Paris Self-Guided Walking Tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides, France inner banner

Paris Self-Guided Walking Tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides, France

Walking is a great way to immerse yourself in the magic of the French capital. This Paris self-guided walking tour covers several key sights between the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides.
18 Oct, 2023
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides

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On a first visit to Paris, the Eiffel Tower will be high on your list of must-sees.

However, it’s located in a largely residential area — so what does one do afterwards other than jump back on the metro to livelier parts of Paris? Well, I’ve designed a Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides. You’ll start at Passy Cemetery, cross the bridge featured in the feature film Inception, discover one of the best places in town for pizza or couscous, pop into the Rodin Museum and finally throw yourself down on the grass of the stunning Esplanade des Invalides.

The walk will take a leisurely 90 minutes, but could stretch out to three or four hours with extended stops along the way. If you plan to go up the tower, the queuing time could be up to an hour. Purchase your tickets online for quicker access.

Follow the Google map provided below. Remember to print the map beforehand (or keep this page open!) if you don’t have Wi-Fi. Bonne balade!

Ruby’s ‘Eiffel Tower territory’ Walking Tour (Paris walk # 2) – Google My Maps

Ruby’s ‘Eiffel Tower territory’ Walking Tour (Paris walk # 2)

(A) Trocadero

This walk starts at Metro Trocadero. Exit the station by the large terrace cafés and make your way clockwise around the roundabout to Avenue Paul Doumer. Then take the first right onto Rue du Commandant Schloesing.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides: Passy Cemetery

(B) Passy Cemetery

Head inside Passy Cemetery via the impressive art deco-style entrance. Opened in 1820 as part of emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s push to move overcrowded cemeteries outside the city centre, Passy is not quite as famous as Père Laichers or Montmartre Cemetery, but it does have an impressive list of artists and historic figures to pay tribute to, including Debussy, Monet, French comedic actor Fernandel and Bảo Đại — the last emperor of Vietnam.


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(C) Place de Trocadero

Next, take Avenue Paul Doumer back to Trocadero — passing the neo classical Palais de Chaillot, which houses a number of cultural institutions including the Théâtre National de Chaillot and Musée National de la Marine. Enjoy the incredible view over the Trocadero Gardens to the Eiffel Tower.

Mosey downhill towards the tower, but instead of following the hordes of tourists crossing Pont d’Iéna, take a right onto Avenue de New York along the Seine, looking down at the colourful barges and river boats.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides: Place de Trocadero

(D) Pont de Bir-Hakeim

Cross the river on the two-level (one for the Metro and one for all other traffic) Pont de Bir-Hakeim. In the middle of this stylish steel structure, you can get a great Eiffel Tower selfie sans tourists! Make sure you’ve seen Inception — the science-fiction action thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan — so you can imagine yourself in the warped dreamscape of Leonardo di Caprio and Marion Cotillard!

Look to the right to spy the mini Statue of Liberty near the Pont de Grenelle on the Île aux Cygnes. Take a left after the bridge and walk along Promenade d’Australie past the Maison de la Culture de Japon and the Australian Embassy.

(E) Eiffel Tower

From here, you can literally walk right under the Eiffel Tower. You’ll be offered all types of touristy trinkets on the way. Duck and dive or give in and buy a mini golden tower from the hawkers. Don’t worry, almost every visitor to Paris departs with at least one!

Stop and marvel at the massive wrought iron lattice structure that was only intended as a temporary installation to welcome visitors to Exposition Universelle, the world’s fair of 1889. Named after Gustave Eiffel — the engineer who designed and built the tower — the Eiffel Tower remains the tallest structure in Paris.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Eiffel Tower. Image: Ruby Boukabou

Stroll across Avenue Gustave Eiffel and into the beautiful green Parc du Champs de Mars. About half way along turn left onto Avenue Joseph Bouvard to arrive in the leafy, posh residential area of the 7th. Cross Avenue de la Bourbonnais and head down the charming Rue Saint Dominique.

(F) Rue Saint Dominique

With any luck you’ve built up quite an appetite, as the restaurants and delis (épicerie fine) along this strip have a wonderful village feel and offer a really tasty break. Take your time and find somewhere you love the look of. A pizza and vin rouge may be in order. You’ll also find a good couscous.


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(G) Rue Cler

When you’re done, turn right onto Rue Cler with its terrace cafés and lively street markets. At the end turn right onto Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. Head towards École Militaire — the famous military academy established in 1750. Napoleon was a graduate. Pass the Ecole Militaire metro station and turn left, and then left again onto Avenue de Tourville.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides: Tomb of Napoleon

(H) Dome des Invalides & (I) Rodin Museum

Stop on Place Vauban to admire the palatial Dome des Invalides, which houses the tomb of Napoleon. Exiled on Saint Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean from 1815 until his death in 1821, the former ruler’s remains were transferred to France in 1840 and finally laid to rest here in 1861.

Turn left onto the wide tree-lined Boulevard des Invalides and pop into the lovely Musée Rodin — the museum dedicated to the works of the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum has a delightful garden. It’s the perfect spot to contemplate Paris and life.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides: Musée Rodin.

(J) Les Invalides

Continue down Boulevard des Invalides past Metro Vavenne and turn left onto Rue de Grenelle. You’ll arrive at the main entrance to Les Invalides. The complex is home to the Musée de l’Armée, which is dedicated to French military history. Originally constructed in the late 1600s as a home for retired soldiers, Les Invalides has played many roles in French history over the centuries.

Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides
Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides: Musée de l’Armée

Stroll down the Esplanade des Invalides and find a shady spot to relax on the grass, or continue straight on to the banks of the Seine. You’ve completed this Paris self guided walk and seen some of the loveliest parts of the city. Time for a well-earned apéro!

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Have you travelled to Paris? We would love to hear your tips for a Paris self-guided walking tour from the Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides. Please leave a comment below.

Additional images: Bigstock

Ruby Boukabou

About the writer

Ruby Boukabou is a travel, culture, and food writer based between Europe and Australia, and has written for The Age, The Australian, Qantas, Issimo, The Diplomat, Paris Voice, and Inside Film. She has also produced culture and travel stories for the ABC, SBS, and Screen Australia. Ruby’s books — The Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and The Architecture Lover’s Guide to Paris (White Owl Books) — are available in bookshops and to order online.

 

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