne, Switzerland and Dijon (1h15) , the Southwest Bordeaux (3h), the West Rennes (3h) and the North Lille (less than 1h). Eurostar to London (2h15) and Thalys to Brussels (1h20) use almost identical trains.  edit
  • Thalys, [13]. A high-speed train service running daily to/from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany - it can be a bit expensive compared to normal trains.  edit
  • Intercity. Intercity trains leave for all parts of Europe, including overnight trains to San Sebastian in Spain, Porto and Lisbon in Portugal.  edit
  • Eurostar, [14]. The Eurostar service connects Paris with London directly and Brussels indirectly, as well many other destinations indirectly through the various west European rail services. Travel time between Paris and London St Pancras International currently averages at 2h15min, following the opening of a new rail link in late 2007.  edit
  • Eurolines, [15]. A transEuropean bus company that offers trips to and from Paris. Generally offers prices significantly cheaper than the train at the cost of much longer journeys. The Parisian office is located at Bagnolet, adjacent to the Gallieni metro station.  edit

By car

Several autoroutes (expressway, motorway) link Paris with the rest of France: A1 and A3 to the north, A5 and A6 to the south, A4 to the east and A13 and A10 to the west. Not surprisingly, traffic jams are significantly worse during French school holidays.
The multi-lane highway around Paris, called the Périphérique (BP), is probably preferable to driving through the center. Another beltway nearing completion; L'A86 (also A186 and A286) loops around Paris about 10 km further out from the Périphérique. A third, incomplete beltway is much further out and called La Francilienne (N104).
It is advised not to drive in the Paris Metro Area. It is better to drive to a suburban train station with a parking lot and then use the train to continue your trip throughout Paris. Most of Paris' roads were created long before the invention of automobiles. Traffic inside the city tends to be heavy, especially at rush hour, driving however may be rather easy and efficient in the evening; parking is also difficult. Furthermore, the medieval nature of parts of the city's street system makes it very confusing, and traffic will almost never allow one to stop or slow down to get one's bearings. If you are unfamiliar with the streets and still insist on driving in the city, make sure you have a navigator in the passenger seat with you.

Get around

By car

It is generally a bad idea to rent a car to visit Paris. Traffic is very dense during the day, and parking tends to be difficult. This is especially true in areas surrounding points of touristic interest, since many of these are in areas designed long before automobiles existed. A majority of Parisian households do not own cars.
Driving may be an option for going to some sights in the suburbs such as Vaux-le-Vicomte castle or the castle and city at Fontainebleau, or for starting to other places in France. You may prefer to rent from a location not situated in Paris proper.
Traffic rules in Paris are basically the same as elsewhere in France, with the exception of having to yield to incoming traffic on roundabouts. However, driving in dense traffic in Paris and suburbs during commute times, can be especially strenuous. Be prepared for traffic jams, cars changing lanes at short notice, and so on. Another issue is pedestrians, who tend to fearlessly jaywalk more in Paris than in other French cities. Be prepared for pedestrians crossing the street on red, and expect similar adventurous behavior from cyclists. Remember that even if a pedestrian or cyclist crossed on red, if you hit him, you (in fact, your insurance) will have to bear civil responsibility for the damages, and possibly prosecution for failing to control your vehicle.
Paris has several beltway systems. There is a series of boulevards named after Napoleonic-era generals (Boulevard Masséna), and collectively referred to as boulevard des maréchaux. These are normal wide avenues, with traffic lights. Somewhat outside of this boulevard is the boulevard périphérique, a freeway-style beltway. The périphérique intérieur is the inner lanes (going clockwise), the périphérique extérieur the outer lanes (going counter-clockwise). Note that despite the looks, the périphérique is not an autoroute: the speed limit is 80 and, very unusually, incoming traffic has the right of way, at least theoretically (presumably because, otherwise, nobody would be able to enter during rush hour).
Directions
If you find yourself lost in the streets, a good idea is to find the nearest Hotel and ask the concierge for directions. Most speak English well. A simple "Bonjour Monsieur, parlez-vous anglais?" should suffice.
Walking in Paris is one of the great pleasures of visiting the City of Light. It is possible to cross the entire city in only a few hours, but only if you can somehow keep yourself from stopping at numerous cafés and shops. In fact within a few years walking combined with biking and the Metro will be the only way to get around the very centre of Paris: The Mayor's office has announced plans to declare the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th arrondissements almost totally car-free by 2012.
The smartest travellers take advantage of the walk-ability of this city, and stay above ground as much as possible. A metro ride of less than 2 stops is probably best avoided since walking will take about the same amount of time and you'll be able to see more of the city.
Paris walking 101
.To get a great orientation of the city on foot while seeing many of Paris' major sights, you can do a West to East walk from the Arc de Triomphe to Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame).^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

This walk takes about 1-2 hours without any stops. Start at the top of the Champs Elysees (at the Arc de Triomphe) and begin walking down the Champs Elysees towards Place ('square') de la Concorde.
  • On the way towards the obelisk on the square, you'll see the major stores and restaurants of Paris' most famous avenue.
  • Once you've passed the main shopping area, you'll see the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais to your right.
  • At Place de la Concorde, you'll be able to see many of Paris' major monuments around you. In front of you is the Tuileries, behind you is the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe, behind you to your right is the Tour Eiffel and Musee d'Orsay, and finally, to your left is the Madeleine.
  • Continue straight ahead and enter the Tuileries Gardens passing by fountains, flowers, and lovers in the park.
  • As you continue straight ahead, and out of the garden, you'll see the pyramid entrance to the Louvre directly in front of you.
  • With the pyramid directly in front of you, and the Tuileries directly behind you, turn to your right and walk towards the Seine.
  • Now you can walk along the Seine (eastwards) until you reach Pont Neuf. Cross Pont Neuf and walk through the Latin Quarter, cross the river again to reach Notre Dame cathedral on Ile de la Cité.
You may have heard of the hazard of walking into dog droppings in Paris. The problem has receded over the last decades, partially due to fines as high as €180 and an extensive street cleaning operations. However you will still occasionally encounter one of these little packages. Eventually with a little practice you'll be able to avoid them without effort while looking every way but down, though you may find yourself dancing around fallen leaves in the autumn (some are just the right size and colour).
You will also notice that most of the older Parisian streets (especially the ones in the Quartier Latin) are particularly narrow with little or no room to even fit a car, so the sidewalks on these roads are extremely tiny. Although this means you would opt to walk on the road, be wary as Parisian drivers, taxi drivers in particular, take no heed in the narrowness of the road, and will drive down it just as fast as if they were driving along a major road.
It's always fun to experience the city by foot, and there are numerous walking tours around Paris, whether self guided (with the help of a guidebook or online guide) or with a touring guide (booked through your travel agency or hotel). The city is best explored by foot, and some of the most marvelous memories you will have of Paris is walking through secret found places.

By métro

Paris has an excellent underground train system, known as the Métro (short for Chemin de Fer Métropolitain i.e. Metropolitan Railways). Although you will probably take the RER subway train from the airport to Paris, don't be confused: RER isn't the name for "French subway train", and only a few large stations service the RER network of trains. You'll want to look for the Métro stations, marked with a large "M" sign.
There are 16 Métro lines (lignes) (1-14, 3bis and 7bis) on which trains travel all day at intervals of a few minutes between 5AM and 12:30AM (Saturday night/Sunday morning: 1:30AM), stopping at all stations on the line. Times for trains can be seen on an electronic scrollboard above the platform. Line 14, which is fully automated, is called the Méteor. Scheduled times for first and last trains are posted in each station on the centre sign. Generally, except for early and late hours, travellers should not worry about specific Metro train times; just get to your station and take the next train which will likely be in 5-10 min.
The lines are named according to the names of their terminal stations (those at the end of the line). If you ask the locals about directions they will answer something like : take line number n toward "end station 1", change at "station", take the line nn toward "end station 2" etc. The lines are also colour-coded.
In addition there are 5 train lines called RER A, B, C, D, E. RER trains run at intervals of about 6-7 min, and stop at every station within Paris. Although a regular subway ticket can be used within Paris (Zone 1), it is necessary to pass the ticket through the turnstile when passing between the subway and the RER lines, as the two systems are separate networks. This ticket is necessary to both enter and exit the RER networks, as the RER trains travel on to the Parisian suburbs, outside the zone where a regular subway ticket can be used. Beware that travelling outside the city centre without a valid RER ticket will get you fined, and the packs of inspectors who roam the system show no mercy to tourists pleading ignorance. In particular, CDG airport is not within the city, and you'll need to purchase a more expensive RER ticket to get there (see Get in).
In addition to RER, there are many suburban train lines departing from the main train stations. One line of interest is the one from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles-Chantiers, a quick way to go to Versailles castle (covered by a ticket with at least Zones 1-4 validity). The alternative is to use RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche. Do not use RER C to Versailles chantiers; this will do a very long loop in the southern suburbs before reaching Versailles.
For travel outside of the Paris zone, the train arrival times are shown on a monitor hanging from the ceiling inside the RER station above the platform. Information about the stops to be made by the next incoming train is presented on a separate board also hanging from the ceiling. It is important to check this board before boarding the train, as not all trains make stops at all stations on a given line. Four letter codes (VERA, TOPU,...) are used for the RER and suburban trains. The first letter indicates the destination of the train, the others may have other meanings or have been chosen to make it easily memorized. You can look up what these codes mean on information panels in the station, but the easiest and fastest way is often to check the board hanging from the ceiling.
RATP [16] is responsible for public transport including metro, buses, and some of the high speed inter-urban trains (RER). The rest of the RER is operated by SNCF. However, both companies take the same tickets, so the difference is of little interest for most people except in case of strikes (because RATP may strike while SNCF does not, or the other way round). Current fares can be found at their website. Basically, as you move further from Paris (ie into higher zones), tickets get more expensive.
For the subway, a single ticket (ticket t+) costs €1.60; however, it is generally not advisable to buy tickets by the unit and to rather purchase a carnet of ten tickets, which can be bought for €11.40 at any station, that will bring the price per ticket down to €1.14. Tickets named 'Tarif réduit' may be purchased for children under the age of 10 but only in a carnet of 10 for €5.70. Both tickets are valid for unlimited metro and RER or bus and tram transfers during one hour. RER + Metro and Bus + Tram are two separate systems, although they use the same tickets. This means you have to use a new ticket if you transfer from bus to metro or from metro to bus. Tickets do not expire.
A 1-day ticket, a weekly pass, and a monthly pass are also available. The price varies according to the zones for which the ticket can be used. The cheapest 1-day ticket called Mobilis [17], is valid for zones 1-2, with a price of €5.90. Once bought, it is necessary to write in the spaces provided on the ticket: 1) the date the ticket is being used in European notation of day/month/year (Valable le), 2) the last name (Nom), and 3) and the first name (Prénom). Unfortunately, this ticket is not valid for use for travel to/from Charles de Gaulle airport. Unless you plan to make many trips in one day, the carnet of ten tickets (for €1.14 per trip) will still be a much better cost than a 1-day ticket. But in considering your options, consider the price for all members of your group/family, including children, which days you are travelling on, and in which zones you will be travelling.
For travellers under the age of 26, there is a special ticket (Jeunes 26) that you can purchase for use on the weekends or holidays. The price varies depending on the number of zones you wish to cover (Zones 1-3 is €3.30 and Zones 1-5 is €6.60; there are other zone combinations available too) and the ticket is good for one day of unlimited usage of the metro, RER, bus, and trams.
Map of Paris Métro
Map of Paris Métro
If you're staying a bit longer, the weekly and monthly passes are called Carte Orange (1 week pass, €17.20 for Paris and inner suburbs), and the monthly Carte Orange Mensuelle (1 month pass). Note that an Hebdomadaire (eb-DOH-ma-DAYR) starts on Mondays and a Mensuelle on the first of the month. The Carte Orange is non-transferrable, and therefore requires the user to provide information on the pass after the sale. Since 2008, the Carte Orange is sold as refill of a "Navigo Découverte" no contact pass. This pass is sold for €5. You must write your last name (nom), your first name (prénom) and stick your photo on the nominative card. After, you have to refill your pass with a Carte Orange Hebdomadaire (1 week pass), or a Carte Orange Mensuelle (1 month pass). You have to choose at least two of the contiguous "zones" : Paris is first the zone 1, La Défense is in the third zone, Versailles in the fourth,... Everything related to a "Navigo" pass is in purple (eg. the target for the pass in the turnstiles).
Although not as good a deal for adults in most cases as the Mobilis or Carte Orange, there are also 1-5 day tourist passes, called Paris Visite available, which are a bargain for kids of ages 4-11, starting at €4.40 per day for travel within zones 1-3.
Keep your métro ticket or pass with you at all times, you may be checked or "controlled". You will be cited and forced to pay on the spot. The most likely spots for controls are just behind the turnstiles at big Métro stations or during métro line changes "correspondances". It is rather uncommon for "controleurs" to check tickets on trains. RATP agents may be present in the metro stations even on Sunday night.
Métro stations have both ticket windows and automatic vending machines. The majority of automatic vending machines take only coins or European credit cards with a pin-encoded chip on the front. Therefore, to use either Euro bills or a non-European credit card with a magnetic stripe, it is necessary to make the purchase from the ticket window. Be advised too that some ticket vending machines do not give change, so unless you see "change returned" (or French equivalent), use exact change or go to the ticket window. If you look at the vending machines closely, you may find one in the group that takes Euro bills and will give change.
Some larger stations have secondary entrances where there is no ticket booth. These are labelled voyageurs avec billets ("passengers with tickets").
Avoid suburban charges
If you have any tickets or Carte Orange for zone 1-2 ("inside" Paris area: the lower rate) and want go to La Defense from Chatelet, you have to take the Metro (Line 1). You can take the RER A (and save a few minutes) but you have to pay an additional fare, because even though you arrive at the same station, the RER exit is supposed to be outside of Paris! On the other hand, métro fares are the same, even in the suburbs. So be careful, there are usually a lot of ticket examiners present when you get off the RER A.
Each station displays a detailed map of the surrounding area with a street list and the location of buildings (monuments, schools, places of worship etc) as well as exits for that particular metro. Maps are located on the platform if the station has several exits or near the exit if there is only one.
When the train arrives, the doors may not open automatically. In such a case, there are handles located both inside and outside the train which you have to push, or unlatch in order to open the door.

By boat

There are several excellent boat services which makes use of the Seine. As well as providing easy, cheap transport to much of central Paris, excellent photo opportunities abound. You can buy a day or 3 day ticket and hop on and off the boat as needed. The boats take a circular route from the Eiffel Tower, down past the Louvre, Notre Dame, botanical gardens then back up the other bank past Musee D'orsay. Batobus [18] offers a regular shuttle service between the main touristic sights (closed in January); other companies such as the famous Bateaux Mouches [19] offer sightseeing cruises.
There is also a river shuttle service called Voguéo [20] on the eastern part of the Seine, between Gare d'Austerlitz and Maison Alfort (in the suburbs). It's not meant for tourists, but as a convenient service for Parisians. .As a result, the view isn't the most breathtaking in Paris (part of it is industrial), but even though the boats are pretty small they're bound to be much less crowded than those for tourists.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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More importantly, it's free if you have a Carte Orange (weekly or monthly public transport pass). Otherwise a ticket bought onboard costs €3 which can be considered expensive. The last stop is in zone 3 so normally you should not be able to go that far with a Carte Orange that covers zones 1&2, but since June 2009 it's free as they are still experimenting the system. There are boats every 15 min and the whole trip lasts about 30 min. If you want to do a round-trip and don't have a Carte Orange, you will have to buy a second ticket.

On Skates

Paris is the mecca of city skating. This is due to the large, smooth surfaces offered by both the pavements and the roads. Skating on the pavement is legal all around Central Paris (zone 1) and its suburbs (zones 2+). See our Do section below for more information.

By bicycle

Renting a bike is a very good alternative over driving or using public transport. Riding a bike anywhere in the city is far safer for the moderately experienced cyclists than almost any town or city in the United States. The French are very cognizant of cyclists, almost to a point of reverence. A few years ago Paris wasn't the easiest place to get around by bike. That however has changed dramatically in recent years, starting perhaps with a lengthy bus and traffic jam. The city government has taken a number of steps in strong support of improving the safety and efficiency of the urban cyclist as well, in establishing some separated bike lanes, but even more important a policy of allowing cyclists to share the ample bus lanes on most major boulevards. Paris also has many riversides which are perfect for cycling. The Paris bike network now counts over 150 km of either unique or shared lanes for the cyclist. In addition, the narrower, medieval side streets of the central arrondissements make for rather scenic and leisurely cycling, especially during off-hours of the day when traffic is lighter. Do remember to bring a good map, since there is no grid plan to speak of and almost all of the smaller streets are one-way.
Note that, while the streets of Paris are generally fairly easy on novice cyclists, there are some streets in the city that should be avoided by those who do not have sufficient urban cycling experience. 'Rue de Rivoli', 'Place de la Bastille', and 'Place de la Nation' are particularly hairy, especially during weekdays and the Saturday evening rush, and should not be navigated by anyone not confident in their ability to cycle in heavy traffic. 'Avenue des Champs-Elysées', 'Place de l'Étoile', and 'Voie Georges Pompidou' (the lower-level express lanes along the banks of the Seine) should be avoided at all times.
You can find an excellent map of the bike network called Plan des Itinéraires cyclables (download here: [21]) at the information center in the Hôtel de Ville.
There are two different bike rental programs in Paris:
  • Vélib, +33 1 30 79 79 30, [22]. In July 2007 the municipality of Paris introduced the Vélib program (vélo Liberté or Freedom Bikes) by which it is possible to rent a bike for a very modest price. Numerous stations are to be found around the city (at major landmarks and metro stations, basically every 300m). With a credit card with a "puce" smart-chip (that means that American Visa and Mastercard cards do not work, however American Express cards should work even though they don't have a chip), you can subscribe for 1 day (€1) or 7 days (€5) after paying a security on the bicycle (to pay for it if it isn't returned) & then get a bike; the first 30 min are free, following 30 min costs €1, following 30 min cost €2, etc. to avoid long rentals... so the game is to get to another station in 25 min and get another bicycle. This rental system has been designed to allow you to "pick & drop" a bike, not rent the same one all day long. Try it ! If your card works in the machines it's a great way to get around! The bicycles are wonderful cruiser bikes, with a front basket to put a purse or bag. If the saddle is turned around, it most probably means the bike is out of order (it's a convention among Velib users, so do the same if you notice your Velib has problems). €1 per day.  edit
In addition to operating a number of bike rental buses, the RATP has some permanent locations, including:
  • Roue Libre, Les Halles, 1 passage Mondétour (facing 120 rue Rambuteau, Métro: Les Halles), +33 1 04 41 53 49. Bikes can be rented for one weekend (€25), M-F (€20), a working day (€9), or one day on the weekend (€14). Roue Libre also has a location at the Bastille which is open during the summer months  edit
Another possibility for renting a bicycle is Bike About Tours or Fat Tire bike tours. See the listings under Do below.

By bus

Since the Métro is primarily structured around a "hub and spoke" model, there are some journeys for which it can be quite inefficient, and in these cases it is worth seeing if a direct bus route exists, despite the complexity of the bus network. A bus ride is also interesting if you want to see more of the city. The Parisian bus system is quite tourist-friendly. It uses the same single-ride tickets and Carte Orange as the Métro, and electronic displays inside each bus tell riders its current position and what stops remain, eliminating a lot of confusion.
These same payment devices are also valid in the Noctilien, the night bus. Night buses run regularly through the central hub at Chatelet to outlying areas of greater Paris. There is also a circle line connecting the main train stations. It pays to know one's Noctilien route ahead of time in case one misses the last Métro home. Women travellers should probably avoid taking the Noctilien on their own to destinations outside Paris.
Another option for travelers who want to see the sights of Paris without a stop on every street corner is the Paris L’Opentour Bus. An open topped double decker bus that supplies headsets with the most up to date information on the attractions in Paris. Your ticket is good for 4 routes ranging in time from 1-2 hours. Get off when you want, stay as long as you need, get back on the bus and head for another site. You can purchase tickets at the bus stop. A 1 day pass is €25 for adults and €15 for children. A two day pass is €32 for adults or €15 for children.

By taxi

Taxis are comparatively cheap especially at night when there are no traffic jams to be expected. There are not as many as one would expect, and sometimes finding a taxi can be challenging. In the daytime, it is not always a good idea to take a taxi, as walking or taking the metro (See: Métro) will often be faster. If you know you will need one to get to the airport, or to a meeting, it is wise to book ahead by phone (see below).
To stop a taxi...
... watch the sign on the roof: if the white sign is lit, the cab is on duty and available, if the white sign is off and a colored light is lit under it (blue, orange), it's on duty and busy, if the white sign is off and no coloured light is on, the taxi is off duty.
Remember if a taxi is near a 'taxi station', they're not supposed to pick you up except at the station where there may be people waiting for a taxi. Taxi stations are usually near train stations, big hotels, hospitals, large crossings.
There are a number of services by which you can call for taxis or make a reservation in advance:
  • Taxis de France, [23].  .'listing', 'Paris');return false;" title="click to edit Taxis de France">edit
  • Taxi-Paris, +33 6 0760 4914, [24].^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

     edit
  • Shuttle Taxi, [25].  edit
  • Taxis Bleus, [26].  edit
As in many other cities a taxi can be difficult to stop; you may have to try several times. When you do get a taxi to stop, the driver will usually roll down his window to ask you where you want to go. If the driver can't (or doesn't want to) go where you want, he might tell you that he's near the end of his work day & can't possibly get you where you want before he has to go off-duty.
There is a €5.50 minimum on all taxi rides, mandated by city law, but the meter does not show this amount, which can result in being asked to pay more than the metered amount on short rides. Frequently the taxi driver will not want to drive you all the way to the doorstep, but will prefer to let you out a block or so away if there are one or more one-way streets to contend with. Try to look at this as a cost-savings rather than an inconvenience. You should pay while still seated in the cab as in New York and not through the front window London style.
The driver will not let you sit in the front seat (unless there are 3 or 4 of you, which is a rare case usually expedited by more money). Taxi-drivers come in all types, some nice, some rude, some wanting to chat, some not. Smoking in taxis is generally not allowed, however it might be that the taxi driver himself wants a cigarette in which case the rule might become flexible.
Many drivers prefer that you avoid using your cellphone during the ride; if you do have to, make an apologizing gesture & sound, and do make a short call.
  • A tip is included in the fare price; If you're especially satisfied with the service, you can give something (basically 10%), but you don't have to.
  • There is an extra charge for baggage handling.
If for any reason you wish to file a complaint about a Paris taxi, take note of the taxi's number on the sticker on the left hand backseat window.
Also if you take a taxi to the Charles de Gaulle airport be prepared to pay 70 euros or more because there is often heavy traffic. If there isn't traffic it won't be expensive, but that is rare. A bus is cheaper.
Beware of illegal taxis (see the 'Stay Safe' section).
Livery or Black Car or Limos- Known as car services or livery cabs, these cars may only be called by phone, are flat rate rather than metered (ask for the fare before getting in), and are not allowed to cruise the street or airports for fares. There are two types of licence: the "Grande Remise" that allows the car & driver to pick-up & drop-off passengers anywhere in France, and the "carte verte" that allows pick-up & drop-off in the department or region where the company is based. The Grande Remise cars have a GR on their front plate. They provide more service than a normal cab

Talk

In the parts of the city that tourists frequent the most (Tour Eiffel, Le Louvre, Champs-Elysées), the shopkeepers, information booth attendants, and other workers are likely to answer you in English, even if your French is advanced. These workers tend to deal with thousands of foreign-speaking tourists, and responding in English is often faster than repeating themselves in French. This is not the case for the rest of the city.
Reading up
.Before you leave you may want to read a book like French or Foe by Polly Platt or Almost French by Sarah Turnbull — interesting, well written records from English speaking persons who live in France.^ Although the public paid for it, the record is now owned by the Attorney General who would not even release copies of parts of the document for research and public interest purposes.

For most Parisians, English is something they had to study in school, and thus seems a bit of a chore. People helping you out in English are making an extra effort, sometimes a considerable one. Younger people are much more likely to be fluent in English than older people. If it's your first time in France you will have some problems understanding what people are saying (even with prior education in French). Unlike most language education tapes, real French people often speak fast, use slang, and swallow some letters.
When attempting to speak French, do not be offended if people ask you to repeat, or seem not to understand you, as they are not acting out of snobbery. Keep your sense of humour, and if necessary, write down phrases or place names. And remember to speak slowly and clearly. Unless you have an advanced level and can at least sort of understand French movies, you should also assume that it will be difficult for people to understand what you are saying (imagine someone speaking English to you in an indiscernible accent, it's all the same).
When in need of directions what you should do is this: find a younger person, or a person reading some book or magazine in English, who is obviously not in a hurry; say "hello" or "bonjour"; start by asking if the person speaks English, "Parlez-vous anglais?" (Par-LAY voo On-Glay?) even if he/she's reading something in English, speak slowly and clearly; write down place names if necessary. Smile a lot. Also, carry a map (preferably Paris par Arrondissement); given the complexity of Paris streets it is difficult to explain how to find any particular address in any language, no matter how well you speak it. If anything, the person may have an idea as to the place you are looking for, but may not know exactly where it may be, so the map always helps.
On the other hand you will probably get the cold shoulder if you stop a random person in the métro (like, say, some middle-aged hurried person who has a train to take), fail to greet them and say "where is place X or street Y".
Now if you do speak French, remember two magic phrases : "Excusez-moi de vous déranger" [es-KOO-zay mwa duh voo DAY-ranj-AY] ("Sorry to bother you") and "Pourriez-vous m'aider?" ("Could you help me?") — use them liberally - especially in shops; they will work wonders.

See

One of the best value and most convenient ways to see the sights of Paris is with the Paris Museum Pass (previously known as Carte Musées et Monuments) [27], a pre-paid entry card that allows entry into over 70 museums and monuments around Paris and comes in 2-day (€30), 4-day (€45) and 6-day (€60) denominations (prices as of Aug 2008). Note these are consecutive days. The card allows you to jump otherwise sometimes lengthy queues and is available from participating museums, tourist offices, Fnac branches and all the main Métro and RER train stations. You will still need to pay to enter most special exhibitions. For best results and to avoid having to wait in the first long queue to purchase the Museum Pass, stop to purchase your pass at one of the smaller museums or sites covered, or at one of the non-museum purchase points. [28] The day you purchase the pass does not have to count as one of the days; you specify on the pass the first date of use, and the days covered are consecutive after that. [29] Do not write your start date until you are certain you will use the pass that day. Be careful to use the European date style as indicated on the card (day/month/year).
Note that most museums and galleries are closed on either Monday or Tuesday - check ahead to avoid disappointment! - and most ticket counters close 30-45 min before final closing. Louvre museum is closed on Tuesdays while Orsay museum is closed on Mondays, good to know when setting visit plans.
Also consider the ParisPass [30] also a pre paid entry card + queue jumping to 60 attractions including The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, as well as a river cruise and allows free metro & public transport travel. Also note a cheaper alternative with this new combined pass available since September 2008 is the Paris ComboPass® [31], which comes in Lite/Premium versions.
All national museums are open free of charge on the first Sunday of the month; note, however, that this may mean long lines and crowded exhibits. Keep away from Paris during Easter week. It's really crowded. People have to queue up at the Eiffel tower for several hours. Entry to the permanent exhibitions at city-run museums is free at all times (admission is charged for temporary exhibitions).
These listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Paris. The complete listings are found on each individual district page (follow the link in parenthesis).
Good listings of almost everything to do in Paris can be found in 'Pariscope' or 'Officiel des spectacles', weekly magazines listing all concerts, art exhibitions, films, stage plays and museums. Available from all kiosks.
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris
  • Arc de Triomphe (8th)— The Arc de Triomphe still exudes a certain grandeur despite the crowds of tourists and the tacky souvenir shops.
  • Arènes de Lutece (5th)— Built during the 1st and 2nd centuries, this amphitheater could seat up to 17,000 people, hosting gladiator fights as well as less bloody entertainment.
  • Assemblée Nationale (7th)— Seats the French Parliament, and was designed by Giardini and Gabriel in 1728.
  • Catacombs (14th)— Used to store the exhumed bones from the overflowing Paris cemetery.
  • Chateau de Versailles (Versailles)— France's most exquisite chateau, on the outskirts of the city. .Was once the home to Louis XIV.
  • The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) (7th)— No other monument that better symbolizes Paris.
  • Grand Arche de la Défense (La Défense)— A modern office-building variant of the Arc de Triomphe.^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    Has a viewing platform.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral (4th)— Impressive Gothic cathedral that was the inspiration for Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Opera Garnier (9th)— Masterpiece of theatre architecture of the 19th century built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 housing the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV.
  • Pantheon (5th)— Underneath, the final resting place for the great heroes of the French Republic including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Currie; above, a marvellous view of the city.
  • Père-Lachaise Cemetery (20th)— See the grave of Jim Morrison amongst many others.
Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur
  • Sacré Coeur (18th)— A church perched on top of the highest point in Paris. Behind the church is the artists' area, in front are spectacular views of the whole city.
  • Sainte Chapelle (1st)— Far more beautiful than the famous, but gloomy, Notre Dame.
  • Le Musée de l'AP-HP, (5th)— Paris's medical history.
Pompidou
Pompidou
  • Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs, (1st)— Showcasing eight centuries of French savoir faire.
  • Carnavalet (3rd)— Museum of Paris history; exhibitions are permanent and free.
  • Centre Georges Pompidou , (4th)— The great museum of modern art, the building an attraction in itself.
  • Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie - La Villette, (19th)— Science museum for adults and children.
  • Cluny, (5th)— Paris's medieval museum, housed in a part Roman, part medieval building.
l'Eglise du Dome, church of Les Invalides, site of Napoleon's tomb
l'Eglise du Dome, church of Les Invalides, site of Napoleon's tomb
  • Delacroix— National museum housed in the home of painter Eugene Delacroix.
  • Jacquemart-Andre Museum , (8th)— Private collection of French, Italian, Dutch masterpieces in a typical XIXth century mansion.
  • Picasso Museum, (3rd)— Contains the master's own collections.
  • Les Invalides, (7th)— Museum of arms and armor from the Middle Ages to today. Also contains the tombs of Napoleon Bonaparte and other French military figures.
  • The Louvre, (1st)— One of the finest museums in the world of art, art-history, and culture. Home of the Mona Lisa.
  • Musée de l'Orangerie, (1st)— [Jardin des Tuileries] Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Chaim Soutine, Alfred Sisley.
  • Musée d'Orsay, (7th)— Home to the great artists of the 19th century (1848-1914). Incredible collection of Impressionist art housed in an old railway station. Every room you go into seems to have another incredibly popular painting. Degas'ballerinas, Monet's waterlillies, etc.
  • Musée Marmottan-Monet [32] (16th)[rue Louis Boilly]— Collection of works by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. "Impression Soleil Levant" by Monet is on display in this museum.
  • Musée National de la Marine, (16th)— From times of exploration to modern day vessels. Interesting but primarily in French.
  • Rodin Museum, (7th)— His personal collection and archives, in a charming hotel and sprawling garden.
  • Musée en Herbe (1st and 16th)— An art museum just for kids with hands-on exhibitions and workshops.

Do

Events

It seems like there's almost always something happening in Paris, with the possible exceptions of the school holidays in August and February, when about half of Parisians are to be found not in Paris, but in the Alps or the South of France respectively. The busiest season is probably the fall, from a week or so after la rentrée scolaire or "back to school" to around Noël (Christmas) theatres, cinemas and concert halls book their fullest schedule of the year.
Even so, there are a couple of annual events in the winter, starting with a furniture and interior decorating trade fair called Maison & Object [33] in January.
In February le nouvel an chinois (Chinese New Year) is celebrated in Paris as it is in every city with a significant Chinese population. There are parades in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and especially in Chinatown in the 13th south of Place d'Italie. Also in February is the Six Nations Rugby Tournament [34] which brings together France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.
The first of two Fashion weeks occurs in March: Spring Fashion Week, giving designers a platform to present women’s prêt-à-porter (ready to wear) collections for the following winter.
The French Tennis Open [35] in which the world’s top players battle it out on a clay court runs during two weeks starting on the last Sunday in May. By the time its done in June, a whole range of festivities start up. Rendez-vous au Jardin is an open house for many Parisian gardens, giving you a chance to meet real Parisian gardeners and see their creations. The Fête de la Musique [36] celebrates the summer solstice (21st June) with this city-wide free musical knees-up. Finally on the 30th of June is the Gay Pride [37] parade, featuring probably the most sincere participation by the mayor's office of any such parade on the globe.
The French national holiday Bastille Day on the 14th of July celebrates the storming of the infamous Bastille during the French Revolution. Paris hosts several spectacular events that day of which the best known is the Bastille Parade which is held on the Champs-Élysées at 10AM and broadcast to pretty much the rest of Europe by television. The entire street will be crowded with spectators so arrive early. The Bastille Day Fireworks is an exceptional treat for travelers lucky enough to be in town on Bastille Day. The Office du Tourisme et des Congress de Paris recommends gathering in or around the champs du Mars, the gardens of the Eiffel Tower.
Also in July, Cinema en Plein Air [38] is the annual outdoor cinema event that takes place at the Parc de la Villette, in the 9th on Europe’s largest inflatable screen. For most of the months of July and August, parts of both banks of the Seine are converted from expressway into an artificial beach for Paris Plage [39]. Also in July the cycling race le Tour de France both starts and ends in Paris. Its route varies annually, however it always finishes on the last Sunday of July under the Arc de Triomphe.
On the last full weekend in August, a world-class music festival Rock en Seine [40] draws international rock and pop stars to barges on the Seine near moored off of the 8th.
During mid-September DJs and (usually young) fans from across Europe converge on Paris for five or six days of dancing etc. culminating in the Techno parade - a parade whose route traces roughly from Pl. de Bastille to the Sorbonne, and around the same time the festival Jazz à la Villette [41] brings some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz from around the world.
The Nuit Blanche [42] transforms most of central Paris into a moonlit theme-park for an artsy all-nighter on the first Saturday of October, and Fashion Week [43] returns shortly thereafter showing off Women’s Prêt-à-Porter collections for the following summer; as we've noted winter collections are presented in March.
The third Thursday in November marks the release of Le Beaujolais Nouveau [44] and the beginning of the Christmas season. This evening, the Christmas lights are lit in a ceremony on the Champs-Élysées, often in the presence of hundreds (if not thousands) of people and many dignitaries, including the president of France.
Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive event guides covering concerts, clubs, movies or special events. For theater, movies and exhibitions pick up the 'Pariscope' and 'L'officiel du Spectacle', available at newstands for €0.40. For (especially smaller, alternative) concerts pick up LYLO, a small, free booklet available in some bars and at FNAC. There is not any userfriendly online version of these guides. Check out La Societe du Spectacle [45] which will list concerts and clubs (to be launched in february 2009).
  • Cafe Philo in English, Cafe de Flore, 172, Blvd St-Germain, 75006, [46]. Cafe Philo in English meets on the first Wednesday of each month upstairs at the famous Cafe de Flore. Everyone is invited. You don't have to be knowledgeable about philosophy. Meetings begin with a two round voting process to determine a topic. The topic is discussed for two hours. Free.  edit

Movies

The Cinémas of Paris are (or at least should be) the envy of the movie-going world. Of course, like anywhere else you can see big budget first-run films from France and elsewhere. That though, is just the start. During any given week there are at least half-a-dozen film festivals going on, at which you can see the entire works of a given actor or director. Meanwhile there are some older cult films like say, What's new Pussycat or Casino Royal which you can enjoy pretty much any day you wish.
Many non-French movies are subtitled (called "version originale" "VO" or "VOstfr" as opposed to "VF" for version francaise).
There are any number of ways to find out what's playing, but the most commonly used guide is Pariscope, which you can find at newstands for €0.40. Meanwhile there are innumerable online guides which have information on "every" cinema in Paris.
Be aware that most of the movies shown in France are dubbed to French. Some shows may have French subtitles. However, most of the movies shown in Paris are shown in original version with French subtitles.

Learn

It should go without saying that Paris is a good place to learn French.
  • Alliance Francaise. One of the world's largest schools of French language, the Paris Alliance Française has a wide variety of courses for a visitor to choose from.  edit
  • Université Paris IV. Offers 'scholastic' as well as 'university' courses for foreigners in French language and culture, which start at various times of year.  edit
Paris is the seat of other places to learn about a variety of topics.
  • The American Library in Paris, (5 minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower), [47]. A great place to visit in Paris is the American Library, this is a non-profit institution entirely dependent on donations in order to keep its doors open. Visitors can purchase a day pass or other short term memberships. .The Library has WiFi and if you have your laptop then you can access the internet for no charge other than the day pass to use the library.^ In order to make sure that you see the exact rate that you will be charged for an accommodation for more than 2 adults, it is best to double-check by emailing us at customer service with your dates and the ages of your children.
    • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

    It has excellent books, recent American magazines and the occasional celebrity patron.
     edit

Work

Work in Paris, especially for non-EU citizens entails a very long and arduous process. If you opt for unreported work, such as babysitting, you need not fret about going through the process to obtain a Carte de séjour, i.e., a formal vistor's identify card. However, if you do choose a change in location, it is advisable to obtain a Carte de séjour prior to finding any job whatsoever, as the process can be longer than expected.
Before entering the city, one must obtain a visa from their local French Consulate French Embassy [48]. The guidelines for particular visas can be found on their website, and differ depending on length of stay in France, and what exactly you will be doing while there. .When applying for the visa make sure you have ALL your documents prior to your appointment at the French Consulate, otherwise the process, and inevitably, obtaining your visa will be delayed.^ In order to make sure that you see the exact rate that you will be charged for an accommodation for more than 2 adults, it is best to double-check by emailing us at customer service with your dates and the ages of your children.
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Always make 2 copies of all the forms, and to have plenty of passport photos ready as the copies will be utilized in each step of the process. If you are going to work in France and are bringing a child along, also bring your child's information for obtaining a visa.
After obtaining a visa (usually a single-entry), you must go to your Local Parisian Prefecture [49] as your single-entry visa will expire within 3 months of arrival, and the process in the country is just as long and arduous as the one at the Consulate. Expect to go there multiple times, and always have copies and copies of those copies. The French governmental system is notorious for losing papers, so always have the copies handy when you go for your follow up. When you finally do receive your Carte de séjour, you are free to scope out jobs.
Job listings, as anywhere, can be found in local magazines and newspapers. Another great place to look for jobs is online, whether using a Job Search Engine such as Monster [50] or Wiki search pages such as Craigslist [51]. Remember, the city of Paris has a huge network of immigrants coming and going, and it is always great to tap into that network. The city holds a great abundance of work ready to be found, even if it feels nerve wracking at first.

Buy

.Paris is one of the great fashion centres of the Western world, up there with New York, London, and Milan, making it a shopper's delight.^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

While the Paris fashion scene is constantly evolving, the major shopping centres tend to be the same. High end couture can be found in the 8th arrondisement. In summer, there is nothing better than browsing the boutiques along Canal St-Martin, or strolling along the impressive arcades of the historic Palais-Royal, with beautifully wrapped purchases swinging on each arm.
A good note about Le Marais is that as it is a mostly Jewish neighborhood, most of the shops in Le Marais are open on Sundays. The stores in this area are intimate and boutique, manifesting as particularly "Parisian" style clothing stores. You will no doubt find something along each street, and is always well worth the look.
Other great areas to shop around in are around the area Sèvres Babylone (Métro Line 10 and Line 12). It is in this area you will find afore mentioned Le Bon Marchée 7th, particularly rue de Cherche Midi 6th. The area houses some of the major fashion houses (Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, etc) and also has smaller private boutiques with handmade clothing.
In the Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés, you can find a handful of vintage clothing shops, carrying anything from couture early 20th century dresses, to 70s Chanel sunglasses. Walking along Boulevard Saint-Germain, you will find major brands. However, if in search of eclectic finds, opt to walk the northern side of the Boulevard, especially along rue Saint André des Arts, where you can always find a nice café to stop in. The area south of Saint-Germain is just as nice, and comes with a price tag to match.

Flea Markets

Paris has 3 main flea-markets, located on the outskirts of the central city. The most famous of these is the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Porte de Clignancourt) (Clignancourt Flea Market) , Métro: Porte de Clignancourt, in the 18th, a haven for lovers of antiques, second-hand goods and retro fashion. The best days to go are Saturday and Sunday. Note that there are particular times of the week when only antique collectors are allowed into the stalls, and there are also times of the day when the stall owners take their Parisian Siesta, and enjoy a leisurely cappuccino for an hour or so. The best times to visit the Flea Markets are in the spring and summertime, when the area is more vibrant. In and around the metro station, you may find the area a little wild, still safe.

Musical Instruments

Rue de Rome, situated near Gare St. Lazare, is crowded with luthiers, brass and woodwind makers, piano sellers, and sheet music stores. Subway station Europe.

Artwork

For art lovers, be sure to check out Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which is renowned for its galleries, and it is impossible to turn a street without finding a gallery to cast your glance in. On Fridays, most open until late. Most even have the benefit of bottles of wine so you can wander in with your glass of wine and feel very artistique. Great roads to walk along are rue de Seine, rue Jacob, rue des Beaux Arts, Rue Bonaparte, and Rue Mazarine. Also, be sure to visit the historical district of Montparnasse' and quartier Vavin where painters like Modigliani, Gauguin and Zadkine used to work.

Eat

Paris is one of Europe's culinary centres. The restaurant trade began here just over 220 years ago and continues to thrive. It may however come as a surprise that Paris isn't considered the culinary capital of France, rather some people prefer the French cooking found in small rural restaurants, outside of the city, closer to the farms and with their focus on freshness and regional specialities. Even amongst French cities, Paris has long been considered by some people as second to Lyon for fine dining.
There have been other challenges in the last 20 years or so as restaurateurs in places like San Francisco and Sydney briefly surpassed their Parisian fore bearers, again with an emphasis on freshness of ingredients but also borrowings from other cuisines. Parisian cooks didn't just rest on their laurels during this time, rather they travelled, taught, and studied, and together with Paris's own immigrant communities, have revitalized the restaurant trade. Today you can find hundreds of beautiful restaurants with thoughtful (or just trendy) interior design and well-planned and executed cartes and menus offering a creative mélange of French and exotic foreign cuisines. It's safe to say that Paris is once again catching up with or edging ahead of its Anglophone rivals.
Of course there are also some traditional offerings, and for the budget conscious there are hundreds of traditional bistros, with their sidewalk terraces offering a choice of fairly simple (usually meat centred) meals for reasonable prices.
For the uninitiated, it is unfortunately possible to have a uniformly poor dining experience during a stay in Paris, mainly because many attractions are situated in upscale areas of town, and that mass tourism attracts price gougers. It is frequent to hear of people complaining of very high Parisian prices for poor food and poor service, because they always tried to eat close to major tourist magnets. Try to go eat where the locals eat for good food and great service.
Many restaurants are tiny and have tables close together - square metres are at a premium and understandably restaurateurs need to make the most of limited space. In some cases when the restaurant is crowded, you may have to sit beside strangers at the same table. If that does not appeal to you, go to a more upscale place where you will pay for the extra space.
Trendy restaurants often require reservations weeks, if not months in advance. If you haven't planned far enough ahead, try to get a reservation for lunch which is generally easier and less expensive.
For an easy-to-manage eating budget while in Paris, consider: breakfast or "petit dejeuner" at a restaurant, possibly in your hotel, consisting of some croissants, coffee, and maybe a piece of fruit. Get a 'walking lunch' from one of Paris' many food stands--a panino in the centre of the city, a crepe from a crepe stand, a felafel pita or take-out Chinese in the Marais. Traiteurs serving Chinese food are ubiquitous in the city and good for a cheap lunch and many patisseries sell inexpensive coffee and sandwiches. All these are cheap (about the same as breakfast), easy, and allow you to maximize your sightseeing and walking time while enjoying delicious local or ethnic food. For dinner, stroll the streets at dusk and consider a €20-40 prix-fixe menu. This will get you 3 or 4 courses, possibly with wine, and an unhurried, candlelit, magical European evening. If you alternate days like this with low-budget, self-guided eating (picnicking, snacking, street food) you will be satisfied without breaking the bank.
If one of the aims of your trip to Paris is to indulge in its fine dining, though, the most cost-effective way to do this is to make the main meal of your day lunch. Virtually all restaurants offer a good prix-fixe deal. By complementing this with a bakery breakfast and a light self-catered dinner, you will be able to experience the best of Parisian food and still stick to a budget.

Self catering

Budget travellers will be very pleased with the range and quality of products on offer at the open air markets (e.g. the biggest one on Boul Richard Lenoir (near the Bastille), Rue Mouffetard, Place Buci, Place de la Madeleine and over the Canal Saint-Martin in the 11th or in any other arrondissement). .If your accommodation has cooking facilities you're set, especially for wine and cheese, a decent bottle of French wine will set you back all of about €3-5, while the very good stuff starts at around €7. Bottles for less than €3 are not recommended.^ In order to make sure that you see the exact rate that you will be charged for an accommodation for more than 2 adults, it is best to double-check by emailing us at customer service with your dates and the ages of your children.
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Keep in mind that the small épiceries which open until late are more expensive than the supermarchés (Casino, Monoprix, Franprix, etc). For wine, the price difference can be up to €2.
Buy a baguette, some cheese and a good bottle of wine and join the Parisian youth for a pique-nique along the Seine (especially on the Île Saint-Louis) or along the Canal Saint-Martin. The finest food stores are Lafayette Gourmet in the Galeries Lafayette or La Grande Epicerie in the luxury department store Le Bon Marché. They are worth discovering. You will find a large variety of wines there, otherwise try wine stores such as Nicolas or Le Relais de Bacchus (all over the city).

Some specialities

For seafood lovers, Paris is a great place to try moules frites (steamed mussels and French fries) (better in fall and winter), oysters, sea snails, and other delicacies. Meat specialties include venison (deer), boar, and other game (especially in the fall and winter hunting season), as well as French favourites such as lamb, veal, beef, and pork.

Prices

Eating out in Paris can be expensive. However don't believe people when they say you can't do Paris on the cheap - you can! The key is to stay away from the beaten tracks and the obviously expensive Champs Elysees. Around the lesser visited quarters especially, there are many cheap and yummy restaurants to be found. The key is to order from the Prix-Fixe menu, and not off the A la Carte menu unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. In many places a three course meal can be found for about €15. This way you can sample the food cheaply and is usually more "French". Ask for "une carafe d'eau" (oon karaaf doe) to get free tap water.
The best and cheapest way to get around Paris is on foot, and secondly, using the Metro which is around one euro fifty cents for a one way trip of any length.
In the artsy quarters of 1 and 4, there are many bargains to be had once again, if you are prepared to look. Souvenirs are easily found and can be really inexpensive as long as you don't buy from the tourist sites. For cheap books of French connection, try the University/Latin quarter as they sell books in all languages starting from half a euro each.

Kosher dining

Paris has the largest number of Kosher restaurants in any European city. Walk up and down Rue des Rosiers to see the variety and choices available from Israeli, Sushi, Italian and others. See the district guides for examples.

Vegetarian dining

For vegetarians, eating traditional French food will require some improvisation, as it is heavily meat-based. That being said, Paris has several excellent vegetarian restaurants. Look for spots such as Aquarius in the 14th, and Le Grenier de Notre-Dame in the 5th, or La Victoire Suprême du Coeur in the 1st just to name a few. See the arrondissement pages for more listings. For fast food and snacks, you can always find a vegetarian sandwich or pizza. Even a kebab shop can make you something with just cheese and salad, or perhaps falafel.
There are also lots of Italian, Thai, Indian, and Mezo-American places where you will have little problem. In Rue des Rosiers (4th arrondissement) you can get delicious falafel in the many Jewish restaurants. Another place to look for falafel is on Rue Oberkampf (11th arrondissement). Take away falafel usually goes for 5€ or less.
Moroccan and Algerian cooking is common in Paris - vegetarian couscous is lovely. Another good option for vegetarians - are traiteurs, particularly around Ledru Rollin (down the road from Bastille) take away food where you can combine a range of different options such as pomme dauphinoise, dolmas, salads, vegetables, nice breads and cheeses and so on.
Lebanese restaurants and snack shops abound as well, offering a number of vegetarian mezze, or small plates. The stand-bys of course are hummas, falafel, and baba-ganouche (caviar d'aubergine). A good place to look for Lebanese is in the pedestrian zone around Les Halles and Beaubourg in the 1st and 4th.

Tourists and locals

When you are looking for a restaurant in Paris, be a little careful of those where the staff readily speak English. These restaurants are usually - but not always - geared towards tourists. It does make a difference in the staff's service and behaviour whether they expect you to return or not.
Sometimes the advertised fixed price tourist menus (€10-15) are a good deal. If you're interested in the really good and more authentic stuff (and if you have learned some words of French) try one of the small bistro where the French go during lunch time.

Drink

The bars scene in Paris really does have something for everyone. From bars which serve drinks in babies bottle, to ultra luxe clubs that require some name dropping, or card (black Amex) showing, and clubs where you can dance like no one's watching, (although they will be). To start your night out right, grab a drink or two in a ubiquitous dive bar, before burning up the dance floor and spreading some cash, at one of the trendy clubs.
  • Canal St Martin. Many cozy cafés and other drinking establishments abound around the Canal St Martin in the 10th.
  • The Marais. The Marais boasts a large number of trendier new bars mostly in the 4th and to a lesser extent the 3rd with a few old charmers tossed into the mix. A number of bars and restaurants in the Marais have a decidedly gay crowd, but are usually perfectly friendly to straights as well. Some seem to be more specifically aimed at up-and-coming hetero singles.
  • Bastille. There is a very active nightlife zone just to the northeast of Place de Bastille centered around rue de Lappe, rue de la Roquette, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine (especially the amazing Club Barrio Latino) and rue de Charonne in the 11th. Many of the bars closest to Bastille have either a North, Central, or South American theme, with a couple of Aussie places mixed in for good measure, and as you continue up rue de Charonne the cafés have more of a traditionally French but grungy feeling.
  • Quartier Latin - Odeon. If you're looking for the nouvelle vague (new wave) style, student and intellectual atmosphere of Paris in the 60s and 70s, you'll find a lot of that (and more hip + chique) places in the quartier Latin and between place Odeon and the Seine. The neighborhood is also home of many small artsy cinemas showing non-mainstream films and classics (check 'Pariscope' or 'l'officiel du spectacle' at any newspaper stand for the weekly programme).
  • Rue Mouffetard and environs. The area in the 5th on the south side of the hill topped by the Panthéon has a little bit of everything for the nighthawk, from the classy cafés of Place de la Contrescarpe to an Irish-American dive bar just down the way to a hip, nearly hidden jazz café at the bottom of the hill.
  • Châtelet. In some ways the Marais starts here in the 1st between Les Halles and Hôtel de Ville but with between all of the tourists and the venerable Jazz clubs on rue des Lombards the area deserves some special attention.
  • Montmartre. You'll find any number of cozy cafés and other drinking establishments all around the Butte Montmartre in the 18th, especially check out rue des Abbesses near the Métro station of the same name.
  • Oberkampf-Ménilmontant. If you are wondering where you can find the hipsters (bobos for bohemian-bourgeois), then look no further. There are several clusters of grungy-hip bars all along rue Oberkampf in the 11th, and stretching well into the 20th up the hill on rue de Ménilmontant. It's almost like being in San Francisco's Haight-Fillmore district.
  • Bagnolet. There are a cluster of bar/restaurant/nightclubs along the southern end of the Père Lachaise cemetery in the 20th including probably the best place in Paris for nightly local and touring punk rock.
  • Rues des Dames-Batignolles. Another good place to find the grungy-chic crowd is the northern end of the 17th around rue des Dames and rue des Batignolles, and if you decide you want something a little different Montmartre is just around the corner.
  • Port de Tolbiac. This previously deserted stretch of the river Seine in the 13th was re-born as a center for nightlife (and Sunday-afternoon-life) a few years ago when an electronic music cooperative opened the Batofar. Nowadays there are a number of boats moored along the same quai, including a boat with a Caribbean theme, and one with an Indian restaurant.
  • Saint Germain des Prés. This area boasts two of the most famous cafés in the world: Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, both catering to the tourists and the snobs who can afford their high prices. This part of the 6th is where the Parisian café scene really started, and there still are hundreds of places to pull up to a table, order a glass, and discuss Sartre deep into the evening.
For individual bar listings see the various Arrondissement pages under Get around.
Of course there are lots of interesting places which are sort of off on their own outside of these clusters, including a few like the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz which are not to be missed in a serious roundup of Parisian drinking, so check out the listings even in those arrondissements we haven't mentioned above.
Some nightclubs in Paris that are worth it: Folies Pigalle (pl. Pigalle, 18th, very trash, famous for its after, €20), Rex Club (near one of the oldest cinemas on earth, the Grand Rex, house/electro, about €15 cheap). You might also want to try Cabaret (Palais Royal), Maison Blanche, le Baron (M Alma-Marceau). Remember when going out to dress to impress, you are in Paris! Torn clothing and sneakers are not accepted. The better you look the most likely you will get past the random decisions of club bouncers. Also important to remember if male (or in a group of guys) that it will be more difficult to enter clubs, try to always have an equal male/female ratio.

Sleep

Paris hotels, almost without regard to category or price, observe high and low seasons. These differ slightly from one hotel to another, but usually the high season roughly corresponds to late spring and summer, and possibly a couple of weeks around the Christmas season.
Be aware that when a hotel is listed in any guide or website this will eventually make it a bit harder to get a room at that hotel. That means that you will probably need to book ahead, especially in the high season. However, if they don't have a room they sometimes know another place close by that does have a room available.
When two people are travelling together it can be a much better deal to find a hotel room than to get 2 hostel beds. More privacy for less money.
For individual hotel listings see the various Arrondissement pages.
For those who are staying for a while renting a furnished apartment might be a more comfortable and money-saving option. Furnished apartments differ considerably in quality, so it is important to choose carefully. There are a huge number of websites in the business of helping you find one, but most charge a steep commission of 10% or more. It is also possible to rent apartments for shorter stays, and this is an alternative well worth considering.

Stay safe

Crime

Crime in Paris is similar to most large cities, but violent crime is uncommon, especially in the heart of the city where most tourist spots are located (and where there is a high police presence). As elsewhere, common sense applies and you should check your surroundings before flashing out expensive cameras and so on.
Pickpockets are active on the rail link (RER) from Charles de Gaulle airport to downtown Paris and on the number one metro (subway) line that cuts across the city center east to west servicing many of the major tourist sites. A common scheme is for one thief to distract the tourist with questions or disturbance while an accomplice picks pockets, a backpack or purse. Thieves often time their crime to coincide with the closing of the automatic doors on the metro, leaving the victim secured on the departing train. Many thefts also occur at the major department stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps) where tourists leave wallets, passports and credit cards on cashier counters during transactions.
Popular tourist sites are also popular hunting grounds for thieves who favour congested areas to mask their activities. The crowded elevators at the Eiffel Tower, escalators at museums and the area around the Sacre Cœur church in Montmartre are all favoured by pickpockets and snatch-and-run thieves.
The area around the famous Moulin Rouge is known as Pigalle, an adult entertainment area known for prostitutes, sex shows and drugs (on an unrelated note, it also has a concentration of guitar shops). Unsuspecting tourists visiting seedy bars often run up exorbitant bar bills and are forced to pay before being permitted to leave. If you do visit an adult show absolutely do not order any drinks for yourself, or any of the workers, without seeing the prices first. You could pay upwards of €600 for 2 drinks!
The Marché aux Puces (Les Puces) flea market is virtually designed to make pickpocketing easy and gangs can be witnessed spotting victims. Walkways are often crowded, narrow, dark, with no way out except to wait for the extraordinarily-slow walkers to move.
There are some areas, like Barbès (18th), where it's better not to hang around alone at night. In these areas, a lot depends on the way you behave and if you know how to adapt to the situation. If you know what you are looking for, speak some French and feel comfortable, there is no problem strolling around a neighborhood like Barbès.
You may have heard sensational news reports about riots in downtrodden, poor crime-ridden suburbs of Paris (banlieues) where many inhabitants are of foreign origin (North Africa). In reality, many of these suburbs, though poor, are safe in normal times. The subject is very touchy, since it has racist overtones; you should certainly avoid discussing it. In any case, as a tourist there probably isn't much reason to visit the suburbs except for perhaps the Basilique de St Denis. Other attractions located in the suburbs (Fontainebleau castle, Versailles castle, Malmaison...) are in well-heeled areas with very little crime.
The metro is relatively safe, but again, pickpockets and purse snatchers do work in the stations and on the trains especially near tourist destinations. If you are carrying a bag make sure that it's closed tightly. If you have a wallet in your pocket keep a hand on it while entering or exiting the trains. Don't carry any more cash than you can afford to lose. Keep your cash on different parts of your body: some in your money belt, some in your purse/wallet, some in your shoe. Keep the contents of your purse/wallet to the bare essentials: money, one debit/credit card, I.D., emergency contact information, medical I.D. When you have to access your money belt, do so in private.
Recent news reports have highlighted new tactics by thieves, targeting taxis on their way into the city from Charles de Gaulle airport. Thieves wait for the taxi to be stopped in the usual traffic jam along the A1 highway and break windows to get to the passengers' bags. To avoid this, you may place your bags in the trunk of the taxi or take the very safe Air France shuttle.
You should also beware of illegal taxis. At least one young foreign tourist has been murdered after getting into a car that was not - as she'd believed - an official Parisian taxi.
Beware also of distraught-looking women and children asking if you can speak English (they are easy to spot because they often have long dark hair, long skirts, and they wander around, going from person to person). You'll be presented with a card or letter with a story explaining something like "My mother is in hospital in another country terminally ill. I'm stuck in Paris with no money and I need to visit her." You´ll encounter them at the major train and Métro stations (they are especially prevalent in and around Gare du Nord and Châtelet-Les Halles) and also at most major tourist attractions. Even on the Champs-Élysées. They are also prevalent around the Arc de Triomphe near the Embassy of Qatar. At certain tourist hotspots (such as the Sacre Coeur) there are African men who will try to show you a 'magic trick'. This involves tying a piece of string around your finger. While you are distracted (and your arm is effectively disabled), an accomplice will pickpocket you.
Some Parisian restaurants, particularly in the tourist-laden Latin Quarter, make a living ripping off tourists who are hampered by a language barrier. When ordering, particularly if ordering a "menu" or prix-fixe meal, point to the actual menu item and be sure you repeat the price. Eye contact works wonders, as does a modicum of conversational French. If the bill does not conform to what you order, complain and leave the restaurant without paying if this does not work.
Beware of touristy areas where there are gambling stands with people playing. They are more than likely to be accompliances of the person manning the booth. They usually play with 3 black rubber coins to guess the one with a white piece of paper stuck underneath. You can never win at that as they switch hands and do not let you open it yourself. If you ever get cheated there, shout at them loudly and refuse to let them go as they usually operate in crowded places.
Another thing to be wary of is people asking where do you come from with strings in their hand. They will make small talk with you while tying a friendship band around your finger. After that they will demand money from you. Sometimes, along the Seine-River, fraudsters "find" a ring which they give to you. This happens especially to young couples and they always hand the ring to the man. This gesture is thought to gain some trustfulness because they act as if they think the ring was yours. They don't want you to give the ring back. A few moments later they ask you for money to buy something to eat: but it is already too late. It is really hard to get rid of those people then.
Also, be warned to not act big. Fraudsters react unpredictably, sometimes even violently. So take care that you call attention unobviously, when you want to tell people that a fraud happens.
Since 2007, it is strictly forbidden to smoke in enclosed areas (train stations, subway stations, buildings), and since 1 Jan 2008, smoking is no longer permitted in restaurants and bars, except for outside seating areas.

Respect

.Paris has, in many respects, an atmosphere closer to that of New York than to that of a European city; which is to say, hurried, and businesslike.^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

^ Exclusive deals for: Orvieto Buenos Aires Tudela Washington D.C. New York City More...
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

^ Top Travel Destinations: New York City .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Parisians have, among the French too, a reputation for being rude and arrogant. Some of their reputation for brusqueness may stem from the fact that they are constantly surrounded by tourists, who can sometimes themselves seem rude and demanding. Remember that most people you'll encounter in the street are not from the tourism industry and are probably on their way to or from work or business.
This is not to say that Parisians are in fact, by nature, rude. On the contrary: there are a considerable number of rules defining what is rude and what is polite in Parisian interpersonal relationships; if anything, the Parisians are more polite than most (This should be no surprise, though, when one considers the fact that "étiquette" is a French word). Thus, the best way to get along in Paris is to be on your best behavior, acting like someone who is "bien élevé" (well brought up) will make getting about considerably easier. Parisians' abrupt exteriors will rapidly evaporate if you display some basic courtesies. A simple "Bonjour, Madame" when entering a shop, for example, or "Excusez-moi" when trying to get someone's attention, or very important; say "Pardon" or better "je suis désolé" if you bump into someone accidentally or make other mistakes, will transform the surliest shop assistant into a smiling helper or the grumpiest inhabitant to a helpful citizen. Courtesy is extremely important in France (where the worst insult is to call someone "mal élevé", or "badly brought up").
If you only learn one long phrase in French a good one would be "Excusez-moi de vous déranger, monsieur/madame, auriez-vous la gentillesse de m'aider?" (pardon me for bothering you, sir/madam, would you have the kindness to help me?) - this level of extreme politeness about the closest one can come to a magic wand for unlocking Parisian hospitality. If you know some French, try it!
In addition, if you are travelling to or from the airport or train station and have luggage with you, make certain that you are not blocking the aisles in the train by leaving your bags on the floor. The RER B (which links both Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports to the city) has luggage racks above the seats; it is advised that you use them so you do not block the path of a local who is getting off the train before the airport stop. On the Métro and especially in the RER, please don't take up extra seats with your luggage. There are luggage racks and spaces between the seats. Also note that use of the folding seats on the Métro is not permitted during peak hours.
Be aware that there are hefty fines for littering in Paris.

Contact

One helpful thing about having official and numbered districts in Paris is that you can easily tell which arrondissement an address is in by its postal code, and can easily come up with the postal code for a Paris address if you know its arrondissement. The rule is just pre-pend 750 or 7500 to the front of the arrondissement number, with 75001 being the postal code for the 1st and 75011 being the postal code for the 11th, and so on. The 16th has two postal codes, 75016 and 75116.
Phone cards are available from most "Tabacs" but make sure you know where you can use them when you buy them, as some places still sell the cartes cabines which are hard to use as cabines are rare.
The city of Paris provides with free Internet access via 400 Wi-Fi access points throughout the city. Look for the network called 'Orange' on your laptop or PDA device. [52]

Cope

Although known as the fashion capital, Paris is actually quite conservative in dress. So if you go out in bright colors expect to be stared at. Dressing this way in certain arrondissements, such as 9th and 18th, you may attract unwanted attention. Also be aware that French (and, more generally, European) women and girls do not usually wear shorts shorter than above the knee outside of sporting events. It is not considered indecent but may stand out from the locals.
  • Chartres - The 12th century cathedral of Notre Dame at Chartres is one of the highlights of Gothic architecture.(60 mn trainride from Gare Montparnasse)
  • Versailles - On the SW edge of Paris, the site of the Sun King Louis XIV's magnificent palace. (20-40 min trainride by RER)
  • Saint Denis - On the northern edge of the metropolis, site of the Stade de France and St Denis Abbey, burial place of French royalty.
  • Chantilly - Wonderful 17th century palace and gardens (and the birthplace of whipped cream). (25 min trainride from Gare du Nord)
  • Giverny - The inspirational house and gardens of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet are but a day-trip away. The gardens and its flowers are the most interesting part of the visit, so avoid rainy days.
  • Disneyland Resort Paris - In the suburb of Marne-la-Vallée, to the east of Paris, from where it can be reached by car, train, or bus (the train is probably your best bet).
  • Parc Astérix - North of Paris, may be reached via a shuttle bus from CDG Airport.
  • Fontainebleau - A lovely historical town south of Paris (55.5 km or 35 mi). It is renowned for its large and scenic Forest of Fontainebleau, a favorite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the historical Château de Fontainebleau. (35 min trainride from Gare de Lyon)
sq:Paris
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Paris discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia has an article on:
See also paris

Contents

English

Most common English words: perfect « bright « scarcely « #732: Paris » expression » Duke » battle

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Paris
Plural
-
Paris
  1. The capital city of France.
  2. (Greek mythology) A Trojan prince who eloped with Helen.
  3. Any of several places in the U.S. and Canada, named after the French city.
  4. A surname for someone who came from Paris, or a patronymic derived from Patrick.
  5. A male given name from the Trojan hero, or from the surname.
  6. A female given name of modern usage, usually referring to the French city.

Derived terms

Translations

Anagrams


French

Wikipedia-logo.png
French Wikipedia has an article on:
Paris
Wikipedia fr

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Paris m.
  1. Paris (in France)

Descendants

Related terms

Anagrams


German

Proper noun

Paris
  1. Paris

Tatar

Proper noun

Paris
  1. Paris

Declension

References


Turkish

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [pɑːɾis]
  • Hyphenation: pa‧ris

Proper noun

Paris
  1. Paris

Declension

Derived terms


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Paris quadrifolia

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)
Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Liliales
Familia: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Paris
Species: P. incompleta - P. polyphylla - P. quadrifolia

Vernacular Name

Русский: Вороний глаз

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Ville de Paris
Flag of Paris
Coat of arms of Paris
City flag City coat of arms
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "Tossed by the waves, she does not sink")
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro.
Location
Image:Paris_plan_pointer_b_jms.gif
Map highlighting the commune of Paris
Time Zone CET (GMT +1)
Coordinates 48°52′0″N, 2°19′59″E
Administration
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Paris (75)
Subdivisions 20 arrondissements
Mayor Bertrand Delanoë (PS)
(2001-2008)
City Statistics
Land area¹ 86.9[1] km²
Population²
(2005 estimate)
2,153,600
 - Ranking 1st in France
 - Density 24,783/km² (2005[1])
Urban Spread
Urban Area 2 723 km² (1999)
 - Population 9 644 507 (1999)
Metro Area 14,518.3 km² (1999)
 - Population 12,067,000 (2007)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: single count of residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel).
France
Paris is the capital city of France. It is situated on the River Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region ("Région parisienne"). The City of Paris has an estimated population of 2,153,600 within its administrative limits.[2]
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[3] Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the ICC and the informal Paris Club.
Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world, with over 30 million foreign visitors per year.[4] There are numerous iconic landmarks among its many attractions, along with world famous institutions and popular parks.

Etymology

Main article: Name of Paris and its inhabitants
The name Paris, pronouncedImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif /ˈpærɪs/ in English and [paʁi] in French, derives from that of its pre-Roman-era inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Parisii. The city was called Lutetia (/lutetja/) (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"), during the first- to sixth-century Roman occupation, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363) the city was renamed as Paris. [5]
Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is 'The City of Light' (La Ville-lumière), a name it owes both to its fame as a centre of education and ideas and its early adoption of street-lighting. Paris since the early 20th century has also been known in Parisian slang as Paname ([panam]; Moi j'suis d'Paname file— play in browser, i.e. "I'm from Paname"), slang name that has been regaining favour with young people in recent years.
Paris' inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" ([pʰəˈɹɪzɪənz] or [pʰəˈɹiːʒn̩z]) and as Parisiens ([paʁizjɛ̃] ) in French. Parisians are often pejoratively called Parigots ([paʁigo] ) by those living outside the Paris Region, but this is a term sometimes considered endearing by Parisians themselves.
See Wiktionary for the name of Paris in various languages other than English and French.

History

Main article: History of Paris

Early beginnings

The earliest archaeological and rather detailed signs of permanent habitation in the Paris area date from around 4200 BCE.[6] the area near the river Seine was settled from around 250 BCE by the Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, who were known as boatsmen and traders. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BCE,[6] with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Geneviève Hill and the Île de la Cité island. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, but later Gallicised to Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres and an amphitheatre.[7] The collapse of the Roman empire and the third-century Germanic invasions sent the city into a period of decline. By 400 CE Lutèce was largely abandoned by its inhabitants and was little more than a garrison town entrenched into the hastily fortified central island.[6] The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Romans occupation.

Middle ages

The Louvre castle from the 15th century Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Around AD 500, Paris was the capital of the Frankish king Clovis I, who commissioned the first cathedral and its first abbey dedicated to his contemporary, later patron saint of the city, Sainte Geneviève. On the death of Clovis, the Frankish kingdom was divided, and Paris became the capital of a much smaller sovereign state. By the time of the Carolingian dynasty (9th century), Paris was little more than a feudal county stronghold. The Counts of Paris gradually rose to prominence and eventually wielded greater power than the Kings of Francia occidentalis. Odo was elected king in place of the incumbent Charles the Fat, namely for the fame he gained in his defence of Paris during the Viking siege (Siege of Paris). Although the Cité island had survived the Viking attacks, most of the unprotected Left Bank city was destroyed; rather than rebuild there, after drying marshlands to the north of the island, Paris began to expand onto the Right Bank. In 987 AD, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, was elected King of France, founding the Capetian dynasty which would raise Paris to become France's capital.
From 1190, King Philip Augustus enclosed Paris on both banks with a wall that had the Louvre as its western fortress and in 1200 chartered the University of Paris which brought visitors from across Europe. It was during this period that the city developed a spatial distribution of activities that can still be seen: the central island housed government and ecclesiastical institutions, the left bank became a scholastic centre with the University and colleges, while the right bank developed as the centre of commerce and trade around the central Les Halles marketplace.
Paris lost its position as seat of the French realm while occupied by the English-allied Burgundians during the Hundred Years' War, but regained its title when Charles VII reclaimed the city in 1437; although Paris was capital once again, the Crown preferred to remain in its Loire Valley castles. During the French Wars of Religion, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party, culminating in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (1572). King Henry IV re-established the royal court in Paris in 1594 after he captured the city from the Catholic party. During the Fronde, Parisians rose in rebellion and the royal family fled the city (1648). King Louis XIV then moved the royal court permanently to Versailles in 1682. A century later, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution, with the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the overthrow of the monarchy in 1792.

Nineteenth century

The Industrial Revolution, the French Second Empire, and the Belle Époque brought Paris the greatest development in its history. From the 1840s, rail transport allowed an unprecedented flow of migrants into Paris attracted by employment in the new industries in the suburbs. The city underwent a massive renovation under Napoleon III and his préfet Haussmann, who levelled entire districts of narrow-winding medieval streets to create the network of wide avenues and neo-classical façades of modern Paris. This programme of 'Haussmannization' was designed to make the city both more beautiful and more sanitary for its inhabitants, although it did have the added benefit that in case of future revolts or revolutions, cavalry charges and rifle fire could be used to deal with the insurrection while the rebel tactic of barricading so often used during the Revolution would become obsolete.[8]
Cholera epidemics in 1832 and 1849 affected the population of Paris — the 1832 epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the then population of 650,000.[9] Paris also suffered greatly from the siege which ended the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871): in the chaos caused by the fall of Napoleon III's government, the Commune of Paris (1871) sent many of Paris' administrative centres (and city archives) up in flames while 20,000 Parisians were killed by fighting between Commune and Government forces in what became known as the semaine sanglante (Bloody Week)[10].
Paris recovered rapidly from these events to host the famous Universal Expositions of the late nineteenth century.[11] The Eiffel Tower was built for the French Revolution centennial 1889 Universal Exposition, as a "temporary" display of architectural engineering prowess but remained the world's tallest building until 1930, and is the city's best-known landmark, while the 1900 Universal Exposition saw the opening of the first Paris Métro line. Paris' World's Fair years also consolidated its position in the tourist industry and as an attractive setting for international technology and trade shows.[11]

Twentieth century

German Wehrmacht soldiers in front of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, occupied Paris, 1940
During World War I, Paris was at the forefront of the war effort, having been spared a German invasion by the French and British victory at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. In 1918-1919, it was the scene of Allied victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife. The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, from exiled Russian composer Stravinsky and Spanish painters Picasso and Dalí to American writer Hemingway.[12] In June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France, Paris fell to German occupation forces who remained there until the city was liberated in August of 1944, two months after the Normandy invasion.[13]
Central Paris endured World War II practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (train stations in central Paris are terminal stations; major factories were located in the suburbs), and also because of its cultural significance. German General von Choltitz did not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as ordered by Adolf Hitler, who had visited the city in 1940.[14]
In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle Époque in 1914. The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of the business district La Défense. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER, was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs, while a network of freeways was developed in the suburbs, centred on the Périphérique expressway circling around the city.
Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization, and the once-thriving cités have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and oases of unemployment. At the same time, the City of Paris (within its Périphérique ring) and the western and southern suburbs have successfully shifted their economic base from traditional manufacturing to high value-added services and high-tech manufacturing, generating great wealth for their residents whose per capita income is among the highest in Europe. The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s, such as the 2005 riots which largely concentrated in the northeastern suburbs.[15]

Geography

Main article: Topography of Paris
View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower
View of the Grand Palais
.Paris is located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine and includes two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which form the oldest part of the city.^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

^ Exclusive for Tablet Plus members, every stay at Hotel de la Tremoille automatically includes the following select privileges and/or amenities: .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest elevation is 35 meters (114 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, of which the highest is Montmartre at 130 m (426 ft).
Paris, excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, covers an oval measuring 86.928 square kilometres (33.56 square miles) in area. The city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form, but created the twenty clockwise-spiralling arrondissements (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km² (30.1 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) in the 1920s. .In 1929 the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks were officially annexed to the city, bringing its area to its present 105.397 km² (40.69 sq mi).^ (Trocadero/Bois de Boulogne) .
  • Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Paris | Tablet Hotels 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.tablethotels.com [Source type: News]

Paris' real demographic size, or unité urbaine, extends well beyond the city limits, forming an irregular oval with arms of urban growth extending along the Seine and Marne rivers from the city's south-east and east, and along the Seine and Oise rivers to the city's north-west and north. Beyond the main suburbs, population density drops sharply: a mix of forest and agriculture dotted with a network of relatively evenly dispersed éparpillement of satellite towns, this couronne périurbaine commuter belt, when combined with the Paris agglomeration, completes the Paris aire urbaine (or Paris urban area, a sort of metropolitan area) that covers an oval 14,518 km² (5,605.5 sq mi) in area, or about 138 times that of Paris itself.

Climate

Paris has an oceanic climate and is affected by the North Atlantic Current, so the city has a temperate climate that rarely sees extremely high or low temperatures. The average yearly high temperature is about 15 °C (59 °F), and yearly lows tend to remain around an average of 7 °C (45 °F). The highest temperature ever, recorded on 28 July 1948, was 40.4 °C (104.7 °F), and the lowest was a −23.9 °C (−11.0 °F) temperature reached on 10 December 1879.[16] The Paris region has recently seen temperatures reaching both extremes, with the heat wave of 2003 and the cold wave of 2006.
Rainfall can occur at any time of the year, and Paris is known for its sudden showers. The city sees an average yearly precipitation of 641.6 mm (25.2 inches).[16] Snowfall is a rare occurrence, usually appearing in the coldest months of January or February (but has been recorded as late as April), and almost never accumulates enough to make a covering that will last more than a day.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °C (°F) 7 (45) 9 (49) 13 (56) 16 (61) 20 (68) 23 (73) 24 (75) 25 (77) 21 (71) 15 (59) 9 (49) 8 (47) 15 (59)
Avg low temperature °C (°F) 4 (39) 4 (39) 6 (45) 9 (49) 12 (54) 15 (60) 16 (61) 16 (61) 12 (54) 8 (46) 4 (39) 4 (36) 7 (45)
Source: MSN Weather

Cityscape

Architecture

"Modern" Paris is the result of a vast mid-19th century urban remodelling. For centuries it had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but beginning in 1852, the Baron Haussmann's vast urbanisation levelled entire quarters to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoise standing; most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today. These Second Empire plans are in many cases still in effect, as the city of Paris imposes the then-defined "alignement" law (imposed position defining a predetermined street width) on many new constructions. A building's height was also defined according to the width of the street it lines, and Paris' building code has seen few changes since the mid-19th century to allow for higher constructions. It is for this reason that Paris is mainly a "flat" city.
Paris' unchanging borders, strict building codes and lack of developable land have together contributed in creating a phenomenon called muséification (or "museumification") as, at the same time as they strive to preserve Paris' historical past, existing laws make it difficult to create within city limits the larger buildings and utilities needed for a growing population. Many of Paris' institutions and economic infrastructure are already located in, or are planning on moving to, the suburbs. The financial (La Défense) business district, the main food wholesale market (Rungis), major renowned schools (École Polytechnique, HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD, etc.), world famous research laboratories (in Saclay or Évry), the largest sport stadium (Stade de France), and some ministries (namely the Ministry of Transportation) are located outside of the city of Paris. The National Archives of France are due to relocate to the northern suburbs before 2010. The need for a larger Paris is largely acknowledge by the French government. As of november 2007, discussions for such a larger Paris have begun, though which suburbs should be included in this larger Paris is unresolved. In any case, such an extension will not occur before the French city-hall elections, scheduled in the spring of 2008.

Districts and historical centres

Main article: Paris districts
Paris Bourse in the financial district

In Paris city proper

  • Place de la Bastille (4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, right bank) being one of the most historic districts, being a location of an essential event of not only Paris, but the whole country of France. Because of its historical value the square is often used for political demonstrations, including the massive anti-CPE demonstration of March 28, 2006.
  • Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement, right bank) is a seventeenth century garden-promenade turned avenue connecting the Concorde and Arc de Triomphe. It is one of the many tourist attractions and a major shopping street of Paris. This avenue has been called "la plus belle avenue du monde" ("the most beautiful avenue in the world").
  • Place de la Concorde (8th arrondissement, right bank) is at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, built as the "Place Louis XV", site of the infamous guillotine. The Egyptian obelisk is Paris' "oldest monument". On this place, on the two side of the Rue Royale live two identical stone buildings: the eastern houses the French Naval Ministry, the western the luxurious Hôtel de Crillon. Nearby Place Vendôme is famous for its fashionable and deluxe hotels (Hotel Ritz and Hôtel de Vendôme) and its jewellers. Many famous fashion designers have had their salons in the square.
  • Les Halles (1st arrondissement, right bank) was formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, since the late 1970s a major shopping centre around an important metro connection station (Châtelet-Les Halles, the biggest in Europe). The past Les Halles was destroyed in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles. The central market of Paris, the biggest wholesale food market in the world, was transferred to Rungis, in the southern suburbs.
  • Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements) is a trendy Right Bank district. With large gay and Jewish populations it is a very culturally open place.
  • Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), next to the Champs-Élysées, is home to luxury brand labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Dior and Givenchy.
  • Montmartre (18th arrondissement, right bank) is a historic area on the Butte, home to the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur. Montmartre has always had a history with artists and has many studios and cafés of many great artists in that area.
  • Montparnasse (14th arrondissement) is a historic Left Bank area famous for artists studios, music halls, and café life. The large Montparnasse - Bienvenüe métro station and the lone Tour Montparnasse skyscraper are located there.
  • L'Opéra (9th arrondissement, right bank) is the area around the Opéra Garnier is a home to the capital's densest concentration of both department stores and offices. A few examples are the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette grands magasins (department stores), and the Paris headquarters of financial giants such as Crédit Lyonnais and American Express.
  • Quartier Latin (5th and 6th arrondissements, left bank) is a twelfth century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the Left Bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne campus. It is known for its lively atmosphere and many bistros. With various higher education establishments, such as the École Normale Supérieure, ParisTech and the Jussieu university campus make it a major educational centre in Paris, which also contributes to its atmosphere.
  • Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arrondissement, right bank) is one of Paris' high-fashion districts, home to labels such as Hermès and Christian Lacroix.

In the Paris area

  • La Défense (straddling the communes of Courbevoie, Puteaux, and Nanterre, 2.5 km/1.5 miles west of the City of Paris) is a key suburb of Paris and is one of the largest business centres in the world. Built at the western end of a westward extension of Paris' historical axis from the Champs-Élysées, La Défense consists mainly of business highrises. Initiated by the French government in 1958, the district hosts 3.5 million m² of offices, making of it the largest district in Europe specifically developed for business. The Grande Arche (Great Arch) of la Défense, which houses a part of the French Transports Minister's headquarters, ends the central Esplanade around which the district is organised.
  • Plaine Saint-Denis (straddling the communes of Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, and Saint-Ouen, immediately north of the 18th arrondissement, across the Périphérique ring road) is a formerly derelict manufacturing area which has undergone massive regeneration in the last 10 years. It now hosts the Stade de France around which is being built the new business district of LandyFrance, with two RER stations (on RER line B and D) and possibly some skyscrapers. In the Plaine Saint-Denis are also located most of France's television studios as well as some major movie studios.
  • Val de Seine (straddling the 15th arrondissement and the communes of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt to the south-west of central Paris) is the new media hub of Paris and France, hosting the headquarters of most of France's TV networks (TF1 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France 2 in the 15th arrondissement, Canal+ and the international channels France 24 and Eurosport in Issy-les-Moulineaux), as well as several telecommunication and IT companies such as Neuf Cegetel in Boulogne-Billancourt or Microsoft's Europe, Africa & Middle East regional headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Monuments and landmarks

Main article: List of visitor attractions in Paris
.Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the twelfth century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the nineteenth century Eiffel Tower, and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe.^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
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The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of ParisCite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag |- | cathedral ||12,800,000 |- bgcolor="#EFEFEF" | Disneyland Resort Paris ||12,400,000 |- | Basilica of the Sacré Cœur || 8,000,000 |-bgcolor="#EFEFEF" | Louvre Museum || 6,600,398 |- | Eiffel Tower || 6,229,993 |-bgcolor="#EFEFEF" | Centre Georges Pompidou || 5,368,548 |- | Palace of Versailles || 3,300,200 |-bgcolor="#EFEFEF" | Parc de la Villette || 2,795,000 |- | Musée d'Orsay || 2,590,316 |-bgcolor="#EFEFEF" | Parc Astérix</ref> |} -->

Sports

Paris' main sport clubs are the football club Paris Saint-Germain, the basketball team Paris Basket Racing and the rugby union club Stade Français Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France was built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup and is used for football and rugby union, and is used annually for French rugby team's home matches of the Six Nations Championship and sometimes for big matches for the Stade Français rugby team. Racing Métro 92 Paris (who now play in Rugby Pro D2) is another rugby team, which actually contested the first ever final against Stade Français in 1892. Paris also hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games and was venue for the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.
Although the starting point and the route of the famous Tour de France varies each year, the final stage always finishes in Paris and since 1975, the race has finished on the Champs-Elysées. Tennis is another popular sport in Paris and throughout France. The French Open, held every year on the red clay of the Roland Garros National Tennis Centre near the Bois de Boulogne, is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world professional tennis tour. The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and FC Barcelona was played in the Stade de France. .Paris hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France on 20 October, 2007.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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Economy

Main article: Economy of Paris
With a 2005 GDP of €478.7 billion[17] (US$595.3 billion),[18] Activity in the Paris urban area is diverse, unlike most of the world's metropoles that tend to have a leading specialised industry (such as Los Angeles with entertainment industries or London and New York with financial industries in addition to other activities). Recently the Paris economy has been shifting towards high value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc).
The Paris Region's most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine département and suburban La Défense business district places Paris' economic centre to the west of the city, in a triangle between the Opéra Garnier, La Défense and the Val de Seine. Paris' administrative borders have little consequences on the limits of its economic activity: although most workers commute from the suburbs to work in the city, many commute from the city to work in the suburbs. At the 1999 census, 47.5% of the 5,089,170 people in employment in the Paris urban area worked in the city of Paris and the Hauts-de-Seine département, while only 31.5% worked exclusively in Paris.
Although the Paris economy is largely dominated by services, it remains an important manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, especially in industrial sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, and electronics. Over recent decades, the local economy has moved towards high value-added activities, in particular business services.
The 1999 census indicated that of the 5,089,170 persons employed in the Paris urban area, 16.5% worked in business services, 13.0% in commerce (retail and wholesale trade), 12.3% in manufacturing, 10.0% in public administrations and defense, 8.7% in health services, 8.2% in transportation and communications, 6.6% in education, and the remaining 24.7% in many other economic sectors. Among the manufacturing sector, the largest employers were the electronic and electrical industry (17.9% of the total manufacturing workforce in 1999) and the publishing and printing industry (14.0% of the total manufacturing workforce), with the remaining 68.1% of the manufacturing workforce distributed among many other industries. Tourism and tourist related services employ 6.2% of Paris' workforce, and 3.6% of all workers within the Paris Region.[19]

Demography

Demographics within the Paris Region
(according to the INSEE 2005 estimates)
Ile-de-France départements
Areas Population</br>2005 est. Area
Density
1999-2005</br>pop. growth
City of Paris
(département 75)
2,153,600 105 km2 (41 sq mi) 20,433/km² (52,921/sq mi) +1.33%
Inner ring
(Petite Couronne)
(Depts. 92, 93, 94)
4,254,600 657 km2 (254 sq mi) 6,477/km² (16,775/sq mi) +5.34%
Outer ring
(Grande Couronne)
(Depts. 77, 78, 91, 95)
4,991,100 11,249 km2 (4,343 sq mi) 426/km² (1,103/sq mi) +4.25%
Ile-de-France
(entire région)
11,399,300 12,011 km2 (4,637 sq mi) 949/km² (2,458/sq mi) +4.08%
Statistical Growth (INSEE 1999 census)
Areas Population</br>1999 census Area
(km²)
Density
1990-1999</br>pop. growth
Urban area
(Paris agglomeration)
9,644,507 2,723 km2 (1,051 sq mi) 3,542/km² (9,174/sq mi) +1.85%
Metro area
(Paris aire urbaine)
11,174,743 14,518 km2 (5,605 sq mi) 770/km² (1,994/sq mi) +2.90%
Main article: Demographics of Paris
The population of the city of Paris was 2,125,246 at the 1999 census, lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. The city's population loss mirrors the experience of most other core cities in the developed world that have not expanded their boundaries. The principal factors in the loss were a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic outmigration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975. Factors in the outmigration included de-industrialisation, high rent, the gentrification of many inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices and improved affluence among working families. The city's population loss was one of the most severe among international municipalities and the largest for any that had achieved more than 2,000,000 residents. These losses are generally seen as a negative for the city; the city administration is trying to reverse them with some success, as the population estimate of July 2004 shows a population increase for the first time since 1954 reaching a total of 2,144,700 inhabitants.

Density

Paris is the most densely populated city of more than 1,000,000 population in the Western world. Its density, excluding the outlying woodland parks of Boulogne and Vincennes, was 24,448 inhabitants per square kilometer (63,320/sq mi) in 1999 official census. Even including the two woodland areas its population density was 20,164 inhabitants per square kilometer (52,224.5/sq mi), the fifth most densely populated commune in France following Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, Vincennes, Levallois-Perret, and Saint-Mandé, all of which border the city proper. The most sparsely populated quarters are the western and central office and administration-focussed arrondissements. The city's population is densest in the northern and eastern arrondissements; the 11th arrondissement had a density of 40,672 inhabitants per square kilometer (105,340/sq mi) in 1999, and some of the same arrondissement's eastern quarters had densities close to 100,000/km² (260,000/sq mi) in the same year.

The Paris agglomeration

The city of Paris' administrative limits describe an area much smaller than its real urban growth. At present, the real extent of the dense urbanisation of which Paris is only a core, defined by the pôle urbain (urban area) statistical area, covers 2,723 km² (1,051.4 sq mi),[20], or an area about 26 times larger than the city itself. Surrounding the Paris pôle urbain is the couronne peri-urbaine commuter belt area that completes the Paris aire urbaine (a unit similar to a North American metropolitan area) covering 14,518 km² (5,605.5 sq mi) , or an area about 138 times that of Paris itself.
The administration of Paris' urban growth is divided between itself and its surrounding départements: Paris' closest ring of three adjoining departments, or petite couronne ("small ring") are fully saturated with urban growth, and the ring of four departements outside of these, the grande couronne départements, are only covered in their inner regions by Paris' urbanisation. These eight départements form the larger administrative Île-de-France région; most of this region is filled, and overextended in places, by the Paris aire urbaine.
The Paris agglomeration has shown a steady rate of growth since the end of the late 16th century French Wars of Religion, save brief setbacks during the French Revolution and World War II. Suburban development has accelerated in recent years: with an estimated total of 11.4 million inhabitants for 2005, the Île-de-France région shows a rate of growth double that of the 1990s.[21][22]

Immigration

By law, French censuses do not ask questions regarding ethnicity or religion, but do gather information concerning country of birth. From this it is still possible to determine that the Paris and its aire urbaine (metropolitan area) is one of the most multi-cultural in Europe: at the 1999 census, 19.4% of its total population was born outside of metropolitan France.[23] At the same census, 4.2% of the Paris aire urbaine's population were recent immigrants (i.e people who migrated to France between the 1990 and 1999 censuses),[24] in their majority from mainland China and Africa.[25]
The first wave of international migration to Paris started as early as in 1820 with the arrivals of German peasants fleeing the agricultural crisis in Germany. Several waves of immigration followed continuously until today: Italians and central European Jews during the 19th century; Russians after the revolution of 1917; colonial citizens during World War I and later; Poles between the two world wars; Spaniards, Portuguese and North Africans from the 1950s to the 1970s; North African Jews after the independence of those countries; Africans and Asians since then.[26] The majority of these today are naturalised French without any distinction, due to the principle of equality among French citizens.

Administration

Capital of France

Paris is the capital of France, and therefore is the seat of France's national government.
For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. President of the Republic resides at the Elysée Palace in the VIIIe arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the VIIe arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city - many are located in the VIIe, near the Matignon.
The two houses of the French Parliament are also located on the Left Bank. The upper house, the Senate, meets in the Palais du Luxembourg in the VIe arrondissement, while the more important lower house, the Assemblée Nationale, meets in the Palais Bourbon in the VIIe. The President of the Senate, the second highest public official in France after the President of the Republic, resides in the "Petit Luxembourg", a smaller palace annex to the Palais du Luxembourg.
France's highest courts are located in Paris. The Court of Cassation, the highest court in the judicial order, which tries most criminal and civil cases, is located in the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité, while the Conseil d'État, which provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the highest court in the administrative order, judging litigation against public bodies, is located in the Palais Royal in the Ier.
The Constitutional Council, which is an advisory body which is the ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the Palais Royal.

City government

Main articles: Paris mayors and Arrondissements of Paris
Paris has been a commune (municipality) since 1834 (and also briefly between 1790 and 1795). At the 1790 division (during the French Revolution) of France into communes, and again in 1834, Paris was a city only half its modern size, but in 1860 it annexed bordering communes, some entirely, to create the new administrative map of twenty municipal arrondissements the city still has today. These municipal subdivisions describe a clockwise spiral outward from its most central first arrondissement.
In 1790, Paris became the préfecture (seat) of the Seine département, which covered much of the Paris region. In 1968, it was split into four smaller ones: the city of Paris became a distinct département of its own, retaining the Seine's departmental number of 75 (originating from the Seine département's position in France's alphabetical list), while three new départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were created and given the numbers 92, 93 and 94 respectively. The result of this division is that today Paris' limits as a département are exactly those of its limits as a commune, a situation unique in France.

Municipal offices

Each of Paris' 20 arrondissements has a directly-elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which in turn elects an arrondissement mayor. A selection of members from each arrondissement council form the Council of Paris (conseil de Paris), which in turn elects the mayor of Paris.
In medieval times Paris was governed by a merchant-elected municipality whose head was the provost of the merchants: in addition to regulating city commerce, the provost of the merchants was responsible for some civic duties such as the guarding of city walls and the cleanliness of city streets. The creation of the provost of Paris from the 13th century diminished the merchant Provost's responsibilities and powers considerably: a direct representative of the king, in a role resembling somewhat the préfet of later years, the Provost of Paris oversaw the application and execution of law and order in the city and its surrounding prévôté (county). Many functions from both provost offices were transferred to the office of the crown-appointed lieutenant general of police upon its creation in 1667.
Paris' last Prévôt des marchands was assassinated the afternoon of the 14th of July 1789 uprising that was the French Revolution Storming of the Bastille. Paris became an official "commune" from the creation of the administrative division on December 14 the same year, and its provisional "Paris commune" revolutionary municipality was replaced with the city's first municipal constitution and government from October 9, 1790.[27] Through the turmoil of the 1794 Thermidorian Reaction, it became apparent that revolutionary Paris' political independence was a threat to any governing power: the office of mayor was abolished the same year, and its municipal council one year later.
Although the municipal council was recreated in 1834, Paris spent most of the 19th and 20th centuries, along with the larger Seine département of which it was a centre, under the direct control of the State-appointed préfet of the Seine, in charge of general affairs there; the state-appointed Prefect of Police was in charge of police in the same jurisdiction. Paris, save for a few brief occasions, would have no mayor until 1977, and the Paris Prefecture of Police is still under state control today.
Despite its double existence as commune and département, Paris has a unique council to governing both; the Council of Paris, presided by the mayor of Paris, meets either as a municipal council (conseil municipal) or as a departmental council (conseil général) depending on the issue to be debated.
Paris' modern administrative organisation still retains some traces of the former Seine département jurisdiction. The Prefecture of Police (also directing Paris' fire brigades), for example, has still a jurisdiction extending to Paris' petite couronne of bordering three départements for some operations such as fire protection or rescue operations, and is still directed by France's national government. Paris has no municipal police force, although it does have its own brigade of traffic wardens.
Departments of Île-de-France

Capital of the Île-de-France région

As part of a 1961 nation-wide administrative effort to consolidate regional economies, Paris as a département became the capital of the new région of the District of Paris, renamed the Île-de-France région in 1976. It encompasses the Paris département and its seven closest départements. Its regional council members, since 1986, have been chosen by direct elections. The prefect of the Paris département (who served as the prefect of the Seine département before 1968) is also prefect of the Île-de-France région, although the office lost much of its power following the creation of the office of mayor of Paris in 1977.

Intercommunality

Few of the above changes have taken into account Paris' existence as an agglomeration. .Unlike in most of France's major urban areas such as Lille and Lyon, there is no intercommunal entity in the Paris urban area, no intercommunal council treating the problems of the region's dense urban core as a whole; Paris' alienation of its suburbs is indeed a problem today, and considered by many to be the main causes of civil unrest such as suburban riots in 2005. A direct result of these unfortunate events were propositions for a more efficient metropolitan structure to cover the city of Paris and some of the suburbs, ranging from a socialist idea of a loose "metropolitan conference" (conférence métropolitaine) to the right-wing idea of a more integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris").^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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^ New York City Paris London Los Angeles Area Miami More … Hotel Picks by Travel Stars .
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Education

In the early 9th century, emperor Charlemagne mandated all churches to give lessons in reading, writing and basic arithmetic to their parishes, and cathedrals to give a higher education in the finer arts of language, physics, music and theology. Paris was already one of France's major cathedral towns and began its rise to fame as a scholastic centre. .By the early 13th century the île de la Cité Notre-Dame cathedral school had many famous teachers, and the controversial teachings of some of these led to the creation of a separate Left-Bank Sainte-Genevieve University that would become the centre of Paris' scholastic Latin quarter best represented by the Sorbonne university.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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^ (Ile de la Cité/Ile St-Louis & Beaubourg) .
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.Twelve centuries later, education in Paris and the Paris region (Île-de-France région) employs approximately 330,000 persons, 170,000 of whom are teachers and professors teaching approximately 2.9 million children and students in around 9,000 primary, secondary, and higher education schools and institutions.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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[28]

Primary and secondary education

Paris is home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as Lycée Louis-le-Grand and Lycée Henri IV. Other high-schools of international renown in the Paris area include the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye and the École Active Bilingue.

Higher education

As of the academic year 2004-2005, the Paris Region's 17 public universities, with its 359,749 registered students,[29] The Paris Region's prestigious grandes écoles and scores of university-independent private and public schools have an additional 240,778 registered students, that together with the university population creates a grand total of 600,527 students in higher education that year.[29]

Universities

The cathedral of Notre-Dame was the first centre of higher education before the creation of the University of Paris. The universitas was chartered by King Philip Augustus in 1200, as a corporation granting teachers (and their students) the right to rule themselves independently from crown law and taxes. At the time, many classes were held in open air. Non-Parisian students and teachers would stay in hostels, or "colleges", created for the boursiers coming from afar. Already famous by the 13th century, the University of Paris had students from all of Europe. Paris' Rive Gauche scholastic centre, or "Latin Quarter" as classes were taught in Latin then, would eventually regroup around the college created by Robert de Sorbon from 1257, the Collège de Sorbonne. The University of Paris in the 19th century had six faculties: law, science, medicine, pharmaceutical studies, literature and theology.
Following the 1968 student riots, there was an extensive reform of the University of Paris, in an effort to disperse the centralised student body. The following year, the formerly unique University of Paris was split between thirteen autonomous universities ("Paris I" to "Paris XIII") located throughout the City of Paris and its suburbs. Each of these universities inherited only some of the departments of the old University of Paris, and are not generalist universities. Paris I, II, V and X, inherited the Law School; Paris V inherited the School of Medicine as well; Paris VI and VII inherited the scientific departments; etc.
.In 1991, four more universities were created in the suburbs of Paris, reaching a total of seventeen public universities for the Paris (Île-de-France) région.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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These new universities were given names (based on the name of the suburb in which they are located) and not numbers like the previous thirteen: University of Cergy-Pontoise, University of Évry-Val d'Essonne, University of Marne-la-Vallée and University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Other institutions include the University of Westminster's Centre for International Studies, the American University of Paris, and the American Business School of Paris.

Grandes écoles

The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the prestigious grandes écoles, which are specialised centres of higher education outside the public university structure. The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands établissements. Most of the grandes écoles were relocated to the suburbs of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s, in new campuses much larger than the old campuses within the crowded City of Paris, though the École Normale Supérieure has remained on rue d'Ulm in the Ve arrondissement. The Paris area has a high number of engineering schools, led by the prestigious Paris Institute of Technology (ParisTech) which comprises several colleges such as École Polytechnique, École des Mines, Télécom Paris, and École des Ponts et Chaussées. There are also many business schools, including HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD, and ESCP-EAP European School of Management. Although the elite administrative school ENA has been relocated to Strasbourg, the political science school Sciences-Po is still located in Paris' Left bank VIIe arrondissement.
The grandes écoles system is supported by a number of preparatory schools which offer courses of two to three years duration called Classes Préparatoires, also known as "classes prépas" or just "prépas". These courses provide entry to the grandes écoles. Many of the best prépas are located in Paris, including Lycée Privé Sainte-Geneviève, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Lycée Henri IV, Lycée Hoche and Lycée Saint-Louis. Student selection is based on the school grades and the teacher remarks. Prépas attract most of the academically best students in France and are known to be very demanding in terms of work load and psychological stress.

Infrastructure

Thalys with destinations to Belgium Germany and The Netherlands

Transport

Main articles: Transport in Paris and Transport in France
See also: List of railway stations in Paris
The role of Paris as an international trade centre has brought its transportation system to considerably develop over History, and it continues its growth at a fast pace today. .In only few decades, Paris has become the centre of a motorway and freeway system, a high-speed train network and, through its two major airports, an international air travel hub.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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The public transit networks of the Paris region are coordinated by the Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France[30] (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP). The members of this syndicate include the RATP (operating 654 bus lines, the Métro, 3 tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, a tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines.
The Métro is one of Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 380 stations connected by 221.6 km (137.7 mi) of rails, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis, numbered thus because they used to be branches of their respective original lines and only later became independent. In October 1998, the new line 14 was inaugurated after a 70-year hiatus in inaugurating fully new métro lines. Because of the short distance between stations on the Métro network, lines were too slow to be extended further in the suburbs as is the case in most other cities. As such, an additional express network, the RER, has been created since the 1960s to connect more distant parts of the urban area. The RER consists in the integration of modern city-centre subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises 5 lines, 256 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails.
Additionally, Paris is served by a light rail network of 4 lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La Défense to Issy, line T3 runs from Pont de Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois.
Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare, are connected to three networks: the TGV serving 4 High-speed rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, and the suburban rails (Transilien).
Since mid-July Paris offers a bike sharing system called Velib with more than 10.000 public bicycles distributed at 750 parking station which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way drives.
.Furthermore, Paris is served by two major airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris, and the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, nearby Roissy-en-France, which is one of the busiest in the world.^ Paris, Ile de France, France .
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A third and much smaller airport, in the town of Beauvais, 70 km (45 mi) to the north of the city, is used by charter and low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Le Bourget nowadays only hosts business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum.
.The city is also the most important hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the Périphérique which follows the approximate path of 19th century fortifications around Paris, the A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs.^ Only the best of luxury and boutique hotels in France Paris become Tablet Hotels - the most reliable seal of approval in the hotel industry.
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Paris has an extensive road network with over 2000 kilometres of highways and motorways. By road Brussels can be reached in three hours, Frankfurt in 6 hours and Barcelona in 12 hours.

Water and sanitation

Paris in its early history had only the Seine and Bièvre rivers for water. Later forms of irrigation were: a first-century Roman aqueduct from southerly Wissous (later left to ruin); sources from the Right bank hills from the late 11th century; from the 15th century an aqueduct built roughly along the path of the first; finally, from 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq began providing Paris with water from less polluted rivers away from the Capital. Paris would only have its first constant and plentiful source of drinkable water from the late 19th century: from 1857, under Napoleon III's Préfet Haussmann, the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that would bring sources from distant locations to reservoirs built in the highest points of the Capital. The new sources became Paris' principal source of drinking water, and the remains of the old system, pumped into lower levels of the same reservoirs, were from then dedicated to the cleaning of Paris' streets. This system is still a major part of Paris' modern water supply network.
Paris has over 2,400 km of underground passageways[31] dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes. Most of these date from the late 19th century, a result of the combined plans of the Préfet Baron Haussmann and the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand to improve the then very unsanitary conditions in the Capital. Maintained by a round-the-clock service since their construction, only a small percentage of Paris' sewer réseau has needed complete renovation. The entire Paris network of sewers and collectors has been managed since the late 20th century by a computerised network system, known under the acronym "G.A.AS.PAR", that controls all of Paris' water distribution, even the flow of the river Seine through the capital.

International relations

Paris, Banks of the Seine*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party  France
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Reference 600
Region Europe and North America
Inscription History
Inscription 1991  (15th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
Region as classified by UNESCO.
Paris has one sister city and a number of partner cities.[32][33]
Sister city:
  • Template:Country data Italy Rome, Italy, (1956) (Seule Paris est digne de Rome; seule Rome est digne de Paris /Solo Parigi è degna di Roma; Solo Roma è degna di Parigi /"Only Paris is worthy of Rome; Only Rome is worthy of Paris").
Partner cities
Other:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Excluding [[Bois de Vincennes|]]
  2. ^ (French) {{cite web| url=http://www.insee.fr/fr/recensement/nouv_recens/resultats/grandes-villes.htm#P| title="Estimation de population pour certaines grandes villes"| author=Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques
  3. ^ {{cite web| url=http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/citylist.html| title="Inventory of World Cities"| author=Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group and Network, Fortune
  4. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. Le tourisme se porte mieux en 2004 (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-01-16.
  5. ^ The City of Antiquity, official history of Paris by The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
  6. ^ a b c Mairie de Paris. Paris, Roman City - Chronology. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
  7. ^ Mairie de Paris. Paris, Roman City - The City. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
  8. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), pp. 318-319
  9. ^ (French) Amicale Genealogie, La Petite Gazette Généalogique. "Le Cholera". Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
  10. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), pp. 324-325
  11. ^ a b Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), p. 334
  12. ^ Jones, Colin (2005) Paris: The Biography of a City (New York, NY: Penguin Viking), pp. 388-391
  13. ^ {{cite book| author=Richard Overy| title=Why the Allies Won| pages=pp. 215-216| publisher=Pimlico
  14. ^ Kelly Bell. Dietrich von Choltitz: Saved of Paris From Destruction During World War II. www.TheHistoryNet.com. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
  15. ^ {{cite web| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/4417096.stm| title=Special Report: Riots in France| accessdate=2007-11-17| author=[[British Broadcasting Corporation|]]
  16. ^ a b (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Géographie de la capitale - Le climat". Retrieved on 2006-05-24.
  17. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux en valeur de 1990 à 2005" (XLS). Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  18. ^ At real exchange rates, not at PPP
  19. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Les emplois dans les activités liées au tourisme: un sur quatre en Ile-de-France" (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
  20. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Chiffres-Clefs - Unité Urbaine - Paris". Retrieved on 2006-05-28.
  21. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Enquêtes annuelles de recensement 2004 et 2005" (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
  22. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Enquêtes annuelles de recensement: premiers résultats de la collecte 2004" (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
  23. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Aire urbaine 99 : Paris - Migrations (caractère socio-économique selon le lieu de naissance)". Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
  24. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Aire urbaine 99 : Paris - Migrations (caractère démographique selon le lieu de résidence au 01/01/90)". Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
  25. ^ (French) Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques. "Flux d'immigration permanente par motif en 2003". Retrieved on 2006-06-25.
  26. ^ (French) Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration. "Histoire de l'immigration en France". Retrieved on 2006-06-25.
  27. ^ JSTOR Journal Archive. "Improvising a Government in Paris in July 1789". Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
  28. ^ (French) La Préfecture de la Région d'Ile-de-France. L'enseignement. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.
  29. ^ a b {{cite web| author=Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paris – Île-de-France| year=2006 | url=http://www.paris-iledefrance.cci.fr/pdf/eco_regionale/chiffres_cles/2006/anglais/cc_2006_en_15-21.pdf| title=Paris Region : key figures 2006 | format=PDF format
  30. ^ (French) Syndicat des Transports d'Ile-de-France (STIF). "Le web des voyageurs franciliens". Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
  31. ^ (French) Mairie de Paris. "Les égouts parisiens". Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
  32. ^ Mairie de Paris. Les pactes d'amitié et de coopération. Retrieved on 2007-10-14.
  33. ^ Mairie de Paris. International relations : special partners. Retrieved on 2007-10-14.
  34. ^ United Kingdom Parliament, Westminster, London. House of Commons Hansard Debate for 11 Dec 1992. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.
  35. ^ Guardian News and Media Limited. Smallweed. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.

Bibliography

History
  • (French) Jean Favier (April 23, 1997). Paris. Fayard. ISBN 2-213-59874-6. 
  • (French) Jacques Hillairet (April 22, 2005). Connaissance du Vieux Paris. Rivages. ISBN 2-86930-648-2. 
  • Colin Jones (2004). Paris: The Biography of a City. (New York, NY: Penguin Viking). ISBN 0670033936. 

External links

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.This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia.^ This segment of English homogeneous society continues to create a diverse and dynamic language that is widely used internationally.
  • Everything about London 17 September 2009 0:38 UTC ia.wikimiki.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The law does not recognise any language as being official, but English is the only language used in England for general official business.
  • Everything about London 17 September 2009 0:38 UTC ia.wikimiki.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Used by aristocracy and commoners alike before the Norman Conquest (1066), English was displaced in cultured contexts under the new regime by the Norman French language of the new Anglo-French aristocracy.
  • Everything about London 17 September 2009 0:38 UTC ia.wikimiki.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The original content was at Paris. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. .As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.^ Edit Add to Watchlist Print History Discuss Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License .
  • Paris - Wiki Travel Guide - Travellerspoint 28 January 2010 0:38 UTC www.travellerspoint.com [Source type: General]

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