Paris is defined, as much as anything, by the two sides of the Seine River–the Left Bank and the Right Bank. But no one can stay on just one side; there’s too much to see! This is where the bridges in Paris come in handy. There are 37 of them criss-crossing the river and connecting the two sides of the city. Fortunately, in keeping with its reputation, the bridges of Paris are as beautiful as they are functional. In fact, many bridges are destinations in and of themselves. We’ve selected some of our favorite Paris bridges, proving that getting to your destination is half the fun.
The Most Beautiful Bridges in Paris
Pont Alexandre III
Nicknamed “the most beautiful bridge in the world,” those who have laid eyes on the Pont Alexandre III are generally inclined to agree. The bridge was built between 1896 and 1900 and was named for Tsar Alexander III, the Russian ruler during whose reign the Franco-Russian Alliance was ratified. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style, and its ornate decorations, especially the Art Nouveau lamps and the huge gilded statues that preside over each side of the bridge, are still a marvel today. The bridge was inaugurated in 1900 in time for the World’s Fair, along with nearby neighbors the Grand Palais and Petit Palais.
Our apartments in the 7th arrondissement are located close to both the Pont Alexandre III and Pont de Bir-Hakeim, giving you the opportunity to cross each of these beautiful bridges as often as you’d like!
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
The Pont de Bir-Hakeim connects the 15th and 16th arrondissements and is one of two viaduct bridges in Paris, with a foot and car path below and metro line above (the other being the Pont de Bercy, also used by the line 6 metro in the 12th and 13th arrondissements). It was made especially popular by the movies The Last Tango in Paris and Inception. Connected to the Île aux Cygnes (Island of the Swans) at its eastern end (one of the five Statues of Liberty in Paris is located at the western end!), it is decorated with many commemorative plates and statues, but its biggest draw is the incredible view that it offers over the Eiffel Tower, both from the footpath and from within the line 6 metro as it passes between the stations Bir-Hakeim and Passy. The bridge was originally named the Pont de Passy, but was renamed in 1948 after the Battle of Bir-Hakeim, between French and German forces in World War II.
This is the oldest bridge in Paris- while neuf does indeed mean “nine,” it is also the masculine singular of the word “new,” an amusing irony for a bridge whose construction began in 1578. It was the first bridge to be built connecting main roads– the rue de Rivoli on the Right Bank and the rue Dauphine on the Left, allowing access to the Île de la Cité and Place Dauphine in the center. You’ll inevitably cross it when arriving at your Paris Perfect apartment at 25 Place Dauphine, as Henri IV, the king who commissioned the bridge, looks on from the west side of the bridge.
Pont des Arts
Officially its name is the Pont des Arts, but you may know it better as the “love lock bridge.” A tradition developed a few years back of adding a lock onto the sides of the bridge with couples’ names written on them, then throwing the key into the Seine to represent an bond that could never be broken. While the jury’s still out on whether or not this did bring luck to the tens of thousands who added locks to the bridge, the locks were removed in 2015 due to their weight damaging the integrity of the bridge and were replaced by glass paneling. The bridge itself now looks more modern, but just as beautiful, with the Louvre framing its Right Bank side and the Institut de France sitting on the Left. (Before adding a love lock to Paris’ most beautiful sites, read this.)
Pont de la Tournelle
Connecting the Île Saint-Louis with the Left Bank, Pont de la Tournelle boasts both an impressive view over Notre-Dame and a statue of the patron saint of Paris, Sainte Geneviève. Facing east, away from Notre Dame, she’s an easy sight to miss, as you might only see her back- a mistake that her creator, Paul Landowski (who also designed the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro), always lamented. Legend has it that the prayers and determination of Geneviève, a magistrate’s daughter, saved Paris from being pillaged by Attila and the Huns, as she convinced the Parisians to stay and fight for their city. As such, she is depicted in the statue as protecting a small child– Paris. Just a short walk from our Maubert apartment, you can bid bonjour to Geneviève as she watches over the city from her perch on the Pont de la Tournelle.
See all of these beautiful bridges (along with the other 32) by planning a trip to Paris. Our reservation team is ready to help organize your Paris accommodations. Give them a call at 1-888-520-2087 from the USA or email [email protected].