Paris: Introduction

The City of Lights

Paris Introduction Paris Introduction Paris Introduction

An important city 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 to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 30 million foreign visitors per year.

Paris is often called the city of life, love, and light. From the Eiffel Tower to the Mona Lisa, from the bustling Champs Elysées to the winding streets of Montmartre, you'll find magic, romance, and history as you sip a café au lait, stroll manicured parks, and watch the sun set over the Seine. The views from the Eiffel Tower or Sacré Coeur reveal hundreds of iconic attractions for the snapshot visitor, but the best way to see this city is by tucking your map back in your pocket and allowing yourself to get lost on its streets and avenues, discovering the city for yourself.

There is no 'best time' to visit Paris; in every season the city is always alive. It's particularly gorgeous in June when the long days (the sun doesn't set until 10 PM) stretch sightseeing hours and make it ideal to linger in the cafés practicing the city's favorite pastime - people-watching. Winter can be dark and chilly, but it's also the best time to find cheap airfares and hotel deals. April in Paris is often rainy.Summer is the most popular (and expensive) season, and at the height of it, in July, Paris can feel like a city under siege, bursting at the seams as crowds descend en masse. Keep in mind that, like some other European cities, Paris somewhat shuts down in August - some restaurants are closed for the entire month, for example - though there are still plenty of fun things to do, namely free open-air movies and concerts, and the popular Paris Plage, the 'beach' on the right bank of the Seine. September is gorgeous, with temperate weather, cheap airfares, and cultural events signifying the end of summer vacation.