Paris is located on a north-bending arc of the River Seine and includes two inhabited islands the Île Saint-Louis and the larger é which is the heart and origin of the city and where, 2000 years ago, Celtic tribes first eked out an existence. Paris has several prominent hills Montmartre is the highest at 130 metres above sea level.
The city wears its history proudly. Despite English rule between 1420 and 1436, a series of French kings brought about the centralisation of France, with Paris as its cultural, political and economic heart.
Despite Paris being a large city, almost everything visitors are keen to see is contained within the ring road, the Boulevard Peripherique. The compact centre is easily navigable on foot and an efficient Metro system is there if you just can't walk any further. The River Seine splits the city neatly in two and the useful arrondissement system carves Paris into manageable chunks.
Paris is at the top of the tree when it comes to great food, wine and clothing. It has 17,500 boutiques, six department stores and 72 days of sales each year.
The well-versed professional shopping guides are a good idea, particularly if you are short of time but not money!
The French seem to have been born with style. Even Parisian babies are chic! The Bonpoint chain has exquisite merchandise. It's not where you would shop for everyday play clothes, but more where indulgent grandmothers and aunts shop. Fabrics are of superb quality and Bonpoint's popularity has allowed them to open boutiques all over Europe, Russia, Lebanon, the UAE, United States, China and Japan.
Paris is the best place in the world to purchase perfume, not just the ones you see in duty-free stores and glossy magazines. You can have an exclusive, custom-made, one-of-a-kind fragrance blended to your own aromatic preference.
French lingerie is hard to beat. Beautifully sensuous silks and laces are used to create magnificent underwear, negligees, peignoirs and fanciful pieces you are more likely to purchase in Paris while on holidays!