Paris Tours: the City of Lights

Ah Paris! Also known as the ‘City of Lights’ and the most romantic city in the world, Paris is celebrated for its beautiful urban landscape, its architecture, its museums, bridges, Seine river cruises, cathedrals, parks, boutiques, flea markets and sidewalk cafés. Stroll its narrow streets and magnificent boulevards and enjoy the mouth-watering French cuisine and world famous monuments.

We will be happy to add a few days in Paris to any of our self guided tours, staying in a charming boutique hotel perfectly located in the heart of the city. You will be able to enjoy a customized Paris itinerary that we will plan just for you. From your arrival in Paris to your daily itinerary - including restaurant and bakery recommendations as well as our favorite strolls - we will take good care of you while you explore the City of Lights.

We will be help to answer any question you might have about the culture, sightseeing, weather, transportation etc. We provide a personalized travel guidebook with each of our self drive tours : We hope you will find the guidebook a treasure trove of useful information.

5.0
Cat & Family
One would think driving in a different country where cars are on the wrong side of the road and you don’t speak the language for 11 day trip would not be a smart decision. France …
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 3980

From Marseille to Paris away from the Crowds

Region
in Provence, Burgundy & Paris

Explore the East of France from South to North: From colorful Provence, to Burgundy vineyards…ending in the city of lights: Paris! We recommend to our travelers to fly into Marseille and out of Paris (which is not always more expensive and much more convenient than Paris on both ways).

Wine Tasting
Sceneries
Art & Museums
Duration
10 days
Price
US$ 3080

Heritage, Wine & Back Roads

Region
in Paris, Normandy & Loire Valley

Get a taste of the real France in very typical regions famous for their cultural heritage as well as their sweet way of life.

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Sceneries
Duration
10 days
Price
US$ 3300

Paris Beauties & Provence Secrets

Region
in Paris & Provence

Explore two of the very typical regions of France and get a real feel for our beautiful country.

Sceneries
Art & Museums
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 3620

Normandy beaches, the Loire river banks & Paris

Region
in Normandy, Loire Valley & Paris

Follow the waterways in France from the Norman beaches on the Atlantic coasts to the Loire river, its castles and wonderful gardens…ending along the Seine river banks in Paris.

Heritage & History
Villages & Markets
Duration
16 days
Price
US$ 4650

Northern France at your own pace

Region
in Paris, Loire Valley & Normandy

This itinerary gives you the perfect tour of Northern France: from Paris to the Loire castles and gastronomy, ending in Normandy with the landing sites, the hinterland and beautiful Giverny.

Heritage & History
Gourmet Experience
Sceneries
Duration
20 days
Price
US$ 5480

From Paris to Nice at your own pace

Region
in Paris, Burgundy, Provence & French Riviera

For independent travelers who want to thoroughly explore la belle France!

Gourmet Experience
Sceneries
Art & Museums
Duration
16 days
Price
US$ 4850

A Real Taste of France

Region
in Paris, Provence & French Riviera

This itinerary will take you from Paris, the city of lights, to Provence in 2 different locations and end on the French Riviera. Perfect to relax & get some sun !

Heritage & History
Gourmet Experience
Art & Museums
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 4150

Riviera sceneries, hidden Provence & majestic Paris

Region
in French Riviera, Provence & Paris

From the colors and fragrances of South-East of France, to the beautiful monuments, restaurants and concerts in Paris, this trip will arouse all your senses.

Sceneries
Art & Museums
Duration
20 days
Price
US$ 4880

Northern France Must Sees & Hidden Beauties

Region
in Burgundy, Loire Valley, Normandy & Paris

This is the best itinerary to thoroughly discover the Northern part of France: from the Burgundy vineyards to the Loire Valley castles, Normandy WWII history…ending in the worldwide famous capital of France: Paris.

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Sceneries
Duration
10 days
Price
US$ 2930

Paris, Burgundy Gastronomy & Loire Castles

Region
in Paris, Burgundy & Loire Valley

This itinerary will have you discover the French gastronomy in 3 regions which are worldwide famous for their food and wines: Burgundy and the Loire Valley are actually arguing about where the Coq au Vin was invented first. Burgundy is famous for the wine sauce and the Loire Valley for the river fishes, the fruits and the goat cheeses. Eventually Paris is just heaven to the gourmets: this is true: you’ll find in Paris among the best boulangeries in the world and the food markets are amazing.

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Duration
20 days
Price
US$ 4780

From Paris to Biarritz on the back roads

Region
in Paris, Loire Valley, Dordogne & Basque Country

From Paris to Toulouse, this trip will take you on the backroads. Take the time to visit some of the hidden castles of the Loire Valley, enjoy duck confit in Dordogne, and drive on the scenic roads of the Basque Country.

Villages & Markets
Sceneries
Duration
26 days
Price
US$ 6080

Self-Driving around France - from Paris to Nice

Region
in Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Provence & French Riviera

Spend about a month to travel from Paris to Nice on the French Riviera and get a real feel for France!

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Sceneries
Duration
4 days
Price
US$ 1950

World War II History Tour

Region
in Normandy & Paris

If you are interested in WWII history and/or have a family member who fought in the Battle of Normandy, this tour is just for you. We can plan a general itinerary based on what we think you would be most interested in, or you can tell us. For example, North Americans may like to visit the American and Canadian beaches of Omaha, Utah and Juno, and the American and Canadian war cemeteries. If you have a family connection, we will plan an itinerary that follows the route they took with their battalion during the Battle of Normandy. WWII Family History Tour What is truly unique about this tour is …

Heritage & History
Duration
26 days
Price
US$ 6450

From Provence to Paris - Immersion into the "Real France"

Region
in Provence, Basque Country, Dordogne, Loire Valley & Paris

This itinerary will take you from South to North over some of the most typical and beautiful French scenic roads. We recommend flying into Marseille airport.

Heritage & History
Villages & Markets
Duration
26 days
Price
US$ 6240

Paris, the Loire Valley and Normandy at a slower pace

Region
in Paris, Loire Valley & Normandy

This itinerary will take you to 3 of the richest regions of France, at a relaxed pace and away from the beaten tracks. We recommend flying into and out of Paris on this itinerary.

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 3850

The North-East of France from the WWI history to the Vineyards

Region
in Champagne, Verdun, Burgundy & Paris

Explore the North-East of France and jump into French wines & History ! Starting in Reims, capital of the Champagne region, you will learn many stories including Joan of Arc, Marie-Antoinette and a famous widow...Clicquot. A private guide will make the World War 1 alive for you to get a comprehensive overview of the Verdun battlefields. You will bike and taste in Burgundy and end this journey in Paris.

Wine Tasting
Heritage & History
Paris Paris Paris

Where to stay in Paris

Our recommendation is to stay within a 15-minute walk of Notre Dame Cathedral. This way you are sure to be able to walk to 85% of Paris' most popular landmarks and really enjoy your stay there. You don't want to spend your precious time in Paris on public transportation. 

Your best options are Le Marais on the right bank or St Germain and the Latin Quarter on the left bank of the Seine river. 

 

Paris Map

If you are looking for a printable map of Paris, you may find this detailed map useful. However, if you just want an idea of where the various Paris attractions are located in relation to one another, you may find our simplified map useful. We include all maps and directions in our France Just For You travel pack, so it won’t be necessary for you to print out an additional map of Paris unless you would like to.

Paris General Map

General Map of Paris

 

Furthermore, our tours include a smartphone for you to use for the duration of your trip. The smartphone comes with unlimited data and with Google Maps and Waze preloaded onto the phone, so you need not worry about carrying maps around with you while you’re exploring Paris.

 

Le Marais District

We have selected an elegant boutique hotel in the charming Le Marais area. It is within a stone’s throw of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral and within walking distance of many famous Paris monuments and museums, including the Place des Vosges, Ile Saint Louis, the Louvre Museum and the Centre Pompidou modern art museum.

Le Marais is the lively and diverse modern area of Paris. It is the best place to stay in Paris if you want to see the best of the city. Historically, Le Marais is Paris’ Jewish quarter and the Rue des Rosiers remains at the heart of the neighborhood with its synagogue and typical restaurants.

Centered around Les Halles food market and the Centre Pompidou modern art museum, Le Marais has art galleries, cafés, shops and charming streets which are ideal for exploring Paris on foot. On the east side, you will discover beautiful private mansions, some transformed into art galleries, and the delicious food of Jewish quarter’s restaurants.

cafe terrace ambiance paris marais

Relax sitting at cafe terrace in Le Marais district - ©Paris Tourist Office

 

Click here for some more information about Le Marais district.

 

Left Bank : Saint Germain des Prés & Quartier Latin

Saint Germain des Prés on the left bank is a very expensive neighborhood, including the hotels. However, you are very central and in a very chic area of Paris.

Many of our travellers are charmed by the left bank of the city (to the south of the River Seine). We will suggest a lovely walking tour through this area, which historically is famous for its art and literary circles; Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and many other famous names lived and worked on the left bank of Paris at one time. Stroll in Hemingway’s footsteps through the Jardin du Luxembourg, his favorite place in Paris when he needed a break from writing.

From St Germain you may walk to the Sorbonne and university district or do some shopping on the upscale Rue de Sèvres or cheaper Rue de Rennes. The Panthéon is a gorgeous building to visit and pay your respects to the most famous French writers and politicians. You can also enjoy the views from the top of the Montparnasse tower.

Boutique Hotel Paris Saint Germain

One of our favorite Boutique-Hotels in Paris left bank, walking distance to most of Paris landmarks

 

Things to see in Paris

In addition to the places we mentioned above, you will surely be interested in paying a visit to the Iron Lady herself, the Eiffel Tower. In 2019, the Eiffel Tower celebrates her 130th anniversary. In this post we have shared some information about the history of the Eiffel Tower and her architects (other than Mr Gustav Eiffel himself). We also include some insiders’ tips on the best way to visit the Eiffel Tower (but don’t worry – if you book one of our tours, we will take care of booking tickets and your personal guidebook and itinerary will contain all the information you need).

You may also enjoy visiting the Musée Rodin, particularly the sculpture garden outside. If you would like a fantastic panoramic view of Paris which includes the Eiffel Tower, we’ll direct you to the Montparnasse Tower, which has shorter lines to get in and a wonderful viewing deck at the top.

Rodin Museum in Paris

Rodin Museum, sculpture garden in Paris

 

Back on the right bank (north of the River Seine), the views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe are also great, in case you don't visit the Montparnasse Tower.

Next, a visit to the Musée du Louvre will be a must for many visitors. As the museum is so vast, we will include an itinerary which will take you to the most famous and interesting works of art in the museum. This will include the Mona Lisa and any other pieces you tell us you’d like to see. If you would like a more comprehensive tour, we will book an expert private tour guide for you, who can tell you everything you would like to know.

After the Louvre, take a stroll and a rest in the lovely Tuileries gardens, and maybe consider some of our suggestions in your guidebook for alternative things to do in Paris. We will make sure these coincide with your interests.

Mona Lisa Louvre Museum Paris tours

The famous Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum, by Leonardo Da Vinci 

 

Getting Around Paris

We do not recommend driving in Paris, as the traffic can be very bad during rush hour and parking is expensive. We will recommend buses you can take to different attractions, which we think is a nicer way to experience Paris than the Metro. However, the Metro can be a quick and easy option depending on the time of day and where you want to go. Here is a map of the Metro, which you may like to download.

Inside Paris (zones 1 to 3) you can use the same tickets on the Metro and the buses. It’s cheaper to buy a carnet of 10 tickets for 14.90€ (correct as of February 2019) than buying individual tickets for each journey. Remember that these will not cover you for a trip to Charles de Gaulle airport or the Palace of Versailles - you will need an extension to these zones. Uber is also a good transport option in Paris and you may use the same Uber app that you use back home.

 

Where to eat in Paris

We will give you a list of our favourite bistros, bakeries, bars and restaurants in Paris. Let us know if you’re celebrating an anniversary or birthday with a loved one and we will suggest some romantic restaurants too! Some of our favorite restaurants in Paris will be in close to your hotel. We will also suggest places that are close to some of the attractions you will visit.

One of our favorite restaurants, Le Petit Chatelet, is just in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. In spite of its touristy location, it has maintained an air of authenticity, perhaps because the same family has been running it for 60 years. Try to book a table on the second floor and try the harengs pommes à l’huile as a starter – a typically French and very delicious dish.

Restaurants in Paris

We will provide a list of suggested restaurants to make the most of your Paris stay

 

Day Trips from Paris

Other than the day trip to the Palace of Versailles, which understandably is on most people’s wish-lists, we will normally recommend you visit places outside of Paris on the way to your next destination. This way you won’t waste a lot of time traveling and you will have more time to enjoy each place.

For example, Monet’s Garden in Giverny is a lovely place to visit in Normandy, but is best enjoyed outside of the peak tourist hours (first thing in the morning or last thing before closing time). If you book a tour that includes Normandy, we will book a stay at a lovely B&B that is within walking distance of Monet’s Garden.

Vaux le Vicomte castle is also a popular Paris day tour, but we recommend a visit to this castle on your drive down to Burgundy. We do not recommend trying to visit the Loire Valley from Paris in a day. To really experience this beautiful and historic region, we have tours that will show you the very best of the region. In France, we like to take our time to enjoy ‘the good life’ – we warmly invite you to do the same!

Palace of Versailles - Paris tours - France Just For You

The Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

 

The Parisians - Les Parisiens

Although the Parisians, like New Yorkers and Londoners, may have a reputation for being rude, we have received very few comments from our past travelers about this. In fact, many have expressed surprise about how friendly people were toward them.

The key thing to remember is that Paris is a busy and bustling city. People are often in a rush to get from A to B and sometimes get impatient with tourists who, quite rightly, are taking their time to enjoy this beautiful city. Try to stand to one side on escalators down to the Metro, if you are on a narrow sidewalk full of people, consider stopping for a coffee before checking a map, or waiting until you get to a more open space - the Parisians will thank you for it!

Another thing French people dislike is impoliteness. It is important to greet people Bonjour Monsieur/Madame (or Bonsoir in the evening) and make an effort to speak a little French. The most likely outcome is that the person you’re speaking to will switch to English if they are able to – but they will much appreciate the effort you made to speak to them in French.

The Parisians

It helps break this ice just saying a few words in French: Bonjour, Merci....The Parisians ©Amélie Dupont

 

 

How to get to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport

  • By taxi or Uber

Most long-haul flights will arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport. There will be plenty of taxis available outside the airport entrances. The flat fee from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to the right bank (north of the River Seine) is 55€, and it’s 60€ to the left bank (south of the river). The journey will take around 45 minutes.

  • By train

We would not recommend that our travelers take the RER train from the airport into central Paris, as these trains can be crowded and uncomfortable, and we do not want you to risk your belongings getting lost or stolen. However, if you prefer to travel by train, a one-way ticket to Paris from Roissypole station at terminal station to Paris Gare du Nord will cost 10€ (you can buy tickets from the booth at the airport station). The journey will take around 50 minutes.

  • By bus

Again, for reasons of comfort and convenience we do not recommend our travelers take a bus from the airport to the center. The bus is more of a budget option and all daytime buses stop at the bus stand outside the arrivals gates at terminals 1, 2 and 3. The Roissybus is the direct bus and a one-way ticket costs 11.50€ to be purchased in advance from the ticket booth. The public buses (numbers 350 and 351) cost 6€ and you may pay the bus driver directly, but the journey (around 80 minutes) is longer as it is not direct.

 

The best time to visit Paris

Paris is at its most ‘walkable’ in the late spring, summer and early fall. The weather is likely to be milder and drier, making for a more pleasant vacation and giving you the option to explore the city on foot. We therefore highly recommend booking a trip to Paris between late April and early October.

As we don't care about heat we like very much Paris in August month when most Parisians are on vacation: there is less traffic, still lots of people in the museums...and you enjoy very long days and sunsets to sit at terrace restaurants.

That said, if your main preference is to visit Paris’ innumerable museums, winter can also be a good time to visit Paris, mainly because there will be fewer tourists. Furthermore, there’s nothing better in winter than sheltering from the cold in a lovely Paris bistro and enjoying a mulled wine!

 

Paris tours - Eiffel Tower

 

Are you concerned about traveling to France following the pandemic? Please reach out to us and we will do our best to put your mind at rest!

Our Travelers’ Reviews

Andrea
My husband and I had a full week to spend in southern France before an event we were attending in Cahor. We found France Just for You and got the best care and the best itinerary for those days. We arrived on the day of a strike and Emilie took care of us. She found alternate means of transportation and stayed with us by phone and email throughout …
Patty & Nicole
My daughter and I went to Paris and Provence area for her college graduation. France for You provided a tremendous amount of information, maps, advice etc to book us the perfect trip. The B&Bs were charming and very convenient to beautiful sites and shopping. They are the experts on Traveling through France!! You will not be disappointed if you use …
Roger
The planning and coordination of our holiday was quite awesome and far exceeded all of our expectations and indeed our imagination. The 300 odd page personalised guide book with maps, times and distances, restaurants on route and at our destinations, recommended places to visit on route and the accomodation itself and hosts at each location were …

Our Travelers’ Photos

Scott & Linda
From Australia
In Mont Saint Michel
Christina & her niece
from Australia
In the Wolves Sanctuary in Guéret
Yvette & David
from the US
on the French Riviera, near Nice
Amy
from the US
Enjoying a great view in Burgundy
Scott
From Australia
Making "chou" buns in the Loire Valley
Ann & Jim
From the US
In Amboise castle by the Loire river
Michele, Jacques, Nicole, Gaetan, Joanne & Keith
from Canada
In the Loire Valley
Bob & Naomi
From the US
In Monet's gardens in Giverny, Normandy
Deborah & Richard
from the US
On Omaha Beach, Normandy
Tonia & Peter
from Canada
at the Louvre Museum in Paris
Nancy & Paul
from Canada
On the French Riviera
Kathy & Mark
from the US
Truffle Hunting in Provence