Palais-Bourbon Walking Tour, Paris (Self Guided)

The 7th arrondissement of Paris is the most affluent and prestigious residential area in France, home to the French upper class, plus a number of French national institutions, government offices and diplomatic missions. This neighborhood boasts typically Parisian architecture complete with vibrant cafes, restaurants and gourmet shops which draw foodies in their numbers. Among other attractions on this walk you will visit the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel des Invalides (Napoléon's resting place), Musee Rodin and Musée du quai Branly.
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Palais-Bourbon Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Palais-Bourbon Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Author: karen
1
Parc du Champ de Mars

1) Parc du Champ de Mars (must see)

Parc du Champ-de-Mars (the Field of Mars) is seen on most pictures taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most popular parks in Paris and bears the name of the ancient Campus Martius in Rome, a tribute to the Roman god of war. The park's walkway extends for 780 meters between the Eiffel Tower to the north-west and the École Militaire to the south-east. With an area of 24.5 hectares, Jardin du Champ de Mars is one of the largest parks in the city. A rectangular square, called Place Jacques-Rueff, lies in its center. It has been a popular venue for celebrations, official and cultural events and military parades. Live music concerts take place here regularly, especially in summer, producing an unforgettable experience for listeners with the live music being played underneath the starry sky of Paris. Back in the 16th century, the field was just a vegetable plantation. Two hundred years later, the French military used it as a training ground. On August 27, 1783, Jacques Charles and the Robert brothers launched from here the world's first hydrogen-filled balloon flight.

The first anniversary of French revolutionaries capturing the Bastille prison - July 14th, 1790 - was also celebrated on the field. In 1837, it hosted the marriage of the Duke of Orleans, later on followed by five out of the total six Universal Exhibitions held in Paris during the 19th century. The most important of those - responsible for the construction of the Eiffel Tower, Paris's #1 landmark - took place in 1889. Flowering shrubs are scattered beautifully throughout the park and frame the perimeter. Grand firework displays are launched from the field each year on the Bastille Day when the garden gets particularly crowded with picnickers and those waiting for the night to see the incredible firework show. At the eastern end of the garden stands the monument of Peace with the word “peace” inscribed in 32 different languages on 32 columns. Visitors can also leave their own personal message there. The park offers a much-wanted retreat from the hectic city rhythm. The benches are usually packed with tourists waiting for their excitement from the beautiful city of Paris to settle. The location provides spectacular views of the multitude of attractions nearby. Perhaps it is not surprising that many visitors to Paris prefer this park to the Eiffel Tower itself as their favorite spot in the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Best place to get photos of the Eiffel Tower and to see it sparkle every hour! As with other large Paris parks, it can be quite busy on nice days, but there are always quiet spots if you wander around a bit towards the periphery. There are at least two playgrounds, so it is a great spot for kids.

Tip:
Bring a mat/cover for lying about, and try the spaces diagonal to the Tower for a different view...
Some of the park's annoyances include: pesky souvenir sellers & scam artists.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)

2) Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) (must see)

The Eiffel Tower is a 19th-century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris, is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair. The tower stands 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world from its completion until 1930, when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building in New York City. The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.

Why You Should Visit:
There are other spectacular views of Paris that require much less time and hassle; however, this is one of the most iconic structures in the world and it's definitely a must-do if you pre-book a timed entry ticket from the TE official website.

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
Sight description based on wikipedia
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
Pont Alexandre III

5) Pont Alexandre III (must see)

One of the most beautiful bridges in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter. Widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city, it is classified as a French Monument historique. It was built between 1896 and 1900 under the supervision of Tsar Alexander III whose name the bridge is wearing. It is decorated with lamps, angels, nymphs and winged horses. The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th-century engineering, consisting of a 6 meters high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was subject to strict controls that prevented the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or Les Invalides. Numerous sculptors provided the sculptures that feature prominently on the bridge.

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

Tip:
Make sure you take the time to cross this bridge on foot and sail under it by boat. They are very different, but spectacular views.
If you go at night, make sure to walk down the stairs and look from underneath – you can get amazing pictures.
There is also a little "antiques" market at the foot of the bridge along the riverfront – a good way to satisfy your browsing desires.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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
Musee Rodin

7) Musee Rodin (must see)

The Musée Rodin in Paris, France, is a museum that was opened in 1919 in the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds. It displays works by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Rodin used the Hôtel Biron as his residence from 1908, and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures to the French State on the condition that they turn the building into a museum dedicated to his works. The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin's significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden. The gardens around the museum building contain many of the famous sculptures in natural settings. Behind the museum building are a small lake and casual restaurant. The museum has also a room dedicated to works of Camille Claudel. Some paintings by Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh which were in Rodin's personal collections are also presented.

Why You Should Visit:
The museum's setting makes for a pleasant, laid-back viewing experience where you can forget about checking the time on your watch or rushing around to see the items on display.
The gardens give intimacy to viewing the sculptures. There is also an open area with benches to chill, a café & gelato shop, and a small pond.

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

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-5:45pm; closed on Mondays
Sight description based on wikipedia
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, officially known as L'Hôtel National des Invalides, is a group of buildings in Paris containing museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. It was originally built as a hospital and retirement home for aged and unwell war veterans. The complex had fifteen courtyards, with the largest – Cour d’honneur ("Court of Honor") – reserved for military parades. Completed in 1676, the complex once housed up to 4,000 war veterans. Some very important war heroes of France, including Napoleon Bonaparte, are buried here. A veteran’s chapel, Église Saint-Louis des Invalides, was built in 1679. Libéral Bruant, the architect of the Hôtel des Invalides, designed the church, and Jules Hardouin Mansart oversaw its construction.

After the completion of the veteran’s chapel, Mansart was asked by Louis XIV to build another, detached, centrally-located (so as to demonstrate its supremacy) royal chapel. The most striking feature of this chapel is a 107-meter dome, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The interior of the dome, painted in Baroque style, creates an illusion of space if looked at from below. The chapel took 27 years to build and is a stunning piece of French Baroque architecture. The Hôtel des Invalides is currently home to three museums, namely: The Musee de l’Armee, The Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération. The former is a large museum recounting military history from the early Middle Ages to the Second World War. It features weapons, uniforms, maps, etc., not only from the western world but also from Oriental countries like Turkey, China, Japan, India.

The Musée des Plans-Reliefs (the Relief Maps Museum) displays detailed scale models of French fortresses and fortified cities from the 17th century. The Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération documents France's liberation movement during World War II. Les Invalides is a place well worth visiting. Please note that you will need more than a day to appreciate it in its entirety.

Why You Should Visit:
From Napoleon's campaigns to the world wars, it is all here 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 Napoleon's tomb. Unmissable and really grand!

Tip:
There is a café on site run by the famous patisserie Angelina's, so go and have some tea and cake for a nice break... :)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-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.
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
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

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: 6.9 km
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
Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the 2nd arrondissement, together with the adjacent 8th and 9th arrondissements, hosts an important business district, centred on the Paris Opéra. The area contains the former Paris Bourse (stock exchange), the Garnier Opera House and the famous Fragonard Perfume Museum.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 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
Champs-Elysees Nightlife

Champs-Elysees 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: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km

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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.