There is a lot more to the 7th arrondissement than just the Eiffel Tower. Located on the Left bank of the River Seine, this district of Paris is one that is a must for any visitor to the City of Lights.
The famed Musée d’Orsay is also located in the area. This is a quieter part of the city in terms of bars and restaurants, with most of the arrondissement covered by large complex of Les Invalides buildings and the Champs de Mars.
There is plenty to experience in this area so let’s explore what there is to do in the 7th arrondissement, shall we? Allons-y!
What to see: Museums and Attractions
1. Tour Eiffel
Of course, the Eiffel has got to be number 1 on any “must-visit in Paris”. Most locals actually recommend that you go to the top of the Montparnasse tower in the 15th arrondissement to see the city from above including the Eiffel Tower.
I would recommend this as well, but again, I don’t want to be blamed if you miss climbing the Eiffel, and regret it later. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in France after all. And I highly recommend booking tickets in advance.
2. Musée d’Orsay
The 7th is also home to the Musée d’Orsay, that “other” museum that gives the Louvre in the 1st arrondissement a good run for its money. Musée d’Orsay is world-renowned as the home to the French Impressionists and some of the greatest painters in the world.
Located in an old train station that was converted into a museum, it houses one of the largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Spend an afternoon with Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Auguste Renoir, and marvel over their works of art.
3. Les Invalides
Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement is a large complex of buildings has a very interesting permanent resident: the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. His body lies in an elaborate monument surrounded by reliefs of his accomplishments.
There is also an in-depth museum, Musée de l’Armée dedicated to the military history of France in one of the other buildings of the complex.
4. Pont Alexandre III
The prettiest bridge in Paris, the emblematic Pont Alexandre III is just calling is just a short walk away from Les Invalides.
It is named after Russian Tsar Alexander III who had agreed to a Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Tsar Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896.
If you came all this way and didn’t take a picture on this famous bridge (with the Eiffel Tower in the background no less), you will definitely regret it!
5. Musée Rodin
Containing the works of master French sculptor Auguste Rodin, he museum has two sites, the palatial mansion “Hôtel Biron” in central Paris, as well as Rodin’s own home in the Parisian suburb of Meudon.
The museum within Paris has a series of galleries filled with statues, but more importantly, it has a sculpture garden where you can let the kids roam freely, unlike some of the more serious museums. You can book your skip-the-line tickets here.
6. Assemblée Nationale
The French House of representatives, the Assemblée Nationale is also in located along the Seine. However, Journée du Patrimoine, is the only day of the year that it is open, for security reasons.
If you do happen to be in Paris in September, do visit inside the Assemblée Nationale you can. Entry is free and you can explore the famous Hemicycle, the Galerie des Fêtes, and much much more. You can read more about my visit to the Assemblée Nationale here.
In front of the Assemblée Nationale is the bridge called Pont de la Concorde. Some of the stones from the prison at Bastille were used to build the bridge that leads from the Assemblée Nationale to the Place de la Concorde in the 8th arrondissement which is where Marie-Antoinette, King Louis VI and other members of French nobility had their heads guillotined during the French Revolution.
7. Musée de la Légion d’Honneur
Some famous recipients have included Charlie Chaplin, Nelson Mandela and even the World Cup winning French football team in 2008.
To honor past recipients, there is a museum in Paris in the 7th arrondissement, near the Assemblée Nationale and the Invalides. Entry to the museum is free. You can find more free museums in Paris here.
In terms of shopping in Paris, the 9th may have Galerie Lafayette, but the Left Bank of Paris has the Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement. Founded in 1938, the Bon Marché literally translates to the “Good Market”.
Originally, it was a shoppers’ paradise to sell lace, ribbons, sheets, mattresses, buttons, umbrellas and other assorted goods. Today, it is also owned by the LVMH group, and sells many of the same brands as La Samaritaine.
Along with luxury brands, the Bon Marché is also famous for its Grand Epicerie, meaning “large grocery store“.
It offers one of the largest ranges of artisan culinary products from France such as varieties of seafood, cheese, meats, pastries, etc. It also offers exotic products from other countries that are not so easily available.
And if you are looking for outdoor farmers’ markets, head to Marché Saxe-Breteuil on Av. de Saxe in the 7eme arrondissement. It is a producers’ market selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to artisan charcuterie to flowers and more. The market is open on Thursday and Saturday mornings.
Located within footsteps of the Eiffel Tower, Rue Cler is a pedestrian-friendly street lined with colorful markets, shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is a posh local market frequented by those living in this quietly expensive neighborhood.
The area is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a taste of authentic Parisian culture. It’s a great place to soak up the ambiance and pick up some unique souvenirs to take home.
The shops along Rue Cler have varying opening times, but in general are open everyday except Sunday afternoons.
What to eat: Restaurants, Brasseries, and Bistros
There is plenty to choose from when it comes to food (and price points) in the 7th arrondissement, so don’t hesitate to wander around and explore. Some local favorites are:
- Garance – creative and elegant at 34 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
- Pasco – Mediterranean dishes at 74 Bd de la Tour-Maubourg, 75007 Paris
- Auberge Bressane – casual and traditional French at 16 Av. de la Motte-Picquet, 75007 Paris
You can find more ideas and ways of spending an evening in Paris here.
Bars and Nightlife
There are a handful of bars and clubs around the 7th, especially in the area around the River Seine. Some local favorites are:
- En attendant Rosa (peniche guinguette with same owners as the classic Rosa Bonheur in the 19th) – Port des Invalides, 75007 Paris
- Faust (upscale nightclub under the Pont Alexandre III) – Rive Gauche, Pont Alexandre III, 75007 Paris
- Bateau Concorde Atlantique (Bar, restaurant, DJ) – 23 Quai Anatole France Face au, 75007 Paris
You can find more bars and nightlife options around Paris here.
Where to stay: Hotels and other accommodation
If you have always dreamed about visiting Paris, it can’t get any better than staying a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower. It isn’t the most lively area at night, but for elegant and refinement, the 7eme arrondissement is a wonderful place to stay. Some recommended hotels in the area are:
You can find more accommodation options for the 7th arrondissement here.