Paris, known as the City of Light, is the capital of France and is widely considered to be the most glamorous city in Europe. It is located in northern France on the banks of the Seine River. The favourable position of Paris on this river enhances its prosperity. It is the business, historic, intellectual, diplomatic, religious, educational, artistic, and tourist centre of France.
Paris itself is more than 2000 years old and in ancient times was known as Lutetia. It was between 250 and 200 BC when the Gauls of the Parisii tribe founded a fishing village on an island in the river, presently known as Ile de la Cite, the centre of present-day Paris. After the revolt of 52 BC, Paris came under the rule of Rome, and during Roman rule, it became thoroughly romanised, with many aspects of Roman culture being embedded within French and Parisian culture. It took until 1355 for the people of Paris to declare themselves to be independent. Paris also played a major role during the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. During World War I the Germans were prevented from reaching Paris, but during World War II they occupied the city.
Paris is situated in the North of Central France and the River Seine divides the city into two parts. The right bank houses many of the most fashionable streets and shops, while the left bank is where the government offices are located. The river as it flows through Paris is the location of two inhabited islands, the Ile Saint-Louis and the Ile de la Cite. There are also several prominent hills in Paris including Montmartre. The city enjoys a temperate climate, as it is affected by North Atlantic Drift and is known for its sudden showers, which you can expect at any time during your visit!
Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport connects Paris with the rest of the world, and after you have arrived in the city you will find that it is very easy to get around with all of the key parts of Paris being easily accessible as there are numerous means of transportation using the road, rail, and of course the world-famous Metro, Paris’ underground. However, it is not always necessary to seek such transport as Central Paris is so compact that walking is probably the best way to get around, although if one of the previously mentioned rain showers appears, you can always take a taxi.
Paris is a tourist destination that you will find on the list of places to visit of the majority of travellers from around the world, no matter where they hail from and one of the reasons for this is its colourful history, wonderful architecture and its many cultural treasures and historic landmarks. Think about Paris and you must also recognise it as the home of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, and this is not all: there are many more places to visit! Some of these tourist attractions include Disneyland Paris, Les Egouts de Paris, Marche Buci, Musee du Louvre, Place Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile, and Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.
A wide variety of cultural festivals and small scale carnivals are going on almost throughout the year, offering opportunities to enjoy the city at any time of the year. However, Christmas and the time around dhte Chinese New Year are particularly interesting and colourful times to visit.