On a Sunday morning in February I caught the RER A from Maisons-Laffitte to Paris. I had planned on the previous day an itinerary from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. The weather forecast had been quite optimistic. Although chilly in the morning, la météo was forecasting a beautiful sunny day and it was not at all wrong!
A Winter walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre
Accompanied with my 2 year-old daughter, I went on a photographic walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre via some of Paris’ most famous landmarks: esplanade des Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, and the Tuileries Garden. It seems like Paris invites us to walk without end, from one monument to the other. It took us more than 8 km to find our way from the Bir-Hakeim métro station to the Glass Pyramid of the Louvre (and as you can guess I pushed Aimée in her stroller all the way!)
- Start at: métro station Bir-Hakeim (line 6), boulevard de Grenelle (15th arrondissement)
- Arrive at: métro station Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7), place du Palais Royal (1st arrondissement)
- Distance: approximately 6.5kms (4 miles).
Champ-de-Mars and Eiffel Tower
How many times have we seen the Eiffel Tower? Maybe a thousand times… still we’re always tempted to take tons of photos each time we see it! On Sunday morning, the Iron Lady was enhanced by the beautiful light of a February sun.
View of the tower from avenue de Suffren (15th arrondissement):
Entering the Champ-de-Mars:
A classic view of the Eiffel Tower from the Champ-de-Mars… look at that deep blue sky:
The top of the Eiffel Tower spotted through thorns made of leaf-less trees:
Even in the middle of Winter, this is a lovely Parisian place…
The Eiffel Tower in all its glory:
Aligned with a Parisian lamppost:
For great photos, stand by one of the four pillars of the tower. This one was taken on Avenue Gustave Eiffel:
A view of the Eiffel Tower from the lane in the Champ-de-Mars known as avenue Jean Paulhan. With these fir trees, it is hard to believe we are in the centre of one of Europe’s most populous cities!
One of the two ponds that makes up the English garden near the feet of the Eiffel Tower:
Let’s leave the Champ de Mars at rue de l’Université. At the intersection with avenue de la Bourdonnais (7th arrondissement), turn back to catch this great view:
Turn right to avenue de la Bourdonnais and walk until you reach rue Saint-Dominique. You’ll discover some pretty fun views of the Eiffel Tower towering the roofs of Paris:
The picturesque rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th arrondissement of Paris links the Champs-de-Mars to the Esplanade des Invalides and gives a great perspective onto the Eiffel Tower. The shopping street is lined with restaurants, bistrots, boulangeries-pâtisseries, grocery stores and other interesting bookshops. I used to work as a French teacher in a language school based in the neighbourhood!
At number 131 rue Saint-Dominique, the Neo-Classical “Fountain of Mars” dates back to 1806-1808 under the reign of Emperor Napoleon:
Photos taken at the intersection of rue Saint-Dominique and avenue Bosquet:
Make sure you look back from time to time, particularly when you reach the intersection with rue de la Tour Maubourg:
Pont Alexandre III
Rue Saint-Dominique takes you to the Esplanade des Invalides, a vast lawn that stretches between the Hôtel des Invalides to the River Seine.
Once on the Esplanade des Invalides, we turned left towards the River Seine and the Quai d’Orsay.
There we crossed one of my favourite bridges in Paris. Pont Alexandre III was built for the 1900 Paris World Exhibition and takes its name from the Russian Tsar.
Spanning River Seine, the bridge connects the 7th to the 8th arrondissements. With its beautiful candelabras and lamp-posts, Pont Alexandre III offers superb views to the Eiffel Tower and the big glass and iron cupola of the Grand-Palais. Here are a few shots:
The bridge leads to avenue Winston Churchill where two grand buildings are found on each side of the street: Grand-Palais and Petit-Palais.
The monumental Grand-Palais seems like it has been there for many centuries… but the structure is relatively recent as it was built for the 1900 Paris World Exhibition.
The frescoes, the statues, the columns… everything looks majestic. The Grand-Palais is topped by the mast bearing the French flag.
Opposite the Grand-Palais stands the Petit-Palais and its remarkable wrought-iron gate.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
When we arrived on the Champs-Élysées, the traffic was not at all heavy. In the distance, behind the leafless trees, we glimpsed the windows of the Palais de l’Élysée (Élysée Palace), the official residence of the French President. Back then, François Hollande was President of France…
In the morning, the sunlight falls on the façade of the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs-Élysées. With good eyes (or with binoculars) you can spot visitors enjoying the view from the top of the triumphal arch!
Place de la Concorde
The Champs-Élysées ends at the majestic Place de la Concorde.
The Place de la Concorde is a treat for the eye, particularly for the one that takes the time to explore every little details: the monuments dedicated to eight cities of France, the extravagant lamp-posts, the statues of the two fountains by Jacques Ignace Hittorff and the hieroglyphics that decorate the Egyptian obelisk of Luxor.
The last stage between arriving at the Louvre is the Jardin des Tuileries. We entered the garden through beautiful gilded gates.
The exquisite Tuileries Garden was crowded by the time we reached the garden. Two of our favourite places are the terrasses (Orangerie and Jeu de Paume) offering a fine view over the busy Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
At the end of the garden stands a monumental triumphal arch. The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel was built by Napoleon in the early 1800s to commemorate the victory of the French Imperial Army in Austerlitz. Marking the limit between the Tuileries and the Louvre, the triumphal arch was once facing the Tuileries Palace. Since the dismantlement of the palace in the 1880s, the monument has been part of the Historical Axis.
The Louvre Palace and the Glass Pyramid
Our walk ended there… where the Kings and Queens of France had resided for centuries. The façades of the Louvre opening onto the Napoleon Courtyard and Cour Carrée are adorned with millions of Renaissance little details, reminiscent of the chateaux of the Loire Valley: chimneys, window-frames, classical statues…
The Glass Pyramid in the centre of the Cour Napoléon is unmissable. By the time we arrived there, the museum was already opened with a long waiting line at the entrance!
When the Eiffel Tower shows up behind the Louvre:
We ended our walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre at the métro entrance “Palais du Louvre” where a man was blowing huge bubbles to the amazement of tourists and children passing by:
Eiffel Tower to the Louvre: practical Info:
- the site of the Paris Tourist Office
- the official site of the Eiffel Tower
- get your tickets to the Louvre
Hope you’ve found this walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre interesting! If so, please do share this article on Facebook or twitter!