What would Paris be without the Seine? It's hard to imagine the French capital without the magic of its quays and the romance of its river boat rides! Out of a total of 776 kilometres, 13 km of this river pass through Paris, although it starts at Source-Seine in Burgundy. This part of the Seine can be explored in various ways, providing a new way of enjoying the City of Light.
Why not treat yourself to a cruise on the Seine? On a barge or river boat (bateau-mouche), you can see the monuments of Paris from a different angle, and seeing it all from the water adds a certain charm to the tour. What's more, you can often have lunch or dinner on the Seine, for a doubly enjoyable outing!
Yet another important part of the Seine's charm lies in the walks you can take along the quays. How many tourists have been seduced by the banks of the Seine, an ideal place for a romantic walk with a loved one? Enjoy a picnic, take a leisurely stroll or just daydream and admire the sunset - there's no shortage of peaceful activities to enjoy along the river. On the banks of the Seine, you can also appreciate the picturesque character of the booksellers' stalls. These typical little open-air shops are a chance to find rare gems, such as vintage prints, old books or collector's postcards.
In central Paris, two natural islands emerge from the Seine, and they're really quite something! As the birthplace of the capital, the Island of the City's territory includes such majestic monuments as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and its treasury, the Holy Chapel and its sumptuous stained glass windows, and the Conciergerie, a former prison where Queen Marie-Antoinette was once detained during the French Revolution. Not far from there, the Ile Saint-Louis and its beautiful mansions are a feast for visitors' eyes. Lovers of relaxing walks can enjoy the tranquillity of the Seine's banks on a romantic stroll along the quays of this peaceful district.
The banks of the Seine also host some major summer events, like the now famous Paris Beaches (Paris Plages). From mid-July to mid-August, the quays are decked out with sand and palm trees, creating a summery feel and bringing freshness to the capital. What with concerts, sports activities and deckchairs for sunbathing, there are many leisure opportunities for Parisians and passing visitors!