Paris - Holiday facts and Information

Holiday facts and information about Paris

General facts

Trip Preparation

Trip Preparation

Trip Preparation

Paris is the capital city of France. Located near the River Seine at the heart of the region Ile-de-France, this city is home to over 2.2 million residents. Paris is listed as one of the most populated cities in France. It covers an area of 40 sq mi and has an orbital motorway running around it. It is considered to be one of the most important fashion hubs in the in the world. Best time to travel Paris has typical Western European oceanic climate. It is affected by the River Seine and the North Atlantic current. During summer, the temperatures only rise moderately to about 60°F to 75°F. The city, however, also experiences occasional heat waves with temperatures rising up to 90°F during summer. The overall average temperature is 55°F.

General information

By plane Paris has four international airports namely Paris-Orly, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Beauvais-Tillé and Paris-Le Bourget. The main airports in this city, however, are Paris-Orly, which is situated in the Southern part of the city, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. The latter is located in Roissy-en-France and is the center of the national airline Air France.

Country and People

Country and People

History

The area near the River Seine was originally inhabited by the so-called Parisii people, who are a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones. Scholars believe that these people lived on the Ile de la Cité, one of only two natural islands in the River Seine within Paris. From about 52 BC, the Romans took over the Ile de la Cité and built Lutetia on the Left Bank. The term “Left Bank” or “Rive Gauche” refers to a former Paris of a past era, which was characterized by artists, philosophers and writers, in other words, bohemians. For a long time, the capital of France was the largest city in the Western world. One of the most important events that occurred here was the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century.

Traditions and Culture

For many French people, the Parisians are different to the rest of France. There is no doubt that the average Parisian takes great pride in the City of Paris, its historic buildings and boulevards, its institutions, its museums, its galleries, its fashions, its restaurants, the Eiffel Tower and its late 18th century revolutionary history.

Religion

The most dominant religion in Paris is Christianity and particularly the Roman Catholic belief. On the other hand, nearly 20 percent of Parisians are Muslim. Other religious groups in this city include Jews, Orthodox Christians and Buddhists. Common religious festivals in Paris include Epiphany (Fête des Rois), Easter (Pâques) and Ascension (l'Ascencion). During Epiphany festivities, families share the gâteau des rois (King cake) and one lucky person is usually crowned king or queen for a day.

Getting around

Getting around

Transportation

The Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France oversees the operation of the public transport system in Paris. Buses, trams and trains are the most common transportation means. These systems connect major airports like Paris-Orly to other parts of the country. The Gare du Nord railway station, one of the busiest stations in Europe, serves thousands of commuters every hour. Besides Gare du Nord, other important junctions are the railway stations Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l'Est and Gare d'Austerlitz.

By car

The city also has orbital motorways for tourists who prefer to drive. The Périphérique, Francilienne and the A86 motorways connect Paris to other cities. Driving around this city using a rental car usually costs between 85 euros and 230 euros for a weekend. Most car rental service providers have offices in airports and railways stations. However, tourists should be aware that the city is famous for its notorious traffic jams.

Discover and Enjoy

Discover and Enjoy

Sights

The many sights of Paris range from the museum Palais de Louvre, which is home to the Mona Lisa, to Place Vendôme which is famous for its world-class hotels. Other attractions include the theater district Boulevard des Capucines, Le Marais which is the center of medieval architecture and the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world. The iconic structure, located in Champ de Mars, was built in 1889.

Shopping

Paris is home of some of the most popular fashion designers. Chanel, Prada, Givenchy, Hermès and Louis Vuitton are some of this city’s high end fashion names in France. Of course, there are also stores in the city that provide more affordable products and services than apparel by Hermès or Chanel. Faubourg Saint-Honoré is generally considered as the fashion district.

Events

Paris is a beautiful city and because it was not bombed during World War II its stunning architecture remains intact and unspoiled. There has, of course, been modern developments including the George Pompidou Centre and various new shopping districts but, by and large, Parisians have beautifully preserved their city and their way of life. For example, there has been no attempt to integrate poorer people or immigrants into the heart of Parisian life; they are housed in the suburbs, and so to the visitor, Paris offers a remarkable and extremely attractive lifestyle for those who can afford it. However, pick-pocketing is rife.

Food

French cuisine is a source of national pride. Meals in Paris often start with soup before an entrée of meat and vegetables is served. Salads, cheese, wine and desserts are always served last. Dishes that are associated with traditionally French cuisine include basil salmon terrine, pot au feu and mousse au chocolat.

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