France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   L'Île aux Cygnes, Paris, France
The third largest island in the Seine is not on many tourist itineraries but is a lovely place to stroll.





When you think about Paris, the Seine, and islands, of course you picture the Île de la Cité, the heart of Paris and home to Notre-Dame, the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle, and many other historic buildings. You may also think of the smaller Île Saint-Louis, connected to the Île de la Cité by a footbridge, and home to many elegants hôtels particuliers (mansions) and the famous Berthillon ice cream.

The third largest island in Paris is much less known. Located near the Eiffel Tower (map), the Île aux Cygnes is an artificial island created in the early 19th century. If you've taken the Batobus to Beaugrenelle, or walked farther down the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, you may have been startled to find yourself looking at the Statue of Liberty—with the Eiffel Tower in the background!

Statue of liberty and Eiffel Tower, Paris
It's a little surprising (but fun!) to see the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in the same picture!

This replica of the statue in New York was inaugurated in 1889, just three years after the "original" was dedicated in New York. The Paris version, which is about a quarter the size, was a gift from the American expatriate community in Paris to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Although you can't climb this one, you can admire it, and the plaque at its base. As noted on the plaque, the statue was restored in 1986, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the New York Statue of Liberty.

Other than the Statue of Liberty, why go to the Île aux Cygnes? It's about 850 meters long, or just over half a mile, and quite narrow. It has beautiful trees and other plantings, and it's a delightful place to relax and unwind.

Essentially it consists of walking paths, benches for sitting, and an exercise park. You can watch boats go by on the Seine, you can get interesting views of the Eiffel Tower, and you can join French people strolling, walking their dogs, jogging, and just enjoying the beautiful trees and other natural aspects. It's a lovely, quiet place to recharge your batteries after busy sightseeing, and to get away from commercialism.

You can access the Île aux Cygnes via two of the bridges that cross over it (the third bridge is for trains). The Pont de Bir-Hakeim, near the métro stop of the same name, is on the northern end, close to the Eiffel Tower. The Pont de Grenelle, at the southern end, is closest to the statue.

What to See & Do in Paris

Eiffel Tower

Paris Hotels and Apartments

Seine River Cruises


Parks and Gardens of Paris

Shopping in Paris

About Paris




Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan


Ile aux Cygnes, Paris

Above, the Île Aux Cygnes, with its many trees, is visible in the middle of the Seine. An RER train crosses the bridge and the Île.

Below, The plaque on the statue of liberty.


Statue of Liberty, Paris



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