Best Of Paris And The River Seine

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The beautiful city of Paris is built on the banks of the majestic River Seine. Flowing through the centre of the city, it gives so much life and joy. In fact, the whole of Paris revolves around this waterway. Some of the world’s most insanely famous monuments sit proudly on its banks. You can’t possibly miss the River Seine and all its glory, even if you tried. Let me give you 30 reasons why it’s one hell of a tourist attraction!

History Of The Seine

1. The banks of the River Seine were originally settled on by a tribe of Celtic fishermen called the Parisii in 250 BC. The land was very fertile and Paris grew and expanded. In the middle ages it was the biggest city in Europe. Eventually, it became home to the French Monarchy, before they moved to Versailles.

2. The Seine has always been a thoroughfare for commercial and transportation use over the centuries.

3. Geographically, the city is landlocked, so without the river, Paris probably wouldn’t have existed.

4. Over its long tumultuous history, many battles, floods, crimes and drownings have occurred here, on or around the Seine.

The Seine Today

5. The Seine is the ‘liquid heart’ of the city, a hub of Parisian life, attracting locals and tourists to its banks, to relax and socialise.

6. It passes through 10 of the 20 districts of Paris (arrondissements) and the banks have been labelled ‘right’ and ‘left’ (amazing) when facing downstream, which is the direction of the water flow.

7. The River provides half of the water supply for Parisians today. Care for a drink? I’ll stick to Champagne, thanks.

Famous Locations On The Seine

8. Many well known monuments and sites reside near the Seine: the Notre-Dame Cathedral, The Louvre Museum, The Eiffel Tower, D’Orsay Museum, and the Tuileries Gardens.

9. Other interesting things to check out along the river include The Conciergerie, Sainte-Chapelle Church, Orangery Museum, The Grand Palais and Petit Palais, and gorgeous canals that connect to the Seine.

Swimming In The Seine

10. For the last one hundred years, swimming in the Seine has been prohibited with strict fines imposed (along with a nasty dose of bacteria!) for anyone deciding to take a dip. It is not fit for swimming. Yet.

11. The current 1 Billion Euro cleanup operation underway will hopefully make the river swim-worthy again.

12. The plan is to have it ready in time for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, so water events can take place in the Seine.

13. The quality of the water has already improved considerably with various varieties of fish returning to the waterway.

Pools At The Seine

14. Since 2017, you can actually swim on the ‘side’ of the river in the floating pools, in the form of a giant barge. It is called the Piscine Josephine Baker, located at Bassin de la Villette, and treated water from the river is used.

15. People queue up to swim for FREE in the 3 pools here. No wonder, because they get to enjoy the spectacular view whilst cooling off in the Summer.

the River Seine.


Photo of the floating pools by

Facilities Around The River Seine

There are many wonderful facilities for people to use around the Seine, including:

16. Numerous floating restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs.

17. Bicycle and pedestrian paths.

18. Gardens, exercise stations and kids’ play areas.

Beaches At The River Seine

19. One of the most exciting things to occur on the banks of the river is beaches! Whaaat? I hear you ask.

As there are no natural beaches anywhere near Paris for people to enjoy in the Summer, the council thought, why not bring the beach to Paris? So every Summer, sections of the river bank, in 3 different locations, magically transform into beaches. Well, not quite magically – it takes a few days, and the Council spends a small fortune (a few million euros, in fact). Truck loads of sand (5,000 metric tons actually) are brought into the city and dumped on the riverbanks. Plus, numerous palm trees, sun-lounges and parasols are added. And Voila! People can sunbathe and soak up the faux beach atmosphere. Fantastique! Roads are closed along the banks, cars are banned and the rollerbladers are out in force.

the River Seine.


Photo of the Paris Plages by

Beach details

20. The mock beaches run from early July to early September, 9am to midnight.

21. Beach games, dancing, and kids’ activities are organised.

22. Concerts are also held on the beach in the evenings with local artists playing.

23. The Paris Plages experience is FREE. It’s madness, with people scrambling for a spot to soak up the sand and surf. Oh wait, there’s no surf. Even so, it’s a hugely popular event every year.

24. You can purchase food, drinks and alcohol from places along the beach, um, river. I’m confused.

25. Please note, even though it’s France, no topless sun-bathing is allowed on the Paris beach; this is not the Mediterranean!

Cruises Along The River Seine

26. Paris offers several cruise operators to take you down the river for a romantic view of the city – Bateaux Mouches, Bateaux Parisiens (included in the Paris Pass), Batobus, and others. A very relaxing way to sightsee and view the famous icons of Paris. Some include dining, champagne and narration. I thoroughly recommend a scenic river cruise on The Seine.

More cool facts About The River Seine

27. The Seine River is 777km long,

28. It has 37 bridges in Paris, the oldest one is Pont Neuf, which means ‘new bridge’, dating from 1607 (makes perfect sense, not!).

29. The banks are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and

30. The river flows all the way into the English Channel.

There you have it. When you go to Paris be sure to enjoy all that the Seine has to offer.


Tours on the River Seine

Here are my cruise recommendations for you to enjoy the River Seine:

More River Seine Snaps


Paris in Winter

You can't miss the River Seine in Paris


View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

You can't miss the River Seine in Paris


View from Quai de la Megisserie

You can't miss the River Seine.


Pont Alexandre III

You can't miss the River Seine in Paris


Me on the Seine

You can't miss the River Seine in Paris


On Pont Des Arts looking at Pont Neuf

You can't miss the River Seine.


Love-Lock Bridge

Where lovers used to attach a lock with their names engraved on it and throw the key in the Seine as a show of their commitment to one another. But a panel collapsed from the weight of the locks. They have now all been taken down. Sadly, you are no longer allowed to profess your love in this fashion.

You can't miss the River Seine.


Pont au Change and The Conciergerie.

A UNESCO site, it is a gothic palace that then became a prison during the French Revolution and had a very famous prisoner, Queen Marie-Antoinette. Now part of it is law courts, a chapel and is open to the public for tours. Don’t miss it!

You can't miss the River Seine.


View of the Cathedral of Notre Dame from the Pont au Double

Situated in the middle of the Seine on the island, Ile de la Cite, the heart of the city.

the River Seine.


Bouquinistes – Book Kiosks

These green book kiosks have been part of the furniture along the Seine for centuries and are a treasured part of the city which are unique to Paris. However, they are losing their popularity.

the River Seine.


Ornate gilt bronze details on Pont Alexandre III

the River Seine.


Eiffel Tower seen from the Seine

You can't miss the River Seine.


View from the Eiffel Tower

Other Tours of Paris for you

I recommend taking a tour in Paris. Here are some tours I’ve selected for you to consider.

Au Revoir.

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13 thoughts on “Best Of Paris And The River Seine

  1. The Travel Bunny says:

    Wow, I had no idea about the beaches! Kind of reminds me about Berlin with its beach chairs by the river. Anyway, I’ll have to give those a try the next time we get to Paris <3

  2. Yukti says:

    I have to Paris and loved the banks of river Seine. Good to know some important facts about this river which I was not knowing like it flows into English Channel before reading your post.

  3. Sage Scott says:

    What a fun post! I love walking along the Seine in Paris, especially when it’s summertime and folks are eating lunch or reading books along the banks. Although I bet it’s so different right now after the Notre Dame fire. ~ Sage Scott, the Everyday Wanderer

  4. Michael Hodgson says:

    Wanding along most any big European city riverbank is an amazing experience. The Seine is one of those for sure … perfect for strolling, people watching, sitting and sipping a tea or coffee.

  5. mohanaandaninda says:

    The Seine riverbank looks like the ideal place to be on a lazy afternoon. I love that there are options for both pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy the area as they like. And mock beaches!! Who would have thought of that! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Delphine says:

    Thank you for sharing those facts, I always love reading about my hometown. It’s so true that the Seine is worth visiting, I loved the cruise I took when I was there last time.

  7. sunsetsandrollercoasters says:

    We’ve really enjoyed the Paris Plages along the Seine a few times but I had no idea they were preparing the Seine for swimming! That would be so amazing to have the Olympic events in the historic Seine. Hopefully they’d open to the public afterwards!

  8. trimmtravels says:

    Totally agree you can’t miss the Seine! I wanted to cruise on the Seine because it’s iconic and for its history. I had no idea that there are “right/left” sides but that makes sense according to the water flow. Beaches? Nope didn’t know about those either. That does sound weird!

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