The roughly one-kilometer long man-made island stretching below the Pont Bir-Hakeim (the bridge famously featured in Inception), the Pont Rouelle, and the Pont de Grenelle is a haven of tranquillity offering great views of the city.
Created back in 1827 by grouping together several small natural islands to support the Pont de Grenelle, this artificial island was named the “Island of Swans” in honor of one of the islands which had been the winter home of a colony of swans.
Today, the swans are gone, but turquoise benches and matching street lights face out to the Seine. Trees line the path that leads from one end of the island to the other and are particularly stunning in autumn. There’s an exercise spot under the bridge if you’re so inclined, and after a quick work out you can walk a few more steps to see the smaller sister of the Statue of Liberty standing at the tip of the island.
With stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, boats moored or chugging past on the Seine, modern buildings on the Quai de Grenelle, and of the Haussmannian buildings on the Rive Droite, there’s no better place in Paris to come with a book and relax for a while.