Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour II, Paris (Self Guided)

This is part 2 of the 1st arrondissement tour of Paris exploring one of the smallest and oldest districts of the French capital, home to some of Paris's major landmarks, as well as business and administration offices. On this tour you will visit Place Vendome, The Pont Neuf, La Conciergerie and many other notable attractions.
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Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour II Map

Guide Name: Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour II
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Author: karen
1
Place Vendome

1) Place Vendome

Place Vendôme was built on the orders of Louis XIV, as a grandiose setting that would embody absolute power in the very heart of Paris. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the corners give the rectangular Place Vendôme the aspect of an octagon. The original Vendôme Column at the centre of the square was erected by Napoleon I to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz; it was torn down on 16 May 1871, by decree of the Paris Commune, but subsequently re-erected and remains a prominent feature on the square today.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Colonne de Vendome

2) Colonne de Vendome

The original column was started in 1806 at Napoleon's direction and completed in 1810. It was modeled after Trajan's Column, to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz; its veneer of 425 spiraling bas-relief bronze plates was made out of cannon taken from the combined armies of Europe. These plates were designed by the sculptor Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret and executed by a team of sculptors. A statue of Napoleon, bare-headed, crowned with laurels and holding a sword in his right hand and a globe surmounted with a statue of Victory in his left hand, was placed atop the column.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Hotel Ritz

3) Hotel Ritz

The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, the 1st arrondissement. The hotel, which today has 159 rooms, was founded by the Swiss hotelier, César Ritz, in collaboration with the chef Auguste Escoffier in 1898. The new hotel was constructed behind the facade of an 18th-century town house, overlooking one of Paris's central squares. It was reportedly the first hotel in Europe to provide a bathroom en suite, a telephone and electricity for each room. It quickly established a reputation for luxury, with clients including royalty, politicians, writers, film stars and singers. Several of its suites are named in honor of famous guests of the hotel, including Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway who lived at the hotel for years. The palace and the square are masterpieces of classical architecture from the end of the reign of Louis XIV. The facade was designed by the royal architect Mansart in the late 17th century before the plot was bought and construction began in 1705. The Hôtel Ritz comprises the Vendôme and the Cambon buildings with rooms overlooking the Place Vendôme, and, on the opposite side, the hotel's famous garden.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Le Grand Vefour

4) Le Grand Vefour

Le Grand Véfour, the first grand restaurant in Paris, France, was opened in the arcades of the Palais-Royal in 1784 by Antoine Aubertot, as the Café de Chartres, and was purchased in 1820 by Jean Véfour, who was able to retire within three years, selling the restaurant to Jean Boissier. A list of regular customers over the last two centuries includes most of the immortal heavyweights of French culture and politics, along with the tout-Paris. Sauce Mornay was one of the preparations introduced at the Grand Véfour. Closed from 1905 to 1947, a revived Grand Véfour opened with the celebrated chef Raymond Oliver in charge in the autumn of 1948. Jean Cocteau designed his menu. The restaurant, with its early nineteenth-century neoclassical décor of large mirrors in gilded frames and painted supraportes, continues its tradition of gastronomy at the same location, "a history-infused citadel of classic French cuisine."
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Galerie Vero-Dodat

5) Galerie Vero-Dodat

Dating back to the year of 1823, Galerie Véro-Dodat is considered the world's oldest mall. The mall features a neoclassic architectural style and glass-covered arcades. It is a place that houses dozens of artsy boutiques where you can find antique furniture pieces and different accessories. Galerie Véro-Dodat is filled with mostly high-caliber, designer boutiques and antique shops, among them are two Christian Louboutin stores, the women's Paris flagship boutique, and the world's first CL Men's store, Boutique Homme.

The Galerie is neoclassical in style, with marble columns, gold trim, frescoes, and a black and white tiled floor. The passage is arranged to give an illusion of depth, the diagonal grid of black and white tiles, the low height of the ceiling decorated with paintings of landscapes where it is not glass, for shops on the alignment of a strict horizontal plane. The entries in the gallery are ionic arcades closed by gates. Entries are crowned with a balcony. The facade of the gallery on the Rue Bouloi is decorated with two statues in niches representing Hermes with his winged helmet and a Caduceus hand, god of merchants, and Hercules dressed in the skin of Nemean lion.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Saint-Eustache Church

6) Saint-Eustache Church

Saint-Eustache lies in the heart of the city of Paris and at the first glance it strongly resembles Notre-Dame de Paris but it definitely has an eclectic design that features both Renaissance and a classic Gothic design. The present building of the Church of St Eustace (French: L’église Saint-Eustache) was built between 1532 and 1632. Situated at the entrance to Paris's ancient markets (Les Halles) and the beginning of rue Montorgueil, St Eustace's is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there. The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. It is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main facade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L'écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church. The church has a huge organ with more than 8000 pipes that was used by some of the most famous musical luminaries.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

7) Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

Located at the center of Paris, by the Seine and near the Louvre, this former parish of the kings of France is generally regarded as the Church of the Louvre. Founded in the 7th century, it was rebuilt many times over several centuries, revealing several mixtures of style, Roman, Gothic, Renaissance. The most striking exterior feature is the porch, by Jean Gaussel (1435-39), with a rose window, and a balustrade above which encircles the whole church. Among the treasures preserved inside are a wooden 15th century statue of Saint Germain, a Saint-Vincent of stone carved at the same time, a Flemish altarpiece carved out of wood, the famous churchwarden's pew where important people sat, made in 1683 by François Le Mercier from drawings by Charles Le Brun. Splendid stained glass still remains, in spite of plunderings during the French Revolution. The north tower was added in 1860 and stands opposite the Mairie of the 1st Arrondissement (1859).
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Pont Neuf

8) Pont Neuf (must see)

The Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris, France. Its name, which was given to distinguish it from older bridges that were lined on both sides with houses, has remained. Standing by the western point of the Île de la Cité, the island in the middle of the river that was the heart of medieval Paris, it connects the Rive Gauche of Paris with the Rive Droite. The bridge is composed of two separate spans, one of five arches joining the left bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the right bank. Old engraved maps of Paris show how, when the bridge was built, it just grazed the downstream tip of the Île de la Cité; since then, the natural sandbar building of a mid-river island, aided by stone-faced embankments called 'quais', has extended the island. Today the island is the Square du Vert-Galant, a park named in honor of Henry IV, nicknamed the "Green Gallant".

Why You Should Visit:
This is the bridge that is famous for the 'love-locks' on the fence placed by lovers. To all the romantics out there, you need to stop by.
Otherwise, some fantastic views of old Paris from either side! On one you can look down the Seine and see the Eiffel Tower and on the other, you've got Notre-Dame and the Île de la Cité.

Tip:
If you're the kind of person who likes watching boats – this is a great spot.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
La Sainte-Chapelle

9) La Sainte-Chapelle

La Sainte-Chapelle ("The Holy Chapel") is a Gothic chapel on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It is perhaps the high point of the full tide of the rayonnante period of Gothic architecture. The Sainte-Chapelle, the palatine chapel in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité, was built to house precious relics: Christ's crown of thorns, the Image of Edessa and thirty other relics of Christ that had been in the possession of Louis IX since August 1239, when it arrived from Venice in the hands of two Dominican friars. The most visually beautiful aspects of the chapel, and considered the best of their type in the world, are its stained glass for which the stonework is a delicate framework, and rose windows added to the upper chapel in the fifteenth century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
La Conciergerie

10) La Conciergerie (must see)

La Conciergerie, formerly a royal palace and prison, is set on the island, called Île de la Cité, in the middle of the river Seine in Paris. King Philippe IV chose the location in the early 14th century to build a palace to symbolize his power. The palace was used by the Paris parliament and administration and had the first public clock in the country, installed around 1370. The place owes its name to a concierge who was nominated by the king to maintain law and order in the city. In 1391, the building was partially (mostly the cellars) transformed into a prison, known since as the Conciergerie. Among its inmates were both regular criminals and political prisoners. Their treatment depended totally on their wealth, social status and personal connections. The most affluent were usually given separate cells with a bed, desk and reading/writing material. Less rich ones settled for more modest cells, called pistols, furnished with a rough bed and a table, while the poorest ones were kept in dark, damp and vermin-infested cubicles, known as oubliettes (literally the "forgotten places"). During the French Revolution, hundreds of the Conciergerie prisoners were killed.

In the 18th-19th centuries, the Conciergerie continued to be used as a prison for VIP detainees, the most notable of whom were Queen Marie Antoinette and Napoleon III. Later, Marie Antoinette's cell was made into a chapel and is currently open for public viewing. The external appearance of the Conciergerie drastically changed during the 19th century. Today, visitors can venture into this fascinating landmark and see the inner halls and the dungeons, or admire the building from a distance whilst cruising down the river Seine.

Why You Should Visit:
An absolutely fascinating place to learn about the French Revolution and history.

Tip:
Consider investing €5 in the little 'Histopad', which gives more information and an idea of what the rooms looked like when they were in use.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

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.
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

The district 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. You may consider taking the self-guided city tour presented below to visit all the important attractions in Le Marais.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Top Paris Museums

Top Paris Museums

The following tour comprises a few great museums situated along the Seine. As France has a rich historic past and a vast cultural background, there are a lot of museums exhibiting collections that prove that. You can visit some of them by taking the suggested walking tour presented below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

This tour takes you to explore the 4th arrondissement of Paris (aka "arrondissement de l'Hôtel-de-Ville") visiting The City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), Notre Dame Cathedral, Maison de Victor Hugo and other notable sights of the district otherwise renowned for its cute little streets, cafes, and shops. Rather fashionable as such, it is also regarded by the locals as expensive and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre is one of the most famous and visited neighborhoods in Paris. It has some extremely beautiful plazas and marvelous architectural masterpieces. This tour comprises a few of the most popular places to be visited in Montmartre.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Paris, the largest city and the capital of France, is one of the leading business, politics, education, entertainment, science, media, arts and fashion centers of the world. Paris also is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with over 45 million tourists every year. Don't miss the chance to visit some of its most popular tourist attractions listed below:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

On this tour you will explore the 8th arrondissement of the French capital, one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Avenue des Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. If shine and glamour are up to your liking, we invite you to take this walk in a mixed crowd of fashionistas, tourists and local workers, and see some of Paris's most prominent...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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15 Places for Tasting Best French Desserts in Paris

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18 Must-Visit Cafes in Paris, France

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Top 16 Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

Top 16 Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

The French have great respect for the fresh, organic produce yet France isn’t famous for its vegetarian cooking. Hence it’s a good idea for vegetarian visitors to Paris to come prepared in advance. This guide shows you places around the city which serve vegetarian food, complete with the...
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9 Must Try Cafes in Paris

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10 Unusual Things to Do in Paris, France

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Paris Souvenirs: 19 Distinctively French Products to Bring Home from Paris

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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.