With the summer comes longer days, and with the nice weather comes the perfect occasion for a stroll along the banks of the Seine River in Paris. The most famous French river snakes through Paris and passes along some of the capital’s most iconic attractions, namely the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Even though the famous Cathedral suffered tremendously during the destructive fire, walking by still gives you an idea about its grandeur.
Our afternoon stroll started at Notre Dame Cathedral, where cruises and buses carried hundreds of eager tourists to the famous monument.
Leaving the historic church behind us, we walked by the famous Bouquinistes – booksellers of used books – who stood busy rearranging their stalls.
We strolled the left side of the Seine River, walking by centuries-old bridges. The Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, was as impressive as it must have been when it opened in 1607, and the Pont Alexander III was as stunning as one can imagine.
Our evening walk reached its destination as we arrived at the Champs de Mars. We had a picnic dinner on the grassy field right under the Eiffel Tower. A million-dollar view while we sat enjoying our saucisson, French cheese, fresh baguette, and a good bottle of red wine. One of the numerous snacks one can grab as street food in France! Quite a stereotype and a very touristy thing to do, but highly enjoyable nonetheless.
The return stroll passed by the tall and recognizable architecture of the Hausmann houses, the green of the bronze statues overlooking people strolling, the boats cruising the Seine River, the customers enjoying their drinks sitting in the side coffees or on the Seine River banks – we took in all that makes Paris be Paris.
The warm evening temperatures had drawn out in the streets, French residents and tourists alike. The banks were covered by folks picnicking, and coffee shops and restaurants were packed as well.
Our steps led us to Notre Dame Cathedral, one of my preferred Paris attractions. Massive and delicate at the same time, the church is an incredible sight. I always ponder when I stand small, looking up at the giant architecture, all the stories and history unfolding at her feet.
No wonder Paris is considered the most beautiful city in the world. Just follow the Seine River banks, and you will understand why. Wherever you are in Paris, you’re always close to one of its top attractions!
You can of course explore Paris on foot and by yourself. However, consider joining a Paris city sightseeing tour, or a Seine River Cruise, as guides can tell you more about the city history.
And if you like stunning cathedrals, busy historical streets, and fantastic food, you might want to check Strasbourg as a day trip from Paris (and check other cool places in Alsace!) or explore the southern city of Narbonne and its top attractions.
Interested in other free things to do in Paris? Head to Père Lachaise Cemetery, explore the Canal St Martin, or admire the stained glass windows of la Sainte Chapelle! While not free, we recommend visiting the Paris Catacombs, a must-see in the French capital.
Looking to explore France beyond Paris? Head to Clermont-Ferrand and explore the Auvergne region, or to Provence and French Riviera to stroll cute villages, hike gorgeous trails, or try watersports in the Mediterranean Sea.
Stay tuned for more adventures
from our travel around the world!
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