City Spotlight: Paris
It snowed in Paris this week, a rare occurrence in the city of lights, which inspired us to do a City Spotlight on this beautiful center of art and culture. In addition to hosting world-famous museums and ornate architecture, Paris is a major tech hub that is bursting with startups and incubators, which makes it an excellent Sage Corps program location.
WHAT TO KNOW
Paris as a city - originally a Roman settlement called Lutetia - dates back to the 50s BC, but the Paris we know and love today didn't really come around until the 1800s, when Napoleon III commissioned a complete overhaul of its infrastructure. But the city has always been considered a center of progressive thinking. It established itself as the heart of Enlightenment in the 1700s and held the Universal Exposition in 1889, for which the Eiffel Tower was constructed.
Now, Paris is home to 2.2 million people and attracts over 35 million more as tourists each year. The Eiffel Tower sells more tickets than any other landmark in the world, bringing in nearly 7 million visitors annually. As a result, the services industry makes up about half of Paris's economy, and well over half the locals are believed to speak English.
WHAT TO DO
Don't miss the opportunity to experience Paris's rich history and culture firsthand. Museums like the famous Louvre and Musée d'Orsay house some of the most famous works of art in the world, while the Musée de l'Armée is a great place to learn about the city's long history with war. Visit major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame on foot, or if you're short on time, see them all at once from the Seine on one of Paris's many river cruises.
Of course, you can't go to Paris without trying a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) from a boulangerie (bakery) or sipping a café au lait (espresso with milk) at a sidewalk café. If you're feeling fancy, sample a traditional macaron or two at the famed Ladurée tea shop. At night, try any one of the city's many wonderful French restaurants. Paris was named the 3rd best city in the world for high-end dining, so you can't go wrong!
Business Insider claims that Paris is in danger of overtaking London as Europe's tech hub, a scenario most likely furthered by Brexit and the election of France's current president, Emmanuel Macron. Startups are thriving at the city's many incubators, including Station F, the biggest startup incubator campus in the world. Young professionals are flocking towards entrepreneurship, with many choosing to begin their own company immediately after completing university.
It's a bright future for the Paris startup scene; it's currently ranked the 6th best city for startups in the world and continues to climb. As cost of living goes down and government support of small businesses goes up, who knows how far Paris will soar as an international startup hub?
Interested in joining Paris's booming startup scene? Check out Sage Corps' entrepreneurship program in the French capital: