Neuilly-Sur-Seine is a quiet, posh and residential suburb located on the western outskirts of Paris. Though the area itself stays pretty low-key, it’s only a walk or short Metro ride away from the many sights and sounds the capital has to offer. Bordered by the 8th, 16th and 17th Arrondissements, Neuilly-Sur-Seine sits a short distance from the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Musée Marmottan, and many more attractions beloved the world over.
Whether you’re visiting the area for just a few days or a more extended period of time, Neuilly-Sur-Seine is sure to have something perfect just for you. Our guide to the village-like city will outline the best tourist spots and activities within Neuilly-Sur-Seine. We’ll explore the popular cultural touchstones, tourist destinations and top things to see and do in the area. That way, you can better plan your weekend away or longer vacation in Neuilly-Sur-Seine. Whether you’re visiting as a family, group of friends, or romantic couple, the charming city has plenty to offer. If you’re traveling on a budget, there are many affordable and free points of interest you can enjoy without spending a cent. There are also a number of tours, day trips and excursions leaving from Neuilly-Sur-Seine for the more adventurous.
While Neuilly-sur-Seine is an attractive place to live for its low crime rates, boutique shops, and fine dining, there isn’t too much for tourists to explore in the city itself. But if you take a casual stroll through the area, you’re sure to find plenty of history in its streets. The Château de Neuilly, for example, was the favored residence of Louis-Philippe I during the July Monarchy. The enormous grounds were destroyed in the 1848 French Revolution, but you can find the last remaining wing at 52 Boulevard d’Argenson, which was incorporated into a convent. So without further adieu, let’s explore the best things to do in Neuilly-sur-Seine:
1. The Bois de Boulogne
As one of the largest spots to relax in the west of Paris, the Bois de Boulogne was previously used as a hunting ground for French Kings. Stretching over 850 hectares, the space includes the Jardin d’Acclimatation, the Parc de Bagatelle, the Pré-Catelan and the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. Visitors can stroll its many walking paths, or rent a bike and explore 15km of cycling routes. The Bois de Boulogne offers countless recreational facilities for people of all ages, including children’s play areas, picnic spots, and bicycle hire. You can also rent a boat and cruise around the Lac Inférieur, catch a race at the Longchamp and Auteuil racecourses, visit the Musée en Herbe, or watch a show at the Théâtre de Verdure.
The woods are open and freely available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Entry to the Jardin des serres d’Auteuil is also free.
2. The Jardin d’Acclimatation
Sitting within the northern part of the Bois de Boulogne is the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a 19-hectare children’s amusement park that was originally opened by Napoleon III as a zoo in 1860. Since then, it’s grown to include 40 attractions – including 4 big roller coasters – that make it a fun-filled day for a family outing. From thrill-seeking rides to fairground food and games, there’s truly something for everyone. The park includes a mini-golf course, archery range, pony ride, train ride, house of mirrors, shooting galleries, science and art museums, 18 hectares of walkways and over 400 animals.
3. The Louis Vuitton Foundation
Also nestled in the Bois de Boulogne and located near the Jardin d’Acclimatation, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is a stunning building designed by Frank Gehry, the same architect behind the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Funded by the Louis Vuitton luxury goods conglomerate, the museum took 7 years to build and was opened in 2014. A must-see for any lover of art or modern architecture, the space is home to many rotating art and culture exhibitions. Its collection includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Gilbert & George. It also commissioned work Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller and others for installations built specifically for the site. If you’re planning a visit, aim to get there early as security checks and ticket lines can get lengthy at peak hours.
4. The 4 Temps
If you need to get some shopping done on your trip, try the 4 Temps. The largest shopping center in Europe, it was first opened by the Grande Arche at La Défense in 1981. With 250 shops of all kinds populating its over 140,000 m², the 4 Temps is a popular stop for tourists and Parisians alike. It includes 45 restaurants and food stamps in its food court, a UGC cinema, wheelchairs to loan, unlimited free wifi and its own mobile app.
5. Folie Saint James
The Folie Saint James mansion and park is located on Rue de Longchamp, just one street away from the river Seine. A surviving relic of the excesses of the Ancien Régime, the mansion and grounds were commissioned by Claude Baudard de Saint James in the late-1770s. According to lore, Saint James’ only instruction to his architect was, “Do as you please as long as it’s expensive”! The mansion is a fine example of Palladian architecture, while the park features both a Doric and man-made grotto. The mansion and its park have recently undergone a two-year restoration project, bringing them back to their 18th-century glory.