Paris Facts
Paris Facts

28 Inspirational Paris Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published October 24, 2019

"When Americans die, they go to Paris." ~ Oscar Wilde. While we're not sure Paris is literally heaven, we are pretty sure it comes close. So, what is Paris known for? There are endless reasons to visit iconic Paris sites again and again, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Seine, Luxembourg Park, Versailles, and and more. We hope you enjoy this list of interesting facts about Paris as much as we enjoyed writing them. So pack your bags as we adventure through Paris, the dazzling "City of Lights."

  • The Louvre is the world's most popular museum, with over 9 million visitors per year. The museum has over 460,000 pieces, but only 35,000 are shown to the public. If someone spent 30 seconds looking at each piece, it would take 35 days to see them all.[1]
  • One of the most distinctive features of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is a famous bell named Emmanuel. Fortunately, it survived the fire that ravaged the cathedral on April 15, 2019.[1]
  • There are over 6,100 roads in Paris.[7]
  • Parisii Facts
    The Parisii were an Iron Age Celtic people
  • In about 250 BC, a Celtic tribe known as the Parisii first settled Paris on the Île de la Cité. In 52 BC, the Parisii settlement was conquered by the Romans, led by Julius Caesar. 
  • The suburbs of Paris are called the banlieus.[10]
  • Many famous painters, writers, and philosophers have lived in Paris, including Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso.[10]
  • Greatly weakened from both the Hundred Years' War between England and France (1337–1453) and the devastation of the Black Plague in 1348, Paris fell briefly under English rule between 1419 and 1436.[10]
  • Paris is the most populous city in France.[10]
  • Paris is the second most expensive city in the world to live in, after Singapore. Rounding out the top five are Zurich, Hong Kong, and Oslo.[2]
  • Paris' airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, is the second busiest airport in Europe. The busiest in Europe is London Heathrow Airport. The busiest airport in the world is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.[8]
  • Opened in 1900, the Paris Metro is one of Europe's oldest subway systems. It serves over 5 million travelers a day and is the second busiest metro system in Europe, after the Moscow Metro.[4]
  • Paris' nickname is La Ville-Lumiere, which means The City of Lights. It refers not to physical lights but to the many intellectuals who have lived there.[1]
  • City of Lights
    Paris was not named after the Greek mythological figure Paris

  • Paris is built along a bend in the Seine River, and the historic city center along the Seine is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks within the city center include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, Sainte-Chapelle, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur on the hill of Montmartre.[9]
  • Paris is the third most traveled spot in the world, after Bangkok and London.[1]
  • The city of Paris is not named after the the Paris of Greek mythology.[1]
  • Citizens of Paris are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens. Another slang word for them is Parigots.[1]
  • The Eiffel Tower was initially considered to be an eyesore. Its usefulness as a radio tower saved it from being dismantled in 1909.[11]
  • The Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris International Exposition in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1889.[11]
  • Over 6 million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year.[11]
  • In Paris, there is an oversized statue of French soccer player Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup.[1]
  • Paris Soccer
    The headbutt heard 'round the world

  • Completed on March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower was the world's largest man-made structure for 41 years until the Chrysler Building was completed in 1930 in New York.[6]
  • The elevator on the Eiffel Tower travels a combined distance of (64,000 miles) 103,000 km a year, which is 2.5 times the circumference of the Earth.[6]
  • During the German occupation, French workers cut the lift cables on the Eiffel Tower so Hitler couldn't ride to the top.[6]
  • Paris has a vast sewer system that matches the streets above it and includes lost Medieval dungeons, jewels, and even the skeleton of an orangutan. The sewers are cleaned by giant rolling stones. The buildup of water pressure behind the balls pushes them through the tunnels.[10]
  • Statue of Liberty Replicas
    There are actually five Statue of Liberty replicas in Paris
  • There is a Statue of Liberty in Paris that faces the Statue of Liberty in America, showing friendship between the two countries.[1]
  • After Christianity, the most widely followed religion in Paris is Islam. The city has about 100 mosques, the oldest of which is the Mosquée de Paris, which was built in 1926.[10]
  • Some tourists suffer from "Paris Syndrome," a serious disorder in which a person experiences great shock at the realization that Paris is not what they expected it to be. Most often afflicting Japanese tourists, symptoms include acute delusions, feelings of persecution, anxiety, and depersonalization.[3]
  • While the famous Knights Templar ultimately met their end in France, Paris has preserved their memory in its toponymy in the Square du Temple.[5]

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More