Paris Travel Planner   River Seine, Paris, France
The River Seine divides Paris into Right Bank and Left Bank, but its bridges reunify the city, changing the Seine from an obstacle to a delight for the eye. Cruise it!


Zouave, Paris
The Zouave with dry feet, no flood.


 

 

Everyone's heard of the Seine River, if only from the Kingston Trio's romantic song:

The Seine, the Seine
When will I again
Meet her there
Greet her there
By the moonlit banks of the Seine.

The River Seine's division of Paris is a delightful feature of the city, not an impediment. In fact, each time we go to Paris, one of the first things we do is go to a bridge or a quai so that I can take in the view of the Seine. It never grows old and is always charming. We even rang in the New Year on the Pont des Arts one year, along with lots of champagne-sipping French people!

As you visit Paris, you'll find yourself crossing back and forth over the river on one or another of Paris's varied—and often beautiful—bridges. Stop and enjoy the views all around you.

For a spectacular view of the river, go to Paris's most famous viewing-point: the sommet (top) of the Eiffel Tower.

The best view of the Seine, however, comes from being right on it.

Numerous companies operate Seine cruises, and until you have seen Paris from the Seine, you have not seen Paris completely.

Night cruises, with many of the great monuments of Paris floodlit, are particularly enchanting and—dare we say it?—romantic. More...

Batobus offers transporatation along the Seine, stopping at many famous sites, including the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, and Notre-Dame. It's a hop on/hop off boat, so you can spend the day both enjoying wonderful views and visiting places of interest. More...

Batobus, Paris
Hop on and hop off of the Batobus all day long!

The banks of the Seine are also popular spots to hang out, have a picnic, and enjoy the views. The river banks are also home to the famous Parisian Bouquinistes, or booksellers. With collections of antique and used books, as well as postcards and other souvenirs, the bouquinistes have been serving Parisians and tourists since the 17th century.

On Sundays the quais are closed to car traffic, so you can walk or bike right along the river. During the summer, lots of cafés and restaurants pop up along the river, and for about a month the city trucks in sand to make Paris Plages, or Paris beaches!

In times of heavy rains and flooding, Parisians look to the Pont de l'Alma to get a sense of how severe the flooding is. The Pont de l'Alma crosses the Seine between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. One of its piers has a historic statue of a Zouave soldier from the Crimean War. The Zouaves took part in the Battle of the Alma in the Crimean war, and the original bridge commemorated that with four different statues. The Zouave is the only one remaining today.

If the Zouave's feet are wet, it's time to start worrying about the water level. Some of the river banks will be flooded and access limited. In June 2016 the water reached the Zouave's hips before receding. Although not a scientific measure, it is a handy way to keep track of what's happening with the river.

There's always something new to discover along the Seine!


What to See & Do in Paris

Seine Cruises

Canal St-Martin

Boat trips in Paris

Batobus

Planning Your Time in Paris

Finding Your Way Around Paris

Paris Transport

 

 

 

River Seine, Paris, France

Above, The Seine from the Eiffel Tower.

Below, Many of Paris's most famous monuments are found along the Seine, including the Conciergerie, seen here on a beautiful sunny day.

  Conciergerie, Paris

  Seine, Paris
Above, We like the Seine so much we got an apartment with a balcony that gave us this lovely view of the river, cruise boats, and the two towers of the Hotel de Ville.


 
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