Where to walk in Paris without traffic

Paris is one of the greatest cities in the world to explore on foot! Us, Parisians, we love to get lost in our city’s streets, explore and discover the many treasures scattered in its streets!

What is even more exciting is that it is possible to calmly discover the city away from traffic! This is a unique opportunity that is made possible thanks to the many pedestrian areas and streets of Paris. Thanks to new incentives, the city breathes again and several areas are car-free the whole year or on weekends!

If you’re curious and want to know where to enjoy the city away from pollution, read on and find out where to walk in Paris without traffic!

The Marais and the Montmartre neighborhood

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In order to increase the number of pedestrian areas in the city, Paris created “Paris Respire” (which means “Paris Breathes“) areas. These areas are closed to traffic on Sundays and holidays, from 10 am to 6 pm. This initiative allows everyone to enjoy the streets without traffic and its noises!

The neighborhoods of Marais and Montmartre are two of the areas that you can enjoy during these days. You can freely walk the streets without having to facilitate the passage of cars. The Champs-Elysées are also closed to traffic, but only on the first Sunday of each month!

The Rue Montorgueil

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© Jean-Christophe Benoist (WikiCommons)

If you enjoy Monet’s art, you’ve probably already seen his famous painting, called “La Rue Montorgueil” which you can admire in real life at the Musée d’Orsay. At the Rue Montorgueil, you will get to experience a marvellous mix of historical buildings, old cafés, quality food stores, fishmonger’s stalls, pastry shops, and many restaurants.

This street is definitely one of my favorites of Paris! If you’re in the city, you should not miss the Rue Montorgueil, its unique atmosphere, and its wide variety of food stores! In the morning, the street gains a special touch. Go early in the morning to get your pastries and baguette, you will get to see the merchants opening their stores and preparing their stalls for the day, smell the enchanting scent of café and warm pastries while enjoying an amazing atmosphere of friendliness between the locals.

The Les Halles area

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© Edouard Caupeil (Libération)

You can enjoy this traffic-free area every day of the year! The Les Halles area is pedestrian-only! Roam aimlessly around the Centre Pompidou after visiting the museum, watch the street artists working in the area, enjoy a snack at the Fontaine des Innocents, buy a few souvenirs, and enjoy the cafés terraces that are found in the surrounding streets. You can do so many things in this area without worrying about the passage of cars!

The Rue de la Huchette

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© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Located right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, a few steps from the Saint Michel Fountain in the sixth district, you will find the poetic Rue de la Huchette. This pedestrian street will be a delight for those of you who want to experience the most poetic aspects of the city of Paris. Many Jazz lovers head to the Caveau de la Huchette jazz club, which is one of the oldest ones of the French capital! If you’re more into theatre, go to the Thêatre de la Huchette that received a Molière prize in 2000.

Getting lost in the Latin Quarter is one of the best things to do while in Paris, because one always discovers plenty of restaurants, cafés, craft stores and bilingual bookstores as well!

The Rue Cler

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© Camille Doublet

Not very far from the Eiffel Tower, you will find the Rue Cler which I find is pretty similar to the Rue Montorgueil in terms of atmosphere and variety of food stores and cafés.

A lot of Parisians go grocery shopping in this street on a daily basis, since the variety of products is so great! From fresh fruits and vegetables, several supermarkets, different food stores, such as ice cream store, chocolate shops, homemade biscuits, cheese, pastries, you will love this street if you’re looking from quality food products that are typically French and Parisian.

It’s the perfect street to be at if you’re not sure where to go for lunch! At the end of the meal, head to the flower shop and buy a bouquet for your special person!

The covered passages

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© Dorli Photography

If you want to walk in Paris without traffic, the covered passages are also a great option! Inside Parisian covered passages, many restaurants, boutiques, teahouses and theatres are hosted. These galleries are found inside the buildings, mostly around the Grands Boulevards area.

The Passage des Panoramas is the oldest one, it dates back from 1799. Each passage has its specialty. In one, you will mostly find antique dealers. In another, you will find cloth manufacturers.

In the Galerie Viviene, which is close to the lovely Palais Royal, one of Paris hidden gems, there are many chic boutiques, including the workshop and boutique of Christian Louboutin. In the Passage du Grand Cerf, you will be amazed by its spectacular structure. It is one of my favorites! If you’re looking for vintage items, you will love the Passage Verdeau.

Each passage has a unique style, and each has a very own atmosphere! I’m sure you will love walking through these covered passages while in Paris, especially on rainy days! You will have such a romantic moment in any of these Parisian passages!

The riverbanks of the Seine

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The riverbanks of the Seine are another amazing traffic-free area in Paris! The banks were arranged for the pedestrians, so they can enjoy the Seine without cars and their noises. It’s the perfect place for whoever wants to exercize or simply to relax by the water. It is specially fun during the summer, when cafés, barges, petanque grounds and many kids games are available! It is a true breath of fresh air in the heart of Paris! I recommend this traffic-free to everyone who wants to escape from the big city’s noises.

Don’t miss the Journée sans Voiture

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Save this date! On September, 22nd of 2019, the whole city of Paris will be car-free! It is the Journée Sans Voiture, which means the “Car-Free Day“. It will be an exclusive opportunity for you to discover and explore Paris streets, visit its landmarks, and take pictures right in the middle of big avenues! It certainly is a day you do not want to miss!

My article about the places where to walk in Paris without traffic is now over! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that it has been inspiring to you. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you need further information about anything! I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed these pedestrian areas and these car-free initiative, and I’m sure you will too! You can walk one of the most beautiful cities in the world, while enjoying unpolluted air! Plus, your pictures will look more splendid than ever! Finally, you should also not forget about Paris splendid parks and gardens, where you will be away from traffic and breathing fresh air from the trees! See you soon in Paris!

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