Small in size, the Ile-de-France is, however, the centre of culture, art and tourism in the country. Historical birthplace of France, rich in relics of the past, highly urbanized, the region is dominated by its capital, Paris. Located in the north of the country on the Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and most romantic of all cities.
Paris has a large number of beautiful forest parks and landcaped gardens and counts iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral among some of its notable attractions. Tourists can choose from luxurious hotels, furnished flats, budget hostels and self-catering apartments in Paris as places to stay during their holiday in the city. It is full of very influential historical and cultural associations in the fields of culture, art, fashion, gastronomy and design. Nicknamed the City of Light, it is the most popular destination for tourists from around the world: the Notre-Dame de Paris, the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Pompidou Centre are the most visited attractions in France.
The prominence of the capital is such that it is easy to forget that 3/5ths of the region is still rural and the Ile-de-France is home to some of the best French forests, many of which were the hunting grounds of the kings of France. Planted with oak, beech, hornbeam, pine and birch, the forests of Fontainebleau, Rambouillet, Meudon, Sénart and Marly form its splendid "green lungs".