Information and Tourism
The Ile-de-France is often referred to as the 'Paris region'. This makes perfect sense, when you consider that most of this area is covered by the city and its suburbs.
Paris, the capital of Ile-de-France, lies at the very centre of everything that is French. It is the most famous place for art in the country. The Louvre Museum is amongst the oldest in the world, being home to more than 7,500 paintings and over 50,000 prints, books and drawings. The Parisian cafes were once the stamping ground for the country's most influential intellectuals, writers and artists. Today, Paris lies at the epicentre of all things political and business-oriented.
Above all, Paris boasts some of the best-known monuments in the world. The Eiffel Tower was originally seen as something of an eyesore but has since redeemed itself, while the Notre Dame Cathedral remains one of the most popular tourist sites in the whole of the capital.
There are many different views of Paris, but the image of the city that endures the most is as a place of romance. Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the city's more nostalgic side is to pick up a map and take a walk. There is nothing quite like wandering the city's streets to discover hidden gems, from off-the-beaten track galleries and boutiques to tucked-away charming 17th-century town houses. To get a real sense of the sheer magic of the place, it is worth stretching your legs along the banks of the River Seine. By day, the river is a place of charming bridges and islands. By night, it is a vision of twinkling lights.
Visitors to the Ile-de-France can't fail to notice that Paris - particularly its suburbs, has an overtly cosmopolitan feel. That is because since the Middle Ages, large numbers of immigrants have come to live here, bringing with them a taste of home and a wealth of cultural influences.
A short distance away from the big city action is the Disneyland Resort Paris theme park, a popular destination for families from all over Europe. Since Disneyland opened in 1992, it has become France's most visited attraction.
Ile-de-France Information and Fast Facts
- Country: France
- Main city or administrative centre: Paris
- Population: approximately 12 million
- Language: French
- Area: 4,640 square miles / 12,020 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO THE ILE-DE-FRANCE
World Guide to Paris, France
Paris, France is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, and visitors to this wonderful city will find that things to see and do are almost limitless. Known as the 'City of Light', the beauty of Paris is overwhelming and unrivalled.
World Guide to Versailles, France
Lying just a few miles to the south-west of central Paris, Versailles may be a small city, but is home to one of the world's biggest palaces. The Palace of Versailles is nothing short of magnificent and comprises some 700 different rooms.
Map of France