10 reasons to choose Paris

With its historical monuments, its cultural dynamism and its gastronomy, Paris is a mythical city full of surprises!

1. 'Simply Amazing'

Cafe carlu terrasse vue tour eiffel | 550x278 | © DR

Paris, a legendary city, has inspired artists, photographers and musicians throughout the ages. Victor Hugo described working-class Paris in Les Misérables; Apollinaire immortalized the Mirabeau bridge in his poem and Joe Dassin composed a song titled ‘Les Champs Elysées’. These days, luxury brands like Cartier and Dior draw inspiration from the beauty of Paris for their designs. Paris is a popular setting for French films – just think of Amelie, with its many scenes shot in Montmartre. The city has also featured in international films; it is a particular favourite with American filmmakers.The Da Vinci Code is just one example. Then there’s From Paris with Love, Inception and of course Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, with scenes shot in Paris palace hotels like the Ritz and the Meurice, in the Musée Rodin and the Palace of Versailles: a genuine tribute to the French capital.

Paris is magical!

Revue Moulin Rouge | 630x405 | © OTCP - José Serur Yedid | 172-11
  • 20,000 light bulbs are used to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour every hour from nightfall to 1am in winter
  • 82 Michelin-starred restaurants for fine food lovers, including 9 with three-star status in 2014
  • 15 cultural venues receive more than a million visitors
  • 22,304 shops and 19 commercial centres for shopping fans
  • 2,300 bottles of champagne are uncorked every evening in Paris cabarets.

2. A connected city

Train gare Paris accessible | 630x405 | ©

Situated at the heart of Europe, Paris is easy to get to, with 2 international airports: Paris Charles-de-Gaulle (23 km to the north) and Paris Orly (14 km to the south) connecting the French capital to 557 cities in 132 countries. Aéroports de Paris handles some 14,000 flights per week. Paris is at the hub of an extensive and efficient rail network with connections to major European cities (London, Barcelona, Milan, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm etc.) on TGV, Thalys, Lyria and Eurostar trains. 
The city’s 16 metro and 5 RER commuter rail lines make it easy and quick to get around Paris and its environs. The public transport network also comprises extensive bus service and several tram lines. As for private transport, taxis and private hire vehicles are available on a 24-hour basis, and can be called for immediate use, or booked in advance using new smartphone applications.

More information on how to get to and around Paris

3. A rich and varied range of accommodation    


Hôtel | 630x405 | © Getty

Paris stands out from its rivals due to its well-balanced, abundant and eclectic accommodation – from luxury palaces to small local hotels, from big chain hotels to charming design hotels with 149,000 bedrooms, and 82,227 in the centre of Paris.
Hotel residences, Bed & Breakfasts, youth hostels and furnished apartment rentals complete the offer.
To facilitate the organization of an event, independent or booking centres belonging to chain hotels, as well as several incoming agencies provide a service for bookings, the negotiation of quotas and managing of guest rooms.
Expectation for 2020: In order to meet the increase in demand, the City of Paris plans to create 12,000 new guest rooms (notably in large capacity 2* and 3* hotels) between now and 2020. 

Hotel accommodation by category in 2014 (Paris and Ile de France)


TypeNumber of rooms
1* and 2*30,500
3*54,600
4* and 5*50,100
Unrated149,000

4. An attractive city

Attractive | 630x405 | © Getty

Some 40% of travellers to Paris come to the city on business, whether it’s a corporate event or a trade show. Each year, around 450 fairs and trade shows are held in Paris, drawing nearly 10 million visitors and 100,000 exhibitors. Paris tops the list of congress destinations; the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), a point of reference for the sector, recently declared Paris ‘the world’s leading city for hosting international congresses’ for the second consecutive year. With 214 international congresses taken into account by the association, Paris is ahead of Vienna (202 meetings) and Madrid (200). The ranking emphasizes the attractiveness of Paris and its know-how when it comes to hosting major events.

5. A Place to meet

Palais de la Découverte | 630x405 | © OTCP - A.Robin-EPPDCSI

Paris has a plethora of venues for meetings and events with 18 congress and exhibition centres, 25 conference hotels with more than 300 rooms, more than 700 hotels with facilities for hosting seminars for up to 300 people, a hundred-odd meeting rooms and a thousand classic, modern and unusual venues capable of accommodating 10 to 10,000 people, Paris is undoubtedly the place to meet! A host of original places are also available for private hire to organize a memorable event: museums, boats, theatres, mansions, parks, gardens, department stores etc.


6. A unique culinary experience

Saint Laurent Gastronomie | 630x405 | © OTCP

French gastronomy has been added to the world’s intangible heritage list by UNESCO. Paris, where cuisine goes hand in hand with creativity and skill, has a wide and varied selection to choose from: gourmet restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs as well as smart brasseries at more affordable prices for business lunches and group dining: the ideal option for sampling French culinary classics ... Gastronomy in Paris is no longer a secret!
Many of the big names in French cuisine have cookery schools in Paris: Lenôtre, Alain Ducasse, Cyril Lignac and Guy Martin organize a range of different courses comprising cookery classes and tasting sessions, with formats ideally suited to team building. 

7. A culturally dynamic city

Paris, le musée du Louvre et sa Pyramide illuminés © OTCP - DR

With their history and impressive architecture, Paris’s monuments undoubtedly contribute to the charm of the French capital. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacré Cœur Basilica and the Arc de Triomphe are the four best-known monuments.    
As for museums, Paris has 138 of them. The Louvre, the oldest one in Paris, is also the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million visitors per year. The Musée National d’Art Moderne, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Palace of Versailles near Paris are also increasingly popular with international visitors. Every year, museums host numerous Parisian exhibitions from all over the world! Places of worship excluded, the 20 most frequently visited museums and monuments in Paris are available for private hire to host corporate events.       
In 2013, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau counted 89 exhibitions in 35 cultural venues, attracting a total of more than 11 million visitors.


The 5 top temporary exhibitions in Paris in 2013

 


ExhibitionsSitesOpening dateClosing dateVisitors numberAverage number of visitors/day
'Roy Lichtenstein'Centre Pompidou3-7-20134-11-2013546,2294,405
'Georges Braque'Grand Palais18-9-20136-1-2014462,6774,206
'Chagall, entre guerre et paix'Grand Palais18-9-20136-1-2013462,6774,206
'Masculin/féminin'Musée d’Orsay24-9-201312-1-2014408,7473,716
'Une passion française. La collection Hays'Musée d’Orsay16-4-201318-8-2013392,1233,162

By night

Tour Eiffel nuit  | 630x405 | © OTCP

Nightlife begins in Paris when the Eiffel Tower starts to sparkle.
Night owls congregate in every district for drinks or a meal in restaurants, bars, cabarets or even boats and buses before heading on to trendy nightclubs. Most bars and restaurants stay open until 2am, and many have live music. Paris has 30 cabarets and dinner shows and 75 nightclubs, which draw clubbers from all over Europe: many of the top international DJs started out here. New clubs open each year, keeping the Paris nightlife scene fresh and lively.

8. International capital of innovation

Ordinateur salon | 630x405 | ©

The 3,000 startups in the Paris region are working on solutions for the future. Paris is the first city in the world to host a tourism-focused startup incubator, the Welcome City Lab. The region’s 8 competitive clusters involving businesses, universities, schools and research centres provide fertile ground for innovative projects. 

  • Advancity: Sustainable city and urban eco-technology
  • ASTech Paris Region: Space transport, business aviation and propulsion
  • Cap Digital: Digital content and services
  • Cosmetic Valley: French cosmetics and perfume industry
  • Finance Innovation: European centre for financial expertise
  • Medicen Paris Region: Innovative technology for healthcare and new therapies
  • Mov’éo: Car and public transport R&D
  • System@tic Paris Region: Expertise in key technologies and complex systems

9. An eco-friendly city

Tramway, boulevard Kellermann, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Paris, a city with a strong green ethos, hosted the United Nations conference on climate change (COP 21) in 2015.
The City of Paris carries out an active transportation policy: clean public transport, cutting car traffic to encourage sustainable or non-polluting mobility options such as the Vélib bike share and Autolib electric car sharing schemes, and a ban on diesel cars by 2020. Paris has adopted Agenda 21 to tackle economic, social and environmental challenges. This action strategy envisages a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. Paris tourism professionals are gradually integrating sustainable development goals into their offer by organizing eco-friendly events.        
Paris is also working to promote social cohesion and diversity. Public transport and public spaces are being made more accessible.

10. Free advice from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

photo-equipe-BDC-recadré

Our teams are at your disposal to answer all queries regarding the organization of your event or your stay in Paris. If you represent an agency, tour operator, company or association, feel free to contact us with your details and needs using the Request for Proposal form. 
Our congress team is available to help non-profit organizations every step of the way: compiling the bid, getting in touch with Paris service providers, organizing site inspection visits and promoting your congress.      
Each year the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau publishes brochures, maps and guides to help you plan your stay and organize your event in the French capital. Don’t hesitate to contact us!