The most visited tourist destination in the world, with over 45 million visitors annually, it is very easy to arrive in Paris with huge expectations: of grand vistas, of budding writers in every cafe, of romance on the Seine and rude waiters.
It is easy to see in Paris the city of love, or the city of lights. But it is also important to see in it the city that has seen 4 revolutions (to date), 18 kings named Louis and at least 2 occupying forces.
And this is not even all there is to know about Paris. Outside of the well beaten path of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, there are 20 arrondissements to explore, each with their own character and version of Parisian life.
The Paris inside Paris:
The estimated 2.2 million inhabitants of Paris are all very proud to be Parisian, and so they should be. Which city has been more romanticized in literature and film? In fact there are 65 films (and counting) that star the Eiffel Tower as a significant feature. And that's just a small fraction of the number of films that merely feature the Eiffel Tower either as a symbol of French or European lifestyle or as an example of something beautiful. Despite its long, and often blood splattered history, Paris still retains the title of the most romantic city in the world. With the majestic sweeping boulevards and the regal architecture, it is hard not to be enchanted and seduced by this mysterious, copacetic city.