Paris, the captivating capital of France, is known for its world-class art, timeless architecture, and delightful cuisine. It’s a city filled with magic and romance. Read on for six fun facts about Paris that will ignite your wanderlust and deepen your appreciation for this iconic destination.
For museum lovers, Paris is a dream come true. The challenge is choosing which museums to see and how much time to spend in museums, since there is so much else to see and do in this beautiful city.
There are around 130 museums in within the city limits. There are historical museums, personal art museums, free museums, museums for the city of Paris, museums of international culture, science museums, museums for kids, museums that are monuments, modern art museums, special focus museums, church-based museums, decorative arts museums, and special exhibitions. So many to choose from!
I’d love to help you see some of these museums. With my Diamond Plan, I can customize an itinerary just for you.
The name “Seine” comes from the Latin Sequana, the Gallo-Roman goddess of the river. The Seine River is the second-longest river flowing completely in France. The Seine is 483 miles long and is an important commercial waterway.
The source of River Seine is a village named Source-Seine, 19 miles northwest of Dijon in northeastern France. Dams and locks normally keep the water level consistent, particularly in the Paris region, where the Seine’s traffic is especially heavy, in part because of tourists and other recreational vessels.
The Seine is known for its romantic sightseeing boats, called “bateaux mouches,” that drift up and down the river in Paris.
Thirty-seven bridges cross the Seine River within the city boundaries. Some are just for pedestrians or trains, most carry motor traffic, and two bridges carry all three.
Bridges have spanned the Seine since well before 100 BC. Three existing bridges were erected in the 1600s, and the newest was opened in 2006.
The Pont des Arts is considered by many as the most romantic bridge in Paris. Linking the right bank, near the Louvre, and the left bank a few meters away from the Pont Neuf. Lovers used to have a tradition: you had to lock a padlock with your name and your lover’s name on the bridge to make your love last forever. Sounds romantic, right? However, the weight of the locks was more than the bridge could handle and the city removed them.
The origins of French Toast are not entirely clear, but long before this sweet snack was called “French Toast,” similar recipes were being whipped up all around the world. One of the earliest versions of French Toast has been traced back to the Roman Empire. The name “French Toast” was first used in 17th-century England. The recipe and name were brought to America by early settlers.
In France, the dish is called “pain perdu,” meaning “lost bread.” Why lost bread? Originally, people made French toast from stale bread to make use of bread that would otherwise have been thrown away.
A croissant is a delicious French pastry, known for its crescent shape. (Croissant means crescent in French). The original croissant was called Kipfel and originated in Austria in 1683. It was created in honor of the Austrian victory over the Turks and modeled after the crescent on the Turkish flag.
Some historians say the croissant originated in Hungary. August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, is credited with bringing the croissant to France when he opened his own Viennese bakery in Paris. Others say it was Marie Antoinette who brought the croissant to France.
The Croissant became the French national product in 1920. Your trip to Paris won’t be complete without trying a croissant.
Paris is often called La Ville Lumière (meaning ‘The City of Light’), however, beneath this bustling European city of 12 million people, lies a dark subterranean world holding the remains of 6 million of its former inhabitants. Originally quarry tunnels, the catacombs were repurposed in the late 18th century to alleviate the overcrowded cemeteries of Paris.
Today, visitors can explore a small section of this vast network, marveling at the intricate arrangements of bones and reflecting on the transient nature of life. Intrigued? I can arrange a tour for you on your trip to Paris.
Ready to visit Paris?
I hope these fun facts have sparked a desire to explore Paris and given you a deeper appreciation for its rich history, culture, and allure.
Would you like to plan a trip to Paris? Are you ready to turn over the planning to a professional? I’d love to help you. Read about how my planning services work here.