Facts About Paris, France

Below is a list of facts about Paris, France that I find interesting and think will help with your overall understanding and appreciation of the city.


The area that is now known as  Paris was founded around 250 BC by a Celtic tribe known as the Parisii.

The Monarchs of France ruled from the creation of the Kingdom in France in 486 AD to 1870 AD.

The flag of Paris, France is actually different from the flag of France itself. France’s current flag was inspired by the colors of Paris’ militia uniforms during the French Revolution. White is the traditional color of France and red and blue are the colors of Paris.

FlagsThe nickname “City of Light” comes from Paris being the center of the Age of Enlightenment and was later reinforced due to the city’s early placement of street lighting.

The date format for France is Day/Month/Year. Ex: May 11, 2013 would be written as 11/05/2013. This is very important to keep in mind if you’re planning on attending a show or event of any kind during your visit.

The Seine River flows through the heart of the city essentially splitting it in half. The northern side of the river is known as the Right Bank (la Rive Droite) and the southern side is known as the Left Bank (la Rive Gauche). You will see these terms often when finding a hotel and the locations of Paris’ attractions. For a visual view, I’ve included a map of Paris below.

Paris is broken up into 20 districts called arrondissements. They start on the Right Bank on the Seine River and spiral out in a clockwise motion. Just as with any city, each district has its own character and attractions. For a more thorough breakdown and a map of the arrondissements click here.

While it may seem that every picture or movie may show the Eiffel Tower through a window in the background, that’s just not the case. Zoning laws in Paris have restricted newer buildings from being more than seven stories tall which could make them too short to be able to see the Eiffel Tower over the other nearby buildings. There are still PLENTY of places to stay with great views of the Eiffel Tower but this is definitely something to keep in mind when doing your research.

Paris has an average of over 25 million visitors each year, making it the #1 tourist destination in the world.

Since it is the #1 tourist destination in the world, the Paris Tourist Office has placed several Welcome Centers throughout the city. These centers offer free advice and pocket-sized guides to the city and it’s attractions. For a list of the locations click here.

Most attractions in Paris are closed on France’s national holidays so it’s a good idea to know the dates in case any of them occur during your visit. The national holidays for France  for the rest of 2014 are as follows:

  • August 15th: Assumption of Mary
  • November 1st: All Saints’ Day
  • November 11th: Armistice Day
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve (Observance)
  • December 25th: Christmas Day
  • December 26th: St. Stephen’s Day (Local Holiday)
  • December 31st: New Year’s Eve