Walking in Paris

Visitors to Paris have no lack of options when it comes to getting around town. From hop-on-hop-off bus tours to the iconic bateaux mouches for tourists can see the city from a double decker bus or a boat cruising the Seine. Locals often opt for city’s extensive metro system, bus services or even take to the streets by bike or the electric car share system. Despite this wealth of transportation choices many would argue that the best way to discover Paris is the old-fashioned way: on foot.
Roaming the streets of Paris is a joy reserved for those lucky travelers who take the time to wander the city’s cobblestone avenues and alleyways. The pleasures of an aimless stroll in Paris are best appreciated when one has no predetermined destination. Getting lost is a great way to get to know Paris, making it an experience every visitor should allow themselves at least once while in town. The French even have a name for those who excel at aimless strolls: flâneur.
Whether enjoying a walk or going on an off-the-beaten-path adventure, here are some guidelines to help pedestrians get the greatest from their flâneur experience:

 

Get Lost

Dare to take to the streets without a final destination in mind. Plenty of pleasure-seeking visitors have paved the way for losing yourself in Paris. Forget your map and give yourself over to the city’s streets! If you are afraid of it, remember that the extensive metro system (with helpful street maps in every station) will always be there in a pinch. An added bonus to ending up in lesser-known neighbourhoods is that locals in residential neighbourhoods will be even more kindly about helping you find your way, impressed with the adventurous spirit that has brought you to them. Sections of the city such as Belleville, La Butte-Aux-Cailles, Jules Joffrin, and Menilmontant are lesser-known areas of the city that hides treasures that make Paris the charming and enchanting destination that has captured the imagination of visitors from around the world.

Paris on Foot

Photo credit: AlfvanBeem

 

Find a Trusty Guidebook

An increasing number of Paris guidebooks focus on the joy of touring Paris à pied.
Paris in Stride is a great companion for the bipedal urban explorer. Take inspiration from the book’s proposed itineraries which include the city’s most unique and lesser-known museums, shops, bistros, and local hangouts. Follow the illustrated neighborhood maps as you navigate historic and up-and-coming neighborhoods, allowing yourself the freedom to go hors piste as you wish.
Another fun way to be both guided and aimless in the city is by using the Flash Invaders app. It encourages users to spot works by famous street artist Space Invader and collect photos of it.

 

Paris in Stride

Illustration by Jessie Kanelos Weiner

 

Guided Walking Tours

A guided tour may seem to contradict the idea of carefree sauntering in the city. This is why there are a few options for Paris walking tours that take into account those looking to see the city in a new way. Karen Reb Rudel is the owner and lead guide of this small boutique tour company, Sight Seeker’s Delight – Paris, offering guided tours of Paris including tours of the Marais, along the Seine, and even online. They are our guides of choice during the Let’s Eat The World – Cook’n With Class Experiences culinary tour, Week in Paris’s historical tour along the Seine, and even offer food tours to tickle your tastebuds.

Women of Paris

 

Do you want more gastronomic fun on foot? Then sign up for the Cook’n with Class French Market class, which begins with a walking tour of a Paris market and ends with you making your own farm-to-table meal. You can also enjoy an Eat Like a Parisian tour on the streets of Montmartre with an expert tour guide.

Eat Like a Parisian

Let Yourself Take a Break

Did you have your fill of urban hiking? Don’t hesitate to find a cozy spot on an outdoor terrace and let other people do the walking for you! Watching people walk by in Paris is as fun as doing the walking yourself! Take some time to sip a drink and observe the daily parade that is Paris as it passes by. Soak up the city with an alert eye while you watch Paris perform before your eyes.

Terrace in Paris

Photo credit: Zoetnet


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