Walking tours in Paris
Experiences in Paris
Sights in France
Experiences in France
Situated on a hill above Paris' Right Bank, the neighborhood of Montmartre has always stood apart from the rest of the city. As rents in central Paris skyrocketed in the early 1900s, artists, writers, and bohemians of all types flocked to the now-iconic winding cobblestone streets and steep staircases, transforming Montmartre from a sleepy quartierinto one of the most important centers for art and radical thought in the world. During this 3-hour Montmartre walking tour we will look at the traditions, lifestyle, and bohemian character of this storied neighborhood over the centuries.
- Explore the urban and social context of Montmartre.
- Montmartre walking tour led by a historian.
- Includes Sacre Coeur
Montmartre Walking Tour
Beginning near the Abbesses metro, one of Montmartre's most central points, we'll begin by acquiring an understanding of the area's religious background. In 250 AD, Roman prefects sentenced the Bishop of Paris—later known as Saint Denis (namesake of the cathedral explored on our Saint Denis Tour)—to death. We'll trace the route he supposedly walked (carrying his own head, no less) and discuss Montmartre's importance in the history of Christianity as the home of the Society of Jesuits, founded here by Saint Ignacio de Loyola and Saint François Xavier in 1534.
Climbing the butte to the Moulin de la Galette, we'll reflect on how Paris' rapid urban growth in the 19th century pushed the city's boundaries until it pressed into the sleepy villages on its outskirts. By the time the 20th century arrived, convivial venues like the Moulin de la Galette—once an open-air dance hall—sprang up in droves, making Paris famous for its nightlife: outdoor bals populaires, risqué cabarets, gas-lit cafes, and boisterous concert halls. Immortalized by artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, and Renoir, the Moulin de la Galette was once home to the down-and-out bohemians that populated the neighborhood, gaving it its radical reputation and making Montmartre the perfect place to contemplate the modern revolution taking place in art and society at the turn of the century. (For a deeper look at Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists in Paris check out our Musee d'Orsay Tour.)
Continuing upwards to the top of the hill, we'll stop at Sacré Cœur, the basilica that has since become the symbol of the entirety of Montmartre. With its Romano-Byzantine features, Sacré Cœur stands in sharp contrast to the Gothic architecture experienced on our Notre Dame tour or at Saint Eustache, both visible from its belvedere. Now a gathering point for street musicians, the steps of Sacré Cœur are an excellent place to see the contrast between Montmartre's bohemian atmosphere and its religious history.
"This was the best tour I have ever been on. Our docent was very knowledgeable. Her love of the area was evident, and with her art history background and interest she added another dimension to the sights."
Throughout our walk, we'll strive to put Montmartre within an urban and social context, painting a vivid portrait of the key figures who have made the dynamic neighborhood their home, causing a shift from provincial town, to religious epicenter, to bohemian paradise, and have in turn been inspired by its unique atmosphere.
In Paris food is fundamental. Nowhere is this more evident than in the neighborhood markets where Parisians shop daily, despite the presence of large grocery stores. In this 2.5-hour Paris market tour with a local chef or food writer we'll dive into the Marché d'Aligre, a typical neighborhood market a bit off the tourist path. We'll spend time with the vendors, learn about the provenance of fresh foods and how to judge cheese and pastries, and nibble our way through ample samples, as part of a unique culinary adventure.
- Visit a neighborhood Paris market
- Tastings included
- Small groups—no more than six people per walk.
- Paris market tour led by a professional chef, sommelier, or food writer.
Paris Market Tour
We'll start early, arriving to see the Marché d'Aligre bustling with activity. Just like every French town, each Parisian district has its own weekly, bi-weekly, or quasi-daily market. Often overlooked by tourists and much coveted by locals, the Marché d'Aligre boasts an array of items from les fleurs to les fruits, with just about everything in between. With a long history of serving its quartier—the market was inaugurated in 1781— some even consider it le Second Ventre de Paris.
Our docent will guide us through the maze of stalls, identifying seasonal produce. As we explore, our discussion will touch on a variety on themes such as how the market functions, food provenance and the concept of terroir (the character of the soil), or how Parisians shop for their food and the impact of this on the French diet and gastronomic philosophy.
Note, we also offer a Paris Food Tour on the left bank that focuses more heavily on French traditions and specialty food shops.
Tantalize Your Palate
On our stroll, we will also select some wares to sample together as a group. Taking in row upon row of artfully arranged fruits and vegetables, we'll admire this particularly elegant approach food. Bouquets of radishes, ruffles of succulent butter lettuce, and baskets golden Chanterelle mushrooms draw our attention to the intrinsic beauty of our produce.
We may also pay a visit to a fromager's stall to view the delectable wares on display, such as artisan raw-milk cheeses so special they're unavailable anywhere else in the world or take in charcuterie, homemade paté, and foie gras at the boucherie stand. We'll spend some time with the lively vegetable vendors from France and North Africa, pick through the displays of Atlantic and Mediterranean seafood, or even taste some mouthwatering olives from Provence or Italy.
For those interested in how Paris has become a melting pot of different cultures we strongly recommend our Immigration in France Tour.
"Not only did we learn a lot about food, but also a lot about French regions and its pride in providing excellent produce. We were glad that we took this Paris market tour early in our stay because what we learned about French markets, food, and cooking framed our other dining experiences in Paris."
After some time in the market, we may also visit some of the specialty food stores or historic cafes in the neighborhood. Attracted to the lure of a daily market, cafes find their niche in the streets surrounding the Marché d'Aligre. Viewing the transition from the market stand to the clever plats will compliment our experience and help pull together this fascinating narrative of how food fits into the French way of life. As our walk comes to a close, we will leave with an understanding of the role the market plays in Parisian life, as well as an ability to navigate le marché.
During the Christmas season, while French children look forward to the arrival of Père Noël, the adults are busy shopping and preparing the sumptuous dishes for their Christmas Eve feast, or Réveillon. Looking up, we'll see trees strung with twinkling lights, shop windows filled with seasonal decor, and the smell of roasting chestnuts in the air adding extra sparkle to this 'Moveable Feast.'
Our 2.5-hour Paris Christmas Market tour, led by a culinary expert, will explore some of the French culinary traditions for the holidays. While Paris remains a culinary tour de force throughout the year, the holidays bring with them a distinctive array of delights, including foie gras, oysters, champagne, clementines, and Bûche de Noël cake, in addition to many other treats.
- Paris Christmas Market tour led by a chef, food writer, or culinary specialist.
- Learn about Christmas traditions in Paris and taste the many French delicacies.
- Small group size—never more than 6 in a group.
Paris Christmas Market Tour
Starting in the early evening at the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés—itself the subject of our Paris Cathedral Tour—you will bear witness to the holiday spirit, as shown by the lights and festive decorations that spread throughout the neighborhood. In the company of one of our talented food docents, you will learn about the traditions associated with these delicacies and more on display in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés' most revered bakeries, chocolate shops (also the subject of our Paris Chocolate Tour), and patisseries.
We may learn about the Parisian appreciation for Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log cake, or their penchant for glazed chestnuts. Together, we will learn to shop as true Parisians do in this festive neighborhood. Known throughout the city for its holiday decorations, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a common location for revelers seeking beautiful shop window displays, sparkling lights, and holiday spirit. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to sample some of these holiday treats.
We will also spend some time in a small Christmas Market. Following along a street lined with rustic Alpine cabins, we will explore the variety of handcrafted goods perfect for unique presents for family and friends. This bustling pop-up market full of merchants selling ornaments underneath colorfully lit branches makes for a spirited browsing experience. From fragrant soaps made in the South of France to wooly knit mittens, hats, and scarves, the wares at the Christmas markets will reflect both regional wares, as well as commercial items. As we stroll through the stalls, we may discuss the history of these holiday markets and their role in Parisian Christmas shopping.
"Each place we visited was colorfully decorated for Christmas. It was all delicious—from the mulled wine outside to the macarons, cheeses, and chocolates! It was a real treat to be in Paris with my family for the holiday season."
Leaving the market behind us, we may continue on to the Bon Marché department store. With its beautiful holiday window displays, the Bon Marché will give us a feel for the magic of the Christmas season in Paris. Wrapping up, our docent will answer any lingering questions about French holiday traditions, or address suggestions for continuing our jovial holiday spirit. As our walk comes to a close, we will have indulged our palates with both savory and sweet treats, and emerged with a sense of the Parisian approach to Réveillon.
This tour was specifically designed to highlight the most famous works of the Louvre Museum. Entering the Louvre through the original Medieval structure from the 12th century, join your guide on a journey from one breathtaking gallery to the next as you travel through time visiting works from 450 BCE through to the 1800s.
Begin with the Ancient Greek Parthenon; then gaze at the graceful Venus de Milo. Admire one of the Louvre's most celebrated sculptures, Winged Victory of Samothrace. Continue on to the Apollo Gallery that houses the ornate royal crowns of Napoleon and King Louis XV.
Marvel at influential pieces such as Canova's Psyche and Cupid and Delacroix's famous painting depicting the sentiment of the French Revolution, Liberty Leading the People. Michelangelos masterpieces await you in the Italian Renaissance wing, and you will discover firsthand what makes Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa the most enigmatic portrait of all time.
The Louvre hosts over 35,000 pieces of artwork spanning over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space. This skip-the-line, small-group tour will lead you comfortably through the galleries so you can explore all of the masterpieces without the hassle of waiting in long lines.
Do you want to see the Louvre at night?
Select the 6:30pm tour (on Wednesdays or Fridays) to take the guided tour in the evening an opportunity available for a strictly limited season. There is a certain magic about visiting the Louvre in the evening. The corridors are quiet, the artwork is mysterious in low light and the atmosphere is more relaxed. The museums exterior is also breathtaking. Lit from below, the old palace appears contemporary, the dazzling Louvre pyramid reflecting in the pond and lending it an air of glamour. Apart from the late starting time, this evening tour is exactly the same as the other half-day tours. By the time the visit is over, it will be dark out and you can see the Louvre and Pyramid lit up.
Special Offer - Book by March 4th 2018 and travel by March 24th 2018 to save 15% off our previously offered price! - Book Now!
Your gourmet walking tour of Paris begins at either a specialty cheese shop on Boulevard Saint-Germain on the Left Bank or in a specialist pastry shop in Montmartre (depending on tour option selected). Numbers on this gourmet walking tour are restricted to a maximum of eight, ensuring you'll receive individual attention from your expert gastronomic guide. The number of stops you make could be expanded according to the seasonal availability of produce and your group's preferences.
The commentary from your expert foodie guide includes an overview of French culinary habits, a description of any seasonal events taking place at the time of your tour and an introduction to selected specialties in the shops. Your guide will discuss how these specialties are produced, how to choose and store the produce, and how to prepare your own gourmet recipes. You are encouraged to interact with your guide and ask as many questions as you like.
"Stop! Here is the empire of death." This is the sign that greets you as you enter the underground chambers of the Paris catacombs, eerie resting place of French citizens of the past. Descend deep into the tunnels of Paris and explore over a kilometer of catacombs decorated with human skulls and bones. Discover the extraordinary history of the catacombs and listen to the haunting stories and legends of these galleries of skeletons.
The Paris catacombs were originally limestone quarries, mined for the construction of Paris' most famous buildings and bridges. From the late 1700s the quarries were used to house bodies moved here from the overcrowded cemeteries of Paris. The bones of exhumed bodies were stacked neatly in various rooms creating kilometers of walls composed entirely of human remains.
Access to the catacombs is extremely limited and the long lines can last up to two hours. With privileged Skip the Line access you can avoid the long wait and enjoy a personalized visit with our limited group of just 19 guests per day. Join us and explore Paris as never before on this exclusive Skip the Line tour!
The famous Palace of Versailles is Parisian life at its most luxurious, with gold-brushed furniture, quilted four-poster beds and lush rolling lawns that stretch as far as the eye can see. Marvel at the sheer size of the Palace of Versailles, one of the most beautiful castles in the world with an astonishing 700 rooms.
This small-group tour is the best way to see the palace. This tour gives you skip-the-line access, so you wont have to wait in the long lines.
Inside the palace, peruse its incredible array of fine art and the intricate design of its 1,250 fireplaces as you work your way through the castle, including the King and Queens apartments, the Chapel, the Coronation Room, Hall of Mirrors and the Salon of Abundance. Your guide will talk you through the rooms as you pass them, each one entirely different from the next. And just when you think that you have seen all that the Palace of Versailles has to offer, youll burst into the sunlight and encounter its dazzling gardens, more than 1,800 acres in size.
Versailles Palace + Gardens
Entrance to the Palace. The Fountain shows and Musical Garden shows take place in the Versailles Gardens on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays.
Versailles Palace + Show
Entrance to the Palace plus
- Versailles Fountain Display - See the magnificent Versailles Fountains Display, known as the Grand Eaux. Its a wonderful live concert held in the groves, designed by André Le Nôtre, where you can watch the fountains explode to the sounds of music. The show runs on Tuesday (8, 15, 22-26 and 29 May), and Saturday, Sunday (01 May - 28 October). No show on Thursday.
- Musical Gardens Show - Be enchanted by the musical gardens event Jardins Musicaux, as its known. Enjoy the simple beauty of classical music played in the surroundings of the Versailles Gardens. The musical gardens event runs on Tuesday (01 - 15 May and 03 July - October 23. No show on Thurs, Sat or Sun.
Special Offer - Book by January 31st 2018 and travel by November 11th 2018 to save 10% off our previously offered price! - Book Now!
Take a walk around Paris with a local guide and see another side of this beautiful city. Walking with a local to guide you and share insights and stories is the best way to tour the classic sights of Paris. The walking tour of Classic Paris offers a complete overview of Paris from the ground up. Virtually every major site in the city center is covered, including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
With plenty of photo opportunities and breaks, this walking tour of Paris is comprehensive but not too strenuous. Along the way your friendly guide will share the history of Paris and its famous monuments, people, buildings and boulevards.
Sights on the Paris Walking Tour include:
- Notre Dame, learn about the cathedral's history, architecture, detailed facade and the coronation of a famous, albeit short, emperor
- St. Chapelle, which was built to house Christ's crown of thorns and a piece of the cross
- Louvre Museum, the former seat of the French throne and now the grandest museum in the world
- Orsay Museum, world famous for its Impressionist collection
- Lunch - settle down at a charming cafe nestled in the Tuileries Gardens (lunch not included)
- Place de la Concorde, the site of royal beheadings during the French Revolution
- Champs-Elysees, the most famous avenue in the world
- Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in honor of his army's victories
- Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris
- Les Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb, a beautiful complex topped with the golden dome over the Emperor's tomb
- Ecole Militaire, former French military school with World War II damage still scarring the facade
- Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 and still the eternal symbol of Paris
After visiting Sacre Coeur and the artist's square, Place du Tertre, you'll take a walk to Montmartre's picturesque North Slope, where Van Gogh lived and painted. The winding route continues through the streets and lanes where studios and lofts are home to the many artists and musicians who live and work in Montmartre today.
Sights of the Montmartre Walking Tour include:
- Sacre Coeur Basilica, the white basilica that dominates the Parisian skyline
- Moulin Rouge - the famed cabaret immortalized by works by Toulouse-Lautrec among others
- Vincent Van Gogh's House - the artist lived here with his brother Theo from 1886 to 1888
- Place du Tertre, the charming artists square where works are painted and sold on the spot
- Dali Museum, home to over 300 of the Surrealist artist's original works
- The Montmartre Vineyards, an authentic Parisian vineyard and source of the famed Le Clos Montmartre wine
- Montmartre Cemetery - final resting place of Edgar Degas, Emile Zola and Jacques Offenbach, among others
- Le Lapin Agile - the famous haunt of the resident artists of Montmartre in the early 1900s
- Famous windmills of Montmartre - three original windmills remain today
- Bateaux Lavoir - the resident listing at this artists' studio reads like a "who's who" of famous painters who have passed through Paris
Begin your day with a guided morning visit of the Great Royal Apartments, Hall of Mirrors and the Queen's Bedroom. Take a leisurely stroll around the Palace Park through some of the "Groves" (in Summer) or a horse-drawn carriage ride (in Winter). Entrance tickets are included for those who would like to visit the Gallery of Battles on their own.
Lunch is served at the restaurant "La Petite Venise" located in the palace park facing the beautiful Grand Canal.
In the afternoon you will continue with a guided visit of the Trianons which are vast mansion style lodges where Louis XV and Louis XVI liked to work and retire from court life. Take a discovery tour of the Queen's Hamlet where from 1783 Marie Antoinette played as a shepherdess.
Versailles Fountain Show Special Program:
April to October (Saturdays & Sundays) and mid-May to the end of June (Tuesdays). For a selected time you have the option to see the magnificent fountain displays, which reveal the skill and artistry of 3 centuries of French garden design and engineering. The display is accompanied by music composed at the time of Louis XIV's court. Entrance fees are included in the cost of the tour.
You'll walk along the Latin Quarter's ancient streets and see Paris' three most beautiful churches: Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Chapelle and St. Etienne du Mont. You'll also pass famous institutes and universities, exquisite fountains and statues, art treasures from the Middle Ages, student haunts and the Left Bank abodes of Sigmund Freud, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, the beat poets and Jim Morrison.
Sights of the Latin Quarter Walking Tour include:
- Learning about Notre Dame Cathedral's history and architecture, with its detailed facade
- St. Chapelle, built to house Christ's crown of thorns and a piece of the cross
- Sorbonne University, the most prestigious university in France
- Conciergerie, the brutal prison where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution
- Cluny Museum, the Middle Ages museum of Paris, containing the famous "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries
- St. Etienne du Mont, a beautiful church that houses the tomb of St Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris
- Place St. Michel, the beating heart of the Latin Quarter
- "Bouquinistes", the famous book and poster vendors lining the banks of the Seine River
Youll visit five chocolate boutiques, where youll enjoy free tastings of delectable Parisian treats. This small-group walking tour is limited to 8 people, ensuring personalized attention from your guide.
Entice your taste buds on this guided walking tour of the best Parisian chocolatiers. Youll stay on the Right Bank, discovering the 1st arrondissement, one of Paris most elegant districts. Visit five artisan-made chocolate boutiques (among the greatest in Paris!), where you can sample the exquisite delights. The various production methods and the strengths of each artisan will be explained to you, and then youll have the chance to appreciate the quality of their products through a tasting in each boutique.
With a maximum of only 8 people per group, this small-group tour ensures a more intimate experience. The relaxed pace allows you to browse the specialties at each chocolate boutique, ask questions and make purchases if you wish. As you travel from shop to shop, youll see some of Paris most famous sights, like the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and the Opera House.
At Notre Dame Cathedral you will not only visit the interior of the church, but will also have the opportunity to climb the famous bell towers for astounding views of Paris alongside the gargoyles that have protected the Notre Dame for centuries.
Your small group tour begins with a fascinating walking tour of the famous Ile de la Cité, in the heart of the Seine River, home to kings, revolutionaries and those famous gargoyles.
Here you will see why Victor Hugo selected Notre Dame as the setting for his widely acclaimed novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The flying buttresses, menacing gargoyles, soaring spires, monumental organ and imposing bell towers are as beautiful as they are ominous.
Experience history unfold as your expert guide recounts the amazing history of Notre Dame from antiquity to today on this incredible journey into the heart of medieval and Gothic Paris. For a dramatic finish, we will skip the long line to climb the 387 steps to the Notre Dame Bell Towers for a gargoyles-eye view of Paris. The long queues can last up to two hours, so skip the line and go to the head of the tour.
Most people wouldnt include a cemetery on their list of things to do when visiting a new city, but Paris' Pere LaChaise is different. Some of the most expensive and coveted grave real estate in the world, Pere LaChaise is home to 70,000 dead, including some of the most famous artists, writers and musicians the world has ever known.
The graves of the famous dead include the American musician Jim Morrison, Irish author Oscar Wilde, and French writers Balzac and Proust. On your guided meander through this romantic labyrinth of stones, trees and paths, your guide will point out the famous graves and hidden eccentricities that make this famous cemetery so special.
Discover one of the greatest and most tragic love stories of all time - that of Heloise and Abelard, now buried side by side after long years of separation. As we pass Chopins tomb you can almost hear his best-known piece, the Funeral Dirge. Well also find the resting place of Molière, the famous French playwright.
Join us on this extraordinary tour of Paris Pere LaChaise and hear the stories of the great people buried in this very special cemetery.
Sights of the French Revolution Walking Tour include:
- Bastille Prison - the raiding of this prison sparked the French Revolution
- Les Invalides - over 30,000 arms were stolen from here in order to attack the Bastille
- Place de la Concorde - site of the beheadings of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, among many others
- Tuileries Palace - the site of the royal palace that served as a prison for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in the Tuileries Gardens
- Conciergerie - the prison overlooking the Seine River where Marie Antoinette was held
- National Assembly - site of the lower house of the French Legislative branch
- Reign of Terror - the years following the Revolution that saw chaos, betrayal and murder
Today, Paris is the City of Light the home of fashion and the center of art and culture in France. But it wasnt always that way. Paris has a long, tragic history of murder and execution, of rampant disease among the lower classes and of bitter wars fought against a corrupt monarchy.
This nighttime walking tour of Paris ghosts, mysteries and legends takes place under a cloak of darkness, winding down alleyways and cutting through the hushed silence of the night. You will go to the sites of some of Paris darkest hours the Place de la Vert Gallant, St Germain de Auxerrois (where some say 30,000 were killed in the St Bartholomews Day massacre in 1572) and the Palais du Justice (where those found guilty by the court were routinely tortured and executed before live audiences).
You will travel through areas wracked by the plague, the French Revolution, the Paris Commune and Nazi rule. You will learn about the characters that molded the city, from Napoleon and Marie Antoinette to Henry IV and the serial killers that once stalked these very streets.
The Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends Night Walking Tour of Paris offers a rare opportunity to glimpse a side of Paris you wont see advertised on postcards. Its a chance to learn a little more about the City of Light and those who loved, hated, died and killed there.
Sites visited on the walking tour:
- Place de la Vert Gallant
- St Germain de Auxerrois
- La Fontaine de la Croix du Trahoir
- Rue de la Ferronnerie
- Square of the Innocents
- The Rat Trap Shop (as seen in the movie Ratatouille)
- Tour St Jacques
- La Fontaine du Palmier
- The River Seine
- The Conciergerie
- Ile de la Cité
- Palais du Justice
- Hotel Dieu
- Hotel de ville
Book your Latin Quarter or Montmartre private tour and, armed with your digital or SLR camera, or smartphone, meet your guide in your chosen district.
Start walking and learn from your guide how to spot and capture some of the wonderful scenes around you. Make frequent stops to shoot world-famous monuments, dip into hidden lanes and streets, and discover new ways of seeing your surroundings.
As you stroll, learn how your enthusiasm and creativity are more important than your type of camera, and get hands-on instructions using its different settings, as well as mastering light and the art of composition.
Both tours end at a bistro for drinks or snacks (own expense) and, if you have a digital camera, to allow you to get your guides friendly critique on your photos.
Photography Walking Tour Latin Quarter (3 hours)Meet your guide in the Latin Quarter, a district on the Left Bank of the Seine near Paris' Sorbonne University that's known for its student life, bohemian vibe and buzzing bistros.
Explore the back streets to record the sights on camera, and stroll along the Seine to absorb the views of Notre Dame Cathedral. Then, take a closer look at this spectacular Gothic church and take shots of its exterior, with helpful ideas from your guide.
Lastly, head into a bistro for refreshments (own expense) and chat with your guide, gleaning their views on your shots if you've taken them digitally. Your tour then ends after your visit.
Photography Walking Tour Montmartre (3 hours)Meet your guide in Montmartre, the hill in northern Paris known for its art galleries, nightlife and Sacré Coeur Basilica. As you stroll, learn how to see the buildings and streets from a photographers viewpoint and stop to take pictures helped by hints from your guide.
Delve into the cobbled alleyways, leafy squares and stepped hills, and gradually make your way to the Place du Tertre near the Sacré Coeur. See the outdoor art stalls of watercolorists and portrait painters in the square and finish by snapping views of the white, domed church.
End your tour at a bistro over refreshments (own expense). Chat with your guide about what you've learnt, and if youve used a digital camera, get their views on your photos, before saying your goodbyes.
Wander through one of Paris’ oldest districts during this historical walking tour. Meet your expert guide near the Pompidou Centre (Centre George Pompidou), which celebrates modern art. Its eye-catching exterior design has made it a top Paris attraction, and this will be the first sight you'll see on your tour.
Follow your guide through the narrow lanes of the Marais, where the next point of interest is the Hotel de Ville (the town hall). This impressive building dates back to 1553 and is now the home of the Mayor of Paris. The large square in front of the Hotel de Ville hosts different attractions throughout the year, including an ice-skating rink and outdoor concerts.
As you walk, your friendly guide will explain the fascinating history of this district. The Marais was the site of the first Jewish settlement in Paris and continues to be the hub of the Jewish community today. Pass by the Memorial de la Shoah, an important Jewish site inaugurated in 2005 that stands as a powerful reminder of the Holocaust in France.
Next, see one of the best examples of Jewish culture in the Marais today – the cobbled Rue des Rosiers, home to Jewish bakeries, bookshops and kosher food outlets. Walk along this vibrant street with your guide, and make note of its popular cafes to come back to during your time in Paris.
Continue to the Place des Voges, one of the oldest squares in Paris and a highlight of the Marais. It was once a royal park and is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Paris; it was also home to famous French writer Victor Hugo. Your guided Marais walking tour ends at the Place de la Bastille, the site of the famous Bastille prison that was stormed on July 14, 1789, marking the start of the French Revolution.
Send your kids on this fun-packed walking tour of Paris' Left Bank, where the itinerary is decided by the children. You are welcome to join the tour, or leave your children in the hands of a capable local mother and guide.
Visit the oh-so-Parisian park, le Jardin du Luxembourg, to sail toy boats or ride the wooden animals of the merry-go-round. See the best puppet show in France or race pedal-powered cars. Visit the natural history museum with a cool parade of life-size African animals. Travel back in time at the Museum of the Middle Ages to see mythical creatures and learn about knights in shining armor. Take a trip to the tropics at the Grande Serre, a giant greenhouse turned urban jungle!
With a varied program of daytime activities for children between the ages of 7 and 12, the walking tour is limited to a maximum of five kids. Every child gets plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get to know their fellow adventure-seekers! Moms and dads are welcome to join the tour.
This small-group tour is limited to just eight people, ensuring youll receive personalized attention from your guide.
Perched high on a hill overlooking bustling downtown Paris, the village-like area of Montmartre is easily one of Paris most-loved neighborhoods. Topped by the beautiful Sacré-Coeur, the area boasts a myriad of cobbled streets thronged by street artists, musicians and traditional crêpe stalls round every twist and turn.
Unsurprisingly, Montmartre is a mecca for creative types, and numerous artists over the years made the area their home. After meeting your guide, learn about some of these legendary French artists while you walk around this vibrant district, seeing the places where they lived, worked and painted.
Hear of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the greatest Post-Impressionist painters of his time, who moved here to study, and Dutch-born Vincent Van Gogh, who found the area to be a treasure trove of subjects to paint. Henri Matisse was another of the areas legendary residents, who lived here in his early days as a struggling artist.
As your guide talks about the highs and lows of the artists lives in Montmartre, weave your way through the streets to reach the Sacré-Coeur. Walk through this 19th-century basilica, admiring its golden mosaics and intricately designed bronze doors, before stopping outside to enjoy the best panoramic views over Paris.
While Montmartre is widely considered to be Paris most bohemian neighborhood, it isnt as well known for its wine! Astonishingly, the area is home to the citys last surviving vineyard. Learn all about this little-known place while following your guide off the tourist trail and through the doors of two of Pariss oldest bistros. As you sit down to enjoy a tasting of various fine wines, youll be served a plate of charcuterie (cured meats) and learn from your guide about the grape varieties, local soil and wine production of this fascinating enclave of Paris.
Meet your guide in Montmartre, in front of the Moulin Rouge, and set off on your 1.5-hour walking tour around the neighborhood. As you stroll through the streets, weaving past must-see highlights like Le Clos Montmartre vineyard, hear tales of the legendary artists who have called the area home. Focusing on Paris Impressionist painters, your guide will talk you through the lives and works of Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne.
See the venues that influenced their art, like the building where Van Gogh lived when he moved here from Holland. Van Gogh lovers believe it was here that he really found his personality as an artist. Visit the Montmartre windmill that Renoir featured in his scandalous masterpiece Bal du moulin de la Galette, and walk past the Moulin Rouge cabaret that inspired Toulouse-Lautrecs distinctive style of painting.
After 1.5 hours of strolling around Montmartre, head to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur to admire the spectacular view over Paris with your guide. This is where your tour finishes and before leaving, your guide will hand over your skip-the-line ticket to Musée dOrsay, Paris famous Impressionist museum that you can visit independently.
Your guide will give you directions if you want to visit Musée dOrsay straight away, or you can use your ticket to visit on another day of your choice. The former train station now holds Paris largest collection of Impressionist art.
Paris St-Ouen flea market, known as Marché aux Puces St-Ouen or Les Puces de St-Ouen, is one of the largest flea markets in the world. Located in the 18th arrondissement, it covers an area of 15 acres (6 hectares)!
On this 3-hour small-group walking tour with an expert local guide, discover some of the thousands of small shops and vendors selling everything from paintings, decorative furniture and antique textiles to vintage clothing, jewelry and bags. As you explore, your knowledgeable guide will explain the history of the market, which dates back to 1885, while showing you many of the secret corners of the vibrant market.
While searching for hidden gems, your guide will be on hand to help you negotiate prices and organize packing and shipping, so you can land great deals and take your items safely back home with you.
Once youve had your shopping fill, take a break at the colorful cabaret café Chez Louisette. Listen to the Edith Piaf-style singer and accordion player as you sip on a complimentary hot drink and enjoy the atmosphere of retro Paris. Your small-group tour will end at the Porte de Clignancourt metro station.
Our in-depth Paris Walking Tours are designed to paint an inspiring picture of the city, creating memorable experiences of learning and discovery along the way. Concentrating on the wealth of knowledge our Paris city guide has to offer, it can be tough to remember to capture these travel memories. We’ve teamed up with Flytographer to offer a special package: those booking private Context tours in Paris have the opportunity to be joined by professional local photographer for part of their walk.
- Private tour in Paris.
- Joined by a professional photographer.
Flytographer helps travelers capture stunning vacation photos of everyone together, in amazing places. They have local, carefully vetted, photographers available in over 160 destinations, who will meet you for a fun, candid photoshoot. The result? Wall-worthy vacation photos with everyone together. Gorgeous photos you can't capture alone. A charming local photographer. A priceless souvenir of your trip.
The Perfect Travel Combination
Combine a Flytographer photoshoot with your choice of Context walk in Paris with our special package. Within 5 business days of the walk, digital photos will be emailed to the you via an online gallery, along with a link to download all the high resolution photos.
Browse our selection of Paris walking tours and decide which you'd like to combine with the Flytographer experience. Once you're ready, place an order using this product, and mention in the Trip Notes which walk you would like to take.
Note: The default price for this package is €795, which is based on a standard 3-hour walk and 1.5 hours with the Flytographer (usually the first 30 minutes are spent with the photographer alone, before the walk starts), followed by 45 photographs. Please also note that certain tours cannot run every day of the week. We will work with you to adjust scheduling and pricing (should the tour you request be a non-standard price) before charging.
Here are some walks we recommend which would pair nicely with a photoshoot:
- Paris Chocolate Tour
- Montmartre Tour
- Paris City Planning Tour
- Paris Left Bank Tour
- Marais Walking Tour
- Paris Family Tours
Other Paris walks are available with Flytographer on request.
Join this 2h Private Teen Shopping Tour in Paris and shop in the worlds most fabulous city!
This fabulous tour is designed for teen girls who want to enjoy a day of shopping in Paris and get the most of it with the help of a stylist and personal shopper who speaks fluently English.
Accompanied by Linda, your stylist & personal shopper, its like shopping with your stylish best friend!
She will help you find those Parisian must-have additions to your wardrobe and make the seasons trends work for you within your budget and will introduce you to some of the citys most famous boutiques as well as hidden treasures known only to locals!
You will also explore the charm of the historic Marais neighborhood of Paris and soak up the atmosphere of le Marais with a stop at Places de Vosges.
This 2-hour Private Teen Shopping Tour in Paris features stops at teen-focused clothing boutiques, accessory and makeup stores and more. The focus is on affordable clothing and accessories, with higher-end teen boutiques.
Tour participants will enjoy a private custom shopping itinerary and fashion advice from a professional wardrobe stylist.
This 2-hour private guided walking tour of the Marais takes you to a part of Paris that has the most layered and unusual history of all the citys boroughs. Originally a swamp (where the name comes from), the land of the Marais was drained and it became habitable Many different communities were drawn to it - the Templar nights, the Jewish community, the opulent aristocrats of the 17th century.
Over the years it has had its share of ups and downs, falling from a chic residential area that was home to aristocrats and even a royal court, to a best-avoided shady slum. During the tour your guide will show you the many mutually opposed faces of this unique part of the city, and explain how vital it was, and still is, for the development of Paris.
The Marais is now going through a second renaissance, geared towards becoming a hipster mecca of Paris, a place where chic gourmet restaurants find themselves next to trashy second hand stores. Your guide will delight in making you discover all of these aspects of Marais.
While the Left bank has always been associated with progressive notions and free, frivolous thinking of the artists, writers and philosophers, the Right Bank was the seat of the French power. It is no wonder that the Great Revolution was planned out on the Left Bank, but carried out on the Right.
A 2-hour walk on the Right Bank is therefore a very different experience compared to a visit to the Left Bank, the home to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain. Whereas there we can find traces of speculating (but often fun loving) idealists leaving their imprints on the surroundings, here we find the somber and strict expression of authority.
As you take in the buildings of the Right Bank your guide will compare the way this image of authority was constructed and seen in medieval times as well as the neoclassical period. We will delve deeply into the function and symbolical value of the French love for symmetry.
We will also discover some places who even in the midst of all this seriousness have found a way to be relaxed, subversive and even quite naughty.
Saint-Germain has long been the center of Parisian cultural life, the area where noted philosophers, writers, artists, and politicians of many eras came to work and, seduced by the areas creative energy, decided to stay for life. Some of them went on to create other countries; some of them made revolutions that would shape the world as we know it today. Traces of these activities are still visible and indeed radiant - we invite you to discover them with us.
On this 2-hour private guided walking tour youll visit churches that are more than a thousand years old, walk along the narrow medieval streets, and discover well hidden sites of incredible historical significance, that the uninitiated would never guess nor locate.
Admire Saint-Germain-des-Près, the oldest church in Paris, and the story of its conception
Discover Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris, where coffee was first served in this part of the world, as well as a revolution
Visit the École des Beaux-Arts, a famous art academy and the first museum in Paris (and indeed the world)
Fall in love with Rue Saint-André-des-Arts, a medieval street where poets, beggars, and kings lived as neighbors
Explore the legendary Montmartre district of Paris on a private 2-hour walking tour, and learn how the former suburb outside the citys jurisdiction went from being a den of iniquity to the fashionable, bohemian center it is today.
Along the way, your personal guide will tell you stories of illegal alcohol and allegedly obscene Can-Can dancers, show you lavish houses next to run-down slums, and describe the birth of Impressionism in the 19th century.
Uncover its layered history along some of the beautiful and not so beautiful streets, stopping at landmark monuments, such as the Metro Blanche (formerly Maison Blanche), Moulin Rouge, and Moulin de la Galette.
Take a 2-hour private guided walk to learn about the famous Haussmannian intervention, the largest urban planning feat ever undertaken in the city of Paris, France, Europe and possibly the entire world.
In the 19th century the whole city, with the exception of 2 neighborhoods, was flattened and built anew. The plan was designed to create the best planned, the most functional, and above all, the most beautiful city in the world. The program, however, took its toll on many precious buildings and streets that have been forever lost. What were the real reasons behind this controversial decision? Of famous artists and writers of the era, who was in favor, and who was bitterly against? What are the conspiracy theories surrounding the event? Find out in this guided private tour.
After you have taken this tour, youll never see the city of Paris with the same eyes again!
The long lasting building of Paris in the neoclassic style was an important part of the citys history, probably the most important one, that had a decisive influence of the Parisian and French culture. The buildings and the streets thus created are still a veritable mirror of their era, ideology, values and beliefs.
On this private 2-hour guided tour youll learn all about the transformation that city of Paris underwent - from a small, infamously unsanitary medieval city to, through a period of neoclassical idealism, to the fully functional metropolis that is today.
Your guide will show you aristocratic Paris and make you discover what that actually means, delving deep into the essence and ideology of the european nobility and how it's reflected in the buildings, façades and the symbols that adorn them.
On this 2-hour private guided Champs-Élysées tour youll visit the main and arguably the most important area of Paris. You may be somewhat surprised to learn about what this area was before it became the main street of Paris and the world's most beautiful avenue.
During the walking tour your guide will introduce you to many sides of the mythical Champs Elysees, it's connection to Roman myth and Napoleon as well as the transformations that led this fabled street to become what it is today.
Learn about the world-changing history at the Place de la Concorde, a neoclassical masterpiece of architecture and urban planning
Discover the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, the oeuvres-phares of the famous Belle époque
Explore the famous Champs-Élysées, considered by many to be the most beautiful avenue in the world
Gaze in awe at the Arc de Triomphe, a monolithic monument to Napoleon
This 2-hour private guided walking tour of the Latin Quarter takes you to the very heart of Paris, both medieval and Roman, that is also the center of the Paris university life.
Take a walk down the cobblestoned crooked streets, very different than the wide and elegant Haussmannian avenues and boulevards. Youll likely come across many students who attend the districts various universities, including the world famous Sorbonne. History of this esteemed university and a detailed account of how it made this part of the city is an especially interesting part of this tour.
The area is famous for its youthful spirit of rebellion and progressive ideas, which are in contrast with the ancient streets and churches of the medieval era.
Your tour takes you through the many layers of the Latin Quarter. Along with the museums and beautiful, old-world architecture, youll find the hottest jazz clubs of Paris, as well as underground night clubs, world famous bookstores and lovely parks.
Once you meet your guide at the designated meeting point, you can get ready for a walking tour that will introduce you to the history and culture of the center of the city. Walk in the shadows of Notre Dame's Gargoiles to see the Sainte Chapelle and the high tower of St. Jacques, before crossing the ancient streets and the historic bridges such as the Ponte Neuf. Follow the trail of the Templars, learning about the Hundred Years' War, Marie Antoinette of Austria, Louis XIV the "Sun King", the two Napoleons, and much more.
Highlights of this tour will be Notre Dame Cathedral visit, the Ile de la Cité tour, Ponte Neuf, the Jewish Island and view of the Louvre Museum, as well as many others.
After meeting your private guide at a designated location, set off on your Montmartre walking tour.
Your guide focuses on the art and history of the neighborhood, as Montmartre was the center of bohemian life during the Belle Epoque and was home to artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Utrillo, Picasso, and Claude Monet. As you walk, see sights such as the Eros Museum, Moulin Rouge, Les Deux Moulins, the Van Gogh house, St. Denis Martyrium, the vineyard of Montmartre, and Café de Amélie. You'll end up at the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart), you can take in a fabulous view of Paris.
Meet your guide in Montmartre, in front of the famous Moulin Rouge, and set off on a leisurely walking tour around the neighborhood. Take in the typical atmosphere of Montmartre, from charming little streets to must-see highlights. Along the way, hear tales from the festive Paris of the 19th-century that inspired the the Impressionists with its cafés, theaters, operas, balls, and cabarets, and learn more about the lives and works of different artists of the time, including Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and Toulouse-Lautrec. See the magnificent monuments and streets that inspired well-known paintings such as Renoir's scandalous masterpiece Bal du Moulin de la Galette and Toulouse-Lautrecs paintings of the Moulin Rouge cabaret.
The 2-hour walking tour concludes at one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, boasting wonderful views over Paris. Before parting ways, your guide will hand over your skip-the-line ticket to Musée Marmottan Monet, which brings together the world's largest collection of masterpieces by Claude Monet plus works by Morisot, Degas, Renoir, Manet, and other Impressionists. Your guide will give you directions to visit Musée Marmottan Monet straight away, or you can use your ticket to visit independently on another day of your choice.
Kissing is a serious matter. Best places to kiss in Paris will soon be no longer a secret to you. The best spots will be on every lip.
The Parisian kiss has definite rules.
From traditional kisses such as the kiss of the Hotel de Ville photogaphied by Doisneau, to romantic kisses of the Pont Neuf, passing by the cinema kisses.
2-hour Small Group Walking Tour to find your best place for kissing.
Paris, the city of lovers. But above all, Paris too full of lovers. Then we forget the Champs de Mars, the Trocadéro, Montmartre, the quays, the bridge of the arts ... Wherever all lovers take pictures and hang their padlocks. No, we'll take a walk in all the other romantic places in Paris, the little streets, the less crowded parks, the unavoidable views, the atypical places where love floats in the air. All of these places where you will definitely score points if you bring your partner there.
Kissing is a serious matter. The Parisian kiss has definite rules. From the historical district of Saint Germain des Près, to the Marais district, follow the wind in search of love.
Your Montmartre walking tour begins by meeting your guide at a location near the Abbesses metro station.
Perched on a hill in northern Paris, Montmartre is known for its bohemian charm, street painters, and legendary nightlife venues like the Moulin Rouge. As you stroll through the neighborhood with your guide, learn about its history, and visit both top landmarks and off-the-beaten-path sites. Plus, check out Sacré-Coeur Basilica, which boasts a wonderful view of Paris.
Your tour ends in Montmarte, from where you can continue your day on your own.
Your 2-hour tour starts at Place Colette in central Paris, where you'll meet your photographer guide for your walking tour photo shoot.
As you stroll past landmarks such as Palais Royal, Musée Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Place Dauphine, your guide snaps 300-400 pictures of you and your party in the heart of Paris. Walk along the Seine and its many bridges, including Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf, and take in the city's elegant architecture.
Feel free to dress as casually or as formally as you wish. Later in the day, you'll be emailed 25 of the best images, retouched; the next day, receive the rest of the photos through a file-sharing website (additional retouching is available for an extra charge).
Your 2-hour tour takes place around the base of the Eiffel Tower, where you'll meet your photographer guide for your walking tour photo shoot.
As you stroll around the area surrounding the tower, your guide snaps 300-400 pictures of you and your party. Feel free to dress as casually or as formally as you wish. Later in the day, you'll be emailed 25 of the best images, retouched; the next day, receive the rest of the digital photos (additional retouching is available for an extra charge).
Plunge yourself in stories, treasures and hidden gems of the most fascinating city in the world !
Inhabited by a passion for history, your guide gave himself years of intense research, particularly at the National Archives in Paris. He was fortunate to be able to work hand in hand with some of the greatest historians on a subject that he is deeply passionate about: the mistakes in the French and in Paris history.
Ever dreamt of discovering Paris in a different and unusual way ? Enjoy some of the major monuments but also discover some hidden secret places that even Parisians do not know about.
If you can, then take this tour and then let the show begin ! Let your guide plunge you into the beauty of the city and into a whirlwind of anecdotes, history, legends and intrigue.
He is part of a team of dedicated history reasearchers looking to offer the honey of what Paris is all about. During the four hours you will spend together, all your senses will be in action.
You will hear and learn a motley of amazing stories about Paris and ride and walk through secret doors, quiet streets and alleys.
He will take you in a beautiful incredible Paris that you never ever dreamt of. For this journey, you will be using an electric bike to enjoy more grounds and really get the feeling of what Paris is like. If you are looking for a unique experience and want to do the most out of your time in Paris then look no further: this is it !
Begin your morning walking tour with breakfast à la française, during which you'll savor in-store delicacies like a true Parisian. Your culinary journey starts here as your guide tells anecdotes and fascinating stories of French history.
At each street corner, your guide points out many features of Parisian lifepast and presentand as your tour progresses, you'll gain insight into French culture. Stop to sample favorite food items like chocolate, pastries, cheese, and smoked meat, and perhaps do some shopping to stock up on fashionable goods (own expense). Your tour also introduces you to the fundamentals of Paris architecture as you learn Baron Haussmann and his role in creating the Paris we know today. You will never see the city the same way again after you've heard about the history of the streetscapes and squares.
After your tour, your guide can accompany you to a nice place to have lunch, if you wish (own expense).
Your walking tour starts at Pont Neuf, Paris' oldest standing bridge, where you'll meet your guide for your exploration of Ile de la Cité.
For about 1.5 hours, walk around the small island to see sights such as the statue of Henri IV, Dauphine Square, the Palace of Justice, and the Conciergerie, a former royal residence turned into a prison during the French Revolution. As you walk, hear stories from your guide about French history, the mysteries of Templars, and even old grapevines. Pass by the Clock Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, and the flower market where guards once bought modest bouquets to give to imprisoned Marie-Antoinette.
Walk by the oldest hospital in Paris, stroll down streets so picturesque they could be in a movie, and learn where the best ice cream and cupcakes can be found. Eventually, you'll reach the heart of medieval Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral. You have some time to admire the Gothic masterpiece and hear about its history, and you can enter to soak up the atmosphere from inside.
Next, the second part of your tour (about one hour) begins as you leave the island for the Left Bank, where you'll roam a labyrinth of medieval streets to see some culinary attractions, pass by a historical church, and check out the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. For lunch, enjoy French dishes suggested by a local chef, such as frog legs, meats, and something sweetit's your choice, but you'll have a set menu of starter, main dish, and dessert, with wine added. While waiting for the food to be served, hear more about French cuisine from your guide, and ask any questions you have.
After lunch, your guide gives you a ticket for a boat cruise along the Seine and provides instructions for where and when to board. You can take the cruise right after lunch or later, according to your preferences. The cruise lasts a little over an hour, with flexible start times, and you can expect to see many sights from the river, such as Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Place de la Concorde, Musée d'Orsay, and the Louvre. Float all the way around Ile de la Cité, and go back to other way to see the Eiffel Tower.
Enjoy a 3-hour guided tour to explore the Parisian Secret by walking in the unusual atmosphere of the covered 19th Century passages. Continue to the Opera Garnier, a temple of lyrical art and choreography to be amazed by the treasures. Capture magnificent views from the Roofs of the Galeries Lafayette and much more. This tour includes a professional guide and entrance fees.
Venture into the Real Paris with the Parisian Secret Passages in the city Centre as your guide shares amazing stories. Enjoy a guided tour of one of the most expensive buildings built during the Second Empire (45 different marbles throughout ) with an impressive architectural designs, known as the Opera Garnier. Witness the huge hanging chandelier weighting over six tons in the center. Visit the impressive grand staircase with dual mirrors on each side (dedicated to Ladies) and marble friezes, which is a place for enjoying good music but also for socializing.
Immerse yourself into the alcoves, corridors, stairwells, and landings made especially for talking during intermission. Chagall, an artist, redid the ceilings with a painting depicting scenes from operas by 14 composers. In 1907, the Gramophone Company sealed 24 records in two containers and locked them in the cellars of the opera house to be opened 100 years later. In 2007, the containers were opened and the records digitized by EMI, which released the collection as Les Urnes de lOpera.
End your tour with a grandiose panoramic view of the City from the Roofs of Department Store the Galeries Lafayette, which is located on boulevard Haussmann in Paris.
Departing from Metro Anvers in North of Paris, embark on a 2-hour journey with your guide in Montmartre. Originally a small village in the North of Paris, Montmartre is a very picturesque district with amazing views of Paris. The neighborhood is well known for its Bohemia and creativity, which draws many artists who are attracted to the authentic atmosphere. Meet your guide at Metro Stop Anvers, near the kiosque. Your guide will discuss the neighborhood life while strolling cobblestones streets up to the hill of Montmartre. You will be using the funicular to help you go up to the village. Witness attractions where artists used to live. such as Van Gogh, Dali and Monet. Place du Tertre is a reminder of the old Montmartre, which is full of painters and vibrant. Enjoy the Sacre Coeur Basilica, known as one of Paris most visited Monuments. Explore the hidden pleasures, a small, neat vineyard and much more.
For a twist on the usual sightseeing experience, take a 3-hour after-dark tour of Paris to admire its illuminated landmarks and monuments while listening to stories about the city deepest darkest secrets. Hear chilling tales of murder, mystery, mayhem and ghosts in the winding alleys and squares of Ile de la Cite and its surroundings.
Do you know the City of Light has a dark and mysterious side lurking beneath the surface? Follow your guide into a spine-tingling world of conspiracy, assassinations, ghosts, and lost treasure as you probe the shadows of the citys historic center after dark. You wont find these stories in your guidebook!
From the splendid courtyards of the Musée du Louvre to the grinning gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral, this nighttime walking tour is set against some of Paris most beautifully illuminated monuments. Along the way, your passionate guide will unlock the citys darkest secrets that have remained buried for centuries: medieval murders, curses and prophecies, ghoulish hauntings, and even the legend of the Holy Grail.
Prepare yourself for a vivid and imaginative side of history that is hidden to most visitors, ensuring that youll never look at Paris the same way again. The group is limited in size to provide an interactive and conversational atmosphere so youll have your guides full attention at all times.
Enjoy a 3-hour literary tour in Paris and mingle with the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Balzac, Sartre, and many others as you unlock the stories of the legendary Parisian writing scene. Hear interesting facts and anecdotes like why Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast or about an eccentric poet who walked his pet lobster around on a leash. See where Oscar Wilde drew his last breath, and visit the location of the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This small-group tour is limited to 10 people, or you can upgrade to a private tour when booking.
Meet your guide at the designated start point in central Paris, and get ready for your interesting and educational tour around some of Paris' former hotbeds of intellectualism: areas and sites that once presided over and inspired a wealth of literary artistry and innovation.
Recall the time when the citys Left Bank overflowed with creativity, and where brilliant minds toiled over manuscripts in smoke-filled cafés while echoes of jazz wafted down the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Let the romanticism of vintage Paris wash over you as your guide leads you from one poetic neighborhood to another, revealing anecdotes and little-known facts about the lives of the citys great writers.
Explore the Latin Quarter, where Lost Generation luminaries like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald would chat over a drink, or more likely, five. Hear intriguing tales such as why Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast or about the eccentric poet who once walked his pet lobster around on a leash.
Then, stroll around the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, where among art galleries and fashionable boutiques sit two of the citys most iconic literary cafés, once favorite haunts of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Pablo Picasso.
Learn about the impact and cultural legacy of the late-1950s Beat Generation, and contemplate the wit of Oscar Wilde in front of the hotel where he spent his final days.
Pause the action over a coffee break with your guide, and finally, head to the Odéon area as your guide evokes the memory of Sylvia Beach and the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore.
Even though the original store closed long ago, you can explore the modern-day shop: a great opportunity to find that perfect literary souvenir to take home (own expense).
Your 3-hour tour ends here when your guide departs.
Relive the most harrowing and heroic moments of WWII during a 3-hour small group walking tour of Paris under the Nazi Occupation. Explore the former urban battlefields where the dramas of war played out. See the bullet holes and tank impacts that still scar the landscape of Paris. Learn stories of the French Resistance and the brave everyday men and women who rose up to take their city back. Hear of how Hitler ordered Paris to be destroyed, and how the city narrowly escaped certain annihilation.
Meet your guide in central Paris and begin your historical walk through the annals of WWII in Marais, the Jewish quarter that was heavily affected by the Nazi invasion in 1940.
As you walk, listen to dramatic stories of life under Nazi governance, including the hardships of food rationing and the terrors of round-ups, and deportations. Hear, too, about the local heroes who bravely risked their lives to protect the persecuted.
Stop at the Holocaust Memorial to learn more about the plight of the Jewish community, and then cross one of the bridges that spans the River Seine to the Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame Cathedral.
In front of this iconic church, hear the story of the courageous French Resistance fighters and see the first building that they took in what became the Liberation of Paris in August 1945.
Your guide will point out battle scars left by the war that still hide in plain sight on the buildings of the area, including damage caused by both Nazi and French artillery.
Stop for a coffee break at an authentic French café, and discuss with your guide how Adolf Hitler demanded that Paris be destroyed, so leaving the citys fate in the hands of just one man.
Listen, too, as your guide shares intriguing tales of how the Monuments Men saved countless works of art held in the city.
This small-group tour is a great way to discover the forgotten secrets of one of the historys most dramatic wars, as played out against the backdrop of the most beautiful city in the world.
Your tour comes to an end near the Pont Neuf bridge in the city center.
Make your own way to one of the finest example of the French gothic Architecture: Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral . Located right on the island "de la Cité" in the heart of Paris ( Nearest Metro line 4 : Cité). Once facing the monument, you will have to redeem your voucher on the far right door of the main entrance in order to get your Audio Guide with Individual interactive map.
Once you are at the door you'll have the normal queue on the right and a passage on the left, please show you voucher to the attendant to skip the line and have access to the redemption booth to get the audio guide and plan. You will additionally get a static cling decoration of the stained glass window as a welcome gift. Explore the inside building at your own pace while listening to the commentaries and capture some fascinating treasures such as the Rose Windows and many more.
For those who wish to see the stunning view of the city over all the most important landmarks, you will have to climb many steps but very well worth it and particularly memorable. The 3 Portals are decorated with a multitude of characters relating the Last Judgement, The Virgin and St Anne. After using the Audio Guide, remember to bring it back at the Cathedral reception.Then by crossing the parvis south over the Petit Pont, you will find on your left side the legendary Bookshop in Paris: Shakespeare and Company, veritable institution and cultural link between France, Britain and the US.
Down the road you will explore the lively Latin Quarter: one of the oldest neighborhood of the City with its many historical curiosities. The area remains still the place where many students gather for a night out. You might stay at the end of the tour enjoying the surrounding and its animated Atmosphere.
Travel to the heart of the City of Light on this 3 hour small group walking tour (no more than 10 participants). Le Marais is a neighborhood with the perfect Parisian mix of breathtaking architecture, trendy boutiques, delicious cafés, restaurants, and hidden gardens. On this in-depth exploration of the Marais, youll enjoy historical anecdotes and captivating stories that will only further the magic of Le Marais. Highlights include the Hôtel de Ville, Place des Vosges, St-Paul-St-Louis Church, and the famed Jewish quarter. Plus, you'll stop at the most charming café halfway through your tour where you can relax and take in your surroundings like a true Parisian!
Your Marais walk begins at the city hall or Hôtel de Ville on the lower edge of the Marais, a public square which was once the site of public executions but is now home to seasonal events and concerts. Then youll further explore Marais to the see quaint narrow streets and original wood-framed medieval architecture.
After taking in striking remains of medieval ramparts and cobblestone alleys, youll follow a secret series of courtyards - one of the most charming and overlooked parts of the Marais. A walk inside a spectacular Baroque church will reveal little-known legends and mysteries sure to awaken your imagination.
The Marais was once a substantially Jewish neighborhood and still retains much of this history. There will be time for sobering reflection in front of the Shoah Memorial, which commemorates lives lost during the Holocaust. Youll explore the Jewish quarter and the bustling Rue des Rosiers, home to a number of Jewish eateries. Youll also visit the elegant Place des Vosges, home to many famous characters through the ages including writer Victor Hugo.
The tour includes a collection of aristocratic city mansions from the exterior, guaranteed to transport you back in time. Your guide will also have plenty of foodie recommendations, so be sure to bring a notebook!
Already picturing yourself at the amazing Louvre, the beautiful Palais Garnier or the majestic Eiffel Tower? Visit these stunning highlights and many more during this informative, fun and 100% private tour. And while you wander past the beautiful landmarks youll discover hidden gems along the way too - best of both worlds!
Start your journey of must-sees at the most famous museum in world: Musée du Louvre! Learn all about the history and get contemporary facts on how to plan your personal visit from your local guide. After a short picture break, its time to move on towards even more great monuments such as Palais Royale, the famous Paris Opéra and of course: le Tour Eiffel!
But why would you only stick to the main spots when youre with a private local guide who can unveil secret places for you? Hop by an authentic local boulanger for a baguette-tasting crash course, stroll through a marvelous secret shopping passage and enjoy a rooftop view on a terrace only locals know about!
The local hosts are all great storytellers; each one with a different background ranging from history to journalism. They cant wait to share some unique insights and personal anecdotes with you! Want to adjust the route a bit? No problem - your private host can also fully personalize the tour to your preferences and your group's wishes!
This is the plan:
- Meeting point: Station Louvre-Rivoli (Exit Rue de L'Amiral de Coligny)
- Stop 1: Stroll around the square of majestic Musée du Louvre
- Stop 2: Get a glimpse of beautiful Palais Royale
- Stop 3: Taste the famous French baguette at cosy bakery Le Moulin de la Vierge
- Stop 4: Explore a hidden gem: Galerie Vivienne
- Stop 5: Walk by the impressive Paris Opéra
- Stop 6: Get a great 360 view over Paris from a rooftop terrace
- Stop 7: Wander around charming Village Royale
- Stop 8: Visit Place de la Concorde
- Stop 9: Hop from Grand Palais to Petit Palais
- Stop 10: Walk on the extravagante Pont Alexandre III
- Stop 11: Stroll along the Seine & Pont de LAlma
- Final Stop: Visit the Jardins du Trocadero and admire outstanding Tour Eiffel
A must-do for all chocolate lovers! This unique chocolate food tour explores the picturesque area of Saint Germain, a place well-known for its world class chocolatiers. In 2015, French people ate 405 000 tons of chocolate. So they take this subject seriously as Marie-Antoinette used to ! For Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter or Mother's Day, they rush to « chocolatiers » to spoil themselves or their beloved ones. Explore some of the the worlds best Chocolatiers, right here in Romantic Paris. Your taste buds will scream with ecstasy as you treat them to a good time! This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in French delights and to get to talk with the locals! Since the tour is limited to a maximum of 8 people, your English-speaking guide (who is a food lover and chocolate connoisseur) will be able to answer all your questions. Belong to the happy few, indulging themselves with brown gold gems !
Your tour of the most distinguished and picturesque market in ParisMarché d'Aligrebegins as you meet your guide at a location nearby.
A stone's throw from Opéra Bastille, Aligre Market sits in the 12th arrondissement on the Rive Droite (Right Bank) of Paris. Every morning (except Mondays), its stallholders welcome you right on the streets of Aligre Square. With your guide, see how the market is actually two markets with two charming atmospheresunder the covered market Beauvau, around the old fountain, you'll find a French and Italian delicatessen, fresh fish, poultry, dairy, and cut flowers. In the outdoor section, discover a curious mix of shouting merchants des four saisons (fruits sellers) and antique dealers, as this is half a food market and half a flea market.
Explore with your guide to see more food stalls and delis, and perhaps enjoy a wine tasting with cheese on an old wine barrel. You might mingle with locals and sip hot chocolate or hot wine during the winter, or enjoy an aperitif in the summer. However your guide introduces you to the market, you have the chance to feel like a local by chatting with shopkeepers and tasting local cheeses, cured meats, and chocolate. Learn about the history of this very special market, and, of course, sample fresh food from the stalls.
Enjoy a deep dive in the heart of le Marais district with a group of maximum 10 persons. Get introduced to French and other countries tasty specialties thanks to your knowledgeable guide.
While on this tour, you will stop by 8 to 10 stops of some of Paris most fantastic shops! While discovering this amazing area you will try wines, cheeses, delicacies like Organic Tapenade, Cured Meat, Baguettes, Jams and other great traditional french delicacy. This tour will also be the opportunity to taste chocolate and Macarons from renown chocolatiers.
From the oldest market in Paris 1605 to St Paul's church this unique route will make your taste buds scream !
Let the song, dance and paint of Montmartre lull you into an artists reverie. Discover Picasso and Van Goghs old haunts, the infamous Moulin Rouge dance hall, Amelies café, and much more in this 2.5-hour walking tour. Your tour is led by English, Spanish and German-speaking tour guides who know and love this gorgeous hilltop artists paradise in the heart of Paris. The route has been carefully crafted and balanced to have fun and learn about the most exciting things Montmartre has to offer.
Please note: guided tour does not include visits inside these attractions.
Follow in the footsteps of legendary figures in Parislike Napoleon III, Marie-Antoinette, James Joyce, Sylvia Beach, and Henry IVon this 2-hour walking tour along the river Seine. With a guide, stroll the streets of Paris and travel through history as you learn about tales from the history books, brought back to life before you. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking.
Your Historic Paris walking tour starts near Notre-Dame, where you'll meet your guide and set off around the city.
Learn about different periods of Parisian history in a small-group tour limited to 8 people.
Gain an understanding of the people who built Paris' palaces, wrote her novels, and made her famous around the world, from Catherine de Medici to Victor Hugo to Ernest Hemingway. See where greed, hope, bravery, and blind luck played out on the stage of city streets, take in the iconic architecture, and explore alleyways, all while history unfolds through stories told by your guide.
Along the way, enjoy exterior views of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, Pont Neuf, Tuileries Garden, the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde, where your tour ends.
Whether youre a beginner or a serious amateur, you will learn plenty of artistic and technical pointers on our Paris Street Photography Walks, led by experienced English speaking photographers. This tour is dedicated to photography lovers wanting a fast paced experience in some of the most picturesque parts of Paris.
Have you ever wondered how to get the best image quality your digital camera can deliver? Wonder no more. This tour will allow you to discover the most famous Paris districts as well as composition principles that will help you make great strides. During this 2-Hour tour you will learn how to tune your eye and sharpen your visual perception to capture the best images, change the mood of a image by changing the angle, predict the next movements of your subject, and capture the Decisive Moment.
You will be able to create pictures that transport the viewer to the scene you are photographing, take succinct and evocative pictures with the Rule of Thirds, Control exposure and other settings on the camera, and adjust aperture, shutter speeds and ISO to create sharp pictures any time of day.
If you choose the Night Time tour, you will learn the settings for best over-all exposures in the shadows and highlights to make nighttime photography as sharp as if they were taken during the day, how to use electronic flash, how to balance the flash exposure with ambient light, reflectors for diffusing the flash, the best angles to point the flash, and how to use stroboscopic flash.
Meet your private guide in Paris and begin your Montmartre walking tour by rambling up to the top of Basilica du Sacre-Coeur to take in its panoramic view of Paris.
With an eye toward contributions from the art world, your tour provides the chance to meet local artists who gather in this neighborhood to sell their pieces in the Place du Tertre. Wander along charming streets where Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso once painted, and see La Maison Rose, the Cabaret Lapin Agile, and the only working vineyard in Paris.
Before or after your tour, perhaps relax over lunch and a glass of wine at a local brasserie (own expense).
Head to Les Invalides in central Paris to meet your guide, an art historian, before setting off on this 3-hour walking tour. With a fascinating history going back to the 17th century, Les Invalides is the perfect place to begin to explore the city.
Explore the complex of beautiful buildings and marvel at the many magnificent monuments and museums along the way, including Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) and Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine (Modern History Museum). Listen as your guide details the cultural, political and social struggles that have played out at Les Invalides over the years, including how it was stormed in 1789 and the weapons seized were used in the infamous Bastille riots in July that year. Visit the Cathédrale St Louis and ogle its many banners won by French armies on battlefields. Delve into more military history while exploring some of the armories. Visit the tomb of Napoléon Bonaparte, the military and political leader famous for guiding the nation through the end of the French Revolution, and gain insight into one of the worlds most powerful and successful rulers.
For the next part of your tour, head along the Boulevard des Invalides to the Rodin Museum, where famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin lived and worked in the early 20th century. The museum and its beautiful gardens are today home to many of Rodins most famous works, including The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Explore the galleries with your guide and gain an appreciation of the life and works of this most original and creative French artist. The tour concludes at the Rodin Museum.
Meet your guide at the entrance of the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) to begin your 2-hour walking tour. This lovely 57-acre (23-hectare) garden sits in the heart of the elegant 6th arrondissement, on the Left Bank of the Seine River.
Built in 1612 by Queen Marie de Medici, Luxembourg Palace and its gardens were an exclusive royal estate that turned the neighborhood into a fashionable district for French nobility, and played a pivotal role in Paris development. Today it remains one of Paris most poised and tranquil green spaces, providing a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Listen to your guide explain the history of the gardens as you walk along the uniform hedgerows past flowerbeds, statues of former kings, queens and emperors, and stately arrangements of flora and fauna that showcase the classic French gardening style. Thousands of tulips embellish the display during the spring months.
Arrive at the Luxembourg Gardens focal point, the Medici Fountain, and pause for photos. Behind this is spectacular Luxembourg Palace. Hear how the palace has transformed from the Queens 16th-century royal residence to a prison during the French Revolution to the modern-day headquarters of the French Senate.
Return to the start point to conclude your 2-hour Luxembourg Gardens tour.
Starter (choose one)
Vegetable terrine with a tomato coulis
Onion soup with a grilled cheese crouton
Escargots in a garlic and parsley sauce
Main course (choose one)
Fish of the day
Leg of duck in an orange sauce
Dessert (choose one)
Wine, soft drinks and coffee
Designed for visitors in need of a short break from the heavier, more historical art of the Louvre or the crowds at monuments like the Eiffel Tower, your street art walking tour takes place in the district of Belleville, and it's especially great for those traveling with kids or teenagers. Meet your guide at a designated location, and set off on an exploration of the visual delights of this northeastern Paris neighborhood.
You'll be introduced to colorful street art that gives off a contemporary creative pulse. This is not the Paris of centuries ago; Belleville, with its charming small streets, is where French singer Edith Piaf grew up and where, in the 1980s, many Parisian artists and musicians lived because of the lower rents. Former industrial buildings were converted into artists' studios, and Belleville became the center of Paris' urban art movement.
Crazy about urban art, your guide shares with you works by both French and international street artists, from a giant wall fresco by Jérome Ménager to the mosaic tile creations of the artist known as Space Invader. Some of the paintings are quite beautiful, some are witty, and others political. Walk at a relaxed pace, and enjoy the changing landscape of the areaart that was here last week may have disappeared and been replaced by new forms of expression. It's not unusual to find artists working on a new mural during your tour.
Each walking tour is different from the last according to what is on display on any given day, and you are free to express how you feel about what you see. Ponder whether you consider it art in a beautiful space or a form of destruction.
Flip open any celebrity gossip magazine, and you'll see that many stars prefer going to the City of Lights. Paris is a cool city, and cool cities attract cool people! Enjoy taking a peek at the lifestyle choices of the upper crust, both past and present, in one of the luxury neighborhoods in the world's most glamorous capital city. Meet your guide in front of Maxims at 10:30am. You'll start by heading to Place de la Concorde, where luxurious hotels and boutiques can be found that cater to stars and celebrities across the globe. Continuing down rue Saint-Honoré you'll get to see some of Paris' chic shopping at designer stores where the elite go to stand out in the crowd. You'll find yourself at Place Vendôme, the center of Paris' fashion week and a hotspot for models, designers, and of course, celebrities! Here you'll see the world-famous five-star Ritz Hotel that has become a star in its own right after hosting the likes of Princess Diana, Chanel, and Hemingway. Close by is Colette's Concept Store, a trendy spot for international models, film stars, musicians, politicians, and artists during their stay in Paris. You'll finish up the tour by popping in to browse the unique selection, and you might even see a celebrity or two doing the same! Discover the luxury of Paris on this dazzling hour and a half walking tour, which ends at noon.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is located within the 6th arrondissement of Paris, just alongside the Seine River. Despite its small size, the historic area has played an essential role in cultural, political and artistic development; decisions made here impacted the city of Paris, the entire country of France, and even the entire western world. On this walking tour you'll discover some history his area features an incredible blend of history, from the medieval era to today; and a visit to such a neighborhood wouldnt be complete without learning about some of the shopping and sampling some of the local treats. Enjoy a few included tastings as you learn about the power, influence and change that began in this cozy Parisian quarter.
A hotbed of intellect and discussion since the end of the Renaissance, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was the site of the first café in Paris; as well as another café frequented by some of the greatest minds behind key events of the French Revolution. This area features an incredible blend of history, from the medieval era to today including the oldest church in Paris, incredible architecture and trendy shopping. When you meet your guide at the designated meeting point in the neighborhood, you'll stroll together and be able to see many different sites and locations based on the group's interest. Looking for history and culture? You're sure to find it here! Want to do some shopping? Our guide will recommend the best spots to find Parisian fashion in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Gourmet treats will be included within the tour to keep you going as you discover one of the most iconic neighborhoods of Paris.
You may be surprised to read that, nestled amid Paris busy boulevards and avenues, hides an entire network of "passages couverts": indoor pedestrian streets that are lined with shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques! Although most of these extensive passages no longer exist, there are still small parts of them that can be found throughout the city, and to this day they welcome shoppers and curious explorers. With your guide youll travel back in time as you discover the history of these street-like shopping hubs, some of which are over two centuries old.
If history's not your thing, don't fret; this tour's also a shopper's paradise! Youll shop like never before with your guide's help who can assist you in recommending shops for all types of products. The tour includes a stop to taste some French cheeses and wine in one of the passages many restaurants. Your guide will navigate you through several different passages, so you can see the unique styles and boutiques of each. Get ready to discover French architecture, history, and shopping that you never knew existed!
Numbers are limited to eight people on this small-group tour, ensuring a more personalized, intimate experience.
One stroll around central Paris and youll understand why this is a city for lovers. On park benches, in doorways, along cobblestone streets, on board the metro, in the shadows of the trees in grand public gardens lovers don't hold back from demonstrating their affection for each other.
Your romance-themed walking tour takes place in Paris Montmartre district in the afternoon. During this unique tour, youll dive into Paris history and culture of love and romance.
Following your guide a connoisseur of Parisian romance wander through the heart of Montmartre in search for the spirit of romance. Youll visit the most charming and secret addresses where romance has blossomed over the centuries, letting you discover why Montmartre is the perfect spot for tender words of affection and declarations of love.
Stop outside the Moulin de la Galette (Galette Windmill), a former open-air restaurant with a dance floor where risqué liaisons of the 19th century blossomed. Stand in front of the I Love You Wall to see where lovers across the world come each day to celebrate their union. Then, listen to your guide outside Studio 28, which relives the days of historys most tear-jerking romance films.
Along the way, your guide will explain the French language of love and share with you some advice and some tips on how to excel in the art of seduction, French style! Your tour ends at the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, where youll soak up sweeping views of the City of Love below.
You'll experience a photo walking tour in the popular Montmartre area where the famous french movie Amelie Poulain was filmed almost 20 years ago. The photo class starts at les Abbesses in Montmartre in a traditional French coffee shop where you'll learn about the basics of photography and master how to capture creative shoots using the manual mode of your camera. After the theory, we'll hit the streets and head towards a customized itinerary following Amelie Poulain footsteps in this idyllic quarter, a little village within Paris visited every year by thousands of travellers from around the world. We'll mainly walk through little cobblestone streets and climb up the hill the French call "La Butte" in order to reach the Sacré-Coeur church and admire the breathtaking view of the city from there. On the way, we'll stop at the different locations featured in the movie and I'll tell you little stories about the area and its people.
The photography tour starts at 2PM in a French traditional coffee shop in Montmartre area, a nice little popular village within the city. After a brief introduction of each participant around a coffee/tea/drink (included in the tour), we'll go through the table and learn about each participant's camera, background and motivation about photography. In this workshop, we'll get out of our comfort zone and mainly learn and practice how to use the manual mode of the camera to become a better photographer (a DSLR is necessary, a smartphone is not appropriate in this situation). We'll also discuss about material and equipment such as lenses and how to use them for appropriate occasion. A little surprised gift will be offered to each participant during the workshop. After we've learnt the setting and the different modes of the camera, the second part of the experience will take place in the streets to practice what has been learnt in theory during the workshop. After we've hit the streets, we'll bring you to the little corners of the neighborhood and we'll photograph many famous landmarks following a customized itinerary including some of the most historical ones such as the Love Wall (les Abbesses), Studio 28 (the cinema featured in Amelie Poulain's movie), Le Moulin de la Galette (a famous restaurant and former windmill), Dalida's house (a famous French actress and singer adored by the Montmartrois), Le Clos Montmartre (the only Vineyard left), Place Dalida where her statue is located, Le Passe-Muraille (a sculpture inspired by French author Marcel Aymé), Place du Tertre (where painters draw pictures of travellers), Sacré-Coeur (at the top of the hill and second most visited church after Notre-Dame) and many others. Along the way, we'll see how artists such as Van Gogh, Dali, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and others lived in the past and gathered in the neighborhood to talk about their art. While walking and taking photos along the way, we'll see street performances such as instrument players, painters, dancers and singers that all contribute to the creative and artistic atmosphere of Montmartre. We'll also walk through little cobblestones streets as well as secret and hidden places this beautiful quarter has to offer while we'll tell you about the little stories of the area. At the end of the tour, you'll be dropped-off at Anvers metro station (line 2) where the group will split and go in different directions. A few days after the experience, backstage photos of the tour and portraits photos taken during the photo workshop will be sent to each participant as a memory of their time in this beautiful district of Paris. This walking tour does not include any transportation nor admission tickets for any visit. Extra meal, additional drink or extra purchase will be at the cost of each participant during the tour.
Join us on a picturesque walk where you will learn the fascinating history of the Père Lachaise Cemetery; from its origins as the country house of the king's confessor, to its role as a battlefield during the Napoleonic Wars, through to a stint as an execution ground during the Paris Commune, to finally becoming the most romantic and famous cemetery in the world. With a knowledgeable guide on hand to answer questions and highlight the stories and anecdotes hidden in this beautiful garden setting, you will visit the tombs of some of the most influential and diverse characters in history, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Chopin, Edith Piaf and Molière. Spend some time away from the crowds and join us on what is arguably the most spiritual and memorable walk in Paris.
With the help of an iPad gaming component you and your family will meet well loved and familiar film characters right in the places you saw them in the movies. They will give you a series of puzzles and clues, which will help you to unlock the secret history of Paris. Your highly experienced passionate guide will provide all the fascinating stories, art, cultural facts and history that you need to navigate your way through this adventure in the city of lights.
This fun filled adventure starts on the left bank of the Seine and winds through streets of Île Saint-Louis and Île de la Cité, the two islands at the very heart of historic Central Paris. It starts by taking you back in time to Paris very earliest beginnings. From there you will go on a voyage of discovery through history, taking a detailed look at medieval Paris great Notre Dame Cathedral as well as secret streets, life-giving fountains, hidden symbols and fortress prisons before ending with the dramatic events of the French Revolution. Along the way, you will learn about kings, saints, famous chefs and ordinary Parisians through the ages, as well as great historical figures such as Victor Hugo and Marie Antoinette.
Explore the hidden side of Montmartre, one of the oldest, most authentic areas of Paris on this informative guided 2-hour walking tour. Your local expert guide will take you through the areas little-known nooks and crannies while entertaining you with stories of the past and art history. You will be in groups of 25 or fewer as you soak up the beautiful atmosphere.
Montmartre is mainly known for its main attraction: the Sacré Coeur, sitting high atop the hill. However, there are many hidden parts of Montmartre that remain untouched for decades. Your local guide, truly passionate about Paris and art history, is just the person to take you on tour away from the crowds. Follow your guide through quaint alleyways to the Montmartre of Picasso, Modigliani and Utrillo, where these famous artists lived and were inspired, whether through drink, dance, decadence or debauchery.
Witness the most famous remaining windmills of the Moulin de la Galette and the Moulin Rouge. Then pass by the famous tiny cabarets and iconic restaurants that are truly unique to this area.
See the renowned artists square, and the Sacré Coeur dominating the hilltop. Stand in awe here, while enjoying the spectacular birds eye view of Paris. Montmartre was also home to Amelie Poulain, your guide will then show you various filming locations of the hit 2001 movie Amélie.
Did you know that the most stunning vineyard in Paris is located in Montmartre? Wine has been made at the Clos Montmartre for centuries (and continues to be - in the local town hall). This side of Montmartre is one of the most fascinating and historic quarters in Paris. Your guide will be sure to show you this picturesque corner of the Montmartre.
When your tour is complete, you will end up at Blanche metro station.
Begin your day at the Musée dOrsay, a museum beloved by Parisians and travelers alike and home to the world's largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. Meet your guide and group of up to 25 outside the entrance, then head directly inside the former 19th-century train station with your included skip-the-line ticket.
Walking through the museum's halls you'll see some of the most recognizable paintings in the world: Van Goghs Starry Night over the Rhone, Renoirs Bal du Moulin de la Galette, and Monets Blue Water Lillies. Learn about the innovated techniques these artists used, their daring subject matters, and the society that originally rejected these masterpieces while gaining a new appreciation for their creative genius.
Once this first part of your tour concludes youll have some free time to enjoy lunch (own expense). Ask your guide for some local recommendations tailored to your specific food interests.
When the time comes, meet your guide and group outside Blanche metro station in Montmartre for the second part of your tour. This was the artists playground, a beautifully unchanged village that sits high above Paris. With spectacular city views at its feet, this bohemian community has a distinctly unique charm that has enchanted artists for generations.
Walk in the footsteps of Picasso, Utrillo, and Modigliani as your guide weaves together the stories of their lives with the history of the local cabarets and studios. Hear tales of drinking, dancing, and debauchery as you explore. Pass the Place du Tertre, known for the painters, portraitists, and other artists who set up here to create and sell their wares. See, too, the Sacré Coeur, a gleaming basilica that offers stunning city views, as well as the Moulin Rouge and its famous windmill.
You guide will also reveal the hidden gems that make Montmartre so unique, including the citys vineyard and the local town hall where wine is made from its grapes. Your 7-hour tour concludes in Montmartre.
Discover the renowned landmarks that make Paris so special. Begin your tour at the world's most visited museum, the Louvre. Learn about it's history and the art inside. No trip to the Louvre is complete with a photo with your finger on the tip of the pyramid! Continue your journey through the picturesque Tuileries Gardens before arriving at Place de la Concorde. Imagine the guillotine in the middle of the square during the French Revolution, today being replaced by the skyscraping Luxor Obelisk.
Walk along the Seine River to the Alexandre III Bridge, the perfect location to discover the Hotel des Invalides, Grand Palais and Petit Palais. Take a stroll down the Champs-Élysées. Window shop in the fashion capital of the world or imagine being part of the cheering crowd as the Tour de France passes by. Stop for a macaron at the famed Ladurée before continuing to the Arc de Triomphe, looming over the busy avenue. Before standing at her feet, Trocadéro provides an incredible view to take cherished photos of the Eiffel Tower. Get an up close and personal view of the Iron Lady herself and you pass below the beautiful steel and lace structure that dominates the Parisian skyline.
Where did macarons come from, and when were they invented? Why are these world-famous pastries connected to Paris, and who makes the best ones? Come walk around Paris' ancient Saint-Germain quarter with a local guide and learn the actual history behind macarons and this historical area. Visit the most famous macaron boutiques, and partake in a macaron judging event to see for yourself which macarons you like the best.
Meet in front of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Près. After discussing the origin and historical impact of macarons, you will follow your local guide through the ancient streets of the Saint-Germain quarter. After stopping at five macaron shops, including the oldest and newest boutiques in Paris, you will finish the tour by partaking in a judging activity. Using fun and valid categories you'll have a chance to see for yourself where the best macarons in Paris can be found. Compare with your friends, and if you want you can convert the provided special judging sheet to a picture frame to post your experience on social media.
A history of beer in France? Yes! Despite being famous for its for wine, France has a long history of brewing beer. Come with us as we visit three different kinds of beer bars, including the oldest brewbar in Paris. Sample their wares, and find out about this delicious tradition. What does traditional French beer taste like? Why did beer disappear from the Paris? And what does the microbrew scene look like today? Join us and find out!
Our meeting point is the Frog and Princess at 9 Rue Princesse, 75006 Paris. Come in, meet your guide, and start tasting a variety of different beers. After you've ordered a glass of your favorite brew, the tour will begin. We'll start with a brief overview of French beer history. After this we will then walk through the historic Saint Germain neighborhood, visiting hidden bars including a bar specializing in craft beers from all over France. This tour includes tastings at each location, a professional guide, and a beer trivia competition! The tour also includes beer-pairing snacks (charcuterie/ cheese) at our second location, but does not include a full meal, so please arrive with a full stomach!
Your in-depth exploration of the histories, myths, legends, and lore hidden behind the stones of Paris most interesting neighborhood begins at Notre Dame Cathedral, where youll meet your expert guide and an intimate group of 15 people or less.
From the Gothic splendor of the bell towers of Notre Dame that inspired Victor Hugo to create his hunchback bell-ringer, to the darkest cells in the Conciergerie where condemned dissidents awaited death during the Reign of Terror, the Ile de la Cité has witnessed the best and worst of Parisian history, and youll hear all the stories that make it such an interesting place.
Inside Notre Dame, marvel at the famous Rose Window, admire the stunning arches of the Gothic architecture, and learn how Victor Hugo and his Hunchback of Notre Dame actually saved this beautiful building from demolition. Then travel back in time, exploring the streets of Ile de la Cité as your guide tells you what life was like here from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution (hint: it wasnt nearly as clean as it is today).
Stop in the Conciergerie, a lovely building with a dark past that was used to host the tribunals of the Revolution and to imprison political prisoners awaiting their date with the guillotine. The building was recently renovated, including the cell where Marie Antoinette spent the last days before her execution under heavy guard and in very difficult conditions. Youll also see a second cell where she was briefly kept, now converted into a tiny chapel.
After these dark delights, enjoy something much more life-affirming. If you thought Notre Dames Rose Window was beautiful, Sainte-Chapelle is going to blow you away. This royal chapel was originally built to house relics, and today its still one of the most jaw-dropping rooms in Paris. Its also one of the citys most popular attractions. Luckily, you have skip-the-line tickets, so youll walk right past entrance line that can be hours long.
After a lunch break (with plenty of restaurant recommendations from your guide; own expense), reconvene for skip-the-line access to the towers of Notre Dame. With a timed entrance, your guide gets you past long line and straight inside, accompanying you to the first-level foyer and then leaving you to do the climb and visit at your own pace. Like at Sainte-Chapelle, the towers of Notre Dame are popular for good reason youll get up close to the famous gargoyles and inside the bell tower to see where the hunchback lived.
Your tour provides access to the highest point of the cathedral, too, with a 360-degree vantage point for some of the best views of the city. After all, when you climb the Eiffel Tower, you cant see the Eiffel Tower! From Notre Dame, however, you have the whole city at your feet.
Your tour will begin at the Eiffel Tower where your guide will meet you, secure your tickets and lead you up the stairs for a unique visit to this amazing landmark.
During the first leg of your climb you will learn about Gustave Eiffel: The Young Engineer, The Entrepreneur, The Great Builder, and Life After The Tower. Once you reach the first level you will take a walk around its perimeter and view landmarks while you continue to learn about the lights, the construction, the paint and some of the towers legendary antics.
Following a break, you will continue on to the second level as the scenery expands all around you. From here your guide will give you a tour of Paris from the sky, along with a brief lesson in the proud history of the city. Then, you will return to street level over the river and to the Trocadero for an iconic view of the Eiffel Tower.
Next, you will head underground and ride the famous Paris metro, where your guide will teach you how to navigate the metro system. Your next stop will be Paris' most exciting square, in front of the Renaissance masterpiece, the Hotel de Ville. As you stroll along the street, there will be many sidewalk cafes and restaurants for you to have your lunch at (at own expense).
After lunch, you will rejoin at the island of Ile de la Cite, the original city of Paris and home to the Gothic classic Notre Dame de Paris. Your stroll on this island will take you past the ornate gates of the Palace of Justice, the Concierge where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned after the Revolution and the Saint-Chapelle church. Before you leave the island you will head towards the oldest bridge in Paris: the Pont Neuf and see the new location for the famous Locks of Love.
Your last stop will be at the magnificent Louvre Museum. You'll enter through the Royal Courtyard and and walk past the world-famous Louvre Pyramid to meet your expert art historian for your Louvre Scandals and Controversies Tour. This is a unique and streamlined way to experience some of the world's most famous works of art.
Your tour will end at the Mona Lisa, where you'll be free to spend as much time as you want in the museum.
Montmartre is the epitome of all things quintessentially Parisian, from terraced cafés to romping bars and clubs, drunken can-can dancers to budding street artists and performers, bourgeois-bohemian apartments to tiny cobblestone streets. Join the local guide for this 2 hour tour to walk through this distinctive district. Youll discover what made Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí want to call this eclectic home.
You begin your tour at the border of Montmartre by the infamous Moulin Rouge. From there, you move up the hill to artist studios, statues of pop stars, and the church at the highest point of Paris; Basilica Sacré Coeur. On your tour of Montmartre, you discover what it is that made Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali want to call this eclectic district home.
On this 2-hour walking tour you will cover:
- The Artists' Square
- Paris' last surviving windmill
- Montmartre Vineyard: Paris' last authentic vineyard
- Picasso's studio
- Van Gogh's House
- The incredible legend of Paris' first bishop, headless Saint Denis
- Café des Deux Moulins (from the movie Amélie)
- The Pink House of Maurice Utrillo
- Renoir's world-famous painting, Bal au Moulin de la Galette
- Basilica Sacré Coeur (a beautiful church with the highest view of Paris)
- Toulouse Lautrec and French can-can dancers
- The Moulin Rouge
- Lapin Agile - the cabaret bar where Picasso often exchanged paintings for food
- Paris' Red Light District
- La Place Dalida, dedicated to one of Paris' most famous gay icons
...and so much more.
Come and join us as we explore one of the most famous parts of the "Rive Gauche" (Left Bank) of Paris. The Latin Quarter has been the land of students for over 1,000 years, and possibly the world's single greatest source of artistic inspiration from Salvador Dali to Woody Allen, and from Hemingway and Joyce to Vargas Llosa.
In our tour, travellers will visit some of the most amazing spots of the bohemian Paris such as the Sorbonne University, the Pantheon, the bookstore Shakespeare and co., the hotel Cluny, the oldest cinema in Paris and the magnificent Gardens of Luxembourg.
The Latin Quarter Walking Tour will take you through the heart of Parisian history and touches on everything from Medieval times to the great intellectuals on the planet. This is where Paris began many centuries ago and continues to be one of the most vibrant areas of the city.
On this 2-hour walking tour we cover:
- Pantheon memorial of the greatest philosophers
- The Sorbonne University
- Bookstore Shakespeare and co.
- Hotel Cluny the first hotel in the world
- Gardens of Luxembourg
- The Church of Sainte Genvieve
- The incredible and real story of Heloise and Abelard
- Midnight in Paris famous spots
- Hemingway's and James Joyce's houses
- La place Contrascarpe
- La rue Mouffetard
- The oldest cinemas in Paris
...and much more!
In this 2-hour enchanting walking tour, celebrate the holiday season in the picturesque neighborhood of Notre-Dame. Witness the most eye-catching Christmas illuminations and browse Notre-Dames Christmas market while tasting typical French Christmas products. But it doesnt stop here! A visit inside the Notre-Dame cathedral is also scheduled!
- Enjoy an unforgettable Christmas tour inside and around Notre-Dame Cathedral
- Benefit from a friendly atmosphere of a small-group tour (8 people max)
- Learn everything about Notre-Dame from your Parisian guide
- Admire the amazing Christ Child's crib in Paris
- Browse Notre-Dames traditional Christmas market
- Witness the tallest Christmas tree of Paris
- Savor 3 Christmas tastings and a warm complimentary drink
Meet your guide close to the tallest Christmas tree of Paris, facing the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Its façade will blow you away with its thoroughly detailed architecture. A big history of France can be depicted from the façade. Once inside the cathedral, the stained-glass rose windows will astonish you. Your guide will explain why they are the churchs jewels!
Get ready to see the impressive Nativity scene, located in Notre-Dames choir. The Christmas crib figures are added throughout the event, giving you a sort of series to watch for a month!
As you cross the Seine River, you will enter the René-Viviani public garden. It is the most appealing garden of Paris usually unknown to tourists. A traditional Christmas market is held, offering local arts and crafts stalls as well as few French specialties served during Christmas: dried sausage, foie gras, famous macaroons or even delightful glazed chestnuts.
As you walk down few cobblestone streets, you will reach a tearoom where a hot drink awaits you! Chocolate flavored with spices or a mulled cinnamon wine, you decide!
If youre a Roaring Twenties buff and passionate about Hemingways Parisian period, welcome to this 2.5-hour historical tour in Montparnasse. Here beat the heart of Paris during the 1920s enlivened by the Charleston rhythm or modern art scandals. Follow your 1920s Paris specialist along bustling avenues or charming thoroughfares to hear anecdotes about Montparnasse stars' magnificence and decay: Picasso, Aragon, Fujita
Our playful walking tour makes History come alive! No need to put any costume on. At the start of the tour, youll simply pick a "Character Card" to become one of these artists. You could be a Japanese exiled painter, an artistic muse or a famous café owner.... Youll discover streets often neglected by tourists but that retain vibrant memories.You will never say after this tour that History is boring!
- Walk the steps of Hemingway and his friends that have engraved Montparnasse with their fame
- Learn why Paris has been the cradle of the Roaring Twenties!
- Enjoy a playful 2,5-hour walking tour in a small group of 8 people max
- Have a complimentary drink in a famous brasserie to feel like at the heyday of Montparnasse.
You will learn about the tragic love story of Modigliani and his last muse Jeanne (handkerchief mandatory!) and about a few other Montparnos (Montparnasse crazy night owls): the Japanese painter Fujita, the French novelist Aragon and his Russian beloved Elsa, the Italian canteen keeper Mama Rosalia.
This feverish and colorful atmosphere hid unfortunate and successful stories alike. Youll also hear about a Picassos forgotten French muse, the Bulgarian painter Julius Pascin. And last but not least, youll gather a lot about the famous Hemingway when he was penniless and an unknown writer!
At the end of your tour, you will do like the Montparnos 100 years earlier: Have a drink at the café Hemingway featured in The Sun also rises. This moment will revive the flavor of those crazy years, when living, creating or dying were experienced with the same frenzy
Our expert guide will meet you at the North Entrance of the Cemetery. We use this trick so that you will walk all the way down this high hill instead of climbing up from the below. Using special shortcuts to discover the most evocative landscapes and the unbeaten paths, we'll manage to visit a 44 hectares labyrinth in a couple of hours without missing any of the gravestones of important people buried here.
A small group will allow you to customize your experience and to indulge into special requests.
Your tour concludes at Porte du Rèpos very close the Philippe Auguste (Line 2) and Pere Lachaise (Line 2 and 3) metro stops. If needed our guide will take you to a very close taxi stand.
Meet your guide outside the Centre Pompidou in the heart of Paris' Le Marais district. Criss-crossed by ancient cobblestone streets and packed full of terraced cafés, stylish boutiques and trendy art galleries, Le Marais is one of the most intriguing, buzzing and fashionable corners of Paris.
Historically Paris' Jewish and gay neighborhood, Le Marais today is a center for the city's art culture. Listen as your guide talks of the many legendary artists who have drawn inspiration from this vibrant area. Pass by several art galleries some established, others up-and-coming and uncover some of the secrets of artists and dealers working here today.
After 1.5 hours exploring the neighborhood, arrive at the famous and recently reopened after a 5-year renovation Musée Picasso (Picasso Museum). Beat the entrance queues with your skip-the-line ticket and head straight inside for a self-guided tour. The guided part of your tour concludes upon arrival, but your guide will explain the museum's layout and share tips on how to make the most of your time inside before leaving you to explore the galleries at your leisure.
Admire celebrated works by Picasso including nearly 300 paintings from his early Blue Period to the notorious nudes, matadors and musicians that defined his later oeuvres. Gaze upon pieces such as Femme Assise aux Bras Croisés (1937) and the Les Baigneurs: la Plongeuse (1956) sculpture. Also on display is Picassos personal collection of works from his friends and contemporaries such as Matisse, Miro and Braque, as well as the masters he admired, including Cézanne and Degas.
Meet your guide near Montmartre in central Paris, then set off on foot to begin your small-group tour. Stroll along Montmartres cobbled streets and discover must-see highlights such as the Clos Montmartre vineyard. Listen as your guide details the districts checkered history, and gain insight into the lives and works of the famous Impressionist artists for whom Montmartre was home.
During your walking tour, discover the venues and views that influenced the painters works. See where van Gogh lived when he moved to Paris from Holland; visit the Montmartre windmill that took pride of place in Renoirs infamous masterpiece Bal du moulin de la Galette; and walk past the Moulin Rouge that appeared in many of Toulouse-Lautrecs distinctive works.
After 1.5 hours of exploring Montmartres Impressionist art history with your guide, head to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur and take in panoramic views over the French capital to conclude the guided part of your tour. Receive your skip-the-line ticket to the Musée de l'Orangerie, a gallery space built by Monet and nestled in the Tuileries Gardens.
Continue on independently to the Musée de l'Orangerie and, with your skip-the-line entrance ticket in hand, beat the entrance lines and head straight inside to explore independently. The museum houses famous Impressionist and post-Impressionist works including Monets Water Lilies murals and paintings by Matisse, Picasso and Sisley.
Upgrade your tour to receive a skip-the-line ticket for the Musée d'Orsay, too. Home to the largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces in the world, the Musée d'Orsay is a top Paris attraction and queues are often long. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the galleries and admire famous works such as Degas The Parade, Manets The Luncheon on the Grass and Boudins Trouville Beach.
Please note: After your Montmartre walking tour, ask your guide for directions if you want to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie and Musée d'Orsay (f you've upgraded) straight away. Alternatively, you can use your ticket to visit on another day of your choice.
Then you head to Musée du Louvre, Paris must-see museum, for a close encounter with the smile of the Mona Lisa, the arms of the Venus of Milo, and all that the world's largest museum has to offer. You use your skip-the-line ticket straight after your walking tour or you pick another day the choice is yours!
Your guide (a local of Paris) meets you right outside Moulin Rouge - the cabaret that inspired Toulouse-Lautrec and that remains the standard bearer for can can fun.
You then set off on your 1.5-hour walking tour around Paris' bohemian district. As you stroll through Montmartres romantic streets, weaving past must-see highlights like Le Clos Montmartre vineyard, you will hear tales of the great artists who have called the area home. Focusing on Paris Impressionist painters, your guide will talk you through the lives and works of Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh - and later Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.
Besides the Moulin Rouge, this tour will take you to the art studio where Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon launched Cubism, and to the Montmartre windmill Renoir featured in his scandalous masterpiece Bal du moulin de la Galette. You will soak in the atmosphere that transformed young Vincent from Holland into Van Gogh the Great.
The finale of your 1.5 hours of strolling around Montmartre is the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, where you can admire spectacular view over Paris. Before parting, your guide hands you over your skip-the-line ticket to Musée du Louvre, for you to visit independently.
Your guide will give you directions if you want to visit Musée du Louvre straight away. Or you can use your ticket on another day of your choice. This "Art Temple" is World Heritage art trove that features some of the world's most famous art pieces, including the Venus of Milo and Da Vinci's enigmatic Mona Lisa.
By choosing the combo option including a 1h30 walking tour of the area and a Skip-the-Line entrance ticket to the Louvre, youve got the best of Paris covered.
Before your visit to the Louvre, you join a born-and-raised local Parisian to explore hidden gems scattered around the Louvre Museum during a 90minutes walking tour : the exuberant flower garden of Palais royal, the hush-hush "passage" that is home to Christian Louboutin's workshop, the development built to honor the Sun-King, as well as secrets of the Louvre palace itself.
After your walking tour, decide when to indulge in the artistic masterpieces of Paris thanks to the Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket your guide will hand to you (if option selected) : Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, and so much more, and enjoy an access to the museum collections grouped into eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Islamic Art; Paintings; Sculptures; Decorative Arts; and Prints and Drawings.
Explore the charming, historical hill top. And discover the Sacré Coeur basilica, artists' square, Moulin Rouge, and the cabaret of the assassins.
After your small group tour, enjoy skip-the-line access to the Musée d'Orsay, the world's largest collection of impressionist art. Or save your ticket for the day of your choice. As you explore the museum, you recognize the streets and shops of Montmartre in every gallery.
To fully appreciate the Musée d'Orsay, you need to know the hill of Montmartre. You will see Montmartre in the paintings of the Orsay. This 90 minute walking tour is a must for any art lover.
Your guide meets you in front of the world-famous Moulin Rouge (metro 2, station Blanche). She explains how this cabaret helped make Montmartre a hotspot for both debauchery and art. Together, you embark up the hill. Weave through the magical streets which enchanted generations of artists. As you discover famous artist's houses and favorite hangouts, your guide shares their stories. She shows you their impressions of Montmartre. She has pictures so you can recognize the paintings up-close on your visit to the Musée d'Orsay.
As you make your way up the hill, your guide points out its ever-evolving street art. You stumble upon secluded secrets such as the only vineyard in Paris. And you feel the presence of the impressionists every step of the way.
The 90-minute tour concludes alongside the gleaming Basilica du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre. Your guide shares the violent history of its creation (hint: there was a revolt). She lingers for a while to answer your questions about where to eat, how to get to the Musée d'Orsay, or anything else! Part ways overlooking the entire city of Paris from a top Montmartre.
You are now well prepared to visit the Musée d'Orsay. Your skip the line access is valid any time after your tour. Having seen Montmartre through the eyes of its artists, you are enchanted by the characters and places you recognize from your visit. Van Gogh and Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec are now familiar friends. Admire the symbolism of displaying impressionist masterpieces in a beautiful train station.
Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from your guide.
Meet your guide near the Louvre Museum and head off on your evening walking tour. Called the City of Lights for good reason, Paris is magical by night when its big-name landmarks are lit up, bathing the streets fine architecture in a golden glow.
Cross one of the elegant bridges spanning the River Seine, and hear stories about what its like to live in the city. Learn about Parisian culture and hear about upcoming events that are taking place in town; as a true Paris local (born and raised in the city), your guide will have more than a few recommendations!
As you walk around the Louvre courtyard, see its audacious glass pyramid illuminating the surrounding area. Hear about the museums cultural significance and learn about the famous works of art housed within its walls, like Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa. Pose for pictures by the iconic glass pyramid, and soak up the quiet serenity of the courtyard at night.
Amble through the streets, visiting off-the-beaten path sites that tourists rarely see, and then finish your tour in the vibrant neighborhood of St-Germain with its glitzy bars and chic nightlife. If you want to continue enjoying Paris at night, then youre in the best place to do it!
Discover the Paris of your dreams - along with the food of your dreams too- on this 2-hour walking tour of Rue Montorgueil. Follow your guide through the bustling pedestrian area and breathe in tantalizing aromas as you step into traditional bakeries, butcher's shops, fishmongers, florists and cheese and delicatessen shops. Alongside local Parisians, sample 10 iconic foods, and drinks, selected for this tour. Admire the Tower of John the Fearless (Tour Jean sans Peur) and paintings by Rubens, and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 12 people.
Each tour will vary according to season and delivery, yet each time the menu will be sure to include: appetizers such as golden-crusted quiche and chanterelle-mushroom paté, cheese such as roquefort and truffle-raised brie, award-winning bread, organic fruit du jour, pastry such as chocolate éclair or raspberry Duchess' cake, along with the drink of your choice
Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour (1.5 hours):
Meet your guide in the Montmartre area to begin your morning walking tour. Your guide will share facts and anecdotes about famous Impressionist painters such as Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir and Cézanne as you explore the bohemian neighborhood that influenced these legendary artists. See the building where Van Gogh lived after moving to Paris from Holland. Walk by the Moulin Rouge cabaret with its iconic windmill and learn how it inspired Toulouse-Lautrec's posters and paintings of the venue.
You'll also see top attractions such as Le Clos Montmartre vineyard and the stunning white Basilique du Sacré-Coeur atop Montmartre, where your 1.5-hour walking tour concludes. Your guide will hand you your skip-the-line ticket to Musée d'Orsay and leave you to marvel at the panoramic views of Paris at your leisure and grab a bite to eat (own expense).
You can use your ticket to Musée d'Orsay during your free time in the afternoon or at a later date. Whenever you choose to visit, bypass the long entry lines and delve right in, admiring the 19th-century art by Impressionist masters in the grand old building, a converted Beaux-Arts train station.
Night Walking Tour (1.5 hours):
On the same day as your morning Montmartre walking tour, enjoy a second walking tour at night. Meet your local guide (who may be different from your earlier guide) at the Louvre Museum. Pose for pictures before the Louvre's distinctive glass pyramid. As you walk around the Louvre's courtyard, listen to your guide talk about the masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa housed inside the massive museum.
See the City of Light in all its illuminated glory as you stroll along a bridge across the Seine River. Admire the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral glowing in the darkness.
Continue your tour by going off the beaten track, learning about local hideaways and hotspots most tourists don't know about. Finish your 1.5-hour walking tour in St-Germain, a vibrant, youthful neighborhood with plenty of bars and clubs. Get recommendations from your native guide on where to finish off your night and what to explore during the rest of your time in Paris.
Special Offer - Book this tour and save 17% compared to booking the tours separately! - Book Now!
Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.
Meet your guide near Paris Pantheon in the afternoon and stroll to vibrant Saint-Germain, a bohemian quarter that weaves through the 6th arrondissement. Poets, musicians and intellectuals throughout the ages have made the neighborhood their home, and the streets are filled with eclectic cafés and book stores that cater to the creative crowds.
Walk through Saint-Germains bustling streets, hearing tales of famous ex-residents such as Ernest Hemingway and Jim Morrison along the way, and then wander down to the UNESCO-listed embankments of the Seine River. Stop to enjoy an assiette de charcuterie in an atmospheric wine bar, and feast on a picture-perfect Parisian lunch of decadent cheeses, cured meats and rich pâtés. Wine is available for you to buy at your own expense, if you wish.
Work off your lunch with a walk to the oldest square in Paris Place Dauphine for a game of Pétanque. The popular bowling game is played in nearly every town across France, and players of all ages love it! Enjoy a glass of wine while discussing the game with your teammates and guide. Listen carefully: you'll learn the rules and hear tips to knock your opponents balls out of the way.
After your game, walk to the Latin Quarter, through St Michel, and take a peek inside Paris first English bookstore. Tucked away in one of the areas medieval houses, the shop is a book lovers paradise packed to the rafters with literature. Spend some time browsing the shelves and shopping, if you wish.
Enjoy a final walk to Paris' undisputed masterpiece of Gothic architecture: Notre Dame Cathedral. Pose for photos, hear tales of the buildings history, and then bid your guide a fond farewell.
Join us for the perfect Parisian day! Embark on a delicious adventure with this three-hour Paris tour that stops off at iconic wine bars, bistros and brasseries. Time to get your foodie game face on with some iconic French food, wine and craft beers!
The best things to do in Paris often revolve around food and wine. On this Paris tour, you will try some of the citys famous specialties, from snails, to cheese or charcuterie, always paired with wine or beer. Your call what goes best together with the food!
Youll start this tour on Place de la Bastille, the place where the former Bastille prison once stood and where the French Revolution started. Learn about that significant part of French history that still defines us. From here well move to our first stop, a historic bistro that looks identical to how it did a century ago. Its here that well try our first bite, some iconic French snails with a glass of wine.
Well continue your tour in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, formerly a working class neighbourhood, known for its furniture artisans, blue collar feel and revolutionary vibe!
From there, well reach one of Paris most quintessential wine bars. At this friendly wine paradise, the bar serves locals and visitors with the same passion. You might still find old barrels where neighbours can just come and fill their empty bottles for a few euros. Here, youll learn about the long history of wine in France, while tasting some wine of course! Well also pair that wine with some of Frances best charcuterie: delicious pâtés, rillettes and smoked hams.
From here well move to one of Paris oldest markets: Marché dAligre. Take a moment to wander on your own on this iconic bustling market full of delicious French products. Well meet at the cheese seller stall to grab our beautiful platter of French cheese. After a brief explanation about the different cheeses, well head to a famous beer bar that serves over 300 different beers. Youll get to try three different tasters from three very different kinds of beers produced in France, which well pair with the cheese. Trust us, while wine and cheese gets all the credit, beer and cheese pairings are becoming more common. This is your chance to discover how well French cheese and Parisian craft beers go together!
If youre still in the mood, well walk back to Bastille using a beautiful but completely unknown elevated former railway line thats been turned into a park. The route offers great views over the neighborhood. The tour will end back at Bastille Square, unless you prefer to keep partying in the buzzing Aligre area!
Welcome to Montmartre, the Paris of your dreams! Our tour begins opposite a quintessential Parisian landmark: the Moulin Rouge windmill. Well start the climb up the hill, spotting the café where the film Amélie was shot and Van Goghs home as we go.
Our first stop will be at one of Paris best bakers, winner of many prestigious prizes for its bread and pastries. Here we will taste one of Frances most famous patisserie: a deliciously buttery croissant. Is there any better way to start your morning in Paris?
After learning how to say je taime in 250 different languages and listening to the crazy legend about the first Parisian bishop, well climb a few more stairs to discover one of Montmartres loveliest squares and the one-time home of Pablo Picasso. Hear the stories of struggle endured by many local artists here before they found fame and fortune.
From here well pass by the house of Dalida, one of Frances most famous singers and an iconic figure in Montmartre. Find out more about her dramatic life and why she became an icon for the gay community in Paris and beyond.
Well pass by one of the last remaining windmills in Paris, now totally privatised, then well promenade down the Champs-Élysées of Montmartre, where well see some of the most expensive houses in the capital. Your guide will then lead you through a totally secret passage that reveals not only one of the best views over Paris but also one of the cutest cobbled streets in the city!
Next up are the famous vineyards of Montmartre. Almost on the top of the hill they overlook the suburbs of Paris and produce a surprisingly good red wine. Opposite the vineyard is the entrance to the famous Cabaret, Le Lapin Agile, where your guide will tell you the legend of Lolo, the painting donkey.
Finally well walk to the iconic Basilica Sacré-Coeur, where well stop to admire a view of the church from a perspective that very few tourists know about, leading onto our grand finale of another stunning Paris panorama.
Before you go, dont forget to pick your guides brains for the latest on what to see and do during your stay in Paris.
Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.
Meet your guide by Place de la Concorde in central Paris, and then set off on your 3-hour walking tour to explore the grand boulevards around the 8th arrondissement. Luxury and elegance abound in the area, and as you walk your guide will point out examples of beautiful Belle Époque architecture.
You'll stop at a renowned food shop to sample one of the capitals finest macarons mini-meringues sandwiched together with cream.The brightly colored, melt-in-your-mouth treats are ubiquitous around France, and the Parisian shops that sell them hold a prestigious reputation around the world.
Continue walking to the Louvre Museum, an iconic building home to some of the worlds most celebrated art. Amble through an arcade that offers a glimpse into the famous gallery, and then relax in the surrounding gardens as your guide regales you with tales about Paris art and culture.
You'll then head to a lively Parisian market to indulge in one of the countrys popular gastronomic pleasures: cheese! Meet some of the friendly traders and sample their wares, trying crumbling chunks of pungent Roquefort and slivers of Brie. There is plenty of free time to stroll the market, if you want to buy some cheese.
Finally, you'll walk to Le Marais, a historical neighborhood full of trendy cafes and vintage boutiques all exuding bohemian charm. Wander through tucked away Arcades, hidden streets that even locals don't know about, and the narrow streets that speak to Paris' rich medieval history. Finish the tour in the forecourt of Paris contemporary art gallery: the Pompidou centre, an incredible example of modern architecture in the heart of medieval Paris, and a fitting finale to this revealing tour of Paris best kept secrets.
This small-group tour is limited to eight people for a more intimate, relaxed experience.
Meet your guide at 10am in central Paris and walk through the lovely 12th district, often overlooked by tourists but popular with Parisians. Your local guide will lead you to the Marché d'Aligre, a lively indoor/outdoor market selling everything from old gramophones to pieces of crockery to artisan jams.
With the help of your local guide, discover wonderful gourmet shops at the Marché d'Aligre where you can talk with the vendors about their passions and ask all the questions you like. Visit several cheese and chocolate shops and La Graineterie, a seeds shop that opened in 1895 and today sells specialty flours, spices, teas and classic candies along with seeds. Enjoy tastings of cheese, wine and chocolate, all of which are included in the price of your tour.
At the end of your 2-hour food walking tour, your guide will be happy to give you recommendations for further exploration so you can continue to wander the Marché d'Aligre on your own, seeking out tasty treats alongside the locals.
This small-group tour is limited to eight people for a more intimate experience.
Meet your guide in the heart of Le Marais, an old district of Paris with plenty of medieval architecture. As you stroll around this fashionable area, once favored by the aristocracy and today filled with trendy art galleries and restaurants, listen to commentary from your expert local guide.
Work up an appetite as you make your way to Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, a small, centuries-old covered food market. Take in the sights and smells in this enclave of food stalls offering fresh produce and a variety of cuisines.
Your guide will lead you to an authentic French bistro where you will sit down with your small group for your tasting session. As you discover some of France's most famous cheese and wines, your guide will help you distinguish among different flavors and provide tips on selecting ideal wine and cheese pairings. Sample five cheeses including blue cheese, comté and goat's cheese and four different wines.
After your tastings, feel free to ask your guide for restaurant recommendations. Your leisurely walking tour of Le Marais and wine and cheese tasting session conclude at 6pm, leaving you the rest of the evening to discover more gastronomic delights!
Choose from a morning or afternoon departure for your private photo shoot in Paris. Meet your professional photographer near the Louvre Museum. Your photo shoot price includes up to eight people so you can bring along your whole family or just your special someone.
Your photographer will suggest routes with fantastic photo ops or you can choose your own. Then it's time to unleash your inner celebrity! Pose near major Paris attractions such as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral. Cuddle with your partner. Get goofy with your kids. There's no need to try to take selfies or set a timer to get the perfect photo. The photographer will capture amazing posed and candid shots of you and your loved ones having the time of your life in the City of Light.
After your 2-hour photo shoot in the streets of Paris, you'll receive between 130-150 photos of your adventure by email. You'll go home with treasured souvenirs of your time in Paris that you'll want to look at and share time and time again!
Meet your guide, an expert movie buff, at the movie Box Office to begin your 2-hour movie sites walking tour. Heading towards Ile St Louis passing iconic Notre Dame Cathedral learn how Paris has played a starring role in movies for years, from high-octane thrillers such as The Bourne Identity and the James Bond series to enchanting tales like Amélie and animated favorites like Ratatouille.
Saunter along the banks and across the bridges of the Seine River to see where scenes from some of the most beloved movies of all time were filmed. Walk in the shoes of Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade, remember the magic going back in time from Midnight in Paris, visit the house of a real character featured in The Three Muskateers and hear tales of heroic fighters during the liberation of Paris that famous movie-makers have immortalized on film.
Walk by the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore as seen in Before Sunset, see the restaurant where Julia Childs chose to dine in Julie & Julia, and wander down the romantic side street where Andy and Christian kiss in The Devil Wears Prada. You never know when youre going to stumble upon the next film location!
Pause at a local cupcakery featured in an upcoming film to perhaps purchase a cupcake and snack and chat more with your guide and group. Then walk back to the box office close to Notre Dame, where your tour ends.
The banks of the Seine River are lined with some of the most famous and historic attractions in Paris and the world. This 5.5-hour walking tour covers most of them, beginning from Ile de la Cité. Lying in the heart of Paris, this island is where the ancient city was founded, so it's the perfect place to start your historical walking tour. Admire the imposing Gothic architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral, and then set off with your guide down the Seine River.
Strolling along the Seine's picturesque riverbanks, you'll come across top Paris attractions including the Pont Neuf and Pont des Arts, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée de l'Orangerie, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, La Madeleine, the glamorous Champs-Elysées and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Learn about the centuries of history, architecture, art and culture that have helped shape Paris, and listen as your guide points out some secret spots along the way only known to locals.
Ending your walk at the Eiffel Tower, take a break for lunch (own expense) at a local cafe or restaurant. Then hop in a private vehicle for the short drive to the Louvre Museum. As one of Paris must-do attractions, the Louvre attracts notoriously long entrance lines, but you'll enjoy skip-the-line access and head straight inside for a 2-hour guided tour.
Navigate the Louvre with ease as your guide takes you to the museum's major works and lesser-known treasures that many visitors miss. Marvel at da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People and Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa. Gaze upon Italian Renaissance works including Michelangelo's Dying Slave, paintings from France's Romanticism and Classicism periods, and Greek and Roman sculptures including Venus de Milo. You'll also learn about the Louvre's magnificent architecture this extravagant building complex was built as a palace for powerful French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
At the end of your Louvre tour, feel free to continue perusing the museum at your leisure, or ask your guide for recommendations on other sights and activities to enjoy during your time in the French capital.
Prepare for a truly surprising discovery on our 2.5 hour private tour through the Père Lachaise Cemetery, home to famous Paris residents like Jim Morison. This walking tour will explore the famous graves of this eastern Paris landmark. Good walking shoes are recommended.
Join us for a Private Tour led by native/ fluent English speakers of the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Life, love and death have never had so much meaning as inside this cemetery. Its intriguing labyrinth of roads and dirt paths between the graves reveal a new perspective on how to visit Paris. You'll visit the graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Marcel Marceau, Molière, Abelard & Heloïse, just to name a few. As well as the Holocaust Memorials. Learn about the artists, writers, politicians, and other remarkable personalities that are buried within the beautiful stone walls of Père Lachaise, and listen as your guide tells you about the remarkable stories and moments in history that have taken place at the cemetery itself. From a gruesome battle in Pariss communist uprising to the hordes of Jim Morrison fans that make pilgrimages to visit the tomb of the Doors front man, Père Lachaise has seen its fair share of Parisian history.
Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above ones head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace. Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost
Time to live, time to lie, time to laugh, and time to die. Take it easy baby. Take it as it comes. Jim Morrison
Take a stroll through the picturesque district of Montmartre, home to cabarets, windmills, and sweeping views of Paris. This 2.5 hour private walking tour will explore the people and places that marked the Belle Epoque period, when the City of Light sparkled more than ever. Your tour will pair you with one of our guides who share their favorite stories and personalities that define the Montmartre neighborhood.
Discover the history of Montmartre, as we will climb the butte or hills - starting at its base where the Moulin Rouges windmill still spins slowly. Wind up the hill and its cobbled streets flooded with charm to discover the houses of artists like Van Gogh and Picasso who called Montmartre home. At the summit, enter the gleaming white basilica of Sacré Coeur, and score a spectacular photo op of Paris from one of the citys highest points. Lovers of the film Amélie, will feel at home in this district, where much of the movie was filmed. Continue to explore Montmartre's highlights that generally include - Moulin Rouge, Sacré Coeur Cathedral (with time allowed to explore inside as well), Place Dalida, Moulin de la Galette, Vincent Van Goghs house, The Artists Square, and Amélie Café. Consider an evening tour option and catch a sunset over the city if youre lucky (depending on the season).
With a private guide, take a 2.5-hour walking tour of one of Paris oldest and most iconic neighborhoodsthe Latin Quarter. Youll start with a visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral before making your way on foot to the playground of French students and the Lost Generation. Sights include the Panthéon and Luxembourg Garden. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking.
Meet your private guide on Ile de la Cité to begin your Latin Quarter walking tour at Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Then walk across the Seine and onto the Left Bank, into the Parisian neighborhood that both Hemingway and Fitzgerald, among other writers, once called home. From ancient Roman ruins to the backdrops for Woody Allens film Midnight in Paris, this tour takes you through the centuries that have shaped this historical and cultural district.
Learn about its intellectual roots at the Sorbonne, or discuss the famous thinkers buried under the Panthéons majestic dome. Pal around with todays literati as you browse the stacks at Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and then discover Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg), the most beautiful park for finding a bench and reading a few chapters. Theres no shortage of fascinating stories that your guide shares with you as you stroll along the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter, each more charming than the last.
Take a stroll through the picturesque district of Montmartre, home to cabarets, windmills, and sweeping views of Paris, on a 2.5-hour walking tour. Explore the people and places that marked the Belle Epoque period, when the City of Light sparkled more than ever, and visit Sacré-Coeur Basilica at the top of the hill. This small-group tour is limited to 10 people to provide personal attention from a guide, who shares with you the stories and personalities that define the Montmartre neighborhood.
Your walking tour begins as you meet your guide to climb the butte, or hill, of Montmartre, starting at its base where the Moulin Rouges windmill still spins slowly.
Wind up the hill and its cobbled streets flooded with charm to discover the former residences of artists like Van Gogh and Picasso, who once called Montmartre home. At the summit, enter the gleaming white Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, which boasts a spectacular photo op of Paris from one of the citys highest points. Lovers of the film Amélie will feel at home in this district, where much of the movie was filmed.
Sights on this tour generally include: the Moulin Rouge, Sacré-Coeur (with time to explore inside, as well), Place Dalida, Moulin de la Galette, Vincent van Goghs house, the Artists Square, and Amélie Café.
Depending on the season, consider an evening tour option to catch the sunset over the city, if youre lucky.
Become a true flâneur French for someone who enjoys a good stroll on this 2.5 hour intimate group tour of central Paris. Our expert guides will take no more than 10 travelers with them as they show you all of the highlights including a visit to the inside of Notre Dame and the Tuileries Garden while ending where the guillotine once stood at the base of the worlds most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées. There will be time for a snack and restroom break during the walk.
Start your tour in Paris, which has been pivoted around Notre Dame for centuries. Head inside and marvel at its stained glass windows, some of the most impressive in the world. Visit the citys oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf. Pass through the brilliantly manicured Tuileries Gardens on your way to the Place de la Concorde, home of the guillotine. Embrace the citys iconic structures like the Saint Michel Fountain and Louvre. Learn fascinating and oftentimes stupefying stories of the citys biggest players, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XIV, and Henri IV.
With its cobblestone paths, centuries-old gravestones, and famous residents, Père Lachaise is one of the worlds great cemeteries. Venture to the eastern Paris landmark on this 2.5-hour, small-group walking tour. Discover the final resting places of luminaries ranging from Oscar Wilde to Jim Morrison, and soak up the evocative, unforgettable atmosphere.
Discover one of Paris most beautiful and unexpected sites on this 2.5-hour, small-group walking tour. Rendezvous with your guide just prior to 2 pm at the cemetery gates and set off to discover the many charms and hidden corners of Père Lachaise.
Originally founded in 1804, Père Lachaise has since grown in size to become the largest cemetery in Paris. Its also home to no shortage of famous residents. Follow your guide to the final resting places of dozens of luminaries, including Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Balzac, and Maria Callas. Visit memorials to the Holocaust and various wars, and learn about the little-known popular uprising, the Paris Commune, which occurred within the cemeterys walls.
This tour accommodates a maximum of 10 visitors, ensuring a personalized experience.
Discover the secrets behind Pariss former royal neighborhood on this 2.5 private tour of the Marais. Your guide will lead you through the tiny streets, courtyards, and mansions that make up this quintessentially Parisian district.
Start by understanding the historic importance of the Marais, which once laid beyond the center of Paris. Today, it is at the heart of the city. Discover the Church of Saint Paul and Saint Louis before walking through the courtyard of the majestic Hotel de Sully. Continue experiencing the royal history of the Marais by exploring the pristine Place des Vosges, a public square with unparalleled beauty in Paris. Afterwards, move forward in time to learn all about the bustling Jewish community that put the Marais on the map through the 18th and 19th centuries. Wander the bakeries and boutiques of the Pletzl before strolling the shop-laden rue des Francs Bourgeois. All the while youll discover mansion after mansion, former homes to the nobility that once called the Marais home. Some are now museums, like the highly worthwhile Musée Carnavalet. The tour may also introduce you to both the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, and the Pompidou Center, both architectural masterpieces from very different periods.
Discover the secrets behind Pariss former royal neighborhood on this 2.5 semi-private tour of the Marais, welcoming up to 10 guests. Your guide will lead you through the tiny streets, courtyards, and mansions that make up this quintessentially Parisian district.
Start by understanding the historic importance of the Marais, which once laid beyond the center of Paris. Today, it is at the heart of the city. Discover the Church of Saint Paul and Saint Louis before walking through the courtyard of the majestic Hotel de Sully. Continue experiencing the royal history of the Marais by exploring the pristine Place des Vosges, a public square with unparalleled beauty in Paris. Afterwards, move forward in time to learn all about the bustling Jewish community that put the Marais on the map through the 18th and 19th centuries. Wander the bakeries and boutiques of the Pletzl before strolling the shop-laden rue des Francs Bourgeois. All the while youll discover mansion after mansion, former homes to the nobility that once called the Marais home. Some are now museums, like the highly worthwhile Musée Carnavalet. The tour may also introduce you to both the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, and the Pompidou Center, both architectural masterpieces from very different periods.
Set aside a half day to explore the absolute best highlights Paris has to offer on a 5 hour exclusively private trek through the historic heart of the city. Start at Notre Dame and stroll the Seine towards the worlds most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées before browsing the masterpieces inside of the Louvre, the worlds most visited museum. Have a lunch break before visiting the Louvre, where youll be able to skip the line with your guide.
Paris has pivoted around Notre Dame for centuries, so we think its only appropriate to start our tour here. Head inside and marvel at its stained glass windows, some of the most impressive in the world. Well move onwards across the citys oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, passing through the always brilliantly manicured Tuileries Gardens on our way to the Place de la Concorde, home of the guillotine. Beyond just looking at the citys iconic structures like the Saint Michel Fountain and the Louvre, youll learn the fascinating and oftentimes stupefying stories of the citys biggest players like Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XIV, and Henri IV.
Afterwards, well skip the lines at the Louvre to discuss the highlights and masterpieces that attract millions of visitors each year. By the end youll be well versed in the museums history and secrets, including why thousands of people take selfies with the Mona Lisa. With 35,000 pieces of art to discover on top of a rich architectural history, we understand if youre feeling a bit overwhelmed. This semi-private tour is designed to captivate first timers as well as Louvre connoisseurs who think they know it all. Youll visit statues like the armless Venus de Milo and the headless Winged Victory of Samothrace. Discuss paintings by Delacroix and Michelangelo. Explore the underground Medieval Moat and marvel at the opulent Apollo Gallery. Our expert guides will show you what you need to see at the Louvre, as well as a few surprises along the way.
Meet at the base of Montmartre for your private walking tour of this beloved Paris neighborhood. Your guide will reveal Montmartre through the lives and works of Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne a handful of the art rebels who lived on the edge of Paris on the charming hill of Montmartre, and who all paved the way for the Impressionist art movement in Europe in the 19th century.
Strolling through Montmartres romantic streets, youll get a first-hand look at the places that inspired the Impressionist painters. See where Van Gogh and Picasso lived and worked, visit the windmill that Renoir featured in his scandalous piece Bal du moulin de la Galette and walk past the Moulin Rouge cabaret that inspired Toulouse-Lautrecs distinctive artistic style.
Your leisurely walk ends at the hill's highest point, iconic Basilique du Sacré Coeur, boasting spectacular views over Paris.
After lunch (own expense), you'll be driven by luxury private vehicle to the Musée dOrsay on the left bank of the River Seine. This mesmerizing museum is home to Paris largest collection of Impressionist art.
Use your skip-the-line ticket to bypass the entrance lines and head straight inside for a 2-hour guided tour. Browse a rich collection of 19th-century French art by Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin and more, and learn about the techniques used by the Impressionists and post-Impressionists from your guide as you admire the array of artworks.
You are free to stay and continue exploring the museum at the end of your guided tour.
Please note: On Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from March to October (plus select other dates) musical garden and musical fountain shows take place in the afternoons. These are not included in the tour.
Meet your guide in the early afternoon outside Gare St Lazare, Paris' second-busiest train station. Gaze up at the station's impressive, stately facade and learn about its architecture before setting off on foot through the 8th and 9th arrondissements, known for its many Art Nouveau buildings.
Discover the spectacular Art Nouveau architecture inside a traditional Parisian brasserie and soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a drink and listening to your guide. Continue on to the Palais Garnier, Paris' world-famous opera house, also known as the Opera Garnier. Marvel at the buildings spectacular structure and ornate stonework as you walk around the exterior. Built in the late 19th century, the Palais Garnier is widely considered as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral, and its beauty continues to captivate visitors to this day.
Next, head to Boulevard Haussmann, a bustling thoroughfare named after 19th-century urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who transformed Paris from a medieval slum to a stunning metropolis with long, wide, uniform streets to bring air, light and aesthetic beauty to the center of the city. Haussmann redeveloped Paris at the height of the Art Nouveau movement a style of art and architecture that thrived from 1890 to 1910. A reaction to classic academic art that had dominated earlier centuries, Art Nouveau was inspired by natural forms and structures, accentuated by curved lines and fluid figures.
On this busy boulevard you'll find the Galeries Lafayette luxury department store, Paris most famous hub for designer shopping, alongside Printemps. Step inside to be wowed by the towering stained-glass dome ceiling and gilded balconies more reminiscent of an opulent palace than a shopping mall. Listen as your guide describes the architectural styles, techniques and technologies that combined to create this architectural masterpiece.
After two hours admiring the architecture in Paris 8th and 9th arrondissements, your tour concludes on Boulevard Haussmann.
Meet your guide in Paris' St-Germain-des-Prés district and set off on your jazz-themed walking tour. St-Germain-des-Prés and the neighboring areas of the Latin Quarter and Les Halles boast a jazz heritage dating back to the 1920s, and many of the great jazz musicians from France and abroad had regular slots in the underground bars and clubs here.
Listen to an introduction on the history of jazz in Paris from your guide as you walk to Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, two of Paris' most famous cafes that were very popular among jazz musicians, writers, intellectuals and artists in the early days. Pause to take a look at the former location of the Club St-Germain-des-Prés, where many of the French and American greats used to play. Numerous gigs took place in cellar bars just like this one, earning jazz fans the nickname troglodytes, or cave-dwellers.
See the hotel where 1920s and 30s jazz men such as Kenny Clarke and Bud Powell often held late-night jam sessions after their gigs. Clarkes loose, improvisational bebop drum style opened the genre up to wider variations, and it was here that the style of sound was perfected. Later you'll see where Powell used to play his signature bebop jazz piano shows, at Le Chat Qui Pêche.
Stand at the site of the legendary Le Tabou club, where French songwriter and musician Boris Vian introduced the clubs hip crowd of playwrights, existentialists, movers and shakers to the American jazz greats in the early 1950s. Veering through the bustling Latin Quarter, stop for a drink at local cafe and hear stories about the development of jazz in Paris the Chanson Française style of French folk music dominated the preWWI era, but when jazz arrived in 1919, there was a clash between traditionalists and those who preferred the new jazz movement.
Visit Paris' oldest jazz club, Le Caveau de la Huchette, and then cross the Seine River via the Pont Neuf to the area of Les Halles for the finale of your tour: dinner and a jazz concert at Le Duc des Lombards, one of Paris' most prominent jazz clubs. Sit down to a 3-course dinner (see sample menu below) and let the smooth, sultry sounds of jazz flow over you during a 1.5-hour live performance.
Montmartre ... bohemian quarter, artists' quarter, the highest point in the French capital. As well as enjoying the magnificent view of Paris offered from the hill of Montmartre, you can use your Polaroid to immortalise the most charming places in this district as you enjoy a stroll. Enjoy a visit at your own pace in a small group of 10 people maximum.
Welcome to the most artistic place on earth: Montmartre. Become an artist yourself thanks to the Polaroid made available to you by Mon Beau Paris, and leave with 10 photos - special souvenirs of Montmartre's bohemian district. Leave the modern world behind and accompany your guide on a walk which, aside from the sublime view of Paris from the esplanade of Sacré Coeur, offers many other surprises. See the Place du Tertre and its famous caricaturists, L'espace Dali, the Bateau Lavoir first laboratory of the worldwide famous Pablo Picasso. See Montmartre's vineyard, the Lapin Agile cabaret and a strange man passing through a wall. Discover many other legendary places for which those such as Van Gogh and Amélie Poulain made the hill famous.
With your small group and accredited guide, climb the hill past the secluded gardens, the narrow alleys beside houses hidden behind the foliage and finish the walk overlooking Paris.
Meet your guide in front of the cabaret to beat all cabarets: the Moulin Rouge. Learn about its provocative history and the invention of the can-can, a feisty French dance that put Montmartre on the map. Then make your way into a different kind of Paris as you stroll along quiet country streets that will make you forget youre in a major European capital!
In a small group no larger than 8 people, youll be led by a passionate local guide who knows where all the best stuff isaward winning French baguettes, hidden street art, unique shopping, café terraces, etc. Youll stop at Picassos former studio where he not only single-handedly revolutionized the art world but also fell in love for the first time. How did he get the girl? Youd be surprised.
Youll stop near former residences of Van Gogh and Renoir to delve into their stories and see how the spell of Montmartre influenced their work. Youll see the only working vineyard in Paris, a pastoral patch of land across from Picassos favorite hangout, Au Lapin Agile. Never heard of the Parisian donkey who painted a masterpiece? Your guide will tell you all about it.
Continue toward Place du Tertre with its large community of outdoor artists who set up easels every day to create original artwork on site. Its the perfect way to relive the glory days of Montmartres artistic heritage. Finish atop the highest natural point in Paris for two stunning views: the magnificent Sacré Coeur basilica on one side, and a panorama of Paris on the other.
Dive into the historic heart of Paris and explore the medieval highlights of the Île de la Cité. First up is Notre Dame Cathedral; now over 850 years old, the cathedral still reigns as a titan of Gothic architecture. Scour its exteriors of delicately sculpted stone and the messages of its intricate façade. Learn about the cathedrals famously hunchbacked bell ringer, the devilish myth of its main doorways, and how the French Revolution almost destroyed the cathedral. Inside Notre Dame discover striking stained glass windows, dizzying vaulted ceilings, and a plethora of unexpected details from long ago.
Second on your exploration is the the Conciergerie; a former royal palace which was converted into a prison, famously used as the city's prison during the bloody days of the French Revolution. Relive the terrible conditions of the condemned by viewing prison cells from centuries ago, including that of the buildings most famous prisoner - Marie Antoinette.
Finally, skip the long line in front of the Sainte-Chapelle to enjoy the most stunning medieval stained glass windows in the world. This private chapel of the king, completed in 1248, once housed Christs crown of thorns and was the most prestigious and powerful place in all the land.
Enjoy this 2-hour tour and explore the less-known covered passages (passages couverts) dating back to the 19th century - a time when Paris was a beacon of class and sophistication. Browse its intriguing shops, cafés and booksellers, see the hotel where Frederic Chopin would meet his mistress or the book stalls where Victor Hugo once searched for inspiration. Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the gardens of the Palais Royal, full of surprising secrets youve got to hear to believe! You can choose between private and small-group (mixed bookings, no more than 10 participants) tour options.
Leave touristy Paris behindlet us whisk you back in time to the romance of the 19th century with a walking tour of the covered passages!
You will begin your tour with a visit to Palais Royal´s tranquil gardens. Away from the crowds of the nearby Louvre, its trees, flowers and a grand fountain offer a scenic slice of local Paris life. Your guide will paint a vivid picture of the gardens glory days of the 18th century - a time when the area was an adult playground full of revelry and debauchery. Youll discover hidden details and unexpected anecdotes that will bring the exciting history of the Palais Royal to life.
During the second part of the tour, you will head off to explore some of the most unique glass-roofed arcades, lying tucked away in the corners of the Right Bank and unknown even to many locals. Today very few of these unique glass-roofed arcades remain, lying tucked away in the corners of the Right Bank and unknown even to many locals. Enjoy a palpable snapshot of a bygone era as you explore their ornate decors, fine mosaics, charming boutiques and much more. You will see the hotel where Frederic Chopin would meet his mistress or the book stalls where Victor Hugo once searched for inspiration.
Youll never look at Paris the same way again once youve unlocked the secrets side of its covered passages!
Murder, mayhem, and Marie Antoinettedive into to the heart of the French Revolution by visiting rarely seen sites that transport you to Paris most tumultuous days. Learn about a bloodthirsty cast of characters while exploring the streets and cafés where they plotted the destruction of the nobility. Unearth hidden areas like the alley where the guillotine was invented and the location of an infamous assassination.
Your trip through the dramatic days of the French Revolution begins at Saint-Sulpice Church. Admire its beauty inside and out, discovering hidden details as you learn about the early days of the Parisian uprising. This is the start of an informative and picturesque stroll through the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood of Paris.
Visit the oldest cafe in Parisestablished in 1686to see the very rooms where the Revolutionaries planned their attacks. Characters like Danton, Robespierre, and Marat will come into the picture, each with their own violent personalities and murderous strategies. See the alleyway where the guillotine was invented and tested, and hear facts and stories about it from your guide. A café stop is also part of itinerary so you can soak up some Left Bank ambience like a true local.
Other historical landmarks on your tour include the site of the September Massacresa particularly bloody period that saw the height of Revolutionary brutality. Learn about King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, including the night they tried to escape Paris, and hear about those fateful moments when the backs of their necks met the 'National Razor.'
We can design a wide variety of private gastronomical itineraries for those with special interests. Depending on your interests, we can arrange such experiences as a private cooking class with a chef, a meal at a historic restaurant annotated by a culinary expert, or a champagne tasting at a local cellar. The potential for custom itineraries is practically boundless. Led by a culinary expert, food journalist, chef, or sommelier, you may tailor Paris' culinary landscape to your specifications and palate.
When requesting a custom walk, please provide the following details in the Notes section when adding the walk to your shopping cart:
- How many hours would you like the walk to be?
- What are your main goals for the walk?
- Which sites would you like to prioritize? Would you like tastings included?
- Give us one or two words to describe your group.
Once we receive your custom walk request, we'll review these details and follow up with you by email to refine your itinerary and give you final pricing.
Don't worry, we will not be charging your card at this point. Your order will go into our system as pending.
We ask that you spend some time perusing our culinary offerings of private and small-group tours before making a request for a customized walk. For instance, we offer a Paris Wine Tour and Tasting, Paris Food Tour, Paris Chocolate Tour, Paris Market Tour, and Modern Paris Food Tour.
Go find the Parisian artists and their most outstanding street art works, which you will be able to immortalize with the Polaroid camera kindly lent during this original walking tour. Your guide will take you to the heart of the Marais, a well known area for its eclecticism and creative energy. A must do in Paris!
A new and unique Parisian culture experience where your guide will take you to the heart of the Marais, to discover the myriad art works that line the streets of this eclectic Parisian area, combining both tradition and modernism. A veritable plunge into the Parisian underground street art world, allowing you to learn about the most famous street artists of the city, their approach, philosophy and techniques. You will discover the works of yosh, space invaders, clet, sobr, gzup, cost, and many other original and innovative artists. An unusual and original tour, fully immersing you in present day Paris. Become an artist yourself: you will be provided Polaroid cameras to help you take souvenir snapshots of the works you enjoyed the most!
Your guide will advise you how to get the most out of your camera and will show you the best locations so that your shots are the most successful. Smaller groups of up to a maximum of 10 people are ideal and manageable for everyone from youngsters to seniors. A delightful, colorful tour, suitable for everyone's eyes.
A new and unique Parisian culture experience where your guide will take you to the heart of the Marais, to discover the myriad art works that line the streets of this eclectic Parisian area, combining both tradition and modernism. A veritable plunge into the Parisian underground street art world, allowing you to learn about the most famous street artists of the city, their approach, philosophy and techniques. You will discover the works of YOSH, SPACE INVADERS, CLET, SOBR, GZUP, COST for example… and many other original and innovative artists. An unusual and original tour, fully immersing you in present day Paris.
While Europe owes its chocolate connections to the Spanish conquistadors, France has certainly made this sweet treat its own. First introduced to France in 1615 at the wedding of Louis XIII and Anna of Austria, and later popularized by Louis XIV at Versailles, chocolate quickly became all the rage. It's really no surprise that Paris is now home to some of the world's best chocolate makers. With so many options, our culinary guide to Paris—a chef or food writer—will carefully curate the best and weave them together into a revealing, 2.5-hour chocolate tour that explains how Paris came to be at the center of the chocolate world, and why that matters.
- Small group of up to 6 people
- Paris chocolate tour led by a professional chef or food writer
- Discover the evolution of chocolate, from bean to delicacy, with ample tastings
Paris Chocolate Tour - From Bean to Bonbon
Truffles, pralines, ganache...What's the difference? Our walk, beginning in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, will answer these questions and more, delving into the sweet world of chocolate in Paris. Visiting several chocolate shops, we'll indulge our sweet tooth, and maybe even stop to admire the whimsically detailed chocolate sculptures at a classic chocolaterie. Tasting their wares, we'll discuss the process behind the transformation from cocoa bean to the various chocolate delicacies sold in shops today, and maybe touch on chocolate's transformation from luxury good to affordable treat.
We'll go on to discuss the rich dessert history associated with Paris and, more importantly, the evolution of the celebrated Parisian treat, the macaron. Stopping at a variety of these confectionery shops, we will compare and contrast the flavors, products, and techniques used. We may visit a top boutique to sample their flavorful take on the macaron, or try the colorful array of chocolates, macarons, and petit-fours beckoning from behind the glass cases at a family-owned boulangerie. From marvelous meringue and tartes to rich pure chocolate, this walk will tantalize every one of your senses.
Led by one of Context's professional gastronomes—a chef or food journalist, our chocolate walk varies depending on their personal favorite places to indulge, giving you a local guide to Paris' sweet scene. This edible adventure through an upscale and iconic Left Bank neighborhood will enhance your appreciation for this sweet treat, as well as open your eyes to the complex science involved in the chocolate-making process. Our docent will also be available to facilitate transactions and individual purchases for guests.
For a twist on the usual sightseeing experience, take a 3-hour after-dark private walking tour of Paris to admire its illuminated landmarks and monuments while listening to stories about the city's deepest darkest secrets. Your guide will tell chilling tales of murder, mystery, mayhem and ghosts in the winding alleys and squares of Ile de la Cite and its surroundings.
Do you know the City of Light has a dark and mysterious side lurking beneath the surface? Follow your guide into a spine-tingling world of conspiracy, assassinations, ghosts, and lost treasure as you probe the shadows of the citys historic center after dark. You wont find these stories in your guide book!
From the splendid courtyards of the Louvre to the grinning gargoyles of Notre Dame, this nighttime walking tour is set against some of Paris most beautifully illuminated monuments. Along the way, your passionate guide will unlock the citys darkest secrets that have remained buried for centuries: medieval murders, curses and prophecies, ghoulish hauntings, and even the legend of the Holy Grail.
Prepare yourself for a vivid and imaginative side of Parisian history that is hidden to most visitors, ensuring that youll never look at Paris the same way again. Group size is limited to 8 to provide an interactive and conversational atmosphere and ensure youll have your guides full attention.
Want to get a real Marais lifestyle experience in 3 steps?
1. Firts, enjoy an exclusive shopping experience at LE BHV MARAIS, the Parisians favorite department store, with VIP access to the Salon Marais lounge, hotel delivery, tax refund facilities and discounts.
2. Then, head off with your professional guide to discover the quirkiest spots in this ultra-hip district of Paris, packed full of history and culture.
3. In the evening, relax on the most beautiful Rooftop in the Marais, on the top of LE BHV MARAIS, and take in the incredible view of Paris as you sip on a drink.
Discover Le Marais with LE BHV MARAIS:
Guided Tour + Shopping experience + Rooftop drinks with amazing views.
Open 7 days a week, LE BHV MARAIS, founded in 1856, is located in the heart of the capital, just a stones throw from Notre-Dame and opposite the Hôtel de Ville, in the ultra-trendy, historical and cultural Marais district.
LE BHV MARAIS is unique; as well as housing more than 2,000 fashion and design brands, it offers a whole range of diverse activities. Welcome to the only department store in the world with its own tourist trail. LE BHV MARAIS has intensively trained their own professional guides who in turn; have created tailor- made tours for the stores visitors.
"Under the shadows cast by private mansions, some of them over 500 years old, you will bump into colourful characters, in a place where anecdotes mingle with great historic events, for an unforgettable trip through time."
How to organize my venue:
1. Visit LE BHV MARAIS Welcome desk on the ground floor of the store, at the entrance opposite the Hôtel de Ville, where you can collect your pouch containing all your special vouchers for this Insider Marais offer.
2. Youre free to set off and explore LE BHV MARAIS and start shopping, at your leisure. Take a wander through our 2000 brands in a hands-free shopping session.
3. When you need a break, you will be welcomed into our exclusive Salon Marais, your private lounge, usually closed to the public, for a moment of relaxation. In total tranquillity, you can pay for your purchases, complete your tax refund, and let yourself unwind by ordering express delivery of your purchases to your hotel, whilst enjoying a refreshment.
4. IMPORTANT : At 18h30, your insider tour begins when your guide picks you up in the Salon Marais to take you in the historic Marais district, for a unique tour, on an entirely bespoke route, that you wont find available anywhere else.
5. To round off your tour, from 8.15pm use your direct access pass to enjoy THE terrace of choice for Parisians, Le Perchoir Marais, located on the 7th floor of the store. You can use your access at any time during your evening. Your guide will show you where to gain entry to the Rooftop. Your pass entitles you to a free drink. And for those of you feeling a little peckish, there will also be some small dishes and snack plates available.
6. Be amazed by the incredible panoramic view over Paris, as you enjoy a drink. Relax and unwind, you can extend your evening late into the night (open until 1.30am).
NB: As a special bonus, LE BHV MARAIS offers you a surprise: -20% off on a selection of our brands (see conditions in store).
After hotel pickup at your chosen time (morning or afternoon), begin your Paris sightseeing tour with your private guide.
Check out Paris' major landmarks, such as Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Place de la Concorde, Opera Garnier, the Marais district, Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, the Moulin Rouge, or the St-Germain-des-Pres district, all tailored to your interests. Walk through Tuileries Garden or Luxembourg Garden, see Palais Royal, and discover where to find an Hermes scarf at the flea market.
With your guides help, pick a lunch place that meets your Paris expectations (all food and drinks at your own expense), and perhaps sample croissants or a baguette, or try some Berthillon ice cream. Shop in the finest gourmet épiceries, or look for vintage furniture.
Museum tours are available upon request at the Louvre, Camondo, d'Orsay, or Orangerie museums, if you're interested. Whatever you choose to see and do, you'll enjoy an insider tour of Paris to see what other visitors don't.
Take a 2.5-hour walking tour of one of Paris oldest and most beloved neighborhoodsthe Latin Quarter. You'll start with a visit inside Notre-Dame Cathedral before making your way on foot to the playground of French students and the Lost Generation. Sights include the Panthéon and Luxembourg Garden. This small-group tour is limited to 10 people to provide personal attention from a guide.
Meet your guide on Ile de la Cité to start your Latin Quarter walking tour close to the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Then head across the Seine and into the Parisian neighborhood that both Fitzgerald and Hemingway, among other writers, once called home. From ancient Roman ruins to scenes from Woody Allens movie Midnight in Paris, this tour takes you through the centuries that have shaped this historical and cultural district on Paris' Left Bank.
Learn about its intellectual roots at the Sorbonne, or discuss the famous thinkers buried under the Panthéons majestic dome. Mingle with todays literati as you browse the stacks at Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and discover the beauty of Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg), the perfect place to find a bench and read a book. Theres no shortage of interesting stories that your guide shares with you as you wander along the Latin Quarter's cobbled streets, each more charming than the last.
Become a true flâneur, French for someone who enjoys a good stroll, on this 2.5 hour private tour of central Paris. Expert guides will show you all of the highlights including a visit inside Notre Dame and the Tuileries Garden while ending on the worlds most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées. There will be time for a snack and restroom break during the walk.
Paris has pivoted around Notre Dame for centuries, so its only appropriate to start your morning or afternoon tour here. Head inside and marvel at its stained glass windows, some of the most impressive in the world. Move onward across the citys oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, passing through the always brilliantly manicured Tuileries Gardens on your way to the Place de la Concorde, home of the guillotine.
Beyond just looking at the citys iconic structures like the Saint Michel Fountain and the Louvre, youll learn the fascinating and oftentimes stupefying stories of the citys biggest players like Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XIV, and Henri IV.
There is no better way to understand French food philosophies than at a typical Parisian market—but not just any market and with not just any expert. Our exclusive market tour has been designed in collaboration with Susan Loomis, one of France's most renowned culinary experts, and aims to provide visitors an in-depth and insider culinary experience. Exploring the bountiful stands of the Marché Raspail with Susan, we will engage with local vendors, learn the Parisian approach to cuisine, and immerse ourselves in the extensive offerings of a typical French market over the course of this two-hour Paris Market Tour.
- Paris market tour led by renowned chef, food writer, and cookbook author Susan Loomis.
- Explore French market traditions and learn how and what to buy.
- Small group size—never more than 6 people on a walk.
Paris Market Tour with Susan Loomis
Susan Loomis brings along her market basket and her incredible wealth of knowledge on French food and customs. Author of nine books, she is known around the world as a top authority on French cuisine. We will introduce the walk and our time together over un petit café before setting off to immerse ourselves in the colors, flavors, and aromas of a Parisian farmers’ market.
As we stroll, we’ll learn how to choose the finest seasonal produce from local producers. We'll discuss the French cook, and we’ll see how they shop and select ingredients with care. We'll see market gardeners who come in from just outside Paris and artisan bread bakers and cheese makers—like those we meet on our Modern Paris Food Tour. Our mouths will water at the choice of everything from olives to roast chicken. We will not only see beautiful ingredients, but also view antiques, stunning silk scarves, sea salt, and more.
Once through the market, we’ll visit a bakery to learn about French breads from an authentic boulanger. We'll also discover a pastry shop where the pastries look like jewels—jewels that burst in your mouth with flavor! We’ll end our tour with a glass of wine (for further sipping, see our Paris Wine Tour and Tasting) at a lovely neighborhood wine shop and tasting bar.
We'll leave our experience with mind and body greatly enriched by French cuisine, and possibly our own full basket of French specialties. Furthermore, our discussions with Susan Loomis will carry over to future market shopping, in which we'll take away insider tips on picking the best produce.
Meet your guide near Les Invalides in the morning and set off on your 3-hour walking tour of central Paris. The focus of the tour is the 7th arrondissement, on the left bank of the Seine River. Here is where some of Paris most famous monuments and attractions can be found, including the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel des Invalides and world-famous museums such as the Musée Rodin.
Listen as your guide explains the history of this famous area, which has been home to members of the French upper classes and aristocracy since the 17th century, when it became the new residence of high nobility. Stroll through the beautiful sculpture-filled gardens of the Musée Rodin, crowned by the famous The Thinker statue before discovering the museums and monuments in the area around Les Invalides, many of which relate to Frances military history. Admire the iconic dome of Les Invalides, inside which lies the tomb of Napoleon.
True Paris opens itself up as you saunter down busy main boulevards and intimate side streets where locals shop, meet and go about their daily business. Stop at local producers for three food tastings, such as pastries and cheese, and perhaps enjoy a little conversation with the vendors en route.
Enjoy close-up views of the Eiffel Tower as you wander the open parkland of the Champ de Mars, following your guide down less-trodden paths surrounding the city's most iconic structure.
After three hours discovering the hidden secrets of this popular and attractive part of Paris, your tour concludes near the Champ de Mars.
Discover the beating Heart of Paris The Ile de la Cité on a 3-hour walking tour that includes a tasty French wine break. Set out to explore the authentic island on the Seine River. Let yourself be taken away by an expert local guide who shares fascinating tales about the area and introduces you to the history of Paris: from the Roman emperors to emperor Napoleon, passing by King Philippe Auguste until Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Notre-Dame to the Holy Chapel, etc. Taste some French wines, cheese and charcuterie in a 13th century cellar and enjoy your exclusive tour of the Heart of Paris.
Follow your English-speaking guide through the colorful streets of the Île de la Cité. Your guide will tell you a series of unbelievable anecdotes about past love stories, spurned lovers, famous royal mistresses and much more upon your 2:00pm meeting point in Square René Vivian. Our Heart of Paris Tour will also give you the opportunity to have a comprehensive overview of some of the most famous historical monuments: the legendary Notre-Dame cathedral, the mysterious Conciergerie, the former Royal Palace. You will explore the narrow streets of the island, cross the most beautiful bridges and contemplate many other Parisian monuments. This tour is also a great opportunity for you to live two very French and exclusive experiences: enjoy some French wine, charcuterie and cheese, in a unique 13th-century cellar. Join us to our tour!
The quiet side streets of the Haut Marais, as the upper part of the 3rd arrondissement is known, form the backdrop to one of Paris' most exciting gastronomic neighborhoods. With an influx of innovative bistros, specialty shops, and boulangeries, the Marais lures the fashion forward Bobo folk—Bobo being short for bourgeois-bohemian—and the tourists alike. In this 2.5-hour tour led by a local chef or food writer we'll get a taste of Paris by diving into this exciting neighborhood, exploring innovative trends in Parisian cuisine, visiting hip cafés, and learning about the gastronomic lives of Bobo Paris.
- Discover the Marais through our modern Paris food tour.
- Small group—6 people maximum.
- Led by a chef or food writer.
A mixture of old fashioned markets and wine bars (the subjects of our Paris Market Tour and Paris Wine Tour and Tasting, respectively)—along with cutting edge boutiques, hip cafes, and innovative food shops—make the haut Marais emblematic of what's being called the Parisian Bobo. Their nickname proves an apt description: their bourgeois sensibility wants the highest quality, while their inner bohemian craves contemporary flair and international originality.
As we stroll through the quartier, we will take in the city from the perspective of the Bobos. Living in small apartments on these narrow, winding streets and forced to adapt to the pressures of busy lifestyles, it's difficult to find the time and space to cook. Relying more on the myriad of cafés, épiceries, and restaurants than other Parisians, the Bobos put the Marais' culinary offerings to the test. Perhaps this is why the haut Marais boasts an ever-increasing number of hip eateries.
Modern Paris Food Tour
Stopping in at their haunts, we will—in essence—be learning the intimate details of the Bobo diet, and gathering the items for a typical Bobo apéro. An apéro, or small pre-dinner snack with friends, is a common Parisian social gathering, though few practice it with as much panache as the Bobo. To execute our apéro, we will make use of the haut Marais' specialty shops. We may stop by an excellent modern purveyor to select some wild smoked salmon or top grade Iberian ham. We will visit one of the hottest chocolate makers to select jewel-like bonbons from their bountiful display cases (also a stop on our Paris Chocolate Tour).
We'll also stroll through Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris. Established by royal decree in 1615, it has changed considerably since its inception. Now mostly filled with trendy ethnic food or organic stands, the Marché des Enfants Rouges will help us understand how traditions endure and evolve while remaining relevant today.
We may also see some of the newer restaurants and shops, such as Candelaria, with its Mexican tacos and hidden cocktail bar; Nanashi, with its modern bento boxes; or Popelini, with its reinvention of Parisian choux pastry.
As our culinary adventure comes to a close, we will grab a seat at a small wine bar, order a small glass, and sample our wares. Coming full circle in our discovery of the Parisian Bobo, we'll consider the varied gastronomic landscape of the quartier, and maybe even discuss the difference between the Bobo's preferred cuisine to typical French bistro fare, which can be tried on our Paris Food Tour. Hungry travelers should also take a look at our full list of food tours in Paris.
We're loving The New Paris, the first release from journalist and Lost in Cheeseland writer Lindsey Tramuta. The book details exciting new ideas coming from Paris's creative class, which fits right in with the theme of this tour. Order here!
Join this small-group tour and enjoy a 3-hour experience discovering Montmartre off the beaten trail. Along the district's backstreets, step back in time and walk in the shoes of the famous figures of Montmartre's past. Witness everything from the foundation of the Modern Art movement to the intricacies of Père Frédé's pink inn. No need to put any costume on! You will have to pick up one of our "Character Cards" and discover... who you are! You could be a surprising saint, a French cancan dancer or a famous cabaret owner! Follow your guide and unlock the secrets of Montmartre's soul!
Colorful characters from the Past will come out around every corner along your stroll. Follow your guide away from the crowds to hear details and anecdotes about their intimate lives and public deeds.
Youll start your tour not far from Le Moulin Rouge, a cabaret where the heyday of the French cancan thrived. The first character you will encounter, La Goulue, an eccentric dancer, who perfectly embodied the notorious Bohemian way of life", which was a blend of moral freedom, alcohol and creativity. Is it yours? No? Be patient, there are plenty of discoveries along the way.
Walking up, you'll see the remaining windmills of Montmartre. Under the shelter of their sails, a ballroom was built, attracting young workers on Sundays. See exactly what the painter Renoir, a neighbor of the mill, portrayed in his most famous canvas.
At Place des Abbesses, have a look at iconic Parisian features such as a typical 1900's subway entrance and a Wallace fountain. And dont miss the story of the tumultuous love affair between a local Abbess with no less than a King of France. Moral freedom, they say. Here, when saints tried to be...saintly, they eventually faced a cruel fate. You will surely be enthralled by what tragically happened to Denis, first bishop of Paris, in a street close by.
Further uphill, you will feel sorry for an artist despised when young, but today exhibited in the world's most famous museums. Yes, we're talking about Picasso. All the details of how he gave birth to Modern Art will be explained!
At a charming crossroads, you'll stop at Père Frédé's pink inn. Here a whole store of anecdotes concerning the keeper, his pets, and his drunk clients! The same location offers a good viewpoint on a local vineyard presently in operation.
A stop at Place du Tertre follows, a rite of passage to feeling the artistic atmosphere that has never ended in Montmartre. The view above Paris is unforgettable. Be amazed by the adventure undertaken by a young deputy from this open esplanade.
At the end of your Historical Adventure Tour, Montmartre's highlights will hold no more secrets for you. Moreover, you will have experienced an intense immersion in the 1900's artistic aesthetic and way of life.
Your Coco Chanel experience starts over a coffee or hot chocolate at Coco's favorite French cafe and tea house, now a Parisian icon.
Your guide tells you about the fashion designer's humble beginnings while you soak up the atmosphere of the cafe and re-create a picture from Coco's time here. Then set off on your 1.5-hour stroll along Rue Saint Honoré, Paris' renowned fashion avenue. Trace Coco's steps and important milestones in her life, from her first hat shop to her home to her preferred places to dine, and hear about what brought Coco to Paris and about her friends and suppliers.
If you're a fashion or history lover, you don't want to miss this intimate look into the life and times of Coco Chanel and what propelled her to become Europe's ultimate fashion icon.
Wine and France are inextricably entwined. A vibrant thread in the fabric of daily life and culture, wine has helped shape France's history, gastronomy, and urban landscape. Our 2.5-hour Paris wine tour and tasting, led by a sommelier or oenologist guide, introduces the basics of French wines, from the Bordeaux and Burgundy to the country’s lesser known appellations. Over a couple glasses of wine, we will discuss the wine-making process and the evolution of wine in France, as well as food and wine pairings, current trends, and tasting techniques to help you continue your appreciation at home or abroad.
- Paris wine tour and tasting led by an expert sommelier or oenologist.
- Taste up to 4 wines and pair them with cheese and charcuterie.
- Small groups—never more than 6 people on a walk.
Paris Wine Tour and Tasting
We'll begin with a discussion of France's 2,500 year history of wine production, which dates from Greek and Roman times. Sitting together at a traditional bar à vin, we'll taste a few classic French white wines. Here, we'll learn about dégustation, the art of tasting, and we'll explore the history of wine in France and its particular importance in Paris. Showcasing the diverse styles of French wine, these tastings will serve to calibrate your palate, teaching us how to evaluate wine using our senses of smell and taste.
We'll also enjoy a plate of fromage or charcuterie and discover the basics of pairing French wine with food, raising the concept of terroir, the dominant philosophy in French wine and cuisine. We'll use this concept to explore how natural elements can effect the flavor of your wine. We'll then head to a charming bistro and further our discussion. On our way, we may even have time to stroll through the neighborhood market that's quieting down for the evening to peek at what may still be left in the stalls, broadening our understanding of terroir.
Seated at our second local establishment, we'll settle in to taste a few typical red wines. Here, we have an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at the bottles to understand what’s inside. France was the first country in the world to classify its wines using AOPs. This system, dating from the 1930's, is still in use today and can be daunting to even the most seasoned wine expert. Guided by our docent, we will learn the ins and outs of this system, its initial purposes and structure, and how it has evolved today. While examining several bottles, we will be able to dissect a typical French wine label and see its quality level clearly, before even trying the wine.
"We marveled at our docent’s breadth of knowledge, not only of the end product—wine—but perhaps even more so of its history and the ever so many pieces of the puzzle."
To bring our experience full circle, we may put our wine knowledge into practice at a local wine shop, a cave à vin, where we'll take an in-depth look at the wine regions of France, the art of reading French wine labels, and current trends in French wine-making. We will leave our walk with new gustative knowledge on French wines that we can take home with us and put to good use when buying or drinking French wine anywhere in the world.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
Special Custom Tastings: For visitors looking for a unique experience, we can custom-design a private tasting to focus on a particular region or on lesser-known wines. We can also arrange a luxury wine tasting experience. For more information see our Private Paris Food Tour. Foodies may also enjoy our Paris Food Tour or our Paris Market Tour.
Where do Parisians go when they want to relax and enjoy the beauty of their city? Most head for the Marais, not only one of the most historic districts of Paris, but nowadays also one of the most fashionable. Here, gorgeous architecture rubs shoulders with high fashion. Join an expert local guide on this private 1.5 hour walking tour and discover the secrets of the Parisians favorite part of Paris.
Not only do the Parisians adore the Marais, most visitors also fall in love with this very special part of the city. Combining centuries of history, sumptuous architecture, high fashion, world-class museums and art galleries, and an amazing restaurant scene, the Marais has so much to offer you could spend your entire vacation exploring here. A private tour allows you to visit at your own pace and explore the area like a local, with a local.
Napoleon III tore down the old city of Paris in the 1860s, replacing it with the wide boulevards and typical architecture that we see throughout the rest of the city, but the Marais was spared and retains the old world charm of narrow, winding streets, hidden courtyards and beautiful medieval and Renaissance mansions. Your guide will show you some of the most charming squares in the city, surrounded by lavish mansions where the wealthiest royal courtiers lived (today still some of the most expensive real estate in the city!) See the Place des Vosges, the first royal square in Europe, the Hotel de Sens, a magnificent palace built in 1500, the first baroque style church in Paris, and much more. Hear stories of jousts, love affairs, treason and revolution, as you stroll through some of the most delightful streets in the city. Discover cutting edge boutiques and admire the café terraces where the fashionable hang out by day and by night. Visit the Jewish quarter, where you can taste the best falafel in the city, see the homes of some of Frances greatest literary figures, and dont forget to check out some of the newest and best pastry shops in the city!
Dynamic and modern, yet steeped in history and overflowing with charm, the Marais is the perfect place to wander, accompanied by a passionate local guide, and soak up the atmosphere of contemporary and historical Paris.
Numbers are limited to 10 people on this small-group tour, ensuring youll enjoy personalized attention from your guide.
Meet your guide near Porte de Clignancourt in Paris and set off on your 2-hour walking tour around the citys famous flea market St-Ouen. Standing out from other Parisian brocantes (smaller markets), St-Ouen is the largest in town and one of the largest in the world, with more than 2,000 stalls and shops spread across 16 submarkets on site.
While walking around the labyrinth of aisles, check out some of the best, one-of-a-kind shops that only a local can show you! Discover a boutique selling haute couture from the 1920s, and visit a shop that peddles antique furniture from Versailles.
As you stroll through the market, looking at items from just about every era, learn all about bargain hunting in the market from your friendly guide: how to distinguish junk from genuine gems, where to go for the biggest discounts, and who sells what and where. Hear tales of famous celebrities like Sharon Stone and Madonna, whove been known to shop here, and learn about their favorite market shops.
Throughout your tour, youll have countless opportunities to stop and spend your vacation money to pick up genuine and unique souvenirs! Shop for leather goods, contemporary trinkets, vintage clothing, books, extravagant accessories and more all at the best prices. While browsing stalls or digging through boxes in search of that extra-special find, your guide will introduce you to some of the markets most colorful traders. Chat with second-generation merchants and hear their countless memories and tales, before working your way back to the start point, where your tour ends.
Join your professional historical guide and no more than 7 others and enjoy a 3-hour walking tour discovering the Notre-Dame district. Walk along poetic quays and medieval streets, step back in time and walk in the shoes of celebrities who lived on Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis. Discover Paris's past, from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century.
No need to put any costume on! You will just have to pick up one of our "Character Cards" and discover... who you are! You could be a crusading knight, a pioneering female sculptor, a French Romeo and Juliet,just to name a few!
Follow your Licensed guide for both a discovery of the Notre-Dame district highlights and a unique encounter with people who shaped Pariss past, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Meet your guide on the Pont-Neuf bridge at approximately 2:20 p.m. for your historical walking tour. Begin your tour at Henri IVs equestrian statue which is also the place where a Templar crusader was executed.
Next, onward to the Place Dauphine, a perfect example of 17th century architecture. Here you'll make a stop for Manon Roland, a revolutionary Muse. Circling around the former royal palace buildings, now a law court, you'll reach the Conciergerie. This notoriously famous jail during the French Revolution kept a female prisoner.
Time to approach Notre-Dame, Pariss majestic cathedral! On its northern flank, a medieval-like quarter has survived, with winding streets and secluded houses. Enter into this beautiful Gothic church and enjoy the amazing show of its authentic 13th-century stained glass windows.
Cross a short footbridge, to the peaceful environment of Ile Saint-Louis. You would be surprised how boisterous and naughty some former inhabitants were such as the hothead duke, a Louis XIV's companion, who dared to challenge the King.
Strolling along Quai dOrléans and de Béthune, you will be introduced to Camille Claudel, a gifted sculptor and Helena Rubinstein, the first female captain of industry. Both talented, they called for women's freedom.
Your tour will concludes at Saint-Paul metro station at 5:00 p.m.
Outside the theater La Comédie-Française, meet your fashion-insider guide to begin your private walking tour through one of Paris' most stylish neighborhoods.
Pass by vintage boutiques and visit a nearby cour d'honneur, where you can enjoy a photo op, and then walk along Rue Saint-Honoré to Colette, the most famous Parisian concept store. Continue to Place Vendôme, an elegant square home to exquisite jewelry stores, as well as the Ritz, before walking along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to Palais de l'Elysée, the official residence of the President of France.
With a master's degree in fashion and professional experience in the French fashion industry, your guide provides a wealth of information about the world of fashion brands, visual merchandising, and the latest trends and collections. Your tour ends along the Champs-Elysées, where you're well placed to continue exploring and shopping on your own.
Please note: Visiting boutiques is available on request, and your guide can adapt the tour to your needs and interests.
You can also look for the right fashion accessory to complement your every day wear that screams Paris. Exquisite bags, exclusive scarves, designer shoes and magnificent jewelry are awaiting your purchase on this Paris shopping tour.
Would you love to be able to afford the "Haute Couture" clothes of Penelope Cruz, Monica Belluci or Kate Moss? Then join this unique Paris shopping tour that takes you into the fashion insider's world in the most stylist city on the planet, where you can buy the luxury clothes you've always dreamed of, at affordable prices.
Shop in select resale shops that sell couture cloths at heavily discounted prices. You'll also visit the most prestigious resale shops in Paris, owned by fashion editors and photographers. Designer clothing and accessories are sold here straight off the catwalk, and you'll find collection prototypes at a third of the marked-up price. You'll also attend sample sales on the tour, where the most fashionable brands sell last year's collections at a discount of up to 70%.
You'll visit places that only the savviest Parisians know about, and see the workshops of a new generation of talented fashion designers who trained with Paris' famous fashion houses. With their unique style and talent, these up-and-coming designers are definitely names to watch.
Your fashion tour begins and ends at a centrally located Paris cafe.
This small-group food tour is limited to just eight people, ensuring youll receive personalized attention from your guide.
Your 3-hour tour starts in the heart of Paris Bastille district, home to one of the most authentic and traditional Parisian markets Marché dAligre. After meeting your knowledgeable guide, set off on a leisurely walking tour around the area, visiting quality artisan delicatessens and off-the-beaten-path sights, as well as the famous market itself.
Venture inside some of Paris best patisseries to sample exquisite French pastries and chocolates, and head to an iconic wine bar that is known for serving fresh oysters alongside crisp glasses of muscadet wine. Throughout your small-group tour, youll enjoy six different food tastings in gourmet shops and at the market.
Marché dAligre lies right in the heart of the Bastille district, and is sure to be the highlight of your morning. Consisting of two parts -- a covered area called Marché Beauveau and an open-air square -- the cosmopolitan market is huge and knowing what spots to visit can be tricky. Luckily, your expert guide will be there to show you to the best stalls! Youll also have time to browse the market independently, shopping for all your gourmet desires.
Before your tour ends, your guide will introduce you to a little-known elevated garden walkway that was created from old train tracks. This gorgeous garden is a real insiders secret, and youll finish your tour feeling like you know the captivating Bastille district just like a food-loving local.
Marvel at the sheer size of the Palace of Versailles, one of the largest and most beautiful castles in the world with a whopping 700 rooms.
Meet your expert, English-speaking guide in Versailles where theyll begin a tour of the Gardens and Palace of Versailles. With a maximum of 20 to 25 people per group (depending on your day of travel), your tour of Versailles will be unhurried and enjoyable. We Skip the Line via pre-booked entrance to Versailles and your guide will lead you from one marvelous room to the next, pointing out where Louis XIV tormented his friends and family with long, boring ceremonies. Peruse its incredible array of fine art and the intricate design of its 1250 fireplaces as you work your way through the highlights of the castle including the King and Queens apartments, the Chapel, the Coronation Room, the Hall of Mirrors and the Salon of Abundance. This list of rooms your guide will show you goes on and on, each one an entirely different and unique experience from the Peace Room to the Queens bedchamber.
And just when you think that you have seen all that the Palace of Versailles has to offer, youll burst into the sunlight and encounter its dazzling manicured gardens, over 1,800 acres in size. Depending on the date chosen and your tour option you will have the option to witness the spectacular Fountain Show or the Musical Gardens show before departing.
Special Offer - Book by January 31st 2018 and travel by November 11th 2018 to save 10% off our previously offered price! - Book Now!
Discover the heart of Paris in your own private group on this incredible 4.5-hour guided walking tour, including skip the line access to the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral, the spectacular stained glass of the Sainte Chapelle, and the final prison of Marie Antoinette - the Conciergerie. End your tour enjoying delicious French pastries in an incredible glazed panoramic restaurant offering breathtaking views over the city.
Your private small group will meet your personal guide for a fascinating walking tour of the Ile de la Cité, home to some of the most dazzling medieval architecture in the city, and including an exclusive French pastry tasting experience.
Begin your tour at Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the iconic symbols of Paris and a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Start by skipping the infamously long lines and climbing the towers for some of the very best views in Paris. Keep your eyes open for gargoyles and angels as you enjoy a birds eye view of the city below you. Your fully accredited local guide will then lead you through the interior of the cathedral, where you can admire the magnificent rose windows and view the relics of the crown of thorns. Outside, admire the incredible structure of the cathedral, and hear the stories of the real and imaginary figures that played their part in the history of this magnificent monument.
Then its a short stroll to the Sainte Chapelle, home to some of best-preserved and most breathtaking stained glass in the world. Built in the 13th century by the King Saint Louis, 80% of the walls are covered by remarkable colored glass windows. Once again you will skip the long entry lines, and your guide will teach you how to read the stories on these centuries old masterpieces, as you admire the astonishing multi-colored light flooding the chapel.
The day's last visit is to the Conciergerie, built as a medieval palace but most famous as the prison and last home of Queen Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. See the cells where the prisoners were kept, including the cell where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned until she was taken to the guillotine in 1793. In 1815, King Louis XVIII turned it into a Chapel.Enjoy strolling through the streets of this charming island with your guide, see one of the prettiest squares in Paris, and end your tour on the oldest bridge in the city. But theres another treat in store for you, join us for a traditional French goûter, or tea time, on a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city. Savor delicate and delicious French pastries by renowned chefs such as Pierre Hermé. The fully glazed dining room offers amazing panoramic views over the river and down to the Louvre.
Our Sex and the City tour highlights the locations from the hit TV show, complete with behind-the-scenes gossip and trivia that bring the show to life. You'll start the tour in the swanky 16th district of Paris, then hop on a metro (ticket included) where you'll head to the picturesque Saint Germain quarter of Paris. Walk around the city, hit up the must-see boutiques and visit the trendy hangouts just like Carrie.
From les grands restaurants, to thousands of exquisite specialty shops, to the neighborhood boulangerie, Parisians have mastered the art of cuisine. In this 2.5-hour Paris food tour led by a local chef or food writer, we will stroll the charming streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Left Bank, exploring the culinary culture of Paris. Our guide will introduce the basics of French cuisine while we meet the owners of tiny food shops, taste artisanal products, and enliven our senses to the amazing culinary traditions for which France is known the world over.
- Taste and discover French culinary traditions and philosophies.
- Accompanied by a professional chef or food writer.
- Small-group tour—no more than 6 people.
- Paris Food Tour in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Taste of St-Germain
Traveling through the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, our walk visits a select group of specialty food shops our docents have evaluated for their exceptional, artisanal wares. Once the home of the intellectual café culture of the 1950s, this upscale quartier is now known for its high-end shopping, beautiful boulevards, and most importantly, the gourmet food shops—some of which have been in the area for generations. Our culinary experts will lead us through the best of the best—tailored to their particular specialities and relationships with shopkeepers. Thus, our exact presentation and tour of shops will vary depending on the docent and group, creating a unique experience.
Paris Food Tour
With so many aspects of French cuisine to choose from, we begin by grounding ourselves with two Parisian staples: bread and cheese. Rarely missing from a French table, we learn that these items have an impact on both France's culinary and cultural identity. As such, we may open the walk with a visit to one of the best boulangeries to discover what defines a good baguette and its importance on the Parisian table, followed by a stop into an artisanal fromagerie to learn about some of France's nearly 400 types of cheese (and the various ways to correctly slice them). Aided by a variety of tastings, learning about the seasonality and aging process of French cheese is yet another delicious chapter of this edible cultural exchange.
Following our introduction to the basics, we'll delve deeper into French specialties, potentially paying visits to the butcher to tempt our palates with foie gras, homemade rillettes, or this season's wild game. We might then sample a succulent chocolate made of roasted Equatorial cocoa beans, peer through the windows of the traiteur once responsible for Versailles's elegant fare, or even pop into the pâtissierie of our dreams. Our epicurious journey may come to a close with a glass of Armagnac in a wine shop passed from generation to generation since 1905.
"[This tour is for the] burgeoning Francophile who does not shy away from attractive carbs, alluring pork products or full-bodied cheeses." -Amy Tara Koch, Travel and Leisure
Understanding the French Diet
Along the way, we will examine how all of these products fit into the French diet, as well as other culinary traditions and philosophies. We may discuss how this legacy of culinary excellence has evolved into today's dining trends, discovering the differences between a brasserie, bistro, and restaurant, or simply focus on the French emphasis on dining ensemble. As we finish, we should have an excellent foundation in the cornerstones of French gastronomy and be better prepared to further discover French food during our stay and beyond.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
Wine enthusiasts would also enjoy our Paris Wine Tour and Tasting, focusing on Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. We also organize a Paris Left Bank Tour, which provides a basic introduction to the Left Bank and Paris as a whole.
Make the most of your time in Paris with this private tour. Discuss your interests ahead of time, and then simply look forward to exploring Paris according to a personalized itinerary.
Your day or half-day in Paris is completely tailored to match your sightseeing desires. Before your tour, your private guide will contact you to discuss the things you want to see so that your logistics and itinerary can be arranged in advance, saving you time.
On the day of your tour, your guide meets you at your hotel. You can make any final adjustments as you set out to see legendary Parisian landmarks. Taxis and public transit needed during the tour are also included.
Venture to the Notre Dame Cathedral to admire the structures Gothic architecture. Use handy skip-the-line tickets into the Musée du Louvre. There, experience masterworks such as Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa. Discover secluded side streets in the Village of Montmartre, marvel at the height and structural beauty of the Eiffel Tower, and enjoy the sweet life of Paris just like a local.
See the Itinerary below for a sample full-day tour. Meals, entrance fees, and airport transfers are not included.
Begin your Paris sightseeing tour in the morning with a 1.5-hour guided tour of the magnificent Louvre, widely considered to be among the finest museums in the world.
The Louvre is home to some of the rarest and most valuable treasures known to man, including famous masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Wander the hallowed halls with your guide, take in many of the museums best-known highlights and feel free to ask any questions you may have along the way.
Leaving the Louvre behind, hop aboard your Seine River Cruise for the short journey over the waves to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Enjoy lunch in the exceptional setting of the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant on the tower's first floor and take in beautiful views out over the city from your vantage point up the tower. The early afternoon is left free for you to explore the Eiffel Tower at your leisure.
At the end of your time at the Eiffel Tower, board a second Seine River Cruise and head along to Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a 45-minute guided visit of this world-famous building and gain insight into its fascinating history and heritage.
When your tour of Notre Dame finishes, explore further at your leisure or head out to enjoy the rest of your day in Frances beautiful capital. Dont forget to climb up the tower of Notre Dame Cathedral (own expense) to admire the spectacular views across Paris.
Special Offer - Book and travel by January 31st 2018 and save 10% off our previously offered price! - Book Now!
The works of Monet, Degas, Courbet, and other impressionists shocked the art world and propelled French painting forward. Our 3-hour Musée d’Orsay tour examines the rich 19th- and early 20th-century collections of this world-class museum. In the company of an art historian, we'll dive into one of the best collections of Impressionist art in Paris and learn about the major art movements of the period—from the Barbizon school and Realism, to Impressionism—as well as their most celebrated players, including Monet, Degas, and Courbet. This tour is an excellent complement to our Crash Course Louvre Tour and our more specialized study of Louvre French Masters Tour.
- View Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Degas, and Courbet.
- Trace the evolution of 19th and early 20th century French art.
- Musee d'Orsay Tour led by an art historian.
- No more than 6 people per group.
- Avoid ticket lines.
Musee d'Orsay Tour
Before delving into the art itself, we will begin by considering the museum's unique structure. First constructed as a rail station serving the South of France, architect Victor Laloux saw the upcoming World's Fair of 1900 as an opportunity to showcase France's ability to modernize, drawing attention to the structure's steel and glass design elements. After serving as a rail station for only 39 years (as electricity grew in popularity and trains became longer, the Orsay station's short platforms were rendered unusable), the station was preserved as a historical building in the late 70s, before opening as a museum in 1986.
The Barbizon School
While the Orsay's collection includes all varieties of artwork produced from 1848 to 1914, our walk will concentrate primarily on painting. Following a roughly chronological trajectory, we'll begin on the ground floor with the works of the Barbizon school and Corot. With the evolution of the paint tube, artists were liberated from their studios. Emphasizing nature and atmosphere, these artists made a break from the expectations of previous schools and were freed from focusing on antiquity and classicism. From here, we'll move on to the Realists who flourished under the 2nd Republic. Stopping by works by Realist artists like Courbet and Manet, we'll discuss the new techniques and ideas that Realism introduced to the visual arts, and their influence on the future Impressionists.
Impressionism - Shunning the Salons
We then move to the Impressionist works of Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Pissarro. We'll discuss the spread of Impressionism and its radical departure from traditional schools of painting and the role of French art salons. Continuing on to the likes of Cézanne and Van Gogh, we'll discover how early Impressionism influenced all subsequent artists, and itself gradually morphed into a number of different movements such as Neo-impressionism, Fauvism, Pointillism, and Cubism. We'll wrap up with these later movements, precursors to Modernism, among which exist contributors such as Matisse, Braque, and Gauguin.
"[Our docent] was an outstanding guide! Seriously the best tour I have ever been on!"
By the end of our time together we'll have a robust understanding of these major art movements and how they contributed to each other's formation and the formation of modern art in the later 20th century.
Traveling to Paris with children? You may enjoy our Musée d'Orsay with Kids Tour.
Jews have lived in Paris since the medieval period. In this 3-hour Jewish Paris tour in the Marais we'll join a local historian and discover this hidden history of the city's Jewish Quarter, from the 12th century to World War II. Together, we'll learn how the Jewish population of Paris has informed the development of the city as a whole, from gastronomic delights, to striking architecture, to the dark days of World War II.
- Jewish Paris tour tour led by an expert on Jewish history
- Explores historical and contemporary Jewish issues in the Marais.
- Small-group size—no more than six people.
Jewish Paris Tour
We'll start our visit by looking at vestiges of King Philippe Auguste's city wall, which formed Paris' 12th century city limits, and the first of many barriers that the Jewish population had overcome to create a vibrant and crucial community. Short of funds in the royal coffers, King Philippe Auguste sought to remedy this problem and assert his royal power by expelling the Jews, seizing their property in the process. However, when funds were later depleted, the Jews were invited back—but only if they complied with a heavy tax. This characterized the ongoing cycle of tension between the King and the Jews for the entirety of his reign.
"[Our docent] was just wonderful. She was very knowledgeable about the specific focus of the tour and her background in art allowed her to field the considerable number of questions we had about dealing with confiscated art from the Jews of Paris/France after the war. Highest recommendations."
Situated just outside the wall, the Marais—called Pletzl, or little place—became the center of Jewish Paris. We will walk along streets inhabited by Jewish people for centuries that today are bustling with lively cafes, specialty shops, and Kosher restaurants. Despite the growing bourgeois-bohème presence the Marais remains the core of the Jewish community, especially the cheerful rue des Rosiers.
Kosher bakeries, Jewish bookshops, and beloved falafel stands form ways of sharing Jewish culture within the city, while synagogues stand as religious centers for community support and places of worship. We will spend time taking in the splendid façade of the Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue (designed by Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard—a subject discussed further on our Paris Architecture Tour), and discussing other synagogues in the neighborhood.
From its beginnings as an enclave on the outskirts of the city, to the horrors of the 20th century, Paris' Jewish community is no stranger to struggle. As we explore the Marais, we will address issues faced by French Jews, such as the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal which stretched from 1894 to its final resolution in 1906. Our itinerary also includes a visit to the Memorial of the Shoah, which sheds light on the complex history of the Jewish minority within Paris.
With the Tomb of the Unknown Jewish Martyr and wall of names noting French victims, the Memorial of the Shoah forms a somber and poignant reminder of the atrocities committed against the Jewish community during the Holocaust. Here, we may focus on the acts of the Occupation's Vichy government, such as the roundup of Jewish Parisians in the Velodrome d'Hiver, and their subsequent removal to concentration camps, taking time to reflect upon the effects this has had on the Jewish community (for more on this difficult era, see our Paris WWII Tour.
Jewish Quarter Paris
At the end of this walk, after having explored the cultural and historic center of Jewish Paris in the Marais district, we will have gained insight into relevant topics such as the waves of immigration into the city, well-known French Jewish figures, and current and past issues. Clients with a further interest in the Marais district may wish to take our Marais Walking Tour.
Note: We will not enter any synagogues during this itinerary. Many of the synagogues in the Marais have undergone violent attacks and even bombings in the past, making them extremely security-conscious and forcing many to close to the public. In addition, all but one of the synagogues on this tour are small, shopfront temples belonging to Orthodox Jewish groups, which aren't appropriate for mixed groups of non-Jewish women and men to visit.
The taste of Paris guided bike tour with local market food tasting start near Centre Pompidou in the heart of Paris. You will be provided with a great quality bike , helmet and waterproof Poncho should the weather take a turn for the worse. Once introduced to your official professional guide a small safety procedure talk is given you will experience a leisurely 4 hour-tour taking you to the monuments and places of interest, and you will even make a stop to taste food at a covered market: café, croissant, an assortment of cheeses and deli meats and a "surprise of the day'!During the tour there will be frequent stops, factual explanations, anecdotes, photo opportunities and so much more.Your guide will be delighted to answer any questions you may have
The Basilica of Saint Denis, considered to be the birthplace of Gothic architecture, provides a fascinating look at French royalty, funerary sculpture, and Gothic architecture. Designated as the final resting place of the French kings, the church becomes a thread weaving together French architectural, religious, and political history in one intricately detailed structure. This 3.5-hour Saint Denis Tour, a day trip from Paris in the company of a medievalist, explores the robust history of the church, chronicling its humble beginnings to its powerful rise as the mausoleum of French monarchs.
- Tour the world's first gothic church just outside of Paris
- Saint Denis tour led by an historian or architect.
- Small group size—maximum six people.
Meeting our docent in Paris, we will travel together by métro to the nearby suburb of Saint-Denis, learning about its vivid history en route. Its story dates back to the 3rd century, when Denis, the first bishop of Paris, was decapitated by the Romans on what is now the butte of Montmartre. According to legend, he picked up his head and walked all the way to the north of Paris, where he finally fell and was buried by a pious widow.
While the site was originally designated as a simple Roman burial ground, it quickly became an indisputable point of interest for religious pilgrims. Here, we may view his burial place in the crypt of the present basilica, as well as vestiges of the churches that were built over it between the 5th and 12th centuries.
For a look at another Gothic masterpiece outside of Paris, see our Chartres Tour.
Birthplace of the Gothic
Beyond housing religious relics, the basilica's construction was the site of new innovations for architecture of the middle ages. It was in the soaring choir of the present basilica that Gothic architecture made its very first appearance in 1144. Here, too, can be seen the earliest examples of Gothic stained glass panels.
Designed as the centerpiece of a powerful abbey by the great Abbot Suger in the 12th-century, and finished in the time of St. Louis in the 13th-century, the St. Denis was always favored as one of the special sites of the French ruling class. Despite suffering the vicissitudes of history, it has regained much of its former splendor thanks to 19th-century restoration reforms. Here, we will note its connection to Notre Dame Cathedral—19th-century architect Viollet-le-Duc supervised the restoration of both of these influential sites (to learn more, see our Notre Dame Tour.
The history of Saint Denis as necropolis of the monarchs goes back to the 7th-century, when King Dagobert decided to make it his burial place and that of his successors, successfully lasting beyond his medieval rule. He was not, however, the first person of royal blood to be buried here—as we will learn, later French monarchs unearthed their predecessors to lay them to rest at Saint Denis.
In fact, the tombs of nearly all the French rulers, from that of Clovis, the first French king, to those of the 19th-century can be admired here, not least those of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and Louis the XVIII himself. Most noteworthy from an artistic point of view, though, are the beautiful Renaissance tombs of Francis I, Louis XII, Henry II, and their wives, which we may observe together, noting their significance.
"Our docent did a wonderful job bringing to life the importance of the cathedral for the French, weaving in detailed descriptions of cathedral architecture and the importance of the stained glass at St Denis. Her delivery was perfect—a great combination of storytelling and fact that was very informative."
While St. Denis remains an active parish church, it was raised in status from Basilica to Cathedral in 1966. Throughout our visit, we will build an image of St. Denis as one of the major cultural attractions of the whole of France. During our time together, we will weave a narrative of the Cathedral's significance, both historically and architecturally, leaving us with a sense of progression from Roman times to the renovations of the 19th century. As we depart the Cathedral, we will emerge with a better understanding of Gothic architectural characteristics, and the Cathedral's standing in connection to French royalty over the centuries.
Paris' Musée du Louvre contains thousands of works of art, telling endlessly intriguing stories and inspiring the imaginations of young visitors the world over. What is Hercules chasing? What do tombs tell us about Egypt's pharaohs? What were the symbols of Louis XIV and Napoleon? This private 2.5-hour Louvre for kids tour, led by a specially trained family-friendly art historian, provides an interactive learning experience for families—or, if you prefer, an artistic adventure.
- Illustrates the highlights of the Louvre's vast collections.
- Louvre for kids tour led by a scholar trained to work with children.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
- Avoid ticket lines.
Louvre for Kids Tour
We’ll begin at the beginning—the building itself. Revealing a narrative from its origins as a fortress to its role as palace of the French Kings and Queens, we learn the Louvre's position in French history and the stories surrounding the building. We will have to look carefully for secrets, like those in the palace’s old moat. Then, we might journey off to ancient Egypt to investigate the pharaonic legends told through their hieroglyphs. We’ll certainly venture to ancient Greece, perhaps first through the elusive Winged Victory of Samothrace or the famous Venus de Milo, asking questions like, "Why doesn’t she have arms?" "What else can we learn from her pose?" We will also see how the Renaissance French royals repurposed greek symbolism for their own identity.
Traveling through the painting wings, we might see the curious smile of the heroine Mona Lisa or debate who is more heroic: Napoleon or the brothers in the Oath of the Horatii. Exploring French and Italian painting, we may bring Romanticism and Neoclassicism into context. At each stop, our docent, trained in visual thinking strategies, will engage the young adventurers with inquisitive questions and activities to bring the art work to life. While our walk is focused on the children in the group, we encourage parents to ask questions, and immerse themselves in their child's learning process.
"We LOVED this tour. My kids went in unexcited about the visit, but [our docent] had them hooked in minutes. They liked how he told them the backstory on what we were seeing and gave us a bigger perspective on the art and building. Even though he focused on the kids, we adults were intrigued and learned a lot too!"
By the end of the walk, your family will not only have discovered numerous fascinating characters and stories behind the masterworks in the Louvre's extensive collection, but also have acquired a grasp of the evolution of art history. By tailoring this private walk to your children, we hope to change the way they will experience museums, encouraging curiosity and abstract thinking.
In addition to our family program tours, including offerings like our Notre Dame for Kids Tour and Versailles for Kids Tourwe may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
During the roaring twenties, Paris was considered the cultural capital of the Western world. Artists and writers flocked to the city from far and wide, including celebrated American writer Ernest Hemingway. During this 3-hour Hemingway-focused Paris literary tour with a literature expert, we'll explore St. Germain and Montparnasse, neighborhoods in the city's Left Bank that were once the epicenter of Paris' avant-garde. We'll learn about a wide range of artists, writers, and thinkers in Hemingway's circle including Fitzgerald, Picasso, Pound, Matisse, and the inimitable Gertrude Stein, whose modernist salon provided the gravitational pull for the entire movement.
- Discover Hemingway's Paris.
- Includes many of Hemingway's haunts.
- Paris literary tour led by a literature scholar.
- Small group size—never more than 6 on a walk.
Paris Literary Tour
Hemingway loved to walk. His strolls provided him with moments of reflection but also connected him with his community, which we will experience together as we trace Hemingway’s path across the Left Bank. We’ll begin our walk not far from where the young writer and his new wife, Hadley, first established a home on rue Cardinal Lemoine. Here, we will set the tone, immersing ourselves in the life of the expat writers of the era. In the early 20th century, this was a working-class area of the Left Bank's Latin Quarter, close to the bustling rue Mouffetard, and tucked in behind the Panthéon and the Church of St. Etienne du Mont (upon the steps of which Woody Allen’s hero waits for the midnight bell to toll).
Note, we also offer an introductory Left Bank Paris Tour.
Following Hemingway's path, we will continue our walk downhill, past the academic center of the city around the Sorbonne and towards the site of Sylvia Beach’s original Shakespeare & Company bookshop. A hub of Parisian literary life between the two World Wars, Beach's shop famously published James Joyce’s Ulysses for the first time in 1922. We may discuss Hemingway's friendship with Joyce, one of the many literary expats whom Hemingway knew and admired. In the area, we will also pass by some of the residences and other favorite haunts of the Fitzgeralds, Ezra Pound, or Ford Madox Ford.
"[Our docent had] a deep knowledge of Paris during the period that the Lost Generation was creating their mark on the world. We had a delightful tour and thoroughly enjoyed our morning learning about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, and their lives on the Left Bank."
For more on Paris during the War check out our Paris WWII Tour.
Crossing the Luxembourg Gardens, as Hemingway did on so many occasions, we will make our way towards the infamous quartier Montparnasse. He would later establish his second home close to Montparnasse. The neighborhood was another hub of artistic life in the 1920s, with its many famous literary cafés all patronized by “Hem." Entering the café-lined streets, we will discuss the role of café life during the twenties, stopping to experience it for ourselves.
Our walk will come to a close with a well-earned coffee at perhaps one of the most emblematic cafés of them all, the Closerie des Lilas. Here, we will take a moment to reflect upon the insights we have gained on our journey through literary Paris with Hemingway as our guide. We will emerge from the experience with a better understanding of Paris as a unique place at a particular time in history—home of the “lost generation.”
Note, those interested in the Modernist movement in Paris may want to couple this tour with our Pompidou Center Tour. The center is one of Paris' best collections of modern art.
Escape the bustling City of Lights for a day to discover the landscape of Giverny, home and inspiration of Impressionist master, Claude Monet. This unique day trip allows you to explore the picturesque countryside of Vernon and Giverny by bike, enjoy a guided visit to Monets home and gardens and visit the atelier of a present day Givernois artist all with the presence of an informative, professional guide.
This bike tour is a perfect day trip to immerse yourself in the beautiful countryside villages of Vernon and Giverny, as well as explore the famed residence of Claude Monet, the father of Impressionism. This unique tour is tailored for an intimate experience, with a group maximum of 15 people. Your trip begins with a train ride from Paris to Giverny with a professional guide, who will then lead you by bike on a scenic ride along the banks of the Seine from Vernon to Giverny.
During this leisurely and easy paced route of 4km, you will stop to visit landmarks like the old Mill of Vernon, the Château des Tourelles and the Giverny church, home of Monets final resting place. You will then enjoy an exclusive guided visit of Monets residence and extensive gardens where the painter spent 43 years of his life, and was a source of inspiration for his famous masterpieces. You will learn the history of Monets works and step through the canvas to see the iconic Japanese Bridge, bamboo trees and water lily ponds of his garden.
After a lovely lunch at a quaint local restaurant, you will enjoy a one-of-a-kind visit to a Givernois artists atelier who will share with you their works and experience. This tour is a fascinating adventure that is perfect for art and nature lovers alike and by the time you get on the train back to Paris, memories of Givernys stunning landscapes will be forever etched in your mind.
As the historical capital of Normandy, Rouen is known for its many monuments and architectural treasures. And at only 1.5 hours from Paris, it makes for a perfect short getaway from France's bustling capital. On this Rouen tour, a half-day trip from Paris to Rouen in the company of our historian guide, we will uncover the city's diverse narrative.
Walking along streets lined with medieval half-timbered houses, we'll explore Rouen's illustrious legacy, made famous by such figures as the Vikings, the Dukes of Normandy, Joan of Arc, the writers Corneille and Flaubert, and the artists Géricault and Monet.
- Visit the charming capital of Normandy on an excursion from Paris.
- Includes the Notre-Dame de Rouen Cathedral, a favorite subject of Monet.
- Rouen tour led by an art historian or historian.
- Small group size—maximum six people per group.
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Rouen
Meeting our docent in Paris, we will travel to Rouen together by train. Upon our arrival, we will begin by visiting the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, whose saga spans the entire Gothic period and beyond. (In Paris, similarly interested visitors should consider our Notre Dame Tour.) In addition to having the highest spire in France, the Cathedral boasts the impressive Tour de Beurre. Constructed at the end of the 15th-century, this infamous tower was bankrolled by fining those who chose to eat butter during Lent, a period when butter was normally forbidden.
This accidental monument to gluttony features lacy, intricate stonework that catches the eye. Together, we will examine the various characteristics of Gothic architecture present in the structure, before highlighting the Cathedral's great history. The burial place of such dignitaries as Rollo the Viking, first Duke of Normandy, and Richard the Lionheart, King of England, as well as a great favorite of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet—its facade featuring in twenty-eight of his paintings exploring color and light—there are many sides of the Cathedral's history to interpret together. (For a deeper look at Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists in Paris check out our Musee d'Orsay Tour.)
City of Spires
We will also visit the Churches of Saint-Maclou and the Abbey Church of Saint-Ouen, which can be compared to the modern Church of Joan of Arc. The exquisite contrast between the modern silhouette meant to evoke images of flames, and its magnificent 16th-century stained-glass windows illustrate Rouen's multifaceted history. Salvaged from the nearby church that did not survive the bombs of WWII (for more, see our Paris WWII Tour), the windows are exquisite examples of Gothic stained glass panels.
The site where Joan was burnt at the stake and places connected with her trial, the fascinating Aître Saint-Maclou, once a medieval charnel house, and the beautiful Renaissance Palace of Justice, and Le Gros Horloge—the elegant gilded clock and its Renaissance tower donated to the city in the 16th century— may also be on our route.
The historic streets, rich houses, and squares attest to the former wealth of Rouen. As our time together comes to a close, we will reflect on the various threads of history we've woven together to present a narrative of this dynamic, historic city.
With so much to see, there's always more to discover. Following our tour, we encourage you to spend independent time in Rouen. We can recommend a lovely restaurant for a gourmet meal in the historic Place du Vieux Marché, or you may wish to visit one of Rouen's numerous museums: the Museum of Antiquities with its Medieval collection; the Ceramics Museum; the unusual Wrought Iron Museum; the Fine Arts Gallery; the Medical Museum; the Joan of Arc Museum; or Corneille's house (to name but a few).
Departing at 10:30am from the Travelshop located inside Generator Hostel, your guide will greet you and give you an overview of the tour. First, you'll bike along the Bassin de la Villette towards one of the most famous street art areas in Paris. After a brief explanation of residential life along the canal you will head uphill towards Le Buttes-Chaumont park, which offers you an extraordinary view over the city of Paris. While we're not allowed to bike through this park, we will walk our bikes to the highest point before exiting the park.
Next, we will travel to the Belleville park for a panoramic view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower. Along the journey your guide will be offering some insights into the way local Parisiens live and pointing out new community efforts, such as shared gardens and grassroots initiatives to protect and promote this neighborhood. Then we will make our way to Place de la Republique, which was the heart of protest following the recent attacks on Paris. It is historically a common meeting place for social movements in Paris.
Finally, we'll make our way up the Canal Saint-Martin and stop at a local boutique shop for some natural wine, craft beer or snacks, and a stopover in Villemin Park, before finishing back at Generator Hostel at approximately 1pm.
This tour is recommended for confident riders as there are a few hills involved, and more riding in the road than our Paris Day Bike Tour. We can accommodate some children on this tour, but we prefer that they be steady on a bike and 9+ years old.
The Orsay museum in Paris is one of the most visited museums in the world, known for its vibrant collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century masterpieces by the likes of Courbet, Monet, and Seurat. This 2.5-hour Musée d'Orsay with kids tour, led by an art historian trained in working with children, provides a dynamic, child-oriented introduction to the museum and its highlights. Venturing through its expansive halls—the museum is housed in a former train station!—we'll look together at some of the major art movements represented in the collections, like Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. Using learning activities and visual thinking strategies, we'll encourage close looking: What do you see in this image? Why might Van Gogh's works have such wild colors? Do Monet's Water Lilies look funny to you up close? Our hope is that our young art-spectators will come away with familiarity with these world-famous movements as well as a deeper appreciation for "reading" and understanding art.
- Musée d'Orsay for Kids tour
- Highlights the museum's vast Impressionist collections (and beyond) in a child-friendly manner.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
- Avoid ticket lines.
From Trains to Tableaux—Musée d'Orsay for Kids Tour
The Orsay's collections are housed in an opulent turn-of-the-century building (quite à propos for displaying art of the same time period). But did you know this building wasn't always a museum? In fact, it was constructed as a train station! We'll begin our tour by interpreting the structure together, a first step in our lesson of "reading" art and our surroundings. Why would the building need such a lofty glass ceiling and enormous archways? Can you imagine where the trains might have gone? Surely we'll look at images of the station in its heyday before moving on to talk about the shift from station to museum. We might also talk about other museums we've seen, perhaps in our home cities, and imagine what other unconventional spaces could be used to house art collections.
Painting in Nature!
With discussions of trains under our belts, we'll move on to the art itself. We may start with works from the Barbizon school, considered a precursor to Impressionism. Barbizon painters worked almost exclusively outdoors, en plein air, and tried to paint their surroundings in as realistic a way possible. Have you ever taken a sketchpad outside to draw? How is it different than drawing a subject, inside, from memory? Would the colors of your drawing change depending on the time of day and the position of the sun?
Moving on from the Barbizon, we may look at Realism, particularly works by Courbet and Daumier. These artists and their contemporaries liked to paint the people they saw in the every day—doing their shopping, or playing chess—rather than stiff, idealistic portraits of people like Kings and Queens. Sometimes their paintings and drawings were humorous and even satirical, while at other times they were simple reflections of human activity. Looking at these works together, we'll turn the question to you: If you had to draw or paint in a Realist manner, what would you want to draw?
At the heart of our walk, we'll take in the work of the Impressionists. These artists—some of the most famous of which are Claude Monet (whose house and garden we visit on our Giverny Tour), Edgar Degas, and Édouard Manet—rejected formal artistic rules. Like the Barbizon and Realist painters, they preferred subjects drawn from modern life. Can you detect any differences between the Impressionist works and the Realist works we just saw? One clarifying difference is in the brush strokes—in the Impressionist works, they are visible, short, and thick—almost texturized. Can you imagine what an Impressionist painting might feel like to touch? This was revolutionary at the time, and many of these artists were ridiculed by the press and art collectors for being too avant-garde with their ideas.
"[Our docent] made the tour valuable and fun for both adults and children. He keyed into each of my children's different interests and worked with us in a pleasant and informative way. We felt that we came away from our tour with a much deeper knowledge of art and history. We would highly recommend . . ."
As our time together comes to a close, perhaps after a brief look at some of the Post-Impressionist works in the museum, like Pointillism (can you imagine the time it might take to paint a large-scale canvas with tiny little dots?), we'll emerge with a better understanding of how to look at art, and perhaps also the ability to see the evolution of these nineteenth-century movements. Our Musée d'Orsay for Families tour is the perfect complement to our Louvre for Kids Tour, which looks at art from Antiquities until the early nineteenth-century.
Please let us know in advance of the tour if you or your children have special interests you would like addressed.
In addition to our family program tours, we may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
Known as the City of Love and Light, Paris is likewise the City of Style. Nearly synonymous with fashion, luxury, and haute couture, Paris boasts a long list of fashion history's most iconic designers. From Worth and Poiret, to Vuitton, Chanel and Dior, these fashion visionaries turned the city into a haven for designers and trendsetters alike. On our three-hour Paris fashion tour in the company of a historian, we will weave a narrative through Parisian fashion history, from our discussion of the late 18th-century notion shops in covered passageways, the rise of the grands magasins, and the 20th-century designers who revolutionized the way we dress.
- Learn about fashion history in the world's fashion capital.
- Paris fashion tour led by a fashion or art historian.
- Small group—maximum 6 people.
Paris Fashion Tour
We will begin at the Palais Royal (also explored on our Gardens of Paris Tour), where we’ll stroll through the covered passages that introduced glass-front shops to the 18th-century. Designed by Louis-Phillipe d'Orléans, Duc de Chartres in 1781, Palais Royal combined shopping, entertainment, and leisure space, becoming an instant sensation with the Parisians.
Previously accustomed to narrow, winding streets, the orderly layout of the complex was revolutionary. Customers who came here to see and be seen were dazzled by various wares, fabrics, cafés, and restaurants and would see many current designs later that night at the theatre, where actors simultaneously portrayed and influenced the style of the day.
Capital of Fashion
We will then move towards the Opéra and the grands magasins created as a result of Baron Haussmann’s 19th-century urban revitalization plan—a critical part of Parisian history explored on our Paris City Planning Tour. Here, we will learn how the most current fashion trends of the Second Empire became accessible to a wider audience.
We’ll pass by the former ateliers of high-end designers such as Charles Frederick Worth and Jacques Doucet, whose luxurious and stylish gowns attracted customers such as Empress Eugénie and other nobility. Worth and Doucet's notoriety even reached the famous actresses and the wealthiest women who visited from all over the world, truly establishing Paris as the capital of fashion.
Passing through the Place Vendôme, now home to high-end jewelers and boutiques, we’ll step into fashion of the 20th-century. Pioneered by Coco Chanel, who installed her studios nearby, we will look at the shift away from the excessive, constrictive designs for women's fashion towards more practical—yet no less stylish—silhouettes. Here, we’ll consider how the Art Déco movement influenced shoppers who flocked to the newest ready-to-wear boutiques along the famous rue Saint-Honoré.
"Our docent was knowledgeable, energetic, and came prepared with great drawings to help us visualize the designs. There was so much historical content—even my husband loved it."
Take Aways on the Champs-Elysées
Emerging onto the Champs-Elysées, we will enter one of the city's most illustrious avenues. Home to many contemporary fashion houses, the Champs-Elysées remains renowned for its extensive, high-end shopping opportunities. Here, we'll finish our time with a better understanding of fashion's evolution in Paris, and in the perfect jumping off point to do some independent shopping.
For those seeking some assistance finding the best boutiques, we suggest our Paris Shopping Tour.
Following the gentle curve of the Seine River, enjoy a 4-hour electric bike tour with a certified guide to discover the sights and monuments of Paris. Designed to familiarize you with the long and rich history of Paris, the cycling route takes you along the banks of the Seine (a UNESCO World Heritage site) as well as down small roads that border it, offering you the most beautiful perspectives of the French capital. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking.
Your Paris bike tour allows you to experience not only the wide path that runs the length of the Seine, but also the surrounding gardens, squares, and other areas where automobile traffic is prohibited. Along the way, your guide has the pleasure of showing you a Parisian's version of Paris as you discover places beloved by the locals.
Set off from the Left Bank and follow the winding river on a cycling journey that spans centuries of history, from Notre-Dame to the Palace of Justice, from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde, and from the Petit Palais and Grand Palais all the way to the Eiffel Tower. Ride past the clutter of the bouquinistes, and take in the neatly manicured gardens nearby. The entire history of Paris is laid out along the Seine.
This tour is by electric bike, which features a small motor so you can rest your legs, if you wish, or pedal like a normal bicycle.
Just outside Paris, the palace of Versailles and its surrounding gardens offer a magical world of historical discovery. Covering almost 1,000 acres, the vast grounds include perfectly landscaped jardins à la française, whimsical fountains, colossal statues, and hidden groves, perfect for young royals to play hide-and-go-seek. Our four-hour Versailles Palace Tour for Kids, led by a family-friendly scholar, explores the many wonders of the château and its world-famous gardens, tying both into the story of their grandiose creator, King Louis XIV of France (hereafter known as the Sun King). Joining history, mythology, symbolism, and architecture, our tour provides children with an age-appropriate introduction to an illustrious time in French history.
- Versailles Palace Tour for Kids led by a scholar trained to work with children.
- Introduces children to the secrets and wonders Versailles.
- Includes the palace with its magnificent Hall of Mirrors.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
- Avoid ticket lines.
A Royal Childhood
Our adventure begins on the short train journey from Paris to the royal estate, during which we will learn about the Sun King. Though we will focus on the estate Louis designed as an adult, by beginning with his childhood we can get a better look at the factors that shaped his future identity as King of France. Louis XIV became King at the very young age of five, in 1638. What's it like to be King before you're ten? Do you have to listen to the adults? It was only as his power was expanding that he began to transform his father's small hunting lodge into the grandest European palace of its era. The gardens, immaculately planned out in conjunction with the castle, are filled with symbolism linked to the Sun King. They would become the immense exterior theater for the court and, in some areas, secret getaway places for the royals.
Looking for the adult version of this tour? See our Versailles Tour.
Why are the gardens so structured? Why are the hedges trimmed just so? Together, we'll learn about the carefully kept palace grounds, learning the stories behind the fountains, statues, and plants. We'll learn how head landscaper André Le Nôtre designed the gardens to reflect Louis XIV's famous Sun King myth. Then, we'll go into "explorer mode," tracking down the secrets of the gardens and taking in the beauty of Le Nôtre's landscaping. On our journey through the gardens, our docent will introduce interactive games geared towards bringing the history of Versailles to life. What was it like to be part of the Sun King's court? Together we might discuss court life, and examine the outside of the palace.
"Our docent made it fun for kids, even bringing them sketch pads and encouraging them to draw their own crest, like those we saw around Versailles for Louis XIV. We loved seeing places that we might not have wandered to on our own. This was an incredible experience for our family."
Versailles Palace Tour for Kids
Finally, we’ll make our way to the interior of the palace, imagining how this immense 2,300 room structure could once have been a small countryside residence. How does it compare to your house? Which room might you take for yourself? While exploring the eternal halls and sumptuous apartments, we’ll picture life within the château, the fashions, the opulent balls, and the passion for art and music.
As our visit together comes to a close, we will leave with an understanding of the role Versailles played in maintaining the Sun King's persona. Additionally, we will know the stories behind various sculptures and landscaping in his manicured gardens. With our adventure at its end, we'll return to Paris or wander through the rest of the grounds with our family, stories of kings and queens floating through our heads.
Miscellaneous Notes About Our Tour
During the summer, there is a special music & fountain show on Saturdays and Sundays. On Tuesdays and Fridays, there is music, but no fountain show. During these days, the bosquets and groves are all open. On the other days of the week (Wednesday, Thursday), and in the winter months, they are not open, nor are the fountains on. Much of the site is closed on Mondays. It is for these reasons that we schedule our tour only on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in high season.
In addition to our family program tours (like our Louvre for Kids Tour), we may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
Paris is far older than one might think: at least twice as old as the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Before 1000 A.D. it was, varyingly, a Gallic settlement, a Roman town, and a Frankish royal capital, visited by such figures as Julius Caesar, Julian the Apostate, and Clovis the Frank. While the Paris we know today is radically different from its roots thanks to 19th-century overhauls by city planner Baron Haussmann (the subject of our Paris City Planning Tour), we will find Roman Paris still lurking just under the surface. Indeed, many of the remains of this early history lie buried under the streets of the modern city—some of which we will discover on this three-hour Ancient Paris tour with an architect, historian, or medievalist.
- Explore the ancient Roman origins of Paris.
- Ancient Paris tour led by an architect, historian, or medievalist.
- Maximum group size of six participants.
Our walk begins where Paris (or better, the Roman city Lutetia) itself did, on the Île de la Cité. Initially Paris' layout was focused on its central river, where many of the vestiges of its early history are clustered. We'll start with a visit to the Crypte Archéologique, where the remains of ancient houses, workshops, and the city's first fortification, dating from the third century, are found. The Crypte also features an opportunity to examine the foundations of its earliest surviving church from the sixth century. Here, we will take time to view an exhibition of recently excavated Roman wall paintings, which tell us much about domestic life in the Roman city.
Following these introductions, we may observe the surviving Roman roads and consider the impact that ancient urban planning has had on Paris to this day. By following the main road of the Roman city toward the south we will arrive at the superb remains of the Roman Baths at the Musée de Cluny (for more ancient Parisian treasures, see our Cluny Museum Tour).
Our visit will concentrate on the structure, function, and history of this huge edifice. We will examine the display of Roman statues and sculpted monuments with their Latin and Celtic inscriptions, which allow us a glimpse into the religious and civic life of the city's inhabitants. From the Baths, we will continue to Les Arènes de Lutèce (Arena of Lutetia), the Roman amphitheater. Here, we will examine this former site of gladiator and mock-sea battles, learning the role of violent entertainment in the city's early history.
Transitioning to the Middle Ages
Leaving the arena, we will transition to the medieval period. We may reach the Mountain of St Geneviève to acquaint ourselves with the legend of this fifth-century saint and the first abbey, built in her honor by Clovis. Known as the patron saint of Paris, we might uncover her unique story before descending from the mountain through the Latin Quarter. Following one of the original Roman roads, we may walk past a fragment of the twelfth-century fortifications of Philippe Auguste and the site of another early abbey. Here, we may note the city's layout, as well as the connection between the many abbeys and churches and architectural innovations.
"Our docent was so knowledgeable and was able not only to show us some extremely interesting exhibits and examples relating to the Roman and pre-Roman era in Paris, but also tied everything to other eras in the city's history, even up to today. We learned an enormous amount about the evolution of this great city, and its contours. [She] clearly loves this subject, and that was obvious throughout the tour."
Weaving a narrative from the various facets of the city's early history, our docent will help us to uncover the foundations of Paris' unique identity. As our walk comes to a close, we will reflect upon the city's transition from small village to Roman city to French capital. Together we will conclude our dialogue with an overview of the city around 1200 A.D., come away with an understanding of the basics of its urban planning. We hope that this will serve as a jumping-off point from which you can continue to explore further remains from this early period.
Your Paris bike tour starts at a location near the Arc de Triomphe. Meet your guide and set off on your group or private tour, depending on option selected when booking.
Following your guide, pedal through the city to hidden squares, staircases, and alleyways that look like something right out of a romantic movie. Soak up Paris' ambience and 2,000-year-old history as you listen to narration from your guide, and stop for a break to enjoy a coffee or drink (own expense). The places visited are a secret, but you can expect to lose yourself in the charm of Paris. You'll also receive tips from your guide about other places to visit during your stay.
Your tour ends when you return to the departure point.
The "Latin Quarter + Le Marais Bike Tour is a truly local experience. It's for those who want to get to know Paris' hidden charms and see what makes it so captivating to the locals.
Created by Parisian born guides this tour stays away from the superficial and shows
you where Paris really shines!
The "Latin Quarter + Le Marais Bike Tour is a truly local experience. It's for those who want to get to know Paris' hidden charms and see what makes it so captivating to the locals.
Focusing on the quaint Latin Quarter and Le Marais neighborhoods, this bike tour stays away from all of the big monuments and dives deeper into what makes Paris so unique. You'll discover hidden courtyards, ancient Roman ruins, and experience the Paris that other tourists only dream about finding.
FYI: During this tour we take a snack break in a traditional Parisian neighborhood (food not included in tour price)
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR :- Street Art
- Worlds oldest café
- Shakespeare & Co Bookstore
- Da Vinci Code Church
- The Pantheon
- Roman arena
- Ancient city wall of Paris
- Mouffetard village
- Place des Vosges
Home to Europe's largest collection of 20th-century art, Centre Pompidou is one of the most-visited museums in the world. On our 2-hour Pompidou Center tour, our docent will peel back the layers of this contemporary pilgrimage site. Illuminating the message behind its unique architectural design, the Parisian avant-garde, and the countless 20th-century masterpieces that make up the museum's permanent collection, we will clarify the dialogue between the art and the cultural events that contributed to its evolution. Perfect for both the art history aficionado and the novice alike, our walk will bring the Centre Pompidou and its stunning highlights to life.
- Highlights the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou—discover modern works by Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and more.
- Pompidou Center tour led by an art historian or artist.
- Avoid ticket lines.
An Innovative Design
We will start at the Place Georges Pompidou, with a brief discussion of the notorious building. Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers turned the typical design of a museum structure on its head. The museum's guts—the elevators, water ducts, air pipes—are made visible, as if the structure had been turned inside-out. These functional aspects can be seen clearly from the exterior of the building and identified by their bold, color-coded paint: blue for air, green for water, red for elevators, yellow for electricity, gray for corridors, and white for the building itself. This immense complex houses not only Paris' impressive collection of 20th-century art, but also a free public library, bookstore, cinema, and a modern, gourmet restaurant with a panoramic view from the building's 6th floor.
Introducing the Avant-Garde
Entering the museum, we will ride one of the exterior escalators to the permanent collection, housed in the building's top two floors. Here, we will begin by exploring the cubist canvases of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Their distinct style ignited curiosity, and subsequently launched the wave of avant-garde movements of the 20th century. We will also consider the oeuvres by Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, and Piet Mondrian, all of whom reacted to and developed from the Cubist movement.
Dada & the Surreal
Moving on from Cubism, we will look at Francis Picabia. As the primary example of the Parisian strain of the international Dada movement, we'll see how this work transitioned into Surrealism, which is amply represented throughout Centre Pompidou's collection. Finally, we will return to Picasso, who was a fellow follower of the Surrealists in the 1930s, to see how his point of view evolved over time.
"Our docent expertly wove together the historical influences of the various movements in a memorable manner. She didn’t just explain the art, but made it come to life!"
We will conclude with a brief examination of some postwar trends and a look at some of the more recent works. Offering us the opportunity to question the avant-garde's contemporary legacy, these contemporary pieces will highlight the importance of Modernism—examined from a different perspective on our Modernist Paris Architecture Tour—in context. Together, we'll come away with an understanding of the evolution of 20th-century art and some of the factors contributing to these movements' intrinsic artistic value.
Many believe Louis XIV (known as the Sun King), completely abandoned Paris for his pet-project Versailles, thus having little impact on the capital. However, during his 72-year reign—the longest in French history—the Sun King did indeed impose his distinct mark on Paris' art and architecture. Even today, after centuries of modernization and reworking of the city's urban planning, the city still bears Louis XIV's imprint, with colossal structures and squares like Le Louvre and Place Vendôme. On this three-hour Baroque Paris Architecture tour led by an architect or art historian, we will explore his influence and paint a comprehensive picture of the Paris of the Sun King.
- See Paris through eyes of Louis XIV.
- Unveil the Sun King myth, and how this impacted his contributions to Paris' cityscape.
- Small groups—no more than six people on a walk.
Power and Prestige
We will begin at the Louvre, considering its impressive façade and fascinating history. First built as a fortified castle at the end of the 12th century, the Louvre was later converted into a royal residence for the French kings, and altered slightly to suit the luxurious tastes of each incumbent monarch (for more on this story, see our Louvre Architecture Tour).
Historically, France's kings preferred living outside the city limits—in Loire Valley castles or the protective fortress of Château de Vincennes to the east of the city. Louis XIV's Minister for the Arts, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, saw the remodeling of the Louvre as a way to reassert the monarchy's presence in the capital. From this came the great Colonnade. An affirmation of the Sun King's newly acquired power, this wing of the Louvre became a powerful example of neoclassical architecture, and a future reference for many of France's architects, including Garnier and Soufflot.
To learn about the art contained inside the Louvre, we suggest our Crash Course Louvre Tour.
Passing by I.M. Pei's 1989 glass pyramid—a topic on our Paris Contemporary Architecture Tour—and Napoleon I's 1806 triumphal arch, we'll stop in the Tuileries gardens. A trademark layout of André Le Nôtre, Louis' royal landscape architect, the Tuileries are a prime example of the classic "French garden." This was a concept created largely by Le Nôtre, placing importance on the manipulation of space, rather than horticulture. With the aim of projecting an impression of power, majesty, and prestige, Le Nôtre's designs found favor with Louis XIV. He later went on to design the magnificent gardens of the Sun King's new palace, Versailles (for more, see our Versailles Garden Tour.
"Our docent really engaged us in the history of Louis XIV's reign and brought some visuals for us to help us understand some of the architecture. I could tell that she was confident in her knowledge of the topics and that was very reassuring and special. It felt like we were on a private walk with a world-renowned art historian. Very well done!"
Homage to the King
We'll continue on to the Place Vendôme, originally named "Place Louis Le Grand." Designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, one of the main architects of Versailles, the square was planned as a lavish homage to the King's victories in battle. A large statue of the Sun King on horseback once dominated the Place where the Vendôme column stands today.
The first of the city's "royal squares," designed solely to surround a royal statue, the Vendôme became an important model for the many squares that followed in the 17th- and 18th-centuries. With its favorable location just behind the rue Saint-Honoré, the Place Vendôme later gained popularity in the city's fashion industry (further explored on our Paris Fashion Tour), also becoming home to upscale Parisian jewelers and the luxe Ritz Hotel.
After passing through the 18th-century Place de la Concorde, modeled after the Place Vendôme, we'll hop on the métro for a quick ride to the Invalides. First built by Louis XIV as a hospital and accommodation for the wounded veterans who fought in his many foreign campaigns, Invalides imposed a strict schedule on its residents. The building was later refashioned at the talented hands of Jules Mansart and is still home to those wounded in battle. The building's golden-domed majesty was rumored to have been initially intended as the Sun King's final resting place, but was later appropriated by another "royal," becoming the site of Napoleon's tomb in 1840.
By the end of our time together, we'll have greater knowledge of the impact this historic King had throughout the magnificent cityscape of Paris, ranging from sprawling gardens, to public squares, to magnificent baroque structures.
For a look at a different era of architecture, see our Modernist Paris Architecture Tour.
Not the least bit strenuous, the bike tour is relaxing, energizing and fun. Stopping every few hundred yards for information and photo opportunities, the tour provides heaps of useful information, unique and fascinating stories, the opportunity to meet other travelers, and fantastic photo opportunities.
The bikes are comfortable and you'll receive superb personal service from your guide. During the day there is a break at a cafe nestled in the trees of the Tuileries Gardens. For a very reasonable price, you can enjoy a mouth-watering strawberry crepe, a delicious chicken sandwich on baguette bread, or creme brulee.
Sights on the Paris Bike Tour include:
- Eiffel Tower - The most famous landmark in Paris. Built for the World Exposition of 1889. It stood as the tallest building in the world until New York's Chrysler Building in 1930.
- The Louvre Museum - Originally built as a fort by King Philippe-Auguste in 1190. Now one of the grandest museums in the world. The most famous works include the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
- Napoleon's Tomb and Les Invalides - This is where you can find the most famous Frenchman of all - Napoleon. In 1789 French citizens stole tens of thousands of muskets from here to use in the raid on the Bastille. The Revolution had begun!
- Ecole Militaire - Literally translating to "military school" in English. Napoleon studied here and his discharge papers stated that he "could go far if the circumstances are right."
You will also see the Arc de Triomphe, the Rodin Museum, Place de la Concorde, the Orsay Museum, Assembly Nationale, the Alexander III Bridge, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, La Madeleine, UNESCO, the Champs-Elysees, the Tuileries Gardens and much more that you can only see with the freedom of bicycles!
This Evening Bike + Boat Tour takes you to the best lit monuments in Paris and then on a 1hr Seine River Cruise, to share the most beautiful views of the "City of Lights"!
Among other things you'll discover the wonders of the Louvre's great glass pyramid, the deluxe of the Champs-Elysées, and marvel at the Eiffel Tower's illuminations as it twinkles at night!
Then boarding the boat you'll cruise under enchanting bridges such as the gilded Pont Alexandre III and the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf. All the while your guide will share fun facts and local insights into Paris.
FYI: During certain months the sun does not set until quite late, so this tour can end up taking place partially in the day light.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR :
- The Eiffel Tower
- Crepes & Ice Creams
- The Louvre
- Notre Dame
- Pont Alexandre III
- Boat Cruise along the Seine River (1hr)
The first decades of the 20th-century saw Paris become the epicenter of experimentation in art, architecture, and design. In architecture, in particular, cultural dissonance between the past and new realities emerged in the architectural designs of Le Corbusier and Robert Mallet-Stevens, among others. During this 3-hour Paris architecture tour we'll join a practicing architect or architectural historian, to explore the aesthetics of the Modernist movement. This tour will take place in the city's 16th arrondissement and include aspects of Art Nouveau and Art Décomovements, as well as the Villa La Roche & Maison Jeanneret by Le Corbusier.
- Explore shining examples of Modernist architecture in Paris.
- Visit Villa La Roche & Maison Jeanneret by Le Corbusier
- Explore Art Nouveau and Art Deco
- Led by an architect or art historian
Paris Architecture Tour
Known for its affluent residents and iconic landmarks like Palais Galliera, it's easy to overlook the 16th arrondissement's third draw: its Modernist architecture. This quiet neighborhood is home to the city's unusually rich collection of works designed by the top architects of this period. Our tour will begin at the Palais de Chaillot, taking in the scope of Carlu, Boileau, and Azéma's joint vision. This sleek, late 1930s, modernist reimagining of the original Trocadero Palace, initially built for the 1878 World's Fair, opens our conversation and allows us to define Modernism in contrast to the popular Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, and Art Déco.
"The concept was novel. We often visit Paris, but we were unaware of its rich collection of modernist architecture! It was thrilling to see Hector Guimard's work and Le Corbusier's 'workshop.' It was as if we were seeing Paris for the first time."
Moving on from this initial large-scale example, we'll continue our exploration by revealing its foundations in Art Nouveau. Here, we will take note of a series of buildings designed by architect Hector Guimard, as well as his famous Paris métro signs, whose lingering presence have contributed to shaping the city's aesthetic. These works will give us a sense of the early triumphs of the period, and reveal the distinct departure from the revival style popular in the 19th-century.
Le Corbusier & Mallet-Stevens
Following our examination of Guimard's contributions, we will work our way to the Villa La Roche & Maison Jeanneret, which were designed by Le Corbusier and now form the home of the Fondation Le Corbusier. Here, we will discuss the architect's profound influence on Parisian architecture, as well as European and American Modernism. We may discuss his proposed contributions to city planning, which he called Ville Contemporaine, or his controversial Plan Voisin, which suggested replacing much of central Paris with modern skyscrapers.
Complementing Le Corbusier's modern vision, we will continue on to view several structures designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens in the mid 1920s on the street to which he gave his name. Striking for their streamlined, boxy design, these buildings stood out from the rest of the city's heavily Haussmannian aesthetic. (To learn more about Baron von Haussmann and the re-making of Paris in the 19th century try our Paris City Planning Tour.
As our walk comes to a close, we'll reflect upon the hidden structures we've uncovered and come away with an understanding of how these designs set the stage for contemporary architecture.
Note, many clients often pair this tour with one of our modern art walks such as our Pompidou Center Tour.
Of all the revolutions that have rocked Paris, none so completely changed the face of the city than the architectural revolution directed by city prefect Baron Haussmann. In a major feat of urban planning, Haussmann restructured entire neighborhoods, creating many wide avenues in the place of narrow, twisting streets. On this 3-hour Paris city planning tour led by an architectural historian, we'll explore Haussmann's Paris, examine the great changes that took place during his lifetime, and explain why Paris looks the way it does.
- See Paris through eyes of an architectural or cultural historian.
- Discover how Haussmann transformed Paris and his impact on the modern city.
- Paris city planning tour visits the Paris Opera and Grand Boulevards
- Small group—never more than 6.
Paris City Planning Tour
We begin our discussion at the Palais Royal, which was constructed in 1781 by Louis-Phillipe d'Orléans, Duc de Chartres, as the city's first purpose-built shopping and leisure complex. That's correct: an 18th century mall. Today a charming oasis of calm, Palais Royal caused a sensation when it opened, revolutionizing shopping in a city whose narrow, congested, medieval streets were a danger to any pedestrian foolish enough to set foot in them. (Note: Visitors who would actually like to shop should take a look at our Paris Shopping Tour.)
"The experience was not only educational, but fun. By the end of the walk, Paris was 'ours,' too—an incomparable gift!"
Palais Royal was also the site of the city's first covered passage, or shopping arcade. This launched a vogue that would sweep the post-Revolutionary city, with over fifty arcades built between 1790 and 1850. We will wander some of the surviving passages not destroyed by Haussmann, and which later became a source of nostalgia for those yearning for a pre-Haussmannian Paris (for those interested, Walter Benjamin's 20th century encyclopedic Arcades Project dedicates over 1000 pages to the topic).
From here, we'll emerge into modern Paris, stepping out onto one of the wide, straight-as-an-arrow "grands boulevards" created during the Second Empire (late 1800s) by Napoleon III and his prefect, Baron Haussmann. While the scale of these changes was unprecedented—huge tracts of the old city disappeared overnight—the ideas they implemented were not new.
We'll discuss how Haussmann's boulevards were modeled on those created by Louis XIV in the 17th century, and how the rise of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century led to Napoleon III's radical rebuilding of Paris. As we stroll, we'll consider the role of these streets as the hub of fashionable Parisian life in the 19th century, providing a backdrop for novelty shopping, theaters, and all variety of entertainment, as well as being a popular route for promenades.
Moving on, we'll find ourselves in front of what is perhaps the most iconic example of Second Empire urbanism, the Opéra Garnier. Completed in 1875, the Opéra is the jewel in the crown of Parisian Beaux Arts architecture. We will explore the exterior of the building in detail, placing it in context of the architectural movements of the day.
Depending on time and interest, our walk may also include a visit to one of the late 19th century department stores, Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, or even the Société Generale bank building to explore art-nouveau glass domes, completing Haussmann's vision of Paris as a city of luxury consumption and high finance.
For those interested in modern Parisian architecture, we suggest our Modernist Paris Architecture Tour.
After a short train ride from Paris, your Versailles bike tour starts as you collect the bikes with your guide next to the train station.
Following your guide, ride through the town of Versailles, stopping at the historic food market to buy picnic supplies for lunch (own expense). Then pedal into the royal grounds of the Palace of Versailles, hearing about its history and entertaining anecdotes from your guide. Cruise through the French gardenssome of the most stunning in the worldand make your way to a picnic spot along the Grand Canal, with a view of the palace in the background.
After lunch, visit the rarely seen Queen's hamlet, Marie Antoinette's self-designed village in the forests of Versailles. Your guide then leads you back into town, where you have free time to explore the interior of the palace on your own before returning to Paris on the train.
Ask any Parisian whether they prefer Rive Droite or Rive Gauche and you're sure to get an earful. While each side of the Seine has its unique charms, taking a stroll around neighborhoods on both can impart a deeper knowledge of the city's history as a whole. On this Paris sightseeing experience, in the company of a local scholar, we will get an insider orientation tour of each bank's origins, note significant architectural landmarks, and weave together relevant highlights from the city's inception to its present day as a modern capital.
- Discover the rich history of Paris' Right and Left Banks.
- A great orientation tour for first-time visitors to Paris.
- Paris sightseeing in small groups—maximum six participants.
Marvel at the Rive Gauche
We will begin our orientation to the City of Light on the Rive Gauche, Paris' Left Bank. Its weaving cobblestone lanes, medieval churches, and Bohemian connections give the Left Bank its lingering flair. Once the city's religious center, the Left Bank plays host to a number of churches—notably Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Saint-Séverin, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. We'll use these churches as vehicles to introduce the Left Bank's religious identity, before it transitioned into the lively student-centric neighborhood which gave it its alias: The Latin Quarter. The 12th century brought the intellectuals to the Left Bank, and they took up residence here, arguably, until the 1960s. Known for academia, and later as a playground for the Lost Generation and the existentially inclined, this side of the Seine remains steeped in its former intellectual sparkle. Here, we even may note the juxtaposition between the modern decadence of Saint-Germain in contrast with its humble origins. Weaving through the tangle of back streets, we may pass the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Pantheon, or a few of the cafés immortalized in 20th century literature.
Paris Sightseeing on the Rive Droite
Crossing the Pont des Arts, we'll immediately note the grand architectural planning that characterizes the Right Bank. Marked by direct influence of centuries of French leaders, and Baron Haussmann's 19th century urban planning, Paris' Right Bank, Rive Droite, en français, is now known as the city's more hip, international side. The grand columns and ornate decorations that characterize the architecture of Louvre once symbolized the presence of the French kings in the capital city. We'll briefly discuss its evolving nature as we cross the bridge, and head to the orderly courtyard of the Palais Royal. Entering this manicured Parisian park, we'll discuss an overview of the city's evolution from the Middle Ages to the events of the 1789 French Revolution, some of which are tied to this seemingly innocuous haven from the pulse of the streets beyond. Exiting the graceful, treelined park, we'll head towards Les Halles. Once a bustling—and notorious— covered market, this area still carries traces of its former identity in its specialty shops. While this area of the city was redeveloped in the 1960s, Les Halles remains a hub of activity. As we stroll the neighborhoods around this part of the city, we may glimpse the striking modern design of the Centre Pompidou or Église Saint Eustache.
Take Aways from our Orientation Tour
As we return to the banks of the Seine, we'll find ourselves in Place du Châtelet, a central square which has evolved into a variety of incarnations over time, yet remains an important focal point on the right bank. Here, we will discuss the differences and similarities between both sides of the Seine, and how these separate halves bring different aspects of this dynamic city together as a whole.
First-time visitors may also find useful our practical orientation to the city, Welcome To Paris, during which we answer questions about navigating the city's transport system, point out the best and most typical local establishments, and offer a basic language lesson, among other things.
The Louvre Museum, once an immense medieval fortress and royal palace, now houses the most-visited collection of artworks in the world. On this Louvre tour we'll join an art historian from a local university to dive into this vast collection, carefully selecting key works—a mixture of masterpieces and unknown treasures—to craft a narrative of kings, emperors, and the accomplished artists who served them. One of our most popular tours in Paris, our Crash Course Louvre tour is appropriate for first-timers and art history devotees alike.
- An insider's view of the Louvre Museum
- Crash course Louvre tour led by an art historian or museum curator.
- Small group of no more than six people.
- Avoid ticket lines.
Louvre Tour - Architecture and Antiquity
Meeting near the museum, we'll begin with a brief introduction to the building's history in the Cour Napoleon, learning about its transformation from medieval fortress to magnificent royal palace over the course of five centuries. Entering the museum, we often begin with the Classical Antiquities section. Famous for its stunning collection of Egyptian artifacts, we may see the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, as well as many items illustrating religion and every day life in Egypt from the farmers to the Pharaohs. We'll continue our appreciation of the Louvre's classical collection with its awe-inspiring Greek and Roman sculptures, including the iconic Venus de Milo and Nike of Samothrace.
Italian and French Masterworks in the Louvre Museum
Depending on the interests of the group, we will then move on to what, for many, is the heart of the Louvre: the Denon Wing's grand galleries of Italian painting. Here, we will encounter some of the greatest works of art in the western world, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Veronese—and, of course, the Mona Lisa. Our docent will curate our visit, selecting a mixture of famous and lesser-known works, crafting a narrative around our interests and questions. For example, we may trace the evolution of perspective from the late medieval to the Baroque period, or discuss issues of power and politics as expressed by court painters.
Equally important to the Louvre's collections are the French Master paintings, which occupy the adjoining series of rooms. Through the eyes of our docent, we will learn about the late 18th and early 19th century rival art movements of Neoclassicism, led by Jacques-Louis David, and Romanticism, spearheaded by Théodore Gericault and Eugène Delacroix. Noting their differences, we form an understanding of their role in the evolution of art. These large format paintings bring our visit full circle to the final periods of the museum's collection.
“So knowledgeable, and enthusiastic! [Our docent was] tons of fun to be with. He had so much insight into the works [and] made the museum come alive!”
We pre-purchase Louvre tickets for any visitors over 18, which allow you to skip the long ticket lines at the museum. These will be added to your cart when you check out, unless you remove them when booking. Your docent will have these with him/her on the day of the walk. Please let us know if anyone in your party has a Paris Museum Pass and we will adjust your order accordingly. If you notify us after we've charged your order that you're purchasing Museum Passes and won't need us to supply tickets, we will only be able to refund you 85% of the ticket price.
Interested in specializing your visit? We can also arrange private visits with a precise focus:
- Louvre Antiquities Tour
- Louvre Dutch and Flemish Tour
- Louvre French Masters Tour
- Louvre Architecture Tour
- Louvre Italian Masters Tour
Traveling to Paris with children? You may enjoy our Louvre for Kids Tour.
Where can I find the best croissant in my neighborhood? How do I navigate the métro? Can I go shopping on a Sunday?As accessible as international travel has become, it can still be daunting to arrive in an unfamiliar city with unanswered questions. Our personalized Welcome to Paris orientation tour, guided by a Context scholar, is an ideal option for first-time visitors seeking an introduction to and advice on highlights and places to visit in Paris. Designed to answer practical questions about living and staying in the City of Light, this 2-hour experience with a local will help you navigate public transportation, understand local customs, and acquire a few French phrases to help you along the way.
- Gain an understanding of the layout of the city, its major transportation options and some suggestions of must-see destinations in this magnificent city.
- Welcome to Paris tour customizable to your interests and travel itinerary.
- A unique opportunity to have a local expert's advice on the best of Paris.
- Private group.
Bienvenue à Paris (Welcome to Paris)
We’ll begin our experience in your hotel lobby or apartment where our docent, a resident of and expert on Paris, will explain the layout of the city and the area where you are staying. Looking at a map, we'll pinpoint your closest transportation options, from the métro to the bus system. We’ll then offer tips on local customs, a basic language lesson, suggestions for dining, shopping, insider events, and concerts, before opening the floor to any specific questions. If you have additional walks booked with us (like our Crash Course Louvre Tour—our most popular tour in Paris), we will examine your itinerary together and go over any last-minute questions.
We will then head outside for a stroll, allowing for a discussion of your area’s history and an opportunity to absorb the neighborhood ambiance under the guidance of a seasoned local. We’ll stop occasionally to talk about historic buildings and monuments, or maybe to go over how the métro or Vélib bikes work.
We’ll point out the best markets, cafes, or the boulangerie where the best baguette in the area can be found (pssst: take our Paris food tour to go in depth on baguettes and other French delicacies). We’ll leave you with maps, a head full of knowledge, and a better sense of how best to navigate this charming city. While our docent will provide a crash course on the basics, bringing your own questions and interests to the table can help us personalize the experience and help you get the most out of your visit to Paris.
"Our docent spent the right amount of time with us at our hotel learning what we already knew about Paris, our area, and what we wanted from this most recent trip. With her guidance, we used the metro and the bus system and loved it. She also recommended several smaller museums, which proved to be outstanding."
Please provide your hotel name or exact apartment address (any entrance codes, the floor, etc) in the Notes box during checkout so that we can arrange for our docent to meet you directly at your lodging. In order to help us prepare the experience, please also share your interests and any specific questions about Paris. This will enable us to fully personalize the experience to speak to your needs.
Experience the beautiful region of Champagne on an easy day trip from Paris. After a short train ride from Paris to Epernay, you will spend the day cruising though charming vineyards, ancient villages, and the stunning Champagne countryside. After collecting your electric bike in Epernay, you will have time to buy your picnic supplies at a local bakery to be eaten later on the tour. After that, you will cycle through the vineyards, as you hear all the history and fun stories. You will then visit a small, family-run Champagne producer to tour their amazing cellars, discover how they make their artisan Champagne, and have an interactive tasting. Next you'll head to Hautvillers, the village where Dom Perignon lived and 'invented' Champagne. Enjoy a picnic overlooking the beautiful vineyards and after lunch, you will ride along the Marne River on your way back to Epernay. To finish the day and before taking the train back to Paris, you will tour the famous 18km cellars of Mercier, one of the largest Champagne houses in the region.
The Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, the crown jewel of Gothic art and architecture, is located in the picturesque French countryside, just over an hour from Paris by train. Known for its exquisite stained glass, labyrinth floor plan, and extensive exterior carvings, Notre-Dame de Chartres remains an exemplary physical textbook on the Gothic style. On this four-hour Chartres tour, a day trip from Paris led by a medievalist or art historian, we'll use the cathedral as a conduit for exploring not only Gothic architecture, sculpture, and stained glass, but also Medieval religious, secular, and intellectual life as it relates to the cathedral.
- Explore a stunning Gothic cathedral.
- Chartres tour led by a medievalist.
- Small group size—six participants maximum.
Starting from the Montparnasse train station in Paris, we'll meet our docent and board the train for our short journey to Chartres. On the train, our docent will recount the cathedral's riveting history, equipping us with the historical context necessary to appreciate the intricacies of the cathedral's Gothic charms. Home to the Sancta Camisa, a tunic believed to have been worn by the Virgin Mary at the birth of Christ, Chartres has a long history of receiving religious pilgrims. Suffering a series of fires, this site has had at least five different incarnations of the cathedral over the centuries. Indeed, in a dazzling display of architectural unity, the bulk of Chartres Cathedral was rebuilt after the crippling fire of 1194, from which the precious relic of the Virgin's tunic miraculously survived. Less than 30 years later, most of the present-day cathedral was complete.
Arriving at the cathedral, we will begin by examining at the exterior. Each of the three heavily decorated entrances (west, north, and south) are comprised of three doorways, showing the stylistic transition from Early to High Gothic through their jamb and tympanum sculptures. The sculpted voussoirs, which display figures such as Aristotle, Euclid, and Pythagoras, are testaments to the presence of the prestigious Cathedral School of Chartres, the most famous school in the West during the twelfth-century Renaissance.
After getting a deeper appreciation of the exterior, we will enter the cathedral. Here, we will see more original thirteenth-century stained glass than anywhere else in France. In addition to the fascinating narratives about Biblical figures and saints, many of the lower panels of the windows depict different tradesmen: wine-makers, shoe-makers, furriers, butchers, bakers. This is particularly fascinating regardless of their (often varied) interpretations, as they give us a wonderful glimpse into medieval daily life beyond the church.
"Our docent's enthusiasm for the wonders of Chartres was infectious. She pointed out aspects of the windows, stone carvings, and architecture that I would never have noticed on my own. The cathedral is quite overwhelming, but she wove it all into a coherent narrative."
Exiting the cathedral, we will reflect upon the cathedral's role in both medieval and secular life during the Middle Ages. As our walk comes to a close, we will depart with an understanding of the Gothic style. With our newfound awareness of the characteristics that make up this notable architectural style, from rose-window stained glass to the flying buttresses and their ingenious arches. While our half-day tour ends with the guided visit of the cathedral, we encourage you to have lunch or spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the charming town and all of its attractions on your own.
This is an excellent excursion to take after our Notre Dame Tour, as it builds on ideas first explored there.
In 1982, French president François Mitterrand undertook an ambitious architectural program in Paris: a series of so-called grands projets that would mark his presidency. With the controversial pyramid of the Louvre at the symbolic center, supporters hailed these works as innovative and invigorating, while detractors claimed utter disregard for the city's historic character.
On this three-hour contemporary Paris architecture tour, we will look not only at the buildings themselves, but also frame them within the context of politics and urban development. In the company of an architect or architectural historian, we will explore the nature of the grand projet, from its historical precedent in royal and imperial building campaigns to its contemporary equivalent within the context of the Grand Paris.
- Visit three controversial architectural projects of President Mitterrand, including the colossal Bibliothèque National.
- Delve into modern and contemporary architecture and town planning.
- Contemporary Paris architecture tour led by an architect or architectural historian.
- Small group size—maximum six participants per walk.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
We'll begin at the end, so to speak, with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Located along the Seine, this complex of International Style skyscrapers framing a subterranean garden offers a good vantage point from which to consider the role of architecture in Paris over the last thirty years. Together, we'll observe the differences between this striking structure and the rest of Paris' skyline.
The subject of an international competition won by Dominique Perrault in 1989, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is a primary example of Mitterrand's vision—creating a collection of avant-garde monuments to move the capital city into the future. Here, we'll spend time discussing the contemporary architecture practice, approaches, and theory in order to set the stage for the other works we'll encounter on our journey.
I.M. Pei's Pyramid
Jumping on the Météor, Paris' most recent metro line, we'll continue our discussion by examining Mitterrand's decision to expand the reach of the métro, as well as its general role in Paris' organization. Exiting the métro, we will emerge at our second stop: the monumental entrance to the Louvre (the architectural history of which we delve into on our Louvre Architecture Tour), by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei.
Designed and executed in the mid 1980s, we'll discuss how the now-iconic pyramid was received, and the theory behind its compelling design. Together, we'll work our way through the building's glass façade in order to understand how the pyramid works—and doesn't work—from an architectural perspective. We'll also break down the controversies that both threatened and eventually strengthened Mitterrand's position and his "presidential" public works program.
Characterized by abstract forms and experimentations with transparency, many post-WWII public commissions in Paris introduced a dose of modernity to the city's heavily Haussmannian landscape. We'll conclude with a visit to the exterior of the Musée du Quai Branly or the Centre Pompidou (art fans, see our Pompidou Center Tour), sites that allow us to put Mitterrand's interventions into perspective considering the contributions of other 20th and 21st century French presidents. Here, we'll take an insider's approach, discussing the work of the architects and their patrons and the legacy of the Grands Projets today.
"Fantastic in every way. We learned so much on the tour. The concept was very interesting and we wished we could have spent even more time with our docent discussing other presidential projects and architecture. Having the Haussmann Paris City Planning Tour before this walk was also very helpful in connecting the dots."
We will come away with a better understanding of the factors that have come into play in the evolution of the Paris cityscape. We will recognize the influence of political pressures in public sector design commissions and planning processes. We will learn to question the role of politicians in shaping urban environments around the globe.
Soaring vaults, flying buttresses, intricate stonework, and shimmering expanses of stained-glass. These iconic characteristics form some of the most striking aspects of the medieval Gothic style, which served as a driving force behind new architectural innovations. From understanding the basic aspects of the pointed arch to the typical Latin cross floor plan, our 3-hour Notre Dame tour will unveil the tenets of this architectural style. Heading to Île de la Cité, the city's central island, we'll encounter the principal masterpieces of Gothic Paris: the famous Notre-Dame cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie—the only remnant of the Medieval palace of the Kings. With these quintessential examples as our visual textbook, we will voyage through the evolution of French Gothic art and architecture with a medievalist or art historian to guide the way.
- Small group of six people max.
- Notre Dame tour led by a medievalist or art historian.
- Includes Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame Tour Paris - Constructing a Legend
Born in 1144 at Saint-Denis just north of Paris (also the subject of our Saint Denis Tour, Gothic became thearchitectural style of Europe for the next four centuries. Fittingly, the Gothic wonder of Paris is—of course—the Cathédral Notre-Dame. Commissioned by Bishop Sully in 1160 with the aim of building the largest church in Europe, Notre-Dame showcases the development of Gothic architecture over its first hundred years. During our visit to this stunning site, our docent will help us unravel the elaborate symbolism of Notre-Dame's sculptural decoration, understand the development of the rose windows, and trace the evolution of the Gothic style. Our visit to the interior will be followed by an exterior tour of the iconic gargoyles and slender flying buttresses that represent the height of medieval engineering.
Sainte Chapelle - Jewel-Box of Stained Glass
We will also visit another Gothic gem of the Île de la Cité: La Sainte Chapelle. With its unified composition of architecture, stained glass, painting, and sculpture, this magnificent chapel still takes your breath away. Built in just three years as the personal chapel of King Louis IX to house the holiest relics of Christianity, it is an impressive example of Rayonnant, or third-generation Gothic. Boasting towering thirteenth-century windows and a stunning fifteenth-century rose window, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the most intact medieval monuments in Europe. Our docent will spend considerable time on St. Chapelle, going over its design and architecture; however, due to strict rules prohibiting group lecturing in the upper part of the chapel, we will do most of our discussion of Sainte-Chapelle from the exterior before immersing ourselves in the interior spaces.
King Louis IX's chapel was but a small portion of the sprawling palace built by the medieval kings at the tip of the Île de la Cité, and we will further explore the vestiges of this former residence at the neighboring Conciergerie. Here, we will focus on the impressive feast hall designed for the royal guard. This hall could hold the palace’s entire 2,000-member staff, and is the largest surviving Gothic hall in Europe. Despite being abandoned as a royal residence after 1357, the Conciergerie went on to play an important role in the history of French justice. Time permitting, we may take a break from the Middle Ages with a brief visit of what was the prison building where Marie Antoinette and countless others were held before being sent to the guillotine (discussed further on our French Revolution Tour Paris).
"Our docent shared insights from her professional background which heightened our appreciation not only for the beauty, but also for the technological achievements of the edifice. She presented everything with a sensitivity regarding the significant religious environment. An incredibly worthwhile tour."
As our time together comes to a close, we will come away from the walk with a clear understanding of the main characteristics of Gothic Architecture and be able to identify them. We will also have a basic sense of the major landmarks of the Île de la Cité, once the epicenter of Medieval Paris. Our newfound knowledge will be enhanced by a familiarity with the role that Notre-Dame, the Sainte-Chapelle, and the Conciergerie played as representatives of religious and secular authority in France's medieval capital.
Known for its long history as the capital of the fashion and its biannual Fashion Week events, Paris is undeniably one of the top shopping destinations in the world. From vintage haute couture to cutting-edge design objects, Louis XV-era antiques to flea markets finds, there is something for everyone. However, with boutiques hidden in plain sight along winding Parisian streets, it can be daunting to decide just where to begin. Our custom Paris shopping tour is led by an industry expert guide, providing a highly personalized experience designed with your shopping interests in mind.
- Private, personalized Paris shopping tour designed around your interests.
- Led by an industry expert who can inspire, offer advice, and interpret.
- Focus can be on fashion, design, or antiques.
Paris Shopping Tour
Depending on your personal expectations, from style to budget, we will lead you through a made-to-measure shopping tour in the city. With intimate knowledge of the city's best clothing stores, stands at the marchés aux puces, and interior design boutiques, our docent will guide you through the experience of acquiring your next statement piece. If you require advice on or assistance with your purchases, your docent will happily lend a hand. We also aim to organize "contextual" walks on shopping in Paris, in which we explore current trends, such as high-design, economical clothing.
"All five of us enjoyed the tour - and we agreed the best part was that we were able to cover a lot of ground efficiently, instead of wandering aimlessly in and out of boutiques."
In order to best design your personalized itinerary, we ask that you use the Notes box to tell us a little bit about yourself, your interests, and any specific focus, shop, or product you want to include on this walk. We may also provide you with a more detailed questionnaire in order to properly prepare. We will then contact you to advise on what is possible and which of our docents we feel will be the best fit for the experience.
Related Custom Offerings
We can sometimes arrange for a behind-the-scenes tour at the atelier of an up-and-coming designer, or other customized experiences. Please contact us for more information.
Start your bike tour in the heart of Paris near Centre Pompidou. You will be provided a quality bike, helmet and waterproof poncho by your experienced guide. Enjoy a leisurely 3-hour ride pass some of the greatest monuments and places of interest in Paris. Take advantage of these photo opportunities with frequent stops. Your guide will provide you with interesting stories and factual information about these landmarks and the city. Sip on a good cup of coffee (own expense) during one of the breaks.
Sites you will see along the way:
Ile de la Cité
Palais de Justice
Pont des Arts
Seine Rive gauche
Musée du Quai Branly
Palais de Chaillot
Alexandre III Bridge
Place de la Concorde
In 1883, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet sought tranquility and nature in Giverny, a sleepy village in Normandy. Over the next 43 years until his death, Monet's artistic development flourished alongside the gardens he cultivated with immense care. In this four-hour Giverny tour, a day trip from Paris, we'll join an art historian for a unique opportunity to discover the connection between the artist's work and his magnificent home and gardens, learning more about the life of the iconic painter in the process.
Note: The Monet Foundation is open April-October.
- Giverny tour led by an art historian.
- Small groups of maximum six people.
- Be transported by the beautiful home and gardens that inspired a great artist.
- Avoid ticket lines.
Monet's career was intimately entwined with the course of the Seine River. Growing up in Le Havre where the river meets the English Channel, Monet then settled at various locations upstream, including Argenteuil and Paris, before finally settling in Giverny. By this time he was beginning to make a name for himself after many years of arduous struggle. Soon the peaceful village was overrun with young artists hoping to meet Monet, or at least to be inspired by the same captivating landscape. It is this history that we will discuss on the short train ride from Paris to Giverny. Once we've arrived, we will open our walk with a visit to Monet's house and gardens, which have been lovingly restored.
Inside, we will wander through Monet's blue-tiled kitchen, bright yellow dining room, and see his vast collection of Japonisme prints throughout. Looking at the artist's personal effects, we will gain a sense of the atmosphere and rhythm of his daily life. Exiting to his extensive gardens, we will explore this important source of inspiration. A careful gardener, Monet tended to his flowers daily. Paying special attention to his lush water garden—complete with an artfully landscaped combination of bamboo, weeping willows, Gingko trees, waterlilies, and a Japanese-style arched bridge—we will see the continuation of his appreciation for the Japonisme aesthetic. Fans of Monet's paintings and garden-lovers alike will be inspired by the changing dominant colors of Monet's gardens from month to month: blue and rose in April, lilac and white in May, rose and mauve in June, rose and red at the beginning of July. Taking in the melange of colors and the air of Monet's carefully constructed creative sphere, we will draw connections between Giverny and his work.
"My first time at Giverny, and what an experience! With all those incredible flowers, our docent's dynamic lecture, and Monet's pond, I couldn't ask for more. This one of the best tours we've had in our travels."
A visit to Giverny offers an insight into this fruitful period of Monet's life when he was able to fully realize his aesthetic ambitions. Splitting his days between painting and caring for his elaborate gardens, Monet's artistic oeuvres and his home at Giverny are intricately intertwined. Although there are no actual canvases in on-site, it can be said that the construction, layout and nurture of his gardens was as much a part of the artist's work as his paintings.
Following the visit, you will have the option either stay on in Giverny independently to visit the Musée des Impressionismes and enjoy lunch in town, or return directly to Paris with your docent. Visitors with an strong interest in Monet might also be interested in our Monet in Paris Tour and our Musée d'Orsay Tour.
History lovers and culture connoisseurs will delight in this eight-day exploration of France’s Norman villages and D-Day and WWII military sites. Stroll through Claude Monet’s evocative garden, marvel at the medieval cities of Bayeux and Rouen, and visit the Paris studio of acclaimed National Geographic photographer and explorer Reza. Cap off the experience with two days in Paris to toast la vie en rose.
IS THIS TOUR FOR ME?
TRAVEL STYLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS
Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.
SERVICE LEVEL: UPGRADED
Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.
PHYSICAL RATING: 2 - LIGHT
Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
TRIP TYPE: SMALL GROUP
Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12.
AGE REQUIREMENT: 12+
All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Arrive at any time.
Depart for Giverny to visit Claude Monet's Garden, inspiration for the artist's water-lily series and named as one of National Geographic's "top 10 most magnificent gardens in the world." Continue on to the pretty port town of Honfleur for a walk with your CEO and some free time. Arrive this evening in Bayeux and enjoy a dinner at a local crêperie.
Breakfast | Dinner
This morning we immerse ourselves in WWII history with a local, accredited expert. Begin with a lecture on the Allied invasion and visit a museum to view and handle WWII relics including vintage weapons, uniforms, and maps. Then board a WWII transport vehicle to visit Secqueville-en-Bessin War Cemetery to learn the significance of poppies, the ultimate emblem of military sacrifice. This afternoon continuing exploring with our CEO, visiting Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American cemetery and memorial.
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives D-Day Historical Experience
Today enjoy an excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel, an island commune off the coast of Normandy. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the medieval fortress is considered one of the most stunning and imposing sites in Europe, with origins dating back to the 6th century. Take an orientation walk with our CEO then enjoy free time to explore. Opt to visit the abbey, monastery, or museums, or wander the winding lanes and cobblestone streets.
Enjoy a free day to explore Bayeux and its medieval centre. Wander its quaint streets to visit shops and cafes and opt to visit the cathedral and the famed Bayeux Tapestry.
Depart for the river port city of Rouen where we take an orientation walk with our CEO and enjoy some free time. Continue back to Paris where we visit the studio of renowned, National Geographic photographer Reza. Enjoy an exclusive behind the scenes tour with one of Reza's assistants to learn about his work in conflict zones around the world and how his stunning photos make it from lens to page. After, enjoy some wine and cheese in this artistic setting; if we are lucky, we may even get to meet Reza.
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives Paris Photography Studio
Enjoy a morning walk with our CEO in the medieval centre of Paris; the Île de la Cité. Opt to visit inside Notre Dame, and the Sainte-Chapelle. Afterward, take advantage of free time to explore the city.
Depart at any time.
BreakfastView full itinerary
- National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: D-Day Historical Experience, Bayeux
- National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Paris Photography Studio, Paris
- Tour of Monet Gardens
- Excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel
- Paris orientation walk
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Hotels (7 nts)
7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Allow USD380-495 for meals not included.
Private vehicle, antique WWII vehicle, walking.
STAFF & EXPERTS
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
For more than four years, most of France—including Paris—existed under the horrifying and unrelenting rule of Nazi Germany. During this 3-hour Paris WWII tour we'll explore life in the occupied French capital. Our course will take us through the city’s Left and Right banks, learning about various individuals key to the Occupation and the complex narrative of the German and French Gestapo. We'll hear the accounts of various inhabitants of the city—from Jewish families to members of the WWII Résistance. We’ll scrutinize major and lesser-known sites, which will help tell the story of the city during this era. Finally, we’ll examine the intense lead up to the eventual liberation by the Allies on August 25th, 1944.
For more on World War II in France, try our D-Day Tour - Day Trip from Paris to Normandy.
- Illuminates the Nazi occupation Paris during WWII.
- Discusses the lives and stories of those affected by the occupation.
- Paris WWII tour led by a historian.
- Small, intimate group experience—never more than 6 on a tour.
Examining the Jewish Experience
We begin our walk in the seemingly calm, residential district of the 7th arrondissement to provide the backdrop for life in Paris just prior to the Nazi invasion. We'll learn the story of a young bourgeois Jewish Parisienne whose private journal offers an important account of life under the Occupation prior to deportation. We will then make our way past the iconic Ecole Militaire to the former site of the Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv, where in 1942, over 13,000 Jewish individuals were rounded up and detained before being sent to concentration camps. Here we'll delve further into discussion about the altered living conditions and the horrific deportations of French Jews—a subject we explore further on our Marais Walking Tour.
"Walking the ground, standing in the exact places to reproduce the portfolio of photos taken 70 years ago by the Nazi occupiers, made this difficult period palpably alive for us. You cannot emerge from this telling without being changed. Yes, this tour would appeal greatly to history buffs and those with a strong social conscience."
Paris WWII Tour
Jumping on the métro, itself a significant player in the occupation experience, we'll travel to the 16th arrondissement, where we'll turn our attention to the complexities of the German military presence in Paris. Among other sites, we'll visit the Hotel Majestic, now the Hotel Peninsula, the German military headquarters at the time. We may discuss the assassination plot against Hitler, partially planned by a German officer stationed at Hotel Majestic. We may also discuss the role of Le Meurice, another Parisian hotel where high ranking German officer Dietrich von Choltitz famously denied Hitler's order to level Paris—to whom Hitler famously asked "Is Paris burning?!" We may discuss the role von Choltitz played in preserving the city's landscape, as well as the ruling forces of the French and German Gestapo.
We will then travel over to the famed Champs Elysées, where we'll examine archival photos of Hitler's grand tour of Paris. We will discuss his tour, which took place during his only visit to Paris, as well as his relationship to the city. Being in this area will also open up the discussion to entertainment during the era, as the Champs Elysées retained many theaters and other venues that were open during the war. Our attention may turn to the roles played, true or alleged, by personalities like Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel (discussed further on our Paris Fashion Tour), and Ernest Hemingway (also the subject of our Paris Literary Tour).
Ending near Place de la Concorde, we will turn our focus to the liberation of Paris and the final four days. Was Paris really burning? We will conclude by discussing the reaction of Jewish survivors upon coming back to Paris, what happened to German collaborators, and how France has coped with this dark period since.
Intrinsic to the Paris' growth and the heart of this cosmopolitan city, the Seine river serves as the the ultimate reference point for the age-old Left Bank and Right Bank distinction. On this 2.5-hour Paris boat tour with a historian, we'll learn about the layout of the city and introduce its highlights from the perspective a Seine cruise. This is a perfect orientation to the city for anyone with reduced mobility, families, or those looking to get a city overview at a relaxed pace.
- Experience the city and its highlights from a unique vantage point: a cruise on the river Seine.
- Great for families and first-time visitors to Paris.
- Paris boat tour with small groups—six people maximum.
Paris Boat Tour
Over 2,000 years ago, Paris was born as a humble fishing village on the banks of the Seine. Throughout the centuries, the city depended on the river for everything from washing and drinking water to trade and transportation. Even the city's municipal coat of arms, dating back to the 12th-century River Merchants' Guild, features a nautical motif.
On Dry Land
Our tour begins on foot on the the Île de la Cité, the oldest part of the city and its geographical center. A small metal plaque, set into the vast cobblestone square in front of Notre Dame (which we visit on our Notre Dame Tour), marks the Point Zéro, identifying the island as the city's historic center. Home to many medieval monuments including the Conciergerie, La Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame Cathedral, this ancient city center eventually grew into the cosmopolitan hotbed of arts and culture we know today. Here, we will explore how the city expanded from this central point onto both sides of the Seine during its existence as Lutetia, a Roman outpost. We will also look at the importance of Notre Dame and talk a little about its place in Parisian history.
On the Seine
After this initial introduction to the City of Light, we will board the Batobus, a municipal boat service that allows us to see some of the city's most beautiful monuments built on the river's edge. Taking in Paris' landscape from the Seine allows us to reflect on the city's historical progression from a bustling Roman city to France's political and cultural epicenter.
One of the first sites we will cruise by is the Musée du Louvre. Once palace of the kings, we engage with the immensity and splendor of this former royal residence, and may touch on the controversial role of royalty in French history. Now a world-class museum boasting masterpieces like Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, as well as lesser known yet stunning artifacts, this structure continues to play a significant role in the city's identity.
Following the bend of the river, we will then begin to pass by the structures built for the Expositions Universelles of 1889 and 1900. These elegant constructions were designed to showcase France's progress, and those that remain serve as architectural snapshots of belle époque design. Built close to the river, these stately buildings span a period of over 50 years, the different styles apparent in such buildings as the Musée d’Orsay, the Grand Palais, the Palais de Tokyo, and the Tour Eiffel, bien sur. During the expositions, visitors commuted between the venues by boat, and following their example, we will see these structures from their intended perspective.
"[Our docent] was bubbling with enthusiasm and appreciation for this beautiful city. He showed us favorite hidden spots and an informed view of the traditional highlights. His energy was contagious and his answers to questions very helpful. This is the perfect way to "meet" a new city!"
An excellent compliment to our other city orientations Left Bank Paris Tour and Right Bank Paris Walking Tour, this walk is accommodating to those looking for a more leisurely pace. As we float along the river, passing under some of the city's 37 unique bridges, and along the lively banks of the Seine you can also use your time with your docent to ask any questions you may have about Paris. This tour should provide a good introduction to Paris and prep for a more in-depth discovery of additional points of interest.
Interested in a tour by private boat? You may enjoy our private Seine River Cruise orientation experience in a luxury yacht.
This 4-hour tour allows you to discover the main attractions and secrets of central Paris from the Centre Pompidou to the Pantheon, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a 90 minutes guided visit of the Louvre museum in the company of a professional guide. This intimate small group tour allows you to access the wonders of the Louvre without waiting in line with our Skip the Line pass.
This combined tour offers the best of both worlds, the chance to visit and learn about the history of iconic landmarks in Paris and also discover the masterpieces of the prestigious Louvre museum all in one. This exclusive tour is designed for a maximum of 6 people, for an intimate and enriching experience accompanied by a knowledgeable, professional guide.
Not only will your guide share with you the stories and secrets of renowned attractions of Paris like the Tuileries Garden, Palais Royal, Ile de la Cité, and Pont des Arts bridge, they will also guide you through the illustrious Louvre museum and explain the history behind famous artworks like Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, and Liberty Leading the People. You wont have to worry about lines with our special Skip-the-Line pass that allows your group direct entry into the museum.
After enjoying these artistic treasures, youll take a ride over to the Left Bank where more anecdotes await you at the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Garden and Saint Germain des Pres. A unique opportunity for lovers of Paris, its art and history, you will finish the tour with a better understanding and appreciation of the City of Lights.
The region of Normandy, a short distance from Paris, is full of engaging, historic sights. Whether you're interested in William the Conquerer or idyllic Honfleur, we can design a private day trip from Paris to Normandy with a historian and car service provider to suit almost any interest.
- Led by a Normandy tour guide
- Create your own excursion, tailored to your specifications
- Private half- and full-day Normandy tours
Normandy Tour Guide
When requesting a custom walk, please provide the following details in the Notes section when adding the walk to your shopping cart:
- How many hours would you like the walk to be?
- What are your main goals for the walk?
- Which sites and museums would you like to prioritize? Do you want to just pass by or explore inside as well?
- Give us one or two words to describe your group.
Some of our most popular full-day itineraries are below.
William the Conqueror
This excursion is focused on William the Conqueror, including a visit to the world famous Bayeux Tapestry. Commissioned by William, the Tapestry tells the great tale of his English invasion of 1066, providing a visual account of this fascinating period. Time permitting, we will also have a look at the Bayeux cathedral, the preserved vestiges of the era of William the Conqueror in the Château de Caen, and the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité.
"Flexible, personalized, and warm—everything was great!"
The quaint port of Honfleur is among the most picturesque on the northern coast of France. Dating back to at least the eleventh century, Honfleur served as a strategic point during the Hundred Years' War. Soon after, it became a key port for explorers, many embarking to explore the New World on behalf of France. In the nineteenth century, it became a favorite destination of Impressionist painters, including Courbet and Monet. Our tour will include the port, the old town center, and its famous wooden church. Time-permitting, we may also visit some of the other historic towns in the region, such as Deauville.
The Abbey of Mont-St-Michel is like none other. Perched on the high rocks of a small island off the coast of Normandy, the Romanesque abbey has survived the centuries thanks to its secure location. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1979, it is impossible not to fall for the charm of Mont-St-Michel’s narrow winding streets and steep stone steps. The monastery has strong links to Norman history, as well as that of William the Conqueror. After touring the village and monastery, we will spend some time along the coastline—the best vantage point to admire this beautiful island.
Please note that from Paris, any of these options must be done as full-day excursions (The Normandy region is at least a two hour journey from Paris). We can do a half-day excursions only for clients staying overnight in Normandy. The price listed in this excursion is a starting price for a party of up to 6 participants for a full-day tour. The price will vary depending on what you would like to do, and if a car service will be needed.
For those interested in the region's WWII history, please see our D-Day Tour, a full-day trip from Paris to Normandy led by a WWII historian focusing on the landing beaches and other relevant sites. We also offer a Paris WWII Tour that explores life in the city during the occupation.
Were the Romans really in Paris? Where are the ancient crumbling columns and statues? Indeed, before the city was ever called Paris, Romans in togas and soldiers of the Roman legion walked its streets. They called their city Lutetia,and at its peak, it was a bustling metropolis of 10,000 inhabitants! It had virtually everything a Roman outpost could have desired, including a governor’s palace, a temple dedicated to Jupiter, a bustling forum, three sets of baths, and theaters. On our 2.5-hour private Ancient Paris for kids tour, we put our archeology hats on, step back in time, and trace the footsteps of the Romans. In the company of a scholar trained in working with children, we will discover the often overlooked ruins of the Roman city which laid the foundations for the sparkling French capital we see today.
- Introduces children to the exciting hidden history of Roman Paris.
- Ancient Paris for kids tour led by a scholar trained to work with children.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
Exploring the Crypte
We will begin with some information on the background of Lutetia, from its beginnings over 2000 years ago to the departure of the Romans in about the year 400 AD. Did you know that Lutetia was the capital city of Roman Gaul? With this introduction in mind, we will then head underground to explore the mysterious Archeological Crypt of Notre Dame. Here we will investigate the remaining Roman vestiges of the Île de la Cité, including part of the Roman port, the wall built to protect the island, the remains of houses, and a set of baths. Can you believe a whole other world is to be found under Paris' must famous church? Emerging from the crypt, we'll take a moment to look around us to observe the Île de la Cité with the eyes of a Roman citizen, imagining the line of our city wall and our busy city port before crossing the bridge explore the rest of our domain on the Left Bank.
Roman Baths and Sea Battles
We'll continue with a short walk up what was once the main road through Lutetia, which will take us to one of the largest baths built by the Romans. Here, we may learn about the structure of a Roman bath house and the Roman social class system. Imagine taking a bath with all of your neighbors! Time permitting, we will pop inside the museum where the site is held to see the cold bath whose walls, ceiling, and pool are still intact.
Continuing up this ancient Roman road, we will visit an enormous Roman amphitheater hidden behind the buildings of modern Paris. Entering it, we will imagine the great spectacles that once took place here. Where did the spectators sit? Which section was the stage? Where did they keep the animals? Together we will explore the amphitheater, and may even hear tales of the large plays, mock hunts, fights with wild beasts, combats between gladiators and even mock sea battles—for which the amphitheater was flooded with water—that took place here. As we explore the site, we'll use the power of our imaginations to place ourselves in the midst of this complex at its heyday.
"Our docent was magnificent! She was very knowledgeable, passionate about the topic, dramatic and attention-grabbing with the children, and she spoke clearly. We would have loved her for all of our tours!"
As we exit the amphitheater, we will continue to the former site of Lutetia's forum. Here, we'll finish by reflecting on the layout of this former Roman city, and connect the puzzle pieces of this great civilization. As a group, we will discuss the layout of Roman Lutetia. As we take our leave, we will depart with an understanding of Paris' Roman roots, and where these remaining relics hide in plain sight.
Our walk should enchant all who love the distant past and enjoy imagining the ghostly figures and voices of those past civilizations. Kids who want to learn more about history would also like our Louvre for Kids Tour or Versailles for Kids Tour.
In addition to our family program tours, we may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
Once home to the crème de la crème of the French aristocracy, the Marais is full of hidden mansions waiting to be discovered. This charismatic neighborhood has undergone several dramatic transformations, but its architectural identity is perhaps most defined by these numerous private residences. Noting impressive façades and entering often overlooked courtyards, we'll step back into time with our guide, an architect or historian, on this 3-hour Marais walking tour. Together, we'll investigate how these iconic mansions tell the story of the social and artistic sea change taking place in Paris between 1550 and 1720, before the French Revolution ushered in the modern era (the subject of our French Revolution Tour Paris).
- Tour the historic Marais district of Paris through its architecture.
- Marais walking tour led by an architect or historian.
- Visit hidden courtyards.
- Small group size—no more than six people.
Marais Walking Tour
The Renaissance arrived in Paris in the mid 16th century, forever transforming art and society in the French capital. However, its most lingering effect is perhaps on Parisian architecture. The Marais is one of the best quartiers to see the examples of the Parisian Renaissance by considering the splendid mansions, or so-called hôtels particuliers built by France's rich and noble families. Depending on opening times and the tenor of the walk, we may view such structures as the Flamboyant-Gothic Hôtel de Sens, the Hôtel Carnavalet (home to the museum of the same name), the Hôtel de Donon (today the Musée Cognacq-Jay), the Hôtel Lamoignon (which now houses the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris), the enormous Hôtel Salé (now the Musée Picasso), and the palatial, and rather atypical, Hôtel de Soubise (part of today's Archives Nationales).
"Our docent helped us appreciate French history in ways I did not expect. The walk brought together the different changes in the Marais, and we were able to see many things that we would not have found on our own. It all worked."
A Transforming Quartier
As we move along, more or less chronologically, we'll discuss how the development of French architecture reflected social and political realities of the time, allowing the mansions themselves to offer insight into the lives of Paris' more privileged citizens in the 16th and 17th centuries. Part of the walk will also deal with the history of the Marais itself, and how the area fell into ruin in the 19th century, becoming one of central Paris' poorest neighborhoods. Though the Marais was spared by Baron Haussmann's reforms (a figure discussed further on our Paris City Planning Tour, its former splendors subdivided into tenements and workshops and often unrecognizable under the burden of subsequent additions and neglect.
Lastly, we'll uncover the neighborhood's incredible modern history. Ultimately neglected by Haussmann's 19th century reforms, the whole area was later threatened with comprehensive redevelopment in the 20th century. The fate of the aging, historic buildings hung in the balance until culture minister André Malraux championed the Marais as an urban conservation area in 1962. Over the next 45 years, state and city authorities would spend considerable sums buying up properties and restoring the quartier's heritage, often with spectacular results. As our walk comes to a close, we will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the area's transformation—from a basic historical timeline of its progression, to insight into how the development of French architecture reflected social and political realities of the time.
Those interested in the Jewish history of of the neighborhood may wish to take our Jewish Paris Tour.
See more of Paris in this electric bike tour. From the legendary monuments to hidden backstreets, the charms of Paris are waiting to be discovered: all in 4 hours. Let the comfort and ease of an electric bike allow you to experience more of the worlds most famous city.
Inside the Marais: Enjoy a game of Pétanque at the oldest Parisian monument. Student life in the Latin Quarter: Sit back at the "Luco then wander the typically Parisian side-streets of Butte aux Cailles. The always-busy artists cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Prés are where the action is. But if you need a break, the Nouvelles Berges de Seine offer you the peace and quiet of the riverbank. If the Champs-Élysées caught you looking then Place Vendôme and its variety of fine jewelry stores are where you should be and its right next door to the Palais Royal and the Louvre.
The allure of the most beautiful city in the world are there for the taking. All in one toureverything is possible.
This bike tour starts in the heart of Paris near Centre Pompidou. The experienced friendly team will provide you with a great quality bike, helmet and waterproof Poncho should the weather take a turn for the worse. Then you will be off on a leisurely 4 hour tour taking in the greatest monuments and places of interest.
During the tour there will be frequent stops, a coffee break (own expense), factual explanations, anecdotes, photo opportunities and so much more .Your guide will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.
There are two possible routes that your Paris bike tour may take, the Marais area or the Latin Quarter.
Taking a long ride through the ancient districts of the Marais you will first arrive in front of the colorful Centre Pompidou. The Pompidou has amazed and delighted visitors since it was inaugurated in 1977, not just for its outstanding collection of modern art but for its radical architectural statement.
Leaving the Centre Pompidou, you will cross Les Halles and Palais Royal, heading for the Louvre Museum and Seine River ending with a glance at the Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame.
The Latin Quarter and St Germain are often associated with the cultural and artistic life of Paris. Cross the Latin quarter and the Luxembourg Gardens which are popular with Parisians during the warmer weather with its formal terraces and chestnut groves covering an area of 23 hectares. Continue through the chic streets of St Germain-des-Pres home to the Paris fashion industry as well as bookshops, art galleries, antique dealers and interior design boutiques. Your tour will conclude at the ancient roman site of Arenes de Lutece, once a Roman ampitheatre seating around 10, 000 spectators for gladiatorial combats and other events.
Your guide on the day will choose the best itinerary from the above routes based on traffic conditions, group preferences and weather. There may be more than one itinerary available depending on number of participants on the day.
Meet your guide near the Dupleix Métro Station in Paris at about 8:30am. From there, you'll board a train to Versailles where you'll pick up your bikes (round trip train tickets to/from Versailles included in tour cost). Then, ride to the famous city market to shop for picnic supplies (own expense). Continue on through the 2,000+ acres of tree-lined paths as you enjoy a leisurely ride to visit Marie Antoinette's Hamlet and both the Petit and Grand Trianons.
Next, relax and have your picnic at the end of the Grand Canal. Go behind the scenes to the King's Apartments, an exclusive section of the Palace of Versailles closed off to the general public, with your skip-the-line ticket. Use your free time to take in the breathtaking Hall of Mirrors, Marie Antoinette's chambers, and the royal quarters. After visiting the palace, you can still wander in the formal gardens before heading back to Paris. End your tour between 4:30pm and 5:30pm back at the departure point in Paris.
The winding, cobbled streets and crooked buildings of Montmartre have inspired artists for over two hundred years. Formerly a village on the outskirts of Paris, Montmartre's unique atmosphere remains a tranquil contrast to the hustle and bustle of the greater city. And from the last quarter of the 19th-century to the outbreak of WWI, it was the heart of bohemian and artistic life, with such illustrious inhabitants as Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso. So why did these artists want to live at the top of a hill? Were they all friends? Who did they paint? Our 2.5-hour Montmatre For Kids tour, led by a scholar trained in guiding in Paris with kids, follows in the footsteps of these artists and their cohorts, discovering the history behind the storied neighborhood through the colorful and unusual experiences of the legendary creatives who lived there.
- Discover Montmartre through the eyes of the famous artists who lived there.
- Montmartre for kids tour led by a scholar trained to work with children.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
Looking for this walk for grown ups? See our Montmartre Walking Tour.
Montmartre For Kids Tour
Why does Montmartre feel different from the rest of Paris? From its beginnings as a Roman city, Paris has always grown at a swift pace. Pushing out from the center, the city was soon butting heads with the neighboring villages that were formally on its outskirts. As the city approached, Montmartre's windmills and small-town atmosphere receded. Creatives—namely artists—flocked towards the cheaper rents on the steep slopes of the butte Montmartre. Lively cafés and cabarets sprung up to accommodate them, namely the Moulin de Galette, creating Montmartre's legendary festive atmosphere. Here, artists like Renoir captured the vivacious spirit of the quartier, or neighborhood. Incorporating interactive games or close observational activities, we will engage with this captivating history.
Tracing a path through the twisting streets, we may see where Picasso or Toulouse Lautrec once spent hours creating paintings and drawings inside their art studios. Perhaps we will see where Van Gogh or Suzanne Valadon lived. Connecting the sites of their former haunts with visuals of their work, we will build a picture of both their art and the daily lives as 19th-century Parisians. We might sit down for a hot chocolate at one of Modigliani’s favorite cafes or pass by a popular cabaret where the artists would spend their evenings together. With our sketchpads in hand, we will stop to artistically interpret these sights for ourselves. As we create our quick freehand sketches, we will build a connection to our artist friends, visiting some exact sites where the artists painted or wrote about in their letters and journals.
"We absolutely adored the tour—this is our third Family Walk with Context and it's the best one yet! Our docent was wonderful with all of us, especially the kids, and we all learned so much about Montmartre's history. I would recommend the tour without exception."
As we stroll through these magical cobblestone streets, we will gain insight into the artists’ lives and the era, but also about their styles and how art developed. Coming away with an understanding of Montmartre's development from small village to bohemian hub, we will hopefully leave our “young artists” with a desire to explore their own creativity and curiosity to discover more about the intriguing characters who have made Montmartre historic.
In addition to our family program tours, we may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
While many visitors enjoy hunting for celebrity graves—notably Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Honore Balzac, and Jim Morrison—few recognize the outstanding importance of le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise within the history of cemetery planning and funerary architecture. Under our docent's excellent guidance, we will unearth the cemetery's transition from vacant plot of land outside the city limits to its position as Paris' most coveted final resting place. Designed by architect Alexandre Brongniart and opened in 1804, the cemetery inspired new ways of commemorating the dead. Together, on this 2.5-hour Père Lachaise tour, we'll join an urban planning expert or art historian as we navigate the maze-like rows of graves, exploring the history and influence of this iconic Parisian site.
- Père Lachaise tour led by urban planning expert or art historian.
- Explore the history and influence of Paris' most famous cemetery.
- Small groups—maximum six participants.
Père Lachaise Tour
Following the closure of Cimetière des Innocents in 1780, and new laws prohibiting burial grounds within the growing and already overcrowded city, Paris turned to the outskirts of the capital to design Cimetière du Père-Lachaise and fill the gap. Despite initially being seen as unfashionable for the rich Parisians, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise grew from a mere handful of graves in its first year to over 30,000 by 1830.
Indeed, beyond its popularity, its unique layout remains far from a dying fad—it has inspired garden cemeteries the world over to be modeled on Brongniart's idyllic parc-like design, now filled with more than 70,000 tombs. While winding our way past the resting places of illustrious writers, composers, artists, and politicians, we will discuss the intricate language of nineteenth-century funerary architecture. Together, we will discover the complexities of the design of the family crypts and mausolea that populate the twisting cemetery avenues.
For a different take on how Paris' expansion shaped the development of the city, try our Montmartre Tour.
Political Strife and Père-Lachaise
A reflection of wider architectural developments, the ornate mausolea of Père Lachaise were designed to express the personalities and professions of the deceased as well as their affiliations within the political and religious divisions that continually fractured French history. We will trace the connection between these iconic constructions and the various movements in French history. Together, we will discover that Père Lachaise was also the site of the last stand of the Communards.
Here, we will connect the cemetery to the dramatic events of the 1871 uprising which ended with the massacre of the insurgents against the Wall of the Fédérés. Still revered by French leftists, this wall is now joined by poignant monuments to the Jews and resistance fighters deported to Nazi concentration camps during World War II (further explored on our Paris WWII Tour. As we dialogue about these events and their link to Père Lachaise, we will build a stronger conception of French culture and history.
"I loved every aspect of this walk--I can't praise it highly enough. There's no way we could have found our way around Pere Lachaise on our own. Our docent seemed to know everything about the cemetery and the people buried there, and his commentary was delightful and engaging."
Certainly, a visit to Père Lachaise is a crash course in two hundred years of French history, brought to life by an atmospheric landscape that has fascinated Parisian tourists for centuries. Over the course of our time together, we will explore what sets Cimetière du Père-Lachaise apart from other funerary designs of its time, as well as some of the history of some of its most famous denizens. At the conclusion of our walk, we will leave primed for further independent exploration. Will the cemetery continue to serve as the final resting place for France's most famous citizens? While that remains to be seen, its historical impact is undisputed.
Together with your guide, you'll walk to the RER train station to make the 30-minute trip by train to Versailles. Once in Versailles, you will pick up your bike at at an office just 5 minutes from the Palace of Versailles. The first of many highlights on this active day out is a visit to Versailles' village market to buy baguettes, cheese, ham, wine and whatever else you desire for your delicious picnic lunch in Versailles' gardens. These picnic provisions are purchased at your own expense.
The next highlight today is a bike ride through the gardens behind Versailles palace. You'll leave foot visitors behind on your tour of the palace by bicycle, as visitors on foot can visit only a small fraction of the palace gardens. Versailles' gardens and forests are crisscrossed by a network of fantastic trails and tree-lined paths, so bring your camera for picture-perfect views in every direction.
Arriving at the far end of the Grand Canal, you'll settle down for a picnic in the exact spot where Louis XIV, XV and XVI ate in order to marvel at their palace. Relax on the grass in peace where only your cycling group will be able to easily reach this end of the Grand Canal.
After lunch, pedal back towards the palace itself for an unforgettable view into the lives of the French monarchy before their removal from power by the Revolution in 1789. You'll visit the Hall of Mirrors (site of the treaty ending World War I), the King's State Apartments and the amazing King's Chapel (audio guide available). After your visit to Versailles you'll return to Paris via RER train.
Riding on comfortable dutch bikes through the beautiful city of Paris.All along the tour, stops are forecast in order to enjoy different points of view over all the major buildings and places of Paris. Our guides will provide you information about the city history and also some anecdotes.
To sum it up, the Highlights tour is a ride of 3 hours that enables you to see most of the city in a really fun and friendly way!
While riding a comfortable Holland bike, you discover the city as you never did before.
Our local guides will take you through the famous Boulevards and Avenues of the city, and bring you illuminating insights of the city, telling you the history and anecdotes about the famous buildings and places.
With this tour, you will see the famous highlights and monuments from a different angle.
The starting point of the tour is at Arc de Triomphe
Break: We will stop for lunch at a nice square in the city. Everybody is free to bring or buy their own food and drinks.
Among the Highlights seen during the tour, you will find: Trocadéro, Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, Invalides, Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet, Louvre, Centre Pompidou and much more.
Icing on the cake : you will finish your bike tour on the famous Champs Elysees just like the riders of the Tour de France.
See the best of Paris in just 4hrs ! Breeze by the walking and bus tours on a Blue Bike and get up close and personal with Paris' top Monuments in a fun and safe way! Youll take home some of the best memories and photos of your entire trip.
Discover and learn about the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Champs- Elysées, and many more amazing things in half the time of a walking tour! Your local guide will tell you stories, share little known fun and historical facts, and let you in on many shortcuts and local tips. Happy to answer any questions you might have about Paris, we'll help you get your bearings and teach you how to make the best use of your time here.
FYI : This tour includes a snack break on a famous outdoor market street!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR :
Rue Cler Market
Seine River banks
Place de la Concorde Champs-Elysées
Invalides (Napoleons Tomb)
Gargoyles, stained glass, flying buttresses—nothing symbolizes the mysterious air of Gothic Paris like the Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris' mother church symbolizes the medieval era like no other, evoking Arthurian legends, castles, and a seemingly mythical past. That past, however, is very real, and there are few better places to learn about the Gothic, especially its iconic architecture, than on the Île de la Cité. This small island in the city's center is home not only to Notre Dame, but also to several other architectural masterpieces we will visit on our 2.5-hour Notre Dame for Kids tour on which, in the company of an historian gifted with children, we will bring the Gothic to life.
- Family-friendly tour introducing children to the Gothic period, especially its revolutionary architecture.
- Notre Dame for kids tour led by a scholar trained to work with children.
- Incorporates interactive activities to foster learning in a fun and engaging way.
Gargoyles and the Gothic
Why are the gargoyles so spooky? Why are they there? Was there really a hunchback of Notre Dame? Starting with the iconic Cathédral Notre Dame, we will answer our young visitors' questions and more. As we explore the Cathedral's intricately carved decorations—its bizarre-looking buttresses and statuary—we will discuss the birth of the Gothic and set the stage for our walk. We'll look at the many changes the cathedral has undergone through different historical events—even paying special attention to the French Revolution and the restoration that made the building what we see today.
Relics and Royalty
Bidding goodbye to our gargoyle friends, we'll continue to the Sainte-Chapelle. Widely known for its "jewel box" stained windows, Sainte-Chapelle is a masterpiece of Gothic art. Built to house holy relics, Sainte-Chapelle's extraordinary stained glass windows offer an excellent opportunity to learn how stained glass was made and what purpose it served in the Gothic era. Could the glass be telling a story? In order to maintain the sacredness of the chapel, strict rules prohibit group lecturing in the upper part of the chapel, so we will do most of our structured discussion of Sainte-Chapelle from the exterior before immersing ourselves in the beauty of the interior spaces.
We will finish with a visit to the Conciergerie, the residence of France's early royal family that later became an infamous prison during the Revolution (Marie-Antoinette was detained here prior to her execution, a story we examine further on our French Revolution Tour Paris). Here, we might discuss such topics as the life of the nobility versus the commoners—can you imagine what it might have been like to grow up in the 11th century? We'll certainly introduce some of France's most notorious royal characters.
"[Our docent] did a great job engaging my young children, sometimes even sitting on the floor and drawing illustrations to help them identify components of the architecture we were seeing. He also did a great job balancing the information for the younger children, and then also giving information on the adult level to my husband and I and our teenage son."
Designed with kids (and their enthusiastic parents) in mind, we select docents who are especially gifted with children. They will cater the walk to suit the age of the participants, getting a little more sophisticated with children above 12. As our walk comes to a close, our young participants will have the foundation for understanding the Gothic and, hopefully, the inspiration to continue exploring independently at home.
In addition to our family program tours (including offerings like our Louvre for Kids Tour and Versailles for Kids Tour, we may be able to adapt certain other tours to the needs of families, though please note such adaptations would not incorporate special activities. Please contact us for more details.
In the summer of 2005, France erupted in flames. For weeks, disgruntled youth—many from the country's North African immigrant communities—set thousands of cars ablaze and vandalized shops and schools, turning the streets of Paris' infamous banlieue (suburbs) into war zones. Following this and other more recent events—notably the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, and in Nice—the question of identity is raised. In the wake of so much conflict, we find ourselves in the midst of a vivid debate on what it really means to be French.
The French people have been forced to grapple with the changing face of the country, now home to Europe's largest Muslim population. Our 3.5-hour France Immigration tour, led by a social historian guide, will explore immigration to France, analyze its history, and examine the root of the issues which plague France's current political climate.
- Discuss immigration to France and its impact on French culture and a globalized world.
- Includes the most famous of Paris mosques, La Grande Mosquée
- France Immigration tour led by a social historian or political scientist.
- Small group walks of no more than six people.
France Immigration Tour & La Goutte d'Or
We will begin our walk with an overview of French colonization and its subsequent waves of immigration (a subject also explored on our Marseille Walking Tour) while we stroll around the lively streets and open-air market in La Goutte d'Or, around métro Barbès Rochechouart. This traditional working class district, located in northern Paris, attracted North African immigrants during the thirty years after WWII when France desperately needed manpower to rebuild the country (for more, see our Paris WWII Tour).
However, this era was soon fraught with the demise of the French colonies and the violent Franco-Algerian war (1954-1962). We will discuss this period while walking along the rue de la Goutte d'Or, where, during the war, many Algerians lived in hotels and where the harkis (Muslim Algerian auxiliaries in the French army) had one of their headquarters.
Paris and La Banlieue
As we work our way further east we will reach the Gare du Nord train station, an important gateway where we can observe the vast network of tracks that transport hundreds of thousands of people in from the suburbs every day. Here we will address how the situation has evolved since the sixties, with the marginalization of immigrants who have been relegated to vast concrete housing projects outside of the capital. Far removed from the elegant shops and tree-lined boulevards of central Paris, it was there that growing discontent from poor living conditions and high unemployment acted as a catalyst for much of the recent unrest.
A Multicultural City
Descending into the metro ourselves, we will travel a few stations to Belleville, another former working class suburb incorporated into Paris through 19th century Haussmanization—the subject of our Paris City Planning Tour. As a neighborhood with North African, Asian, and Jewish people living and working side by side, Belleville is now one of the city's most multicultural centers, making it the perfect location for our discussion of the changes to Paris' immigrant populace.
"This was a very interesting tour to us. It covered a lot of ground. . . It was interesting to hear the past as well as current day situations. Our guide was personable and interesting. He answered our questions and went deeper into areas we were interested in. It was great to understand Paris outside of our regular touring areas.
A Celebrated Paris Mosque: La Grande Mosquée
We will finish our walk by reentering the metro, this time heading south to our final stop, the Grand Mosque of Paris. The largest mosque in France, it was inaugurated in 1926 in recognition of the Muslims who fought for France in WWI. Over a glass of mint tea in the garden, we will discuss some current issues surrounding immigration, such as the veil, France's concept of their national identity, recent upheaval, or even the difference between American and French understanding of identity.
NOTE: Depending on the docent, the order of stops on the walk may differ from what is outlined above.
The ride is not the least bit strenuous, rather relaxing, energizing and fun. And of course you will stop regularly for photo opportunities. There is more riding involved and slightly less information than on the day tours, but the city at night is fantastic! You will cruise through Paris as the city lights up and you see Paris from both bike and boat (free wine is included on the boat cruise). It is a more relaxed atmosphere as the wine tends to loosen everyone up a bit.
Highlights of the Paris Night Bike Tour include:
- Notre Dame - the most famous cathedral on the planet. Learn about the famous flying buttresses, the history inside the cathedral and how Paris can trace its roots to the Ile de la Cite.
- The Boat Cruise - the most popular activity of the Night Tour is a one hour cruise on the Seine through the heart of the illuminated "City of Light". Sail past the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Hotel de Ville and Musee D'Orsay just to name a few.
- The Louvre Museum - this is a truly magical place at night. Standing in the back courtyard of the Louvre will make you feel that you've been launched back into medieval times.
- Berthillon Ice Cream - by far the most famous ice cream shop in Paris. If you like, buy a scoop of about 20 offered flavors as your guide tells you about the early history of Paris. Eat on the Pont (bridge) St. Louis, connecting the Ile de la Cite and the Ile St. Louis, which provides one of the most beautiful vistas the city has to offer.
You will also see the Eiffel Tower, the Cite and St. Louis islands, St. Chapelle, the Latin Quarter, Academie Francaise, the Pont des Arts, the Champs-Elysees, Princess Di's Flame, the Arc de Triomphe and much more!
The Palace of Versailles Bike Tour : Skip-the-Line is the most fun way to discover the grandeur of this 2,000 acre Royal Domain! You'll start your tour by exploring the local market and browsing through the brimming food stalls as you choose the best things for your picnic lunch along the lake.
Discovering the unique gardens , the inside of Marie Antoinettes private farm and fantasy village , the Grand & Petit Trianon summer homes, and enjoy Skip-the-line access into the Palace itself with its famous Hall of Mirrors .
On a bike you'll be able to see it all in comfort as you cruise effortlessly from one picturesque spot to another. The guide will share stories and pictures that will help you learn about the life, legends, and scandals of the Sun King , Marie-Antoinette, and the French Revolution . Touring Versailles on a bike is fun and interactive for all ages!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR :- Skip-the-line access into the Palace of Versailles
- The Hall of Mirrors
- Visiting Marie-Antoinettes Private Domaine
- Cycling in the Royal Grounds
- Visiting the interior of the Grand Trianon
- Visiting the interior of the Petit Trianon
- Admiring French Gardens
- Visiting the local outdoor market
- Picnicking along the Kings lake
- Learning about the French Revolution !
In 1624, King Louis XIII commissioned a small, intimate hunting lodge on the limits of the Versailles forest. Four decades later, Louis XIV, the Sun King, began construction to enlarge the lodge into the opulent Versailles palace we know today, and hired the renowned landscape architect André Le Nôtre to design expansive royal gardens the likes of which the world had never seen. In this 4-hour Versailles Palace Tour excursion from Paris we will join a historian to see the magnificent château and jardins of Versailles, the seat of the royal court from 1682 until the Revolution. We’ll contextualize the architectural and historical significance of this immense site, all the while taking in its awe-inspiring beauty.
- Versailles Palace Tour led by a historian or art historian.
- Take an in-depth look at Le Nôtre's magnificent gardens.
- Visit the palace interior, including the Hall of Mirrors.
- Avoid ticket lines.
- Small group size—6 people maximum
Versailles Palace Tour
Louis XIV's vision for Versailles actually began with the gardens, conceived by André Le Nôtre, the landscape architect responsible for the gardens of Châteaux Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, and Chantilly. By 1682, Versailles would become the seat of the French court and government, the gardens acting as a theater for the Sun King’s absolute monarchy and elegant backdrop for some of the most important events in the country’s history. Arriving at Versailles, we will visit the gardens, taking in the carefully manicured hedges, reflecting pools, and artfully carved statues. We will dissect Louis XIV's powerful solar myth which led to Le Nôtre's conception of these gardens, and contributed to the decorating scheme of the State Apartments. We'll note the important interplay of water and sculpture that makes these gardens one of the most important sites of open-air sculpture in the world.
For more on architecture in the time of Louis XIV, consider our Baroque Paris Architecture Tour.
Hunting Lodge to Palace
Next, we'll proceed inside for our Versailles Palace Tour. Upon entering, we will talk about the château's successive architectural evolutions during the reigns of Louis XIII to the 19th century. When Louis XIV ordered an expansion, he added additional wings, the marble court, and the famous Hall of Mirrors to the existing structure. While the 18th and 19th centuries brought much change and renovation to the interior of the palace, the exterior of the château and the gardens remain largely unchanged from their 17th century origins, making them a prime example of the luxury and ambitious desire of the French monarchy before the 1789 Revolution—explored further on our French Revolution Tour Paris.
"Our docent gave us a great overview of how [Versailles] fit into Louis XIV's perception of himself and his projection of power vis à vis the rest of Europe at the time, including anecdotes concerning Louis the XVI, Madame de Pompadour, and Marie Antoinette."
In the company of an art historian, we will immerse ourselves in the lavish narrative of Versailles. Reflecting on our journey through the palace and gardens, we will draw our final conclusions on the role of Versailles in maintaining the image of the French Kings. As our walk comes to a close, we will come away with a better understanding of how Le Nôtre's designs were a departure from established landscape design of the time, and link this to our understanding of the Louis XIV's commitment to maintaining his image as the Sun King.
Miscellaneous Notes About Our Tour
During the summer, there is a special music & fountain show on Saturdays and Sundays. On Tuesdays and Fridays, there is music, but no fountain show. On these days, the bosquets and groves are all open. On the other days of the week (Wednesday, Thursday), and in the winter months, they are not open, nor are the fountains on. Much of the site is closed on Mondays.
The Right Bank's garden landscapes Les Tuileries and the adjacent Palais Royal count among the most important historical gardens in Paris—and France as a whole. A stone's throw from the Musée du Louvre, these sun-drenched green spaces are filled during the warmer months with Parisians reveling in the weather. Enveloped by a dense architectural context, they provide an excellent lesson in how landscaping played an important role in the development of royal and French identity from the late-Renaissance onward. On our two-hour Gardens of Paris tour, in the company of an architectural or art historian, we will explore Paris' two most famous gardens, learning the history beyond the natural beauty of the carefully maintained foliage and blushing roses.
- Explore Paris' most famous public gardens: the Tuileries and the Palais Royal.
- Gardens of Paris tour led by an architectural or art historian.
- Small group size—no more than six on a walk.
Gardens of Paris Tour - Jardin des Tuileries
Beginning in the carefully manicured Tuileries Gardens, we will open our discussion by learning its origins, and noting the former location of the Tuileries Palace. Following the death of King Henri II, Queen Catherine de Medici moved from her previous residence to the Louvre. Her first renovation was to transform the land behind the palace into a garden modeled after those in her native Florence. Beyond its natural beauty, this stretch of land at the end of the Louvre is also of significant historical importance—most notably during the French Revolution (as explored further on our French Revolution Tour Paris).
Later renovated by Louis XIV, the garden was transformed into its present web of intricate, geometric planters. Guided by the genius of landscape architect André le Nôtre—a figure who also factors prominently in our Versailles Garden Tour—the garden was molded into the space we see today. Together, we will focus on le Nôtre's guiding principles of symmetry and perspective, and take in the magnificent statues and fountains that adorn the grounds. As we explore, we will come to understand how the Tuileries has been shaped by some of the city's greatest figures.
"Our docent was exceptional. It felt like we were taking a walk through Paris with a friend, as she pointed out the background and events that led to the construction of the beautiful gardens of the city. A fantastic tour that really made our trip feel more personal."
From here, we'll cross over the rue de Rivoli to the Gardens of the Palais Royal, once home to the Cardinal de Richelieu and a young Louis XIV, whose impact on the city's structure can be seen on our Baroque Paris Architecture Tour. Encircled by the elegant estate, the interior garden is a lush green space. Together, we can witness Parisians playing boules between the long rows of rectangularly manicured trees and pulling chairs up to sun themselves alongside the central fountain. Here, we will be able to see the divide between the more classical grounds and the Cour d'Honneur.
We'll talk about the (relatively) recent controversy over Daniel Buren's outdoor sculptures Les Deux Plateaux, which were installed in 1986. Along the way, we'll discuss the important relationship between the gardens and their buildings, between art and public space, and how these gardens formed the backdrop to dramatic events in Paris' history.
Reflecting on the Tuileries and the Palais Royal as a group, we will give these elegant gardens context, weaving a rich narrative of their place in French history. As our walk comes to a close, we will depart with a greater appreciation for Paris' gardens beyond their beauty. While we will focus only on these two gardens of the Right Bank, we hope that our time together will spark your interest in discovering more green spaces dotted across Paris.
Once in Vernon visit the charming farmers' market to buy picnic supplies. You'll then hop on your bike and pedal across the river to a beautiful park along the banks of the Seine for lunch. At lunch you can also sample the local's favorite drink: cidre.
It will then be time for your relaxing 5 kilometer (3 miles) ride down the bike path to the village of Giverny and the world-famous gardens of Claude Monet. Cruise past the Giverny church and its cemetery containing graves of local citizens dating back to the 17th century, British soldiers from World War II and even Monet himself buried within his family's vault. You will pass the Hotel Baudy, where Impressionists Manet and Renoir used to paint.
Shortly you will arrive at the highlight of the day - Monet's Garden
Spend about 1.5 hours enjoying Monet's gardens, his house and the famous water lily pond where some of his most famous works originated. Be sure to bring your camera and plenty of film! Additionally, the village of Giverny offers you the American Museum of Art (across the street from Monet's Gardens), numerous cafes and small streets begging to be explored.
Bohemian cafes, narrow cobblestone streets, and medieval churches give Paris' Left Bank, or Rive Gauche, its eternal charm, while its diverse history spans from the time of the Romans to present day. Over the course of this two-hour Left Bank Paris tour, guided by a local insider, we will learn the historical ins and outs of the quartier. Looking at the city through a local's eyes, we'll highlight some of the area's most important sites and monuments, maybe wandering down some of the hidden side streets to give us a feel for the atmosphere and narrative of Saint-Germain and the Latin Quarter.
- Left Bank (Rive Gauche) Paris tour with a local historian.
- Intimate private group.
Left Bank Paris Tour
The Left Bank's unusual history shapes the neighborhood's diverse identity. It was here that the Roman Empire founded Lutetia 2,000 years ago. (which we explore further on our Ancient Paris Tour.) After the decline of the empire, the land south of the Seine river became the home to numerous abbeys and monasteries. Certainly, despite a cluster of churches—Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Saint-Séverin, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to name a few—the area's religious identity may have faded, but is far from forgotten.
We will start our walk in front of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church, which barely survived the destructive acts of the 18th-century revolutionaries. One of the oldest churches in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés makes for an excellent introduction to the area's religious identity. We may learn some of the church's history before delving into the quartier's bohemian background.
The Intellectuals of the Rive Gauche
The 12th-century brought scholars to the Left Bank. Flourishing into the city's new academic center, the area surrounding the now Sorbonne University became steeped in intellectualism. Though it wasn't until the 20th-century that artists, writers and other thinkers joined this group, the Left Bank is best known for fostering a growing and lively bohemian community.
As the hub of the intellectual life of the 20s and 30s, the cafés of the Left Bank were home to some of the most beloved thinkers of the 20th century, and can be found in some of our most beloved literary works. On our journey through these picturesque Parisian streets, we will see some of its famous cafes: the favorite haunts of the "Lost Generation" writers and post-war existentialist philosophers, whose lives we explore on our Paris Literary Tour.
We will continue down some of the back streets that suddenly burst to life with overflowing local cafes. These tiny streets will take us to a variety of sites, depending on the group's interests or the docent's areas of expertise, which in their own way give insight into the true nature of the area. We may have a look at some of the neighborhood's other churches such as Saint-Sulpice or the Pantheon, pass alongside the peaceful Luxembourg gardens, or discover the city's first café and other historic restaurants.
As we walk, we will have the perfect occasion to get our docent's thoughts on French society and habits, the healthcare or education systems, on how Parisians really eat, or how to use the Vélib bike rentals.
"[Our docent was] an outstanding guide . . . His knowledge of French history, architecture and the Left Bank was amazing. He provided . . . stories and information beyond the basics. And, as an American, I also appreciated his objective discussion of the differences between American and French culture and lifestyle."
After traversing parts of the Latin Quarter we will finish our stroll around the popular Place Saint-Michel, a convenient place to stop and have a drink or hop on the métro, hopefully equipped with an enriched understanding of the city as a whole.
This tour is a a perfect complement to our two-hour Right Bank Paris Walking Tour walk, though less in-depth than some of our other Paris walking tours. It aims to acquaint visitors to the city and provide an excellent overview and foundation for further explorations of Paris.
First-time visitors may also find useful our practical Welcome To Paris orientation to the city, during which we answer questions about navigating the city's transport system, point out the best and most typical local establishments, and offer a basic language lesson, among other things.
Accompanied by your English-speaking guide and fellow cyclists, you'll cycle to quiet areas of Paris, passing artists' workshops, beautiful monuments, suburbs transformed from the farms and factories of the 19th century to today's urban patchwork. The distance covered in your three-hour afternoon tour of Paris' outskirts by bicycle is around 9-12 miles (15-20 kilometres).
Take a unique tour that brings you away from the crowds in Paris to a 14th century castle with the tallest Keep tower in Europe ! Starting in the heart of Paris you'll cycle east to the site of the famous Bastille revolt which started the French Revolution. Stopping at a local Farmer's Market youll wander among the food stalls and pick up supplies for your picnic lunch later in the day.
Take a unique tour that brings you away from the crowds in Paris to a 14th century castle with the tallest Keep tower in Europe ! Starting in the heart of Paris you'll cycle east to the site of the famous Bastille revolt which started the French Revolution. Stopping at a local Farmer's Market youll wander among the food stalls and pick up supplies for your picnic lunch later in the day.
Then youll continue your ride along the secluded Coulée Verte trail, which inspired the High Line in New York, and through the lush Bois de Vincennes forest where Kings of old used to enjoy hunting. From between the trees you'll see the first glimpse of the impressive stone walls of the Château of Vincennes.
Parking your bike near the drawbridge you'll walk across the moat entering the massive castle for a one of a kind experience. Inside youll have access into the Keep Tower and learn about the more than 800 years of use this fortress has had. From being the place that Saint Louis was baptized to becoming a prison under Napoleon Bonaparte , this one of a kind castle has made its mark in French History!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR :- The medieval Castle of Vincennes
- Access to the Keep Tower
- Shopping at the Farmers market
- The Bastille
- Coulée Verte trail
- Bois de Vincennes forest
- The Seine River
- Small group tour
- Local guide
- Get away from the crowds !
Despite their reputation as wine-drinking, cigarette-puffing lushes, Parisians are extremely athletic. As a result, Paris is something of a hidden sports-lover's paradise. From the running paths along the Canal Saint-Martin to the hot spring-heated pools in the Buttes-aux-Cailles, there are a myriad different ways to incorporate physical activity into your travel itinerary. In fact, on any given day, you'll see joggers huffing their way all over the city, dodging crowds and tourists as they casually push past sights like the Notre Dame and the Louvre, which we visit on our Notre Dame Tour and Louvre Tour, respectively) without a second glance. A perfect fit for those looking to combine both physical and mental activity during a visit to Paris, our 2-hour Paris running tour will acquaint you with the city's layout, and may even lay a foundation for an independent running route.
- Private Paris running tour.
- Great for athletic first-time visitors.
- Experience Paris from a unique point of view.
Paris Running Tour
This two-hour tour, in the company of one of our sports-inclined scholars, will take in the sights of Paris on a leisurely-paced run through the city. Our concept is to mix touring with running by making numerous stops along the way. We begin at your hotel or apartment, therefore the exact itinerary varies. In general, we will endeavor to design a course that visits most major sites, with an eye towards those that are most exhilarating during a jog.
Since this is a private tour, we ask that you use the Notes box during check-out to tell us a little about yourself and your interests, including your running habits:
- What is your average pace?
- Are you training for a race?
- What are your goals for the tour?
This will help your guide to tailor the run accordingly.
On the afternoon of July 14, 1789, a rebelling rabble laid siege to France's most-hated fortress: the Bastille. Freeing the few remaining political prisoners, the mob began, stone-by-stone, dismantling the building that had come to symbolize the injustice of the old regime. This was the Revolution of 1789. On this 3-hour French Revolution Tour in Paris, we will discover the influences that contributed to this rebellion, forever transforming the country. Led by an expert historian, we will study its different stages, and how it served as a precursor to the revolutions that followed in the 19th century, the effects of which reverberate to this day.
- Clarifies the tangled timeline of the 1789 Revolution and those that followed.
- Highlights the vestiges of 18th century revolutionary Paris.
- French Revolution tour Paris led by an expert historian.
- Small group size—maximum six people per walk.
French Revolution Tour Paris
Our walking tour begins at the former site of the hated prison. Initially built as a defense against the English during the Hundred Years' War, the Bastille eventually became a detention center for aristocratic prisoners. Though the actual number of detainees was quite low in 1789, overthrowing the tyranny of the Bastille became the symbol of the Republican movement.
Now a traffic roundabout adorned with the July Column—a monument to the later Revolution of 1830—Place de la Bastille bears little resemblance to the former prison complex of the 18th century. Even so, it has a story to tell. Together, we will trace the former outlines of the Bastille, thus setting the tone for our walk.
"Our docent clarified the rapidly evolving timeline of the French Revolution, even bringing along visuals of the many sites that are no longer standing. Her expertise and passion for sharing her insights into this period of French history was palpable and much appreciated."
Place des Vosges
As we move on from Place de la Bastille, we will encounter the neighborhood that once surrounded the fortress. Our docent will paint a picture of daily life in the crowded quartier, and the sharp division between the aristocrats and the lower classes. Entering the Place des Vosges, one of Paris' most treasured green spaces, we'll snag a bench under the trees to get to the heart of the conflict.
It was here that Victor Hugo penned his famous work Les Miserables, and we may discuss this powerful piece of historical fiction, as well as the complex political factors that characterized France's first revolutionary period. With our newfound knowledge in mind, we’ll then pass through the Marais neighborhood to study the mansions that represented the wealth of the hated French nobility, putting the class tensions into context (a topic we delve into more on our Marais Walking Tour.
We will continue on to the Hôtel de Ville, Paris' city hall. As a symbol of the government, its central square became a key location in each subsequent revolution. It was even set alight by revolutionaries during the Commune of 1871. When rebuilt, its controversial balcony was not included (which, yes, will factor into our discussion). We will certainly analyze the role this building played in political movements of the 19th century, which provides a good opportunity to introduce the continuing unrest which ignited the post-1789 revolutions.
At this point, we will return to our focus on the 1789 revolution, boarding the métro to travel a few stops to the Palais Royal. Here, on the site where the mob that sparked the first revolution formed on the night of July 13th, we may discuss the role played by Philippe Égalité, a royal who supported the revolution (though he was executed all the same).
Following our stroll through the garden, we’ll continue on through the Jardin des Tuileries—also one of the stops on our Gardens of Paris Tour. These royal gardens became public after the revolution of 1789, but here we will talk about the gardens as a symbol of the dissolution of royal power by introducing the former Tuileries Palace, which was burnt down in 1871.
As we come to the perimeter of the Tuileries, we will look out at the expanse of the Place de la Concorde, which served as the site of the feared guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Here, our walk will end with a discussion of the impact of these historical events on politics, society, and culture in France today. By the end of our walk, we will emerge with a clearer understanding of how the Revolution of 1789 indelibly transformed French society, and how its key events and locations contributed to later conflicts.
You will cycle through the city of lights, learn the history and unknown stories, ride through charming hidden streets and feel Paris as a local.
Your guide will ensure to share recommendations of local restaurants, food markets, things to do and more. For more than three hours, you will ride at a very leisurely pace, which is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.
Spanning nearly 170 miles in France, the Loire Valley alone contains more than 500 châteaux. Flourishing in the time of the Renaissance, the region was inhabited by the likes of Diane de Poitiers, controversial mistress of King Henry II of France, and famed Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci, making it historically interwoven with the great kings of France.
Seeking to escape the pressures of Paris and enticed by the open lands and forests rich with game, the French kings made the Loire Valley their primary residence until 1589, when King Henry IV eventually moved his court back to Paris. Together, we will explore the Loire Valley through the eyes of the nobles who made the region their home. Over the course of our day trip from Paris to the beautiful Loire Valley, we will explore the elegant châteaux of the French aristocracy and discover the French Renaissance with an art historian.
- Explore three impressive Loire Valley châteaux, and learn their significance in French history.
- Loire Valley tour led by an art historian.
- Small, intimate group experience—never more than 6 on a tour.
Loire Valley Tour
Meeting our docent at the station in Paris, we will take the train to Tours, a charming city nestled between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Using our time on the train to gain some valuable insight into the Loire Valley of the Renaissance, we will arrive to join our driver at the train station buoyed by our newfound context on the picturesque region's history.
Called the "Garden of France," the region is characterized by its central river—the longest in France, vineyards (a subject of interest for anyone who has taken our Paris Wine Tour and Tasting), asparagus fields, and the stunning châteaux that lure tourists away from France's bustling capital. We'll turn our attention towards the châteaux, which are not only impressive and beautiful architectural feats but serve as a great tool to understanding the the area's rich history.
Transforming Medieval Fortresses
While our route may vary depending on private bookings, we typically start with Château de Langeais. This château embodies the social and cultural turning point, marking the moment where the Loire turned from a medieval territory dotted with defensive fortresses, to the epicenter of the French Renaissance with artisans, intellectuals, and ideas imported from Italy. After the initial structure was destroyed during the Hundred Year's War, King Louis XI altered the original building plan to reflect Italy's new architectural ideals—with a French twist, of course.
However, Château de Langeais maintains much of its defensive structure, which can be best seen in its dominant towers, blank, machicolation (covered parapet with openings for soldiers to fire upon enemies), and drawbridge entry. Observing this first hybrid between Renaissance architecture and the fortresses of the medieval age forms the foundation for understanding the significant shift.
Transitioning to Decadence
We will then head to either the ethereal Château d'Azay-le-Rideauor Château de Chenonceau, both of which demonstrate an influence from the French and Italian styles. These graceful residences exemplify how French architecture began to distance itself from fortified structures like Château de Langeais. After being razed to the ground during the Hundred Year's War, Azay-le-Rideau was reconstructed in an unusual L-shape plan by the King's Treasurer General Gilles Berthelot.
Similarly, the Château de Chenonceau's beauty is tempered with its connection to scandal between Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Mecidi. Mainly redone by Poiters, King Henry II's mistress, the château featured the new Renaissance style, characterized by the appearance of carved façades, dormer windows set into the slate roof, and the introduction of a straight staircase, rather than the defensive spiral. We may spend time discussing the rivalry between Catherine and Diane, which came to a head following the King's death. We will also be able to see both Diane's gardens, and Catherine's later addition dating from her time as primary resident of the château.
Château de Chambord
After a break for lunch, we will head west to Château de Chambord, the celebrated castle that is considered a true chef d’oeuvre of the French Renaissance. Originally built as the hunting lodge, this château perfectly demonstrates the marriage between medieval French style (perhaps best seen on our Paris Cathedral Tour) and classical Renaissance form. This architectural feat may be accredited to the project’s several undocumented architects, possibly including da Vinci himself.
Passed through the hands of countless kings, dukes, and emperors, we will delve into the triumphant and torrid history of this castle. We will also note the discernible difference between Chambord and Langeais. While the layout is similar to a defensive fortress, with its towers and walls surrounding a keep, Château de Chambord was never intended to act as a defensive structure. Its innovations extend to the interior, which features a double helix staircase that may have been designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Each château provides unique insight into the chronological evolution and historical significance of this region. Together, we will reflect upon the architectural elements that characterized the French Renaissance style. Over the course of our walk, we will have seen three excellent examples of royal residences from this period, and will have learned to identify the difference between medieval fortresses and the châteaux of the Renaissance. As our walk comes to a close, we will board the train, traveling from Blois to Paris, leaving the rich beauty of the Loire Valley behind us.
Looking at a city map, it's easy to see that Paris is split into two halves by the Seine. Each side of the river—the Rive Droite (Right Bank) and Rive Gauche (Left Bank)—has developed its own distinctive character, adding to the city's ambiance. Zeroing in on its particular atmosphere, this two-hour Right Bank Paris Walking Tour, led by one of our expert guides, will introduce us to the dynamic history, architecture, and character of the Right Bank. A perfect complement to our two-hour Left Bank Paris Tour, our discovery of the Right Bank will form a base for more in-depth exploration and will acquaint us to the city, providing an excellent foundation for further explorations of Paris.
- Discover the rich history of Paris' Right Bank.
- Great for first or second time visitors to Paris.
- Right Bank Paris walking tour with small groups—maximum six participants.
Welcome to the Right Bank
The Right Bank is characterized by the influence of the royals and leaders of France, with their Grands Projets and massive 19th century urbanism counterbalanced by the physical and cultural effects of the vast former market and the vibrant life found today in the city center. Our walk will roughly trace the evolution of the district since the birth of the city. Along the way, our conversation will touch on a variety of historical and social topics—perhaps even delving into aspects of the Parisian lifestyle.
Right Bank Paris Walking Tour
Our walk will begin on the border between the two sides, high above the Seine on the beautiful Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge. From this vantage point, we will discuss the origins of the city, its general development, and its organization over time. From here, we'll continue north, passing through the courtyard of the Louvre to the Palais Royal, where we may discuss everything from the expansion of the city in the Middle Ages to the later changes under Louis XIV and the ensuing French Revolutions.
A Changing City
Next we'll see how the area evolved through the 19th and into the 20th centuries as we move east towards the Les Halles district, where the once boisterous city market was installed until the late 1960s. While the market center has been redeveloped into shops, restaurants and a cinema complex, Les Halles remains a focal point.
Here, we will soak in the atmosphere of this busy hub, strolling through the pedestrian streets and perhaps glancing into the windows of some of the specialty culinary shops that remain. We may even catch a glimpse of the graceful Renaissance Saint Eustache Church or contrast the bold, contemporary architecture of the Centre Pompidou with the city's predominantly Haussmannian architecture.
"Our docent was wonderful! She was friendly, knowledgeable and kept us going at a good pace. We loved the intimate nature of the tour—just us and another couple. The tour really helped us get our bearings on our first day in Paris and set the tone for the rest of our adventure!"
As we make a circuit around the Les Halles area, we will find ourselves in Place du Châtelet, a central square which has stood the test of time and contains elements from a variety of the eras mentioned over the course of our walk. Facing the Île-de-la-Cité and nearby many other points of interests, it is the perfect place from which to wrap up our discussion of the Right Bank's blend of French heritage. We will leave our walk with a better sense of the area's history and personality before heading off independently to explore the rest of the city.
First-time visitors may also find useful our practical orientation to the city, Welcome To Paris, during which we answer questions about navigating the city's transport system, point out the best and most typical local establishments, and offer a basic language lesson, among other things.
If you are interested in a longer orientation, we can create a custom walk combining this tour with our Left Bank Paris Tour; please contact us for more information and pricing
This scentastic tour combines those Parisian things we all love! French cheese, baguette, vintage clothing, perfume and much more. Each happen to have their own particular fragrance, so let your nose lead the way and go en route past authentic Parisian spots in Le Marais with your favourite private guide!
Take in the smell of paint at the ateliers of the current art prodigies of Paris, fill your nostrils with the scent of fresh baguettes at an awarded boulanger and enjoy whiffs of the most magnificent eau de cologne at the best perfume artisan in Paris. Just a few of the things that are in store for you and your nose! In total, 11 unique locations have been selected of which the memories of its smell will be the best souvenir for you to cherish once youre back home.
Youll enjoy an easy-going route filled with nice aromas, away from the touristy crowds. Along the way, your private local guide will be sharing inspiring stories and insights with you about their days in beautiful Paris. So let your nose take the lead, but remember to be all ears and keep your eyes wide open for a full-blown Parisian feast for your senses!
Your local guide has a keen nose for cool and authentic places in Paris! The full itinerary of your tour is:
- Start: Central Meeting Point at Pont Marie
- Stop 1: Browse around and take in the smells at an antique shop in authentic Village Saint Paul
- Stop 2: Take a secret passage to a 17th century church
- Stop 3: Absinthe tasting like several great artists did in Paris
- Stop 4: The coolest vintage store in le Marais
- Stop 6: Visit a unique French tea shop
- Stop 7: Take in the smell of fresh baguettes, croissants and sweets at a French bakery
- Stop 8: Enjoy the aromas of paint and creation of masterpieces at art atteliers
- Stop 9: Unusual Parisian Perfume
- Stop 10: Visit a local fromagerie at a buzzing market
- FINAL STOP: Wine tasting at a unique winestore
Despite its reputation as a distinctly American art form, much of jazz’s developmental history can be traced back to the underground clubs of Paris, which embraced jazz as its own. The city has displayed a fervent love affair with jazz since the first European tour of an American jazz band in 1919, providing musicians with a vibrant club scene and enthusiastic audiences that continue today. On this 2.5 hour tour through Saint-Germain and the Latin Quarter, led by a renowned jazz musician, we will explore the history of jazz in Paris, creatively incorporating some of its most representative songs into our narrative.
- Paris Jazz tour
- Listen to the Left Bank come alive through jazz music.
- Led by renowned jazz musician Clara Ponty.
- Small groups—maximum six participants.
Jazz and Rebellion
With its hunger for new ideas and lack of racial segregation, post-war Paris was the perfect venue for introducing Europe to the new American sound. As Miles Davis wrote in his autobiography, “Everything changed while I was in Paris. It was like magic, almost like I had been hypnotized…It was April in Paris and, yeah, I was in love.” Musicians flocked to the city and several were so taken by the vibrant and supportive atmosphere that they expatriated permanently.
During WWII and the Nazi Occupation, listening to jazz was grounds for imprisonment (for more, see our Paris WWII Tour). The genre's radical, rebellious air continued, as Paris drew connections between the loose, carefree syncopation of the music and free-thinking existentialism. As a result, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with its high concentration of students, existentialists and underground caves, became the unofficial neighborhood of bebop in the 1940s and 50s. When Dizzy Gillespie first brought his new sound to these clubs, he was met with audiences more supportive and excited than their American counterparts.
For a more introductory look at the Rive Gauche, see our Left Bank Paris Tour.
Soundtrack to an Era
With personal mp3 players in hand and a playlist that has been carefully chosen to tell the story of jazz in Paris, we will work our way through the Left Bank. We may learn the history of the Hot Club, an organization and publication founded by French students to further the reach of jazz in France. We will pass by several legendary clubs, some of which are still in operation. We may also have a look at the home of Django Reinhardt as we stroll along the same streets taken by Jean-Paul Sartre and Juliette Gréco on their way to see Miles Davis perform at Club St. Germain.
"One of the most memorable tours we have ever taken. Walking through Paris, listening to jazz on an iPod...It was such an unusual experience. "
Finally, we’ll cross the Seine and head towards the rue des Lombards, where we will end our walk near one of Paris’ premier jazz clubs, in case you would like to attend an evening show featuring the top players in the city’s contemporary scene. A small pedestrian street, rue des Lombards is famous for its numerous music venues drawing some of the best names in contemporary jazz.
Indeed, it is this continued appreciation of jazz as a vibrant, relevant genre, rather than nostalgic hymns of our dusty past, that sets Paris apart. As our walk comes to a close, we will come away with a comprehensive understanding of the history of the genre, factors contributing to its success in Paris, as well as a few new favorite songs.
Please note that we will not attend a concert as part of this tour.
Starting out from the futuristic surroundings of Beaubourg, explore the reputable and now-in-style Marais district, home to one of the most beautiful spots in Paris: Place des Vosges. After visiting one of the oldest covered markets in Paris, your professional guide will also bring you up to date on the recent scandals of the Buren Columns and the Louvre Pyramid before taking you to where the Celts first settled, the legendary Heart of Paris: lIle de la Cité. See the fantastic Notre Dame Cathedral on your way to Ile St.Louis and all its hidden secrets Meeting point for this tour is in the city center, just two steps from the famous Centre Pompidou museum.
In the early morning of June 6th, 1944, almost 160,000 Allied troops descended on the well-fortified Normandy beaches, setting Operation Overlord in motion. Today, the various commemorative sites along this now peaceful stretch of French coastline are a powerful reminder of the courage and sacrifice that was needed to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. On this full day D-Day tour in the company of one of a WWII historian we will travel along the D-Day beaches, stopping at the main sites and providing a powerful visual backdrop to understand this complex, key turning point in World War II.
- D-Day tour led by a WWII historian.
- Day-long excursion from Paris to Normandy beaches.
- Small group—6 people maximum.
After taking the train from Paris to Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy and target for heavy bombings during the war, we will meet our docent and driver at the Caen train station. Our route may change to accommodate any special interests, but we usually begin with the far end of the American sector: the Pointe du Hoc. En route, our docent will lay out the background for the invasion. This steep cliff, sitting 30 meters (100 feet) above the sea, was a strategic location on the German defensive Atlantic wall. It was a point of attack for the 2nd Ranger Battalion and the site of an intense two-day battle. The rough terrain, marked with shell holes and the remains of the machine gun battery, takes us back to the day of the battle and sets the tone for our excursion.
"Our docent’s expert knowledge combined with the sites to give us what we felt was a deep, balanced picture of the events and the issues, and their impact on the war."
After a break for lunch, we will proceed to Omaha Beach. Situated at Colleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach serves as the location of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. At this moving site, we will learn about the important involvement of the American contingency in the invasion. You will also have time to independently visit the cemetery and pay homage to any particular graves or walk to the expansive beach down below.
Driving eastward, we will reach Arromanches, the location of the invaluable artificial port. At this site, we will learn about the careful preparations for Operation Overload and how this artificial port was installed and used to offload vehicles and supplies in the days following the invasion. Time permitting, we may also visit a German cemetery. A sombre resting place, it provides a unique context for seeing the perspective of the individual German soldier.
Please Note: This is a full-day, 12 hour excursion. Clients depart by themselves from the Paris St-Lazare station at 8:45 am and arrive in Caen around 11:00 am, where the docent and driver will be waiting. Clients will return to the station around 7:00 pm, arriving in Paris around 9:00 pm. We can also arrange private excursions for clients desiring car transportation from Paris or for visitors staying in Normandy.
The medieval churches of Paris are the rare markers of a city that has long since disappeared beneath the modern metropolis. Concentrated on Paris' Left Bank, near to the Île de la Cité, these stunning examples of medieval architecture highlight architectural innovations of the Middle Ages. From examining the statuary which decorates the exterior facades, to noting the support system for the impressive vaulted arches inside some of these churches, our guide to the Medieval Churches of Paris, a medieval historian, will show us the grounding characteristics of Gothic architecture as well as the individual aspects which makes these churches exceptional. The walk is an excellent complement for those who have already visited the better-known Gothic monuments on our Notre Dame tour and are yearning for more.
- Explore Paris' medieval churches.
- Medieval Churches of Paris Tour led by a medievalist or art historian.
- Small, intimate group experience—never more than 6 on a walk.
Medieval Churches of Paris Tour - Saint-Germain-des-Prés
This Medieval Churches of Paris Tour begins at the with the oldest church of the city, the former monastery church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Constructed in the 6th-century to house the relic of St. Vincent's stole, Saint-Germain-des-Prés quickly grew a collection of relics, as well as an extensive library within its monastery complex.
The church functioned without interruption until 1792, when it shut its doors for 11 years following the 1789 Revolution (for more, see our French Revolution Tour Paris). The church's land holdings noted in its polyptych, or estate ledger, show that the Abbey once owned and controlled much of the land west of the current Boulevard St. Michel. Together, we will note its mix of Romanesque and early Gothic styles, tracing its history in concurrence with the variety of architectural styles introduced over the course of its various restorations.
For a more introductory look at the Rive Gauche, see our Left Bank Paris Tour.
Saint-Severin and Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois
We will also explore Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois and Saint-Severin, famous for its unusual twisted pillar. As the parish church of the Louvre, Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois often served as the primary place of worship for the Kings of France. Over the centuries, the initial building was enlarged to accommodate a growing community of worshippers. Continuing to Saint-Severin, we will consider this church's array of exterior gargoyles. We will also consider the rich stained glass windows and the dominant rose window above the west entrance. Along the way, we will mention some medieval churches that have unfortunately disappeared.
For those interested in Gothic architecture, see our Chartres Tour.
We will finish our walk with the most recent medieval church, the superb Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. Noted for its spectacular filigree, twisting stairs, and the only surviving rood screen in Paris, this church makes for an outstanding example of how Gothic architecture transitioned through to the 17th-century. Here, we will identify the French take on Renaissance architecture and an unusual type of French architecture of the 17th-century.
While Saint-Étienne-du-Mont has its roots in the abbey of Sainte-Geneviève in the 6th-century, a complete overhaul of the site was required in the 16th-century to accommodate the church's growing population. Examining Saint-Étienne-du-Mont will open our discussion of renovations, as all of these medieval churches have more recent additions incorporated into their structures. Together, we will trace their continuous modernization over the centuries. We will also discover magnificent artistic treasures, stained glass, sculpture and panel paintings dating from the Middle Ages to the modern day.
"Our docent brought a scholar's knowledge to our perception of the churches. Her language was vivid, making the history come alive. Subsequent to the walk, I was struck by my daughter's ability to note architectural features in other churches later on our trip."
Each of these churches served a different segment of the population and developed special architectural features to achieve their impressive architectural constructions, which make them the perfect vehicle for an in-depth discussion of the period. Considering the particular role of each church, be it as part of a monastery, as the parish of the king, as a stop on the pilgrim's route, or as a place of worship for the students of the university, we will craft a narrative of religious and secular life.
Through examining these churches, with their different historical associations, you will be plunged back into the vivid history of Paris, from the the Viking invasions to the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution, and emerge with an understanding of the characteristics of Medieval architecture. This walk is for the true lover of the Paris that used to be.
Useful French for rail travel
|English (anglais)||French (français)||Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun|
|Where is?||Où est?||ou eh|
|...train station||la gare||lah gar|
|ticket||un billet||uhn bee-YAY|
|ticket counter||les guichet||lay ghee-SHAY|
|departures within the hour||départs dans l'heure||day-PAR dohn luhr|
|local departures||départs banlieue||day-PAR bahn-LYOO|
|long-distance departures||départs grandes lignes||day-PAR grahnd leenyh|
|departure time||heure de départ||uhr de day-PAR|
|arrival time||heure d'arrivée||urh dar-ree-YAV|
|first class||première classe||pruh-mee-YAIR klahs|
|second class||seconde classe||say-COHN-duh klahs|
|one way ticket||un billet simple||uhn bee-YAY SAHM-pluh|
|round trip (return) ticket||un billet aller-retour||uhn bee-YAY ah-LAY RAY-tour|
|I would like to reserve a seat||Je voudrais réserver une place||dzuh voo-DRAY RAY-sair-vay ooun plahs|
|I have a Eurailpass||J'ai Eurailpass||dzay ao-rail-PAHS|
|sleeping couchette||une couchette||ooun koo-SHET|
|berth in a sleeping car||une place en voiture-lit||ooune plahs uhn vwa-TOUR-lee|
|car / carriage||voiture||vwa-TOUR|
|punch your ticket||composter de billet||cohm-poh-STAY de bee-YAY|
|departures||le départ||luh day-PAR|
|coming from||en provenance de||un pro-veh-NONS de|
|going to||a destination de||ah des-tee-nah-tzee-YOWN de|
|Is this the right platform for the Paris train?||Est-ce que c’est le quai pour le train de Paris?||es kuh say le kay poo-rh leh traah de pah-REE|
|delayed||en retard||hn ruh-TAR|
Useful French for air travel
|English (anglais)||French (français)||Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun|
|Where is...||Où est?||ou eh|
|to the right||à droite||ah dwa-t|
|to the left||à gauche||ah go-sh|
|straight ahead||tout droit||too dwa|
|departures hall||Hall de départ||ahl de day-PAR|
|arrivals hall||Hall d’arrivée||ahl da-ree-VAY|
|delayed||en retard||hn ruh-TAR|
|on time||à l’heure||ah LOUR|
|early||en avance||hn ah-VAHNS|
|security check||le contrôle de sécurité||luh kon-TROLL de say-cure-ee-TAY|
|shuttle||la navette||lah na-VET|
|boarding pass||une carte d’embarquement||ooun kart dem-bark-eh-MUHn|
|baggage claim||la livraison des bagages||la lee-vray-SOHn day bah-GA-j|
|carry-on luggage||les bagages à main||lay bah-GA-j ah meh|
|checked luggage||les bagages enregistrés||lay bah-GA-j on-ray-jee-STRAY|
Useful French for car travel
|English (anglais)||French (français)||Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun|
|scooter/motorboke||une moto||ouhn mo-TOH|
|gas station||station-service||stah-see-YOHN sair-VEES|
|gas||de l'essence||deh lay-SAWNS|
|Fill it up, please||faire le plein, s'il vous plaît||fair le plahn seel voo play|
|Where is...||Où est?||ou eh|
|...the road||la route||lah root|
|...the street||la rue||lah roo|
|...the road for Paris||
la route de Paris
|lah root de pah-REE|
|to the right||à droite||ah dwa-t|
|to the left||à gauche||ah go-sh|
|keep going straight||tout droit||too dwa|
|toll||un péage||uhn PAY-ahj|
|road map||carte routière||kahrt roo-tee-YAIR|
|roundabout||rond point||rohn pwea|
Typical road signs
|English (anglais)||French (français)|
|Speed limit||Limit de vitesse|
|Give way||Cedez le passage|
|Give way to traffic coming from the left/right||Priorité à gauche / à droit|
|No passing||Interdiction de doubler/dépasser|
|No entry||Sens interdit|
|Road closed||Route barrée|
|Risk of ice||Verglas|
|Speed camera||Radar de vitesse|
|Pedestrian crossing||Passage piéton|
|Parking prohibited||Stationnement interdit|
|Pedestrian zone||Zone piétonnne|
Basic phrases in French
|English (anglais)||French (français)||pro-nun-see-YAY-shun|
|please||s'il vous plaît||seel-vou-PLAY|
|Do you speak English?||Parlez-vous anglais?||par-lay-VOU on-GLAY|
|I don't understand||Je ne comprende pas||zhuh nuh COHM-prohnd pah|
|I'm sorry||Je suis desolée||zhuh swee day-zoh-LAY|
|How much does it cost?||Combien coute?||coam-bee-YEHN koot|
|That's too much||C'est trop||say troh|
|Good evening||Bon soir||bohn SWAH|
|Good night||Bon nuit||bohn NWEE|
|Excuse me (to get attention)||Excusez-moi||eh-skooze-ay-MWA|
|Excuse me (to get past someone)||Pardon||pah-rRDOHN|
|Where is?||Où est?||ou eh|
|...the bathroom||la toilette||lah twah-LET|
|...train station||la gare||lah gahr|
Days, months, and other calendar items in French
|English (anglais)||French (français)||Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun|
|When is it open?||Quand est-il ouvert?||coan eh-TEEL oo-VAIR|
|When does it close?||Quand est l'heure de fermeture?||coan eh lure duh fair-mah-TOUR|
|At what time...||à quelle heure...||ah kell uhre|
|Day after tomorrow||après demain||ah-PRAY duh-MEHN|
|a day||un jour||ooun zhuhr|
|a month||un mois||ooun mwa|
Numbers in French
|English (anglais)||French (français)||Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun|
|21*||vingt et un *||vahnt eh UHN|
|22*||vingt deux *||vahn douh|
|23*||vingt trois *||vahn twa|
|5,000||cinq mille||sank meel|
|10,000||dix mille||dees meel|
* You can form any number between 20 and 99 just like the examples for 21, 22, and 23. For x2–x9, just say the tens-place number (trente for 30, quarante for 40, etc.), then the ones-place number (35 is trente cinq; 66 is soixsante six). The only excpetion is for 21, 31, 41, etc. For x1, say the tens-place number followed by "...et un" (trente et un, quarante et un, etc.).
‡ Yes, the French count very strangely once they get past 69. Rather than some version of "seventy,' they instead say "sixy-ten" (followed by "sixty-eleven," "sixty-twelve,' etc. up to "sixty-nineteen.") And then, just to keep things interesting, they chenge it up again and, for 80, say 'four twenties"—which always make me thinks of blackbirds baked in a pie for some reason. Ninety becomes "four-twenties-ten" and so on up to "four-nineties-ninteen" for 99, which is quite a mouthful: quartre-vingts-dix-neuf.