1. The Seine. Start by walking down rue Pigalle (off Pl. Pigalle), then down past the Opera House, and Ave.
de l’Opera to, and then through the Louvre to the Seine. On Sundays the right bank highway is closed to cars
and all of Paris seems to be strolling or roller blading along the Quais. Otherwise, cross the Seine and walk East
along the left bank.
a. Option 1. Walk along the river to the Bibliothéque Nationale de France. There are some wonderful
bridges to explore, or just marvel at. Take the metro back over the Pont de Bercy
b. Option 2. Turn left at the opening of the Bassin de lArsenal, through the tunnel that says not to, then along
it to Place de la Bastille. Here you have to climb up to the surface – it’s a bit of a shock, and traverse the busy
square to the other side. Walk through the weekend market along Blvd. Richard Lenoir until you get to the Canal
St. Martin. You can follow this, watching barges pass through the locks as far as you want. To get back to
Montmartre turn when you get to the Rotonde de la Villette, and either walk back along the boulevards, or better
yet wander through the Goutte d’Or.
2. Around Montmartre. There are many ways; one of my favorites is to walk up to rues des Abbesses, go left
and walk to the cemetery, then along rue Joseph de Maistre to rue Marcedet left, then just keep going to the end,
it changes its name to rue de la Jonquière (a great detour is left on the private looking rue des fleurs, unusual for
this part of Paris, the homes have gardens, one has a poignant sign marking the Nazi killing of partisans who lived
there. Right on rue Fragonard – keep going, it changes names also – along side the abandoned sunken railroad
tracks, in many places turned into small garden plots. When you get to Porte de Clignancourt, turn left and finish
with a brisk hike back over the Butte de Montmartre.
3. Across Paris! Paris is actually physically smaller than San Francisco! I find it fun to literally walk from one
end to the other. As it’s oval shaped, there’s a short way and a long way.
a. The short way. Take the metro to Porte de de la Chapelle. Walk down the street with the same name, get
a map and keep going straight down rue de faubourg de St. Denis, across the Isle de la Cite, then up ancient rue
St. Jacques (the original highway to Rome) to the city limits near Porte d’Orléons.
b. The longer way. Begin at metro Porte Maillot. Start your walk up the Avenue de la Grande Armee (isn’t
France grand?), past the Arc de Triomphe, then down the Champs Elysees, through the Jardin des Tuileres and
the Louvre, then follow the rue de Rivoli (a creation of Napoleon, I’m told) to Place de la Bastille. After finding
your way across, go down the rue de Charenton for a ways, then turn left and climb up onto the Promenade
Plantes. This wonderful elevated, landscaped walkway will take you to the Eastern border of Paris. If you go
under the Boulevard Peripherique (the literal boundary of Paris), then go left your tired bones will find a metro.
4. Lesser know parks. These walks will take you to two of the more beautiful parks in Paris; in my opinion
nicer than the better know Tuill eres, or the Jardin de Luxembourg.
a. Par, des Buttes Chaumont. This is a wonderfully landscaped park, very hilly, with paths climbing up and
over bridges looking over those below; sort of a landscaped Escher etching.
i. My favorite way is to go up to the corner of rue des Abbesses, turn right and go straight. You will end up on
rue d’Orsel – the heart of the “tissue district” fascinating in it’s own right when the many colorful shops are open.
When you get to the end, go left a block, then right down to, and across Blvd. Barbes, then left, and right again on
rue de la Goutte d’Or – the heart of the local North African quarter. After going across the railwayacks made
famous by Zola, cross the Bovd. De la Chapelle and walk down rue Louis Blanc. This lovely quiet street passes
the local headquarters of the Hell’s Angels. After crossing the Canal St. Martin, you will come to the large Place
du Colonial Fabien. The large mound across the square is in front of the French Communist Headquarters and is
sometimes called their “tit”. Turn right on the Blvd. de la Villette for a few blocks, then go left up the hill on rue H.
Turot to Ave. Simon Bolivar, turn right and follow it up to the park entrance on the left. There are a myriad of
ways to wander through this park designed by Haussman’s chief architect. You can metro back or, if you still
energy, walk back on rue de Crimes to the canal, and find your way back again over the railway tracks. Just look
for Sacre Cour.
b. Parc Monceau. This is a shorter walk.
i. I go up to rue des Abbesses, then turn left at the cemetery and cross the long overpass overlooking the
graves. Just after Castorama (a huge hardware store) go right, then left on rue Ganneron. After crossing Ave. de
Clichy, this become rue de des Dames (only in Paris). Go to almost the end and turn on Passage de G. Didelot, a
colorful way to the boulevard. Left down to Blvd. Malesherbes, the across the street and right through the gilded
gates onto Ave. Velasquez, lined with mansions and consulates. I avoid the busy perimeter paths with all the
joggers, but try and walk around the park – several times if you want.
ii. Return. Leave by the main entrance – there is a toilet in the rotunda, cross the Blvd. de Courcelles and
walk down rue H.C. Berger which turns into rue Legendre after passing across Pl. du Génral Catroux.. Go left on
rue Salneuve to the boulevard, turn right and across the railway track to the Square des Batignolles. It’s a
wonderful small park – quintessential Paris at its best! Exit out the front and return to rue Legendre; left to the
end. At the big intersection (where metro Guy Môquet is) pass over to rue Marcadet. Turn right into Square
Carpeaux, turn left up the steps out of the park, then right,then an immediate left onto rue Lamark. After a few
blocks you will see your goal; the steps off to the right leading up “Square Caulaincourt”. Walk briskly! Cross rue
Caulaincourt for just a few more steps to Ave. Junot. Now you are home free! Enjoy your heavy breathing. Go
up the avenue and follow it around to the left. At the theater turn right. Go down the little alley left of the café
across rue Lepic and after following around the corner, turn right and you will pass by the famous Bateau ? where
Picasso painted, and back down the steep hill to rue des Abbesses. (Our neighborhood always looks good after