Paris is the capital city of France. It is situated on the Seine river, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (also known as the "Paris Region"; French: Région parisienne).
The city of Paris within its administrative limits (largely unchanged since 1860) has an estimated population of 2,167,994 (January 2006).
The Paris unité urbaine (or urban area) extends well beyond the administrative city limits and has an estimated population of 9.93 million (in 2005).
The Paris aire urbaine (or metropolitan area) has a population of nearly 12 million, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.
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.
The Paris Region (Île-de-France) is Europe's biggest city economy, and is fifth in the World's list of cities by GDP.
With €500.8 billion (US$628.9 billion), it produced more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France in 2006.
The Paris Region hosts 36 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in Europe. Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the ICC and the informal Paris Club.
Paris had always been a destination for traders, students and those on religious pilgrimages, but its 'tourism' in the proper sense of the term began on a large scale only with the appearance of rail travel, namely from state organisation of France's rail network from 1848.
One of Paris' first 'mass' attractions drawing international interest were, from 1855, the above-mentioned Expositions Universelles that would bring Paris many new monuments, namely the Eiffel tower from 1889.
Paris' museums and monuments are by far its highest-esteemed attractions, and tourist interest has been nothing but a benefit to these; tourism has even motivated both city and State to create new ones.
The city's most prized museum, the Louvre, sees over 6 million visitors a year. Paris' cathedrals are another main attraction: its Notre-Dame cathedral and Sacré-Coeur basilica receive 12 million and 8 million visitors respectively.
Paris is quite an expensive city. For a small budget, accommodation is hard to find and the restaurants, cafés and clubs are quite expensive, especially in tourist areas. A good solution could be to try one of the Paris apartments to rent in the city. You could travel with a group of friends, your partner or even alone. In an apartment, not only are you staying in cheaper accommodation but you can also save money, since you can cook at home and you have more freedom to plan your holiday.
The Eiffel tower, by far Paris' most famous monument, averages over 6 million visitors per year. Disneyland Resort Paris is a major tourist attraction not only for visitors to Paris, but to Europe as well, with 12.4 million visitors in 2004.
Many of Paris' once-popular local establishments have metamorphised into a parody of French culture, in a form catering to the tastes and expectations of tourist capital.
The Moulin Rouge cabaret-dancehall, for example, is 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, with results not always positive for Parisian culture.
Taking time off to travel around Paris is a great way to spend your vacation. Dealing with the troubles of trying to sell timeshare is not. Instead of letting another vacation slip away check out Donate Timeshares and see how they can help you get out of your timeshare obligations while helping charities such as The Wyatt Foundation.