- 2 hours
We’ll start our walk in front of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church, which barely survived the destructive acts of the 18th-century revolutionaries. One of the oldest churches in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés makes for an excellent introduction to the area's religious character. While here, we’ll also delve into the unusual history and diverse identity of the Left Bank, from its time as a Roman settlement 2,000 years ago to a scholarly enclave steeped in intellectualism starting in the 12th century.
We’ll also discuss how Left Bank fostered a growing and lively bohemian community, starting in the 1920s and 30s. We’ll focus specifically on cafés of the Left Bank, the hub of intellectual life, which were home to some of the most beloved artists, writers and philosophers of the 20th century. (To go more in-depth, try our Paris Literary Tour.) Next we’ll continue down some of the back streets to discover the refined restaurants and wine bars that have turned the Left Bank into an epicurean paradise. We might take a peak into some of the most famous jazz clubs in the neighborhood and visit other hidden gems, depending on the group's interests or the guide’s areas of expertise. After traversing parts of the Latin Quarter we will finish our stroll near the Seine river, a convenient place to continue your evening stroll along the river on your own and admire the illuminations of the Eiffel Tower.
When would you recommend we schedule the Left Bank orientation walk?
We find this tour is best scheduled at the beginning of your stay so that we can acquaint you with and provide a solid foundation for further explorations of Paris.
The route may include small hills, narrow sidewalks and cobblestoned streets. Please contact us to discuss in more detail your mobility so that we can best advise. You might also look at our Paris by Riverboat tour, an orientation that is done partially seated and is wheelchair-accessible.
Generally speaking, the walk begins near Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement of Paris and stays in a compact area in the neighborhood. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24/7 phone number.
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your guide will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible guide.
Rebecca was born and raised in London. She fell in love with Paris as a teenager and cultivated her passion for French culture through a study abroad program as an undergraduate art student. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in History of Decorative Arts and Design at New York's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, in partnership with Parsons the New School for Design. Her research in French Art Deco brought her back to the City of Light in 2007, where she has lived and worked ever since. She teaches design studies at Parsons Paris, and translates art and design-related texts for publishing houses, museums and cultural organizations in France and the USA. Rebecca is also a singer, performing and recording regularly with her jazz ensemble, The Chamber Jazz Quintet, and with her husband in their electro-pop duo, Wonder Room.
Marie Theres is a painter who has made Paris her home for more than two decades. She works in her studio in Montmartre and shows her paintings in galleries in Europe and the United States. She studied history at the University of Cologne, Germany and painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before coming to Paris to study art history at the Ecole de Louvre. Her knowledge of art history is enhanced by her practical painting experience. Beyond a purely academic approach, this enables her to convey the emotional dimension of the artwork and to focus attention on the act of creation. She loves to share her passion for art and painting and is fascinated by the 19th-century artistic heritage of Paris, its art movements, and urbanism.
Pablo is a historian specialized in the interaction between arts, culture and politics in early modern Europe. In 2008 he received a PhD in European history from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, and has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the European University Institute, The Italian Academy at Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pablo is also the author of three books on court culture and royal identity. He lived in Naples, Washington, London, Florence and New York before arriving in Paris as a researcher at the Institute national d’histoire de l’art (INHA). He is currently writing a book on the display of antiquities discovered in Herculaneum and Pompeii in the 18th century.
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