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Walking in Paris — 5 perfect walks through Paris with maps

The quaint cobblestone streets, winding alleys and Haussman buildings — the ones with the stone facades and wrought iron railings — that you picture when you think of a Paris postcard are all very much real. Walking through Paris is definitely the best way to explore those scenes.

While Paris is incredibly walkable,  it’s also quite big. To help narrow the scope, we’ve put put together a few walking routes that will guide you through some of the best parts of Paris. In this guide, we’ll explore Paris on foot with the help of five detailed maps.

These walking routes are designed with first-time visitors it mind. They offer a self-guided walking tour through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods, most popular tourist attractions and most charming streets in Paris.

Wander … but within reason

The French have a term — Flâner — which means to wander aimlessly through a city. There’s no similar word in English, and I would argue that’s because we’re bad at it. And by “we,” I guess I mean Americans.

I recently moved to New York and there is no wandering here. Even in Central Park, everyone has somewhere to be. And they’re not just trying to get there, they’re usually working out the next five places they need to be, too.

Neither is inherently better. Simply a difference in speed and lifestyles from two sides of the pond.

But what happens when a New Yorker goes to Paris and all the tips say to wander aimlessly but their Type A brain simply cannot do that? What about the people who want to wander, but within reason?

Enter this post. We’re here for the people who need a little direction more than “Just explore!”

On these maps, we’ve plotted the city’s top attractions, noted some of the most beautiful streets and flagged our favorite stops along the way. But from there, you can amble through nearby alleys, pop into hidden cafes and discover your own favorite spots to really make the journey your own.

We’ve drawn the box but you can color inside and outside the lines however you choose.

Paris walking routes explored in this post

Arc de Triomphe to Pont de Arts Walking Guide

This is my favorite way to start a trip to Paris. Whether this is your first time in Paris or you’re a repeat visitor, this walk is a great way see many of Paris’ iconic sights in one long stretch. It features the city’s most famous boulevard, a beautiful park, iconic views and shopping galore.

This walking route in full is about 3 miles. If you were walking straight through, it would take about an hour. We don’t recommend that, though. There are so many things you can see and do along this walk that you could easily fill an entire day if you wanted.


  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Champs-Élysées
  • Tuileries Gardens
  • The Louvre
  • Pont de Arts


A few quick tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Tips for this walk

  • Don’t start too early. Most of the stores at the start of this walk don’t open until 10 or 11 AM. Take some time to enjoy breakfast and coffee before you head out for the day.
  • Book tickets in advance. If you want to visit the top of the Arc de Triomphe or go inside the Louvre, it’s best to book a timed ticket in advance. Popular dates and times can book up days in advance.
  • The Louvre deserves an entire day. That said, if you’d like to go inside the Louvre we’d recommend doing it on a different day and arrive when they open if possible. It’s a huge museum and it gets very crowded, especially in the afternoon. On this walk, we recommend just stopping by the pyramid and maybe the shops below.
  • Eat along the way. There are plenty of cafes and street food vendors along this route. I don’t specifically call out many throughout this post because there are options everywhere. I’d personally recommend picking up small bites everytime you pass something yummy, like a crepe from a street vendor in Champs-Élysées Gardens, an appetizer at a bar off Saint-Honoré and ice cream in Tuileries Garden.

The view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

Self-guided walk from Arc de Triomphe to Pont de Arts

This walk begins at Arc de Triomphe. The best way to get there will usually be by train, but it may vary based on your exact hotel location. The nearest Metro strops are Kléber station which serves the 6 train and  George V or Argentine which serves the 1 train.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe is located in the center of a busy traffic circle. Do not attempt to walk to the monument from street level. There is a pedestrian tunnel with access points (marked in yellow below) on Champs-Élysées and Grande Armée streets that will lead you to the base of the Arc de Triomphe. This is where the entrance to the monument is located, but you can also visit the base at street level for free.

You can go inside and to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Timed entry tickets are required and cost €13 for adults. Everyone under 18 is free. The views from the top are incredible and it’s a great alternative to going to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Even if you aren’t going inside the moment, it’s still worth seeing it from the street. The best views are on Champs-Élysées, which is convenient because that’s where we’re heading next.


One of the most famous, most filmed and most beautiful streets in Paris is Champs-Élysées. It’s akin to Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Oxford Street in London and Fifth Avenue in New York.

The street is lined with trees, which are stunning all the time but even more so in autumn and Christmastime. There’s tons of shops and stores, ranging from Zara to Louis Vuitton. Whether you’re shopping or window shopping, you are likely to be dazzled along the way.

Some of my favorite shops along Champs-Élysées are:

  • Disney Store: They have always have a line up of Paris-specific Disney merchandise and lots of toys that kids will love to look at (and ask for).
  • Galeries Lafayette: This is a great indoor mall to warm up in the winter or cool off in the summer.
  • Nike House of Innovation: This store is a fusion of Nike Store and science museum. It’s a fun stop for the athlete and/or toddlers in your family.
  • Ladurée: This pastry shop is famous for their macarons. They have many locations all over Paris (and the world). This location has a full sit-down restaurant (reservations recommended), but they also have a separate line to get treats to go.

Champs-Élysées Gardens

At the south-east end of Champs-Élysées, the shops give way to a garden. It’s lovely to walk thought, but it’s not the best for siting and staying awhile. (We’ve got an even more beautiful garden coming up in a bit.)

There are several theaters throughout the gardens. Along the way, you’ll also pass the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (museums) and Élysée Palace (official residence of the French president).

At the end of the garden you’ll run into Place de la Concorde. The plaza is basically a really busy traffic intersection with an Egyptian obelisk in the center. My recommendation? Skip it. Instead, turn left on Rue Royale and walk a block to Rue Saint-Honoré.

Rue Saint-Honoré

This street is your high-end fashion street. Designer brands like Hermès, Versace, Fendi and Christian Louboutin all have storefronts on Rue Saint-Honoré between Avenue de Marigny and where the street ends near the Louvre.

Even if $1,500 shoes are out of your budget, the window shopping alone is worth even a short stroll down this street. Plus, like I said, a detour down this street is better than crossing the traffic puzzle at Place de la Concorde.

If you’re looking to wander, this is a good area to do it. There are lots of side streets in this area that lead to unique shops, fancy hotels and swanky cafes and bars.

One of the most famous stops around here is Angelina, which is famous for their decadent hot chocolate. It’s a high-end, sit-down restaurant though, so dress accordingly. Because it’s so famous, reservations are recommend because they get very crowded. (Be sure to book early, too. They book up well over a month in advance.)

There’s also several places for fancy cocktails in cozy, immaculately decorated bars. Some of the most popular picks in the area are Bar Hemingway (inside the Ritz Paris), Bar 8 (inside the Mandarin Oriental) and Harry’s New York.

I buy designer things so infrequently that I take photos marking it as a life event

Tuileries Garden

After some shopping and maybe some light day-drinking, cut back to Tuileries Garden. This is one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris. If you were looking for a green space to relax, maybe have a picnic or let the kids play for a bit, this is the spot. (By the way, if you’re visiting Paris with kids be sure to check out this post for all our best tips.)

You don’t have to walk down every pathway in the park, but try a few different ones! You’ll find outdoor cafes, several ponds and fountains, and interesting sculptures. The grounds are immaculately landscaped with beautiful trees, flowers and bushes which really shine in the spring and fall. There’s also a great playground, which the kids will love.

At the southeastern end of the garden, you’ll run into what looks like the Arc de Triomphe. Don’t worry. You didn’t find a wormhole and travel back two miles to where you started your day. This is a second and slightly smaller monument called Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and it was designed at the same time as the Arc de Triomphe.

Louvre Museum

Just beyond Tuileries Gardens is the world famous Louvre art museum. The iconic glass pyramid is in an open plaza above the entrance to the museum. The plaza is a popular place for photos, souvenir shopping from street vendors, and just general relaxing with a view.

Below the plaza is Carrousel du Louvre, which is an indoor shopping mall with a food court. To get down there, look for one of the stairways around the edge of the plaza. A lot of people don’t know is that there’s also an inverted glass pyramid below ground, and this is where you’ll find it. Pretty cool!

Now, if you’re planning to visit the museum, you could certainly do that in the afternoon after making this walk. Alternatively, you could flip this walk and start at the Louvre and do the rest in reverse order. However, we don’t think it’s worth trying to smoosh the Louvre into an otherwise busy day.

The Louvre is gigantic and it’s hard to see everything even with a full day. If you want to go inside, we recommend getting the earliest entry time you can and spending a relaxing, long day there.

Pont des Arts

Exit the Louvre and head towards the Seine. Look for the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge. It’s between Pont du Carrousel (a car traffic bridge) and Île de la Cité (an island in the middle of the river).

The bridge offers excellent views all around. You can see the Eiffel Tower in one direction and Pont Neuf on the either. There are benches along the way to relax after a long day.

If you’re heading home after Pont des Arts, the nearest Metro stop is Pont Neuf, which serves the 7 train.

View of Pont Neuf from Pont des Arts

Continue your Journey

  • Peruse used books and art prints at the bouquinistes, the iconic green box stalls along the Seine
  • Enjoy a meal or a coffee at a classic cafe in Saint Germain, maybe Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots
  • Start your next walk through Latin Quarter & the isles

Latin Quarter & the isles Walking Tour

The Latin Quarter is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris, dating back more than 2,000 years. It has winding streets and tiny alleys that are filled with lively cafes, very old buildings and bookshops galore. It’s a mesh of tourist traps and authentic history, dotted with museums and gardens for good measure. The district is home to Sorbonne University, and the student population keeps the area young.

The isles refer to Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis, which are literal islands in the middle of the Siene. They comprise quaint shopping streets, famous churches and maybe the best ice cream in Paris. It’s a bit quieter than the banks on either side, but they’re delightful neighborhoods for a stroll.

This walk isn’t short and clocks in at just under 4 miles. But with breaks for meals and coffee along the way, it actually fills a day quite nicely.


  • Pont Neuf
  • Shakespeare & Company
  • Notre Dame
  • Île Saint-Louis
  • Rue Mouffetard
  • Luxembourg Gardens


As a reminder, here are some quick tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Tips for this walk

  • Plan this walk on a Saturday. In order to feel the energy of this area, you want to visit when it’s got some life to it and that’s typically the weekend. The Rue Mouffetard market closes on Sunday afternoon, which is why we suggest Saturday specifically. Do note that many places are closed on Mondays.
  • Bring cash (Euros). Most restaurants and cafes in this area will take credit cards, but most street vendors don’t. Cash will be helpful for other odds and end purchases too, like renting a tiny sail boat to float around the pond in Luxembourg Gardens.
  • The gardens are best in the summer. During the summer months, the gardens in Paris are alive. Not only are they the most beautiful during that time, but they’re also a social hub for tourists and locals alike. In the later fall and winter months, they can feel quite desolate.
  • If you have little ones, split this walk over two days. This is a long walk and will wipe out most adults. I originally planned this walk with our toddler, but they totally crashed half way through. If you’re co-travellers have little legs, make this one a two-day journey.
  • Skip Jardin des Plantes if you have to. If this walk is too long or you’re short on time and have to cut something, cut Jardin des Plantes. It’s out of the way and not a must see, so it’s a good way to shorten this day up a bit. That might mean skipping Rue Mouffetard, too.

Self-guided walk through Latin Quarter & the isles

This walk begins at at Pont Neuf, which is a famous bridge that passes through Île de la Cité. Ideally you would take the 7 train and get off at Pont Neuf. However, depending on where you’re staying, you could also take the 4 or 10 trains to Odéon. From there you could walk back to Pont Neuf or just skip the bridge and head straight to Fontaine Saint-Michel.

Pont Neuf

If you walked across Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge as part of the previous walking route, you’ll have already gotten a great view of Pont Neuf.

This stone bridge was first opened for use in 1604 and is the oldest bridge over the Seine that’s still in use today. There are 381 stone masks, or mascarons, carved into the bridge which represent mythical divinities. There’s also a large statue of Henry IV where the bridge crosses Île de la Cité.

After crossing the bridge to the Left Bank, walk along the south side of the Seine. Peek at the many bouquinistes, which are the little shop stalls in the green boxes. They sell art prints, books, little souvenirs and other odds and ends. It’s hard to believe something so cute and notoriously French actually exists in real life.

Fontaine Saint-Michel

In a couple blocks you’ll come to a second bridge, Pont Saint-Michel. Turn right (away from the Seine) and you’ll run into Fontaine Saint-Michele.

This is a stone fountain in a square, which was constructed in 1860. The square around it is often bustling with tourists passing through. There’s not much seating, so people will sit along the base of the fountain itself. You can usually see a street musician or dance troupe performing in front of it.

You don’t need to stay long here, but it’s a great entry point to the Latin Quarter.

Rue de la Huchette

Just across Boulevard Saint-Michele from the fountain is Rue de la Huchette. This two block street is one of the oldest in Paris. It’s famous for having the highest concentration of restaurants in the city — none of them particularly good.

The tiny pedestrian street is cramped with souvenir shops, pubs and creperies. Lining the street are many old buildings with their own stories to tell. One dates back to the 1600s. Another is said to have been a residence of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The street is very touristy, but that’s okay! Most people reading this are tourists and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing popular things. Get a Nutella crepe and let yourself go.

While you’re in this area, it’s a good time explore some of the side streets. I’d recommend popping south a few blocks to the The Abbey Bookshop.

Shakespeare and Company

Just past the end of Rue de la Huchette is Shakespeare and Company. The bookstore opened in 1951 and quickly became a literary beacon for English writers in Paris. Today, there’s often a line out the door to get into the cramped bookshop.

Fun story. The owner, inspired by his own experience with the kindness of strangers, always allowed creatives to sleep for free in the book shop. The invitation was open to writers, artists and other intellectuals, and there were three rules. Each guest had to read a book a day, help the shopkeep for a couple hours, and write a one-page autobiography. Today, thousands of biographies have been collected and archived in the shop.

You should actually read the history of the founder and the bookshop, which is told much more eloquently here.

Attached to the bookstore is a cafe by the same name. I can’t come to Paris and not stop here for a cappuccino and this Paris institution.

Notre Dame

Right across the river from Shakespeare & Company is Notre Dame cathedral.

I have been to almost 50 countries and have visited houses of worship in all of them. Nothing hit me quite like walking into Notre Dame on my first visit in 2017. I know that’s probably the most cliche favorite church to have, but it’s mine.

Unfortunately, the inside of Notre Dame is still closed after a fire in 2019 burned much of the cathedral. You can still access the courtyard in front of it and see the church and the famous gargoyles from the outside.

Île Saint-Louis

Pass around the back of Notre Dame and cross over Pont Saint-Louis onto Île Saint-Louis. Step onto the island and you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time and maybe teleported to a small French village. It’s quaint and quiet, but don’t read that as boring. There are darling boutiques, amazing restaurants and somehow less crowds than the rest of Paris.

Focus your attention on Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, the main street that runs through the heart of the island. In a few blocks you’ll hit Berthillon ice cream shop. People argue it’s the best ice cream in all of Paris. The shop’s been around and run by the same family since the 1950s. I must confess, we haven’t actually tried it! The timing just didn’t work out for us, but it’s on our bucket list for sure.

When you’re done exploring the island, cross back to the Left Bank via Pont de la Tournelle or Pont de Sully.

Tino Rossi Garden & Jardin des Plantes

Now it’s time to relax with a bit of nature. The next part of this walk starts at Tino Rossi Garden. It’s a wonderful transition from the bustle of the city to the serenity of Jardin des Plantes.

Jardin des Plantes is a huge botanical garden. About half the garden space is a ticked zoo, which costs €10-13 per person. For the sake of time during this busy day though, we’d suggest skipping the zoo. Instead, follow the paths that cuts straight through the southern portion of the gardens.

Rue Mouffetard

Now we’re back to shopping and eating. After Jardin des Plantes, head toward Square Saint-Médard. There are a few ways to get there and any will work. This square has an open air market which is open most days except Sunday afternoon and Monday.

After the market, head north on Rue Mouffetard. The street is so charming and beautiful, from the shops to the buildings themselves. It’s another one of the oldest streets in Paris and its said to have been the main inspiration for Victor Hugo when he wrote Les Miserables.

Luxembourg Gardens

When Rue Mouffetard hits Rue Clovis, turn left and head to Luxembourg Gardens. Be sure to take note of the Pantheon as you pass by. This is also a popular attraction to visit, but this long walk doesn’t leave time to go inside.

Luxembourg Gardens is my favorite park in all of Paris. In the summer, the flowers are stunning, while in the fall the changing leaves steal the show. Take some time wandering through the gardens, but be sure to take some time to sit near the pond in front of Luxembourg Palace.

In the summer, there’s a small stand near the pond where you can rent wooden boats to sail on the pond in the summer. Theres a great story about the boats, which you can read here.

Continue your Journey

  • Visit the observation deck at Montparnasse Tower and enjoy a cocktail on the roof with views of the entire city at sunset
  • Continuing your shopping spree on Boulevard Saint-Germain
  • Get a glass of wine at a charming local bar like Chez Georges or Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
  • Start your next walk through Le Marais

Le Marais Walking Guide

The Marais has so much personality. It’s historic but trendy. Religious but LGBT friendly. Urban but quaint.

My desire to explore Le Marais is what inspired me to write this entire post. Everything I read about the neighborhood said “just go and walk around” or “it’s a great place to get lost.” I do not do well with these types of directions. I always end up on the wrong streets and wasting time in places that honestly aren’t that great.

So if you also want to explore Le Marais, but want to know just where to explore, I’ve got you covered. This route passes through some of the main shopping streets, landmarks and squares in the heart of Le Marais. With some basic landmarks flagged, you’ll feel empowered to take a few extra turns along the way as you Flâner.


  • Saint-Jacques Tower
  • Rue de Rivoli
  • Place des Vosges
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Marché des Enfants Rouges
  • Square du Temple


As a reminder, here are some quick tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Tips for this walk

  • Get coffee first. Not far from start of this walk is Motors Coffee. It’s a great coffee shop with killer banana Nutella bread. Start here.
  • Start in the afternoon. This neighborhood is slow to wake up. Come in the afternoon for the best energy. It’s also a good place to be in the evening, as there’s a wide array of bars and restaurants.
  • Consider a guided tour. There’s a lot of really deep and interesting history in Le Marais. If you’re into that sort of thing, there are several free walking tours through the area, like this one.
  • Wander within reason. I’ve noted the high streets and notable sights on this map, but I’ve also noted a larger general area that represents the heart of Le Marais. If you have time and interest, wandering down any of these streets will serve you well.

Self-guided walk through Le Marais

This walking tour begins at Saint-Jacques Tower. To get there by train, take the 1, 4, 7, 11 or 14 trains to Châtelet station.

Saint-Jacques Tower

The tower you see today is all that remains of a 16th century church that was destroyed during the French Revolution. For €12, you can climb 300 steps to the top of the tower. It’s usually not too crowded. The tower is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM – 6 PM.

Even if you don’t go inside, the tower is beautiful to look at and surrounded by a lovely and quaint garden. There’s a small playground on one side for children, too.

Rue de Rivoli

Continue east down Rue de Rivoli. This is a one of the mail thoroughfares that cut through Le Marais and it’s lined with lots of big-box and thrift stores and also restaurants. There are lots of cool buildings along the way, including one you literally can’t miss, Hôtel de Ville. This massive building primarily serves as a government building, but they do occasionally have public exhibitions and guided tours.

Consider a detour off this main street to see Saint-Gervais church, Rue des Barres or Mémorial de la Shoah holocaust memorial. There are cute boutiques and some really interesting, really old buildings in this area.

Try to make it back to Rue de Rivoli by Saint Paul Station. If you have little ones, there’s a small carousel ride that might quickly become their favorite thing about their Paris trip.

Place des Vosges

Next up is the main square in Les Marais, Place des Vosges. It’s a perfectly square park that even has square trees! It’s a popular square that’s great people watching and relaxing.

Many reviews I read said that Place des Vosges was too crowded and to seek out less popular squares like Place Sainte-Catherine. I disagree. I think the energy at Place des Vosges is why you should go there.

Exit the park onto Rue des Francs Bourgeois, which another main shopping street. This one is features more high end designers and boutiques like Maje and Ted Baker.

Jewish Quarter

Turn left onto Rue Pavée and then right on Rue des Rosiers and you’ll have found the soul of the Jewish Quarter. This short street is filled with jewish restaurants, bookshops and synagogues. There is so much history in this area if you know where to look. I’d highly recommend this article which talks about the history in much more depth.

If you’re hungry, this is a good place to pick up some falafel. L’As du Fallafel is the most popular pick.

Rue Vieille du Temple

Rue des Rosiers and the Jewish quarter ends at Rue Vieille du Temple. This is another photogenic shopping street with high-end boutiques and charming cafes.

Some of the cutest portions of this street are actually to the left between the Jewish Quarter and Rue de Rivoli. If you have time, walk a few blocks out of your way through that section. Alternatively, you can just turn right and head north right off the bat for an abridged version of this street.

Marché des Enfants Rouges

When you run into a large 6-way interchange, turn left onto Rue de Bretagne. This street will lead you to Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest food market in Paris.

This market has vendors selling fresh produce and meats, but also full restaurants with bar and table service. It’s a popular place to get a meal in a unique setting.

Personally, this market didn’t do it for me. It was smaller than I expected (much smaller than Borough Market, which is what I was picturing) and nothing really stood out to me to try (granted, I’m a vegetarian). Instead of waiting for a table at the cramped restaurants, we walked a bit up the road and got pizza at a cafe. (Also uninspired, I know, but at least we were comfortable.)

Square du Temple

Round out your time in Le Marais with a visit to Square du Temple. It’s a beautiful garden with a memorial to Elie Wlesel, playground and pond.

We actually had to cut our day a little short and didn’t make it all the way here, but I’d prioritize it next time.

Continue your Journey

  • Visit a museum such as the National Archives Museum, Picasso Museum or the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism.
  • Get cocktails! This area is known for it’s nightlife, but even an early drink in the area is fun. Try Candelaria (speakeasy) or read this list for best bars in the area.
  • Head over La Coulée Verte Paris, an elevated garden on an old train line (similar in concept to the High Line in New York City)
  • Start your next walk through Montmartre

Montmartre Walking Guide

Montmartre is often people’s favorite place in Paris and with good reason. It has winding cobble stone streets, artists painting portraits, views over most of Paris, and it’s literally topped off with a breathtaking basilica.

This is another area that can get a bad rap for being “too touristy,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. This walking route will guide you through the main areas of the neighborhood, which yes, includes the tourist attractions along the way.

Montmartre isn’t just about the attractions, though. The best way to enjoy the area is simply to spend time there. By that I mean sit on the steps for awhile. Plan to get a meal at a street-side cafe. Go into the shops and stores. If you’re just checking off sights, the neighborhood will just pass you by.

For that reason, this walk is much shorter in distance than the first three. It’s just over a mile. The neighborhood isn’t that big, so even if you wander off the path, which is encouraged, you still won’t be covering too much distance. This walk can be covered in about half a day.


  • Montmartre Funicular
  • Sacré-Cœur
  • Place du Tertre
  • Rue de l’Abreuvoir
  • Le Bateau-Lavoir
  • Moulin Rouge


As a reminder, here are some quick tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Tips for this walk

  • Dine at a charming cafe. Montmartre is dripping with Instagrammable cafes. Le Consulat, La Maison Rose, La Taverne de Montmartre and Le Potager are all highly rated and beautiful restaurants in the area.
  • Take a mini Picasso tour. The renowned painter Pueblo Picasso lived and painted in Montmartre for many years. You can see his house, studio and favorite spots in the neighborhood. Here’s a great guide that details the history and exact locations of all things Picasso in Montmartre.
  • Come during different times on different trips. During your first trip to Paris, I’d suggest visiting in the early afternoon when it’s the most busy, but then try different times during subsequent visits. Come in the evening and watch the sunset from the steps of Square Louise Michel. If you want to get a portrait, come around 11 when they set up for the best pick of artists.
  • Plan your route wisely. If you look at Google maps, it’s easy to feel like you can move around the district pretty quickly. Be warned! The neighborhood of Montmartre has a huge hill in the middle, which is what Sacré-Cœur sits atop. I’d suggest taking the funicular up, seeing everything at the top at once, then working your way down as you explore the rest of the neighborhood.

Self-guided walk through Montmartre

This route begins in the center of the Montmartre neighborhood at the Abbesses subway station, which serves the 12 train. Alternatively, you could take the 2 train to Pigalle station and walk up Rue des Martyrs to Rue Yvonne le Tac.

Walk along Rue Yvonne le Tac and then Rue Tardieu till you reach the base of Square Louise Michel. Just about everyone will be making the same walk between Abbesses and the square, so the street is always lively.

Montmartre Funicular

A funicular is a type of cable-based train that is usually used on very steep hills, and Montmartre has one. There are several different stair cases that lead up the hill, including the notable steps up Square Louise Michel, but the funicular is the easiest way to get to the top.

The base of the Montmartre funicular is located here in the southwest corner of Square Louise Michel. You can use a Paris Metro travel card or single ride ticket to ride the funicular. There is a ticket kiosk near the entrance to the funicular where you can purchase a ticket if you don’t already have one. You cannot tap to pay with a credit card on Paris Metro transportation, including the funicular.

It’s a short trip to the top and a car departs every few minutes. The funicular just makes one stop, which is at the top of the hill here. When you exit, turn right and you’re just steps away from Sacré-Cœur.


Sacré-Cœur is the basilica at the top of Montmartre. The church was consecrated in 1919. It was initially proposed as a way for France to seek religious redemption for kidnapping the pope under Napoleon. (You can read about that wild story here.)

Sacré-Cœur is free to enter and is open daily from 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM. Inside there are several statues, stained glass windows, and an immaculate pipe organ built by the same person who built the organ for Notre Dame. The organ is played on Sundays during mass and evening prayer at 4PM. For a small fee — for which they accept credit cards or cash — you can light a prayer candle inside the church.

You can also go to the top of the dome at Sacré-Cœur. The dome is open everyday from 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM and costs €7 for adults. There is no elevator to the top, so you’ll need to be able to climb 300 steps. I’ve never actually been to the top of the dome because the views from the ground are so good.

Square Louise Michel

The basilica sits at the top of Square Louise Michel. Before you continue with this walk, take a short break on the steps here and enjoy the view.

The square is lined with steps which are always filled with people enjoying the sweeping views of Paris. There’s often street performers and hawkers selling beers right from the cardboard case. The cops will always come and shut them down, but they always come right back. It’s a fun dance.

This is one of my favorite views in Paris. It’s also a great place to see the sun set if you’re here in the evening.

Place du Tertre

Pass the church and make your way to Place du Tertre. The small streets along the way have lots of souvenir shops, food vendors like creperies and ice cream shops, and a couple small art galleries. I’d suggest walking, but there’s also a cute little train that you can take.

Place du Tertre has capitalized on the artsy past of this neighborhood. Today it’s filled with artist painting portraits and selling their work. The outside of the square is all open-air cafes filled with people sipping wine and people watching.

If you’re looking to get a portrait drawn, come around 11 when they’re setting up. The best artists can get lines quickly. If you’re just coming to observe, come in the afternoon when it’s the most crowded.

Rue de l’Abreuvoir

Leave (some of) the crowds behind and make your way down to Rue de l’Abreuvoir. This means taking a steep walk down the hill on Rue des Saules until you see the unmissable pink and green La Maison Rose restaurant.

If you go straight past it, you’ll actually see Clos Montmartre. It’s the oldest operating vineyard in Paris; not something you’d expect to find in the middle of a city. It is not typically open to the public (minus a few special tours throughout the year), but you can see the vines from the street.

Back at our pink restaurant, though, turn onto Rue de l’Abreuvoir.

This street is beautiful. There are stone walls dripping with ivy, charming Parisian buildings and cobblestone sidewalks. It’s a delightful stroll and photographer’s dream. It’s a short street and it ends at the statue of the boobs (aka Buste de Dalida).

Just around the corner you’ll hit Square Suzanne Buisson. If you need a break and/or if the kids want to play, make a pit stop here. It’s a small square, but it’s a good respite.

Le Bateau-Lavoir

Next, make your way toward Place Émile Goudeau. The route in my map above will take you down a tiny alley, which may feel like the wrong way but isn’t. Just keep going and you’ll soon hit the cobblestone square.

The square looks out onto Le Bateau-Lavoir, which was the studio rented by Picasso when he moved to Paris. The original studio was destroyed, and the building today is the the renovated version. To this day, the building serves as an artists’ residence. It is not open for tours.

Even if you are not interested in art history, it’s still a cool place to say you’ve been. And at the very least, it’s a good signpost on your journey through the neighborhood.

Rue des Abbesses

As your Montmartre walking tour comes to an end, make your way back to the main street of Rue des Abbesses. You should arrive on the street not far from where you started at the train station. This time you’re going to go the other way. This section of the street has — you guessed it — shops and restaurants.

This stretch feels a bit less touristy than the other direction and is more practical stores versus souvenir shops. It’s a good place to get an ice cream or a glass of wine. Otherwise, this walk can probably be done briskly as you’re out of the more classical Montmartre area at this point.

Moulin Rouge

While you’re in the area, it’s worth it to finish your day at Moulin Rouge. Yes, that Moulin Rouge.

The venue has been hosting shows and performances since 1889, and today operates as a dinner theater. For about €200 a person, you can enjoy a full meal and performance at this iconic theater.

Even if you don’t go inside, it’s worth it to see the marquee and legendary red windmill. There is a median in the middle of street where you can safely stand and take photos.

Continue your Journey

  • Continue exploring Clichy Street, which is famous for its countless sex shops
  • Walk over the suspension bridge at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. To get there, take the 2 train from Blanche station across from Moulin Rouge to Colonel Fabien and then walk about 10 minutes to the park.
  • Get cocktails at Lulu White, voted one of the best cocktail bars on Paris.
  • Start your next walk around the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower & the Seine Walking Guide

We’ve made it to the Eiffel Tower, and this walk is truly all about the Iron Lady. This section focuses on getting to the Eiffel Tower and enjoying all the best views of it. It’s a good idea to pair this walk with your visit to the Eiffel Tower, otherwise you may find portions of this walk redundant.

Technically, this walk in full is about 4 miles. That said, you can certainly make it much shorter by cutting down the portions on Rue Saint-Dominique and/or along the Seine.


  • Rue Cler
  • Rue Saint-Dominique
  • Champ de Mars
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Trocadéro Gardens
  • Pont Alexandre III


As a reminder, here are some quick tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Tips for this walk

  • Have a plan for getting Eiffel Tower tickets. If you’d like to go up into the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon or evening, be sure to book your ticket in advance. Tickets go on sale 60 days in advance and book up quick, especially for the summit. Otherwise, plan to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the tower opens in the morning to beat the crowns.
  • Start at Bleu Olive. This coffee shop is conveniently located near the start of Rue Cler. It’s a good option for breakfast to begin your day or for a coffee to take with you. Note: they’re closed on Sundays and don’t open till 10 AM on Saturday.
  • Avoid Mondays. Many stores are closed on Mondays, which will make parts of this walk less fun.
  • Take this walk in reverse. The walk along the Right Bank (north side) of the Seine offers stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. If you flip this route, you’ll be approaching the Eiffel tower and can enjoy the view the whole time.
  • Bring a blanket. If you have a small packable picnic blanket, bring it on this walk. It’ll be nice to have if you spend time sitting on the grass at Trocadéro Gardens.
  • Enjoy this walk in the evening. If you start around 2 or 3 PM (Tuesday – Saturday), you’ll enjoy a bustling market on Rue Cler and a lovely early evening at the Eiffel Tower. Watch the sun set from Trocadéro Gardens and then enjoy the City of Light by night as you walk along the Seine. Perfection.

Self-guided walk around the Eiffel Tower

The best place to start this walk is the La Tour-Maubourg station which serves the 8 train. If that’s not convenient, you can also take the 13 train to Varenne station. Head west on Rue de Grenelle until you reach Rue Cler.

Rue Cler

Rue Cler is often said to be the most beautiful street in Paris. The market street is only one block long, but it’s jam packed with shops selling the freshest produce, local meat, French cheese, wine, pastries and more. It’s like it was made to build the perfect picnic basket to take to Champ de Mars.

Tuesday through Saturday the shops are open from 8 or 9 AM till about 7 PM. The market is only open until 2 PM on Sundays and nearly all the shops are closed on Mondays.

Rue Saint-Dominique

At the end of Rue Cler you’ll hit Rue Saint-Dominique. This street is lined with traditional Hausmann buildings, which is probably what you picture when you think of Paris. It’s a popular shopping street with Eiffel Tower views.

Most of the shopping is to your right, but the Eiffel tower is to your left. If you really are not interested in shopping or are pressed for time, you can turn left after Rue Cler and enjoy a smaller segment of this beautiful street. But if you have extra time, I’d recommend turning right so you get a bit more out of it. Continue walking until you hit Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg. Then turn around and head back down Rue Saint-Dominique until you hit Champ de Mars.

Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars is iconic, but to be honest, it’s never what I want it to be. I always pictured it to be an open, flat park when you can have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower. However, there’s actually lots of trees and I feel like there’s always construction. I’d suggest walking through it, but if you’re looking for a place to sit I’d argue Trocadéro Gardens is better.

What Champ de Mars does offer, though, is a great approach to the Eiffel Tower. She looms large from this angle and you will be itching to visit the summit.

Eiffel Tower

Ah yes. We’ve made it 7,000 words into this post before finally making it to the Eiffel Tower.

If you’re planning to go inside, be sure to check out my complete visitor guide to the Eiffel Tower. It has tips for where to enter, how to avoid lines, best floor order to visit the tower and more.

If you’re not planning to go to the top of the tower, you can still technically walk underneath it. To get there, you will need to pass through the security. Follow the signs for visitors who do not yet have tickets. After security, you’ll have access to the plaza at the base of the tower and can see it right up close. If you’re not going up, just skip the lines for the ticket office and proceed to an exit.

If you aren’t interested in passing underneath the Eiffel tower, you can simply walk around the outer perimeter and carry on to Pont d’Iéna. There’s also a carousel right by bridge, which is a highlight for children and Instagrammers alike.

Trocadéro Gardens

If you ask me, the best views of the Eiffel Tower are from Trocadéro Gardens. This is the garden I picture when I think of picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower. From this hill, you’re treated to the best views of the tower, plus the Seine and its bridges. It has a great view of the tower any time, but one of my favorite times to come here is in the early evening when the sun sets and the tower starts to light up.

There’s lots of grass space to sit, so it’s nice to have a blanket. There’s also  food vendors at the base of the gardens, so pick up a crepes or drink before you head up the hill. You’ll also usually find hawkers unofficially selling Champagne and beer, which can actually be quite nice. It’s technically illegal to drink in Paris parks, but police are generally very lenient with beer and wine.

NOTE: In the provided map, Google does not think you can cross Avenue de New York at near the Eiffel Tower, but you can. There is a pedestrian walk sign at the street light here. So you can ignore that detour. 

Walk along the Seine

After you’ve enjoyed a good long sit at Trocadéro Gardens, continue your walk along the Seine for even more beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower. I like to the follow the north side of the river, which eventually becomes Jardin d’Erivan. This riverside garden is lined with trees which become truly stunning in the fall.

At each bridge you pass, turn around to get another epic view of the Eiffel Tower. You’ll pass three, counting Debilly Footbridge, before you get to Pont Alexandre III.

Pont Alexandre III

This decorative bridge was built in the late 1800s. It’s a lovely bridge, but mostly I note it here as one final amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. You can still see it from the next bridge too, but it really starts to hide at that point.

If you cross this bridge, you’ll head into Esplanade des Invalides which leads right back to where this walk began. Alternatively, if you turn left and head away from the river, you’ll pass between the Petit and Grand Palais and on to Champs-Élysées. And just like that, our walks have come full circle.

Continue your Journey

  • Continue walking along the Seine, passing Tuileries Garden and onward toward the isles
  • Take a boat cruise along the Seine and see Paris from a new perspective
  • For a family dinner, get pizza at the hip and delicious Mokus l’Écureuil near Trocadéro Gardens


Monday 28th of August 2023

thank you for actually being objective as to what you can skip! me & my feet appreciate it!


Thursday 7th of September 2023

Oh good! I'm happy to hear that! I hope you have a great trip!


Tuesday 21st of March 2023

This is a stunning post. Top marks for the maps of the routes! And a great read. Thank you.