Rue Cler

A Picturesque Parisian Street Near The Eiffel Tower


  • Rue Cler ,
  • 75007 Paris

What is your favorite picturesque street in Paris? Rue Montorgueil, Rue Mouffetard, Rue Crémieux, and Rue Daguerre come to mind right away, being extremely popular with locals as well as tourists.

And then there’s Rue Cler, which became an American tourist magnet after a well-known travel writer and TV show host made it popular across the Atlantic.

Located in the elegant 7th Arrondissement, within minutes of the Eiffel Tower, the Dôme des Invalides, and the Rodin Museum, this street is a perfect spot for experiencing Paris like a local.

A while back I rented a small apartment (une chambre de bonne) on the top floor of a building situated in the heart of Rue Cler, with wonderful views of the street below and of the surrounding buildings all the way to Rue de Grenelle and the Dôme des Invalides. Trying to live like a short-term Parisian had never seemed so easy, with everything you could wish for just a few steps away.

Hotel on Paris Rue Cler
Photo by Renata Haidle

And how about the sheer romance of its name? Cler, the old spelling of clair, is an Anglo-Norman word translated into English as bright, shining, or clear. It is vaguely reminiscent of Au Clair De La Lune, a childhood song most of us Francophiles probably learned in kindergarten. Or how about Joachim du Bellay’s medieval poem, L’Olive, in which he muses philosophically: “L’obscur m’est cler, et la lumière obscure.” (“The dark is clear to me, the light is dark.”)

Despite these lovely possibilities, a quick search revealed that the street was actually named after a French army general, Jean Joseph Gustave Cler, who died a hero at the battle of Magenta at the age of 44. But I digress.

Searching for more charming rues to wander in the City of Light? Here are some of our favorite streets in Paris.

Why should you visit Rue Cler, or ponder a stay there? Well, if you’re a Julia Child fan, you could attempt to retrace her steps, as she was known to come here and do a bit of grocery shopping for her fabulous meals.

There is, of course, a fromagerie, as well as a bakery, a wine shop, a butcher, and a traiteur—this last one being the elegant French solution to the “I don’t feel like cooking tonight” problem. There you can pick up delicious meats, salads, hors d’oeuvres or seafood, and assemble a gourmet meal in minutes.

Alternatively, if you’re invited to someone’s place for dinner, Rue Cler has the answer for that too. You can order a beautifully arranged bouquet of flowers at Cler Fleurs, just like the elegant ladies living in the neighborhood are rumored to do.

If you wish to really impress your hostess with your impeccable manners, why not gift a box of macarons with the flowers? Of course there is a Ladurée down the street as well. 

If you’re into café culture (and really, who isn’t?), you should come and experience some popular hangouts like Café du Marché or Petit Cler. A special mention to Café Central, which at the time of my visit served an amazing quiche the size of an encyclopedia.

Exterior of Parisian café, Café Central on Rue Cler
Photo by Renata Haidle

And then there is L’Eclair, where you can have your morning cuppa in a quiet, romantic corner, and daydream of becoming the next Hemingway, or at least the next Instagram star.

If you’re not yet convinced that you’d enjoy staying on Rue Cler, I’m going to leave you with this: if you’re lucky enough to score a room with a view at the Cler Hotel, you’re in for a treat, as you will be able to watch a certain Tower light up and sparkle in the evening hours, right from your room, as you’re sipping your chilled rosé and holding hands with your special person. Isn’t this the ultimate Parisian dream, after all?

Find more of our favorite places in the 7th Arrondissement with our guide to the Tour Eiffel – Invalides – Ecole Militaire neighborhood.

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  • Rue Cler ,
  • 75007 Paris
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