Today you will enjoy a full day, semi-private tour of Paris – allowing you to experience the city's highlights in a single day.
Your tour begins when you meet your guide outside the legendary Moulin Rouge windmill. This semi-private tour consists of an expert local guide and up to five other travelers aside from yourself. With a reduced group size you have direct contact with your guide so you can easily ask questions, maneuver often, crowded venues more easily, and meet like-minded travelers.
The Moulin Rouge is certainly one of the most iconic buildings in Paris. Your guide will explain the history of this cabaret venue opened in 1889, the same year Paris hosted the Universal Exposition. This incredible time in history when the camera, telephone, electricity, and the Wright Brothers were flying, was a time of great change in Europe, and a tour of Montmartre with a history steeped in the great artist of the time is like a walk back in time. The Moulin Rouge was a symbol of the changing times that were not only precluded to inventions but in society as well. The Moulin Rouge was built just at the edge of the racy Montmartre neighborhood allowing gentlemen of the upper classes to see a cabaret show easily.
Just behind the Moulin Rouge, the whole atmosphere changes from glitzy Time Square to charming cobblestone streets reminiscent of French villages. In fact, until recent times, Montmartre was a village separate to Paris, which is what attracted young artists like Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, and writers like Ernest Hemmingway to this area at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. Being outside Paris, meant cheaper rent, more space, and the amazing light from its position sitting above the city of Paris. Your expert local guide will show you some of the lesser-known features of the neighborhood, like the historic vineyard that still produces wine every year, which is known throughout France for its Harvesting Festival that is held in the fall.
On your tour of Montemartre, you will see the former homes of artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir, and Picasso. And, a stop at the oldest cabaret venue in the city, Au Lapin Agile is a must. Not only did greats like Edith Piaf perform here, but the venue is also featured in paintings by the likes of Picasso and Utrillo. This neighborhood is still home to a thriving artist community, so do not be surprised if your guide points out contemporary painters or musicians during your tour. These artists can often be seen entertaining guests in the cafe called Place du Tertre which featured as a key setting in the film Amelie.
Your tour continues to Montmartre’s highest point, where you can enjoy the most unforgettable views of the Paris skyline. Set on top of this hill is another iconic building, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Located at the highest point in the city, the all-white basilica is often referred to as the meringue by locals, was built at the end of the 1800s, and sits at the top of Paris’ most risque neighborhoods.
Next, your expert guide will accompany you and your fellow travelers to the infamous Louvre Museum. With priority access entrance tickets, you will skip the often long lines entering a world-class museum that holds over 35,000 pieces of art. Your guide will make sure you see the most important highlights giving you a comprehensive visit without overwhelming you. You will see marvelous Greek sculptures, like Venus de Milo to dramatic Delacroix paintings, your guide will take you to all of the Louvre’s most inspiring masterpieces, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
After finishing your visit at the Louvre, it’s time to enjoy free time for a leisurely Parisian lunch. Your guide will recommend some fantastic local places based on your personal preferences (please note, lunch is not included in the price of the tour). Then, it’s time to meet with your guide once more and set out on foot to visit one of two islands located in the middle of the Seine River. The bigger of the two islands is called the Île de la Cité by the locals. Strolling through Place Dauphine, one of the most elegant squares in Paris will bring back memories for Woody Allen fans as this was featured in his film Midnight in Paris. Your guide will explain the more than a thousand year history of this square.
You’ll then pass by Sainte Chapelle, a glorious church some call the Sistine Chapel of Paris, and hear a few of the darker tales of Paris’ past as you explore the former prison of Paris (from the outside). Traveling back in time, your guide will explain the bloody days of the French Revolution, painting a picture of Marie Antoinette’s last days before meeting her fate under the guillotine.
Next, it is on to see one of the most famous monuments in Paris, their beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. Though temporarily closed due to the fire that engulfed the roof and attic in 2019, you are now able to get close to the Cathedral’s main façade which was untouched by the fire. Your guide will help you discover the intricate carvings in the Gothic arches of the doorways, explain the architecture and bring you up to date on its reconstruction.
As your tour comes to a close, your guide will hand you tickets for a wonderful Seine River cruise which you can enjoy at your leisure. The river cruise will take you right past the Eiffel Tower and countless other monuments such as the Conciergerie, Hôtel National des Invalides, Notre Dame and more.
You can choose to take the Seine river cruise at any time that is convenient for you, on the day of the tour or the next, however we highly recommend enjoying at sunset.