7th arrondissement of Paris: What to do, what to see
Paris’ 7th arrondissement is a meeting place between the two sides of Paris: residential and tourists. When your neighbors are the Eiffel Tower and Napoleon, it’s not hard to see why the 7th arrondissement of Paris is one of the city’s most glamorous.
But it’s not all beautiful monuments, museums and tourist hype; the 7th is actually at the heart of Paris and has its own personality. So for every shop hawking Eiffel Tower key chains, you’ll also find an artisanal bakery or a local boutique that’s been serving the area for ages. Ready to discover the best of the 7th? Here’s a local’s guide to the 7th arrondissement of Paris: what to do, what to see.
A visit to the Parisian military museum is a must for anyone interested in French history. Situated in the heart of the 7th arrondissement, it’s hard not to spot the golden dome of Invalides. Even from a kilometer away. The building itself is quite impressive, and dates back to 1671.
Invalides is home to one of the largest military art collections in the world; and not to mention, the final resting place of Napoleon. You can visit his impressive tomb which lies just under the gorgeous golden dome. The museum guides visitors through the periods of French history, from ancient settlements to present day happenings. There’s a bit of everything on display, from war artifacts to uniforms, paintings and tapestries.
After visiting the museum, you can walk towards the river from Invalides (straight shot) and see the city’s most beautiful bridge, Pont Alexandre III. This is a great photo spot, especially at sunset.
invalides musée de l’armée – 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
open daily 10AM//5PM
metro station: invalides
Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars
Well you can’t very well visit the 7th arrondissement of Paris without at least catching a glimpse of the Iron Lady. The Eiffel Tower is iconic Paris and is the city’s most visited monument. If you want to catch the view from the top, I’d recommend climbing the stairs to the second floor. It’s a bit of a hike, but taking the stairs really cuts down on ticket prices and cuts your queuing time in half!
And one of the best aspects of the Eiffel Tower in my opinion is the lovely park just underneath it. The Champs de Mars is an expansive grassy lawn running from Ecole Militaire to the riverbanks, passing right under the tower itself. This is the ultimate place to have a Parisian picnic, or simply a nice spot to relax with a view.
eiffel tower – Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
open daily 9AM//12:45AM
metro station: ecole militaire
Located across from the Louvre on Paris’ Left riverbank, the Musée d’Orsay is a must see if you’re in the 7th arrondissement. This museum was originally a train station, and one of the city’s busiest until 1986 when the Musée d’Orsay was born. If you’re a fan of Impressionist painters, you won’t want to skip a visit. They have one of the largest collections of Impressionist work in the entire world!
This museum showcases French and European artworks dating from 1848 – 1914, including paintings, sculptures and even photos! There are 4,000 pieces on display at the Musée d’Orsay at any given time, so there’s always plenty to see.
musée d’orsay – 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
open tuesday – sunday 9:30AM//5:45PM
metro station: solferino
The Bon Marché
Now that you’re well on your way to discovering all the 7th arrondissement has to offer, it’s time to check out the Bon Marché. Situated in the heart of the district, the Bon Marché is the Parisian’s department store, and one of the city’s most iconic.
From the most exclusive designers to everyday brands, they really do have something for everyone. It’s hard to imagine anything that wouldn’t be stocked at the Bon Marché, or the Grande Epicerie, its sizeable supermarket just next door. Here your experience can be heightened with valets and personal shoppers. So if you’re looking to shop ’til you drop in style, this is the place.
the bon marché – 24 rue de sevres 75007 paris
open daily 10AM//8PM
metro station: sevres-babylone
Now the Musée Rodin should definitely be on your list of things to do in Paris’ 7th arrondissement. Dedicated to showcasing the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, this is one of the most popular museums in the city for a reason.
Beautiful inside and out, the Musée Rodin expertly displays the artists’ work across his former home, studio and gardens; making the statues even more impressive. The interior features stunning architecture, and pairs perfectly with the sculptures. Outside in the garden area you can see some of his more famous works like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell.
musée rodin – 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
open tuesday – sunday 10AM//6:30PM
metro station: varenne
Hoping to experience the Paris’ 7th arrondissement like a local? Head to the Rue Cler, a pedestrian market street near the Eiffel Tower. Stroll along the street and you’ll see it’s lined with greengrocers, fishmongers, cheese shops, charcutiers, bakeries, and cafés. So if you’re looking to pick up some goodies for an Eiffel Tower picnic, this is the place.
You’ll spot plenty of loyal locals intermingling with the tourists on Rue Cler. And despite being touristic, the quality of the merchants has remained exceptionally high (if not the prices too). Hungry for more? Have a stroll towards the tower on neighboring Rue Saint-Dominique.