Paris is the capital of France and the country's largest city. It is situated on the river Seine , in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (also known as the "Paris Region"; French : Région parisienne ). The city of Paris, within its limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,167,994 (January 2006), but the Paris aire urbaine (or metropolitan area ) has a population of nearly 12 million, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe .
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics , education , entertainment , media , fashion , science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities . According to 2005 estimates, the Paris urban area is Europe's biggest city economy, and is fifth in the world's list of cities by GDP .
Paris and the Paris Region , with €533.6 billion (US$731.3 billion) in 2007, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France. The Paris Region hosts 37 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense , the largest purpose-built business district in Europe. Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO , the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club .
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with 45 million tourists every year in the Paris Region, 60% of whom are foreign visitors. There are numerous iconic landmarks among its many attractions, along with world-famous institutions and popular parks.
From Knowledgerush .
Paris is the capital and largest city of France . The city is built on an arc of the River Seine , and is thus divided into two parts: the Right Bank to the north and the smaller Left Bank to the south. The river is well known for its tree-lined quays (walks along the river banks), open-air bookstalls and historic bridges that connect the Right and Left banks. Paris is also famous for its tree-lined boulevards such as the Champs-Élysées , and for its many architectural gems.