Île de la Cité, Paris

4.7
#2 of 8 in Nature in Paris
Île de la Cité is one of two natural islands in the Seine at the heart of Paris. As the place where the medieval city was founded, the island is known for its cobblestone streets and historic buildings. One important landmark is Conciergerie prison, where Marie Antoinette awaited execution in 1793. The island’s teardrop shape makes its streets quite interesting, with buildings and bridges forced to adapt to this landscape. Small walkways and a staircase behind the statue by the Pont Neuf bridge allow you to walk down along the river’s edge. A small bridge connecting the other island, Île Saint-Louis, is a gathering place for street performers showcasing their talents. Île de la Cité is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Paris Edition.
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Île de la Cité Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,147 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • A good starting point for touring in Paris is inevitably the North of la Cité. This is the place where, in the 3rd century BC, the parisii (a group of Celtic Gauls) settled building some houses of mud and reeds, which was the first village of Paris, and from which stems the city name. The Romans came to take care of the territory in the year 52 BC by Julius Caesar, and the settlement of the Seine prospered under the name Lutetia (Lutetia Parisiorum, in Latin). It is here that are attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Palace of Justice, among many other attractions.
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  • One of the places that you must visit in Paris and despite the pressure of inhabitants and visitors still has remarkable charm. Well worth the visit not only for the specific sites and views but just ...  more »
Google
  • Ile de la Cité is easily accessible through Notre Dame cathedral or Pont des Arts where you will find the Square du vert-calant and the famous “love-lock”. You know that famous place where locals and tourists attach a “lock” to make a wish or demonstrate their love forever … or something like that! We first noticed l'île de la Cité on the Bateaux-Mouches tour. Passing in front, the island gave us this peaceful impression and we instantly wanted to visit. We saw people sitting on the edge of the concrete basking in the sun and imagined ourselves there. After a long day of sightseeing around Paris, our opportunity struck and we accepted. We consider ourselves fortunate for the experience since we came very close to missing out. Just moments before arriving on the island, we were searching for a patio to have a few drinks. What we discovered on that island that day was far greater than any patio ! Everyone seemed to be having a drink, either wine or beer and we felt like we missed out. We found a nice quiet spot under the trees at the far end of the island. We sat and felt blessed with a beautiful view. At this point, we were just missing the drinks. And what do you know, all of a sudden we had first class service, a couple of Heineken beers for the both of us by an anonymous fellow ! Just sitting there after a long walking day and be able to relax it was a kind of insight and meditation saying “OK … Let's enjoy Paris!”. Great things in life are free, and we were just thankful to experience this spot. We could rest and reconnect with nature after a long day of sightseeing. For those looking for a more vibrant or exciting interaction, we found musicians near the main entrance entertaining the crowd. According Wikipedia the “Ile de la Cité” is one of two remaining natural island in the Seine river within the city of Paris (the other being the Ile Saint-Louis) and it’s the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded. Really interesting. Our Ratings Serge: 5 Eli: 5 Recommend: Yes, even better on a sunny day ! It’s a really beautiful place to relax get to know Paris!
  • Good place to avoid the crowded Notre Dame area ... you can find flower market and a metro line 4 next to it
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