The banks of the Seine on the Left Bank were made a pedestrian area in 2013 and people took to them straight away. Now, the Paris council has pedestrianised the Right Bank too, an initiative that some – mostly drivers – aren’t keen on.
It has to be said that strolling along the Seine without having to worry about the noise, danger and pollution of cars is pretty special. We went down to this brand new area and took advantage of the calm to take some shots of the Left Bank as we had never really seen it before.
Here’s our photo report!
Until now, walking on the banks of the Seine on the Right Bank has only been possible on Sundays (between 10am and 6pm) and for one month during the Paris Plages event.
Now, the area – a World Heritage Site – has been pedestrianised and is now called the Rives de Seine. It’s 3.3km long (2 miles) and spread over 4.5 hectares, perfect for a wander that will take you through the very heart of the city… in relative calm.
We started our walk not far from Bastille, at the Sully bridge, and the view was instantly impressive. You have space, water, greaa, joggers, cyclists… You can breathe here, whereas before you would have needed a mask!
As the route bends round the Île Saint-Louis you get a novel view right down the Seine, as if you were suspended in the middle of it!
Picnic tables have been installed, and a few bars and restaurants await you with spectacular views of the river.
If you prefer to burn calories rather than ingest them, there are exercise stations in numerous places, with activities for both adults and children.
What a place for a workout! Get in shape by the river and your body will be ready for the beach! ?
The whole area is perfect for exploring by bike, and there are several Vélib stations along the way where you can drop off or pick up a bike to use.
You’ll also see a bike shop called Solicycle where you can buy a bike or take part in a workshop to learn how to repair your own bike.
As we said, having the Right Bank to yourself gives a whole new perspective on the Left Bank and its beautiful stone buildings along the Seine.
There’s even a welcome touch of colour thanks to some kind soul’s yarn bombing!
Now free of cars, nature is being encouraged to reclaim the space with the addition of birds nests, homes for bats and insect lodges.
You can also drink water from the water fountains – some people don’t know that Paris’ tap water is just a good as bottled water!
If you so desire, you can hop on a Vedettes de Paris boat (and soon even a Sea Bubble) to go and see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay…
Perhaps you’ll even see a freshly-married couple having their photo taken in order to remember the day forever?
For more info about the pedestrianised banks of the Seine (In French), click here: www.paris.fr/berges
And to check out all the photos of our riverside walk, simply click here.