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The 7th arrondissement in Paris, or Paris 7, was my home for eight months. I lived on rue du Bac and found this aristocratic area of Paris a perfect location to live and explore the city. Part of my life on rue du Bac was during one of the COVID-19 confinements. My easy access to the Seine and the walkway, Les Berges de la Seine, along the banks kept me sane.
Living close to the Eiffel Tower was never on my bucket list but there was some comfort in living close by. I popped over during a snowfall and when the magnolias and cherry blossoms made their appearance. Its beam guided me home when the streets of Paris were empty.
Here’s my best take on the 7th arrondissement Paris.
Paris 7: Admire The Eiffel Tower
Yes. The 7th arrondissement is the Eiffel Tower district. The Iron Lady is the highlight of Paris 7.
You just can’t set foot in Paris without seeing her infamous tower. I am still surprised at the effect the Eiffel Tower has on me. It’s magical every time.
The Eiffel Tower makes an appearance when you are least expecting it, soaring over rooftops or peeking out at a road’s end. She looks fine in the daytime but even more glamorous at night. On the hour, her golden twinkling lights glitter for 5 minutes as her sweeping beam ignites the city.
Have A Glass Of Champagne On The Champ de Mars
The long green space leading up to the Eiffel Tower is always hopping. Vendors try to sell you chintzy Eiffel Tower paraphernalia and bottles of wine. But…the view of the Iron Lady is spectacular. Pop by mid-day you might also see residents of Paris 7 out with their dogs and children.
Visit l’Hôtel National des Invalides
129 rue de Grenelle
You really can’t miss the golden dome of Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 to house France’s war veterans this huge complex today hosts three museums. The Tomb of Napoleon I (right under the gilded dome), the Musèe de l’Armée and the Museum of Relief Maps. Plan a good chunk of time when visiting.
Stroll The 7th Arrondissement On rue Saint Dominique
This street lined with boutiques and cafés is a great one to stroll. But, the highlight is always the glimpses of the Eiffel Tower, especially as you get closer to Les Invalides. Don’t forget to look over your shoulder!
Marvel At The Collections In The Musée d’Orsay
1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
The remarkable Musée d’Orsay in Paris’s 7th arrondissement is a favourite amongst Parisians and visitors. Situated in a stunning, refurbished Beaux-Arts railway station, the Musée d’Orsay is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces include works of art from Van Gogh, Dégas, Monet, Renoir and Manet, to name a few renowned artists. The Musée d’Orsay houses impressive collections of sculpture and decorative arts and always has a well-curated interesting special exhibition. The Musée d’Orsay is a highlight of the 7th arrondissement.
The Musée d’Orsay in the 7th arrondissement: Practical details
Enjoy The Musée Rodin In The 7th Arrondissement
77 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
Visiting the Rodin Museum in Paris is rather a dreamy experience. The stunning Hôtel Biron (the mansion) and the seven acres of gardens where Rodin’s sculptures are displayed make for a museum visit you won’t soon forget. Visit the interior of the elegant mansion showcasing Rodin’s famous sculpture The Kiss and start your exploration of the gardens at The Thinker.
Peruse The Market Street – rue Cler
You’ve heard there are classic market streets in Paris. Rue Montorgueil. Rue des Martyrs. And rue Cler is always on the list. Wander. Peruse. Buy flowers for your Airbnb. Select fresh market goods. Don’t miss the poissonerie, the boulangerie, the wine shop, and the Italian delicatessen. And the chocolate shop! Stroll down the cobblestones on this short pedestrian block in Paris’s 7th arrondissement. It’s so Paris.
Be Wowed At The Musée Quai Branly
#37 Quai Branly
This art museum in the 7th arrondissement is a magnificent space and displays pieces from Asian, Oceanian, American and African arts and civilisations.
I went to see the temporary exhibition of the Olmecs from Mexico and was astonished at the incredible depth and displays of the permanent exhibition.
It’s a magnificent building just a few minute’s walk from the Eiffel Tower. Pop up to the restaurant, Les Ombres, for amazing views and food!
Be Trendy At Le Beaupassage, Paris 7
Here’s a gastronomic hotspot in the 7th arrondissement. During confinement, I made my way here most days to the Thierry Marx Boulangerie. His baguette, which I swear is the best in all of Paris, is dubbed La Loyale. Yup – I was more than loyal to it! His madeleines, galettes des Rois, and lemon tarts were lifesavers for me during COVID-19.
Grab a coffee at the cart, and sit at a table with a melt in your mouth Thierry Marx sandwich, dessert, or an array of macarons from Pierre Hermé. Restaurants, MerSEA and Polmard, are also in Beaupassage along with an Italian deli and wine store.
The 10 000 square-metre inner courtyard can be accessed from rue du Bac, rue de Grenelle and Blvd Raspail. Go early and beat the lunch crowd!
Have An Apéro At Les Berges de la Seine
Stretching from the Musée d’Orsay to the Pont de l’Alma is a lively and well-used pedestrian walkway along the banks of the Seine. Inaugurated in 2013, it is hard to imagine that traffic raced along in this exact space where Parisians are walking, running, exercising, lazing in hammocks, and exploring the floating islands. Stand on the pedestrian bridge (passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor) and watch the fitness classes, enjoy the art installations and don’t forget to schedule in an apéro on the floating barge, the Rosa Bonheur. Not the right time for an apéro? There is ice cream and crépes to round out this marvellous experience in the 7th arrondissement.
Take a stroll. You’ll understand how this was one of my “go-to” saviours during Covid.
The 7th Arrondissement: Déjeunez At Café Varenne
36 rue de Varenne
Café Varenne is one of those classic Paris cafés. Period. The terrasse is always bustling, the service is great and the food is always delicious.
Choose from the chalkboard menu, sit back and soak up the Paris neighbourhood vibe. Café Varenne is a great place to people watch, write, or sip a glass of crisp rosé. One always feels welcome and never hurried. One of my favourites.
Shop At The Classiest of Department Stores: Le Bon Marché
My Parisian friends always chime in that Le Bon Marché is the best of all the Paris department stores. I love the classy, hanging artistic exhibitions set amidst their upscale and quality range of products. Hit up Le Bon Marché during les soldes (the sales) in January and June for incredible deals.
Delve Into French Gastronomy At La Grande Épicerie
La Grande Épicerie will blow your socks off! It’s called a “landmark food hall” and apparently sells over 30 000 items. Take your time. It’s a great place to find gifts to take home or something for supper. There are gourmet items from all over the world. Don’t miss the champagne and wine section downstairs and the two restaurants upstairs. Calling all foodies to the 7th arrondissement. You’ll be in heaven.
Savour French Cheese At Iconic Fromageries
The 7th arrondissement has four iconic fromageries. If you’re going to eat French cheese in Paris 7, go for the experience at one of these fromageries.
I’ve been to three of the four, Quatrehomme (multiple locations), Barthélemy (round the corner from Beaupassage) and Androuet (multiple locations). Anne Cantin (close to rue Cler) is high on my list to visit. Read my insider’s guide to Fromageries in Paris.
Be Curious At Deyrolle In Paris 7
Who’d have thought you could stand beside a polar bear and a zebra in the 7th arrondissement of Paris?
If you’re strolling on Rue du Bac, don’t miss the chance to wander through Deyrolle at #46. In existence since 1831 and its current location since 1888, Deyrolle is a natural history museum, taxidermy shop and as they call themselves, a cabinet of curiosities.
On the main floor, you’ll find a gorgeous gardening boutique with unique gifts to buy the gardener in your life. Don’t stop here. Head upstairs to find the real cabinet of curiosities. Small and large animals are all frozen in time, waiting to be studied. Entomologists will be in heaven. And then there are sea creatures, butterflies and moths, poultry, shells and fossils.
The sign indicating that these animals were not hunted to be stuffed but come from zoological reserves, will help the animal lovers breathe a little.
Marvel At #29 Avenue Rapp In Paris 7
At #29 ave Rapp, not too far from the Eiffel Tower, is an outstanding example of Art Nouveau architecture in Paris. Built in 1901 by Jules Lavirotte, an Art Nouveau architect, this building was the winner of the City of Paris façades competition in 1901. True to the Art Nouveau style, it has a flowing form and plenty of floral and vegetal design. It is purely whimsical and a joy to look at while appreciating its intricate details!
Another building by Lavirotte is just around the corner at #3 Square Rapp where you will also find a secret and fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower.
Pray For a Miracle At The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
If you’re looking for a miracle, look no further than the little tucked away church at 140 rue du Bac in Paris 7.
It was here in 1830 that sister Catherine Labouré witnessed three apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The voice she heard told her to have a medal made. “Have a medal made according to this model. For those who wear it with confidence, there will be abundant grace.”
For close to 200 years, people have come from all over the world to the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal to pray and ask for the Virgin Mary’s protection.
As you wander up rue du Bac, possibly on your way to the Grande Épicerie or Le Bon Marché, stop by for a quiet moment in the chapel and if it feels right, purchase a medal.
Hum A Tune At Serge Gainsbourg’s House
5 bis rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris
I first heard La Javanaise in a backyard concert just outside of Paris during an ease-up in COVID restrictions. What struck me was the effect this Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991) hit had on the entire audience. People of every age stopped their chattering and sang. Passionately. It opened the door for me to discover more of this iconic French singer & songwriter, revered through any and all controversy.
Little did I know that living in the staid and aristocratic 7th arrondissement that I was neighbours with Serge. Or at least, his home. It’s not hard to miss. The stone wall outside the courtyard facing street side is a living tribute to Serge Gainsbourg. Spray painted representations of Gainsbourg will stop any curious bypasser or dedicated fan in their steps. Take photos. The images change often.
Serge Gainsbourg’s home is set to open to the public in the fall of 2021.
Other Places To Explore In 7th Arrondissement
Typical Paris… there are seriously a million things to do in the 7th arrondissement. Here are a few more to add to your list: the Musée Maillol, the Pagoda (under renovation), the first Protestant cemetery at 30 rue des Saint Peres, the Peace Garden at the UNESCO Building, the Jardin Catherine Labouré, the market on Avenue Saxe, Les Egouts (the Paris sewers museum), the Assemblé Nationale…
I hope you enjoy discovering Paris 7 as much as I did.
Until next time,
More Travel Info…
Paris Travel Resources:
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The 11th arrondissement is authentic and lively. Here is a guide on how to see the best of the 11th arrondissement.
And Montparnasse. Most people think of the tall black tower looming over the Paris skyline or the train station. This guide on Montparnasse uncovers some marvellous things to discover in the 14th arrondissement.
If you like being by the water, Ile aux Cygnes in the Seine might be for you! The Statue of Liberty, views of the Eiffel Tower and locals walking their dogs!
If you are looking for food suggestions, read about where to find the best croissants in Paris. And, if you have a sweet tooth like me, check out these best pâtisseries to try. There are also plenty of café suggestions for the Marais area in this post: Tips from a Local.
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download – An Amazing 2-day Itinerary in Paris.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.