16 Essential Facts About Paris That You Should Know

05 January 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: 42 North

Paris can be a love story cliché… but why wouldn’t it be? With its glimmering lights and its quintessential Haussmanian-style architecture, there’s nary a place as special as this little city. So, if you’re looking for some sparkle in your life, just remember the words of Sabrina Fairchild “Paris is always a good idea.”

Before you scratch off “Paris” on your bucket list, here’s a mini guide on what this city has to offer. Oh, and yes there’s actually more to Paris than a quaint picnic at the Palais Royal Garden or a one-of-a-kind view of the Eiffel Tower.

P.S. If you’re looking for more interesting reads about French culture, landmarks, and whatnot check out Beelinguapp and learn French along the way!

1.The city is divided into 20 arrondissements.

There are 20 arrondissements or districts that make up the city. Although they are often identified by their numbers, these districts can also be distinguished by their names because of the landmarks that can be found there:
  • 1st = Louvre
  • 7th = Palais-Bourbon
  • 16th = Passy

2. It has an underground city known as “The Catacombs.”

Over 170 miles of the Catacombs are underground, although only a small section of them is accessible legally. And these Catacombs hold the remains of more than 6 million people…

3. There are about 450 parks and gardens spread around the city.

Nope, that is not an exaggeration because it is a fact that Paris's green heritage consists of roughly 450 parks and botanical gardens:
  • Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Jardin des Tuileries
  • Bois de Boulogne

4. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world.

The Musée du Louvre contains around 615,797 works of art, but only 35,000 exhibits are on display for visitors to see. If you want to view all of the available public pieces, you will need to free up many, many days because this field trip can take more than five days. Some important pieces include:

  • “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Venus de Milo” by Alexandros Antioch
  • “The Code of Hammurabi”

5. There are about 37 bridges connecting the two sides of the city.

The 37 bridges intersect along the River Seine, linking the city from left to right include:
  • Pont Neuf
  • Pont Alexandre III
  • Pont Royal

6. Paris has a total of 6,100 streets

It is very possible to easily get lost in the streets of Paris, because there are about 6,100 of them in the city. The streets are not all the same; some are short streets, others are long streets and here are three of the loved ones:

  • Rue Crémieux – a one-block street full of pastel little houses in the 12th Arrondissement
  • Rue Vieille du Temple – a historic area of the Marais with quaint cafes, charming shops, and beautiful gardens
  • Avenue Victor Hugo – named after Victor Hugo on February 28, 1881, located in the 16th Arrondissement

7. It is illegal to publish pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Snapping a photo of the sparkling Eiffel Tower at night for personal use is totally okay. But snapping and sharing a photograph of the glittering tower at night for commercial use (in movie posters, magazines, branding and packaging, etc.) is very much prohibited, and this is all protected under the French law called freedom panorama. Anyone who wishes to use a photo of this Parisian symbol for commercial purposes must get legal permission, pay a fee to do so, and give proper credit to the artist, per Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.

Fun fact: The Eiffel Tower evening lights by Pierre Bideau were installed in 1985. These lights are still technically owned by the artist and they are still covered by copyright protection for the remainder of the artist's lifetime plus 20 more years.

8. Counting trees is an official job.

There are about 484,000 trees all over the city limits of Paris. And we are aware of this because a group of people has been tasked with counting the public trees in the city.

9. The Eiffel Tower has 1,665 stairs leading up to the top.

There are 1,665 stairs to climb to the top of La Tour Eiffel. Yep, we know and it sounds quite exhausting. However, you don’t really need to climb all 1,665 steps to reach the top. You can choose to take the elevator too! But if you're set on climbing the tower on foot, it will take you between 30 and 45 minutes to climb the tower's impressive 674 steps from the esplanade to the second level. If you want to go higher than the second floor, you can use the elevator instead of walking the stairs and tickets can be purchased on-site.

10. The Bloody Mary was created in Paris sometime in 1921.

It is said that the cocktail was made by a French bartender named Fernand Petiot in 1921 at the New York Bar in Paris. The cocktail, which was initially known as "Bucket of Blood," is thought to have been created on the spot, using just vodka and tomato juice.

11. There are more dogs than children in the City of Light.

There are more than 300,000 dogs in Paris and that means that there is one dog for every seven people and every two children. All of these adorable doggies are welcome anywhere in the city, with the exception of most of the green spaces.

12.The oldest stone bridge in Paris is Pont Neuf.

The construction of Pont Neuf was started by King Henry III, who also placed the first stone of the bridge. However, it was King Henry IV who oversaw the completion of the bridge in 1607. Since 1889, Pont Neuf has been listed as a historical monument or monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. In 1991, it was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

13. One of the most expensive football clubs in the world is based in Paris.

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, often known as PSG, is a Paris-based professional football team established in 1970. PSG has consistently ranked among the most popular clubs in France and across the globe. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, owns PSG through a closed shareholding company called Qatar Sports Investments. Because of this 2011 purchase, PSG is now one of the richest clubs in both France and the world. It ranks as the ninth-most valuable football club in the world and it has the sixth-highest revenue in the football industry.

14. Women in Paris were not allowed to wear pants until the year 2012.

According to a Parisian rule that was issued in the 1800s, women were not allowed to wear trousers or any type of "men's clothing" unless they got permission from the police. But it wasn't until 2012 that this law was removed, as a result of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem's efforts as the Minister of Women's Rights, who argued that the law could no longer be justified with today's values and norms. Even though this law was mandated, women continued to wear pants without facing any consequences or having to get some kind of official permission from the police. In fact, a number of Parisian fashion houses have been incorporating pants in their designs for years and years despite this outmoded ban.

15. There are 37,915 restaurants throughout the city. (World Cities Culture Forum)

There are thousands and thousands and thousands of diverse dining establishments from Instagrammable cafés to one-of-a-kind Michelin Star restaurants all around Paris. And 94 of these countless restaurants have at least one Michelin Star.

16.There are virtually very few tall buildings in the city.

n Paris, there are strict restrictions on the maximum height and number of floors a building can have. At the same time, the French government also prefers to keep older buildings intact by repairing and renovating them as opposed to demolishing them. As a result, there are hardly any skyscrapers in the city.

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