Made famous through movies, art and music, Paris is the capital of France and has a population of about 2,230,000 parisians. Its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centers in Europe. Paris is rich in culture, one of the reasons being that it is an old city: it is said to have existed for more than 2000 years! Paris is nicknamed “the city of lights” (la ville des lumières), lights actually referring to the number of intellectuals who live there. It owes that nickname to its fame as a metropolis of education and ideas during the age of enlightenment in the 17th and 18th century.
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (boroughs). The 1st arrondissement is in the center of the city and contains the Louvre museum and the Tuileries gardens; the other arrondissements spiral from there in a clockwise direction. The climate in Paris is moderate: around 38°F to 46°F in the winter, as high as 77°F and as low as 60°F in the summer. However, in the past years Paris has had its share of extreme temperatures. Rains can be expected anytime during the year though and it rarely snows in Paris.
Did you know that Paris is year after year the most visited city in the world (about 45 millions visitors each year)? The top Paris attractions are Disneyland Paris (15 million visitors each year), Notre Dame Cathedral (13.6), Sacre Coeur (10,5), the Louvre Museum (8,8), Eiffel Tower (7), Versailles Palace (6), Centre Pompidou (5), Cite des Sciences (3). To get your fashion fix with great deals and bargains, you could visit the subterranean shopping mall Les Halles which is a short stroll from the major shopping strip at Rue de Rivoli. Both these destinations are a who's-who of the major international fashion chains, including H&M, Zara, Sephora, Etam, and Gap.
Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centers. The city is an amalgamation of ancient civilizations and modern cultures. Its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. The fact that Paris houses many museums, theaters and opera houses shows the love of the Parisians for art and music. Exotic cuisines and delicacies from every part of the county can be found in Paris. It is a city known for its expensive and luxurious living and is the center for the latest fashion trends.
You've probably heard that Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and it is immensely popular among couples. I can tell you it is true: the sights, beauty and charm you will find there will make you want to share it with someone! In future entries, we will explore some of Paris breathtaking monuments, the metro, and other must see places. It is said that people who visit Paris once fall in love with this beautiful city forever; as for me, I am head over heels!
Paris, je t'aime!!