There’s a newfound softness in the air, a breeze picking up—winds of change, if you will—whispering of budding trees and long, meandering walks and sitting on café terraces. You thought of Paris, didn’t you? But there’s so many strolls you could take and only so much leisure—where do you start? We have a few guides to help you plot your path through all twenty arrondissements and beyond.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD, John Baxter — Though technically a memoir, Baxter recalls his years giving literary “walking tours” through Paris with all the familiar fondness of a storytelling grandfather. He’ll make you want to trace the steps of Hemingway and Fitzgerald for certain, but you’ll be enchanted by Baxter’s own journey through the city—maybe to the point of putting your own spin on it.
A WALK THROUGH PARIS, Eric Hazan — Hazan takes the reader along with the flow of the Seine, through Paris from east to west, using maps to expand on the city’s lesser-known historical tidbits and cultural quirks. You’ll read it and then want to take his route yourself.
THE STREETS OF PARIS, Susan Cahill —A time-travel approach to walking, Cahill ties each landmark outlined in this guide to a specific figure or historical moment: recalling Marie Curie’s struggling student years in the Latin Quarter, preceding her famous breakthroughs; author Patrick Modiano’s favorite bookshops in Montmartre. Forget about seeing Paris through one new set of eyes; Cahill gives you twenty.
PARIS IN STRIDE, Jessie Kanelos Weiner — This guide is organized geographically, each section headed up by a delightful watercolor illustration of Weiner’s recommended route. It weaves traditional offerings such as museums and revered landmarks in with tucked-away gardens, shops, and cafés, of course. The illustrations make it show-off-able and the size makes it portable; this is a guide you’ll carry proudly.