Paris France is the most beautiful city in the world. The kind of city you can visit over and over again without ever feeling like you’ve seen it all. There is so much to see and do in Paris. But the best way to see the City of Light is to plan as little as possible. Let your feet be your guide. Get lost a little. Walk everywhere and you’ll discover some of the prettiest streets in Paris.
From my many repeat trips, I have collected some of my favourites over time. From the most famous streets in Paris to quiet streets off the beaten path. Here are some of the must see streets in Paris that are perfect for strolling.
Related reading | If you love to stroll, and discover the undiscovered in Paris, then you’ll want to ready my guide to finding the best hidden gardens in Paris
Best Paris Streets
Rue Montorgueil in 2nd arrondissement
This Paris street is a feast for the senses. As one of the last remaining streets in Paris to operate as a permanent market since the 12th century, Rue Montorgueil is a definite must see.
Just like rue Cler near the Eiffel Tower, you’ll find produce, meat, seafood, cheese, bread and more. Also, flower shops line the curbs with pretty bouquets. Today, this lively food market street includes restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops. Specialty shops like G. Detou (culinary supply shop), Mariage Frères (tea shop) and Stohrer (oldest bakery in Paris). Savour a delicious traditional French meal and dine at Bistrot des Petits Carreaux or L’Escargot.
Related reading: Stroll through Paris’ secret covered passages dotted throughout the city
Rue de Charlot in 3rd arrondissement
This Paris street is in the heart of the Marais district. An area in Paris full of history and charm. Narrow cobblestone roads, hidden courtyards and quiet gardens make up this neighbourhood from the 13th to 17th centuries.
It’s the perfect place to stroll and get lost in the maze-like streets. Rue Charlot, along with Rue Poitou and Bretagne are among the prettiest streets in this area. However, Rue Charlot is the chicest. It’s full of art galleries, up-and-coming fashion designers and trendy cafes.
Rue des Barres in 4th arrondissement
This Paris street is as if time stood still. Stroll this short and narrow cobblestone street and gaze upon some of the city’s most ancient buildings, look for numbers:
- 2-10 – Hôtel des Barres built in 1250
- 11 – 7th century Église Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais rebuilt in 16th century
- 12 – housing for nuns rebuilt in 1514
- 13-15 – housing and private graves for the parish built in 1626
Sit and stay awhile. Whether it’s at the lovely terrace at Café Louis Philippe or Chez Julien. This street is a hidden gem tucked away from the busy streets of Paris. Of course, the most popular street in Le Marais is Rue des Rosiers. It lies in the heart of the Jewish quarter and is where you will find the delicious eatery L’As du Fallafel.
While in Le Marais, and off the beaten path, is the Village of Saint Paul in the 4th arrondissement. It’s a wonderful maze of cobbled courtyards showcasing more than 80 specialty shops for art and antiques and high-quality items for your home. Entrances to this hidden gem are on Rue Saint-Paul, Avenue Maria and the St-Paul and Charlemagne gardens. It’s the perfect place for a stroll.
Experience | Join a walking tour of one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Paris, Le Marais, click here
Rue des Chantres in 4th arrondissement
This Paris street is one of the narrowest laneways in the city. Rue des Chantres is hidden away behind Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite. Early records from 1540 show that Rue des Chantres was once housed within the cloisters of Notre Dame. Chantre means to sing, and it was the singers of Notre Dame who once lived here.
Admire the original architecture saved from Haussmann’s rebuilding in the 19th century. Stroll down this secret street on your way to Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, one of Paris’s prettiest cafés.
Related reading | Visit the smaller Ile Saint Louis, the second island in the middle of Paris
Rue Mouffetard in 5th arrondissement
This Paris street is one of the oldest in the city. Rue Mouffetard, or la Mouffe as the Parisians like to call it, feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Don’t rush or you might miss the medieval details found here. Look for the frescoes and sculptures on buildings, a water well dating back to 1624 and the beautiful 9th-century Église St. Médard church.
This lively, pedestrian-only street is bustling with energy due to the street market that runs from Tuesday to Sunday morning. Rue Mouffetard is a local and tourist favourite and really is a must-see street perfect for strolling.
Rue Galande in 5th arrondissement
This Paris street is picture postcard perfect. Steps from Notre Dame and the popular Shakespeare and Company book store, walk down Rue Saint Julien le Pauvre admiring the cute café Odette Notre Dame.
Stop in and treat yourself to the best choux pastry (cream puff) in Paris. Stroll here and discover this old part of Paris which includes:
- the oldest tree in Paris which is over 400 years old
- ancient church St Julien le Pauvre
- the square of René Viviani which was once a 6th-century cemetery
- oldest street sign built into the facade of a 14th-century building
Avenue Rapp in 7th arrondissement
This Paris street features an Art Nouveau masterpiece. Walk along Avenue Rapp and enjoy magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower. I love how the Eiffel Tower can pop up between the streets. If you do too, walk along the nearby Rue Saint Dominique and Rue L’Universite.
Next walk until you reach number 29, the Lavirotte Building. It’s one of the best examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Paris. Steps away, between numbers 33 and 35 you’ll notice a secluded courtyard tucked away from the crowds. Square Rapp offers a secret view of the Eiffel Tower. This discovery makes Avenue Rapp a must-see street in Paris.
Avenue Montaigne in 8th arrondissement
This Paris street is one of the most prestigious in the city. Rue Montaigne is known as the best shopping street in Paris. Luxury designers like Chanel, Céline, Dior and Louis Vuitton line the wide boulevard. As does the elegant Théatre des Champs-Elysées and exclusive Plaza Athénée hotel.
Stroll this chic street with its impressive architecture and Eiffel Tower views. An added bonus, Avenue Montaigne is near the most famous street in Paris – Champs Elysées. Both of these streets are a must visit during the Christmas season.
Related reading | If you are visiting Paris during the holidays, use this guide to find the best Christmas markets, decorations and lights
Rue Crémieux in 12th arrondissement
This Paris street is a kaleidoscope of colours. Pretty pastel-coloured houses with flower boxes decorating the window sills make this instantly a famous street with Instagrammers. Terra cotta pots filled with lush plants line the street. Each house on Rue Cremieux shows its unique personality through its colour and art choice, like number 21, with its mural of a creeping vine draping over the doorway.
This colourful street is unlike any other in Paris. I can see why many are drawn to come to see it. But, honestly, unless you are near Gare Lyon, there is really nothing else nearby to see and do. So if you are short on time in Paris, I wouldn’t recommend making the special trip.
Rue des Martyrs in 18th arrondissement
This Paris street is considered the most authentic Parisian street. Actually, it’s more than just a street, it’s a community. Everyday life happens here.
You’ll find people popping in and out of specialty shops all day long. An endless offering of bakeries, grocery stalls, cheese, chocolate and pastries, as well as, restaurants. Also, an eclectic mix of shops from antiques to books to music. That’s why it’s considered the most perfect Paris street. The best way to experience this street is to start at the top of the hill in Montmartre and then walk down slowly until you reach the bottom near the Church of Notre Dame de Lorette.
Rue de l’Abreuvoir in 18th arrondissement
This Paris street is known as the prettiest street in Paris. Start your stroll at the famous La Maison Rose and continue down the cobbled road towards the Statue of Dalida.
This offers the best view of the Sacré-Coeur in the distance. Montmartre has some of the best hidden gems and Paris streets that are perfect for strolling like rue Lepic and rue Norvins to name a few.
Experience | Let yourself be swept away by the charm and atmosphere of picturesque Montmartre on this 2.5-hour walking tour through the quaint Parisian quarter, click here.
As a holidaymaker…
One of my favourite things to do in Paris is to simply stroll. And, with every return trip, I discover more of the prettiest streets in Paris. Some are famous streets of Paris and others are hidden gems. What are the must see streets in Paris that are perfect for strolling for you?