7 Things to do and not to be missed near the Seine River in Paris
The Seine river that passes through Paris is often nicknamed “Paris’ most beautiful avenue“, and not for nothing. Some of Paris’ most iconic landmarks are located near the Seine. I highly recommend taking a boat cruise on the Seine so that you get a glimpse of all these monuments from the outside. But it is also worth going on shore to visit them. The convenient “Vedettes du Pont-Neuf” or even the “Batobus” company offers a good way of navigating on the Seine from one monument to another.
Also, you should know that at the end of each of our Paris free (tip only) walking tours, you’ll be handed a Perks Package. Inside the package, you’ll find many discounts that will make your visit to Paris even more special and unique, including discounts for the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf boat cruises. You can, for instance, embark at the Louvre and disembark at the Eiffel Tower! If you’re still looking for some interesting stuff, read on to find out things to do near the Seine River in Paris!
Head to the Eiffel Tower
To head to the Eiffel Tower may be the most iconic landmark among the things to do near the Seine River in Paris. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 universal exhibition and was kept thereafter. The view from the top of the tower is really great. You might want to stop at the restaurant on the 2nd floor, but be aware that it is quite expensive! Read this article to prepare your visit of the Eiffel Tower.
Stop at one of the famous Bridges
Paris is the city of bridges. You have over 30 along the Seine in the capital. Some have nothing in particular, but others are worth putting on your list of things to do near the Seine River in Paris. For instance, don’t miss the Pont-Neuf – ‘New-Bridge’, which is actually the oldest bridge in Paris, dating back from the early 17th century.
My personal favourite is the Alexandre III bridge, in front of the Invalides. It was built for the universal exhibition of 1900. Also, if you are with your loved one, one of the things to do near the Seine River in Paris is to go on the Pont des Arts – ‘Arts bridge’ – People used to put on padlock on the bridge’s railing and throw the key in the water so that their love would last forever. Couples have no longer this tradition, but this bridge still is one of the most romantic! Read more about the best bridges of Paris.
Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle
The Ile-de-la-cité – ‘City-Island’ – is located in the middle of the Seine at the heart of Paris. On it, among others, you will find the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a stunning example of gothic architecture. Don’t miss the beautiful stained glass, but also the statues on the façade and the gargoyles on the sides of the cathedral. Book a free (tip-only) walking tour of Notre-Dame and the heart of Paris and make sure to not miss anything in that area! If you have more time, head for the nearby Sainte-Chapelle – ‘Holy Chapel’ – of early gothic style. You should definitely put Notre-Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle on your list of things to do near the Seine River in Paris! From the Ile-de-la-cité, you can also head to the nearby Ile-Saint-Louis, where you will find the best ice-creams in Paris at Café Berthillon.
Visit the Louvre, the Orsay Museum, or another out of the many museums
Among the things to do near the Seine River in Paris, you will find many museums! The two most famous ones are of course the Louvre museum, which has countless collections of paintings and artefacts and in which you will find the famous Mona Lisa painting (take a look at the must-see paintings of the museum), and the Orsay Museum, renowned for its collection of impressionist paintings. But you also have many others, a little less well-known museums near the Seine, such as the Orangery museum, the Navy museum or the Institute of the Arab world!
Stroll on the banks of the river
The Banks of the Seine can be considered as the beaches of Paris. The Parisians like going there to relax and have a drink when it is sunny. The best spot is probably at the western tip of the Saint-Louis Island. At night, you will experience the typical Parisian lifestyle. People are playing the guitar and drinking either beer or wine! Surrounded by locals, it can turn out to be an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind moment!
Stop and relax in one of the Parks
If you are tired of visits but don’t want to stop on the banks, then going to a park may be the most relaxing of the things to do near the Seine River in Paris. You have several parks very near the Seine such as the Tuileries gardens, the André Citroen park, or the Bercy park (this article gives you a small description of Paris’ best parks). Also, the Jardin des Plantes is a botanical garden and it is ideal if you want to see plants. But sitting on the lawn or playing ball games are not allowed. Then there is also the Luxembourg gardens, it is my favorite park. It lies a bit more far away from the Seine – a 10 minutes walk – but offers both French and English styled gardens.
Take a cruise on the Saint Martin canal
The Saint Martin canal enters Paris in the North East, and joins the river Seine near Bastille (more information about Bastille square). Where they both join. You will find a small harbor, the ‘Port de l’Arsenal’, from which you can take a boat that will take you up the canal to La Villette. This can be a good way of discovering the picturesque and less touristic parts of Paris in the East, along the canal. If you want to avoid the crowd in Paris, read this article.
Seine River cruise dinner
How would you like to take in the sights of Paris while eating fancy food on a river cruise? There really is something magical about a Seine River cruise dinner and people love it! Bateaux Parisiennes offers both lunch and dinner Seine river cruises. By day or by night, discover a memorable panoramic view on board an all-glass boat. Enjoy refined cuisine and friendly service to the sound of live musical entertainment. Take into consideration the dinner cruises are a bit on the pricey side, ranging from 70-200 euros a person, depending on dining time, table location, and menu choices. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience for first time visitors, and a lot of people tell me it’s the highlight of their trip! Plan a Seine River cruise with your significant other, family, or for a friends night out. You will also get a stunning, cinematic view of Paris, worth every cent. See unique views of the Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, amongst Paris’ many beautiful buildings. TThis is considered one of the top ten things to do in Paris!
Read here to compare different Seine river cruise companies and prices.
You now know things to do near the Seine River in Paris! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful for you! The locals know many more stuff to do around the Seine River. So, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information! We would more than glad to help you and provide some guidance! See you soon in Paris!
*Originally published by Matthieu in August 2017 and updated by Arielle in December 2019