The city of Paris, France, is intersected by the Seine river. The river is a major tourist attraction as well as a central feature of the city, which was originally broken up across many islands. Centuries of construction and fill joined most of them to the mainland, which the exception of two, Ile St. Louis and Ile de la Citie. Both are popular stops on sightseeing tours of Paris, and are well worth a visit. Tourists should plan on spending a few hours on each, as there is a great deal of territory to explore.
Ile St. Louis is a traditional refuge of the Parisian upper classes. Many artists and other bohemians found their way there as well, including famous figures such as Hemingway, and it is covered in examples of 17th century architecture. Many shops and boutiques including the flagship store of Berthillion, the most famous ice cream makers in Paris, can be found on Ile St. Louis. Visitors often remark on the peaceful and beautiful environment, which is only a stone's throw away from chaotic and often fast paced Paris.
Ile de le Citie is often called the heart of Paris, and in fact, a small bronze marker near Notre Dame marks the official center of the city. It was occupied by many different peoples historically, as Paris was settled and built up, and many of the famous features of Paris can be found on it, including Notre Dame de Paris, Sainte Chapelle, and the Palais de Justice. The island has long been at the administrative and religious heart of Paris, and wandering it is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.
Both of the islands in Paris are accessible by walking and public transit. Ile St. Louis has lodging options that put visitors in a location convenient to many Paris attractions, and places to stay are also available in the surrounding area. Walking and busing are heavily recommended in Paris, which has an abundant population of cars, especially in the center of the city. Both islands have a lot to offer visitors, especially those who are willing to devote some time to experiencing them.
In addition to exploring the islands on their own, some tourists prefer to use a guided tour so that they do not miss important landmarks and interesting facts. Many of these tours are conducted on foot at a leisurely pace, allowing participants to drink in the environment. Information about tours can be acquired from a hotel concierge, who may also be able to offer additional advice about places to eat and visit during a tourist's stay in Paris.