City Orientation Walk I, Paris (Self Guided)

The capital of France takes its name from the Celtic tribe of Parisii who, back in the Iron Age, around the 3rd century BC, settled near the river Seine. The Romans conquered the Parisii and established on their land a garrison town which, towards the end of the 5th century AD, fell to the Franks and flourished under their rule. Despite wars, revolutions and numerous social cataclysms, Paris had prospered over centuries, enjoying particularly great expansion during the 16th-17th centuries. As the matter of fact, the architectural plan and style of classical Paris, as we know it today, was established back then.

The combined effort of the French royals, clergy and aristocracy materialized in an array of architectural marvels fit to rival even those of Rome, and included the magnificent Les Invalides complex, remarkable Tuileries Garden, monumental Place de la Concorde, to mention but a few.

Later, in the early 19th century, the new emperor of France, Napoleon, added to the Paris landscape the ostentatious Arch of Triumph and opulent La Madeleine temple, symbols of the imperial ego which, towards the end of the same 19th century, were joined by another symbol – this time of France's industrial might – the Eiffel Tower.

Nicknamed "the City of Lights", Paris lives up to its title with almost 300 illuminated sights, of which 33 are bridges.

A large part of the city, including the River Seine, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amid the wealth of cultural and historic gems that Paris has to offer, we have compiled two self-guided walks to showcase the city's most unique landmarks. This Part I Orientation Walk features iconic sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arch of Triumph, Tuileries Garden, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, and others. To obtain directions to the sights in question, tap the sight's name below this introduction and then tap it on the map at the bottom of the sight's information screen. The GPS navigation function will guide you to the chosen destination.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk I Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk I
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.9 km
Author: karen
1
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)

1) Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) (must see)

Equally grand from whatever angle you look at it, whether just walking past or watching it from a distance, day or night, the Eiffel Tower lives up to its iconic status with ease. No wonder it is the no. 1 attraction everyone wants to see on their trip to Paris. In fact, it has become so much a symbol of Paris and France, that it is hard to imagine the time when it did not exist.

Completed by French architect Gustave Eiffel in 1889, right from the outset, the tower was an enormous success, although not to everyone's taste. Before the construction even started, a group of prominent French artists and members of academia disparaged the idea as utterly useless and even monstrous. Despite that, in 2015 the tower proved to be the most visited paid landmark in the world, seeing that year alone almost 7 million visitors.

There are several reasons the tower is so popular. For starters, the entire wrought-iron structure is totally see-through, so you can literally see all of it from one end to the other. Secondly, unlike some other high-rises, the tower is there for visitors only and nothing else. And finally, in Paris where tall buildings are still in rather short supply, the bird's eye view opening from the top of the tower is truly unique and indeed breathtaking. Standing up there, you won't have difficulty spotting all of Paris's top attractions such as the Louvre, the Grand Palace, Montmartre, or the Arch of Triumph.

Moreover, the complete Eiffel experience is not limited to just climbing the tower itself, but may also include a picnic nearby or visiting the Field of Mars not far away. The abundance of benches, grassy lawn and vendors in the vicinity, selling all sorts of snacks, drinks and ice cream, make it a totally comfortable experience. Also adding to the charm is the near presence of the river Seine rolling its waters quietly and majestically.

Tip:
Remember to bring along some warm clothes, because it can get much colder at the top, especially when it's windy.
During the day, if it is hot, bring an umbrella to offer you some shade, and lots of water.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-11:45pm (Sep-Jun 14); 9am-12:45am (Jun 14-Aug 31)
Last entry: 45mins before closing time
2
Champ de Mars (Field of Mars)

2) Champ de Mars (Field of Mars) (must see)

In sunny weather, there is nothing better in Paris than stretching out somewhere on a grassy lawn. The “Field of Mars”, one of the largest parks in Paris, generously offers such an opportunity to those lucky with plenty of time under their belt. This popular outdoor space takes its name from the ancient Campus Martius in Rome, once the drilling ground for the Roman armies preparing for war. Back in the day, the French used this field pretty much for the same purpose as well, although prior to that, in the 16th century, this was just a vegetable plantation.

Nowadays, Champ de Mars is a popular venue for celebrations, cultural events and military parades. The live music concerts here, especially in summer, held under the starry Paris sky, give listeners a truly unforgettable experience.

Most of the time, though, the park is just a charming green oasis amid the sprawling metropolis, offering, among other delights, some of the greatest views of the nearby Eiffel Tower, especially at night when its illumination goes on every hour.

A favorite spot for many, just as any other major public park, Champ de Mars may get rather busy on sunny days. This, however, doesn't seriously reduce chances of finding some quiet nook further afield. Those coming with kids will find comfort here, too, in the form of at least two playgrounds available at their disposal.

Why You Should Visit:
Best place to get photos of the Eiffel Tower and to see it sparkle every hour in the evenings.

Tip:
Consider bringing a mat/cover for lying about.
3
Les Invalides

3) Les Invalides (must see)

Les Invalides is a spacious block of buildings in Paris comprising museums and monuments showcasing the military glory of France. It also played a significant role in the storming of the Bastille as the source of weapons for the mob who attacked the fortress on 14 July 1789. Originally designed as a hospital and retirement home for the aged and sick war veterans, the complex had 15 courtyards, with the largest one reserved for military parades. Completed in the 17th century, the hospital once housed up to 4,000 war veterans at a time. Some of France's greatest generals and war heroes, including Napoleon Bonaparte himself, are buried here.

The tomb of Napoleon in the Royal Chapel is a standalone attraction and is a typically French interpretation of Baroque, with a huge dome, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The inner part of the dome is a sample of the French mastery in decorative arts, working on which was the army of painters and craftsmen. The sheer size of the dome, and that of the sarcophagus beneath it, vividly demonstrate the importance of Napoleon to the French people. If you come late, toward the closing hours, you may have a bit more space to walk around and explore this place on your own.

The three museums within the complex include the Army Museum, the Museum of Military Models, and the Contemporary History Museum. Of these, the Army Museum is the largest. It recounts France's military history starting from the early Middle Ages until the Second World War including, of course, the Napoleonic wars, displaying weaponry, uniforms, and maps originating both in the Western world and the Orient including Turkey, China, Japan, and India.

Why You Should Visit:
From Napoleon's campaigns to the world wars, it is all there for you to see. The exhibits cover not just the military aspects of the wars, but also their economic, social and political aspects, their causes and the aftermath. Then, to top it all off, there is the tomb of Napoleon.

Tip:
The available on-site Angelina patisserie offers visitors a fairly good selection of teas and cakes, ideal for a quick snack and a nice break whenever one might need it.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm (Apr-Oct); 10am-5pm (Nov-Mar)
Last entry: 30 mins before closing time
4
Rodin Museum

4) Rodin Museum (must see)

The Musée Rodin in Paris, displaying the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, for over 100 years has been housed in Hôtel Biron. This elegant 18th-century mansion was Rodin's residence, and its garden was particularly dear to the sculptor, who placed here many of his works.

Renowned for his unique ability to mold clay, Rodin went down in history not only as a sculptor but also as a painter, engraver and collector. Attesting to this are the numerous sketches, paintings and engravings displayed in the museum, created by both Rodin himself and his student and muse, Camille Claudel. Also exhibited here are the paintings of Van Gough, Monet and Renoir collected by Rodin during his lifetime.

On the outside, the property spans over three hectares and includes a rose-tinged French garden adorned with sinuous bronze sculptures, such as “The Walking Man”, “The Cathedral”, “The Kiss”, and the most famous of them all – “The Thinker”.

The entrance fee is reasonable, not likely to break anyone's bank, so go and appreciate art in a whole new perspective while enjoying the Parisian weather.

Why You Should Visit:
The overall setting is quite pleasant for art study much as for the laid-back meditative contemplation whereby one can forget about time and unwind for a while.
Just behind the museum, there's a small pond and casual restaurant, plus an open area with benches, café and ice-cream parlor.

Tip:
Do stop in the entry garden to pose for cheesy photos of yourself looking pensive next to the massive statue of The Thinker!

Regular Hours:
Wed-Mon: 10am-5pm
Closed Tuesdays, 4th of July, Thanksgiving & Christmas

Garden Bar Hours:
Thu–Sun: 3–8pm (Jul 5–Aug 25); Sat, Sun: 3–8pm (Sep 8–29);
Closed July 25, Aug 31–Sept 2, Sep 7
5
Alexandre III Bridge

5) Alexandre III Bridge (must see)

While Paris abounds in beautiful bridges, the bridge of Alexandre III beats them all hands down. This deck arch bridge, spanning the river Seine between the Champs-Élysées and Les Invalides quarter, is widely regarded to be the most ornate and extravagant bridge in the French capital, a truly historic attraction in its own right!

It was built at the end of the 19th century, in time for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, under the supervision of Russian Tsar Alexander III upon the conclusion of the Franco-Russian Alliance. The bridge proved to be a genuine feat of engineering of the time, not only because of its single arch but also because it needed to sit low, so as not to obstruct the view from the Les Invalides over to the Champs-Élysées Avenue. The design and construction of the bridge was done by numerous artists who added just as many intricate elements to its ornamentation, including the lovely bas-relief ironwork, gilded and ornate street lamps, as well as four golden statues representing the Art, the Commerce, the Industry and the Science. The lower part of the bridge – the piers and the groynes supporting it – are just as impressive, especially for those who sail underneath it.

Why You Should Visit:
Just about every bridge in Paris is beautiful but this one probably tops them all – a museum by itself!

Tip:
If you happen to be at the bridge at night, make sure to walk down the stairs and check out its underbelly for some truly amazing photos.
Also, look out for a small antiques market down there, along the riverfront, for some vintage fashion, excellent silver flatware, and knick-knacks of various sort.
6
Orangerie Museum

6) Orangerie Museum (must see)

The Musée de l'Orangerie in Place de la Concorde is an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings displayed in a former greenhouse for orange trees; hence the name.

The greenhouse was built in 1852 but the actual museum that emerged here only in 1927 started off with the display of the series of Monet's decorative canvas-painted waterlily panels, called the “Nympheas”. The panels are essentially giant murals covering walls in the oval rooms on the ground floor. Their general idea is to create a tranquil, relaxed setting in which the outdoor stress is literally “colored” away. Combined with the diffused sunlight pouring in through the ceiling, the painted waterlily garden puts visitors into an alternate, unique mood, just as Monet had intended. This gets particularly captivating in mid-morning on a sunny day. Visitors are encouraged to start viewing the panels from the center of the room, gradually getting closer till they're able to make out the brush strokes on the canvas.

Apart from Monet's waterlilies, the museum also exhibits the Walter-Guillaume collection featuring first-rate artworks by Renoir, Picasso, Cezanne, Derain, Mattise, Rousseau, Sisley, and others.

There's is a small, well-stocked gift shop on the premises, plus a tiny self-service café, in case you want a quick snack or coffee.

Tip:
You may consider getting a combined ticket for the Orangerie and Orsay Museum. The price is fair and will allow you to skip line to the Orsay.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Mon: 9am-6pm; closed on Tuesdays
Last admission: 5:15pm; Museum cleared from 5:45pm
7
Tuileries Garden

7) Tuileries Garden (must see)

Nowadays a lovely park, the Tuileries Garden has been a witness to some of the most turbulent events in French history. Centermost of all the Paris city parks, it forms part of the triumphal axis (the so-called “Grand Axe”) stretching from La Défense plaza all the way to the Louvre. The garden is almost totally flat and has a circular fountain in the middle, which is most popular in summer.

Originally, this Italian Renaissance-style garden was created for Queen Catherine de Médici who, in the 16th century, began construction of a palace just outside the western walls of the capital, which took the name of the tile factories (called “tuileries”) that it replaced.

In 1789, following the fall of the Bastille, King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, moved into the palace in a publicity stunt to get “closer to the people.” Sadly, this stunt eventually produced the undesired effect and resulted in the royal family being locked up in the palace under house arrest. Three years later, the Tuileries Palace came under attack in what proved to be the defining moment of the French Revolution. The French monarchy was abolished as a result, and quite radically so, with the help of the then newly-invented guillotine installed in Place de la Concorde. The last king of France, as he rose to the scaffold, turned to his captors and said: "Gentlemen, I am innocent of everything of which I am accused. I hope that my blood may cement the good fortune of the French."

In the 19th century, Napoleon merged the Tuileries with the Louvre in a bid to create one huge super-palace complex. The project was barely completed when, during the bloody revolutionary uprising of 1871, the former royal Tuileries Palace was set on fire and completely destroyed. But the palace garden survived and still retains the general outline of the original master-plan.

In the 1990s, the landscape was renewed as part of the Grand Louvre project. Now free to access, the park is an oasis of calm amid the bustle of Paris. At visitors disposal here are a good number of green chairs to sit on and enjoy ice cream or drinks, plus a pond with small rented boats from which one can enjoy a marvelous view of the Eiffel Tower or simply unwind to the chirp of the local birds.

Tip:
Don't just stay in just one place – explore a variety of views and spots, as each provides a different perspective!

Gated Area Opening Hours:
7am-9pm (Apr-May, Sep); 7am-11pm (Jun-Aug); 7:30am-7:30pm (Oct-Mar)
8
Place de la Concorde

8) Place de la Concorde (must see)

Place de la Concorde is a major public square in Paris; in fact, the largest and the most monumental of all squares in the city. It is best known for its 230-ton Egyptian obelisk, aged over 3,000 years, which makes it by far the most ancient monument in Paris. The obelisk is flanked on the sides with two magnificent fountains – the “Maritime Fountain” and the “Fountain of the Rivers” – built in 1836 and recently restored to their original exuberance. Respectively, they symbolize French seagoing spirit and passion for inland navigation. In continuation of the nautical theme, there are 20 rostral columns throughout the square adorned with a ship prow which is part of the official Paris emblem.

Designed initially to glorify the absolute power of monarchs, at some point the square became the theater of its downfall. The equestrian statue of King Louis XVI, that once stood in its center, was torn down during the French Revolution, upon which the square was renamed "Place de la Révolution." Instead of the monument, the new revolutionary government installed there a guillotine, the first “client” of which became none other than the King himself. Among other notables who shared his fate there later on, in front of the cheering crowd, were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Élisabeth of France, and Maximilien Robespierre.

The guillotine remained quite busy throughout the "Reign of Terror" in the summer of 1794, when in a single month more than 1,300 people were executed. A year later, when the revolution took a more moderate course, it was removed.

Today, major avenues converge and pass through Place de la Concorde so vehicle traffic can always be expected; however, the roundabout with the three important monuments – obelisk and fountains – is well worth viewing. The square is sometimes used for large scale events and festivals like Christmas markets and other festival activities.

Today, Concorde Square is a popular tourist spot, ideal for photos; conveniently located to fan out from to just about any major attraction in Paris. All the main avenues of the French capital either converge at or pass through this square, making it a somewhat traffic-dense roundabout at times. The square regularly hosts public events, Christmas fairs, and festivals.

Tip:
In the square, there is a big Ferris wheel for those keen on getting a bird's eye view over the nearby river Seine, Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Champs-Élysées, Triumphal Arch, and the Eiffel Tower. This wheel turns three times faster than the London Eye, actually, and is much cheaper too!
9
La Madeleine

9) La Madeleine (must see)

La Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church affiliated with the Benedictine abbey in Paris.

Its construction, started during the reign of King Louis XV, suffered several stoppages including a major one during the French Revolution. Eventually, in 1806, Napoleon announced the decision to make it a temple to glorify his Great Army and commissioned to the job the architect Pierre Vignon. Evidently aware of the emperor's taste for opulent imperial Roman-style architecture, Vignon came up with the idea of an enormous Corinthian temple. He was still working on the project when Napoleon was demoted. The replacing him King Louis XVIII kept Vignon on, but ordered that the temple be made into a church.

The most striking feature of La Madeleine is its enormous size, in part prompted by the surrounding monumentality of Place de la Concorde, but also, no doubt, due to the inflated ego of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Devoid of windows, so as not to disturb the severity of the temple, the light is let in from above, via three domes open at the top, in the manner of the Roman Pantheon. Each dome is supported by four Corinthian arches with pendentives, featuring a grand imperial Roman style.

Tip:
In the basement of the church is the Foyer de la Madeleine which today plays host to some of the most fashionable concerts and wedding parties in Paris. The concerts take place several times a month on Sunday afternoon and include baroque and chamber music, as well as organ recitals and symphonic orchestral performances.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-7pm
10
Élysée Palace

10) Élysée Palace (must see)

The Élysée Palace is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic properties of the French capital, situated just a few steps away from the Madeleine church, not far from Champs Elysées. Situated on Rue Saint-Honoré, one of the most prominent streets of Paris, it was constructed in the early 18th century and was initially owned by the Count of Evreux.

Lavishly enlarged and repainted during the Second Empire in the fashionable style of that period, the palace has retained much of its original appearance dating back to the days of its first owner. The distinguishable, vast grounds allowed the architect Armand-Claude Mollet to give it something of an air of a small castle. Later, one of the most influential French architectural theorists Jacques-Francois Blondel described the palace as having the “air of magnificence” and being “the most beautiful mansion in the Paris region”.

Having changed hands several times, the palace finally became residence of a French President in 1873. The actual office of the head of state, the Gold Room, has changed very little since. The terrestrial globe, a significant element of the interior, was brought in by Charles de Gaulle. Today, the French Government holds regular meetings at the palace. In the underground section, there is a room with the red button pushing which the President of France can activate the country's nuclear arsenal. The room is also fitted with large screens and communication module linking the President directly to the Minister of Defense and strategic air force commander.

It so happens that presently, with the exception of the European Heritage Days, it is almost impossible for ordinary people to get into the palace. Still, it is well worth the while to view it from the outside. So, whenever you're in Paris, just make sure to walk by.
11
Grand Palais

11) Grand Palais (must see)

The Grand Palace and its sister, the Small Palace, just across the street, were conceived simultaneously as centerpieces for the 1900 World Fair in Paris. In that, the former palace was to accommodate fine arts, comprising various “salons” showcasing the artistic life of the French capital. Masterminded by four different architects, the palace took the form of an enormous glass-iron pavilion quite suitable for exhibiting sculpture and paintings. Curiously enough, the facility also suits for and, in fact, regularly hosts... horse shows!

Its façade is a typical example of Beaux-Arts architecture and is dominated by an enormous 8-tonne Art Nouveau glass roof, the largest in Europe. Reportedly, its construction took more steel than the entire Eiffel Tower. When the night falls and the lights go up, the play of light on the pillars, columns, scrolls and roof glazing produces a magical sight that leaves no one indifferent.

There are multiple entrances to numerous outstanding exhibitions and art fairs, as well as to a cinema, a restaurant, and even a skate ring sometimes.

Inside, there are three major sections, namely: the Main Hall, the National Galleries, and the Palace of Discovery, which is the museum and cultural center dedicated to science. The Main Hall is undeniably festive and, although heavily criticized by its contemporaries initially, it is now widely admired. Quite spacious, the Main Hall is usually partially closed and gets fully open for special events only. But the museum and the exhibition section are open all the time and are very well laid out and interesting on their own. There are several exhibitions and art fairs underway there perpetually, each of which has its own separate entrance. Also, on the premises, there is a cinema theater, a restaurant and, seasonally, even a skate rink.

Tip:
Should you decide to visit, don’t miss the Petit Palais just across the street while you're there, too!

Opening Hours:
Mon, Thu-Sun: 10am-8pm; Wed: 10am-10pm; closed on Tuesdays
Last admission 7:15pm (9:15pm on Wednesdays)
12
Champs-Élysées Avenue

12) Champs-Élysées Avenue (must see)

By far the most popular avenue of France, Les Champs-Élysées, or the "Elysian Fields", is a household name deeply rooted in the Greek mythology as a resting place for the blessed souls. Stretching for about 2 km, this major Paris thoroughfare extends from Place de la Concorde to Place Charles de Gaulle, boasting, apart from the exuberant shopping, luxurious dining and world-class entertainment, some of the top photographic panoramas of the French capital, particularly that opening from the top of the Arch of Triumph.

At one end, Champs-Élysées is straddled by a patch of greenery, surrounded by landmark attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Small Palace, housing a bunch of art galleries. Once a year, on the Bastille Day, the avenue hosts a military parade, as well as sees the finish of the annual Tour de France cycling race.

As a staple destination for foodies, it offers a choice of gourmet eateries fit to spoil even the most discerning gluttons. Among the places particularly worth checking out here are: bistro “Atelier Renault”; Flora Danica – renowned for its caviar; Fouquet’s restaurant aged over 100 years; the famous Laduree tea room; as well as L’Alsace Bistro specializing, just as the name suggests, in the cuisine from the Alsace region of France, open 24 hours a day.

Those craving entertainment will find it here in equally rich supply. Cinema Gaumont, France's #1 screen for movie premiers, the world famous cabaret Lido, the bar and club Montecristo, Le Queen nightclub with some of the top DJs in town, plus the Marigny Theatre are just some of the options to consider.

Why You Should Visit:
Whatever the season, day or night, Champs-Élysées never fails to impress.
Still, if you come here around Christmas, you'll be in for a special treat!
13
Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph)

13) Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) (must see)

The spot at the termination of the Champs Elysées Avenue was always the subject of numerous plans for some kind of landmark monument. It was not until 1806, however, that Emperor Napoleon finally decreed that a triumphal arch, dedicated to the glory of his Great Army, should be built on the site. Napoleon’s architectural projects all made clear his desire to identify his regime with the glory of imperial Rome, and the design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The measure of Napoleon’s audacious ambitions can be got from the size of the Arc de Triomphe: a colossal 45 meters wide by 50 meters high, making it almost certainly the biggest triumphal arch in the world. Because of the presence today of the towers of La Défense on Paris's western horizon, it is hard to appreciate the Arc's original impact on the cityscape, when it was the most prominent and massive object for miles around, a hegemony it retained until the building of the Eiffel Tower in the 1880s.

Inevitably, the arch quickly became an object of the national pride and subsequently the world-famous symbol of French patriotism. Built in the era when a war was undoubtedly the “overriding argument of kings”, the arch was intended primarily for triumphal entrances into Paris by victorious French troops. Napoleon himself had a chance to pass beneath this arch mock-up replica only once, together with his bride Marie-Louise, the Archduchess of Austria, in 1810. The other Napoleon – Napoleon III – was more fortunate in this respect, and was able to ride underneath the completed arch upon his ascending to the throne in 1852. As to the proper victory march, the Arch of Triumph saw it for the first time only in 1919. The aftermath of World War I, though, shifted the French public interest away from war and, as of 1921, the arch has been solely the place of commemoration of the fallen soldiers, for which purpose there's a tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Flame of Remembrance.

Why You Should Visit:
If you're a history buff or just keen on spectacular views, you should definitely pay a visit to the arch and take a spiral staircase to the top of it or, if you're not fit for a climb, just take an elevator, to observe the intricate tapestry of Parisian streets from up there. Within the arch itself there's also a gift shop, in case you want a miniature replica thereof to take home.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-11pm (Apr-Sep); 10am-10:30pm (Oct-Mar)
Last admission 45 min before closing
For safety reasons, the ticket desks may close early during peak times

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Eiffel Tower Walking Tour

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Souvenirs Shopping Walk

Souvenirs Shopping Walk

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. Being one of the world's premier shopping cities, Paris attracts thousands of shopaholics every year. Even people who hate shopping, enjoy doing it in Paris. In addition to fabulous designer shops and luxury items, it is a great destination if you are into fashion, gourmet...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
St-Germain-des-Pres Walking Tour

St-Germain-des-Pres Walking Tour

This self guided walk takes you to explore the 6th arrondissement, covering St-Germain-des-Prés quarter, the River side districts and the areas nearby the Luxembourg Garden. It is one of the most expensive districts of Paris, home to posh boutiques, eateries and iconic cafes once favored by legendary writers, the likes of Hemingway and Camus. The area is particularly renowned for its unique...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Le Marais Walking Tour

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The district known to locals as "Le Marais" used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. As one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, it also has no shortage of narrow medieval streets,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

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The French Revolution had a huge impact on France's history as it gave rise to a radical democratic republic and resulted in violence during the Reign of Terror. A lot of Paris' buildings were damaged beyond repair in the course of the Revolution. The sites they occupied are of a great historical value now. This self guided walk is to visit the landmarks of the French Revolution that...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.5 km

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8 Best Food Markets in Paris for Authentic French Produce

8 Best Food Markets in Paris for Authentic French Produce

The image of Parisians that you may have in your head as strolling through a colourful market with a basket on their arm, chatting to vendors and picking up fresh produce, is quite accurate. Most Parisians do visit local markets at least once a week to stock up on the freshest fruit, vegetables,...
10 Unusual Things to Do in Paris, France

10 Unusual Things to Do in Paris, France

If you've visited Paris, you've probably seen the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Versailles. You probably whizzed through some world-class art, ate delicious food in restaurants with English menus, and bought crepes from a street cart. However, Paris has a lot of things to do that...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Paris for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Paris has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Paris's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Paris Pass, Paris Explorer Pass, Paris Museum Pass, or Paris Night Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Paris' top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Paris hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Novotel Paris Les Halles, Les Rives de Notre-Dame, 9Confidentiel.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Paris, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Paris typically costs from around US$20 up to US$200 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Paris from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Alternatively, you can cruise along the river Seine on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat viewing Paris's top attractions from a different angle, able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the eight stops along the Seine riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to two days (48 hrs).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Paris on a bike tour. In the course of 4 hours you will visit the city's most spectacular sights stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Take a walk around Paris with a knowledgeable guide for an alternative view of the French capital. Over the course of this 2-hour walking tour you will get insights and hear stories about every major classic sight of this fascinating city. A complete overview of Paris from the ground up!

- Come see the best of the French capital in just one day in a combo of a Seine river cruise and historical walk of Paris. You may start either with the Eiffel Tower or the Notre-Dame Cathedral making your way around the iconic sights of the city: the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Alexandre III bridge, Invalides, Concorde Square, Orsay Museum, etc.

- Missing out on the French food, whilst in Paris, would be worse than a crime – it would be a mistake! If you don't want to make such a mistake, consider a private 3-hour food tour of Paris complete with a set of 10 unforgettable tastings the memories of which will last you a lifetime. Just make sure to bring along your appetite to make the most of the savory treats awaiting!

- Live a chocoholic’s dream right at the heart of Paris! Follow your sweet tooth sense on this 2-hour guided “chocolate walk” in central Paris visiting some of the best chocolate boutiques of the French capital, learning about peculiar chapters in the history of the city and the place delectable chocolate played in it. Adding to the excitement is a round of free tastings.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Paris, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Versailles, Fontainebleau, Champagne region, Loire valley, Normandy, or a combo of Honfleur and Giverny. For as little as US$90+ to US$200+ per person you will get a chance to discover highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, see the favorite residence of the French royalty, world-famous vineyards, charming castles, and historic battlefields of World War II. For any of these tours you may be picked up either straight from your hotel or any other place in Paris, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned minivan or train (whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.