City Guide

No other destination in the world is quite like Paris, France the City of Lights. It blends history, culture, romance, and style – creating a magical experience that never fails to enchant visitors, locals, and expats. It is a megacity that lavishly satisfies all desires, retaining an unmatched standard of living. These all make becoming a Parisian very alluring.

Paris dramatically wears its rich history on its sleeve. Today the city still sits around the Ile de la Cité, where Celtic tribes first made a living over two millennia ago. This strategic site in the heart of the Seine attracted the Romans who took control in 52 BC. Despite the English rule from 1420 to 1436, a succession of French kings made Paris as France’s political, economic, and cultural center.

The French capital is large and populous, but almost all that is worth seeing is found within the ring road, Boulevard Périphérique. You can easily navigate this compact on foot, with the comprehensive and efficient Métro system always there to ease your tired limbs. The River Seine neatly splits Paris in two and the convenient district system carves Paris precisely into manageable chunks.

You can uncover the history of this cultural center throughout its distinctive districts. For example, the Marais offers a medieval Paris feel. Its winding streets are a sharp contrast to the orderly and wide Haussmann boulevards. Hilly Montmartre was where the 1871 Paris Commune began. These grand avenues still dominate Paris.

Président Mitterrand’s grand projects included the ultramodern Opéra de la Bastille, the Grande Arche de la Défense, the glass pyramid in Louvre’s central courtyard, and the striking Institut du Monde Arabe.

Of course, the best time to enjoy Paris is during the famous city spring from April to June, when people are loving the sunny but not-too-hot days. Autumn and winter are also another perfect time to enjoy the city, when there are lesser tourist crowds. Actually, there really is no bad time to relish one of the truly great cities in the world.