In a city like Paris, it can be difficult for visitors to get their bearings straight. Why do we talk about the Right and Left Banks? How are the arrondissements arranged and why? What is the Latin Quarter and why is it so famous? On this 4-hour introduction tour, we'll learn the answers to these questions and more. Part orientation tour and part history tour, this walk will prepare you to conquer Paris and to read its urban plan like an expert. Focusing on the city center, we'll begin our walk in the Saint-Germain neighborhood, then move toward the Latin Quarter to explore Notre-Dame and the Sorbonne. Then, crossing to the Right Bank, we'll investigate the long history of the Louvre and stroll through the gardens of the Palais Royal. Depending on the interests of the group, we can end the tour with the Second Empire grandeur of the Opéra Garnier or take the metro to the Arc de Triomphe.
Hidden History of the Left Bank
On this outdoor walking tour, I'll guide you through the history of Paris and some of its less-visited (but equally exciting) monuments—stretching from Roman ruins to contemporary cafes—in just 3 hours. We'll start our tour near Notre-Dame de Paris. Then, we'll move off the beaten track to explore the Left Bank, where we'll visit the Roman amphitheater of Lutetia, stroll in Marie de Medici's palace gardens, and enjoy the scenery in the city's massive botanical gardens. We'll also cruise past the famous Shakespeare & Company, get a glimpse of the Pantheon, and visit the Great Mosque of Paris. All along the route, I'll also show you some of the city's best-kept secrets that hide in plain sight, including a 400-year-old tree, a 1000-year-old city wall, and the oldest bar in Paris.
Making Modern Paris: Haussmann Architecture and Urban Planning
This three-hour walking tour explores Paris' architecture and the history of its urban plan. As we stroll through the city center, we'll examine how Emperor Napoleon III and his chief city planner, Baron Haussmann, rebuilt large swaths of Paris in an extraordinarily short period of time. We'll see how their impressive series of public works projects transformed Paris from neighborhoods languishing in squalor into the City of Light we know today. We'll visit many of the impressive glass-and-iron domes and other beautiful Belle Epoque structures—most of which hide behind rather "traditional" stone facades and are easy to miss—that made Paris one of the most impressive and grandiose capitals of 19th-century Europe.
Today, Montmartre is a vibrant Parisian neighborhood known for its communities of artists, writers, and musicians, as well as its bohemian cafés. But for most of its history, this part of Paris lay outside of the city's walls. First a women's monastery, then home to windmills and vineyards, it wasn't until the 19th century that Montmartre was incorporated into Paris and became the bustling artistic center we know today. On this 3-hour walking tour, we'll explore the rich past of the neighborhood. Beginning on the Place des Abbesses and then winding our way up narrow cobblestone streets to Sacré-Cœur, we'll encounter the major figures—from nuns to painters, singers, actors, and writers—who helped forge Montmartre's unique identity.
On this 3-hour walking tour, we'll explore the rich and varied vestiges of medieval Paris while traversing some of the city's most-loved neighborhoods. We'll see that much more of the medieval city than its Gothic churches remains visible today. Beginning in the Marais, we'll visit the oldest half-timber houses in Paris as well as several 16th-century mansions, the remains of royal palaces, and a section of the 13th-century wall of King Philippe-Auguste. Then, we'll make our way across the Ile de la Cité and into the Latin Quarter, where we'll examine a Roman bath house transformed over several centuries into one of the most luxurious mansions of the Middle Ages, and discuss the 12th-century origins of the Sorbonne. Time and interest permitting, we may also head north to the Right Bank to discover the house of the famed alchemist Nicholas Flamel.
Whether you're hoping to reserve one of the tours from my standard portfolio, or to create something tailored to your needs and interests, I will work with you to craft an experience that will be just right for you. I'm also happy to offer family-friendly versions of my tours which are specially designed to engage children of all ages.
For all inquiries and bookings, please contact me directly.