When visiting a new destination, one way to get to know the locals and find out more about a city is to embark on some of the interesting walks on offer. If you’re heading to Paris, as like all great European cities, it is wonderful to explore on foot.
Any of the excellent Paris hostels offer a cheap and sociable form of accommodation, and you’ll encounter many interesting fellow travellers to chat to in the common room. Depending on how many in your party, Paris hostels offer pretty flexible accommodation to suit you and your friends or family. There are dormitories of different sizes and private rooms as well. It’s a great way to make friends from all over the world and it’s also a chance to enrich your cultural understanding. Why not grab a few of your newfound friends and head out on a fabulous walk?
Walk of Discovery
There are many different walks to enjoy and you can even theme them around different aspects connected with the city – like history, fashion or even famous literary sites. It’s a really fun way to get your bearings and you’ll discover many new places as you start to unravel the many delights the city has to offer.
There are different ways to explore on foot: you could just head out on your own, with a bit of research and a guide book; Paris hostels usually have a lot of information about the city and the many attractions and events, so you could ask the staff for advice; or you could take advantage of an organised free walk complete with a guide.
These wonderful ‘free’ walks take place every day, whatever the weather. The native Parisian guides offer different themes – literary, art, foodie, history, markets or landmarks – so there will be one to suit your interests. You’ll be taken into the nooks and crannies of the city and off the beaten tourist path, and at the end of the walk you decide how much to tip the guide. These walking excursions make a great start to your trip and will give you a real flavour of the city.
Along the Seine
While there are countless parts of the city where you can create your own personal walking tour, perhaps one of the most interesting and picturesque walks you can embark on is one that takes in the monuments and sights along the Seine. The famous river runs through the very heart of the city and, depending on which of the Paris hostels you stay in, you can start at any point.
There is a pedestrian walkway all the way along the river banks from the Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower (and beyond), so within a few hours you can see many of the major landmarks of the city. You’ll pass gorgeous gardens like the Tuillieries, iconic bridges like Pont des Artes and Pont Neuf, and famous galleries and museums, like the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. Travel at your own pace and you’ll find this a most rewarding way to spend a morning, an afternoon, or an entire day.
The only way to explore the ancient cobbled streets and vibrant creative heart of Montmartre is on foot. Wander the busy shops and café around the Boulevard de Clichy then head up the many steps (or take the funicular) to the stunning Sacre Coeur. Once you’ve spend some time inside this stunning monument, emerge into the daylight and make your way around to the Place du Tertre, which is very touristy but still retains its wonderful authentic artistic ambience.
If you take the time to explore this wonderful city on foot, you’ll get a taste of its real character – away from the tourists, away from the souvenir hawkersFind Article, and just a little bit closer to the city of centuries ago.