One of the prettiest, most peaceful locations in Paris, the square is a hot-spot for families, dog walkers and petanque players.

TravelCurious Tip

A great place to take a break from the crowds of central Paris.

Given its position, smack-bang in the middle of Paris, sharing the Île de la Cité with Notre Dame, Place Dauphine can be an amazingly quiet and peaceful place. It was built by Henry IV of France, the second of his great Parisian public squares after the Place des Vosges in Le Marais. All of the houses were complete by 1616. The vast majority have been renovated, made taller or otherwise significantly altered - only the two that flank the entrance leading onto the Pont Neuf retain their original appearance, offering a charm-soaked glimpse of the Paris of 400 years ago.

A Hidden Gem

There’s a good reason why Place Dauphine rarely seems crowded - it’s not the kind of place you would stumble across on a typical wander around Paris’ major sights. You need to head to the western tip of the Île de la Cité, and you’ll find it just before the Pont Neuf. Entering from here, you will immediately notice that it isn’t actually a square, but rather a triangle. In the centre is a lovely shady area where you can find old men playing petanque and young couples taking in the sun. Cars are a rarity here, and in their place pedestrians stroll at leisure beneath the new trees. These used to be magnificent old chestnuts, but sadly in 2009 they were all cut down after succumbing to a parasite.

The life of the square goes on though, and it’s a great place to come to rest your legs after a day’s sightseeing. There are plenty of cafes and wine bars to be found here, which put out little wooden tables and chairs when the weather is fine.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Île de la Cité
This island in the middle of the River Seine is the historical heart of Paris.
Pont Neuf
Built to ease traffic congestion in the early 17th century, this iconic five-arch bridge is Paris' oldest bridge.
La Conciergerie
Once a royal residence, the Conciergerie became a prison during the French revolution, a notable prisoner being Marie-Antoinette.
Square du Vert-Galant
A beautiful little park, the subject of many photographs and paintings, occupying the western tip of Île de la Cité.
Place St-Michel Fountain
One of the city's most well-known meeting places, the statue depicts the archangel Michael vanquishing the Devil.
Rue de Rivoli
One of the most famous streets in Paris, famed for its commercialism.

Related Tours

The Latin Quarter: Parisian Authors & Thinkers
The Latin Quarter is one of Paris' most quirky and interesting neighbourhoods. It is an ambient juxtaposition of medieval backstreets, churches and grand Haussmman-style boulevards, which were built in the 19th century as part of Paris’ modernisation, the area takes its name from medieval times when the majority of local residents were clergy or students who spoke Latin. 

  • Begin at Île de la Cité and see the stunning Notre Dame.
  • Experience the artistic haunts of Sartre, Hemingway, and Camus.
  • Get off the beaten track at Paris’ best-hidden squares and parks.
  • Learn all about the area’s post-Medieval history.
  • End your tour in one of the most beautiful parks in the world - the Luxembourg Gardens.
This three-hour walking tour begins on the edge of the Latin Quarter, on the island Île de la Cité, the city’s historical medieval epicentre. Here you will see the famous Notre Dame and will explore some other architecturally notable sights on the island, including the Conciergerie, Place Dauphine, and Square du Vert-Galan, before venturing across the distinctively Parisian Pont Neuf bridge into the heart of the Latin Quarter.

The Latin Quarter was the scene of the student uprising in May ’68, even though its medieval facade strikes a strong contrast to its liberal, intellectual and artistic side. On Boulevard St-Michel and Boulevard St Germain, you will find many cafes where the likes of Camus, Orwell, and Hemingway passed hours discussing philosophy and literature. The area is also rich with interesting book shops, most notably the Shakespeare and Company - a legendary meeting place and boarding house for many aspiring writers.

Your tour guide will direct you through the neighbourhood’s best cultural haunts: experience the wonders of medieval backstreets that are adorned with theatres and jazz clubs, unchanged since their post-war beginnings, and see the narrowest street in Paris. Visit the city’s oldest church in St Julien le Pauvre and see one of the most famous academic institutions in the world - La Sorbonne. Next stop off at the Panthéon, a mausoleum where many distinguished French figures such as Voltaire, Braille, and Rousseau were laid to rest. Then wander through the grounds of the stunning Luxembourg Gardens and Palace, the perfect place to people watch, enjoy nature, and feel like a true Parisian.


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