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Paris Basic

BASIC FACTS

Paris is the capital city of France, the largest country of Western Europe with an overall area of 550 000 km2. City combines the stunning beauty of its rich historical legacy with intense cultural, academic, scientific, commercial and business activity.City is first well known for monuments, museums, restaurants, fashion and urban landscape. The French kings, who governed France until 1848, left many beautiful buildings, such as the palace of Versailles and the Louvre palace. The Catholic Church left an incredible number of great churches.

Paris is a world capital city of shopping and fashion. All of this makes it a unique tourist destination. Altogether 32.6 million tourists visited here and surrounding Ile de France region in 2007 (55% coming from France).

CLIMATE


It has warm summers and chilly winters (although rarely below freezing or any snowfall). Rainfall is moderate throughout the year, and it is known for its sudden rainfall. Snowfall is rare. The weather here is fairly unpredictable. The average annual temperature hovers around 55°F. It can reach up to 90°F in August and can fall below 30°F in January. Skies are cloudy more often than not, and you are as likely to hit rain in June or October as you are in February or April. Humidity is rarely high and use of air conditioning is not widespread, although this is changing.
 
SOCIETY

City has long been a haven for artists, musicians, thinkers and political refugees. And with that, Paris has a culture distinctly its own. Parisians are culturally enlightened with a unique outlook on life. The city’s inhabitants are proud of their culture and heritage; however, the old stereotype that the French are all “snobs” doesn’t hold much water today. The expansion of English as the universal language has helped to increase the acceptance of travelers. The city simply oozes fashion. It is the uncontested fashion center of the world. Parisians place the highest value on fashion and fine dinning. Wealth is spent more readily on the latest fashions. Parisians have a love for the performing arts including theatre, ballet, opera, and film. In recent years, Jazz music has caught on in a big way. Let it’s unique culture inspire you.
 
LANGUAGE

French is the official language and English is not widely spoken. Nonetheless, some people speak some English and a crash course in French or a French phrase book will certainly come in handy. In an effort to preserve the French language, the French government has passed a slew of laws since 1975, banning foreign words from advertising, official documents, radio, television, scientific publications and meetings.

TIME ZONE

Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
No daylight saving time at the moment
Time zone abbreviation: CET - Central European Time


CITY IN FIGURES

Population: Central Area (intra-muros, 2000): 2,125,246
                  Surroundings (Ile de France): 10,925,011
  
Cost of a taxi from the airport: 45 euros approx.
 
Cost of dinner for one in a restaurant: 15 euros or more


CURRENCY

EURO: Currency conversion: 1 euro = 1.20 USD (approx.)
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