Paris WWII History Tour: Nazi Occupation and the Resistance

Uncover wartime secrets that linger beneath the surface of this glittering city
From US$116 for 1 person
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Place Saint-Michel
  • Luxembourg Gardens
  • Île de la Cité
  • Latin Quarter
  • Marais
  • Mémorial des martyrs de la Déportation
  • Memorial of the Shoah
Photos & Highlights
  • See iconic sites around the city through the lens of the defiant French Resistance, diving into hidden stories of everyday life under Nazi control and the heroes of the Resistance.
  • Explore the liberation of Paris, its complex aftermath, and how the city grappled with the shadows of its wartime past.
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Tour Description
Peel back the elegant facade of Paris and prepare to delve into its dark history. In this city once gripped by Nazi occupation, wartime secrets are waiting to be revealed. Pay close attention as you walk the cobbled streets… Do you hear the whispered tales of clandestine Resistance meetings and the hushed murmurs of hope that kept the city alive? 

  • Begin in the heart of Saint Germain de Prés, a critical location for both the Nazi occupiers and the Résistance. Did you know this neighborhood was home to the secret headquarters of the Defense de France newspaper? 
  • Look upon the very hotel where the Gestapo operated, imagining the details of unspoken betrayals hidden in its walls. Next, summon a little defiance and follow the very footsteps of Jean Moulin, leader of the Resistance. Here, your guide will reveal details about the secret meeting places that ignited hope in the city's darkest hour.
  • Step into the opulent Jardin du Luxembourg that served as the headquarters for the Luftwaffe, or head directly north to the entertainment quarter for Nazi occupiers. Close by, you’ll stand where French communist resistors famously rioted against rationing in 1942. 
  • Stop at Saint-Michel, a site captured for eternity in Doisneau's photo of defiant barricades. Steps away, literary lovers can stop into a beloved bookstore that previously served as Samuel Beckett's refuge from the Gestapo’s hunt. 
  • Across the Seine, the stark Deportation Memorial chills. Pause at the school where 260 children vanished in the Vel d'Hiv raid. Time may offer a space for reflection at the Shoah Memorial.
After reflection, it’s time to turn to the light of liberation. Explore the city's final four days of occupation, learn about the General who defied Hitler, and imagine the incredible joy of liberation. The complexities of war were not over, however. What awaited returning Jewish survivors? How did France grapple with collaboration and heal its wounds? 

With this tour, we invite you to make the experience your own. Your expert is ready to cater this tour to your interests, allowing you to uncover the pieces of history that interest you most. Together, you’ll create captivating memories and further ignite your passion for this iconic destination.
  • You want to walk in the steps of historic individuals who made a difference in the trajectory of Paris’ liberation from Nazi occupation.
  • It’s important to you to devote time to remembering the six million Jewish victims and thousands of non-Jewish victims of Nazi oppression, thousands of who lived in Paris during WWII.
  • You’d like to visit iconic Parisian destinations while also understanding the histories behind each.
  • You want to feel the resilience of the Parisian spirit, a thread that weaves quietly through life in Paris today. 
  • The Paris Left Bank is a vibrant cultural and artistic hub on the southern side of the Seine River, famous for its historic landmarks, intellectual history, and bohemian atmosphere.
  • The Paris Right Bank is the northern part of the city, home to iconic attractions like the Louvre Museum, Champs-Élysées, and upscale neighborhoods, offering a blend of historic and modern experiences.
  • The Memorial de la Shoah is a poignant and solemn museum and memorial in Paris dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, honoring the victims and educating visitors about the atrocities of World War II.
  • The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation is a moving monument in Paris, situated on the Île de la Cité, commemorating the French victims of deportation during World War II, serving as a symbol of remembrance and reflection.
General Information
  • There will be a break in the tour to stop and use bathroom facilities as well as opportunities to stop and rest along the way if needed. 
  • Please communicate any particular needs or concerns with your guide throughout your tour.
  • We do cover extensive walking territory on this tour. If you have mobility problems or concerns, please contact us so we can best advise if this tour will be appropriate for you. 
Resources
For more information about Context tours, please visit our FAQ page.

Is this tour appropriate for children and teens? 
We cover mature topics on this tour. It is not designed as a family tour, though we welcome inquisitive minds of all ages. Please contact us to discuss further if you're concerned about age-appropriate content. Context Small-group tours do have an age minimum of 13.
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.

Where You'll Start
(4.76) 566 Reviews

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Gil was knowledgeable, insightful and engaging. This was one of our favorite tours in Paris.
Our guide was knowledgeable, energetic, pleasant and articulate. He made it a great tour, and we learned much.
Excellent, knowledgeable, personable guide!