Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,206,488. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe’s major centers of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. It is ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world receiving 23 million visitors in 2017 – the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China. The city is a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. The Paris Métro, opened in 1900 is the city’s subway system and it serves over 5 million passengers daily, making it the second busiest metro system in Europe.
Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks with the Louvre the most visited art museum in the world in 2017. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site and popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, the Gothic Royal Chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées, and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur on the hill of Montmartre.
Paris has a rich sporting culture with the football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français both based in the city. Paris also hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games, the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 1960, 1984, and 2016 UEFA European Championships and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Every July, the Tour de France finishes there and the city also hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. In 2024, it will host the Summer Olympics.
The population of the Paris region was estimated in 2018 to be 12,246,234 persons, or 18.2 percent of the population of France. In 2016, the region had a GDP of €681 billion (US$850 billion) in 2016, accounting for 31 per cent of the GDP of France.