Seine banks

The traditional Seine banks were in 1967 to a large extent – fortunately not totally - replaced by an expressway (Voie Pompidou), considered necessary for the increasing car traffic. Since then, some efforts have been made to make the river again available for pedestrians, bikers… who can use part of the expressway on Sundays and during a few summer weeks, “Paris  Plage” . This summer, some transformations were made on the Right Bank (Rive Droite) to make part of it available more permanently. There are projects for further modifications, including on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche).

A sunny and warm September day, I decided to check the “pedestrian availability” on the Right Bank. On the plan you can see my walk, some 10 km (6 or 7 miles).

Before the start of the red dotted line, the expressway offers hardly any space for walkers – actually walking there is definitely not recommended.

Just after the “Pont de Bir-Hakeim” you can start the walking…

… but approaching the “Pont d’Alma” you must take some stairs and leave the bank (yellow dotted line).

This gives you the opportunity to see the favourite restaurant of the Paris professional soccer players and the copy of the Flame of the Statue of Liberty, which has become some kind of place of homage to Lady Diana who died in the tunnel below now 15 years ago.

Crossing the street and the bridge, you can again walk on the quays for quite a while…

… but when you reach the end of the Louvre, the car traffic takes over….

… until you reach more or less a point facing the edge of Ile Saint Louis, just after the “Pont d’Arcole”. From this point, a lot of modifications have been done; the space for pedestrians has been widened, traffic lights have been installed… 

… and you can continue to the entrance of the Canal Saint Martin. Actually, you can cross the canal entrance by using a closed lock.

The walking space gets then a bit narrow … and then again wider.

Reaching, the “Pont de Bercy”, there is again a need for a short while to leave the quay….

… but you can find it again and continue on wide, a bit empty space. After the “Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir”, the banks are still there, but it gets a bit industrial, so I decided to stop the walk here. (… and I was thirsty.) 

I have referred to different bridges – I once made posts about all the Paris Seine bridges, which you find here.


Olivier said...

les bords de Seine, je me souviens quand j'etais a l'ecole sur paris, c'est sur les bords de seine que je venais secher mes cours ;)

Jeanie said...

This was something I wanted to do and when we were there in April, the weather was so miserable, we just didn't. Thanks for the comprehensive and excellent walking map. I know that will help lots of people (and someday, me!)

On a totally unrelated note, it looks like you may have passed by my lock! Made me smile!

Alison said...

Brings back memories of last summer, strolling under the bridges...which reminded me of the movie Ratatouille! Paris is evocative in so many ways.

martinealison said...

Je suis très heureuse de vous retrouver après ces plusieurs semaines d'absence... je rentre à peine ! Et quel bonheur que d'admirer vos merveilleuses photos... J'ai bien regardé, non! je n'apparais sur aucune d'entre elles! Cela aurait pu arriver, à la mi-août je me trouvais à Paris. J'y ai passé une semaine à me promener. Des kilomètres et des kilomètres de marche... Je séjournais à Montmartre...
Merci pour ce merveilleux reportage.
Gros bisous

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour Peter!
Great article with lots of information and beautiful images!
I think I would not take sunbath, laying down on the stoned floor. Certainly I would prefer the beautiful green grass like that one at the Tuileries Garden :)
Weather is changing here and I see some signs of Autumn, the color of green is changing!

Thérèse said...

Une belle et longue promenade, il y en a pour tous les goûts, je choisirais la promenade en bonne compagnie avec quelques haltes pour boire un petit coup et regarder de plus près ce qui se passe autour. Un joli récapitulatif que tu nous offres ici.

Alain said...

La remontée des fleuves est toujours un exercice difficile...l'idéal est d'avoir un bateau.

SusuPetal said...

Oh, how I wish I were there. But no, I'm busy preparing my exhibition and it's making me crazier than usually! Wish me patience and luck!

delphinium said...


claude said...

Je vois que Delphinium est levée à 09:11 !
Quelle belle balade tu nous offres là Peter. Voir les quais de la Seine sans bouger de chez moi, c'est super chouette. Faire la même chose sur les rives du Loir, me paraît assez difficile, et pourtant il faudrait que je marche.
Je me suis régalée de ce post. Merci.
Tu crois que je peux marcher de Montparnasse à St Lazare dans le temps qui m'est imparti.

Maria said...

Very nice walking, Peter.

Adam said...

A 10km walk through Paris on a hot day - no wonder you needed a drink!

It does look a lot better from the Ile Saint Louis now.

hpy said...

ET que disent les automobilistes?

C'est certain, une promenade le long de la Seine est bien plus agréable sans voitures.

Studio at the Farm said...

A great post, Peter! I almost felt I was there, walking with you. It seems so right that they have reinstated the walks along the Seine. Thank you for the walk and the photos.

French Girl in Seattle said...

Quelle ballade, Peter! Merci, et bravo. On s'y croirait... De beaux et bons souvenirs de Paris. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Virginia said...

I'm exhausted and must stop for wine. Only you could walk these distances Peter and never stop. I love walking along the Seine and I think we should do more of it! Put that on the list although it will be chilly.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Not only did you take us on this walking tour but you even showed us the map describing the spots where we would have to come up from the river. Do they allow bicycles along this route?

You truly captured a slice of Parisian life along the Seine and it looks totally different at the water's edge! Can't wait!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Peter for this fantastic tour!

parisbreakfast said...

an ambitious promenade
and an inspiring one!
merci carolg

AnnieLovesFrance said...

Excellent post. Made my day to "walk" along the Seine with you.

arabesque said...

my fave bridge so far would be the Pont de Alexandre. ^0^
i can't imagine "summer" and basking in the sun sur la seine. ^0^
the view's breathtaking either way.
glad you did this loong walk. ^0^