Walk through the neighborhood of Passy, away from the well-trodden tourist routes. Could take three or four hours, longer if you start shopping and lingering on café terraces.
This self-guided walking tour takes off from the Trocadéro, with its fabulous view across to the Eiffel Tower. Instead of heading down the steps toward la tour, turn around, then cross the large round-about and head to the Passy cemetery. This walled cemetery is on a much smaller scale than the well-known ones in Paris but is just as atmospheric. Next, cross the Rue Benjamin Franklin and walk along the small sand pathway that runs alongside the private road Rue le Tasse. Take a moment to marvel at the dreamy apartments and impressive architecture on your right.
Continue down the path and wind your way through the gardens of the Trocadéro. Turn right when you reach the Avenue des Nations Unies and then make a quick left to follow Rue Le Nôtre down to the Seine. Once on the river banks, turn right and walk towards the Pont Bir-Hakeim (the bridge made famous by the film Inception).
Just past the bridge, turn onto the historic Rue des Eaux and continue past the Square Charles-Dickens and up the steps. Take a left on Rue Raynouard and continue until you reach N°47. This enviable address was once the home of famous French author Honoré de Balzac and is now a museum dedicated the prolific writer.
Retrace your last few steps and head up the Rue de l’Annonciation, passing the Notre Dame de Grace de Passy cathedral before turning on Rue Jean Bologne. Once you reach the Rue de Passy, turn right and shop the Passy Brocante for flea-market finds and antique treasures.
Return to Rue de l’Annonciation to reward yourself with a heavenly pastry from Aux Merveilleux de Fred at N° 29. Further up this little pedestrian street, you’ll find the Café Aéro on the corner, the perfect place to rest your feet and enjoy some people watching. Or, if you’re in the mood for a picnic, go around the corner and pick up some excellent produce at the covered Passy Food Market.
Stroll along Rue de Passy, full of individual boutiques, a small mall, and Paris’s second Grand Epicerie location. If you’re looking for a truly unique and luxurious souvenir from Paris, pop into Guerlain at N° 93 while you’re here. Inside this elegant shop, you’ll be able to create your own personal perfume.
After working up an appetite with all that shopping, head towards the street Chaussée de la Muette. You’ll find two great restaurants here, La Rotonde de la Muette, a restaurant with a gorgeous terrace that’s perfect at any time of day, and La Gare, a restaurant set in an old train station.
Once you’ve filled up on fine French cuisine, meander through the Jardin de Ranelagh, where you can walk along the former belt-railway, La Petite Ceinture. A bit further along, you’ll find the Musée Marmottan Monet, a museum which houses the largest collection of Monets and other impressionist paintings in Paris.