Île-de-France, also known as the wealthiest and most populated of all the 27 regions of France, is also referred to as the Région Parisienne or Paris Region. Divided into eight departments such as Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise, and Yvelines, the region covers a total area of 12,012 square kilometres or 4,638 square miles.
What to see & do
Among Île-de-France’s points of interest include some of the most famous spots France is known for, such as the Eiffel Tower; The Louvre; Notre Dame de Paris; Arc de Triomphe; Sacré-Cœur, Paris; and Palace of Versailles, to name a few. Arc de Triomphe, also known as The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, or Arch of Triumph of the Star, is among Paris’ most famous monuments. Found in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle, it stands at 50 metres or 164 feet in height, 45 metres or 148 feet wide, and 22 metres or 72 feet deep. Palace of Versailles/Versailles, or Château de Versailles, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Île-de-France region of France. At around 67,000 square metres or 721,200 square feet, Versailles is a royal château that was built in Versailles, France which used to be a country village. It has been promoted as one of the country’s foremost tourist attractions although still a place for political functions. Other top destinations include Champs-Élysées, Île de la Cité, Disneyland Paris, Les Invalides, Centre Georges Pompidou, among others.
How to get around
Transportation around the Île-de-France region includes going by train, car, or bike. The region’s RER or regional trains take travellers in and out of Paris. RER has 256 stops within Paris, with around 587 kilometres or 365 miles of track, five lines namely A to E, crossing Paris, and connecting the suburbs on opposite sides. The RER stations are marked with blue signs with white ‘RER’. On the other hand, there is another network of trains that depart from the main train stations of Lyon, Est, Nord, St-Lazare, Montparnasse, and La Défense. When getting tickets for the trains, it is recommended to purchase a daily ticket other than the return tickets since the daily tickets provide better value, although it is best to check when purchasing. Driving around the Île-de-France region, there are numerous free Autoroutes, along with four lane roads for driving around the region. Some of the roads and Autoroutes include Le boulevard périphérique, A13, A6, A5, A86, A14, N104, and N118. Travelling by bicycle within the region is easy, with the bicycle lanes all throughout the area that are connected to Paris. These lanes should be taken with extreme caution.
How to get there
As the focus of the Île-de-France region, Paris is served by the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airport serves as a hub for Air France, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, and XL Airways France. Destinations include Ljubljana, Tirana, Athens, Larnaca, Cork, Dublin, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Mexico City, Algiers, Constantine, Saint-Denis de la Réunion, Montréal, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Miami, Monrovia, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Athens, Dublin, Casablanca, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Barcelona, Cairo, Seoul, Munich, Bangkok, Hanoi, and Philadelphia, to name a few, via Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Aeroflot operated by Rossiya, Aeroméxico, Aigle Azur, Air Algérie, Air Austral, Air Canada, Air Canada, Air France, Air France operated by CityJet, Air Seychelles, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, easyJet, EgyptAir, Korean Air, Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine, Vietnam Airlines, and US Airways. Other airports that serve Paris include Orly Airport and Beauvais-Tillé Airport.