Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe.
Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe’s foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities.
Paris receives around 28 million tourists per year of which 17 million are foreign visitors, which makes the city and its region the world’s leading tourism destination, housing four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its museums and monuments are among its highest-esteemed attractions; tourism has motivated both the city and national governments to create new ones. The city’s most prized museum, the Louvre, welcomes over eight million visitors a year, being by far the world’s most-visited art museum. The city’s cathedrals are another main attraction: Notre Damede Paris and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur receive 12 million and 8 million visitors, respectively. The Eiffel Tower, by far Paris‘ most famous monument, averages over 6 million visitors per year and more than 200 million since its construction.