Paris Overview is a designed to provide you with a generalized view of the city of light. This page will help you to orient yourself in Paris as you plan your special vacation. After reading this page, return to the Paris-City of Light for more details.
Paris consists of approximately 1052 square miles. Of the estimated 12 million population of the metropolitan area, only about 2,200,000 live within the walls (i.e. the ring road known as the périphérique). The city is divide by the Seine river with the area to the north of the Seine being designated as the right bank and the area to the south of the Seine being designated as the left bank. Historically, the left bank has been the cultural and intellectual part of Paris with the universities and the right bank has been business, large department stores and politics.
The last two digits of the zipcode of a Parisian address will tell you the arrondissement or neighborhood in which the business is located. Addresses increase from east to west for the streets that run parallel to the Seine and for streets that run perpendicular to the Seine the addresses increase in size as you move away from the river.
Paris is sometimes called l’escargot or the snail and that is because of the pattern of the numbering of the arrondissements. Look at the map below and with your finger trace around the arrondissements in order and you will see the snail pattern.
This list of attractions in each of the arrondissements can be used to help you plan your visit.
Arc de Triomphe 2eme
Passage Vivenne &
Galerie Colbert 3eme
Centre Georges Pompidou
Porte St Denis & Port Saint Martin
Gare du Nord train station11eme
Boulevard Richard Lenoire – market
If your time is short, you may want to consider a guided tour. My ezine article Six Guided Tour Options provides a list of tours asa n alternative way to see the city. Tours are a nice option for single travelers, also.