The Banks of the Seine

7 April 2012 | Categories: Paris Attractions

The Seine beats like a heart withinParisand bathes its shores rich in stories and emotions. Classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the banks of the Seine from the Pont de Sully (SullyBridge) to the Quai Branly (Branly Quay), offer the most beautiful stroll that you can do inParis. On sunny days the Parisians rush down to the river seeking an ever-renewed delight at the beauty of the water, bridges and river life.

Without the Seineand its banks, the capital would have neither its elegance nor its respiration. To mooch about on the river banks in search of an elusive book in a second-hand bookshop, has an irresistible charm. The banks of theSeineare really worth a visit.

Before succumbing to their charm, an overall view is recommended. If you go to the terrace of  l’Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World), from there, the panoramic view is breathtaking: the Louis-Philippe, St. Louis andArchevêchéBridgeselegantly spanning theSeine, linking together the river banks of the capital, the Conciergerie, the Louvre, like sentinels in the distance…

After that, go down to the banks to wander along with delight past the two islands and the Square du Vert-Galant (Vert-Galant Square), before reaching the Pont-Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest and one of the most famous bridges in Paris. A very busy location, it rapidly became fashionable, even to the extent of being wrapped up in fabric by the American artist, Christo.

If you continue your walk along the Quai de Conti (Conti Quay), the Pont des Arts (ArtsBridge) footbridge lies before you, like an imposing fire dog with a magnificent view of the river banks. The other side of the river is sunnier for continuing your walk along the Seine to the Pont Alexandra III (AlexandraIIIBridge), created and launched in conjunction with the universal exhibition ofParis, 1900.

If you do not like walking, the Batobus with its eight stops is there to take you from one bank to the other and enjoy the charms of the river quays. Instead of a romantic stroll, you may prefer the sports weekends when the Voie Pompidou (Pompidou Way) is closed to motorists and rendered to cyclists, walkers and runners.

You begin to realize that whichever bank you are on, you can read, dream, and run, in a word, “live” on the banks of theSeine, which have themselves become sumptuous monuments.

Best time to visit: Early morning and the evening for the sunset and night-time lighting.

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