Paris is one of those cities where you can just walk and walk and not run out of things to see. We started the day with a run, walk up to the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees and back to the hotel. After breakfast we continued with the walking theme and went back down the Champs Elysees to check out all the luxury goods on offer.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the Seine River, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), the city had 2,243,833 inhabitants in 2010 while its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe with more than 12 million inhabitants.
The city has one of the largest GDPs in the world, €607 billion (NZD969 billion) as of 2011, and as a result of its high concentration of national and international political, cultural and scientific institutions is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. The Paris Region hosts the world headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.
Paris was at the centre of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799.
Paris is home to the Paris Saint-Germaine Football Club and the Stade Francais Rugby Union Club. The 80,000 Stade de France was built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Some of the well known icons in Paris are the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
The Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 9.7 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.
The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast antennae, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: “Triumphal Arch”) honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep.