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17 Fun Facts About Paris

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Wondering about the City of Romance and the City of Lights? Well, these fun facts about Paris are all you need to know about this lovely city. 

Fun Facts About Paris 

Paris, the capital of France, is a city that is on top of the bucket list of many people. Be it the Eiffel Tower, the fashionable Parisian streets, or its breathtaking architecture – the city is beyond brilliant and deserves all the recognition. 

In this article, I have talked about the fun facts about Paris, which everyone must know! 

1. The World’s Biggest Art Museum Is in Paris

Here are some fun facts about Paris for the artsy folks! 

Paris is home to the world’s largest art museum, The Louvre. You may already know the Louvre (Musee du Louvre), as it holds many iconic paintings such as Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo

This art museum is spread across an area of 652,300 square feet and four floors. It showcases about 380,000 objects. Surprisingly, only 5,000 pieces are by French artists! Due to the museum’s excellent collection, it may take you about 50 to 100 days to properly see each exhibit in the Louvre. 

Apart from the Mona Lisa painting, the Louvre also has antiquities and sculptures from some of the most powerful civilizations in the world like the Roman Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Ancient Egyptian Civilization. The museum also features the luxurious rooms of Napoleon III, the first president of France. 

I don’t think the glass pyramid entry of the Louvre requires an introduction, as it is one of the most iconic cultural landmarks. 

Tourism in Paris

2. There Is One Dog for Seven Parisians!

You’ll love these fun facts about Paris if you are a dog person. It seems like Parisians are fond of dogs, as the city has over 300,000 dogs for about 2.1 million people. Hence, there is one dog for every 7 Parisians. 

The most common dog in France might be the Shepherd, but Parisians opt for little breeds like Chihuahua, German Spitz, French Bulldog, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Funnily enough, many people who visit Paris complain about dog litter on the streets. Therefore, you’ll find the 68€ fine warning for not picking up your dog’s poop on the streets. 

3. Paris Is Known as the “City of Lights” 

This is one of the common fun facts about Paris. 

Many people often call Paris the “City of Lights”, but have you ever wondered why? If you think the answer is related to the Eiffel Tower or other such attractions, you might be a little wrong. 

Paris received the title of “The City of Lights” at the beginning of the 19th century. This is because the city was one of the first in the whole of Europe to install street lighting. 

In the 17th century, King Louis XIV installed more street lighting in the Parisian streets to ensure the city’s safety after the numerous wars. Today, Paris has more than 345,000 light sources, which include street lights, park lighting, and signs. 

4. The First “Bloody Mary” Cocktail Was Made in Paris

Here are a few fun facts about Paris for cocktail lovers!

Bloody Mary is a popular cocktail that is available at almost every club, pub, or restaurant in the world! It contains vodka, tomato juice, and different types of seasonings and sauces. 

Now, many people claim to have invented this cocktail. Yet, the most widely-acclaimed claim for inventing Blood Mary goes to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. 

Harry’s New York Bar is famous for serving reputed personalities like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. After its opening in 1911, a bartender named Fernand Petiot, came up with the idea of Bloody Mary and executed it too! In 1921, the authentic recipe of this cocktail was published in “Harry’s ABC of Cocktails.”

Forget about the drink, even the story versions behind how the drink was invented are worth knowing. 

It is believed that Hemingway wanted a drink mixed with juice, so the woman he was dating at that time, Mary, wouldn’t be able to smell alcohol on him. This led to the creation of Bloody Mary!

5. The History of the Eiffel Tower

These fun facts about Paris aren’t complete without discussing the Eiffel Tower. 

The Eiffel Tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel, was built for the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, celebrating the 100 years of the French Revolution. Its construction began in 1887 and took only about two years to complete (1889). 

Did you know that before 1930, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest manmade structure in the world? After all, it has a height of 1,083 feet or 330 metres.

Apart from being one of the top tourist destinations in Paris, the Eiffel Tower also served as a communications centre during World War I.

Today, the Eiffel Tower offers an observation deck to its visitors. You can also reserve a table at two restaurants, Jules Verne and Madame Brasserie, located on the second and the first floor, respectively. 

Tourism in Paris

6. You Won’t Find Stop Signs in Paris

Here is one of the quirkiest fun facts about Paris.

There is no stopping when you’re in the City of Love. While you’re driving in the Parisian streets, you won’t find many stop signs in Paris because of its famous traffic rules. 

Paris adheres by the “priorité à droite” rule. In Paris, the “priorité à droite” rule means that vehicles entering an intersection should give way to the ones coming from the right. 

Instead of stop signs dictating when to halt, drivers need to remain aware of the traffic coming from the right-hand side. 

However, this doesn’t mean that the streets are chaotic, as there are other similar street signs. For instance, you’ll commonly find signs, like “Do Not Enter” for one-way streets and “No Left Turn” to restrict left turns, in Paris. 

7. Paris Has 132 Michelin-Star Restaurants 

Even if you can’t find a soulmate in this romantic city, you can still romance with the delicious food here! Here are some food-related fun facts about Paris.

Paris offers exquisite French cuisine and has 132 Michelin-star restaurants. Some of these include Guy Savoy (two stars), Arpège (three stars), L’Astrance (one star), and Septime (one star). 

While you’re in Paris, there are a few authentic food items that you need to try! Croissants, macarons, escargots, Jambon-beurre, steak tartare, duck confit, eclair, and crêpes are just a few of hem. 

8. Paris Is the World’s Fashion Capital 

You need to know these bougie fun facts about Paris. 

You may already know that Paris is considered the fashion capital of the world. Have you ever wondered why? Well, there are many reasons behind its nickname. 

The most famous fashion week, Paris Fashion Week takes place in the city twice between February and March and September and October. It is often considered the finale of the major fashion weeks – New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, and Milan Fashion Week.

Many luxury clothing lines also operate from Paris, like Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hermès, and Balenciaga. The city has the famous Golden Triangle, which comprises three high-end shopping streets – Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue Marceau. 

The oldest fashion school in the world, ESMOD, was also founded in Paris by Alexis Lavigne in 1841! 

9. Paris Has Around 37 Bridges 

Architecture enthusiasts will love these fun facts about Paris.

Paris is known for the beautiful River Seine too, and the countless bridges built on top of it.  It is believed that the river has about 37 bridges. These bridges provide a way from the Left Bank to the Right Bank. Additionally, they also connect two islands – Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis. 

Out of the 37 bridges, there are five pedestrian bridges and two rail bridges. The oldest bridge in Paris is the Pont Neuf, which ironically translates to “New Bridge.” King Henri IV built this bridge on the western part of the Île de la Cité. 

Another significant bridge in Paris is Pont Alexandre III, also called the most beautiful bridge in Paris. It connects Les Invalides and the Petit Palais and was named after Russian Tsar Alexander III. Its foundation was laid in October 1896. 

A bridge in Paris, Pont de Grenelle, has a mini Eiffel Tower, whereas Pont des Arts is famous amongst love birds for its love locks!

10. Paris Has Three Islands

Here are some lesser-known fun facts about Paris.

Before I read about Paris, I wasn’t aware that the city has three islands! However, they are formed because of the River Seine. 

The river has two natural islands, île Saint-Louis and île de la Cité, and one artificial island, île aux Cygnes. 

L’île de la Cité is one of the most-visited islands as it has some of the most-visited monuments like the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie, and Hôtel Dieu. There are nine bridges linking the island to the city’s mainland. 

L’île Saint-Louis is mainly a type of residential zone and is situated in the 4th District. It served as the residential place of many influential people like Marie Curie, Camille Claudel, and Charles Baudelaire. This island has five bridges.

On the other hand, the artificial island,  île aux Cygnes, was built to transport goods and has two bridges. You’ll also find a replica of the Statue of Liberty here. 

Landmarks of France

11. The Only Disneyland in Europe Is in Paris 

If you are from Europe and want all your dreams to come true, Paris is the place to be! Let’s take a look at these enchanting fun facts about Paris.

Paris is home to the only Disneyland in the entire continent. It was started in 1992, and became the 2nd Disneyland outside the US, right after Disneyland Tokyo. Initially, the theme park was known as “Euro Disney,” but it was renamed “Disneyland Paris” in October 1994. 

The entire Disneyland Paris covers an area of 1,942 hectares, and has two theme parks within it – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Since its first operation, the park has welcomed more than 320 million visitors! 

This theme park has about 50 rides, including a 4D attraction for Ratatouille, an animated Pixar movie based in Paris.

12. Paris Syndrome Is a Real Thing! 

Although Paris is a gem of a city, many visitors feel underwhelmed after visiting the city. This underwhelmed feeling even leads to nausea and vomiting in a few travellers, especially Japanese!

Paris Syndrome isn’t recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Yet, many doctors consider it a real condition and a form of “culture shock” for many people. 

In the 1980s, a Japanese psychiatrist, Hiroaki Ota, working at the Sainte-Anne Hospital, coined the term “Paris Syndrome” for the first time. He, with a few other co-authors, published an article on the same topic in Nervure, the French journal of psychiatry, in 2004.

13. Paris Has the Most-Visited Cemetery

This is one of the most surprising fun facts about Paris.

The most-visited cemetery in the world, Père-Lachaise, is situated in Paris. It is also the largest cemetery and the largest park in Paris with an area of 44.5 hectares and about 5,000 trees. 

You can find the graves of many famous people in this cemetery, like Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Eugène Delacroix, Gertrude Stein, and many more. 

You might find lipstick marks near the grave of Oscar Wilde too, as his grave is the most kissed in Père-Lachaise!

14. All Roads in Paris Lead to Notre Dame Cathedral

If you have heard the saying, “All roads lead to Notre Dame”, here are some fun facts about Paris related to it. 

The Notre Dame Cathedral sits in the centre of the Île de la Cité island. Moreover, the entire city was also built around it. Therefore, you’ll find a marker near the church today that says “Position 0,” which is where all roads in the city lead. 

15. Cabaret Started in Paris 

Here is one of the fun facts about Paris that often gets overlooked. 

Apart from being the birthplace of fashion, Paris is also well-known for its cabaret industry. It is believed that cabaret originated in France around the 1880s. 

In 1881, Le Chat Noir, an entertainment establishment in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris, popularized cabaret among the Parisians. 

16. Paris Isn’t the French-est of Cities

This might come across as a huge surprise but Paris doesn’t have the most number of French speakers in the world! 

The title of the highest number of French speakers in a city goes to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic Of Congo. The city has 12.5 million French speakers, followed by Paris with about 2 million French speakers. 

Seine River

17. The Catacombs of Paris Hold the Remains of More Than Six Million People

Here are some spooky fun facts about Paris! 

There is a whole underground city with remains of more than six million people beneath the fashionable streets of Paris. 

The Catacombs were first constructed in the late 18th century to meet the increasing demands of cemeteries. The whole area is built in the form of tunnels with bones and skulls of dead bodies arranged in lines. 

You will also find the remains of Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and Napoleon Bonaparte in the crypt area of the Catacombs. 

Further Reading – Fun Facts About Paris

There are many fun facts about Paris to know apart from the Eiffel Tower. It’s one of the most significant cities in the world because of its magnificent history and French culture.

So, I hope you enjoyed reading these facts about Paris. If you’re also curious about France, here are other blog posts to check out:

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