Guided tours

Districts

Along the Seine

At the most beautiful hour of the day, as the sun starts to set, come and fall under Paris’ spell anew as we walk and talk…

A river bank with a thousand golden reflections…  From the beauty of the Bridge Alexandre III to the elegant ingenuity of the Pont Neuf, let’s learn the river’s stories as we promenade along the Seine.

Odeon, Pantheon, Sorbonne

As the sun starts to set, come and fall under Paris’ spell anew as we walk and talk….

Grandiose colonnades, sculpted pediments, the grand classic style of the Latin Quarter makes a fantastic contrast with its hidden passages and busy little winding streets. Still functioning as a student quarter after almost one thousand years, visting this buzzing area at twilight makes for a different perspective.

The weird and wonderful Marais

Behind the oh-so-cool façades and lively little streets, this quarter reveals stories to make you shiver… or marvel. We’ll be hearing about recycled teeth, daring boulangeries and evenviolated holy communions…


From the Tuileries to the Palais-Royal

A mysterious ghost story opens this tour… Between floral parterres, contemporary sculptures, ornamental façades of the Louvre and royal initials, we’ll decode the meanings behind all this magnificence. And in the gardens of the Palais Royal, with its elegant arcades throwing evening shadows on our footsteps, we´ll hear stories of revolution.


Montorgueil, the belly of Paris

The very modern Canopy of Les Halles has replaced what used to be called the belly of Paris. Want to know why? Next to it, we’ll look into the Church of Saint Eustache, where modern art is reinventing itself. At dusk the vibrant pedestrian street of Montorgueil starts to light up, with its hidden passages, the oldest patisserie in Paris, the famous restaurant Escargot and then there’s Egypt at the corner of the street…

THE SWINGING LEFT BANK

St Germain Des Prés conjures up revolutionary clubs, theatres, 20th century intellectuals discussing existentialism over cigarettes and coffee at famous cafés and bars. We’ll visit their old haunts such as Café de Flores and Procope. We’ll also be finding out the truth of certain ‘secrets’ hidden underneath the church of Saint Sulpice… (Da Vinci Code anyone?) Plus we’ll visit a chocolate art gallery, where an ex biker makes extraordinary chocolate sculptures.

THE PALAIS ROYAL AND THE SHOPPING ARCADES

These exquisite 19th century glass roofed shopping galleries were the first of their kind in the world, and the forerunner to today’s less charming ‘malls’. Still in use today, with shops selling various products from vintage stamps to luxury designer brands, we’ll ramble through the prettiest and most interesting arcades and find out – what was their connections with the Palais Royal and with the French Revolution?

PARIS’ ISLANDS

The historical and geographic centre of Paris, the Île de la Cité was the site of the original Celtic settlement of Paris and was the heart of medieval Paris as well as Marie-Antoinette’s prison. Delightful little Île Saint Louis feels like a charming French village, and it’s also home to the best ice-cream in Paris… Surrounded by the Seine River, these two natural islands reveal many fascinating stories of Old Paris.

LE MARAIS, THE STORY OF JUDAISM IN PARIS

Wandering around the Marais, one is struck by the many plaques revealing the fate of local Jews during World War II. The Marais’ Jewish origins are much older than that and we’ll discover the origin of the Rue des Rosiers and The Pletzl – why was it an Eldorado for immigrants from Eastern Europe? What law did Louis XVI pass in the Jews’ favour, in the spirt of enlightenment, and what was the status of the Jews during the Revolution.

We’ll talk about the quarter’s dark history during the WWII along with an introduction to the Museum of the Shoah.

LE MARAIS, DUELS, VELVET AND PRIVATE MANSIONS

The Marais is a millefeuille of art, history and culture. The Knights Templar contributed to its development, then, following the fashion set by a young king, noble families started building private villas here, far from the stench of the old centre. How were these villas innovative? And why had the Jewish community already set itself up here? We’ll discuss what the Nazi occupation meant for the Jewish citizens. In the 1980s the gay elite moved in to the area… and today Jews, gays and hipsters live side by side in this vibrant and very cool part of Paris.

  • See my other visits
  • Guillemet

    Testimony

    Nous avons fait 2 visites avec Me Hotier Gardian : L’Opéra Garnier et l’Hôtel de Soubise. Très bonne conférencière, souriante, compétente, à l’écoute de nos adhérents.
    Nous renouvellerons avec grand plaisir.

    A très bientôt.

    Evelyn Bec, Houilles (78)
    Club des Familles Ovilloises
    Guillemet