Paris Overview

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.

Click on map to open a larger view

Click on map to open a larger view


This list of attractions in each of the arrondissements can be used to help you plan your visit.

Palais Royal
Arc de Triomphe 2eme
Passage Vivenne &
Galerie Colbert

Musée Picasso
Centre Georges Pompidou

Place des  Vosges (Marais)
Hôtel de Ville
Notre Dame


Latin Quarter
Jardin des Plantes (botanical gardens and zoo)

Luxembourg Gardens
St Germain de Près

Eiffel Tower
Ecole Militaire
Musée d’Orsay
Les Invalides

Champs Elysees

Boulevard Haussman: Galeries Lafayette and Printemps
L’Opera Garnier





Porte St Denis & Port Saint Martin
Gare du Nord train station11eme
Boulevard Richard Lenoire – market12eme
Parc de Bercy
Promenade Plantée
Bois de Vincennes
Château de Vincennes

Manufacture des Gobelins (museum)

Tour Montparnasse
Montparnasse Cemetery

Aquaboulevard de Paris (Europe’s largest waterpark)

Bois de Boulogne
Château de Bagatelle

Parc Monceau

Basilique de Sacre Cœur
Moulin Rouge

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Parc de la Villette

Parc de Belleville
Père Lachaise Cemetery

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