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The River Seine

The Seine dissects the city of Paris for eight of its 486 miles and attracts Parisians and visitors from throughout the world to its banks. Whether it’s to walk hand-in-hand with a loved one, enjoying it while on a run, or simply to walk from one fantastic Parisian attraction to another, the River Seine is a great place to see the city. Several popular tourist destinations are located within a short walk of the river’s banks and from many of CobbleStay's vacation rentals in Paris.

The river begins its journey 200 miles to the southeast, near Dijon, and – after flowing through Paris – finishes its voyage in the city of Le Havre, 120 miles to the northwest of the capital city. Within the city, it is crossed by 37 bridges, four of which are footbridges and two that are railway bridges. Thirty-two of the crossings are illuminated. 

The Seine divides Paris into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The area to the immediate south is the Left Bank, as it is on the left when going with the natural current of the river from east to west. 

The Left Bank is known by many as the most artistic neighborhood of Paris, as people such as Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway have called the place home at one point in their lives. The Latin Quarter, where many students from the several universities located nearby congregate, is also here.

Conversely, the Right Bank has historically been where the city’s wealthier residents have lived and is home today to a number of financial institutions. 

There are two islands in the River Seine within the city limits, the Île Saint-Louis and the Île de la Cité. Most of the former isle is residential, while the latter one contains the historic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, built in 1163. Also, the Île de la Cité is the former home of Paris’ predecessors, the Parisii, a tribe in Gaul that took up residence on the island in the third century B.C.

For those who will be in Paris in the summer months, specifically from mid-July to mid-August, Paris Plages serves as a premier entertainment option. The event transforms much of the river banks into beaches during its four-week run from 8 a.m.-midnight daily. 

The first beach on the banks of the River Seine opened in 2002. It runs from the Louvre to Pont de Sully and features a swimming pool, concert stage, refreshment and play areas and open-air attractions. Another area opened in 2007 from Rotonde de Ledoux to the former Magasins Généraux and features a water-sports complex with boules courts.  If you're lucky, you may even find a Paris vacation apartment with a view of the river.