Paris is well known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It gets far less credit as a good city for women – despite the unhappy demise of Marie Antoinette. Throughout history women have made their mark on Paris, including Queens Catherine and Marie de Medici, Eleanor of Aquitaine and George Sand (born Amantine Dupin). Later there were Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker and Coco Chanel. And it’s not just dusty history. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize on her own. Today, former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is the first female head of the International Monetary Fund and Anne Hidalgo is the first woman mayor of Paris.
Paris is far more than a pretty face. It is home to 33 Global 500 companies. It’s the national leader in manufacturing and the epicenter of the luxury-goods industry. The business traveler on a tight schedule and with an open mind can enjoy the 2000-year-old city’s rich stew of cultures, casual pleasures, and of course, great cuisine.
Like all world-class cities, Paris has as many layers as a stack of crepes. You can always discover something new even if this is your umpteenth trip. One of Paris’ endearing qualities is the stark difference among its twenty arrondissements (formally-defined neighborhoods that are numbered in a snail-like spiral). So even if you’re a jaded traveler who’s already done the Louvre, the Bateaux Mouches on the Seine and the Eiffel Tower, a little exploration can give you a completely different Paris experience.