Walk along the River Seine
Photo: akunamatata on Flickr
See the city on foot
Talk of the town: Couples hang a padlock on the Pont des Arts bridge and throw the key into the water to symbolise their love.
The River Seine is Paris’ lifeblood. Flowing east to west, a stroll along its banks is a great best way to discover the city. You’ll find endless hidden and unexpected havens – such as houseboats-turned-bars and the Paris Plage, an inner city beach for a spot of sunbathing – not to mention almost every major landmark.
A good place to start is Pont-Neuf, the city's oldest bridge dating back to 1576. Cross over onto Ile de la Cite to see Notre Dame, Palais de Justice, and the eerie Hotel Dieu, Paris’ oldest hospital. Continue west along the Left Bank, stopping for a drink at one of the bohemian cafes, or trawl through the wares of the antique street booksellers, bouquinistes.
On your right you’ll pass the Louvre – the pedestrian Pont des Arts bridge can take you over, if you wish – then on past the Musee d’Orsay. If you keep going you’ll reach the Eiffel Tower, which in total is a 4km walk. There are many places to stop for a rest, that is if you don’t find yourself enticed down a side street to explore.