Paris is the capital of romance. If you fancy a city trip with your loved ones, Paris is a safe choice with its charming streets and romantic restaurants.
Paris is a mecca for food and shopping, and you probably won’t find Paris in terms of museums and art galleries.
The capital of France is best to visit in the spring or autumn. It is not that it is so terribly hot in the summer, but Paris is emptied of permanent residents in the period mid-July to the end of August, thus closing more shops and eateries.
You can perfectly combine Paris with children, friends or family. There are many great cities to visit within reasonable distance to Paris if you combine your vacation with car hire.
Let’s conclude that Paris is the world’s largest, intimate city, and that your expectations are most likely to be fulfilled and well so.
Get to know Paris
The history of Paris as the capital of France dates back to the 13th century. In the middle of the 19th century, Paris was transformed into a real metropolis with large squares and wide avenues. The city center has approx. 2.2 million people, but with suburbs more than 11 million live in Greater Paris. The city center consists of 20 districts or so-called arrondissements. These start in the center with number 1 and follow the clock in a spiral. Numbers 1 to 8 are central Paris, while 9-20 are further from the city center.
- Abbreviation: PR
- Country: France
The islands of the Seine and the Louvre (center of Paris)
The river that runs through Paris is called the Seine. In the center of Paris, the Seine has two small islands: Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis. This is the center of Paris. At Ile de la Cité you will find Notre-Dame. On the other side of the island you will find Sainte Chapelle. Notre-Dame is one of the world’s most famous church buildings, and work on the cathedral began as early as the 13th century. You reach the Ile de la Cité, among other things, by crossing the Seine with the Pont-Neuf bridge. The bridge dates from 1607 and is a beautiful sight. The neighboring island of Ile St-Louis is smaller and does not have monuments such as Notre-Dame.
The Louvre area is located on the north side of the river, as the nearest neighbor to Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis. The centerpiece of the area is the Louvre Museum, which is perhaps the world’s most famous and best art museum.
Champs-Elysees (west of the Louvre)
The area around the Champs-Elysees extends west of the Louvre area. The Champs-Elysees were initially an extension of the Tuileries Gardens, but have since been transformed into a fashionable thoroughfare.
The street extends from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, both famous landmarks in Paris. The area is known for shops, restaurants and cafes. The streets of Rue François, Avenue Montaigne and Champs-Elysees are known as the golden triangle when it comes to fashion and shopping in Paris.
Grand Boulevards (north of the Louvre)
The area around the Grand Boulevards dates from the 1700s and extends from Bastille in the east to Eglise de la Madeleine in the west. This is where you will find the many cultural institutions in Paris along with many other official buildings. Grand Boulevards is a common name for eight streets that start one after the other as a single long street.
These boulevards are called (from east to west): De la Madeleine, Capucines, Des Italiens, Montmartre, Poissonniere, Bonne Nouvelle, St-Denis and St-Martin. Grand Boulevards is located just north of the Louvre area. This is where you will find one of the world’s three original Ritz hotels (the other Ritz hotels can be found in Madrid and London ). Visit Place Vendome, then find the Ritz in Paris.
Beaubourg and Les Halles (east of the Louvre)
If you are looking for lively cafes, shops and art galleries, the Beauborg area is the right area to look in. The heart of the area is the Pompidou Center. It is a very popular center, not least because of its great and sensational architecture.
Les Halles is less pompous and lures with many shopping malls under the ground. It is important to know that the National Museum of Modern Art (Musée National d’Art Moderne) can be found in the Pompidou Center. Here you will find more than 50,000 modern works of art at any given time. You will find Beaubourg and Les Halles east / northeast of the Louvre.
Marais and St. Germain (south of Louvre)
Marais is located west / southwest of the Louvre, in other words south of Beabourg and Les Halles. This area is more pristine than many of the other neighborhoods in central Paris, and this is where you will find Renaissance architecture and art. The area was basically mostly marsh, but the aristocracy turned it into its residence, where Place Royale or Place des Vosges as it is now called, is the centerpiece.
In the Marais you will find the Jewish Quarter of Paris. It is centered around Rue des Rosiers. The area is otherwise known for several attractive museums, not least the Picasso Museum, which is the world’s largest Picasso Museum and the Museum of Jewish History (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme).
South of the islands of the Seine, you will find the area of St-Germain. The atmosphere here is unique in Paris, and in the evenings it can be really lively here. Shopping is an everyday sport in St-Germain, and the streets around Place St-Sulpice and Carreforur de la Croix-Rouge are teeming with great shops. This is perhaps the best shopping spot in Paris.
The area of St-Germain is dominated by the Jardin du Luxembourg, which is the most beautiful green area in Paris. Here is also the Palais du Luxembourg. If you follow the Rue de Vaugirard street to this palace, you have also walked the longest street in Paris.
Eiffel Tower area (west of Paris)
The Eiffel Tower is well known to most. It is located in an area west of St-Germain. Many French people consider the area around the Eiffel Tower the most stylish in Paris. The 300 meter high Eiffel Tower (324 meters including the antenna on top) is in itself well worth a look.
Perhaps most striking is that the tower was initially intended as a temporary building in connection with the Paris World Expo in 1889. The main year of the Eiffel Tower is called Champs de Mars, and the street extends to the École Militaire and the 18th century buildings.
Montparnasse (southwest of Paris)
South of the Eiffel Tower area and west of the Latin Quarter you will find Montparnasse. Montparnasse was once a bohemian area. Here lived intellectuals and leftists. Most of the area is concentrated around the Boulevard du Montparnasse, especially between the train station and the Vavin metro station.
You will find the area’s most attractive cafes and restaurants around Vavin. To the south of this area you will find the catacombs that extend several kilometers below Paris. If you do not have claustrophobia, you can try on a trip. The entrance is at Place Denfert-Rochereau.
Montmartre (north of Paris)
North of the Grand Boulevards and farthest north of the center you will find the Montmartre area. Here is the White Church of Sacre Cour. The area is known for having the most individual and hippest stores in Paris when it comes to style and fashion. You will find the best shops around the Abbeses metro station. There are also many trendy cafes and bars.
Bastille (East of Paris)
East of Marais, Beauborg and Les Halles you will find the Bastille area. To get to know the area and the atmosphere best, we recommend that you choose the Rue de Lappe and nearby streets. If you are looking for nightlife, this is the place.
Also visit the Place de la Bastille where once the dreaded Bastille prison was located. In the middle of the square you will find a 52 meter high pillar with the names of the 504 people who died during the revolution in July 1830. The Bastille area also has one of the finest parks in Paris, Bois de Vincennes.
Latin Quarter (south of Paris)
The Latin Quarter is located south of St. Germain. The area is dominated by the giant Pantheon Cathedral (you will find the same name at a famous temple in Rome ). The area is known for many bars and cafes, often with slightly lower prices than usual in Paris. Here there is a rich people life with many students and tourists. A natural meeting point in the Latin Quarter is Place St-Michel. For a long time, people have met at the white and pink fountain where Archangel Michael treads on the devil.
In the Latin Quarter are also the elite schools in France. Place de Sorbonne is a nice place to be for a break. You will also find the city’s “Chinatown” in the Latin area. Avenues de Choisy and Aveny d’Ivry streets are teeming with people of Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian origin. If you fancy oriental cuisine, this is the place.
Facts about Paris
Paris is a real tourist favorite and few cities, if any, have more tourists than this city. Paris is the capital of France and the country’s largest city.
|Population||Around 2.2 million|
|Religion||Catholic (About 75%)|
|Currency||Euro. Most credit cards (Visa, Master, Diners, AmEx) are accepted in most places. ATMs are available almost everywhere.|
|Tips||At dining, cafes and bars, 15 percent tips are included in the price. A few coins are still ok if you are satisfied with the service. In the taxi it is ok to round up or give a few euros in tips.|
|Embassy||The Embassy of Norway is located at Rue Bayard 28, 75008 Paris. Tel: +33 153 670400|
|Tourist||At the corner of avenue des Champs-Elysées and avenue Marigny|
|Emergency||15 for ambulance, 17 for police, 18 for fire.|
|Electricity||220/230 volts, the same two-pin contact system as in Norway.|
|Holidays and Holidays||July 14 (National Day), August 15, November 1, November 11|
|Visa||Not required for Norwegian citizens.|
|Vaccinations||No vaccines are required.|
|Water||Can be drunk from the tap, but not recommended. Fine toothbrush.|
|Nearest major cities||Orleans, Rouen, Amiens.|
|Safety||Some violent crime, but be aware of pickpockets.|
List of Paris Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Paris is PR which stands for Paris. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Paris, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.