Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the centre stage for the French Revolution, and became an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today. Paris is the home of the most-visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, as well as the Musee d'Orsay, noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the Musee National d'Art Moderne, a museum of modern and contemporary art.
The notable architectural landmarks of Paris include the Notre Dame Cathedral; Sainte-Chapelle; the Eiffel Tower and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur on Montmartre. In 2013 Paris received 29.3 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Just make sure you leave some time to wander the city’s grand boulevards and eat in as many cafes, bistros and brasseries as possible. And don’t forget the shopping—whether your tastes run to Louis Vuitton or Les Puces (the flea market), you can find it here.
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