Paris is the capital city of France, as well as the capital of the Île-de-France région, whose territory encompasses Paris and its suburbs. The city of Paris proper is also a département, called Paris département (French: département de Paris).
Paris, together with its suburbs and satellite cities, forms the Greater Paris metropolitan area, with a population estimated at 11.5 million as of January 2004, the third largest metropolitan area in Europe (after Moscow and London), and approximately the 20th most populous metropolitan area in the world.
Attractions in Paris
Where do you start?
- The Eiffel Tower – a “temporary” construction of Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition
- Arc de Triomphe – monument at the center of the Place de l’Étoile, commemorating the victories of France and honoring those who died in battle.
- Les Invalides – museum and burial place of many great French soldiers, including Napoleon.
- The Conciergerie – medieval building; former prison where some prominent members of the ancien régime stayed before their death during the French Revolution
- Palais Garnier – Paris’ central opera built in the later Second Empire period.
- Cathedral of Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité – Paris’ 12th-century ecclesiastical centrepiece
- The Sorbonne – the University of Paris, the centre of Paris’ Latin Quarter
- Statue of Liberty – a smaller version of the New York City harbor statue which France gave to the United States in 1886, located on the Île des Cygnes on the Seine. Another version is in the Luxembourg Garden.
- The Panthéon – beautiful church and tomb of a number of France’s illustrious men and women
- Sainte-Chapelle – 13th century Gothic palace chapel.
- Église de la Madeleine
- Place des Vosges – square in the Marais district laid out by Henry IV
- Flame of Liberty public co-opted temporary memorial for Diana, Princess of Wales
- The Wallace fountains, spread throughout the city.
- The Grand Palais – a large glass exhibition hall built for the 1900 Paris Exhibition.