Paris in 1 day – Very Classic Walk
STOP 1: ILE SAINT-LOUIS
Start from the Sully bridge, which crosses the Seine river and leads right onto the Ile St. Louis. Why here? Because there, long time ago was founded Paris. Although it’s hard to imagine this : Paris was an island. Nothing are changed here since the 17th century. Every buildings here tells a story and makes itself part of history.
STOP 2: NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS
After a short while reach the Saint Louis bridge. Around the next corner get a first glimpse of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Our Lady in french), the most visited landmark of Paris. Construction work on this majestic cathedral started back in 1163, and almost 200 years later, a masterpiece of gothic art emerged: 130 metres long, the towers 69 metres high – it must have felt like one of the wonders of the world – and it still does. I love to listen the organs here. Their sound makes the shivers go down Your spine.
We strolling along side the church and admiring the gargoyles shaped like devils and frightening beasts.
STOP 3: PALAIS DE JUSTICE
Then we walk towards Rue de la Cité until Boulevard du Palais. On our left hand side is the Palais de Justice, the Paris High Court. It was here, to the right of the majestic stairways, where the carts containing condemned men and woman during the French revolution left the Palais, heading for the Guillotine.
It was here, too, in a vast labyrinth of palaces, where French kings held court during medieval times and for many centuries afterwards. We go straight down the Boulevard du Palais and we find another bridge over the Seine river – the famous Pont Neuf. Despite it’s name it’is the oldest from 37 Parisian bridges.
STOP 4: RUE DE RIVOLI/LOUVRE
Rue de Rivoli is one of the major traffic axis of Paris. It’s so bustling street. Here, you’ll find all the big brand names of the world. This street leads to the Louvre, a museum now but also around 900 years of architectural history as well.
A first fortress was erected in 1190. Then king after king expanded the royal city palace that boasts of more than 60.000 square meters (650.000 square feet) of exhibition rooms.
Where Rue de Richelieu comes in from the right, We turn left passing through huge gates and there we are: The pyramid and all the aisles of the vast palace, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel nearby, the Tuileries gardens behind it all.
STOP 5: RUE SAINT-HONORÉ & OPÉRA GARNIER
Then we get back on to Rue de Rivoli, We cross it and turn left into the Rue Saint-Honoré, an ancient axis dating back in some parts to the 13th century. It has been home to scores of famous writers, artists, aristocrats and cardinals. At number 161 for example you can find an old gate that Jean d’Arc and her troopers beleaguered in 1429 to take Paris back from the Englishmen. The assassin of King Henri IV stayed at a hotel here. The poet La Fontaine was a resident for over 20 years. Molière was born at number 96. Pierre Corneille was buried in the St. Roch church at number 286.
Now we turn left and head for Avenue de l’Opéra, a grand old boulevard, who lend us to the old opera house of Paris, “Opéra Garnier”, opened in 1875, a classic example of architecture under Napoléon III.
STOP 6: RUE DE LA PAIX, PLACE VENDÔME & PLACE DE LA CONCORDE
Enter the noble Rue de la Paix we go straight on. Here, at number 17, the celebrity chef Antoine Carême ran a Pâtisserie, in number 5 the banker Paquin founded a once world famous fashion brand, employing 2700 workers right here! We further down the street and we can already see the high column at the center of Place Vendôme, another urban miracle and one of the best examples of the classy style of Paris who was constructed in 1686 mainly for infrastructural reasons.Composer Frédéric Chopin died in number 12.
We walk up to Rue Royale. To the right we pass “la Madeleine”, a neo-classical temple, to left a first sight of Place de la Concorde. Follow the Rue Royale we enter this large square famous for its infamous traffic. This was the spot where the grand Guillotine was at work during the years of terror following the French revolution. Of the 2498 people who were decapitated in Paris during those years, 1119 lost their lifes here. Amongst them: King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre. Pass by Hotel Crillon (opened in 1907) we stroll through the gardens between Avenue des Champs-Elysées and Avenue Gabriel.
STOP 7: AVENUE DES CHAMPS-ELYSÉES
First plans to build it date back to the 17th century but construction work only started in the 1770s. Back then, the “fields of Elysium” (in Greek mythology the part of the underworld where fallen heros were buried) was an empty, dark land where thieves and prostitutes reigned the night, and it was onlyproperly developed in the 19th century. Embassies started to move in, then heatres, circusses, news organizations, restaurants and grand cafés. Over time it became the most important street of Paris.
Whenever I walk here I feel a bit disappointed. From a sidewalks’ perspective it feels just like a huge shopping mall, with a lot of world brands. What about the famous charm and flair? It’s not that easy to detect. That’s why the Parisians do not really flock in.
STOP 8: EIFFEL TOWER
It’s always a nice scene to watch all tourists stepping out of the Metro at “Trocadéro”: They’re desperately looking around for something important but they don’t spot it right away. And suddenly before our eyes, a spectacular panorama is opening up. There it is – ”la tour Eiffel”, one of the most famous landmarks of the world. Constructed for the World Exhibition of 1889 (and judged appallingly ugly by many people back then), it was a proof of Paris’s claim to be the capital of the world. Today, it’s just a miracle of urban development.
Visiting the tower? It’s tempting, in fact: high up on the top platform you’re 276 meters above the ground and on clear days your view commands a full circle of a 40-kilometres-radius. When I visited HER for first I walked onto the top by the stairs. It is a good workout !
Happy End – MONTMARTRE
Each film whose action takes place in Paris has a scene in which the main character walking around Paris. Here are some the most beautiful of them.