Paris City Guide

Paris is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and with good reason. With its distinct mix of culture and history, Paris is often the subject of romantic dreams by couples and adventurous getaways by travellers. Its popularity is evident in its constant usage in pop culture, be it in movies, songs, or art. Located in the north of France along the River Siene, Paris has 2.2 million people living in the central city and another 8 million people in the suburbs. It has been dubbed as the City of Light (la Ville Lumière) because of how lively the city is even at night, with all the restaurants, attractions, and city lights. Paris has also been divided into 20 districts, numbered such in a spiral pattern from the middle of the city. Each district has its own distinct characteristic, such as the 1st district being the geographical center of Paris and the location of the Louvre and the Palais Royal, and the 2nd district being the central business district. Paris has gone through a lot in its history. It started out as a Celto-Roman settlement, with its name derived from the dominant Gallo-Celtic tribe in the area during this time – the Parisii. Paris was then occupied by Romans before they were replaced by Clovis of the Franks, who is considered by the French to be the first king of the country. Subsequent kings made Paris into what it is today, as it went through both political and social turmoil during the 18th century. Fast forward several centuries, and Paris now stands as a unique collection of history and culture, as evidenced by its many structures and stories shared among the people. As part of Western Europe, Paris has a maritime climate. The city has cool winters and warm summers, with the coldest temperatures on the average of 6°C (43°F) and the hottest on the average of 23°C (75°F). Paris is very accessible to public transport. It houses three international airports and six train stations connected to the rest of Europe. There is also a trans-European bus company that gets you to and away from Paris named Eurolines. However, it is inadvisable to drive your car into the heart of the city if you get there by car. The heavy traffic, difficult parking, and confusing street structures will surely frustrate even the most patient drivers. It is wiser to park in a suburban train station with a parking lot, and continue your Paris journey by train. Guides in the popular tourist destinations are fluent in English, so you won’t have to worry about bringing an English to French dictionary with you everywhere. As for the residents of Paris, English is something they had to study in school, so it could be a chore for them. However, most young Parisians are fluent in English and would be able to help you out more if you need any. One of the best ways to get around Paris and to get in the major culture tourist spots is through the Paris Museum Pass. It allows entry into over 70 museums and monuments in 2 days for (€30), 4 days (€45) and 6 days (€60), without having to wait in long lines. These are consecutives by the way, so you’d need to plan out your touring before you get this pass to make the most of it.