Athens ( ATH-inz; Greek: Αθήνα, romanized: Athína [aˈθina] (listen); Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanized: Athênai (pl.) [atʰɛ̂ːnai̯]) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica area and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its history spanning over 3,400 decades and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th century BC.Classical Athens was a strong city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to its cultural and political effect on the European continent, and particularly the Romans. These days, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, marine, cultural and political life in Greece.
Athens is a Beta worldwide city based on the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe. It has a large financial industry, and its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world.The Municipality of Athens (also City of Athens), which really constitutes a tiny administrative unit of the entire city, had a population of 664,046 (in 2011) within its official limits, and a land area of 38.96 km2 (15.04 sq mi). The Athens Urban Area (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 (in 2011) within an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area (FUA) of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union (the 6th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 3.
Paris (French pronunciation: [paʁi] (listen)) is the capital and most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,148,271 residents as of 2020, in an area of more than 105 square kilometres (41 square miles). Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science and arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2020 population of 12,278,210, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion ($808 billion) in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.The city is a major railway, highway and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris–Charles de Gaulle (the second busiest airport in Europe) and Paris–Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily; it is the second busiest metro system in Europe after the Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2019, with 9.6 million visitors. However, the number of visitors plunged by 72 percent to 2.7 million visitors in 2020, due to the COVID virus and the drop in the number of foreign visitors.
The Musée d'Orsay, Musée Marmottan Monet, and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art.
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