Best Paris Strolls

Stroll 19: Passy

Stroll 19 Passy, Pont de Bir-Hakeim

Quick Description: Non-touristy area, major Monet museum, three small museums, large park, Art Nouveau buildings, food market street, bridge with stunning views, lots of fashion shopping. 

Where: Right Bank, south of Place du Trocadero. 

Duration: 1 hr walk, @4-5 hrs with all venues (e.g.: 1.5-2 hrs for Marmottan Monet Museum, including walk there and back through the Jardin du Ranelagh, @30 mins each Clemenceau, Balzac and Wine museums and Cimitiere de Passy).  Two Early Departure Options (before or after a visit to the Monet museum). 

Best Days: Tues – Sat.

Best Time to Start: 10am – 1pm.

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Connects: by foot to Stroll 20 (Eiffel Tower & Vicinity).  The connection can also be made by a quick Metro ride to avoid the uphill walk.  Also connects by Metro ride with Stroll 30 (Montparnasse), or with a standalone site, the Arc de Triomphe. 

Past and Present: Passy occupies the south slope of the Chaillot (or Trocadero) hill.  Until the late 1600s, it was a rural area, with ancient cave dwellings, a tiny hamlet, vineyards, a monastery, and a royal lodge.  Then, the discovery of hot springs led to the creation of spas, dance halls, country estates and a thriving village.  It was incorporated into the city of Paris in 1860, and over the next several decades it was developed with many elegant Art Nouveau and Art Deco apartment buildings – indeed there are more such buildings here than anywhere else in the city.  Famous former residents include Benjamin Franklin, who lived here from 1777 to 1785 while serving as the American colonies’ envoy to France, as well as author Honore de Balzac, painter Berthe Morisot, architect Auguste Perret, and politician George Clemenceau.  Today, Passy is a fashionable residential enclave with a village-like atmosphere, but also many retail boutiques and an indoor shopping mall.  Aside from architecture and shopping, the attractions for visitors include: the Marmottan Monet museum, three smaller museums (for Balzac, Clemenceau, and the history of wine making), the Jardin du Ranelagh park, ancient Rue Berton, sweeping views from the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge, Cimetiere de Passy with exotic tombs of famous Parisians and a monumental wall sculpture, a colorful food market area. a lovely local church, and varied dining options. 

Attractions (in order):

Note: The Palais de Chaillot museums and the Esplanade du Trocadéro, all at Place du Trocadero, are visited on Stroll 18 and Stroll 20, and they are not quite in Passy, but they are very convenient to the starting point of this stroll and so are listed here.

  • Palais de Chaillot Museums: Place du Trocadero.  The three museums are: 
    • Cite de l’Architecture et du Partimoine#1 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s north (left) pavilion. Museum focused on heritage architecture of France, with a permanent collection including façade reproductions of churches and palaces, plus regular special exhibitions, and archives.  Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (Thurs till 9pm), €8 museum, €12 museum and current special exhibition.  Museum free to persons under 18 and EU citizens 18-25, special exhibitions free to persons under 12 and many other categories.    
    • Musee de l’Homme#17 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s south (right) pavilion.  Museum presenting changing exhibitions related to human evolution.  Wed-Sun 10am-6pm, €10E, free to EU citizens under 26 and many other categories.
    • Musee de la Marine: #17 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s south (right) pavilion.  Maritime museum, with collection of paintings, ship models and seafaring artifacts.  Check status as this venue has been under renovation. 
  • Esplanade du Trocadero: Accessed via the walkway between the two buildings of the Palais de Chaillot.  Large plaza affording a spectacular, iconic view over the Jardins du Trocadero and across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars.  Open daily 24 hours, free. 
  • Monument aux Morts de la Grande Guerre: Place du Trocadero, south side.  This large sculpture on the outside of the Passy cemetery wall honors the WWI combatants of France and its colonies. It was created in 1954 by Paul Landowski (1875-1961), sculptor of many monumental works in Paris, but most famous for his “Christ the Redeemer” statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
  • Cimetiere de Passy: Entry at #2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing a block from Place du Trocadero.  Small, exclusive that is the resting place of quite a few famous persons, featuring many beautiful tombs, Eiffel Tower views, and heated reception area with  public toilets.  Open Daily year-round (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat. 8:30am-6pm, Sun 9am-6pm (in winter closes at 5:30), free entry. 
  • Square de YorktownIntersection of Avenue Benjamin Franklin and Avenue Paul Doumer, a block from Place du Trocadero.  Triangular greenspace celebrating the American and French victory over the British at the Battle of Yorktown, in 1781, and featuring a statue of Franklin.
  • Apartment Buildings at #25 Rue Benjamin Franklin and #51 Rue Rayounard: The first is early in the route, the second much later.  Each of these striking buildings with Art Nouveau and Art Deco aspects was designed by Auguste Perret, one of the great architects of the first half of the 20th century, and a Passy resident (in these buildings) for all of his adult life.   No public access.    
  • Musee Clemenceau: #8 Rue Benjamin Franklin.  Preserved four-room apartment residence of the remarkable Georges Clemenceau, whose varied career included serving as  Prime Minister of France during WWI and helping to draft the Treaty of Versailles.  Furnishings, books, memorabilia, clothes, and a new biographical exhibit.  Tues-Sat 2pm-5:30pm, €6 with audio guide, under 25 €3 with audio guide, otherwise free.  Guided tours and conferences on specified dates – check website.   (Note: This museum can be visited during the stroll, or at its end.) 
  • Art Nouveau Building “Les Chardons”: #9 Rue Claude Chahu, off Rue de Passy.  Building designed by Charles Klein that won the 1903 award for best façade and has since received landmark status.   No public access.
  • Rue de Passy Boutiques:  Retailers mostly offering women’s and men’s fashion, jewelry and cosmetics, concentrated along about a half mile of this main street.  Most stores are open late morning to early evening and almost all are closed on Sunday. 
  • Passy Plaza: #53 Rue de Passy. Indoor shopping mall with about 20 retailers, most well-known.  Mon-Sat 10am-7:30pm.  
  • Musee Marmottan Monet: #2 Rue Louis Boilly.  Housed in a mansion, the museum displays the world’s largest collection of paintings by Impressionist artist Claude Monet, plus works by his contemporaries and changing special exhibits.  Tues-Sun 10am-5:30pm (Thurs to 8:30pm), €12, €8.5 for students up to 25 years old and others up to 18 years old.  Audioguide €3.  (Note: The mansion is reached by walking from the end of Rue de Passy through the Jardin du Ranelagh, and back again after visiting – about 10-15-minutes in each direction.   If you don’t feel like walking back, the #32 public bus from Rue Louis Boilly, opposite the museum entrance,  back to Rue de Passy.)
  • Jardin du Ranelagh:  End of Rue de Passy.  This public park was created in 1860 on the former site of a popular 1700s dance pavilion that had been modeled on the famous Ranelagh Gardens in London.  Statues, playground, donkey rides, outdoor marionette theater, exercise equipment, benches, public toilets.  Good spot for a picnic.  Park open 24×7, free.
  • Marche Passy:  Place de Passy at the midpoint of Rue de Passy, by Rue de l’Annonciation.  Covered food market with various vendors of fresh and prepared food.  Mon-Fri 8am-1pm and 4-7pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 8am-1pm.
  • Rue de l’Annonciation:  Running from the midpoint of Rue de Passy to Rue Rayounard.  Lively food market street, with many shops and restaurants.   Shops generally open Mon-Sat, early morning to early evening, and Sunday mornings. 
  • Church of Notre Dame de Grace de Passy: #10 Rue de l’Annonciation. 17th century church attached to 20th century one, each with artworks. Open Sun-Fri 8:30am-7:30pm and Sat 4:30-7:30pm, free.
  • Maison de Balzac: #47 Rue Raynouard.  House where Honore de Balzac, author of “The Human Comedy” and other novels, resided from 1840-1847.  Presented are manuscripts, caricatures, engravings and a library.  There is also a garden.  Tues-Sun 10am-6pm, free.  
  • Stone Plaque for Benjamin Franklin:  On corner building at Rue Rayounard and Rue Singer.   The inscription celebrates Franklin’s scientific achievements while living in Passy.
  • Rue Berton: Atmospheric ancient pathway along the cliff face below Rue Rayounard where cave dwellers once lived.   Only open to pedestrians.  
  • Parc de Passy: Bottom of Rue Berton, near the river.  A modern park with attractive plantings and green spaces, plus a playground.  Good spot for a picnic.  Mon-Fri 8am-6:30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6:30pm, free.
  • Musee du Vin: #5 Square Charles Dickens, near Parc de Passy.  Exhibits delineating the history of French winemaking (including objects, tools and workplace re-creations), located in the vaulted wine cellars of a former 15th century abbey.  Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, €13.9 (includes glass of wine).  Restaurant Les Enchansons on premises serves lunch Noon-3pm, with various menu formulas @€22-37. Reservation required.
  • Pont de Bir-Hakeim and Ile aux Cygnes: The bridge is for cars and trains but also affords pedestrian access to enjoy its statues center viewing platform and spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower.  The narrow artificial island below the bridge features a walking path, river views and a quarter-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty at one end.  Bridge and island can be accessed 24×7, free.
  • Rue and Square Alboni: Under the Passy Metro bridge (extension of Pont de Bir-Hakeim) and going up the hill next to it.  Elegant residential enclaves, built around 1900, named for 19th century opera star Marietta Alboni.

Dining Suggestions (in order):

  • Marcello: #10 Blvd Delessert.  Italian cuisine, including pizza and calzones.  Cozy modern room, outdoor seating.  Daily Noon-3pm, 7:30-10pm.  Average cost @€15-30.
  • Woo Jung: #8 Blvd Delessert. Korean cuisine.  Traditional Asia-inspired room. Tues-Sat Noon-2:20pm, 7-10:20pm.  Average cost @€30-50.
  • La Grande Epicerie de Paris Rive Droit: #80 Rue de Passy.  This huge, modern gourmet food  and wine emporium has everything you need to put together a picnic, and also offers seven dining options, including a sit-down restaurant called Le Rive Droite, with French and Mexican cuisine, and six tasting bars offering various cuisines and specialty products (e.g., seafood, pizza, mezze, salads, Iberian ham), plus a coffee counter.  Store hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-9pm, Sun 9am-12:45pm. Le Rive Droit: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm.  Prix fixe menus @€36-42.
  • Restaurant Aero: #3 Place de Passy (Rue de Passy at Rue de l’Annonciation).  A café / bar / restaurant offering a wide-ranging brasserie menu of French cuisine including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus Berthillon ice cream.  Traditional room, expansive outdoor seating taking up much of the pedestrian plaza.  Very popular with locals as a place for a late afternoon glass of wine or coffee.  Daily 6am-Midnight.  Breakfast formulas @€12-16.  Lunch and dinner main courses @€9-27. 
  • Huitres et Saumons de Passy – La Table: #17 Rue de l’Annonciation (Passy’s pedestrian-only food market street), near the church.  Oysters, seafood ceviches and casseroles, caviar.  Small, casual, modern room, open kitchen, outdoor walk-up oyster bar.  Very popular with locals, most of whom seem to know the two gregarious young men who run it. Tues-Sat Noon-2:30pm, 7-10pm.  Average cost @€40-55 2 courses.  Lunch prix fixe @€28 2 courses.  Reservations suggested.

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Stroll Map

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