There is plenty to see on this walk focusing on the heritage and hidden treasures of the 17th arrondissement. Ternes, Batignolles and Épinettes are peaceful middle-class neighbourhoods with elegant – predominantly Haussmannian – buildings, desirable townhouses, large green spaces and lively squares and food markets, not to mention a brand new eco-district.
Start your walk on Boulevard Pereire.
1 / Promenade Pereire
Promenade Pereire is a green walkway running along Boulevard Pereire in the 17th arrondissement. This linear green space spanning more than one kilometre from Place du Maréchal Juin to Porte Maillot (more commonly known as Place Pereire) was built in the 1990s. It offers a pleasant stroll along quiet lanes flanked by well-tended lawns and dotted with rose beds, benches, bandstands and pretty wisteria-draped pergolas.
Promenade Pereire – Boulevard Pereire, between Place du Maréchal Juin and Porte Maillot, Paris 17th
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Turn left into Avenue des Ternes before reaching Porte Maillot, and continue walking until you come to Place des Ternes.
2 / Place des Ternes
Place des Ternes is one of the principal crossroads in the 17th. The three major streets running through the district lead off from here: Avenue de Wagram, Avenue des Ternes and Boulevard de Courcelles. Looking straight down the length of Avenue de Wagram, you will see the majestic Arc de Triomphe at the far end. The long Avenue des Ternes runs westward from this point – you will glimpse the skyscrapers of La Défense in the distance.
Place des Ternes is a bustling square filled with shops, designer boutiques and high-street chains. Located in the centre of the square is one of the three surviving flower markets in Paris. The corner with Rue Poncelet is home to one of Paris’s finest street markets, its stalls groaning with fresh produce and delicious wares.
Place des Ternes, Paris 17th
3 / Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre Nevsky
Walk down Boulevard de Courcelles and turn right into Rue Pierre le Grand. When you get to the end of the street, you cannot fail to see the Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky cathedral, with its gilded onion domes and large mosaic above the entrance. The cathedral is open to general visitors on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday afternoons, except during services. Do go inside to admire the lavish interior adorned, like most Orthodox churches, with gilding, icons and frescoes.
Did you know? The Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky cathedral has hosted many celebrity weddings and funerals, among them the wedding of Pablo Picasso and the Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova in 1918 and the funeral of the painter Vassily Kandinsky in 1944.
Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre Nevsky de Paris – 12 rue Daru, Paris 8th
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4 / Pagoda Paris
Walk down Rue de Courcelles and stop to take a look at the art deco façade of the Hôtel du Collectionneur at Numbers 51-57. This five-star hotel has a beautiful secluded terrace for its bar and restaurant customers to enjoy. A short distance from here, on Place Gérard Oury, a red building resembling a Chinese pagoda stands out from its Haussmannian neighbours. Known as Maison Loo, this former townhouse was transformed into a pagoda in 1925 by the Chinese art dealer Ching Tsai Loo, who wanted to create the perfect setting for his impressive Asian art collection. These days the Pagoda Paris (often referred to as ‘Maison Loo’) is a private museum, although the collection still revolves around Asian art.
Pagoda Paris – La Maison Loo – 48 rue de Courcelles, Paris 8th
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5 / Parc Monceau
Turn left into Rue Rembrandt to get to Parc Monceau, the ‘green lung’ of the Plaine Monceau district. Enter the large wrought-iron gates of this elegant park covering more than eight hectares, where you will find lawns, tall trees, paths lined with benches, play areas and a walking and running trail. The park was designed in the naturalistic English garden style and is dotted with various architectural follies. These include the ‘Naumachie’, a pond surrounded by Corinthian columns; an arched doorway originally belonging to the former Paris town hall, which was burnt down during the 1871 Paris Commune; a Japanese stone lantern symbolizing the friendship between Paris and Tokyo; marble statues of Alfred de Musset, Guy de Maupassant and Frédéric Chopin, a charming Italian-style bridge, a grotto, a pyramid and an obelisk.
Did you know? Parc Monceau is home to the tallest tree in the 17th arrondissement (a magnificent sycamore maple planted in 1853 and now standing 30 metres tall), and also the largest – a 200-year-old Oriental plane with a circumference of 7 metres!
Parc Monceau – 35 boulevard de Courcelles, Paris 8th
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Exit the park via the northern entrance, easily spotted as it has a 16-pillar rotunda. You will emerge into the upscale Plaine Monceau district, built during Haussmann’s grand reconstruction of Paris and home to a large number of private mansions.
6 / Conservatoire international de musique de Paris
Turn left on Boulevard de Courcelles, then left again into Rue Alfred de Vigny. Number 8 on this street is an unusual mansion with a neo-Renaissance façade and a courtyard laid out in the medieval style. It was built for the son of the founder of Menier, a famous chocolate company. The fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy set up his couture house here in the 1950s. The mansion now houses the international music conservatoire of Paris.
Conservatoire international de musique de Paris (CIMP) – 8 rue Alfred de Vigny, Paris 8th
7 / Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner
Return to Boulevard de Courcelles and walk the length of Rue de Phaslbourg to reach Avenue de Villiers. Number 48 is the Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner. This private mansion – once the home and atelier of the painter Guillaume Dubufe – was entirely revamped by its famous occupant. The interior decoration reflects the artist’s eclectic tastes, ranging from Chinese and Oriental styles to the French Renaissance period. The house’s most show-stopping feature is a winter garden with a vast glass roof and a mosaic tile floor. Nowadays it is a museum displaying the works of the French painter Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905).
Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner – 48 avenue de Villiers, Paris 17th
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8 / Hôtel Gaillard, la Cité de l'Économie
Head to Place du Général Catroux where, on one of the lawns, you will see a monumental sculpture representing broken slave handcuffs by the French artist Driss Sans-Arcidet. A statue opposite pays tribute to the actress Sarah Bernhardt, who had a house in the Plaine Monceau area.
Number 1 is the Hôtel Gaillard – a magnificent red brick building with neo-Renaissance architecture modelled on the Château de Blois. It is now owned by the Banque de France, and since 2019 has housed the Cité de l’économie (Citéco), Paris’s economics museum. Through exhibitions, seminars and publications, the museum aims to help visitors of all ages to understand how the economy works.
Citéco – Cité de l’Economie – Hôtel Gaillard – 1 place du Général Catroux, Paris 17th
More info on the Cité de l’économie (Citéco)
9 / Batignolles organic market
Make your way from Avenue de Villiers to Boulevard des Batignolles. This long boulevard runs all the way to Place de Clichy. On Saturdays, all the locals flock to the organic food market held here, with a wide range of stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, meat, cheese, bread and flowers, all of it sustainably produced and direct from farmers and producers.
Batignolles organic market - between n ° 34 and 48 of boulevard des Batignolles, Paris 17th.
Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More info on the Batignolles organic market
10 / Place du Docteur Félix Lobligeois
From here, Rue des Batignolles brings you to Batignolles, which used to be an expanse of fields and vineyards until it was annexed to Paris in 1860. Although it is now a lively 17th arrondissement neighbourhood filled with bars, restaurants and shops, it has retained its village feel, especially on Place du Dr Félix l’Obligeois, where you will find a pleasant square, charming terraces in the shade of plane trees, and a small church where locals gather to attend Mass.
Place du Docteur Félix Lobligeois, Paris 17th
11 / Église Sainte-Marie des Batignolles
The Sainte-Marie des Batignolles parish church is worth a quick visit to see the colonnaded porch reminiscent of an ancient Greek temple, the flat ceiling with painted compartments and, above all, the choir: a beautifully carved altarpiece surmounted by an arresting depiction of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary!
Eglise Sainte-Marie des Batignolles – 77 place du Docteur Félix Lobligeois, Paris 17th
12 / Square des Batignolles
Behind the church is the Square des Batignolles, a delightful English-style garden with an orangery, a grotto, a waterfall and a pond inhabited by plenty of ducks and marsh hens. There are some magnificent centenary trees around the pond, including a plane tree with a circumference of nearly 6 metres.
Did you know? The square pays tribute to famous residents of Batignolles. One path is named Allée Barbara in memory of the French singer, who was born in Rue Brochant, a short distance from the garden.
Square des Batignolles – place Charles Fillion, Paris 17th
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13 / Clichy-Batignolles ZAC
Cross the Rue Cardinet and you will find yourself in the Clichy-Batignolles ZAC (urban development zone). This eco-district built from scratch will make you feel you’ve stepped into a new century. The quintessentially Parisian Haussmannian building made of cut stone has been supplanted here by buildings in unconventional shapes made out of ultra-modern materials, with wave-shaped balconies, metallic or mirrored façades, and stepped terraces.
The eco-district has transformed the Batignolles skyline, notably because of the 38-storey building housing the Paris law courts (Tribunal de Grande Instance, or TGI) – a series of stacked glass volumes that can be seen from afar.
Clichy-Batignolles is a mixed-use development comprising shops, housing, offices, a shopping centre and the ‘7 Batignolles’ cinema, which has a bar with a terrace looking onto the Martin Luther King Park.
Did you know? The 160-metre-high TGI is the second-highest building in use in Paris after the Tour Montparnasse. It was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano, who also designed the Pompidou Centre.
ZAC Clichy-Batignolles, Paris 17th
14 / Parc Clichy-Batignolles - Martin Luther-King
The Martin Luther King Park was built as part of the Clichy-Batignolles urban development project. With large expanses of grass, play areas for children and landscaped water features, it is very popular with local walkers and runners.
Trees and shrubs of all sizes have been planted throughout the 10-hectare park, along with a variety of plant species. Long pathways lead to a central platform bisecting the park, where you will find a succession of ponds filled with marginal plants such as water lilies, reeds, pond iris and bulrushes.
Parc Clichy-Batignolles - Martin Luther-King – 147 rue Cardinet, Paris 17th
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Return to the bustle of Avenue de Clichy, which marks the transition to the Épinettes district. It is said the neighbourhood owes its name to the white spruce (used to brew beer) which was planted here alongside pinot blanc grapevines. Passages, courtyards, private roads and housing blocks contribute to the picturesque charm of this former working-class district.
More info on the Épinettes district
15 / La cité des Fleurs
On the corner of Rue Guy Môquet, you will see a traffic-free cobblestone lane leading off between two buildings. This elegant private road, along which beautiful villas can be glimpsed behind wrought-iron gates, is the Cité des Fleurs, one of Paris’s many secret streets.
Did you know? The painter Alfred Sisley lived in the Cité des Fleurs, and the actress Catherine Deneuve was born there.
Cité des Fleurs, Paris 17th
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16 / Square des Épinettes
From the Cité des Fleurs you will come out into Rue de La Jonquière, which leads to the Square des Épinettes. There is an attractive bandstand in the middle of the square. This small green space covering one hectare boasts quite a few handsome trees: gingko biloba, holm oak and horse chestnut. Some of them are extremely tall, notably a 141-year-old Norway maple and a tulip tree.
Square des Épinettes – 9 rue Maria Deraismes, Paris 17th