City Guide: Paris and the Art of Flânerie

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The French capital is, among many things, the perfect backdrop for wandering. Paris is picturesque. Paris is slow. Paris has no reverence for time. Moving around the city is an experience in itself and it’s best done on foot. So practice the Art of Flânerie, on y va !

St Germain, Sixth Arrondissement. 
The Eiffel Tower from the Seine
La Rive Gauche
Our favourite way to stroll or practice “flânerie” begins on the Left Bank. Trace the River Seine along Boulevard St Germain, dotted with boutiques and fine cafés such as the cultish Café de Flore. After a bit of people watching it’s fun to slip off into one of the narrow cobblestone streets nearby, like Rue Mazarine. Here you can peer into the windows of artisanal shops and bookstores or stop for lunch at our favourite haunt, Alcazar.

At the end of the street you’ll find a grand dome, capping l’Institut de France -  only the cradle of French culture and learning. Follow it to take in the architecture and of course take photographs.

Rue Mazarine
Rue Dauphine, at the end of Rue Mazarine
l’Institut de France as seen from Pont des Arts
Directly opposite l’Institut de France is the Pont des Arts, one of the many bridges along the River Seine that connects the artsy Left Bank to the traditional and historically more upmarket Right Bank. As you may know, the Pont des Arts is no longer host to the love locks it is famous for. Which, if you ask us, is brilliant! All the more room to take in the view of the river.

Pont des Arts
Crossing the bridge into the Right Bank presents Cour Carré, one of the classical façades of the Louvre Palace built during the French Renaissance period. If, like us, you’re a master level ‘flaneur’ try spotting the mini arch at Place du Carrousel just in front of the Louvre Pyramid then continue all the way until the larger Arc de Triomphe. It’s a further 45 minutes of strolling best broken up by stopping to admire the beautifully manicured Jardin des Tuileries - possibly even a little sport in the garden’s playing yards or people watching at the fountains.

Cour Carré
Louvre Pyramid at the Louvre Palace
l’Arc de Triomphe
l’Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Enjoy Paris, do take photos, and don’t forget to use the tag: #EXPLOREtheFiveEs. What's your favourite strolling route in the city of light? Tell us in the comment section below!

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