Welcome in Paris & the Île de France region
With over 50 million visitors per year, the Ile-de-France region remains the world's leading tourist destination. Through our pages, discover the best of Paris and the surrounding region. The City of Light abounds in beauty, with an outstanding architecture that has successfully endured for centuries and is enhanced by numerous cultural sites and museums. However, the area is not just limited to the capital, the other departments have their special treasures, such as the superb castles, the ancient abbeys, the royal cities, the parks with with water areas and also beautiful and large propitious forests.
What will be your hosting model in the Ile de France region?
The Île de France is a very densely populated region, which alone accounts of 18.8% of the hexagon's population while covering only 2.2% of the national territory. Inside the region, it is Paris that mainly concentrates the population, it covers barely 24% of the regional surface, but where almost 90% of its population lives. If Paris concentrates museums and prestigious buildings, many architectural gems have been created in the rest of its region, like beautiful castles, former abbeys, royal cities, romantic gardens, leisure parks and vast national forests conducive to hiking.
The attractions of the 8 departments of Paris - Île de France in detail
Which are the departments in the Paris Île de France region?
The region includes 8 departments: Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines. The following paragraphs will direct you to the specific page of each department in Paris and will present to you, for each of them, the must-see places to visit and how to organise the discovery days.
Department of Paris Capital (75)
As the most touristic city in the world, Paris deserves several days to explore, but many tourists only have a few days. The question is how to visit the most important places in Paris without missing out on the essential? It seems almost impossible to see all the famous monuments, the most prestigious buildings, the museums and the various neighborhoods! With this wide range of options, you should discover the Paris that reflects you, all the important sites are in the heart of the capital, it will be easy for you to plan all your visits.
Department of Yvelines (78)
Situated right in the heart of the Parisian Basinn, to the west and the south-west of Paris, the first population centers are only about 15 km away from the capital. It is a major tourist destination with the castle of Versailles around which the city of Versailles has been developed. The rest of the department is quite rural with vast woodland zones like the forest of Rambouillet, the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse or the Parc du Vexin. Besides Versailles, 5 other cities are honored with the title of royal cities and they are Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Poissy, Mantes-la-Jolie, Marly-le-Roi and Rambouillet.
Department of Hauts-de-Seine (92)
A suburban department located to the west of Paris, its enveloping shape connects all the departments of the Île de France region apart from Seine-et-Marne. It is the most urbanized department of the region, except for a few parks and woods. Traces of the Neolithic period have been found in Malakoff and a large urbanization area was discovered in Nanterre in 2003, as well as a Gallic necropolis, which makes us think about the actual location of Lutetia. The tourist axis is only turned towards the Defense with business tourism and Aqua92, the deepest diving pit in France.
Department of Val-de-Marne (94)
Located southwest of the capital, its name comes from the Marne River which flows through the territory. This is a very different area, with both working class communes and other more residential or peri-urban areas, marked by the history of rural life and the forests. The Marne banks with their "guinguettes" and islands are a remarkable site, known by tourists seeking for a change of scenery. The Creteil lake represents an excellent site for bird migration, without neglecting the fact that the department is also a great land of many castles.
Department of Seine-et-Marne (77)
To the east of Paris, it takes its name from the Seine and Marne rivers that cross the department. Its surface area alone is 50% of the Paris Île de France region and extends over several natural regions, in particular the Brie and Gâtinais. Although its land is globally used for agriculture, the tourism sector has some strong arguments with many impressive cultural sites and an amusement park among the largest in Europe. With between 30 and 40 million visitors, it is the second most visited department in the Île de France region after Paris.
Department of Essonne (91)
Located south of Paris, it takes its name from the Essonne River which crosses the territory along a south-north axis until its confluence with the Seine. This department has a high rural character, with the large plains of Beauce in the south, the Gâtinais and the Brie plateau in the northeast, only the central-northern part is highly urbanised. Essonne is not known for being a tourist destination, although its patrimony is such that it attracts 800,000 visitors per year, based on six main themes: castles and gardens, religious buildings, museums, artists' houses, business tourism and leisure activities.
Department of Seine-Saint-Denis (93)
Located in the northeast of the metropolitan area of Paris, belonging to the small ring of the Île de France region. It includes a highly urbanized area, close to Paris, which contrasts greatly with the agricultural plains of the Pays de France and its small rural villages. Its heritage of museums and monuments is not negligible, and is particularly varied since it includes, in particular, the Citroën conservatory, the Bourget air museum, the Drancy camp conservatory, the Poudrerie park and over thirty seigniorial and religious buildings, with some dating back to the 13th century.
Department of Val-d'Oise (95)
It constitutes the northern part of the region and is part of the great Parisian ring. It is an area of contrasts which includes, firstly, 2 regional parks, a very interesting tourist and natural heritage and, secondly, very strongly urbanized areas, to which the first airport in continental Europe is also added. The French Vexin is one of the best conserved French rural regions next to Paris, and is the most tourist attractive area, with castles, abbeys and museums.