Want to explore the 7th arrondissement of Paris? This post will show you all the fun things to do, and where to stay and eat to get a deeper insight into this area!
The city of Paris is made up of 20 districts known as arrondissements, and one that is rarely missed by tourists is the 7th.
The 7th arrondissement of Paris is situated almost in the center of the city on the Rive Gauche or left bank of the river Seine.
From the 17th century onwards, this district was home to much of France’s upper class and it still has a very upmarket feel about it.
In addition to the famous Eiffel Tower, this district is also home to other famous Parisian landmarks that are a must-see for any visitor to the City of Light.
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Among others, these include the Hotel des Invalides, the Musée d’ Orsay, and the Musée Rodin.
Of course, there are far more things to do in the 7th Arrondissement than just exploring museums and national monuments.
This district is teaming up with quaint bistros, delightful coffee shops, and bustling cobblestoned streets.
To help you discover all the famous and hidden gems of the famous 7th district of Paris, here is a breakdown of some of the wide range of options available to you.
But before we do, let’s look at where to stay if you want to sleep a few steps away from the iron lady.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Shangri-La Paris (9.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Don’t forget to take Travel Insurance. Request a free quote from my favorite insurance, World Nomads. (More on this at the end of the article.)
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Where to Stay in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris
There are so many things to do in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris and that, combined with its central location, it becomes the perfect base from which to explore.
There are accommodation options to suit most budgets, and the beauty of staying in this district is that you’ll be able to reach many of the well-known sites on foot, not forgetting the iron lady herself.
Not sure where to stay? Here are my recommended 7th arrondissement Paris hotels for all types of budgets.
Hotel Résidence Montebello: Close to both Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower is this quiet little hotel that offers fifteen studios and apartments of different sizes. Redecorated in 2016, it maintains its typical Parisian charm. Its convenient position next to metro stations, shops, and landmarks makes it an ideal choice for those on a budget.
Jardins Eiffel: kicking up slightly in terms of budget, this three-star hotel offers eighty-one rooms, some with balconies and a view of the Eiffel Tower. The rooms are cozy and there is a delightful interior garden, but what really attracts here is the proximity to the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River.
Hôtel Pont Royal: Staying at this five-star hotel, you will immediately be enveloped in a sense of stylish luxury. The hotel is positioned in the Saint-Germain des Prey area and from here, the river Seine and Orsay museum are just a hop and a skip away. The whole area is dotted with literary and artistic history, and it features a terrace with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and amenities to make your stay as luxurious as you’d expect.
Résidence Charles Floquet: Situated extremely close to the Eiffel Tower, this residence offers a variety of apartment options. The apartments can accommodate up to 6 guests but there are also smaller classic rooms, as well as superior rooms that include a balcony that treats you to Eiffel Tower views. The residence is literally minutes from the Tower so you couldn’t ask for a more convenient location. It also has a fully-equipped kitchen, a large living area, and an outdoor terrace to relax from.
15 Fun Things to Do in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris
There are so many things to do in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris that it is harder to decide what to leave off this list than what to put on it. Below are the must-visit.
1. Climb the Eiffel Tower
Okay, this might seem somewhat clichéd, but if you don’t do it at least once, you will regret it.
Not only is it high on so many people’s Paris bucket lists, but the views from the tower are also simply extraordinary and they offer the perfect opportunity to gain a bird’s eye perspective of this fabulous city. Need I say more?
All you have to do is to buy this Eiffel Tower skip-the-line ticket to avoid the long lines and access all its floors plus the summit.
If you’d rather go with a guide, however, this is the Eiffel Tower guided tour I recommend. It comes with a knowledgeable and friendly guide to show you around while giving historical facts about this French icon.
2. Take a stroll through the Champ de Mars
This 24.5-hectare (59 acres) garden incorporates the Eiffel Tower and stretches up to École Militaire.
Once a vegetable garden and vineyard, the gardens later became a training ground for the French army and the country’s most famous military school continues to occupy one of its flanks.
Champs de Mars offers the perfect place to take spectacular photographs of the Eiffel Tower or chill out with a baguette and a slice of delicious local cheese on a picnic on sunny days.
And when it gets dark, you can also take in the beauty of the shimmering Tower at every top of the hour for 5 minutes from there.
3. Explore France’s military history at Hotel National des Invalides
Don’t let the name confuse you. This isn’t actually a hotel at all!
Built from 1671 to 1676, this impressive building once served as a hospital for military veterans. Today, it houses the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Army Museum.
There are many legendary generals buried here, but it is the museum that will probably be of most interest to you.
It offers exhibits dating from the late Middle Ages right through to World War II and beyond.
Since it’s a popular landmark, I advise you to purchase this skip-the-line ticket to get fast access to both the Army museum and Napoleon’s tomb.
4. Go arty with a visit to the Musée d’Orsay
Paris doesn’t lack world-caliber museums but this one is right up there with the best of them.
It is housed in a former railway station on the banks of the Seine and is famous for its glass-fronted clock and for having the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world.
With world-renowned paintings such as Van Gogh’s starry night, Bal Du Moulin De La Galette by Auguste Renoir, and some of Paris’ famous paintings, it is a magnet for both tourists and locals alike, so expect crowds.
The best time to visit is during the week and don’t forget to check in advance for any special exhibits. I also recommend purchasing this skip-the-line entry ticket to avoid long queues.
And if you want to learn more about the museum’s history plus its famous paintings, you can join this Orsay museum guided tour.
5. Get up close and personal to the Thinker at the Musée Rodin
Even those who have little or no appreciation of sculptures would probably be able to name The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.
This iconic work is just one of many statues by this prolific sculptor and most are housed in this museum that was once his home.
Most of his works are in bronze but some, such as The Kiss, were carved from marble which shows just how versatile an artist this man was.
There is also a delightful garden at the rear of the house that offers Eiffel Tower views and where you can have a picnic at certain times of the year.
Be sure to grab this Musée Rodin entry ticket to admire all his work.
6. Dive into something a little different with a visit to the Paris Sewer Museum
Musée des Egouts or Paris Sewer Museum may not sound all that interesting, or even tasteful, but this is a visit that is bound to prove fascinating.
The sewer system dates back to the 1300s and every street in Paris has a sewer beneath it.
In many ways, this sewer system acts as a sort of time capsule offering a look into the history and technology of the waterworks — a system that so many of us take for granted.
You should expect your visit to take at least two hours, longer if you want to delve more deeply into the architecture and evolving mechanics. One itsy bitsy little thing — a bit of a smell accompanies this one.
So, if you’re looking for non-touristy things to do in Paris, visiting the Sewer museum should be one of them.
7. Add a little architecture to your stay with a visit to Basilica Sainte-Clotilde
Paris is not a city that is lacking in magnificent church architecture but don’t think that it ends with the Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame de Paris.
There are some lesser-known churches in Paris and this twin-spired basilica should not be overlooked.
Completed in 1857, it is a stunning example of neo-gothic architecture with its exterior quite as impressive as its interior adorned in stained glass windows, and a beautiful nave.
Even if you don’t plan on spending long there, a visit will be awe-inspiring and will provide a moment of cool calm respite from the bustling streets of the Eiffel Tower district.
8. Rub shoulders with the locals at a street market
For many, one of the best ways to experience life as the locals do is to visit a street market.
In the 7th district of Paris, there are many to choose from but on Wednesdays and Sundays, you can purchase wonderful fresh produce at the market on Rue de Grenelle.
Even if you don’t need to shop for food, you will be afforded some colorful photo opportunities, and on a Sunday, one section of the market is dedicated to “brocante” or antiques.
The two-kilometer (1.2 miles) long street runs between the 6th and 7th districts and is flanked by elegant townhouses.
9. Hit the streets on foot with a guided walking tour
There is so much to do in the Eiffel Tower district that there are bound to be many things you simply miss.
One way to avoid that is to join a guided walking tour and there are several of these on offer.
With a well-informed local guide to point out the less obvious concealed treasures of this district, you will discover so much more than if you go it alone with your nose pinned to a map.
If you’re not sure which one to join, I recommend opting for this walking tour.
10. Explore The Famous Rue Cler
This almost entirely pedestrianized market street is a great place to wander among gorgeous little shops, boulangeries, flower shops, cheese shops, and cafés.
There are plenty of places to sit on the street while enjoying a coffee and a pastry, and from there, you will just be able to savor the pleasure of watching the world go by.
The fact that it is open on Sundays means that it becomes a drawcard for locals and allows you to experience a more authentic side of Parisian life. Be aware that most shops are not open on Mondays.
If you plan on picnicking at the Champs de Mars, Rue Cler is the perfect place to shop for everything you’ll need — from pastries, and charcuterie, to fresh fruits and vegetables.
11. Shop till you drop at Le Bon Marché
In an area as upmarket as the 7th arrondissement in Paris, there are bound to be shopping opportunities and the most challenging thing you will have to do is filter those opportunities down to those that suit you best, but one you can’t miss is Le Bon Marché.
As department stores go, this one takes chic to a whole different level. It is the oldest department store in the city, and arguably one of the most famous in the world.
Established in 1838 and later redesigned in 1858 by Aristide Boucicaut, it has withstood the tests of time and now plays host to many international and French luxury brands.
It is set in a multi-level complex and even if your budget is tight, it is worth cruising around for a while to soak up that sense of true opulence.
12. Discover French Food At La Grand Epicerie
The French have a deep-rooted affiliation with food and if you want to shop for some of the country’s most exclusive culinary delights, then this luxury food market “an annex” of Le Bon Marché is the place to start.
There is a wide variety of fresh produce but you will also be able to find fine wines, canned pates, and other gastronomic delights that are transportable as Parisian souvenirs for your friends back home.
In the basement, you will be able to watch as some of the best culinary artisans in France perform their activities, producing everything from mouthwatering patisserie to artisanal chocolate.
13. Admire Art at Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
With a plethora of museums in Paris, Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is another gem not to miss.
With a collection of over 3,500 on display, this museum highlights various artwork and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas giving you a glimpse of other cultures right in the middle of Paris.
14. Take Instagram worth shots of the Eiffel Tower at Rue de l’Université
One of the most Instagrammable spots in Paris is non-other than the long street of Rue de l’Université.
Located right opposite the Eiffel Tower, this street gives a perfect Parisian street photo with the cobble-stoned walkway, the Haussmann architecture, and the Iron lady, all in one frame.
Note that this is quite a popular spot, so you may want to go either early in the morning or a bit later in the day to avoid crowds.
15. Admire Art Nouveau architecture at Avenue Rapp
Paris is famous for many things, and impressive architecture is right up in its alley.
Though its famously known for Haussman architecture, between 1895 to 1914, Art Nouveau architecture took over the city and left a lasting impact on it and some of these can be seen along Avenue Rapp.
Just a few minutes away from the Eiffel Tower, Avenue Rapp, particularly at 29 features a stunning example of an art nouveau building commonly known as the Lavirotte Building named after its architect Jules Lavirotte.
The building is extravagantly decorated in statues, sculptures, and a curved wooden door that is sure to grab your attention.
While still at Avenue Rapp, you can also stop at Square Rapp to enjoy the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower engulfed by Haussmann buildings.
16. Cruise on the Seine River
No trip to Paris is complete without cruising on the Seine. A cruise on the seine will give you a close glimpse of almost all the landmarks of the 7th arrondissement and more.
You can choose from either cruising at sunset to enjoy the magical hour with a backdrop of famous landmarks or at night to see them shimmer.
For a sunset one (or any time of the day for that matter), this is the 1-hour Seine cruise I recommend, but if you want a dinner seine cruise to take in the beauty of Paris at night, this is the 3-course dinner Seine cruise you should opt for.
Where to Eat in the 7th District of Paris
Few countries take dining as seriously as the French do. In fact, the French will quickly tell you that no other country takes dining as seriously as they do.
Rather than enter that minefield of a discussion, let’s throw away the calorie counter and look at some of the options you are exposed to in the 7th arrondissement in Paris.
Le Jules Verne Restaurant
This one is easy to find. It is located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and will undoubtedly provide you with a memorable meal, though at a price.
It is run by the famous Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Anton, and although on the exorbitant side, you will have to book way in advance as the tables book out fast.
On a more moderate scale than the Jules Verne, this well-known restaurant is a great place to break for lunch as you continue to explore the 7th district.
Many of the dishes hail from the southwest of France and you are assured of excellent quality.
The wines are good and the waiters are knowledgeable enough to offer advice on what wines would best compliment your meal.
Because of the quality of the food and the restaurant’s proximity to many embassies, you are advised to book in advance. The restaurant does not open on Sundays.
Popu Bistro and Pizza
This is a little bistro that is affordable but still manages to offer both quality dining and a cozy atmosphere.
It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week and offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Don’t worry if you feel that eating pizza doesn’t correspond with your Parisian adventure. There are plenty of other dishes to choose from with more of a local theme to them.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to do in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris
A visit to the 7th Arrondissement of Paris really exposes you to the heart of what this delightful city is all about.
It offers some of the city’s most emblematic tourist sites and attractions but still manages to retain that Parisian feel.
Although parts of this district appear distinctly upmarket, there are still many places that are down-to-earth and authentic.
More articles to help you plan your trip to Paris.
- Best Things to do in Paris in March
- How to get from CDG to Paris
- Best rooftop bars in Paris
- How to get from Paris to Versailles Palace
- Things to do in the 16th arrondissement of Paris
- Best night tours of Paris
- A complete guide to the 20 arrondissements of Paris
- Best Souvenirs from Paris
- What is Paris famous for
- Fun things to do in Paris in November
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