Grand Paris is the larger metropolitan district beyond the city center that encompasses several suburban cities and towns immediately around it. Here are a few that I’ve had reason to visit.
La Defense is the big business district of Paris with an ever increasing number of skyscrapers, malls, and corporate offices. It is also the place where I attended a semester of university many years ago. Not a city in its own right, La Defense straddles the edges of several small towns like Courbevoie and Nanterre (2011/2020)
The centerpiece of La Defense is the Grande Arche de la Defense, a large cubic monument that stands on the axis that continues in a straight line through the Arc de Triomphe, Place de La Concorde, and the Louvre (1996/2011)
Neuilly-sur-Seine lies directly down from La Defense as you move toward the center of Paris. It is a very wealthy residential district but has a wonderful walkway down the middle as well as island parks on the Seine (1996)
While the expansive Bois de Vincennes is part of Paris proper, Vincennes itself is a town in its own right with the town hall seen here (2020)
Vincennes is most famous for its Chateau, a large walled palace complex with chapel, courtyards, and a fortress-like donjon complete with a moat that were built over many centuries. Much of it dates back to the 1300s.
Maisons-Alfort is a small suburb where I stayed during a visit to Paris. While mostly known for the veterinary school and museum there, I enjoyed it being right on the Marne at the point where it joins the Seine (2020)
ARCUEIL AND CACHAN
I’ve stayed in the Arcueil-Cachan area south of Paris several times because a friend’s family lives there. One of the most interesting things about the two cities are the several old aqueducs that pass through them (2003/2004)
Not all of the Parisian suburbs are high-rises and homes. Some have the remains of small palaces and the lands around like the Chateau de Sceaux seen here (1996)