Visiting Paris on foot, see everything at your own pace

Visiting Paris on foot is probably the best way to visit Paris. For a simple reason: the density of things to see is such that in 2 to 300 m of street, you will often find 2 or 3 points of interest that you can only appreciate by stopping, reading or listening to a related information. Visiting Paris is not about riding the metro, driving a car, scooter or bicycle, seeing “from a distance” or going in to visit this or that famous monument!

Why is visiting Paris on foot particularly suitable?

The map of Paris with the monuments, museums and other things to see speaks for itself: Paris (intra-murals) is only 18 km from east to west and 10 km from north to south. Also, what is interesting for tourists, everything that has a historical or architectural meaning, is practically within a 7 km radius from the historical center of the City. It is therefore easy to move around on foot, to walk by “stages” of 1.5 to 2.5 km while visiting without hurrying and in detail a significant part of what you have to see and that you will not see by cab, bus, car or metro!

Visiting-Paris-on-foot-map-of museums-and-monuments

The density of things to see in Paris … while walking quietly

Besides the fact that they are located on a limited “territory”, the “things to see” follow one another, most often at distances of only a few hundred meters.

Of course, the great monuments, museums and churches are not next to each other but separated by short distances. But this is where you will find forgotten, lesser known gems of art and history that you can only appreciate on foot. For example, our walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, which is only 1.5 km long, includes 21 points of interest (every 70 m on average) including 7 internationally renowned museums (every 200 m), in addition to the world-famous sites of the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Chaillot and the Arc de Triomphe. Where else could we see such a density of “things” in about 2 hours of walking? And yet, it is real, ready in your cell phone if you wish. Just follow the information of our self-guided walk “Walk Palais-de-Chaillot to Arc-de-Triomphe via George V avenue”.

Density of the public transit system


It is one of the highest in the world and the transportation network is easy to use. This allows for a quick and fatigue-free return to your hotel in case of emergency.

On the one hand, the subway network (called Metro for “Metropolitan”) is closely meshed. It is operated by the Régie autonome des transports parisiens (RATP). The average distance between stations is 548 m. The first stations were opened in 1900. The frequency between trains is 2 minutes during rush hours and 8 minutes during off-peak hours.

The Metro is doubled (interconnected) by another network of tracks located deeper in the ground for trains with railway gauge and high speed. Built in 1977 and known as the Île-de-France regional express network (RER). Consisting of five lines (A to E), it has 249 stops for 587 km of track (including 76.5 km underground, mostly located under the city of Paris) and is used by 2.7 million passengers per day (including more than one million on line A of the RER). The distance between stations is about 2.5 km and trains run every 5 to 15 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes to cross Paris.

But it is always necessary to organize your visits and/or your stay to visit Paris on foot

It is always possible to decide to visit the Louvre in the afternoon and then to do the same tomorrow morning with the Musée d’Orsay. And each time return to his hotel by stopping here or there, at random, simply.

We have another vision, less constraining, much less tiring for you and much more optimized. Because your time in Paris is limited and never enough for all that remains to be seen after your departure. If you decide to go see the Louvre for example, we would organize

  • the rush hour when you should not go there,
  • to avoid waiting in line,
  • what to see (and visit) on the way from your hotel to the Louvre,
  • adapting the schedule,
  • after the Louvre, what to see in the area and on your way back,
  • plan for a possible stopover, such as a café, restaurant or other

As a result, you would not only see the one “point of interest” that is the Louvre, but 5 to 20 additional points of interest, without any additional rush, without walking one meter more than necessary. For the same time spent, the same price spent, you will return home at the end of your stay in Paris ten times richer in memories.

This efficiency and flexibility of “planning” can only be conceived if you are autonomous, i.e. totally in control of your movements… long live walking!

Visiting Paris on foot : principles to apply – choices to make

  1. You will never be able to see everything in Paris: more than 2000 potential points of interest listed and all the others forgotten. You will have to sacrifice some of your visiting objectives.
  2. The number of things you will be able to see will be proportional to the number of days you stay: if you stay one day or 5 days, this number will be different. Without going into detail, visiting a “mammoth” museum such as the Louvre would take weeks. After 2 or 3 hours inside it becomes boring. Then go to the Musée d’Orsay if you want, but not in the same half-day and spend the other part of the day walking or shopping. Hence the rule that applies to most of us: one museum or monument of reference per day is enough. So there will be plenty left for your next visit!
  3. You have to choose the things that you think are must-sees, that you must not miss. Clearly, if you want to see particular points of interest, you should put them at the top of your list.
  4. You should select a list of secondary things to see (often as interesting as the most famous). This is the icing on the cake because they are less known by the general public and tourists, less famous, easier and faster to visit but just as impressive. Our database includes several hundred of them.

Organizing your visit or stay in Paris is complicated

Why is it so complicated? There are many parameters to take into account and for many of us, it is the first time to do it. It is also a job that you have to learn and that requires tools to use data that you may or may not have at your disposal.

At VisitingParisByYourself (VPBY), we have a large enough database on Paris to allow us to show tourists around Paris for weeks on end, without overlapping visits! In addition, to meet all the demands of the visitors who consult us, we have exclusive selection tools according to the individual desires, wishes and needs of each of them.

Get to know Paris using VPBY’s self-guided programmed walks via your cell phones

Route-of-walking-when-visiting-Paris on-foot-from-concord-to-arc-de-triumphe

Our experience of “teaching” Paris to tourists has progressively narrowed down to an extraordinarily simple and efficient way: self-guided tours in the manner of a human guide, available on your cell phone.

In the “organization” of our stays, we “build” itineraries of walks between “main priority points of interest” such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe. But our walks are 10 to 25 additional “points of interest”, historical, anecdotal or other. They are also “opportunities” to see a park, a bridge, a square, a “small museum”, etc… that may not be worth the time and effort of a particular visit.

All your time is thus fully used “to visit” without requiring additional travel to see what can be qualified as secondary interest. You multiply by 5 or 10 the quantity of things seen in the time of your stay.

“Smart” walks in Paris available on VPBY

Visiting Paris by walking requires to go through many walks. Our goal is to multiply their number (several dozen) in order to “mesh” Paris and not leave in the shade any street, monument, museum or neighborhood of interest. This network of walks will allow you to go from one walk to another, from one neighborhood to another, without any loss of interest or time.

Our walks visiting Paris on foot are not just simple routes to follow. Each point of interest (there are 12 to 25 per walk) is located (address and GPS coordinates for possible return), with opening hours, telephone number if it can be visited, a summary description for visitors in a hurry, access to a complete historical and anecdotal version for others (in English and French), a map of the highlights to remember, the “pedestrian” route to the next point of interest and a map of the overall route for “cyclists”. It is an anthology of Paris tourism to keep for your memories or to come back another time.

But our walks are not only historical and educational. We mix in recreational interludes such as shopping, cafe stops, restaurants and other festivities located on or near the itinerary.

The number of these walks increases regularly as we are able to “write” and test them. This requires a lot of time and investment. This is the reason why we ask for a financial participation of a few Euros in order to accelerate their implementation. Link –> description of the walks –> buy them