A city rich in treasures from it's historic past, Paris boasts many modern attractions as well. Paris is known for its famous buildings and works of art, its chic fashion scene and its modern literary, artistic, and intellectual ideals, and is a must for anyone wishing to experience the best of both contemporary and age old European culture. Paris is family friendly and is a city that welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds with open arms.
The capital of the nation and of the historic Île de France region, Paris is located in northern central France, across the English channel from Britain; 165mi southwest of Brussels; and 315mi west of Stuttgart. The city center, known as Intra-Muros, (within the walls), is bisected by the River Seine.
The area north of the river, the Rive Droite (Right Bank), includes the tree-lined Avenue des Champs Élysées, running west to the Arc de Triomphe. East of the avenue is the Musée du Louvre, the Centre Georges Pompidou and a lively district of museums, shops, markets and restaurants.
Napoleon I added to the Louvre and built the Arc de Triomphe. Napoleon III had Baron Haussmann tear down the extensive slums in the early 19th century and completely redesign the city center.
Few cities can compare with the eclectic mix of cafés, bars and restaurants that line every street and boulevard of Paris.
Parts of Paris don't fit easily in any "category". In fact, Parisians say that their city is just a collection of one hundred villages. Montmartre, rising up to the north of the center, has managed to retain an almost rural atmosphere with its colorful mixture of locals and artists despite the daily influx of tourists.
Like most Parisians, you may find there's enough in Paris to keep you from ever thinking about the world beyond. When you find you need a rest from the bustle of the city, however, there is the whole of the Ile de France to explore.