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25 Interesting Facts about Paris

25 Interesting Facts about Paris

Want to know more about Paris? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Paris that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Paris facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. There is only one stop sign in Paris

The only stop sign can be found in the 16th arrondissement. Funny enough, the particular area where the stop sign is located is not known for heavy traffic. 

2. Walking from the north to the south of the city takes 2 hours

If you enjoy walking, you can walk across the whole city in just 2 hours. It’s a large city with many residents, but it’s very compact within the city limits. 

3. Notre Dame has more than 13 million visitors per year

The famous Notre Dame cathedral is the most visited monument in all of Paris. Yes, that’s right, the old church is more popular among visitors than the Eiffel Tower. 

It’s a gothic cathedral that was built from 1163 to 1345.

Notre Dame

Photo: Shutterstock

4. There are 20 arrondissements in the city

The city is divided into 20 different areas or district, known in French as arrondissements. The very heart of the city is known as the 1st arrondissement, which is one of the oldest areas in the city that dates back to the founding of the city called Lutetia. 

5. The Catacombs of Paris

There is a whole city under the city, and there are many stories and rumors about what happens underground, in the Parisian catacombs.

For example, people have reported mysterious secret societies that are having meetings underground. Most of the Catacombs are off-limits and forbidden to enter, but there are some parts where tourists are allowed to enter.

The Catacombs are underground ossuaries which hold the remains of about 2 million people. 

Paris catacomb

Photo: Mikhail Gnatkovskiy /

6. A flat was left unoccupied under lock and key for 70 years

The rent was paid every month, so no one went inside. But after the renter died, they found a Boldini painting which was valued to at least 2 million USD.

7. The River Seine is polluted

Want to go for a dip in the river? You might want to re-think that because the River Seine is labeled as toxic, and the levels of pollution are higher than safe levels for swimming. 

The River Seine is best enjoyed from a boat, or from the shore. 

River Seine

Photo: Shutterstock

8. It is one of the fashion capitals in the world

All of the major fashion brands are represented in the French capital, and many fashion shows are held here as well. Fashion has always been of much importance among the Parisians. 

9. The Parisian metro is the 4th largest in the world

Every Parisian will tell you that the metro is the best way to get around the city unless you like to walk a lot. Taxis are too few, and the streets are too narrow for cars, and there are not enough parking spots. 

It’s a huge network that was built in the 1900s and today it’s the 4th largest public transportation system in the world. 

Paris metro

Photo: Shutterstock

10. It was founded in the 3rd century B.C

The founding of the city is often counting from when the Celtic tribe called Parisii built a fortified settlement in the 3rd century. It was later conquered by the Roman Empire, which gave it the name Lutetia.

When the Romans came here, the city only had a mere population of 10,000 people.

The Franks came here in 486, and the city has since flourished. They even withstood Viking raids, even though some of the raids were successful and forced the French king to pay them huge amounts of silver.

11. There are 470,000 trees in Paris

Yes, they counted the trees in the city, which also means that there is about 1 tree for every 4 people in the city. 

Paris facts

Photo: Shutterstock

12. The Paris Syndrome

This is a condition which is most frequent among Japanese visitors. The Japanese media often depict Paris as the most romantic destination in the world and also a place where people on the street look like models dressed in high fashion brands.

This has resulted in many Japanese people having a distorted picture of the city, so when they arrive they get immensely disappointed because the city can’t live up to their unrealistic expectations.

Definitely one of the weirdest facts about Paris!

13. Home to the world’s largest sundial

Want to know what time it is, but don’t have a watch? Just walk to Place de la Concorde. There are roman numerals in the pavement around the giant obelisk, which functions as a sundial.

Place de la Concorde

Photo: Shutterstock

14. It became the capital of France in 987 AD

Since then the city has only grown in importance, and today it is not only the largest city in the country but also the economic center. 

15. The Louvre is the world’s biggest art museum

The famous Louvre was established in 1792 and has a gallery area of 72,735 m² (782,910 sq ft). Many of the world’s most famous art pieces can be admired here, including the Mona Lisa. 

On average, there are 15,000 visitors daily in the museum. 

The Louvre

Photo: irisphoto1 /

5 x Fun Facts about Paris

  • The Parisians first thought the Eiffel tower was ugly. Guy de Maupassant ate lunch at the bottom of the tower every single day because he hated it so much, and that was the only place he couldn’t see the Eiffel tower. 
  • It is often nicknamed as the City of Light, which is referring to a high-concentration of intellectuals
  • There are more dogs than children
  • It is the biggest city in France, but not the largest French-speaking city
  • You have to pay around €200,000 to be a Parisian taxi driver
Fun facts about Paris

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x Paris Facts for Kids

  • The Mona Lisa can be seen in the Louvre
  • It is one of the most visited cities in the world
  • You can visit Disneyland Paris and meet all the Disney characters
  • There are five replicas in the city of the famous Statue of Liberty
  • The city was conquered by the Roman Empire under the lead of Julius Caesar in 51 B.C. It was then known as Lutetia, and the people living there belonged to the Celtic Parisii tribe
Disneyland paris

Photo: Chih Hsuan Peng /

General Facts about Paris

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Paris that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 2,140,526 (within city limits)
  • Demonym: Parisian
  • Highest point: Eiffel Tower (324 meters)
  • Land area: 105.4 km2 (40.7 sq mi)
  • Mayor: Anne Hidalgo 
  • Postal codes: 75001–75020, 75116

Flag of Paris

The Parisian flag is characterized by its blue and red color. 

paris flag

Map of Paris

Map of Paris

Photo: Shutterstock

How many of these Paris Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!