Are you fresh out of your private Louvre Museum tour and headed to Notre Dame? There are a multitude of things you can do along the way if you are left with more time than you counted on.
Hit the Pont des Arts
Pont des Arts translates to ‘Arts Bridge’. You have probably seen this bridge in many movies, with lovers visiting and placing padlocks at the railing, then throwing the key over, although it is supposedly more romantic than it sounds. It is a strange tradition meant to make their love everlasting, but if you take nothing away from that, the hundreds of locks at least look cool.
Go Across the Pont Neuf
This is the oldest bridge in the city, even though ‘Pont Neuf’ means ‘New Bridge’. It was built somewhere in late 16th Century, and is the first one made from stone and without houses on it. They offer boat tours, so consider that if you have the time.
Visit Place Dauphine
One of the oldest squares in the city, Place Dauphine dates back to the 1600’s. The architecture makes use of a combination of stone and brick, typical to most structures made during that time. Do not miss this if you are on foot, and see if you can enjoy a lunch there.
Stroll beside the Seine
The banks of the Seine are wonderful to stroll down on a sunny afternoon. It is all the better if you are carrying a drink or even some food with you. Otherwise, if you are hungry, the Ladurée shop located on the left bank sells some mean macaroons you can enjoy.
Tour the Sainte Chapelle
Dating from 1150, the Sainte Chapelle is old. Louis IX commissioned it as a home for the crown of thorns he returned with after the crusade. The chapel epitomizes gothic architecture with remarkably impressive stained glass, and very small pillars, making it easy to think the windows hold up the roof by themselves.
Stop at the Conciergerie
This is another great monument you should visit, which is located between Louvre and Notre Dame. This was initially the King’s palace up until 1358, when it was repurposed into a prison. Queen Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned here at the time of the French revolution before they executed her.