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Paris is located in France which is located in Europe. France is lovingly referred to by some as l’Hexagone. Note the country surprisingly resembles a hexagon. More specifically, Paris is located in NORTHERN France in the administrative region known as Ile de France. There are 26 administrative regions in France. Paris postal codes begin with the numbers 75. You will also see the 75 code used on car license plates. That way, for the guy who’s serving wildly in and out of traffic, and cuts you off to the point where you practically run into those two magic numbers 75 – you can shout out with confidence, “Parigot, tete de veau!” Translated as “Damn calf-headed Parisian!

You are probably wondering why I’m bothering to state some fairly basic geographic facts. This is a gentle reminder to those of you who will be visiting beloved friends and family members as to some of the ‘driving distances’ between Paris and places like – the French Riviera, little ‘side trips’ to Spain and Prague. Gas is about four to five times more expensive in France. If you plan on doing any side trips outside of the Paris city limits, you might want to consider taking a train rather than asking your hosts to hop in the car and drive 800 kilometers – and this is just a very ‘gentle suggestion’.

90 percent of Ile-de-France is considered to be part of the Paris metropolitan area. If you meet an Ile-de-France resident traveling outside of France, he or she may say they’re from Paris – and they’d be right – in a way. Staunch Parisians may insist that you can’t really call yourself a Parisian unless you live within in the city limit boundaries. For most of us who love the city from afar, these are minor details. Paris is a world city. It has no boundaries – except in one’s mind and on the taxi meters.

As soon as you cross the ‘peripherique’ the circular beltway that divides central Paris from the neighboring towns, your taxi rates will increase. The little light on the taxi’s rooftop switches from A rates to B rates.

If you get lost in France and can’t find Paris, simply find the Seine River. Eventually, you will make your way to Paris. Obviously there are easier ways to get there (this is how the Normans arrived to wreak havoc on the Parisians), but the other ways like hopping on a Air France shuttle bus from Charles de Gaulle airport to Montparnasse or Porte Maillot are just too damn easy. (Clue, the Seine River dumps into the (English) Channel ie La Manche – if you end up in Normandy at Rouen’s port well, you’ve gone too far – Paris is the other way). If you’re a Viking coming from the north, keep on going, you’ll be in Paris in no time.

Population within the City of Paris as of January, 2006:
2, 168 million. The Paris urban area app. 9.93 Million and the Metropolitan area app. 12 Million

>> Be sure to get your bearings before you go with Google Street View for Paris!


CITY OF PARIS Map by Google


RATP Paris Metro – Interactive Map

Interactive RATP Bus map (daytime hours)

Michelin Paris and surrounding region