You can discover Paris’s history and culture in a quiet and traffic-free environment thanks to the city’s many pedestrianized areas! The capital has more and more of these areas prohibited to motorized vehicles, either all year round or at the weekend.
One hundred or so streets, including the Rue Cler, Rue de Lévis, Rue de Lutèce, and Rue des Barres, are pedestrianized in Paris! Each arrondissement has some and it is a pleasure to stroll through them.
Every day of the year, the central Les Halles district is reserved just for pedestrians: go for a stroll in the area after a visit to the Centre Pompidou, pick up souvenirs with the family under the Canopée des Halles and have a drink on a cafe terrace in Rue Montorgueil without being bothered by traffic … What a luxury!
Around Notre-Dame and the Luxembourg Gardens, several pedestrianized streets are full of history: Rue de la Huchette with its restaurants and jazz clubs, and notably Rue Mouffetard with its many local food stores, ideal for discovering French gastronomy.
Beside Bercy Park, the Cour Saint-Emilion is a pedestrianized elongated courtyard lined with former wine warehouses converted into boutiques, cafes and restaurants. A perfect place to shop away from busy roads. Another pedestrianized typically-Parisian street for a stroll is the Rue Daguerre. Close to Denfert-Rochereau, this bustling village-like street has local bakers, cheesemongers, and typical cafes with a relaxed atmosphere.
Paris’s historic and unmissable squares can also be rediscovered on foot as many of them have been pedestrianized. The most recent - and very successful - examples are the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille.
Finally, Paris’s many splendid covered passages are of architectural interest and reserved for pedestrians. Real gems to discover, anytime.
More info on the covered passages of Paris
The extensive Parc Rives de Seine is a delight for those who like to stroll by the waterside. Ten hectares of quaysides have been developed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles (bikes, rollerblades, scooters, etc.). Cafe terraces spring up here in summer, barge restaurant-bars, pétanque courts and numerous games for children. A breath of fresh air in the city and a pleasant place to relax with the family!
More information about Parc Rives de Seine
In order to increase the number of places for pedestrians, the City of Paris has created the ‘Paris Respire’ areas: closed to cars on Sundays and public holidays, they enable everyone to enjoy traffic-free and noise-free streets.
More info on ‘Paris Respire’ areas
On the 1st Sunday of the month, the entire length of the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées is given over to pedestrians. Some people take over the space by picnicking on the cobblestones and letting children play on the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’! An unusual experience to enjoy right opposite the Arc de Triomphe.
Every first Sunday of the month, pedestrians can also take advantage of the almost-total pedestrianization of the capital’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements.
Finally, the crowning event of the year for fans of urban walks or a stroll with the family is the city’s Car Free Day. On this occasion, Paris becomes a pedestrian village, where motorized vehicles are banned throughout the city.
The next edition will take place on 18 September 2022. Save the date and get your trainers ready!