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FRANCE: Capital City

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Paris (city, France), city in north central France, the capital and largest city of the country. It is located in France’s Île-de-France region, on the Seine River, 370 km (230 mi) upstream from the river’s outlet on the English Channel.

Paris is world-famous for its beauty and charm, and for its long history as a center of learning and knowledge. Parisians call their city the "City of Light." People from around the world flock to the city to view its impressive array of monuments and museums, savor its cuisine, and relax in its sidewalk cafes and nightclubs. Paris is the political, cultural, and economic center of France as well as one of the most vibrant metropolises in the world. About 15 percent of France’s inhabitants live in the Paris metropolitan area.

Paris is named after the Parisii, a Celtic people who settled on the city’s central island—the Île de la Cité—in the 3rd century bc. The city has since spread north and south of the Seine. The city lies in a depression. The highest elevation is 129 m (423 ft) at the summit of Montmartre in northern Paris. Use your international cell phone rental to get around this vibrant city.

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