The Most Famous and Beautiful Streets of Paris
It isn’t said for nothing that Paris is best explored on foot. Close proximity from one top attraction to another is surely one of the reasons, but walking through streets of Paris reveals to you everything that makes the French capital city endlessly charming. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to get familiarized with the local life and sample French specialties you didn’t have a chance to hear of. You will also be amazed by appealing architecture and numerous hidden gems of Paris. Therefore, put on your most comfortable shoes and make sure to include the following streets into your walking itinerary.
Champs-Elysees Avenue is named after the paradise (Elysian Fields) where Greek heroes ultimately go. Laid out in the 17th century, the avenue became fashionable and prestigious place for living in the following centuries. Suffice to say that today Champs-Elysees Avenue is the most expensive avenue worldwide when it comes to prices of apartments. Furthermore, the avenue’s layout inspired the creation of various similar avenues throughout the world, and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is the most famous of them.
2-kilometer long Champs-Elysees is nestled between the historic Place (Square) de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, the most famous triumphal arch in the world. The square’s centerpiece is the famous ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’, an Egyptian obelisk that is the oldest existing monument in Europe. From the Arc de Triomphe’s terrace, you can experience marvelous views of Champs-Elysees and Paris.
Between those attractions, you can do a lot of things. You can shop in exclusive stores of reputed brands, dine or take a drink at numerous restaurants and bars or relax in beautiful gardens and parks. You can visit nearby museums and get entertained in nightclubs, as well. One of the world’s most famous cabarets staging extraordinary performances, Le Lido, is located on the avenue.
Various prestigious stores and showrooms selling jewelry, accessories, garments, footwear, cars and more line the avenue. Some of the most reputed brands you can find here are Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Mercedes, Sephora, Ladurée, Michael Kors and Paul & Shark. Take your time while touring the stores and open your eyes widely. You may find products with attractive discounts more easily than you would expect.
The stores on Champs-Elysees Avenue operate prolonged hours when compared to other stores in Paris. Hence, take your time for sightseeing and come here in the evening. You will usually find stores and boutiques on the avenue operating until 9:00 pm, even longer.
Avenue Winston Churchill
Avenue Winston Churchill is much shorter than the Champs-Elysees, but is flanked by a few exceptionally beautiful structures. If it weren’t for the Belle Époque, which gave birth to endless scientific and artistic masterpieces, and the World Fair of 1900 held in Paris, this avenue would have looked much different today.
The Grand (Great) and Petit (Little) Palais, facing each other across Avenue Winston Churchill, were commissioned just for the purposes of the World Fair. Their outer appearances are sure to amaze you any time of the day, but the most in the evening of a clear day. Then, as the descending sun colors the sky in gentle red and orange hues, subtle illumination of the two palaces highlights each aspect of their marvelous designs.
The glass-roofed Grand Palais boasts a Classical façade, decorated with numerous statues. At the four corners of the Grand Palais, you can see sculptures composed of chariots drawn by running horses. Series of Ionic columns support 20-meter tall wings, extending to both sides of the monumental entrance, which is flanked by other great sculptures.
The Petit Palais has a monumental portico, with two wings supported by Ionic columns extending to both sides. The portico is flanked by sculptures, too, and framed by bas-reliefs. The grand dome crowns the edifice, while numerous amphorae line the roof right above the Ionic columns.
However, the ultimate highlight of Avenue Winston Churchill is the Pont (Bridge) Alexandre III. The most beautiful bridge of Paris was built to connect the Les Invalides complex with the two exhibition palaces. It features rich artwork, symbolizing the established alliance between France and Russia back then. The bridge was also the grand achievement of the French engineering. It was completed in the factory and put in place by a huge crane. From the Pont Alexandre III, each photo you take will match any postcard.
Rue (Street) Montorgueil is exceptionally charming and picturesque street in the center of Paris. There, you can enjoy a slice of the local life and have a bite of delicious French traditional products. Therefore, start your tour at the southern end of the street with an empty stomach.
You will locate the street the easiest by finding the Saint Eustace, one of the historic and most beautiful churches of Paris. This masterpiece of Renaissance and Gothic art has a couple of works of art by acclaimed artists, such as Pigalle and Couture. It also boasts an impressive tomb of Colbert, the finance minister of Louis XIV. In front of the church, you can observe a huge modern art exhibit.
From there, the entrance to the foodie paradise of Paris is just around the corner. As you advance toward the far end of Rue Montorgueil, you will pass by reputable eateries, flower shops and stores selling various delicacies of the renowned French cuisine. If you are a fan of the French cheese, wine or pastry, you will surely be delighted by coming here. Especially since the street is also a feast for the eyes. It is lined with stands with colorful and fresh flowers, grocery stores with nicely arranged fresh fruits and vegetables and confectionery shops with windows that tempt you to come inside.
The cobbled street and a few-storey houses leaning onto one another significantly contribute to Rue Montorgueil’s charm. From numerous bistros and bars, you can observe how life goes by while having a drink or two. Finally, don’t miss to pay a visit to Stohrer, the oldest pastry shop in Paris, and Charles Chocolatier, a hot chocolate specialist.
Rue des Rosiers
Rue des Rosiers derives its name from rose bushes that lined the ancient rampart that ran along the present street. It is located in Le Marais, the heart of Paris’s Jewish Quarter. Hence, if you feel the urge to do some shopping on Sunday (the day off in France), the Rue des Rosiers is where you should come.
Rue des Rosiers is lined with various boutiques and eateries suitable for each budget. The layout of the street dates from the mid-19th century, but if you are a history buff, you will be delighted to find your corner. A section of the rampart erected in the 12th century and a well-restored medieval tower can be found in a small public garden named Jardin Rosiers – Joseph Migneret.
In the street, you can still find Jewish kosher bakeries, libraries and food shops, which are gradually replaced by trendy shops and boutiques. However, the spirit of old times still persists thanks to the old houses that line the street. One of the most interesting is the Hammam Sauna Saint Paul, recognizable by pink façade. It was a public bath, which ran out of business once home bathrooms became an ordinary thing.
The Synagogue Agoudas Hakehilos, at the intersection with Rue Pavee, is another interesting landmark. It features an unusual design and is listed as a Historical Monument. It is truly a must-see site.
If you feel hungry, you should check out L’As du Fallafel sandwich shop. Afterward, stop by at Damyel and treat yourself with delicious macarons and chocolates. As for the shopping, some of the most famous stores you can find in Rue des Rosiers are Adidas, Moleskine, Etam Lingerie, AllSaints, Scotch & Soda and Sabon.
The renowned artistic quarter of Montmartre is full of beautiful small, winding streets. However, if you ever had to choose the most beautiful one, the best solution for you would be to determine which street is painted the most. Rue d’Abreuvoir would be a definite answer to the question which street of Montmartre is the most beautiful.
Rue d’Abreuvoir is a sloping, cobblestone street, lined with nice mansions whose windows are framed with ivy. When assuming the lower end of Rue d’Abreuvoir, you can see the bell tower and the dome of the slightly distant Sacre Coeur Basilica emerging above the roofs. And that is precisely the spot where you can encounter an artist or two trying to capture the charm of such a gorgeous street that is beyond description.
You will find Rue d’Abreuvoir attractive regardless of the season you pay it a visit. In spring and summer, the street abounds with verdant greenery and flowers looming from the neighboring courtyards. In fall, the street is colored in warm colors, while winter sees the street reflecting snow-white color of the Sacre Coeur Basilica’s dome and tower.
At the lower end of Rue d’Abreuvoir, you can find a bust of Dalida, a famous 20th century celebrity who died very young because of unhappy love. If you have the same problem, a popular myth states that such a curse will be reversed as soon as you touch the statue’s breasts. That is why they look worn, unlike the rest of Dalida’s bust.
However, if you prefer a look at this marvelous street from the vantage point, you can have it with a drink in your hand. The terrace of the La Maison Rose bar at the upper end of the street would do nicely for that.
Rue des Thermopyles
Paris has number of beautiful and secret streets and Rue des Thermopyles is one of them. Unlike some big and well-known streets, that’s not a noisy place, on the contrary, you won’t find here tourists or shops. If you’re lucky enough and you visit this amazing place in Spring, you’ll be surprised how this green-looking street with its beautiful leafy arches and eye-catching house facades decorated with Plant and flowers brings beauty and good energy around you.
If you are up to a romantic walk, you should check out the Promenade Plantee, starting at the back of the Opera Bastille. The promenade is among the surprising places you can visit in Paris, extending toward the Bois de Vincennes. The promenade is especially romantic in spring and summer, with lush greenery and flowers in full bloom. As you walk the elevated promenade, you can enjoy an occasional work of art and views from vantage points over nearby gardens.
Rue de Mouzaïa
Among other lesser-known places in Paris, Rue de Mouzaïa looks like a small labyrinth with charming environment where it’s possible to find peace and quiet. This is a perfect place for those, who would like to escape crowds of tourists and exhausting city noise.
Square des peupliers
Square des peupliers – Another hidden treasure of Paris located in the 13th arrondissement. It was opened in 1926 and at first glance this triangular street seems like a small provincial town surrounded by beautiful gardens. You shouldn’t miss this place during your trip.
While exploring hidden gems of Montmartre, you’ll learn about one of the quietest and most expensive places called Villa Léandre, which previously was known as Villa Junot. Behind its current name there is a history of the local comedian Charles Léandre. The Anglo-Saxon architecture style mixed with traditional front gardens will definitely draw your attention. Spending your time walking through Villa Léandre will make you feel like you’re in London.
Check out the following streets, too
Paris has many more streets that you should check out during your stay in the French capital. These are some of them:
- Rue des Barres, flanked by a half-timbered house from the 15th century and interesting architecture of the Gothic Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Church.
- Cour du Commerce-Saint-Andree, with Le Procope, the city’s oldest coffee house. If the gate across the street from Le Procope isn’t closed, take a look at a warren of nice courtyards.
- Rue Cremieux, featuring brightly colored three-storey mansions.
- And Avenue Montaigne, lined with stores where you can easily spend thousands of euros during a single afternoon.