History in Paris
Sights in Paris
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.
After meeting your private guide, begin your walking tour that introduces you to the rich, complex, and sometimes tragic history of the Hebrew community in Paris and throughout Europe.
Your historical journey takes you back centuries, when there was a Jewish community in the Paris area before France even existed, from the Middle Ages and the rise of anti-Semitism through to the present day. Listen to your guide's explanations about main events in the history of Jewish Paris, such as the raids of the French kings, the Dreyfus affair, WWII Nazi occupation, and the Vichy government. Youll also learn about the medieval origins of various superstitions and prejudgments about the Hebrew community.
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.
Our day trip begins within pick you up from hotels and driving to Normandy, which beauties can even impress experienced-travelers.
Depending on car traffic after 2-2,5 hours of voyage you will reach one of the most unbelievable factories called Christian Drouin and producing the pride of Normandy region namely Calvados, the local high-alcohol drink made from apples. Moreover you can expect an informative one hour visit including also a tasting of 3 types of Calvados and Cider at the end.
As the next stop there is a nice city on a seacoast Honfleur. Our guide put you into the storm of historical facts linked to The Second World War and especially D-Day the well-known story about a huge bravery of common soldiers. During 2 hours you have a chance to see a very old church named after Saint Catherine that might surprise you by the incredible story of its construction. Then visit the local french market offering wide assortment of products grown and made in Normandy. For the lunch, consisting of 3 plates, we have chosen a restaurant that could be proud of the authentic French cuisines and the local warm hospitality spirit.
Then move to a little city, Etretat, to see stunning landscapes namely the white cliffs and three natural rockÂ archesÂ thatÂ are some of the best-known sights in Upper Normandy in France. All sightseeing takes 30 minutes.
And after that you will be on your way to the gorgeous palace Fecamp where our guide let you visit it by yourself. Walking through all elegant rooms and spaces you will definitely feel like you are among members of royal families. After you have finished your little discovering you will be lead by a local touristic guide bringing you to the heart of still working factory focusing on production of liqueur called DOM with a degustation of it at the end during a hour.
And in the end, when you get pleased with all these activities you will be driven directly to Paris.
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.
Relive the most harrowing and heroic moments of WWII during a 3-hour guided private 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. The maximum group size for this tour is 10 people.
Meet your guide outside the Saint Paul metro station at 2 pm. Begin your historic walk in the Marais, a Jewish quarter that was heavily affected by the German invasion. Listen to dramatic stories of life under Nazi rule that included food rationing, round-ups and deportations, and 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 before crossing the bridges of the Seine to Notre Dame Cathedral and Ile de la Cité. In front of this iconic church, hear the stories of the French Resistance fighters and see the first building they overtook to begin the historic liberation of Paris. Your guide will point out all the World War II-era details that hide in plain sight on the buildings of the area, including French and German artillery damage.
Discuss the dramatic true story of how Hitler demanded that Paris be destroyed, and how the fate of the city rested in the hands of just one man. Hear intriguing tales of how the Monuments Men saved countless works of art and other tales of heroism. Midway through the tour, rest your feet and reflect with an included coffee break at an authentic French café. This private walking tour is the perfect way to discover the forgotten secrets of one of the most dramatic war events in history, set against the backdrop of the most beautiful city in the world. The 3-hour tour concludes at the Pont Neuf Bridge around 6 pm.
Meet your guide in central Paris just after 9am and board your luxury, air-conditioned coach to travel to the oldest and most intriguing parts of Frances capital city. As you explore some of Paris best-known historical landmarks, your guide will explain their significance.
See octagonal Place Vendome and marvel at Palais Garnier, the world-famous opera house used as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera. Witness the magnificent architecture of the Louvre, the worlds most-visited museum, and the massive Hotel de Ville (City Hall).
The photo ops continue as you head to Place de la Bastille (Bastille Square), where the French Revolution began. View the old mansions in the Marais District and sense the youthful energy of the Latin Quarter, home to the famous Sorbonne, which houses several academic institutions.
Your guided coach tour also goes to the legendary Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), the second-largest public park in Paris, and St-Germain-des-Prés, a neighborhood favored by celebrated writers and philosophers including Ernest Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.
In warmer months (April - Oct), board a boat for a short cruise on the Seine River to Ile de la Cité, an island in the heart of Paris that is the site of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. During the winter, travel to Notre Dame by mini-coach for a more comfortable experience. Enter this iconic Paris landmark (except on Sundays and during Mass) and learn about its rich and colorful history from your guide. For instance, hear how the centuries-old Gothic cathedral was damaged during the French Revolution and later restored to its former glory.
After your visit to the cathedral, make your way back across the Seine and end your nearly 4-hour tour of historical landmarks with a coach ride back to central Paris.
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.
As one of the most visited sites in the world, and certainly in Paris, the Louvre's fascinating history remains lesser known. While this structure now displays some of the world's most renowned paintings and sculptures, an examination of its architectural history yields, in small scale, the story of Paris—from medieval fortress to luxurious palace, refashioned to reflect the tastes of the ruling powers, and eventually transformed into a world-class museum. On this 2-hour Louvre architecture tour in the company of an art or architectural historian, we will unearth these overlooked details, fleshing out the story behind one of the world's most famous art museums.
- Learn about the Louvre's extensive history and its architectural evolution.
- Led by an art or architectural historian.
- Small group size—maximum six participants per walk.
From Outpost to Museum, and In-Between
Beginning in the central outdoor Cour Carré and Cour Napoléon, we'll discuss the Louvre's tumultuous history, from outpost to fortress, then royal residence to treasure house and museum. We'll examine the exterior of the museum, considering the various building campaigns that produced it, and the monarchs who have left their mark on its walls.
Referencing some of its buildings that no longer exist (the Tuileries Palace, for example), we'll see how details in its architectural styles—the restrained imperial classicism of the East facade versus the renaissance reliefs on Lescot's pavilion in the Cour Carré, for instance—speak to the Louvre's role as a focus of Parisian urban planning from King Francois Ier through President Francois Mitterand.
"Our docent was prompt, organized, and extremely knowledgeable. Her enthusiasm for the subject was evident and helped bring the history to life. The small group size definitely contributed to our very positive experience. Thank you for one of our most memorable and enjoyable experiences in Paris."
The Louvre's Foundations
From there, we'll proceed to the interior of the museum to see the Sully wing's extensive display on the history of the Louvre. Here, we'll begin to discuss the museum's various collections in broader terms with reference to moments in French history. For example, as we move downstairs to view the foundation for Philippe Auguste's tower, which was excavated during the construction of I.M. Pei's glass pyramid (one of the Grands Projets of the era, covered in greater detail on our Paris Contemporary Architecture Tour), we'll consider Pei's controversial structure as an evocation of the Egyptian spoils that Napoleon had brought back from his Middle Eastern campaigns.
Viewing the Louvre from an architectural perspective, rather than simply as a warehouse for one of the world's most enviable collection of masterworks, brings the full spectrum of the building's roles to the forefront. As our walk comes to a close, we will depart with a better understanding of this unique structure and its position in French society over the centuries. After opening a dialogue on the building's history, you may be interested in continuing to explore the interior with our Crash Course Louvre Tour. For clients seeking more specificity, we also offer a Louvre Antiquities Tour, Louvre Dutch and Flemish Masters Tour, Louvre Italian Masters Tour, and Louvre French Masters Tour.
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!
Enjoy a 2.5-Hour guided visit to perhaps the most spectacular building on the Paris skyline, the incredible gold-domed Invalides. Covered with 26lbs of real gold, the Invalides is home to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and the fascinating museum of the army, tracing the history of the French armies and their allies from the jousts of kings, through invasion and resistance to the Normandy landings of WWII.
Commissioned by King Louis XIV and designed in the 17th century by Jules Hardouin Mansart (the same architect who designed the incredible Hall of Mirrors in Versailles) the Invalides was originally built as a hospital and home for wounded and retired soldiers returning from the kings wars. The king knew that he owed his glories to his troops, so he ordered a most magnificent building for them. The Invalides is also home to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and the fascinating museum of the army, tracing the history of the French armies and their allies from the jousts of kings, through invasion and resistance to the Normandy landings of WWII. Nowadays you will still find veterans living there, and the gold-domed Cathedral of St. Louis is the seat of the Bishop of the Armies.
Your expert guide will take you on a historical journey. Hear of the exploits of General Bonaparte and learn how he became Emperor Napoleon, and hear how two British pilots were hidden in this very structure during La Resistance under German occupation in the 1940s. Then visit the breathtaking tomb of the most famous general in European history. After crowning himself Emperor in 1804, Napoleon went on to conquer huge swathes of Europe, until his final defeat at Waterloo. Exiled until his death in 1821, his body was returned to France and placed here in the enormous sarcophagus built specially for him. His son is also buried next to him, his body brought to Paris by Hitler in 1940.
Join your guide on this compelling visit to the Invalides, and journey through war, defeat, resistance, and glory.
Experience this historical adventure tour and relive July 14th 1789, the most important day in French history! You will meet your guide in front of the main gate of the Hotel des Invalides who will take you to various historical sites including Place de la Concorde, Tuileries gardens, Palais-Royal, La Bastille fortress and more. At the conclusion of this 3 hour tour, you will be given a complimentary drink. Food is not included on this tour.
You will meet your guide at the Invalides, a military hospital and museum, and learn what the situation was at dawn, in Paris on July 14th, 1789. Then, stop at Place de la Concorde and learn how it was tragically transformed into a stage for the guillotine, a place where hundreds of people died. Be careful.
Through the Tuileries gardens and old Parisian streets, you will reach the Palais-Royal, where the fermentation of intellectual ideas prepared the popular uprising. Then you will come back temporarily to modern times and take a bus ride to Hotel de Ville, and finally make your way to the site La Bastille fortress.
Your guides lively commentaries will evoke the violence of the battle to get the prisons gates opened and have the garrison surrender. To conclude this exciting 3-hour tour, you will have a complimentary drink with your guide while being told what was going on at Versailles the same day. In a friendly atmosphere.
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.
Join our small-group tour (8 pers. max) and enjoy a 2,5 hour experience discovering Le Marais off the beaten track.
Along the district's winding streets, step back in time and walk in the shoes of the aristocratic celebrities of Le Marais' past. 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 mad King, a plotting marchioness or a jousting Knight.
Follow your Paris history specialist across magnificent squares and secluded courtyards and discover Le Marais' rich Past!
You will never say after this tour that History is boring!
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.
In Le Marais, History overwhelms you as soon as you get out of the subway. Right where streams of cars are passing by, there was once a field for jousts and tournaments. As in Game of Thrones, French history had its King Slayer... You will learn with fascination how a Scottish noble knight mortally wounded King Henri II. Brrr...
Nearby, the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church façade is similar to when duchesses and "Marquises" gathered to attend fashionable masses. Imagine their satin dresses rustling as they hurry to hear an eloquent priest. Louis Bourdaloue was called "Preacher of kings, King of preachers". You're will surely understand why!
A stroll will take you then to the Village Saint-Paul, the most picturesque part of Le Marais. The opportunity to discover what medieval Paris looked like is worth a detour. In this timeless atmosphere, you will be introduced to King Charles, sixth of his name, and the way his mistress, the sweet Odile, dealt with his madness.
Another extraordinary woman lived there: Marguerite, a 50-year old former Queen, for whom two 20 old lovers fought to death... France has always been France, even in the past.
You will then go to Place des Vosges, the magnificent heart of Le Marais. An unassuming entrance gives onto an overwhelming setting. Here lived Marie de Sévigné, a young orphan who became a famous writer. She was as successful in literature as she was unlucky in her private life! Don't miss the details.
Along Le Marais' vibrant streets, you'll be amazed by the numerous private mansions you'll see. They've been theatrical scenes for extravagant historical figures. Behind these opulent façades, the playwright Beaumarchais did everything he could to support the American War of Independence. In another quest for liberty, Madame de Brinvilliers conceived an evil plan to hasten time. She concocted a very efficient "inheritance powder"... Want to try some?
Well, we'd rather recommend you have a nice coffee with your guide instead. A typical Parisian café is the perfect place to satisfy your lingering curiosity concerning the ups and downs of Le Marais' colorful locals.
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.
The company founded in Paris in December 1893 is today both an iconic monument of the capital, with a world-wide reputation and welcoming more than 100,000 visitors per day over an area of 70,000 square meters.
Opened in 1894, the modest shop was quickly a great success.
On the facade of the building, several styles demonstrating the successive enlargements of the store: Haussmann, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and the drugstore spirit of the 1960s. At the center of this unique heritage property is the neo-byzantine dome, the heart of this theater of fashion.
This guided tour will take you through the aisles of the store, cross the emblematic spaces of the place and take the staff private elevators to the panoramic terrace.
You will understand how the founders invented an architecture adapted to the needs of commerce. Borrowed from the architectural vocabulary of the sacred as well as that of the spectacle, the dome, the balconies and the monumental staircase turn the heads of visitors. Your guide will tell you the history of the majestic dome and the hidden message behind the 10 coats of arms which surmount the pillars of the great hall.
You will then use the staff elevators to access the top floor. Continue your journey through the floors, discover the ingenious system of operation of the double wall of the dome and the remains of the staircase of Louis Majorelle.
An architectural and historical visit which will make you discover more than 120 years of history of a family busine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Enjoy a 2.5-hour guided visit to perhaps the most spectacular building on the Paris skyline, the incredible gold-domed Invalides. Covered with 26 lbs of real gold, the Invalides is home to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and the fascinating museum of the army, tracing the history of the French armies and their allies from the jousts of kings, through invasion and resistance to the Normandy landings of WWII.
Commissioned by King Louis XIV and designed in the 17th century by Jules Hardouin Mansart (the same architect who designed the incredible Hall of Mirrors in Versailles), the Invalides was originally built as a hospital and home for wounded and retired soldiers returning from the kings wars. The king knew that he owed his glories to his troops, so he ordered a most magnificent building for them. Nowadays, you will still find veterans living here, and the gold-domed Cathedral of St. Louis is the seat of the Bishop of the Armies.
Follow your expert guide on a journey through history. See magnificent Medieval and Renaissance armor; learn how the French and their allies resisted the invading German armies during World War II and how and why Uncle Sam got involved. Discover how the Resistance was organized, how the D-Day landings were coordinated and how they were perceived in Paris including the story of the British fighter pilots who lived hidden in the dome during the Occupation. Explore the lives of two of the most famous and influential figures of French military history, Charles de Gaulle and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Then visit the breathtaking tomb of the most famous general in European history. After crowning himself Emperor in 1804, Napoleon went on to conquer huge swathes of Europe until his final defeat at Waterloo. Exiled until his death in 1821, his body was returned to France and placed here in the enormous sarcophagus built specially for him. His son is also buried next to him, his body brought to Paris by Hitler in 1940.
Join your private guide on this compelling visit to the Invalides on a journey through war, defeat, resistance, and glory.
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.
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.
After hotel pickup, depart Paris for the drive to Château de Chantilly, the family estate of the Prince de Conde.
Surrounded by picturesque forests and lakes, the Renaissance castle is an emerald in the crown of French aristocratic architecture, built in the middle of a reservoir with just once entrance across a bridge. Architects turned the castle into an expensive box of design delights with an endless kaleidoscope of visual reflections by balustrades, columns, exquisite stucco, and stone ornamentation. The grounds are just as impressive, full of sculptures by Italian masters of the Renaissance.
After visiting the castle, spend the second part of your tour at the Great Stables of the Prince de Conde. Horses have always been a big part of life at the castle; since the 17th century, Thoroughbred and draft horses were trained here for court ceremonies and other royal events. Today, the large stable is a modern equestrian center, where mares and stallions are bred, live, and train for international competitions and performances. You can also check out the Living Museum of the Horse.
Finally, enjoy a Renaissance-style meal. You'll be served a starter, main dish, dessert, and glass of wine at one of two beautiful restaurants at the castle, filled with the spirit of French history. Dishes might include French specialties like warm goat cheese salad, coquilles St-Jacques gratinée, and cocottes sucrées.
Your tour the ends with return to Paris for hotel drop-off.
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.
Once you meet your guide at a meeting point, you will head to Pére Lachaise.
You will then receive a guided visit and discover the different kinds of architecture and sculptures at the cemetery, while listening to the stories and historical explanations from your guide.
You will visit the graves of iconic figures such as Frederyk Chopin, Jim Morrison or Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Eugéne Delacroix and many others.
The Basilica of St. Denis is the official necropolis of the French monarchy; here you will find the tombs of 43 kings and 32 queens, from Dagobert in the 7th century to King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Get introduced to the city and history of Paris through the kings and queens that both made and ruled it.
Also learn about the story of St. Denis, patron saint of Paris, whom the cathedral is dedicated to and who, according to legend, walked here carrying his own head! This magnificent Gothic masterpiece was built in the 13th century, many years before the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Chosen by St. Louis to be the final resting place of the French royal family, it houses a collection of the finest medieval and Renaissance royal tombs.
During the French Revolution, the remains of kings and queens were meticulously dug out and thrown into a mass grave. With the Restoration of the monarchy, the glory of the kings had to also be restored, but how were their bodies found after the turmoil of the Revolution? Your guide will tell you this story, as well as that of the 10-year-old son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, whose heart is preserved today in a crystal urn.Learn the secrets of the lives and deaths of the French royal families on a visit to this incredible Gothic treasure.
Enjoy a scenic drive to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France. First, visit the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in the farming town of Vimy. With your guide, explore the 250-acre (100-hectare) park and learn how it served as the battlefield for the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge during World War 1. See the monument in the center of the park, where the names of thousands of soldiers are inscribed into the stone.
Next, head to the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, located in the nearby town of Souchez. Named after a house that once stood there, this cemetery was designed by the architect Sir Frank Higginson and is one of the largest in the region. Follow your guide around the cemetery and learn about the 7,655 Commonwealth soldiers buried here.
Drive south to the capital of the Pas-de-Calais region, Arras, and enjoy free time to explore on your own and discover the citys spectacular squares. This historic center of the former Artois region, located on the Scarpe River, dates back more than 2,000 years. Your guide will happily recommend some places to enjoy lunch (own expense).
Then, relax on the drive back to Paris.
Youll be picked-up by your guide at your central Paris Hotel in the morning and get taken on a 1.5-hour drive north to Belleau, a village in Frances Picardy area that, together with Marne, made up one of the major (and now most famous) parts of the western front during World War I. Many important battles took place in this region, including the First Battle of the Marne and the Second Battle of the Marne, which developed into a significant Allied victory.
Start with a visit to the 42-acre (17-hectare) Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to pay tribute to the American troops who fought in the Aisne and Marne area. Wander around the cemetery and visit the Memorial Chapel built on top of front-line battle trenches, here you can see the names of 1,060 missing American soldiers.
Continue up the hill to Belleau Wood (Bois Belleau), where one of the deadliest battles for the US Marines took place in 1918. This important battlefield is where American soldiers fought valiantly to stop German soldiers from reaching Paris. Take time to walk through the woods to see the traces of the battle, like the trenches, shell holes and ruined buildings that resulted from the heavy fighting.
Your next stop is the Cote 204 Monument at Château-Thierry, which represents the friendship between France and the US and commemorates the achievements of US forces in this region during WWI. This monument stands high above the beautiful Marne Valley and Champagne vineyards, offering beautiful views for you to enjoy.
Take a break for lunch on your own before continuing to Meaux to learn more about WWI history. Your guide will take you to the Museum of the Great War to show you fascinating remnants from the war. See 50,000 war-related objects from many of the countries involved in WWI, giving you a deeper understanding of the worldwide dimensions of the conflict.
After your time in the Museum of the Great War, board your private (minibus or car) for a calm, reflective ride back to Paris, arriving at your hotel around 5:30pm.
Start your day trip with pickup from your Paris hotel in the morning for the 3-hour drive to the Normandy coast with your private guide, traveling by air-conditioned minivan (either a Mercedes Viano or VW Caravelle).
You'll take one break during the drive to purchase snacks or drinks, if you wish (own expense), before arriving at your first stop, one of the most emblematic places in Normandy, where a small group of rangers managed to take a German battery strategically placed on top of a cliff.
From there, continue to Omaha Beach, perhaps the best-known of the D-Day landing beaches, where you can see monuments and memorials such as 'The Braves' and one dedicated to the members of the National Guard who landed with the 29th division. Then head to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, where you can explore the visitors' center and museum before walking along the rows of white crosses that honor American troops who died during WWII.
Next, visit Arromanches and Juno Beach before making the return drive to Paris, where your day trip ends.
Explore the Loire Valley Castles with a self-guided audio tour that includes a transfer from central Paris. Enjoy access to Cheverny, Chenonceau, and Grandiose Chambord and enjoy a comprehensive experience of these Loire Valley treasures.
Please note : on Mondays and Saturdays in summer, you will visit Amboise instead of Chambord! Also entrance to 2 castles + Wine tastings ( From April 1st 2018)
Audio guided Tour from Paris to the Loire Valley in one Day. Discover some must see Castles such as Stately Cheverny, Elegant Chenonceau and Massive Chambord. This tour includes a departure by Luxury Air-conditioned Motorcoach from central located Agency at 7.15am.
After driving through a gentle French Countryside with undulating hills, you will reach Cheverny before 10am. The Chateau appears untouched by the Renaissance and it has remained in the same Family: The Huraults for six Centuries. Visit during one hour at your own pace the Estate, its gardens with a wonderful display of color, its labyrinth
Chenonceau, located 30 miles away, will be the 2nd Castle to visit at your leisure. Described as the Ladies Castle; the regal refuge that owes its very existence to a list of powerful ladies such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici (as well as others). You will be fascinated by Its Renaissance architecture and artwork by masters of the day. Its fine furniture, rare tapestries, and the ornate formal gardens will also captivate you.
After lunch and around one hour drive from Chenonceau, you will explore by audio guide the Impressive structure finest example of Renaissance French Architecture: Chambord, The retreat for French Kings especially Louis XIV! Built by Francois I left his mark on the architectural and cultural achievements of his reign. He placed his symbols, the salamander and the letter F anywhere he could: ceiling, castle-door ways... The Castle has a famous double helix staircase inspired by Leonard da Vinci, a friend of the King.
An unforgettable Experience during the whole day.
During Winter time (from November till the end March), lunch will be included.
Return to Paris is scheduled at 8pm
Please note : on Mondays and Saturdays in summer, you will visit Amboise instead of Chambord! Also entrance to 2 castles Chenonceau & Chambord+ Wine tastings ( From April 1st 2018)
Your day trip to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, about one hour outside of Paris, starts with a 35-minute direct train ride from Gare de L'est in the city to the Verneuil L'Etang station on RER Line P (train tickets at your own expense). When you arrive at the local station, your provided shuttle takes you through the countryside to the castle.
The grandiose and awe-inspiring Château de Vaux-de-Vicomte is one of Europe's most influential and significant architectural landmarksthe inspiration behind the Palace of Versailles. It was built between 1658 and 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, the finance minister for King Louis XIV. Architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect André le Nôtre, and painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on Fouquet's large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of the 'Louis XIV' style, combining architecture, interior design, and landscape design, the same combination you see at Versailles.
With your admission, explore the interior of the château, lavishly decorated with gilded walls, statues, tapestries, and the era's finest furnishings throughout the private apartments and sumptuous state rooms. Outside, the gardens are the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a golf cart ride. Complete with fountains, canals, and stone curbs, the gardens feature a fascinating optical illusion, distorting its distance depending on from where you're looking at it.
It's no surprise that the estate is a popular venue for celebrity weddings and film shoots. It was chosen by Mittal and Eva Longoria and Tony Parker for their wedding receptions; and it was used as Drax's chateau in the James Bond film Moonraker. It can also be seen as a backdrop in more than 60 other movies, such as Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
The château is run by the fifth generation of family owners, and you just may bump into one of the family members, as they are regularly on the grounds. After your visit, the shuttle takes you back to the train station, where you'll board the RER for the return trip to Paris.
Your day trip starts in Paris at a central location, where you'll meet your guide and board your comfortably equipped van for the drive out of the city, heading west to the French region of Normandy.
Throughout your tour, your guide helps you to appreciate the stories of bravery and courage that took place on the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy at the end of WWII. By the end of the day, you'll understand how important this battle was to the end of the war and have insight into some of the soldiers who fought and died to put an end to Hitlers plans for Europe and the world.
At the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, pay your respects to fallen soldiers, and hear stories from your guide about the heroes who fought on the D-Day beaches. Visit the Operation Overlord Museum to see its historical collection of items retracing the planning and events of the liberation of Europe, and then head to Omaha Beach, where U.S. and British soldiers landed on June 6, 1944.
Explore one of the many German bunkers that the Allied troops had to neutralize, and learn about the difficulties the soldiers faced in their battle with the Nazis. Then enjoy the lighter side of Normandy with a tasting of its famous apple cider.
During the day, your guide uses visual aids such as military maps, plans, and photos to help you understand the planning of D-Day, the effects the battle had on the liberation of France and the end of the war, personal stories, and historical battle facts about what the soldiers were told to do and what they encountered when they landed. Your day trip ends with return to Paris.
Following a 9am or 2pm pickup at your Paris hotel, travel out of the city to the Palace of Versailles to begin your 4-hour tour. Built by King Louis XIV in the 17th-century, the Palace of Versailles is widely considered to be the most impressive of Frances many palaces and castles.
On arrival, head past the entrance queues with your private guide and start exploring. Stroll through the corridors and suites, and admire the 17th-century features for which the palace is famous.
Visit the State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors, and learn of the members of French royalty including Louis XIV, Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette who once called the palace home. Afterward, head onward into the beautiful gardens designed by famed landscape architect André Lenôtre.
When your palace and gardens tour comes to an end, return in comfort to your Paris accommodation to conclude your 4-hour tour.
Please note: Entrance fees to the gardens are not included.
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.
Visit the cemetery of Delville Wood at Longueval, situated on the edge of the Somme. See the Lochnagar Crater "Located at La Boisselle" - an impressive mine hole 100 meters across and 30 meters deep.
See the Australian flag flying over Poziere in recognition of the sacrifices made by the ANZAC's in the battle that took place here during the battle of the Somme. This battle was followed by the battle of Mouquet Farm which you will also visit today.
Continuing to Thiepval, you will see the largest memorial dedicated to missing British Soldiers. You will also visit The Ulster Tower, a memorial to the men of the 36th Ulster division, the Beaumont-Hamel and the Newfoundland Memorial which offers a realistic and moving view of these battles in its remarkably well-preserved trenches system. During this day-trip you will also see the the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Finish the tour with a visit to the Historial at Peronne, an international and cultural museum of the first world war (1914-1918) which explains the conflict, its origins and its consequences.The museum boasts a unique collection of over 50,000 original objects and documents of everyday life during the war.
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
Commemorating the Australian New Zealand Army Corps who came together to aid the British Empire during World War I, ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the war. It originally commemorated the landing of forces at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 which would ultimately prove a bloody failure but ANZAC Day has grown to become an important Australian day of remembrance around the world.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before ANZAC Day, as youll depart Paris in the early hours to make it to the dawn service in Villers-Bretonneux, located about 2 hours north. When you arrive, you'll attend the 6am ANZAC Day Dawn Service, which honors the sacrifice of the Australians and New Zealanders during the war.
This moving service is a major part of the tradition of ANZAC Day, dating back to the military practice of 'standing to' at dawn, the most favorable time for attack. The ANZAC legend was poignantly put into words by Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia: "Anzac is not merely about loss. It is about courage, and endurance, and duty, and love of country, and mateship, and good humor and the survival of a sense of self-worth and decency in the face of dreadful odds.
After the dawn service, youll spend the rest of the day on a guided tour of the surrounding Somme area, a part of France that suffered severely in the violent and bloody battles of WWI. Visit Somme's many battlefields, memorials, cemeteries and landmarks while hearing vivid stories and learning about the successes and failures of WWI from your guide.
Visit the massive Lochnagar Crater in the village of La Boiselle, followed by the site of the Battle of Pozières and the site of the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin. Next, visit the Thiepval Memorial, browse historical collections at the Franco-Australian Museum, and pay your dues at the Adelaide Cemetery.
At the end of your ANZAC Day tour, hop back in the minivan or coach and return to Paris around 3:30pm.
Relax on a scenic drive through northern France to Belgium, where youll visit the famous battlefield of the Ypres Salient, an area that saw many of the biggest battles during World War 1.
Thousands of soldiers from the Commonwealth countries, as well as Germany, France and Belgium, defended the land around the Ypres Salient from the German Army. This battlefield saw numerous deaths during the war, and is now the site of several cemeteries and memorials honoring those who lost their lives there. With your guide, discover these sites including St Julien Memorial, a Canadian memorial sometimes referred to as the 'Brooding Soldier,' and Polygon Wood, the 5th Australian Division Memorial.
Next, discover the Essex Farm Cemetery and bunkers, an area used as a dressing station during WWI and often associated with John McCrae, a Canadian soldier who was stationed here. Learn how he wrote In Flanders Fields, the famous poem that resulted in poppies becoming one of the world's most recognized memorial symbols for fallen soldiers.
With your guide, walk up to Hill 60, a famous battlefield on raised land that saw heavy fighting during the war. Unlike other battlefields in the Belgium Flanders region, Hill 60 saw a lot of fighting underground in tunnels created by mines.
Visit the Tyne Cot Cemetery, where many soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient are buried. See the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, the stone wall that surrounds the cemetery containing the names of missing soldiers from the UK and New Zealand.
On your tour, youll also have free time to explore the town of Ypres at your leisure and have lunch (own expense). See the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, which has the names of thousands of missing Commonwealth soldiers inscribed on it, before enjoying a comfortable ride back to Paris.
Numbers are limited to 18 people on this small-group tour, ensuring a more personalized experience.
You will be taken to the east to the region of Meuse to visit Verdun. When you arrive, youll see the profound marks that World War I left on the landscape.
Visit the Battlefield of Verdun to learn about the massive Battle of Verdun in 1916, now known as The Hell of Verdun. The human cost of this 300-day battle was horrendous, leaving hundreds of thousands of soldiers dead. Your guide will conjure stories about the battle to give you a real sense of what happened here.
Drive past the London Trench to see where British troops delivered supplies and medical help, and then arrive at the Ossuary of Douaumont, a memorial containing the remains of soldiers who died during the Battle of Verdun.
Then head to Fort Douaumont, the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 defensive forts protecting the city of Verdun. Your guide will explain how Fort Douaumont was taken over by German troops, shocking the French Armys structure and setting the stage for the rest of the Battle of Verdun.
The most chilling place among the eerie landscape of Verdun is the Trench of Bayonets, which youll visit next. After the war, a line of a dozen bayonets was found protruding from the ground. Experts believe that a German artillery bombardment collapsed the trench, burying the French soldiers.
Leaving Verdun behind, head to the Argonne region for lunch (included) before visiting one of the sites where the infamous Meuse-Argonne Offensive took place in 1918. Discover the part of the battlefields where General Pershing's American Expeditionary Force got involved in the fighting. As youll learn, this offensive was a part of the final Allied offensive of WWI that stretched along the entire Western Front.
Nearby, visit the Romagne War Museum to learn about the American and German units that fought in the area around Romagne-sous-Montfaucon during the war. Most of the collection comes from within 2 miles (3 km) of the village, providing an fascinating, intimate up-close look at wars remains. Afterwards, you can browse the small museum shop for battlefield relics and books.
Your last stop is the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial, the largest US Cemetery in Europe with more than 14,000 graves. Located just east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, the cemetery contains the largest number of American military dead in Europe, most of whom lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
This tour is a sobering and moving experience, giving you a new, enlightened understanding of the plight of American, French and German troops during WWI. At the end of the day, hop back in the minivan and head back to Paris.
Your day trip begins with pickup at your Paris hotel in the morning for the 3-hour drive to Normandy with your private guide by air-conditioned minivan (either a Mercedes Viano or VW Caravelle). You'll make one stop at a service station to stretch your legs and purchase drinks or snacks, if you wish (own expense).
When you arrive at Mont St-Michel, a shuttle takes you from the parking area to the UNESCO-listed village perched on a granite rock island less than a mile off the coast of France in a shallow bay. Your tour begins with a guided visit of the hilltop abbey, which was founded by St. Aubert of Avranches at the beginning of the 8th century and became a major cultural and pilgrimage center during the Middle Ages. Admire the Romanesque church, the Gothic architecture of the cloisters and refectory, crypt, Knights Room, and various chapels.
Take a break for lunch (own expense), and then enjoy the opportunity to stroll along the steep-sided narrow streets of the village and its ramparts. When your time at Mont St-Michel finishes, you'll start the journey back to Paris for hotel drop-off.
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.
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 !
Experience old Parisian charm as you walk through the historic districts of Paris. The day begins on Ile de la Cité, the epicenter of Paris and the very location that the Parisii founded. After a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral, journey back through time, learning about the citys Roman and Medieval roots as you explore the cobblestoned streets of the Latin Quarter and the left bank. Visit the old Roman baths at the Cluny Museum before continuing down the fashionable Boulevard St. Germain. See some of Paris oldest streets of the Left Bank and stop in for a coffee at Paris oldest café.
As you cross over the Seine River, notice the difference in architecture as you make your way into the heart of Renaissance Paris, marvelling over Hôtel de Ville and the grand residences of the Marais district. Wander down Rue des Rosiers, the heart of the Jewish Quarter, taking in the scents of freshly baked Challahand falafel vendors that line the popular street. Take a moment to smell the roses at Paris most beautiful square, Place des Vosges. Some say it is even the most beautiful in the whole of Europe!
Follow your guide through the secret red door to discover the quaint gardens and the hidden treasures of St. Paul. Enjoy the tranquility of this picture-perfect pedestrian village amongst the hustle and bustle of the buzzing city around it. The tour ends on the glamorous Île Saint Louis, home to Berthillon Ice Cream, perfect for cooling down after a stroll through Paris extraordinary past.
Enjoy your guide, born and raised in Normandy, from a family who lived through the occupation and landing near Lisieux. After meeting you at 7am with some croissants and coffees to start your day, go off to explore the beaches.
As your guide drives you to Arromanches (approx 2-hour drive), see the port British built to organize the landing of the troops in June 1944. Later have lunch at a very nice restaurant with a great view over the beach.
Head to the American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer, where many gave their lives.
Continue on to Longues sur Mer to see the Batteries the Germans used to protect the coast from the Allies. After, go the Pointe du Hoc to see how the United States Rangers climbed the cliffs to disarm the German Defence.
If time allows, visit the famous for the paratroopers who jumped to reinforce the landing operations on the coast. You will then be driven back to your hotel In Normandy or to the Caen or Bayeux train station to go back to Paris. Plenty of sightseeing along the route.
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!
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.
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.