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 cafes, restaurants and gourmet shops which draw foodies in their numbers. Among the attractions on this self guided walk you will visit the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides (Napoléon's resting place), and the Rodin Museum, with one of the most popular market streets in Paris as your last stop.
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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: 10
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 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
Musee du Quai Branly

3) Musee du Quai Branly

Situated close to the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du Quai Branly is a museum dedicated to the art, cultures and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. In English it is known as the Quai Branly Museum or MQB, for short. The name derives from the location which, in turn, is named after the physicist Edouard Branly. The most unusual feature of the Branly building is the 8,600 square foot vertical garden one side of which appears as a woolly animal. Architect, Jean Nouvel, designed the building and Patrick Blanc came up with the idea of and planted the "living wall" (200m long by 12m tall) as part of the exterior. Patrick Blanc’s hydroponic Vertical Garden System, known in French as Le Mur Vegetal, allows plants and buildings to coexist peacefully.

Implementing the living wall was a huge undertaking and cost an estimated hefty $266 million. President Jacques Chirac announced the project in 1996. Creation of the museum required that two respected French museums gave up their collections. This sparkled a hot debate among curators, anthropologists and art historians. The biggest challenge was to combine diverse items, such as a mask from New Guinea, a Nepalese bronze Buddha or a terracotta jar from Central America, in the best possible manner. The Musée du Quai Branly contains collections of the now-closed museums, featuring 267,000 objects in its permanent collection, of which only 3,500 items are currently on display. The museum embraces several buildings, a multimedia library and a garden. Its frontage, facing Quai Branly, features very tall glass paneling which affords passers-by a spectacular view of the interior gardens from the outside.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Wednesday, Sunday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm; Thursday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Michel Chaudun

4) Michel Chaudun

Considered to be one of the world's best artisan chocolatiers – Michel Chaudun offers you everything from simple dark or milk bars and truffles to truly amazing chocolate sculptures that can't be found anywhere else. So it is definitely a must for chocolate and art lovers.

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 7 pm; Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm.
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
Assemblee Nationale

6) Assemblee Nationale

Assemblée Nationale, the lower chamber of the French parliament, is housed in the building originally known as Palais Bourbon (the Bourbon Palace). Its construction started in 1722 under the supervision of Italian architect, Lorenzo Giardini, to a design by himself and Hardouin Mansart. After Giardini's death in 1724, Jacques Gabriel took over the project and completed it in 1728. The name of the palace refers to the Royal house of Bourbon, who were ousted by the republicans during the French Revolution. The Palais Bourbon was renovated and enlarged in 1765. In 1768, the adjoining Hôtel de Lassay was also embraced into the complex. The latter was declared a national property during the French Revolution. At that time, the National Assembly, which existed from June 17 until July 9, 1789, was a transitional body between the Estates General and the National Constituent Assembly.

Between 1804 and 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte added to the palace a colonnaded front in a bid to mirror the Madeleine temple on the opposite bank of the Seine. Since 1830, the Palais Bourbon has been the seat of the Assemblée Nationale. If you want to visit the building, you must arrange an advance reservation.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Rodin Museum

7) 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
8
La Pagode

8) La Pagode

La Pagode is Paris' most sumptuously designed theaters. The cinema's building resembles a Japanese pagoda and there is a lovely green terrace for tea. The program is interesting and chic as they show movies of great directors like Almodovar and Kusturica.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Les Invalides

9) 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
10
Rue Cler (Market Street)

10) Rue Cler (Market Street)

Rue Cler is one of the best market streets in Paris. Here you can find a wonderful selection of specialty food stores, pastry shops, butchers, cheese specialists, fishmongers, green grocers. There are restaurants serving authentic French dishes and cafes where you can sit and watch the world goes by - a favorite pastime of locals.

If you are a foodie and love the idea of food shopping, tasting and browsing, this is your street. Take your time to watch the butcher work, browse the fishmonger, sample the delicious chocolates, and patronize the incredibly good bakeries.

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