Pont Neuf

Built to ease traffic congestion in the early 17th century, this iconic five-arch bridge is Paris' oldest bridge.

TravelCurious Tip

Walk along the bridge at sunset, with the views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, and that’s when you’ll fall for Paris

Pont Neuf spans the river Seine in Paris, and is the oldest standing bridge to do so. It has stood there since the start of the 17th century. It is constructed as a series of short arch bridges and that Roman-inspired design has stood the test of time.


Decorating the sides of the bridge are 381 stone masks, or mascarons, which depict the heads of various figures from ancient mythology, as well as satyrs and sylvains. When the bridge underwent reconstruction in the 19th century the mascarons were replaced with replicas, but they are nonetheless impressive for it.


Break Pont

Where the bridge crosses the Île de la Cité stands a bronze statue of King Henry IV, commissioned by his widow and Regent of France, Marie de Medici. Pont Neuf was one of his first projects when he took the throne after a period of war and uncertainty in France. He wanted to make a statement and literally get Paris moving again.


The king allegedly impressed workers when he visited the construction by leaping over the vast gaps between the pillars of the unfinished bridge. The statue was toppled during the French Revolution, but subsequently reformed using the melted bronze from statues of Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, a general for the French Republic, and of Napoleon. How’s that for symbolism.


The Heart of Paris

Historically, Ponte Neuf was considered the unlikely heart of Paris, somewhere you could see its the true character. Czar Peter the Great came to study French civilisation and declared that he found nothing more curious in Paris than the Ponte Neuf. It was full of vendors hawking oysters, cakes, oranges, coffee, dogs, wooden legs, glass eyes and false teeth. Singers would trill bawdy rhymes about the royal and the rich and sometimes end up in prison for their troubles. It’s a little less rowdy these days, but no less worth the visit.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
La Conciergerie
Once a royal residence, the Conciergerie became a prison during the French revolution, a notable prisoner being Marie-Antoinette.
Place-Dauphine
One of the prettiest, most peaceful locations in Paris, the square is a hot-spot for families, dog walkers and petanque players.
'The Coronation of Napoleon'
A painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I at Notre-Dame de Paris.
'Liberty leading the people'
Is a painting by Eugène Delacroix commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France.
Egypitan Wing at the Louvre
Counted as one of the world’s largest such collections, it includes more than 50,000 pieces that give a detailed overview of Egyptian life and customs from the earliest days of Ancient Egypt.
Rue de Rivoli
One of the most famous streets in Paris, famed for its commercialism.

Related Tours

Paris Je T'aime: Private Half-Day Highlights Walking Tour

During this fabulous four-hour walking tour of Paris, you will explore the most interesting and diverse central neighbourhoods the French capital has to offer. See the sights at your own pace and adapt your tour with your guide who will be happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences. 


On your private half-day highlights tour, you will:

  • Visit the historical heart of Paris, Île de la Cité;
  • Walk by the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, the former Parisian prison;
  • Explore the wonderful haunts of the Latin Quarter, just a short walk away;
  • Learn about Paris' home of intellectual thought and see where the May '68 revolution unfolded;
  • Visit the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées;
  • Walk around the surroundings of the symbolic Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral;
  • End your walking tour at the stunning Pont Alexander III bridge.


Explore Île de la Cité, one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine River, considered the historic heart of Paris.

The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with the magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. While on Île de la Cité, you will have time to walk around the hauntingly beautiful Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.

The Latin Quarter along the Left Bank was so named because, until the French Revolution, university students in the area spoke only Latin to their professors.

You will visit this famed neighbourhood to immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere of yesteryear, whilst exploring the medieval streets and meandering through fantastic shops like Shakespeare and Company bookshop, Place Saint-Michel, and its gorgeous fountain.

As the tour continues, you will learn little-known facts about the French Revolution. You will be exploring the beautiful Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde, the site at which Louis XVI was beheaded during the French Revolution. Whilst here, do not forget to look out for the magnificent Champs-Élysées, the most famous shopping avenue in the world.

Lastly, you will stop off at the Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower and beyond the majestic Seine. J’aime Paris.

Île de la Cité, Latin Quarter & Seine River Cruise: Private Tour
Embark on a private introductory tour of Paris and explore the Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter, two iconic Parisian neighbourhoods and enjoy a Seine Cruise for amazing views of the city from the water.

On your private tour, you will:

  • Hear the founding stories of Paris and France - from the fall of Rome to the rise of the French kings, where it all happened on the Île de la Cité;
  • Explore the rich medieval history of Paris and the beautiful Gothic architecture on the island and through the Latin Quarter;
  • Learn the history and epic survival story of the iconic Notre Dame cathedral - the world's most famous Gothic cathedral;
  • Stroll around the Conciergerie, the medieval castle of the French kings;
  • Hear how King Louis IX built the Sainte Chapelle, purchased the Crown of Thorns, and became a saint;
  • Learn how the royal castle became a royal prison during the bloody French Revolution;
  • See where the revolutionary trials took place outside the Palais du Justice;
  • Explore the vibrant neighbourhood of the Latin Quarter - famed for its quirky streetsthriving nightlife, and gothic churches;
  • Hear about the history of the area from the founding of the Sorbonne, the second oldest university in Europe to the student riots;
  • Walk into Shakespeare and Co the bookshop and learn about the Lost Generation in Paris: Gertrude Stein, Orwell, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald;
  • End your tour with a one-hour panoramic River Cruise on the Seine, with great views of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower.

This is a fascinating introduction and orientation tour of Paris. The Île de la Cité in the middle of the Seine is where the story of Paris, and the history of France truly begins. 

Begin the walking portion of your tour at the statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf - the oldest bridge in Paris, that crosses onto the  Île de la Cité and discover the history of the French Kings as you walk around their medieval castle, the Conciergerie - and learn how it became their brutal prison during the dark days of the Revolution. 

Learn all about the French Revolution and its most infamous execution machine, the Guillotine as you stand outside the gates of the Palais du Justice, the courts where all the trials took place. 

Admire the Gothic front of Notre Dame - and learn about its incredible 900-year history - as well as its survival during the fire of 2019, before walking off the island, into the Latin Quarter, an historical and vibrant area famed for its gothic churches, the Sorbonne university, and its fun nightlife, with a plethora of jazz bars and eateries.

Visit historical bookshops, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Orwell, and explore an area that is renowned for being the starting point of the May 68' Revolution as well as the home of French intellectual thought.

Next, take in the amazing sights of Paris on a return cruise down the River Seine. See the famous landmarks of Paris from the river like the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, and the Eiffel Tower to name just a few! Your one-hour cruise ends back at the Pont Neuf.

Important: This tour includes a 2-hour private guided walking tour followed by a 1-hour river cruise with onboard commentary on your own. Your tour guide will walk you to the cruise docking point where they will part ways with you. You can choose to take the cruise at the end of the tour or later during your stay.
Paris by Night: Private Walking Tour including Seine River Cruise

Experience the magic of the City of Lights with an evening walk through the most romantic areas of Paris: the medieval Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter. Take a relaxing and scenic cruise ride along the River Seine with fabulous photo opportunities of famous Parisian landmarks including the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.

On your private tour you will:

  • Visit two of the city's most beautiful and romantic neighbourhoods;
  • Explore the famous sites on Île de la Cité where French history began;
  • See the Revolutionary Palais du Justice and the Conciergerie Palace former home of the French Kings; 
  • Hear about the terrifying trial and final days of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette;
  • Admire the magnificent Gothic facade of Notre Dame - still standing after the terrible fire of 2019;
  • Wander through the trendy Latin Quarter - made famous by the 'Lost Generation' of Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway;
  • Learn about the famous bookshop Shakespeare & Co
  • See the Sorbonne University and peer inside some of the oldest Gothic churches in Paris like Saint Severin;
  • End your guided tour back on Ile de La Cite, where your guide will give you your Seine Cruise tickets;
  • Travel down the Seine by river cruise
  • See the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, or choose any other time you like with your open tickets.


Enjoy a magical tour of central medieval Paris lit up at night! Begin by the statue of Good King Henry on the Pont Neuf and follow your expert private guide around the Île de la Cité.

This island, in the middle of the Seine, holds the founding history of Paris and France itself: it is where a Celtic tribe called the Parisi first settled, and later Clovis King of the Franks won after the fall of Rome. Learn the history of the French Kings and Queens as you gaze across to the Louvre Palace, beautifully lit at night, and walk through Place Dauphine.

Admire some Napoleonic decorations to the Palais du Justice, and hear about some of his greatest achievements, and epic losses. As you walk around this stunning beautifully lighted medieval castle, you'll learn that it was once the home of the French Kings - and later became their prison during the Revolution. Hear about the trials, both fair and foul, and decide for yourself if Marie Antoinette was as guilty as she is painted.

Admire the exquisite Gothic facade of Notre Dame - always stunningly lit up at night and hear of its extraordinary history -and survival.

Walk around the trendy, artsy and vibrant Latin Quarter - famous for its plethora of Gothic churches, the Sorbonne University - which gives it its name as Latin was the language of Academia in the middle ages! Pass by famous the Jazz clubs on Rue de la Huchette, and the bars and cafes and bookshops - like Shakespeare and Co - that were frequented by members of the Lost Generation like Hemingway, Orwell and Gertrude Stein.

Finally, return to the Pont Neuf where your guide will leave you to enjoy a romantic evening river cruise along the Seine. This is a wonderful way to see the great monuments of Paris lit up - including the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, and of course the piece de resistance: the Eiffel Tower!

Important: This tour includes a 2-hour private guided walking tour followed by a 1-hour river cruise with onboard commentary on your own. Your tour guide will walk you to the cruise docking point where they will part ways with you. You can choose to take the cruise at the end of the tour or later during your stay.
The Historic Heart of Paris: Private Walking Tour & River Cruise

Enjoy a three-hour private walking tour of Paris, and explore the highlights of the French capital with an expert private guide from Montmartre to Notre Dame, followed by an idyllic river cruise along the Seine.

On your private tour, you will:

  • Meet your guide outside the famous Sacré-Cœur basilica in Montmartre, and the spectacular viewpoint over Paris;
  • See the best of Paris from Montmartre to Notre Dame, including the Moulin Rouge, the Centre Pompidou, and Île de la Cité;
  • Visit Le Marais neighbourhood, Hotel de Ville, Palais de Justice de Paris and the Conciergerie, Place Dauphine and the Pont Neuf;
  • Travel like a local – your guide will teach you all the tricks to taking the Paris Metro from Montmartre to the city centre;
  • Enjoy complimentary river cruise tickets, which you can use at the end of your tour or whenever you like! 

Begin with an hour's walking tour of Montmartre, the arty and bohemian neighbourhood of Paris, where an enclave of famous painters and artists like Van Gogh, Renoir and Picasso lived. Begin outside the magnificent Sacré-Cœur Basilica with its breathtakingly beautiful panoramic views over the whole of Paris, then enjoy an easy downhill stroll through the cobbled streets of Montmartre, passing through the artist's square, Place du Tertre, the studio Bateaux Lavoir, the Moulin de la Galette, the House of van Gogh and the infamous Moulin Rouge! Learn the fascinating history of this district with its many conflicts between art, religion and the military!

Then hop aboard the Paris Metro, helped by your guide, to the centre of Paris, where you'll enjoy the next part of your walking tour. Marvel at the famous Centre Pompidou building, described by its architect Renzo Piano as a "huge spaceship made of glass", and stroll through the charming Le Marais neighbourhood. This is the medieval and Jewish Quarter of Paris and is today filled with hip boutiques, galleries, and cafes.

Crossing the bridge onto one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, you'll explore this historic heart of Paris, where the city was founded. You'll walk around the magnificent and hauntingly beautiful Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, as it undergoes a renovation after the 2019 fire. Learn all about the beauty of gothic architecture, and the cunning use of gargoyles.

You'll see the Conciergerie, which was the medieval home of the kings of France, and later became their prison! It is next to the Palais du Justice where the Revolutionary trials were held, and it is still a working law court today. Walk through the picturesque Place Dauphine towards the giant bronze equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf (meaning New Bridge - that is actually 500 years old!) and enjoy wonderful views of the castle towers of the Conciergerie and the Louvre.

Your tour finishes at Pont Neuf, where your guide will give you tickets to join a one-hour river cruise that will take you past the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and many other stunning monuments of Paris that line the river. These tickets can be used any time, any day during your stay in Paris. 

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