What to do on Rue de Rivoli

The Rue de Rivoli is one of the most well known streets in all of Paris. It stretches through most of the 1st and 4th arrondissements that make up the city center of the Right Bank.

The variety of things to do on this stretch of street make it a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the city. If you don’t know what to look for, however, the vast length of this street can be overwhelming to wander aimlessly.

Rue de Rivoli – by Jorge Láscar – Wikimedia Commons

If your goal is to simply see the famous street in person, then going with a free guided walking tour is preferable. If you’d like to do something targeted with your time on the street, read on to find out a few of my favorite things to see here.

Shop on Rue de Rivoli

Without knowing anything about the Rue de Rivoli, most people are well aware that this is one place to go when looking to shop.

As you make your way down (or up?) the lengthy road you’ll pass by variated retail stores selling everything from tacky Parisian souvenirs right through to high end fashion labels.

Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville – by RymB – Wikimedia Commons

If going shop to shop isn’t your cup of tea, make your way to the Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville located on the Marais side of the Rue de Rivoli. This department store is owned by Galleries Lafayette and the layout & merchandise are very similar, only the prices of things are notably more affordable.

Moving toward the 1st arrondissement from the Bazar you’ll come into a more culturally stimulated block filled with bookstore and galleries. Libraries Galigani is beautiful and calm; WHSmith is more mainstream and usually chaotic.

Buy Chocolate at Angelina on Rue de Rivoli

The Angelina tea house is somewhat of an institution to the elite groups of Paris. It was opened way back in 1903 by a chocolatier who named the store after his daughter in law.

Over the yeas Angelina quickly became the place to be and be seen. Coco Chanel herself was known to hang out here by day, enjoying the teas and treats that the parlor provided.

Angelina on Rue de Rivoli – by Gryffindor – Wikimedia Commons

Today it seems everyone and their uncle make time to flock here to buy chocolates to take home with them. They are an edible Parisian souvenir on par with macaroons from Ladurée.

Because of the parlor’s popularity, the brand have launched a few other locations around the city. The on on Rue de Rivoli remains the original and most popular. Expect queues and chaos at the best of times; they open at 7:30am so get there early if possible.

Visit the Louvre on Rue de Rivoli

Probably not something I need to tell you to do on this famous street, but the Louvre Museum is bordered by the Rue de Rivoli and it’s somewhat impossible to miss this attraction even if you try.

The Louvre Museum is one of the biggest art museums in all of Europe. Across 300 different rooms there are over 35,000 works of art on display. Finding a specific painting here is quite literally a treasure/scavenger hunt.

The Louvre – by Benh LIEU SONG – Wikimedia Commons

What to see while inside the Louvre? Mona Lisa calls this museum home and a trip to Paris without paying her a visit is almost blasphemous. Personally I found viewing the Three Graces one of the most fulfilling experiences in a museum, ever. Death of the Virgin is spine chilling, no matter how many times you view it and Women of Algiers is another favorite.

Admission into the Louvre is €15 when buying on arrival. On the first Saturday of each month, after 6pm, there is free admission to all. Free entry aside, there is something extremely enchanting about being in this space after dark. You can visit until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays as well, you’ll just have to pay the fee.

Visit the Jardin des Tuileries on Rue de Rivoli

Not many people realize that they are on the Rue de Rivoli when they enter the Tuileries Gardens. Most walking tours wind the streets before landing up here so it can be difficult to get one’s bearings .

The Tuileries are the gardens of the palace also found on the grounds. They are remarkable: lush and green with different plant life reflecting colors of the rainbow.

Jardin des Tuileries – by Anniev – Wikimedia Commons

The gardens have been around since 1564, however they were only opened as a public park after the French Revolution many years later.

After a full day of strolling the Rue de Rivoli you’ll find great solace in this park as you rest on the soft grass. Picnicking is permitted here.

Make Your Way to the Place de la Concorde on Rue de Rivoli

The Place de la Concorde marks the eastern boundary of the Rue de Rivoli and means you have officially come to the end of this street. It is the largest public square in the French capital and happens to also mark the start of the 8th arrondissement.

Because of its size, there is usually always something happening in the space; markets, rallies and even protests make their way to the Place de la Concorde to get things done. This is also where the Big Wheel of Paris is set up annually — a ferris wheel for the people of Paris to enjoy.

Place de la Concorde – by Connie Ma – Wikimedia Commons

If you were to keep moving through this square and into the streets of the 8th, you’d be walking on the Champs-Élysées, another very famous and elite road in the city of Paris.

Rue de Rivoli is a great way to see a lot of Paris in a very short amount of time. Be sure to put it on your itinerary!

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