Essential Paris

Tour Creator

Ana Isabel is an artist, a documentary director in Paris. Passionate about art, food and history, she fell in love with the city while visiting and has changed her life…Read More Bio »

Paris

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

1hr/2.5hrs(Extended itinerary)

1km/2.5km(Extended itinerary)

On our Essential Paris tour, we’ll hear stories about striking architecture, unforgettable historical characters and the history behind the city. We’ll visit royal palaces, gardens, and revolutionary and military sites. You will explore everything from the French capital’s most famous icons such as the Louvre Museum and the Garnier Opera to secretive narrow old streets filled with legends and myths.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional local tour guide

Written by a Paris tour guide with a PhD in Roman Languages and Literatures and a Master in Cinema

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Musee du Louvre, Jardin du Palais Royal, Opera Garnier, and Tour Eiffel

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home

Itineraries

Essential Paris – Extended

Essential Paris – Pt 1

Essential Paris – Pt 2

  1. Musée du Louvre - The biggest museum in the world, the Louvre started as a fortress to protect the city. Follow the evolution of the palace, alongside details and myths that will make you love it for more than the art you can find inside.
  2. Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - Built to celebrate the conquests of Napoleon I, it was once the home of the Horses of Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. It marks the entrance of the Tuilleries Garden, where a great palace once stood.
  3. Colonnes de Buren/ Le Palais Royal - The Palais Royal served as the residence of Cardinal Richelieu before becoming the house of French royalty. You can find the intriguing and controversial contemporary art work “Collones de Buren”, right before the palace’s gardens.
  4. Jardin du Palais Royal - The only Parisian garden classified as a “Remarkable Garden”, the Jardin du Palais Royal was once filled with statues from great masters and busy merchants. Today, you can enjoy the calm and quietness amongst its luxurious vegetation.
  5. Galerie Vivienne and the passage society - This is one of the 20 remaining passages and galleries built in the 18th century. A shortcut between two streets, this superbly decorated structures were the ideal places for shopping and to “live” Paris.
  6. Opéra Garnier - Built by Charles Garnier by the orders of Napoleon III, this is one of the most beautiful operas in the world and the inspiration for “The Phantom of the Opera”. It has been surrounded by mystery and legends since the beginning of its construction.
  7. Galeries Lafayette and the “demolition man” - Follow the development of Galeries Lafayette from a small shop to a huge “luxury bazaar” that transformed shopping into an event in the 19th century. Located in Boulevard Haussmann, get to know more about the man behind the greatest urban renewal program in Paris history.
  8. Musée du Parfum - The rich history of perfume in France dates back to the city of Grasse in the 16th century. Follow the history of Fragonard Parfumier from this perfumed city to the busy Parisian streets.
  9. Place Vendôme - Considered by the French as the world center for jewelry, Place Vendôme went from a royal square, to a celebration of great military victories. Beloved by artists, royalty and known personalities, this was the home to Coco Chanel, Chopin and many others.
  10. Église de la Madeleine - An everchanging project, the Madeleine became a church in 1845. Inspired by Greek temples, this is a great example of Napoleon’s eclectic architecture and the chosen church for grand events, from the 19th century to today.
  11. Musée Maxim’s - What started as a small bistro grew to become one of the most expensive and loved restaurants in the world. An art nouveau masterpiece with a cabaret venue, and the meeting place for elegant, fashionable, famous and even royal clients.
  12. Place de la Concorde (w/view of Arc du Triomphe) - A square with many names throughout history, the Concorde has changed from a royal square, to the main execution site of the French Revolution, with a guillotine at its center, then replaces by the Egyptian obelisk you can see today.
  13. Palais Bourbon (Assemblée Nationale) -  The architecture of the Palais Bourbon mirrors the one of the Madelaine church. Today, the Assemblée Nationale is one of the two houses of the French Parliament.
  14. Pont Alexandre III - Considered the most beautiful bridge in Paris, Pont Alexandre III is not only an architectural and engineering success, but also a celebration of the Russian-French alliance.
  15. Les Invalides - This building was commissioned by Louis XIV to provide accommodation and hospital care to wounded soldiers and war veterans. It became one of the most prestigious monuments in Paris, housing the Musée de l’Armée, the Musée des Plants-Relief, le Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine and the Tomb of Napoleon I.
  16. École Militaire and Champs-de-Mars - Louis XV entrusted the project of the official royal military school to Ange-Jacques Gabriel, with the intention of building a complex to rival the Invalides. The school used the Champs-de-Mars for military maneuvers and Napoléon Bonaparte was one of is most famous students.
  17. Tour Eiffel - The most visited and most recognizable monument in Paris, the Eiffel Tour was completed in 1889 for the World Faire and remained the tallest man-made building structure in the world until 1930. An inspiration for many, the tour has many quirky stories of love and innovation to tell.
  1. Musée du Louvre - The biggest museum in the world, the Louvre started as a fortress to protect the city. Follow the evolution of the palace, alongside details and myths that will make you love it for more than the art you can find inside.
  2. Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - Built to celebrate the conquests of Napoleon I, it was once the home of the Horses of Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. It marks the entrance of the Tuilleries Garden, where a great palace once stood.
  3. Colonnes de Buren/ Le Palais Royal - The Palais Royal served as the residence of Cardinal Richelieu before becoming the house of French royalty. You can find the intriguing and controversial contemporary art work “Collones de Buren”, right before the palace’s gardens.
  4. Jardin du Palais Royal - The only Parisian garden classified as a “Remarkable Garden”, the Jardin du Palais Royal was once filled with statues from great masters and busy merchants. Today, you can enjoy the calm and quietness amongst its luxurious vegetation.
  5. Galerie Vivienne and the passage society - This is one of the 20 remaining passages and galleries built in the 18th century. A shortcut between two streets, this superbly decorated structures were the ideal places for shopping and to “live” Paris.
  6. Opéra Garnier - Built by Charles Garnier by the orders of Napoleon III, this is one of the most beautiful operas in the world and the inspiration for “The Phantom of the Opera”. It has been surrounded by mystery and legends since the beginning of its construction.
  7. Galeries Lafayette and the “demolition man” - Follow the development of Galeries Lafayette from a small shop to a huge “luxury bazaar” that transformed shopping into an event in the 19th century. Located in Boulevard Haussmann, get to know more about the man behind the greatest urban renewal program in Paris history.
  8. Musée du Parfum - The rich history of perfume in France dates back to the city of Grasse in the 16th century. Follow the history of Fragonard Parfumier from this perfumed city to the busy Parisian streets.
  1. Église de la Madeleine - An everchanging project, the Madeleine became a church in 1845. Inspired by Greek temples, this is a great example of Napoleon’s eclectic architecture and the chosen church for grand events, from the 19th century to today.
  2. Musée Maxim’s - What started as a small bistro grew to become one of the most expensive and loved restaurants in the world. An art nouveau masterpiece with a cabaret venue, and the meeting place for elegant, fashionable, famous and even royal clients.
  3. Place de la Concorde (w/view of Arc du Triomphe) - A square with many names throughout history, the Concorde has changed from a royal square, to the main execution site of the French Revolution, with a guillotine at its center, then replaces by the Egyptian obelisk you can see today.
  4. Palais Bourbon (Assemblée Nationale) -  The architecture of the Palais Bourbon mirrors the one of the Madelaine church. Today, the Assemblée Nationale is one of the two houses of the French Parliament.
  5. Pont Alexandre III - Considered the most beautiful bridge in Paris, Pont Alexandre III is not only an architectural and engineering success, but also a celebration of the Russian-French alliance.
  6. Les Invalides - This building was commissioned by Louis XIV to provide accommodation and hospital care to wounded soldiers and war veterans. It became one of the most prestigious monuments in Paris, housing the Musée de l’Armée, the Musée des Plants-Relief, le Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine and the Tomb of Napoleon I.
  7. École Militaire and Champs-de-Mars - Louis XV entrusted the project of the official royal military school to Ange-Jacques Gabriel, with the intention of building a complex to rival the Invalides. The school used the Champs-de-Mars for military maneuvers and Napoléon Bonaparte was one of is most famous students.
  8. Tour Eiffel - The most visited and most recognizable monument in Paris, the Eiffel Tour was completed in 1889 for the World Faire and remained the tallest man-made building structure in the world until 1930. An inspiration for many, the tour has many quirky stories of love and innovation to tell.

Check out a free sample of this tour!

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