Eiffel Tower Walking Tour, Paris

Eiffel Tower Walking Tour (Self Guided), Paris

The 7th arrondissement of Paris is the most affluent and prestigious residential area in France, home to world-famous Eiffel Tower and the French upper class alongside a number of French national institutions, government offices and diplomatic missions. This historical neighborhood boasts typically Parisian architecture complete with vibrant cafés, restaurants and gourmet shops which draw foodies in their numbers.

Among the attractions on this self-guided walk you will visit the Eiffel Tower and adjacent Champ de Mars park, Les Invalides (Napoléon's resting place – today a museum and national monument), the Rodin Museum and its immense sculpture garden, with one of the most popular market streets in Paris – Rue Cler – as your last stop.

In between these, the Musée du Quai contains fascinating indigenous art from 19th- and 20th-century non-Western cultures (including Oceania, Indonesia, Australia and Africa, among others), while the marvelously old-fashioned Maison Chaudin offers a wide range of sculpted and molded chocolate along with awesome ‘bonbons’.

Finally, if you love a good bridge, Pont Alexandre III is one of the most wonderfully ornate ones you’ll ever see, and provides amazing views from every angle!

With so much to see and do, follow this self-guided walking tour to make the most of the experience!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store 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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Eiffel Tower Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Eiffel Tower Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: karen
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)
  • Champ de Mars (Field of Mars)
  • Musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Jacques Chirac Museum of Branly Quay)
  • Maison Chaudun (chocolate store)
  • Pont Alexandre III (Alexandre III Bridge)
  • Musee Rodin (Rodin Museum)
  • Hotel des Invalides (House of Invalids)
  • Rue Cler (Market Street)
Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)

1) Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) (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.

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.
Champ de Mars (Field of Mars)

2) Champ de Mars (Field of Mars)

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.

Consider bringing a mat/cover for lying about.
Musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Jacques Chirac Museum of Branly Quay)

3) Musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Jacques Chirac Museum of Branly Quay)

Paris's newest major museum, the Musée du quai Branly, opened in 2006 and boasts indigenous art from the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and Asia, with over a million objects in its fabulous collection. Spearheaded by former French president Jacques Chirac, the museum has four buildings, a theatre, and a massive garden.

Upon entering the main building, visitors are greeted by an enormous Moai ancestor carving from Easter Island. The African collection includes masks, tapestries, and textiles. The Asian collection features the back of a seat of honor from Sumatra, figurines, and masks from India, and textiles from China.

The Americas collection showcases Mayan artifacts from AD 600, Aztec sculptures, and Canadian totem poles, while the Oceania collection features figurines from Papua New Guinea, masks from Vanuatu, and Māori sculptures from New Zealand.

The garden features small gardens, sweet streams, gently rolling hills, sparkling pools, and charming groves, and is protected from street noise by a high wall of plate glass. The exterior wall is covered by a remarkable green wall of living plants that spans over 800 square meters.

Why You Should Visit:
As the fourth-largest museum in Paris, the Musée du quai Branly's modern design, one-of-a-kind exhibits, and natural gardens create a unique experience.
Maison Chaudun (chocolate store)

4) Maison Chaudun (chocolate store)

Maison Chaudun is a chocolate house founded in the late 1980s, which still adheres to traditional processes and original molds, making it a must-visit for chocolate lovers and admirers of sweets. The artistry and attention to detail put into each item are breathtaking.

The pavés, small squares of soft ganache dusted with cocoa, and their awesome bon bons are a delight. Pavés are more delicate and short-lived by all accounts: a chocolate creation that is much more than a truffle. Michel Chaudun first produced them with cocoa nibs in 1993, and they have been delighting customers ever since. For a burst of tangy sunshine, try the candied fruits.

Visitors can also admire or purchase fabulous chocolate handbags and statues, which are not only great sculptures but also delicious. Although one may be tempted to buy a box of chocolates as a gift or for later, these heavenly treats are unlikely to make it home.

Why You Should Visit:
Maison Chaudun's chocolates, cakes, and pastries are sure to captivate not only your taste buds but also your heart.
Pont Alexandre III (Alexandre III Bridge)

5) Pont Alexandre III (Alexandre III Bridge) (must see)

Of all the beautiful bridges in Paris, the Alexandre III Bridge stands out as the most ornate and extravagant. This deck arch bridge, spanning the Seine River between the Champs-Élysées and Les Invalides quarter, is a true historic attraction in its own right.

Built at the end of the 19th century under the supervision of Russian Tsar Alexander III in time for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, the bridge was a genuine feat of engineering for its time. Its single arch was designed to sit low, so as not to obstruct the view from Les Invalides over to Champs-Élysées Avenue. Numerous artists contributed to its ornamentation, including intricate bas-relief ironwork, gilded and ornate street lamps, and four golden statues representing Art, Commerce, Industry, and Science. The piers and groynes supporting the lower part of the bridge are also 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!

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.
Musee Rodin (Rodin Museum)

6) Musee Rodin (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 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.

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
Hotel des Invalides (House of Invalids)

7) Hotel des Invalides (House of Invalids)

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 French Revolution. On 14 July 1789, prior to attacking the Bastille fortress, a mob broke into Les Invalides and seized 32,000 rifles, which proved crucial in starting the fight.

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 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.

Inside the Museum, you will see the history of French might, arranged in a great series of halls and rooms and galleries stretching from the Middle Ages to more recent times. Renaissance armour for the horses as well as the men is a specialty, as well as their helmets and spears and halberds and cross-bows. The campaigns of Louis XIV as he strove to rule the whole of Europe is recorded in maps and manuscripts and period drawings. Climactically, the period of the French Revolution is represented most dramatically and in detail with flags and standards, cockade hats and the Guillotine.

The Napoleonic wars are also represented by cannon taken from the battle fields and all the military might that Napoleon was able to muster before his defeat at Waterloo by the Duke of Wellington and ignominious fall from power into exile. The age of photography enables us to see how devastating was the German attack on Paris in 1871 where newly built boulevards and their buildings stood in war ruins. And WWI/WWII are also evoked through photographs and contemporary film which record man's inhumanity to man.

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.

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.
Rue Cler (Market Street)

8) Rue Cler (Market Street)

Rue Cler is one of Paris's most fantastic market streets, a true feast for the senses. Visitors will be treated to every imaginable gourmet delight, as well as florists, chocolatiers, organic cosmetics, and wine shops. Lively cafés and bistros overflow with locals, particularly on weekends.

The options are endless, whether you're looking for fresh bread, sandwich fillings, pastries. Shopping for your evening meal is also a great idea – make sure to save the wine shop for last so you can pair the wine with your chosen meal. The French often shop daily for their meals as Parisian apartments typically have small refrigerators. Thus, they prefer the freshest produce and meats, which they'll eat the same day.

If you only have time for one street in this neighborhood, make it Rue Cler – it's a true gem.

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