The ten Paris streets you just have to walk down

The Local France
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The ten Paris streets you just have to walk down
People walk on rue Montorgueil in August 2014 in Paris. (Photo by FRED DUFOUR / AFP)

Paris is best explored on foot - so we asked the experts at Localers walking tours to come up with a list of the most unmissable streets in the French capital. See how many you have walked along. (No, the Champs Elysées is not one of them).


Yes, Paris is an amazing city for a stroll, but some streets simply stand out more than the others. From charming walkways to extravagant roads - here are ten that you should really prioritize.

And be prepared for a few you might not have heard of before.


1. Rue des Barres

This picturesque path slopes up toward a half-timbered home from the 15th century as the gargoyles of Église Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais survey the scene. Warm afternoons bring clued-in locals to the terrace seating of tearoom L'Ebouillante for fresh salads, while at the base of the street sit the popular Chez Julien restaurant and Café Louis Philippe, where Johnny Depp once filmed a scene for The Ninth Gate.

READ MORE: Tell us: What are your top tips for visitors to Paris?

Google Maps image showing Rue des Barres


2. Rue de l'Abreuvoir

How do you leave Paris without leaving Paris? Answer: Montmartre. Covered with wisteria in the spring and toboggans when it snows, this lazily winding street encapsulates the rustic throwback charm Montmartre is known for…without all of the tourists Montmartre is known for. Pop into miniscule La Maison Rose for a drink to toast the famous footsteps you’ve just traced - notably those of Picasso, Renoir, and Degas.


Google maps image of Rue de l'Abreuvoir

3. Cour du Commerce-Saint-André

In this 18th century alley you’ll find the city’s first coffee house, Le Procope, next to the subsequent birthplace of the guillotine at #9—proving that caffeine is a hell of a drug. A local’s tip: if the gate across from Le Procope is open, slip in discreetly for a hidden series of cozy courtyards.


Google maps image of Cr du Commerce Saint-André

4. Rue Montorgueil

Sure you can’t quite pronounce its name correctly, but don’t miss this street’s exciting slice of local life and outdoor market ambience. Start at the southern end with an empty stomach and nibble your way through high-end purveyors of all things French and tasty. Old-school butchers next to fishmongers and fromageries provide a snapshot of the pre-supermarket glory days. Don’t pass up Stohrer, Paris’ first boulangerie from 1730, and endless people-watching opportunities in the street’s bistros and bars.

Google maps image of Rue Montorgueil

5. Rue Crémieux

Travelling to or from Gare de Lyon? Tug your luggage a few extra steps to Rue Crémieux for a colourful oasis of charm. Affectionately nicknamed the “Notting Hill of Paris”, brightly-hued facades complete with picture-perfect bicycles, potted plants, and scaling ivy offer a quaint respite from the nearby clamour of train-goers. 

Google maps image of Rue Crémieux

6. Rue des Rosiers

Following the curve of an 800 year-old medieval rampart, this cobblestone lane of the Jewish Quarter is a postcard straight out of the Middle Ages. Kosher bakeries and synagogues sit side by side with trendy boutiques and life-changing falafels. Speaking of which: if the employee outside L’As du Falafel tries to drag you into the queue for a sandwich, let him. Add a sweet finish with handmade macarons from Damyel.

Google maps image of Rue des Rosiers

7. Rue Lepic

Start with the titillating teases of the Moulin Rouge before hiking up to Café des Deux Moulins, movieland workplace of the quirky character Amélie. Le French Burger across the street proves that Parisians have finally cracked the code to a decent hamburger, sourcing 100 percent of their ingredients from the merchants of Rue Lepic. Further up the hill is Vincent Van Gogh’s old pad at #54.

Google maps image of Rue Lepic

8. Rue Saint-Antoine

1789 saw this street packed with a bloodthirsty mob on its way to La Bastille. Things have chilled out since then; it’s now a popular foodie strip. Start at the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church, grab some sheep’s milk cheese at Laurent Dubois, a bottle of red next door at Caves Saint-Antoine, and baguettes at Miss Manon for a memorable Paris picnic. A place to sit, you say? The classy grass of Place des Vosges is just a stone’s throw away.

Google maps image of Rue Saint-Antoine

9. Avenue Winston Churchill

Paris always shines brightest when it knows someone’s watching, which was the case when the Grand Palais and Petit Palais were built for the 1900 World’s Fair. Their unapologetic opulence reflects the champagne-soaked Belle Epoque from which they sprung. This avenue culminates in the elegant Pont Alexandre III (pictured above) for prime views of the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides. A local’s secret: dash into the garden of the Petit Palais (entry is free) for a café break with a killer view.

Google maps image of Avenue Winston Churchill

10. Quai de Jemmapes

Plug into the buzz of the hippest hood this side of Brooklyn by following this street northward along the Canal Saint-Martin. Bask in the area’s untouched local vibe today before the guide books discover it tomorrow and tip off the rest of the planet. Have a glass of cider at Le Cidrerie or a cocktail at the Congo-inspired cabinet of curiosities Le Comptoir Général. French cinema fans should continue up the canal to the iconic Hôtel du Nord.

Google maps image of Quai de Jemmapes

These tips were provided by the folks at Localers, the friendliest walking tour guides in Paris, who offer small group and private tours of the French capital. Browse their selection of over 30 excursions and experiences by visiting them HERE.


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Pat Hallam 2023/10/03 20:37
Sorry, but your updating is well out of date. Un Dimanche à Paris closed a couple of years ago and is now Brasserie St Germain. You really shouldn't be encouraging people to go to Rue Crémieux: residents have had to resort to putting signs outside their houses because so many people were being intrusive for the sake of their Insta accounts. And guidebooks discovered the Canal St Martin a long time ago. It's a long way from being off the beaten track these days.
local_456688 2022/10/13 18:05
The fabulous early 20th century architecture of the Avenue Junot, also on Montmartre but far from the tourist crowds, is totally worth a special visit. And a side visit to the lovely little impasse rue Simon Derure with its charming houses. Junot, on the downhill side, culminates at the rue Damremont, with very nice food shops and restaurants, and the Place Claude Nougaro and the park at Square Joel le Tac with its fountain commemorating Steinlen.
Anonymous 2019/12/11 13:47
Avenue Winston Churchill not that special. And I have no idea what the picture is.<br /><br />What's special on that street, of course, are the palais, esp. le petit with its free art museum

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