Explore Paris on foot
Paris is one of the most beautiful and captivating cities in the world and, although it has an excellent metro system, best explored on foot. You can comfortably enjoy this suggested route in one day, but if you want to spend time at any of these sights, you will need at least 2 days to do so.
1. ILE SAINT LOUIS
Commence your perfect day on Ile Saint-Louis, one of the river Seine's two natural islands in Paris (the other being Ile de la Cité). Its name dates back to 1725 and is derived from that of King Louis IX, son of Louis VIII, who was nicknamed Saint Louis.
2. PLACE DES VOSGES (15 minutes, 1.1 km)
Place des Vosges, located mostly in the 4th district, was originally called place Royale. The square was renamed after the French Revolution in tribute to the north-east region of Vosges, bordering Germany and Luxembourg, which was the first to pay taxes imposed by the new government.
3. POMPIDOU CENTRE (15 min, 1.2 km)
In 1969, President Georges Pompidou decided to provide France with a venue like no other: a centre for art and culture capable of housing both the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, with an international dimension, a large public library (the future Bpi), a centre for industrial creation and a centre for musical research and creation (Ircam), all together in one and the same building situated in the heart of the capital. The titanic construction works began in May 1972 with two young architects, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, at the helm. Alas, the president died in 1974 before he could see the Centre Pompidou completed. It was inaugurated by his successor Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the presence of his wife Claude Pompidou on 31 January 1977.
4. LES HALLES & EGLISE ST EUSTACHE (10 min, 0.7 km)
Les Halles was Paris' central fresh food market. It was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the Westfield Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built largely underground and directly connected to the massive RER and métro transit hub of Châtelet–Les Halles. The shopping mall welcomes 150,000 visitors daily. A major reconstruction of the mall was undertaken in 2010, and the new version of the Forum des Halles was inaugurated in 2018. The 2.5 hectare Canopy was opened on 5 April 2016. In 2017, the Forum des Halles was the second most visited shopping mall in the Paris region with 42 million yearly visitors. Located in the historic district of Les Halles, Saint-Eustache is one of the most visited churches in Paris. It stands out in particular for its size, the great wealth of works of art it houses, and its large organ. Faithful to its musical tradition, the church welcomes philharmonic groups, choirs and prestigious festivals all year round.
5. MUSÉE DU LOUVRE (10 min, 0.65 km)
The Musée du Louvre is the world's most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris, France. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet).
6. TUILERIES GARDEN (next to Louvre)
The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. Created by Catherine de' Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution.
7. PLACE DE LA CONCORDE (next to Tuileries Garden)
Place de la Concorde is situated at the end of the Champs-Elysées. Today it is famous for the Luxor Obelisk (a 3,300 year old Egyptian obelisk erected on the square in October 1836), the surrounding prestigious hotels, and the two monumental fountains (Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves). Created in 1772, Place de la Concorde was originally known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (among others) were guillotined here. Between 1836 and 1846 the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf redesigned the square to become what it is today.
8. CHAMPS ELYSEES (start at Place de la Concorde)
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide, running between the Place de la Concorde in the east and the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It is known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops, as the finish of the Tour de France cycling race, as well as for its annual Bastille Day military parade. The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the place for dead heroes in Greek mythology. It is regarded by many as the "most beautiful avenue in the world"
9. ARC DE TRIOMPHE (30 min, 2 km)
The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile—the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The location of the arc and the plaza is shared between three arrondissements, 16th (south and west), 17th (north), and 8th (east). The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
10. EIFEL TOWER (33 min, 2.6 km)
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Locally nicknamed "La dame de fer" (French for "Iron Lady"), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair and was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument with an entrance fee in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015. The Tower was made a Monument historique in 1964 and named part of UNESCO World Heritage Site ("Paris, Banks of the Seins") in 1991.
11. MUSEE D’ ORSAY (35 min, 2.7 km)
The Musée d'Orsay is a museum on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Berthe Morisot, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe.
12. LATIN QUARTER VIA BOULEVARD ST GERMAIN (23 min, 1.8 km)
Also known as the 5th arrondissement, the quaint Latin Quarter is home to the Sorbonne University and student-filled cafes. It's also famed for its bookshops, including the landmark Shakespeare & Company. Family-friendly attractions include the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens and the National Museum of Natural History. The stately Panthéon building holds the remains of notables like Voltaire and Marie Curie. Boulevard Saint-Germain is a major street in Paris on the Rive Gauche of the Seine. It curves in a 3.5-kilometre arc from the Pont de Sully in the east to the Pont de la Concorde in the west and traverses the 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements.
13. NOTRE DAME (11 min, 0.85 km)
Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine River), in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Construction of the cathedral was begun in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the centuries that followed. In the 19th century, the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many of the French Republic’s presidents took place at the cathedral.
14. MONTMARTRE (Take the Metro)
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris's 18th arrondissement. It is 130 m (430 ft) high and gives its name to the surrounding district, part of the Right Bank in the northern section of the city. Montmartre is primarily known for its artistic history, the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit, and as a nightclub district. The other church on the hill, Saint Pierre de Montmartre, built in 1147, was the church of the prestigious Montmartre Abbey. Near the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the twentieth, during the Belle Époque, many artists lived, worked, or had studios in or around Montmartre, including Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh. Montmartre is also the setting for several hit films.
SLEEP AT DADOU
A neighbourhood hotel ideally located near the Place de l'Étoile, where regulars and visitors of the 17th arrondissement meet, mix and mingle: in the sun, in the rain, at noon or at midnight, enjoy the Champs-Élysées avenue, stroll around through the gardens of the Parc Monceau, munch on the fruits of the Rue Poncelet market or treat yourself with a bouquet of tulips in the Place des Ternes.
SLEEP AT HOTEL MARIGNAN
The Hotel Marignan is located in a small, quiet street of Paris, in the city center on the left bank in the famous Latin Quarter district. The Hotel is only a five minute walk from Notre Dame, the Luxembourg Gardens and others important sights in Paris. Hotel Marignan, in the Keniger family since 1955, has been a meeting place for international guests since its opening. Because of the ideal location of the hotel near la Sorbonne in the historical center of Paris, many intellectuals, writers, artists, students and academics have stayed in the hotel.
EAT AT LE FLORE EN I'LLE
Le Flore en l'Île welcomes you to spend a delicious moment on Île Saint-Louis, a natural island at the heart of the French capital. Enjoy a unique view of the Cathedral Notre-Dame while Parisian street artists and musicians play on Saint-Louis bridge.
EAT AT LE LUTETIA
Enjoy traditional French cuisine like terrine and mussels near Pont Saint-Louis. The restaurant offers a fine wine selection and professional staff. You can enjoy your perfect meal indoors or outside.
EAT AT LE SAINT GERMAIN
Located on the corner of boulevard Saint-Germain and rue du Bac is a brasserie worthy of the name. Le Saint Germain is famous for serving French cuisine. Guests can feast on tasty escargots, salad nicoise and French onion soup. Try their perfectly cooked crème brûlée, ice cream and chocolate lava cake.
PLAY AT ADVENTURE TOURS FRANCE
Hello & Bonjour, Adventure Tours France offers private 2-6 hours custom walking tours of Paris and private biking tours in the French countryside with optional add-ons to Versailles & Chartres.
PLAY AT BABYLON TOURS PARIS
You’ve seen it in the movies, but what do you really know about Paris? Babylon Tours will share its stories, secrets, and scandals with you while exploring all of the places you won’t find on your own. Wander the streets and museums of the world’s most popular city on a small group or private tour of Paris.
PLAY AT WHEELS AND WAYS
Guided tours in Paris by Segway every day from 5:00AM till 10:00PM. Their guides are all passionate and are eager to pass on their knowledge in a simple and user-friendly way on the Segway as well as on Paris! More than 30 km of circuits available in Paris.
WHEN TO GO: The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just about perfect. Unfortunately, summer is also the most crowded time – and the most expensive. For lower travel rates and significantly shorter lines at attractions, plan a visit in the fall.
HOW TO GET AROUND: The best way to experience Paris is definitely on foot - when you get tired, jump on the excellent metro system.