The Ile Saint-Louis: The prettiest walk in Paris

I’ve lived in Paris since 2015 and I haven’t found a more beautiful place for a walk than the Ile Saint-Louis.

Some context: The Ile Saint-Louis is one of two natural islands in the Seine River. It’s the more residential one, the quieter one. (The other island is the Ile de la Cité, featuring Notre Dame).

A one-hour walk on the Ile Saint-Louis island is simply unbeatable, as far as Paris walks go.

This week on the podcast I laid out the best way to visit. Of course, the island is very small and you can’t really go wrong. Consider this the best way to spend one hour there, if you only had one hour to spare.

The basic map

Start at Saint Regis restaurant (marked with a flag below). Then walk straight down the main street, through the park, then back towards the restaurant along the waterside.

The podcast episode

This week on the podcast I took the microphone and did this exact walk, describing everything I saw. Have a listen below, or anywhere you get podcasts.

Things to find on the Île Saint-Louis 

There’s incredible architecture, history dating back thousands of years, and a rich little community.

If you want a taste of the island’s flavour, here’s my interview with a local resident. If you really want a taste… get the local ice cream from any of the Berthillon shops.

People watch at Le Saint-Regis

A classic Paris cafe/restaurant on the west side of the island. A healthy mix of tourists and locals, a beautiful interior, and the kind of Paris dining experience that feels incredibly authentic. @le_saint_regis_paris Address: 6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004

The best door

At number 51 rue Saint Louis en L’Ile is the greatest door on the island, maybe in the city. Look: I got inside, here’s what it looks like in the courtyard.

Incidentally, there are at least 100 great doors on the island. I took pictures of them all, here they are.

Other things to do

Get down on the water side. The picture below shows one quite hidden entry to the waterside, via the Square Barye on the east side of the island. But there are many ways to get down, just make sure you do it! The park is lovely too!

The best coffee

The best cafe is at Noir… and their lemon cake is pretty much unbeatable in all of Paris.

The best view of the island

Leave the island and head to the Arab Institute on the Left Bank. Free to get to the viewing platform, unbeatable views like this one.

The island in the snow…

I’ve seen the island in the snow once, but it melted before I could take more than one or two pictures!

And the rain….

This is the view towards the Hotel de Ville from the west edge of the island. Usually people sit by that lamppost and dangle their feet over the edge to the water far below.

Live video walk

If you’re a Patreon Member of the Earful Tower, check out the replay from my live YouTube walk around the island. Here’s the link to watch it, or to sign up as the newest Patron of this channel to join the club and see it all for yourself.

2 thoughts on “The Ile Saint-Louis: The prettiest walk in Paris

  1. We spent a week on Île Saint-Louis in a loft apartment above the bakery. The smell of fresh-baked pastries drove us crazy! The island is a great place to be, especially in the evening, and always, as Oliver states, along the water. Be sure to visit the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation behind Notre Dame while you are in the area. Thanks for the memories! – Barry F

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