One can easily spend days discovering Paris. Unfortunately, time is not always on our side when traveling. We’ve carefully crafted an itinerary that allows for an enchanting look at this illustrious city in one day only: we’ll potter down boulevard-lined streets, gaze at prized art pieces in the Louvre, and dwell on the power of Gothic architecture on Île de la Cité. In the company of a local expert, we'll spend 8 hours unpacking the cultural and historical heart of “the City of Light”. We offer this tour either as a walking tour or with an optional chauffeured-car service. Both itinerary options offer fantastic introductions to the vibrant French capital.
Itinerary A - Paris on Foot - 9:00 am start
For those looking to amble through the streets of Paris.
Includes a short briefing in a cafe on Île Saint-Louis before visiting Notre Dame (from the exterior), The Church of Saint-Séverin, Île de la Cité, Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Pont des Arts, Palais Royal, Opera Garnier and the grand finale: the Louvre Museum. Local French lunch (at own expense).
Paris grew from a small island town on the banks of a muddy river. It’s here, the Île de la Cité, where we will begin our time together. We’ll meet at a local cafe bright and early to give a short briefing on Paris and the surrounding area (with relevant maps) before embarking on our ‘Paris in a Day’ tour. First up: Notre Dame Cathedral. We’ll discuss the medieval Gothic style and its architectural innovations as we explore the exterior of one of Paris’s masterpieces. We’ll talk gargoyles, rose windows, flying buttresses, and all the Gothic gems that represent this impressive period of architecture and engineering. We'll also touch upon the fire and the impact this had on the structure. This is a snapshot into our Notre Dame Tour.
We’ll continue this medieval theme as we walk towards the Left Bank. We’ll spend some time meandering through the Latin quarter, discussing anything from churches (Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Saint-Séverin, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés) to literary cafes to the bohemian spirit that emerged in the 20th century. We may spend some time in the Luxembourg Gardens as we soak up this vast expanse of green symmetrical beauty, commissioned by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612.
Our route will continue across Pont des Arts as we cross over to the Right Bank. We may take the time to explore the grounds of the Palais Royal as we discuss further the French monarchy and all its intricacies in alluring surroundings. At this point, we will break for lunch at a venue selected for our groups’ tastes. Fueled on French food, we have the grand finale of our Context Paris full-day tour: the Louvre Museum. Our expert guide will dive into this vast collection, carefully selecting key works—a mixture of masterpieces (Venus de Milo, of course) and unknown treasures—to craft a narrative of kings, emperors, and the accomplished artists who served them. We will spend the remainder of our time touring the spectacular museum before we finish up our time together. We can leave together or explore freely at our own leisure if we choose. This is a shorter version of our Louvre Museum Tour.
Itinerary B - Paris by car - 9:00 am start
For those wishing to pack it all in, with the help of a vehicle.
Includes a short briefing at hotel before visiting Notre Dame (from the exterior), The Church of Saint-Séverin, Île de la Cité, Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Palais Royal, Opera Garnier, Montmartre, Eiffel Tower (viewing only), Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, and the grand finale: the Louvre Museum. Local French lunch (at own expense). This walk is ideal for families.
We’ll meet at your hotel bright and early to give a short briefing on Paris and the surrounding area (with relevant maps) before embarking on our ‘Paris in a Day’ tour. We’ll hop in our private car as we drive through Paris to Île de la Cité, where we will have our first official stop: the Notre Dame Cathedral. Here we’ll discuss the medieval Gothic style and the architectural innovations that emerged from the construction of this Parisian masterpiece. From flying buttresses to gargoyles to rose windows to the recent fire and near destruction, there’s certainly a lot to talk about. We’ll visit the majestic church of Saint-Séverin to admire its ribbed vaults and walk down its double aisles reminding us of the interior of Notre Dame, now closed to the public for restoration. This is a snapshot into our Notre Dame Tour
. Leaving impressive Gothic architecture behind us, we might venture into the narrow cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter and explore the charming Left Bank. We’ll spend some time here admiring medieval churches, bohemian cafes and authentic shops.
We’ll then drive across the Seine to reach the Right Bank and sites such as the Palais Garnier and Palais Royal. This area was the center of 19th-century Paris and the massive urban revolution that took place in the capital—there’s plenty to see and discuss. We’ll pass through the former neighborhood of Picasso and Van Gogh: the charming Montmartre. We’ll talk about the evolution of this hillside area from the 19th century till today. We will continue our drive to join the historical axis of Paris and admire the Champs Elysées and the perfect alignment of imposing historical monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Obélisque. We’ll have a chance to see the iconic Eiffel Tower from a distance before we leave our car/driver and walk through the luscious Tuileries Gardens to get to the Louvre. At this point, we will break for lunch at a venue selected for our groups’ tastes. Fuelled on French food, we’ll finish our time together viewing a mixture of masterpieces (Mona Lisa, of course) and unknown treasures to craft a narrative of kings, emperors, and the accomplished artists who served them. We will spend the remainder of our time touring the spectacular museum before we finish our tour. We can leave together or explore freely at our own leisure if we choose. This is a shorter version of our Louvre Museum Tour.
At the end of our immersive full-day itinerary, we will emerge with a deeper understanding of this charming metropolis. We’ll have ventured across the city to sites relevant to Paris's historic, cultural, and artistic identity. Hopefully, our ‘Paris in a Day, with Context’ will leave us with a chic Parisian taste to add to our cultural palate.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a small group tour?
Our small group tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our small group tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
What happens if it's raining?
Our tours happen rain or shine. Our guides are great at adapting their route during changes of weather. Please bring an umbrella.
I would like to start later. Is this possible?
Not usually. The Louvre closes at 6 pm, so in order to fit everything in, we need to start at 9 am. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre closes at 9:45 pm so we can start later on these days.
What’s included in the tour?
The tour includes your ticket to the Louvre and a metro ride (or car service if requested). Clients are expected to cover the cost of their own lunch.
Does this tour include the interior of Notre Dame, the bell towers and/or a visit to the crypt? No. Due to the fire that hit the Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15th 2019, we can no longer access the interior of the cathedral, the towers or the crypt. These will be closed to the public for an indefinite period.
If I book the tour with a car service, will I be picked up at my hotel?
Yes, your expert guide and driver will meet you at your hotel.
If I book the tour with a car service, will I be dropped off at my hotel?
Typically not, but it can be arranged. We say farewell to the driver around lunch (before we head inside the Louvre for the afternoon). However, if you would like the car to meet you at the end of your tour, please let us know in your client notes. The price of a full-day service starts from €700 Euros.
I don’t want to add the car service. Where should we meet?
You’ll meet your expert guide near the Notre Dame. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24/7 phone number to call in case of emergencies.
Where will the tour end?
This tour typically ends in the Louvre Museum. Your expert guide will leave you with some time to explore the collection yourself.
Will you pre-purchase tickets for the Louvre?
We pre-purchase tickets to the Louvre. Your guide will have them on hand.
Is there a long line to enter the museum? Can I "skip the line"?
If you have one of our pre-purchased tickets (or a Museum Pass), you will not be required to wait in any ticket line. There is a security checkpoint that all visitors to the museum are required to pass, and there is sometimes a line for this. Because we have advance tickets, we have access to a special ticket-holder security line, which is very short. Museum Pass holders also have access to this special line.
Will I see the Mona Lisa?
Your tour will end with an introduction to Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, but due to its display location and the waiting time to see the painting, your guide will not be able to take you inside the Mona Lisa room. Your expert guide will accompany you to the waiting line and help you with directions if you choose to continue exploring he museum independently.
Do we go to the Eiffel Tower?
No, but if you select the option with car service we will do a scenic drive to view the Eiffel Tower.
I want to see sites that you don't include in the full-day tour. What should I do?