What to see in Paris in 7 days
Paris is almost a bottomless source of vivid impressions. There are so many sights and interesting places in this city that any number of days for a trip will not be enough, and you will surely have plenty of reasons to return here! Do you have a week in Paris? The success of your trip depends a lot on how you plan your itinerary and your self-guided journey. Share your experiences and ideas for the best way to spend 7 days in Paris. Where to go, what to see, and how to organize your independent walks in Paris to travel with inspiration, benefit, and interest, and leave in love with Paris and enriched with useful information. We offer detailed itineraries and recommendations on how to spend a week in Paris.
The itineraries offered below can also be used if you are going to Paris for 6, 5 days or less – just choose the most interesting and important routes for you and reduce the program according to your needs and limitations.
Day One: Journey Into the Deep of Ages
Isle of Cité
The island of Cité is the place where Paris was born. It was here that the first Parisians lived and the first Parisian buildings were built. The majestic Notre Dame (Notre Dame de Paris), the medieval castle of Conciergerie, the ancient chapel of Saint-Chapelle tower above this island, located on the river Seine. It is from the island of Cité we advise you to start an acquaintance with the city.
Of course, one of the main attractions of the island is the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is one of the main architectural masterpieces of Paris and its most important shrine. The external appearance of the cathedral alone is admirable. And if you visit the cathedral and listen to amazing stories about it, you will understand why for centuries this grandiose structure like a magnet attracts people, inspiring the creation of great works of art and literature. Learn many interesting facts, useful information about Notre Dame Cathedral and tips for visiting it, in this article.
Around the cathedral there are many interesting places that seem to be hidden in the shadow of the famous structure. When visiting the cathedral, pay attention to them as well. In particular, on the square in front of the cathedral you can notice a modest entrance to an underground crypt, where you can see the remains of an ancient city and medieval buildings. On the north side of the same square is the old Hotel Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris. And on the south side stands Charlemagne on horseback. Monument to the glorious king of the Franks appeared here in the XIX century.
While in the vicinity of Notre Dame de Paris, do not miss the Kilometre Zero in Paris. The beginning of all French roads is symbolically marked with a metal sign on the sidewalk.
And of course, take the opportunity to relax in the shade of the trees and admire the medieval vaults of the cathedral while strolling through the small square behind Notre Dame, named after Pope John XXIII.
And a little farther away, on the easternmost tip of the island of Cité, is another cozy little square, the Ile de France.
So, stunned by the grandeur of Notre Dame, you’ve seen the cathedral from inside and out, explored the surrounding sights and listened to interesting stories about them with our audio guide to Paris, relaxed in the cozy squares, and took hundreds of great photos. Where shall we go next? We suggest a stroll along the Quai aux Fleurs. Its name can be translated as the promenade of flowers. On it stands a modest house, which went down in the history of Paris as a refuge of the famous lovers Abelard and Heloise.
Then, after a stop at the ancient flower market on the Place Louis Lepine (working since the 18th century!), we go to admire the fantastic stained-glass windows of the medieval royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle – another masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
The chapel is part of a whole complex of buildings, in which the history of Paris and all of France was completed. After all, it was here that the royal residence was located until the 14th century. The colorful medieval castle of the Conciergerie within the fence of the Palace of Justice is a reminder of that old era. Not only that, but also the bloody times of the Great French Revolution, when the castle was a prison. It was here that Queen Marie Antoinette and more than 4,000 other prisoners were imprisoned before her execution.
To dispel a little complicated impression of the dramatic history of Paris, we again walk along the Seine promenade, now Quai de l’Horologe. And then turn to the charming Place Dauphine, which appeared here at the beginning of the 17th century and largely preserved its ancient appearance. Here you can relax and gaze at Parisians playing marbles. And then continue your journey through French history by walking to the New Bridge, or Pont Neuf. Contrary to its name, it is one of the oldest in Paris. More than 400 years ago it was built by King Henry IV. And next to it stands a monument to this glorious monarch. By the way, it is the very first equestrian monument in Paris.
We suggest to finish such an intensive walk along the island of Cité in one of its most romantic corners – in the small square du Vert-Galant. There ends our audio walk “Cradle of Paris”, available in the mobile app Travelry. Walking around Paris with a fascinating audio guide is even more interesting!
If you do not limit yourself to a walk around the island, but visit the places on the itinerary (Notre Dame, Saint-Chapelle, the Conciergerie Castle), you can spend almost a whole day on the island of Cité. Your first day in Paris, dedicated to a journey deep into the centuries, to get acquainted with the rich history of the city, with its architectural masterpieces and relics. To complete such a rich program should be in a more relaxed mode. For example, take a boat ride on the Seine, relax in the nearby Tuileries garden or sit in a restaurant on the square Dauphin….. Choose what you prefer, what you can and can afford.
Day two: the main symbols of Paris
The Louvre Palace, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, the Invalides House and other symbols of Paris
The second day in Paris will introduce you to the most famous symbols of the French capital, revealing the city from its smart, ornate side. Start at the church of Saint-Germain-l’Oxeroy near the Louvre. The nearest metro stations are Pont Neuf or Louvre – Rivoli. This building remembers many royal parishioners (the church used to be royal) and the fateful events of the Night of Bartholomew – it was the bell of this church that gave the signal to the Catholics to exterminate the Huguenots….
Let’s continue to remember the turbulent French history at the Louvre Palace. We will admire the beautiful colonnade of Claude Perrault (brother of the storyteller Charles Perrault!), we will look into the Renaissance, when the famous Louvre Square appeared, and into the Middle Ages, when the palace was a stern, well-protected castle, and into the “Great Age” of France, when the palace is significantly expanded and rebuilt…. Finally, in the Napoleon Palace we will see the famous Louvre Pyramid, which will take us into the 20th and 21st centuries.
We will not go to the Louvre Museum itself – it is worth a lot of time, and we advise to plan a visit (and it is necessary to visit it!) for another day.
From the Louvre begins the so-called Arc de Triomphe, or Historical Axis of Paris. It is along this route we suggest you follow. On the same it will take you our audio guide, available in the mobile app Travelry.
Let’s admire the Place de Carrousel, recalling the colorful equestrian shows – carrouselis – that took place on it during the time of the “Sun King” Louis XIV. It was these performances that gave the square its name. Let’s walk through the beautiful Tuileries gardens, which once were quarries with clay, and where tiles were made (in French “tuil” means “tile”). Recall the dramatic history of the Tuileries Palace, around which this ornate French-style park was laid out. But unlike the park, the palace did not survive the revolutionary turmoil, and today only a couple of wings remain of it, today they are part of the Louvre Palace complex).
While strolling through the Tuileries Gardens, we will not neglect its unusual “jewel”, the Musée de l’Orangerie, where you can see the masterpieces of Impressionism, including the famous exhibition “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet.
After enjoying the art and the natural and man-made beauty of the Tuileries Garden, we continue along the Arc de Triomphe. The next point in our route through Paris is the Place de la Concorde. It will please us with beautiful views and the majestic Luxor obelisk, brought from Egypt in the XIX century (in our excursion “Triumphal Way” we will tell how it appeared in Paris and why the second obelisk of exactly the same kind never reached France). Despite its peaceful name, the Place de la Concorde keeps the memory of the bloody events of the French Revolution – it was here, on the guillotine King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, as well as many prominent statesmen of France, including the revolutionaries themselves, laid their heads.
Next the Paris Triumphal Way will take us along the artery of the city, the Avenue des Champs Elysees, through the comfortable gardens of the Champs Elysees with many picturesque pavilions, past the Grand and Petit Palaces, the Theater Ron Poin, and a host of famous stores and beautiful mansions. And ahead, at the end of the avenue, at Place Charles de Gaulle or Place du Star), is the majestic Arc de Triomphe, commemorating the glorious victories of Napoleon’s army.
We remind you that the described walking plan is identical to the route of our audio tour “The Arc de Triomphe”. And the walk from the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Oxérois to the Arc de Triomphe will be much more interesting, entertaining and informative with the audio guide available in the Travelry app.
The historical axis of Paris goes even farther, to the modern district of Defence, where another monumental arch stands. If you wish, on one day of your trip, if you have time, you can go there to see a different, modern Paris. In the meantime, our itinerary suggests heading in a different direction. If you have energy, you can walk along Avenue Kléber. If you’re tired, take the bus to Place du Trocadéro. From there, from the top of the Chaillot Hill, you have a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower.
The Gardens of Trocadéro will delight you with its famous fountains and museums, a nice walk and great photos.
Then we cross the bridge of Jena (another monument to Napoleon’s victories) and find ourselves right at the foot of the legendary beauty of Paris – the Eiffel Tower.
If you still have energy, time, and inspiration, continue on the route of our audio tour “Parade Paris”. Stroll along the Champ de Mars, recalling the rich history of these places and enjoying the present day. Explore the Military School and then head to the famous Invalides House. That’s where Napoleon’s tomb is located. And the domes of the cathedral of the Invalides’ House are on many tourist postcards. The place is recognizable and interesting both for its majestic appearance and history.
Connoisseurs of art will be interested in two museums about which we also tell in the audio excursion “Paris Parade”: the Rodin Museum located in the neighborhood of the Invalides House and the Musée d’Orsay which is a terminal point of the route. If you wish, a visit to these museums can be scheduled for a separate day.
Stroll along the romantic promenade of Orsay, the esplanade of the Invalides and the ornate Alexander III Bridge (named after the Russian emperor!).
And afterwards, you can have a second unforgettable evening in Paris. For example, organize a picnic on the Champ de Mars, joining the ranks of happy tourists, couples in love and Parisians relaxing on the grass. Or go for a gourmet dinner in the nearby Saint Germain des Prés quarter.
To summarize. You’re only two days in Paris, and already managed so much! The second day also turned out very rich and showed Paris in all its magnificent splendor, with its famous palaces, wide avenues and squares, majestic monuments and magnificent bridges. But this is only one facet of the French capital. There are five more days in Paris, during which the city will be revealed to you from many different angles.
Day 3: Bohemian and colorful Paris
Montmartre and the Marais
The third day in Paris will be devoted to an inspired exploration of the most picturesque areas of the city. Right in the morning, before the French capital is flooded with tourist and business noise, when Paris is just waking up, we hurry to the legendary Montmartre.
In the morning on the famous hill there is a special atmosphere: the streets of the “red light district” are sleeping after a rough night, cozy streets and squares are not yet crowded with tourists, artists are just laying out their easels and paintings on the Place du Tertre…. And we go to breathe the extraordinary air of Montmartre and take wonderful pictures.
We suggest starting at Place Blanche, where the blades of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret are on display. And then along the looping colorful Rue Lepic we will go deeper into the cozy alleyways of Montmartre. We’ll reach the Place Abbess with the unusual Church of St. Jean, see the Wall of Love, the House of Amelie and the legendary house “Bateau Lavoir”, where at the turn of XIX and XX centuries lived famous artists and writers. Another place associated with the bohemian public of that era is the Moulin de la Galette. It, too, will be included in our itinerary.
In quiet squares we will find unusual monuments such as the “Walking over the wall” and the monument of Saint Denis. Then we pass through the Place des Dalida to reach the Pink House, the Cabaret of the Nimble Rabbit and the vineyard of Montmartre through the narrow and extremely picturesque rue de l’Abreuvoir.
Further, if you wish, you can look into the Montmartre Museum and the Dali Museum, or at least look at them from the outside. Wander among the easels of street artists on Place du Tertre. Remember the rich history of the ancient church of Saint Pierre, because it goes back to the 12th century! Finally, admire the architecture of the snow-white Sacré-Coeur Basilica and admire the views from the top of the Montmartre hill (there are observation platforms next to the cathedral, as well as in its dome).
In the alleys of Montmartre you can find nice cafes and restaurants (just avoid too touristy places). And after Montmartre, full of vivid impressions and inspiration, you can drive to another colorful area of Paris – the Marais quarter. By the way, it is quite possible to dine there too – you will have a good choice of not the most expensive cafes and local restaurants.
So, you have come to the modern shopping complex Les Halles. Today, apart from the name, nothing reminds of the fact that once upon a time this place was the “womb of Paris” – an old market, colorfully described in the novel of the same name by Emile Zola. In the vicinity of Les Halles, pay attention to the old Gothic church of Sainte-Eustache, as well as two houses associated with the name of Molière: at st. Saint-Honoré 96 he was born, and lived in the house 31 on the same street.
In this area, you should also pay attention to the Center Georges Pompidou. This building made of glass and metal is an architectural landmark in itself: all the infrastructure elements in it are taken out. And inside – a diverse cultural center dedicated to contemporary art.
It is impossible to pass by the colorful tower of Saint Jacques, which rises on the right bank of the Seine, reminiscent of the church of Saint James that has stood here since the 16th century. Next, we will head to the Shuttle Square, located at the Changer Bridge, leading to the Cité Island. The area is notable for the Victory Column, as well as two theaters. But even more remarkable is its rich history (the name of the square is associated with the fortress towers that used to be here). And nearby, in the mansion Hotel de Ville, the Paris City Hall has been located since the 14th century!
The Marais will enchant you with old mansions and churches, so get ready for a short trip to the Parisian Middle Ages. One of the notable buildings with a solid age and rich history is the Church of Gervasius and Protasius, or simply Saint-Gervais (Église Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais), which has been standing here since the end of the 15th century. And to see what simple residential buildings looked like in medieval Paris, take a look at the streets of rue des Barres (No. 12 – an old half-timbered house) and Rue François Miron (pay attention to houses 11 and 14). Consider the colorful Gothic mansion Hôtel de Sens, which literally “breathes” with history.
Next, let’s look at the village of Saint Paul – a colorful combination of medieval and modern Paris. Here you can see old Gothic buildings, and you can visit many shops, antique shops, art galleries and cafes. The remains of the ancient wall of Philip Augustus, located nearby, and the church of Saint Paul and Saint Louis also remind of past eras.
Next, let’s take a look at a special corner of Paris – the old Jewish quarter. Walk down Rue des Rosiers to soak up the local flair and maybe sample the local falafel.
If you are interested in the work of Picasso, you can look into the Picasso Museum, dedicated to his art – it is located nearby, at 5 Rue de Thorigny, in a 17th-century mansion. Another interesting place nearby is the Carnevale Museum. Its exposition devoted to the history of Paris is located in two old mansions.
The next stop on our Paris itinerary is Place des Vosges. This is the oldest square in Paris, which largely retained the appearance of the XVII century. And even earlier, the Tournel Palace stood on this place, in which Henry II was mortally wounded during the tournament …. Victor Hugo lived in one of the houses on the square for some time – today this building houses a house-museum dedicated to the writer’s work.
Next, we propose to go through a small beautiful garden adjacent to the Sully mansion (Hôtel de Sully), and admire the mansion itself. It has been decorating the Marais since the 17th century and is an excellent example of a luxurious residential mansion, decorated in a pretentious Baroque style.
Our route ends at Place de la Bastille, which is associated with the most important events in the history of France. It was here that the famous Bastille fortress was located, captured by angry Parisians during the French Revolution and later destroyed. The July Column rises above the square, dedicated to all the participants and victims of the Second French Revolution.
Let’s sum up the results of the third day in Paris. In the morning we discover the unique atmosphere of Montmartre. We enjoy a leisurely stroll through its nooks and crannies, exploring the sights, perhaps visiting museums. Afterwards, we head to Les Halles and Marais to relive the rich history of Paris again and again, admiring both its famous and hidden treasures. And you can end the day at Place de la Bastille, where you will find a large selection of inexpensive cafes, restaurants, bars and all kinds of party places. For 3 days in Paris, we saw it both solemn, majestic, and cozy, bohemian. We visited the most famous places and looked into quiet corners where unusual sights of Paris lurked.
Day four: Paris elegant and luxurious
The Louvre Museum and the neighborhoods around it
How do we start Day 4 in Paris? With an introduction to art! On this day, you can plan a visit to the famous Louvre Museum.
After visiting the Louvre, we suggest taking a walk through the neighborhoods around it. The sights of this part of Paris are included in the route of our audio tour “Elegant Route”. It starts from Rivoli Street, a famous promenade where the most noble people once liked to stroll. I. Turgenev and L. Tolstoy also stopped there during their travels to Paris. On it stands a shining gilded equestrian statue of the legendary “Maid of Orleans” – the French national heroine Joan of Arc.
Let’s turn off Rue Rivoli to see one of the largest churches in Paris, built in the 17th-18th centuries. This is the Church of St. Roch (Eglise Saint Roch), where Denis Diderot and Pierre Corneille rested and where many works of art from churches closed during the revolution are stored.
And nearby is one of the oldest and most famous theaters in Europe – Comédie-Française, founded in 1680. Next to the theater is a majestic palace and park complex, built in the 17th century for Cardinal Richelieu, and later becoming a famous Parisian entertainment center, and with a dubious reputation. This is the Palais Royal (“Royal Palace”). In the second half of the 18th century, numerous shops, restaurants, shops, theaters and even brothels and gambling houses were located on the territory of the former luxurious estate. And today, government offices are located in the palace, and in the courtyard there is a modern installation of black and white columns by Daniel Buren.
Having remembered a lot of interesting facts and interesting stories about this place (we tell them in the audio tour “Elegant Route”) and after walking around the Palais Royal garden, we will head further to Rue des Petits Champs. There we are interested in two covered passages that have retained a special Parisian flavor: the Colbert Gallery (6, rue des Petits-Champs) and the Vivienne Gallery (4 Rue des Petits Champs). They will take you back to 19th-century Paris, when the city had a whole network of such covered passages equipped as shopping galleries.
After walking through the passages, we will come to the beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame de Victoires (Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires), built in memory of the successful siege of the fortress of La Rochelle. Inside you can see many offerings from believers (more than 27 thousand tablets with engraved names and inscriptions and valuable items!), as well as ancient stained-glass windows and an altar of the 18th century. And nearby, on the Place des Victoires, King Louis XIV triumphantly sits on a horse. On this square, monuments to various statesmen changed more than once, until the monument “Louis the Great” settled here in the middle of the 18th century.
The next stop on our fourth day itinerary in Paris is Place Vendôme, with the grandiose Vendôme Column, erected here under Napoleon and cast from war trophies. The square is surrounded by beautiful mansions, because once upon a time aristocrats and Parisian “nouveau riches” lived in these places. One of the most elegant palaces on the square was the legendary Ritz Hotel, whose guests were many famous personalities.
Along Rue de la Paix from Place Vendôme you can walk straight to the famous Paris Opera, or Opéra Garnier. Its pompous building graced Paris in the second half of the 19th century. The palace, designed by the then little-known Charles Garnier, became not only an impressive architectural object, but also one of the main theater stages in the world. By the way, you can arrange an independent tour of the legendary building of the Paris Opera.
In one of the corners of the square, your attention may be attracted by subtle aromas coming from a small but very “Parisian” Fragonard perfume museum (Musée du Parfum – Fragonard). Visit it if you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a 19th century perfume factory and learn many interesting facts about the creation of perfumes. What’s more, admission is free!
Let’s walk along the Capuchin Boulevard – one of the Grand Boulevards of Paris, formed on the site of the demolished defensive fortifications. House number 35 (former Atelier Nadar) is notable for the fact that the first exhibition of the Impressionists was once held here. And in house number 14 in 195, the first public paid film show took place.
Boulevard des Capucines will turn into Boulevard de la Madeleine, which in turn will lead you to the famous Madeleine Church (L’église de la Madeleine). It is distinguished by an unusual appearance for Catholic churches. There is neither a bell tower nor a cross, but 52 Corinthian columns decorate the entire perimeter of the building, taking us from Paris to Ancient Greece.
If you are not too tired yet, you can go further to another elegant Parisian palace – the Champs Elysees (Palais de l’Élysée). Today it is the current residence of the French President. But its history begins in the 18th century. Since then, the palace has changed many owners, among them is the famous favorite of King Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour.
Four days in Paris will open for you many interesting places in the French capital. We propose to dedicate the morning of the fourth day to the Louvre Museum. And after joining the great art, you can take a walk through the beautiful neighboring quarters, starting from the elegant Rivoli Street, including the famous royal squares, ancient churches, elegant palaces in the route, and ending the walk near the Madeleine Church and the Elysee Palace.
Neighborhoods of Paris (optional): Versailles / Disneyland / Castles of the Loire
Not only Paris, but also its surroundings are famous for many interesting places and attractions. If you are going to Paris for a week, you can set aside at least one day to travel outside of it. It is hardly possible to have time to visit all the surrounding “interesting places” when you have only 7 days. Therefore, make a choice based on what you like best.
Do you want to immerse yourself in the world of luxury of the “Great Age” of France, the brilliant era of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King”? Then you will be interested in Versailles. Luxurious landscape and architectural complex impresses with its luxury and magnificence.
Are you traveling with children or have you always dreamed of immersing yourself in the magical world of Walt Disney? Go to Disneyland! A grand complex of amusement parks, the dream of children and adults who do not want to grow up! The complex is located in Marne-la-Vallee, 32 km from Paris. Tickets can be booked on the official website (booking in English or French). Booking in Russian is available here.
If you are fascinated by antiquity, excited by medieval legends, interested in history, then think about a trip to the famous Loire Castles. In the valley of the Loire River and its tributaries, there is a whole scattering of ancient castles. The most famous are Chenonceau (considered one of the most beautiful), Amboise (Leonardo da Vinci is buried there), Chambord (the largest in the Loire Valley and one of the most unusual), Sully-sur-Loire, the royal castle of Blois ( chateau royalde Blois) and others. You can visit several castles at once with a special tour.
A few more interesting places outside of Paris where you can go for half a day: Fontainebleau Palace (the residence of the French kings), Vincennes Castle (the highest fortress tower in Europe), Vaux-le-Vicomte castle.
In five days in Paris, you will have time not only to see the most interesting sights of the French capital, but also to get out of it. And the rest of the day can be devoted to shopping, relaxing in one of the beautiful parks of Paris, visiting the observation decks or other activities that are of interest to you. In order to find places in Paris that match your interests, we recommend using the convenient filter “By category” in the Travelry application (you can open it in the “Places” section).
Day six: Unique Parisian charm
Museums (optional), Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Paris has a huge number of museums for every taste: from the largest expositions with a worldwide reputation to small unusual museums with a unique local flavor. As a rule, tourists in Paris find it hard to resist and limit themselves to the Louvre Museum. Explore our selection of the best museums in Paris to see why some of them deserve special attention. After spending 5 busy happy days in Paris, you can devote the morning of the sixth day to studying any exposition that interests you. What will it be – the Musee d’Orsay with a unique collection of Impressionist works, the Museum of Modern Art in the Tokyo Palace, the City of Science and Industry, or maybe the Museum of Wine or Fair Art? The choice is yours!
After that, we invite you to discover another amazing area of Paris – the Latin Quarter. Arrive at the metro station and RER Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame and start your walk from Place Saint-Michel, with a magnificent marble wall fountain. From the square departs the boulevard of the same name, full of cafes and shops. But we will cross it to dive into the maze of charming old streets of the Latin Quarter. If you are traveling with the Travelry mobile application, you will definitely not get lost – an offline map with GPS navigation will always show where you are and what interesting things can be seen nearby.
Walk down the pedestrianized Rue de la Huchette, the oldest street on the Left Bank of the Seine. Take a look at the Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche, just 1.8 meters wide – it is considered the narrowest in Paris! Do not ignore the bookstore “Shakespeare and Company”, which is located in an old building on Rue de la Bûcherie 37 – this is the successor to the legendary store that has existed since 1919 and was once the center of the literary life of Paris.
Next, let’s take a look at the small cozy Rene Viviani Square, from where beautiful views of Notre Dame open up.
Here you can also see the oldest tree in Paris (planted in the 17th century). And on the south side, the square frames the building of one of the oldest functioning churches in Paris – the church of Saint-Julien-le-Povre (Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre).
The next interesting attraction that should not be missed in this area of Paris is the ancient church of Saint-Severin (Église Saint-Séverin), decorated in the style of “flaming Gothic”. Another monument of medieval architecture is nearby – the Cluny mansion, which houses the Museum of the Middle Ages. Near the mansion, the ruins of ancient Roman baths have been preserved.
Further down the Rue Sorbonne, you can walk to the very heart of the Latin Quarter – the famous University of Paris, known as the Sorbonne. The very name of the quarter is associated with the Latin language, in which students have been taught for centuries.
Another important place related to education and science is very close by. This is one of the largest and oldest libraries in Paris – Saint Genevieve Library. It is located in a Renaissance building on the square in front of the Pantheon and, of course, fades in the shadow of this pompous structure. The Paris Pantheon is one of the main architectural attractions of the Latin Quarter. Once conceived as a church in honor of Saint Genevieve, it later turned into a mausoleum of prominent figures and national heroes of France. In particular, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, Voltaire, Emile Zola and many others are buried here.
Behind the Pantheon rises the majestic church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, which keeps the memory of the ancient abbey of Saint Genevieve, the patroness of Paris. Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine are buried in this temple, and a reliquary is also kept, where the relics of the patron saint of Paris were previously located. And across the road from the church rises an old tower, preserved from the ruined church of St. Genevieve. We talk about the history of the ancient abbey, as well as other interesting places in the area, in the audio tour of the Latin Quarter, available in the Travelry app.
We will continue our journey through different eras of rich French history and head to the Arenas of Lutetia – the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater built here in the 1st century. And on the way we will see another monument of the Middle Ages – the remains of the fortress wall of Philip Augustus, which protected the Parisians from the end of the 12th century.
We advise you to stay a little longer at the cozy Place de la Contrescarpe, where you can have a bite to eat in one of the many cafes and restaurants. And then walk along Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest in Paris and largely preserved medieval flavor. You can still see old houses with interesting facades on it. We will reach the church of Saint Médard, built in the 15th century, and remember its rich history, which its ancient facade speaks eloquently about. And then we will go out to the street Claude Bernard and head to another remarkable temple – the elegant church of Val-de-Grâce (Église Notre-Dame du Val-de-Grâce), decorated in a magnificent Italian baroque style.
Our route will include another ancient church – Saint-Jacques, located on the street of the same name. Once both the church and the street itself were part of the pilgrimage route of St. James, along which numerous pilgrims went to the tomb of the apostle in Zaragoza, Spain.
After such a busy walk, you need to relax and unwind. One of the best places to do this is the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, which Parisians affectionately call “Lucaux”. Here you will find shady alleys, well-groomed lawns, an abundance of greenery and flowers, and an exquisite Florentine-style palace.
After the Luxembourg Gardens, you can switch to another audio tour (by the way, it is available in the application for free!) – “Exquisite Saint-Germain”. After all, walking enthusiastically through the Latin Quarter, you will quietly come to the Saint-Germain-des-Pres area, known for its unique charm.
Not far from the Luxembourg Gardens, you should pay attention to the Odeon Theater (one of the oldest in Europe) and the street of the same name. The street rests on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, and then flows into the Rue del Ancien-Comédie, on which stands the oldest restaurant in Paris – Le Procope. And nearby is an interesting covered passage of Saint-André, where, among the many shops and cafes, the remains of the fortress wall of the XIII century and the ancient Courts of Rouen, preserved from the XIV century, are hidden.
Walking through this colorful area of Paris, take a look at the Saint-Germain market. Here you can find everything for a great snack or buy French goodies. Next to the market is one of the largest churches in Paris – Saint Sulpice (Saint Sulpice). It is famous for the fact that the “Paris meridian” passed through it, and fans of the Dan Brown novel are still looking for the Grail there.
And fans of another literary work – the novel “The Three Musketeers” – rush to the nearby Servandoni Street, because Alexandre Dumas placed d’Artagnan’s apartment exactly there, on the former Gravediggers Street. The “Musketeer” places did not end there! Nearby, on Rue Vaugirard 25, the writer “settled” Aramis. And even further, where buildings 70-74 stand today, was the ancient Deschaux monastery, where the musketeers appointed their duels. From here it is within easy reach of the street of the Old Dovecote, where Porthos and the capital de Treville lived.
Remembering the glorious deeds of the musketeers and dreaming up what houses they could live in, we will go to one of the main attractions of this part of Paris – the ancient church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It was built in the VI century, was the center of the abbey of the same name and gave its name to the entire area. Admire the gothic look, breathe in antiquity and history, visit the tomb of René Descartes, who is buried here, think about the eternal…
And then we will continue our walk along the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Even if you do not plan to have lunch or drink coffee in expensive and famous cafes, then at least it is worth seeing them and remembering their history. After all, in the small cafe De Magot (Les Deux Magots) at Place Saint-Germain, 6, in the neighboring Café de Flore (Café de Flore) and in the brasserie Lipp (Brasserie Lipp, across the street from Flora), Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, Oscar Wilde and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and many other representatives of the bohemian and intellectual Paris of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
From Boulevard Saint-Germain, turn onto the small street of Saint-Guillaume (Rue Saint-Guillaume) – there is an unusual building known as the Glass House and called one of the masterpieces of modernist architecture. And a little further flaunts a luxurious sculptural composition in the best traditions of French classicism – the Four Seasons Fountain.
This is where our free audio tour of Saint Germain ends. Although you can wander around this colorful quarter for a long time and with enthusiasm. If you still have time and energy, explore other corners of Saint-Germain, full of inimitable French charm. And if you are already tired, a great many cafes, bars, restaurants for every taste work for you.
Like the previous five days, we spend the sixth with benefit and pleasure! In the morning we visit some interesting museum, learn a lot of new things and get inspired. And then we go to enjoy the unique charm of the Left Bank of Paris. First, we are surprised by the rich history of the Latin Quarter, the abundance of interesting places and beautiful buildings. And then, having a good rest in the Luxembourg Gardens, we continue to admire Paris, discovering the exquisite Saint-Germain-des-Pres quarter. Recall that these walks are best done with our audio guide in Paris – with them you will not only see beautiful places, but also hear a lot of interesting things about them. And you can also pay attention to what many tourists do not notice.
Day 7: Enjoying Paris
The 6-day Paris itineraries suggested above will allow you to see the most interesting sights and visit the most interesting areas of Paris. But for sure there will be places where you would like to go, but did not have time, or decided to return. There are so many museums, such interesting suburbs, such beautiful streets and fine restaurants…. Perhaps you haven’t walked around the Parisian shops yet, haven’t bought gifts for friends and relatives, haven’t tasted some dishes of Parisian cuisine. Or maybe you want to wander around one of the legendary cemeteries or look into the catacombs? Or have a picnic on the Champ de Mars? What you really wanted to see or do, but did not have time for the previous 6 days in Paris, you can plan for the seventh day. And we will not call it the last, because you will definitely try to return!
On the seventh day, we do not offer difficult routes and do not strive to embrace the immensity. Let’s not rush and worry that not everything was in time. Let’s enjoy Paris and learn what the French call “art de vivre”, that is, “the art of living”!