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Paris (pronounced /ˈpærɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (or Paris Region, French:Région parisienne). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031 (January 2007), but the Paris aire urbaine has a population of 11,836,970 (January 2007), and is one of themost populated metropolitan areas in Europe.
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world's leading businessand cultural centres, and its influences in politics,education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. In 2009 and 2010 Paris was ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three "European cities of the future" – according to research published by the Financial Times  and among the top ten most liveable cities in the world according to the British review Monocle. Paris also ranked among the ten greenest European cities in 2010. Paris hosts the headquarters of many international organizations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), theInternational Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club.
Paris and the Paris Region, with €552.1 billion in 2009, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product of France. According to 2008 estimates, the Paris agglomeration is, scantily afterLondon, Europe's second biggest city economy and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris Region hosts 34 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.According to the latest survey from Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010, Paris is the world's most expensive city in which to live. With about 42 million tourists per year (28 in city proper of which 17 million are foreign visitors), Paris is themost visited city in the world. The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and fourUNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Culture of Paris concerns the arts, music, museums, festivals and other entertainment in Paris, the capital city of France. The city is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centers; entertainment, music, media, fashion, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
Paris is also home to notable cultural attractions such as the Louvre, Musée Picasso, Musée Rodin, Musée du Montparnasse, Musée National d'Art Moderne. Art and artifacts from the Middle Ages can be seen inMusée Cluny while Musée d'Orsay is notable for housing Impressionist era masterpieces.
A variety of landmarks and objects are cultural icons associated with Paris, such as Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris and Opéra Garnier. Many of Paris' once-popular local establishments have come to cater to the tastes and expectations of tourists, rather than local patrons. Le Lido, the cabaret-dance hall, for example, is a staged dinner theater spectacle, a dance display that was once but one aspect of the cabaret's former atmosphere. All of the establishment's former social or cultural elements, such as its ballrooms and gardens, are gone today. Much of Paris' hotel, restaurant and night entertainment trades have become heavily dependent on tourism.