Paris is a city made for walking. The best way to get to know its culture, art, and cuisine is by exploring on foot, one block at a time. During our week-long vacation, each day of walking in Paris brings new adventures. We explore the neighborhoods and discover the sites, character and culture that make this city so wonderfully unique.
Filled with beautiful and interesting walks, there are endless possibilities for exploring Paris. Narrow streets are lined with inviting boutiques and boulangeries. Sidewalk cafes beckon you to sit and watch the world go by. Beautiful boulevards are punctuated by historic monuments and stately architecture. Enticing window displays hint at treasures to be found. When walking in Paris you will rub shoulders with the Parisians and get to know Paris in a whole new way.
Traveling with The Blue Walk means walking in Paris with a small group of friendly travelers. Each morning set off on half-day walking tours through the neighborhoods of Paris. There you’ll enjoy urban strolls along sidewalks, cobbled streets, and through city parks. We will go at a leisurely pace to take in our surroundings and stop often for photos. Together we will visit historic sites, city parks, boutique shops, and family-owned eateries. Of course we will take a break if we find something particularly delicious to sample. Along the way, you will experience some of our favorite things, including the Musée d’Orsay, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Parthenon. Most afternoons are free to explore on your own or with fellow travelers.
There are so many amazing things to see and do in Paris. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what our favorites are, but here’s a list we’re adding to constantly.
Let yourself be dazzled by the 1,113 stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle. A gem of Gothic architecture, the Sainte-Chapelle was built in the mid-13th century by Louis IX at the heart of his royal residence, the Palais de la Cite. Adorned with a unique collection of fifteen glass panels and a rose window forming a veritable wall of light, it is truly awe inspiring.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame
Another masterpiece of Gothic architecture, this is the most visited monument in France. Built in the Middle Ages, work started in the 13th century and lasted through the 15th century. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. Many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, and the gargoyles. On the evening of April 15, 2019, a large fire caused serious damage, partially destroying the upper part of the cathedral. Thanks to the 400 firefighters at the scene, the monument was able to be partly saved. The parvis is accessible to the public and the archaeological crypt is once again open to visitors.
Île Saint-Louis – With its charming cafes, boutiques, and hôtels particuliers, this island within Paris has retained its tranquility and elegance and is home to both the Sainte-Chapelle and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Île Saint-Louis is the smaller of the two islands in the center of Paris and is a great place for a walk full of surprises. Stroll along the main road, Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, or go around the island along the quays. Visitors can admire the numerous former private mansion houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Foodies will love the delicious ice cream at Berthillon.
Paris’ Marais district is perfect for exploring on foot. Formerly nothing but marsh land, the Marais became an aristocratic quarter in the late Middle Ages. The kings of France lived at the Hôtel Saint Pol (no longer standing) very close to the current Place des Vosges. The golden age of private mansions in the Marais reached its peak during the 17th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the private mansions became tailors’ and goldsmiths’ workshops, and most of the people who lived in the area were workers. A Jewish quarter formed around Rue des Rosiers, and in the 1980s and 90s, a thriving gay scene grew up around the Rue des Archives. This rich history and great diversity make the Marais one of Paris’ most exciting districts. A visit to the newly renovated Musée Carnavalet illuminates this fascinating history of Paris.
Seine River Cruise
Offbeat and enchanting a cruise on the river Seine is truly unforgettable. Seeing Paris from this vantage point gives you a whole new perspective on the City of Lights, particularly at sunset. As you glide by, you’ll marvel at the city’s finest monuments, including Notre-Dame, the Conciergerie, the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower.
A symbol of Paris and more generally of France, the Eiffel Tower, built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, is one of the world’s most visited monuments.
Visiting the Tower and seeing its historic gardens and the breathtaking view of Paris from the top is an incredible experience. Walking out onto the glass platform on the first floor offers the unique sensation of walking in the void! In winter or in summer, you can enjoy a break on the terrace, 57 meters above the ground.
Also known as La Promenade Plantee, the Coulée Verte was once a commuter railroad connecting the heart of Paris to the suburbs. Now it is a raised pedestrian greenway filled with plants, people, and art. It is a wonderful wandering pedestrian path above the Parisian rooftops and city parks.
The open market at the Bastille is one of the biggest Parisian markets, with Place de la Bastille’s Colonne de Juillet as the backdrop. A hundred or so stalls offer a huge range of products and make it another wonderful option to shop for a picnic. Nearby Place des Vosges makes the perfect setting.
For more information about our Paris Walking Vacations or Paris Art Journal Vacations, please click here.