The History of 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 »

Tour Type:

Historical

Paris

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

1+hr/2.5hrs(Extended itinerary)

1km/2.5km(Extended itinerary)

Our tour will delve into stories about Queens, Kings, Saints, scholars and revolutionaries. We’ll follow the history of Paris from its beginning as a Roman village called Lutecia. You will go from the French capital’s most famous sites such as the Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, Place des Vosges and the Luxembourg Gardens to unknown cinematic streets, shopping villages and even a Roman arena.

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:

Place de la Sorbonne, Arenes de Lutece, and Notre Dame

Remote Tour Included

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

Itineraries

History of Paris – Extended

History of Paris – Standard

  1. Jardin du Luxembourg - The biggest garden in Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is peaceful and the best place for Parisians to relax and exercise. Follow the history of the 17th century palace, from Queen Marie de Médicis’ project to the contemporary Senate and take a dive into the 22.5 hectares of this beautiful French park with countless Italian influences.
  2. Fontaine Médicis - Built in 1630, at the request of Marie de Médicis, this is a true celebration of her Italian family and heritage. Once the central piece of the Luxembourg gardens, moved to its current position and saved by Napoleon in the 19th century, the Fontaine Médicis is considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Paris.
  3. Place de la Sorbonne - The history of this square goes back to the 2nd century. Intrinsically connected to the Sorbonne University, the Sorbonne square has been a center for knowledge since the Middle Ages and a central piece in the history of the Latin quarter.
  4. Cinémas Rue Champollion - Connected to cinema’s history since the Lumière brothers projected their first images, Paris is a city of cinema lovers. Get to know a small street that houses 3 of the most authentic movie theaters in the French capital: Le Champo, Reflet Medicis and the Filmothèque du Quartier Latin.
  5. Collège de France - This is one of the most unique public higher education institutions in the world. The purpose of Collège de France is to lead international research in all fields and teach everyone, making knowledge truly available to all and free.
  6. Panthéon - “To great man, a grateful homeland” is the inscription on top of the French Panthéon, the resting place for the greatest minds in French history. A combination of neoclassical and gothic architecture, this building had many purposes: a symbol of the monarchy, a temple to Sainte Geneviève; it went back and forward through centuries until becoming the monument it is today.
  7. Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont - One of the most unusual churches in Paris, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont was at the center of religious and royal life right until the 14th century. With a beautiful and rare interior, it is devoted to Sainte Geneviève, the patroness of Paris, a central religious figure that defended the city many times.
  8. Maison Verlaine - This modest house, with a restaurant on the ground floor housed two bohemian literary figures: it was the last address of Paul Verlaine in the end of the 19th century, and the working place of Hemingway in the beginning of the 20th.
  9. Arènes de Lutèce - One of the only remaining traces from the Roman Era in the city, Arènes de Lutèce is listed as the oldest monument in Paris. Once an amphitheater that hosted up to 15000 people, to see gladiator fights, this is now a lovely park.
  10. Jardin des Plantes - Established as royal medicinal garden in the 17th century, the Jardin des Plantes became a research center, a zoo, and the location for the Parisian Natural History Museum.
  11. Place Bastille - Built on the site of the Bastille fortress, the Bastille square marks the beginning of the French Revolution, naming the French National Holiday: “Bastille Day”. Since the fortress was destroyed, the square’s most memorable symbols became the July Column, at its center, and the huge Bastille Opera.
  12. Village Saint-Paul - This is Paris’ most famous “hidden village”. A neighborhood where you can stroll around to find antiques, art and all kind of treasures away from the busy streets of the Marais.
  13. Notre Dame - The biggest cathedral in Paris, a great example of gothic architecture and a place of worship with some of the most important relics in the Catholic Faith. Victor Hugo transformed it into the personification of Paris in his famous book: Notre Dame de Paris and it has earned a spot in the heart of people all over the world, independently of their beliefs.
  14. Marché aux Fleurs - A flower and bird market that has been located on the Cité Island since 1808. Renamed recently in honor of Queen Elizabeth II of England, it is a beautiful place to get away in the city.
  15. Conciergerie and Saint Chapelle - Two very different monuments, connected not only by their location, but also by their history. They were both part of the first palatial complex of Paris in the Middle Ages, but while one kept its function and its beauty, the other became the prison where Marie Antoinette would spend her last days.
  1. Jardin du Luxembourg - The biggest garden in Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is peaceful and the best place for Parisians to relax and exercise. Follow the history of the 17th century palace, from Queen Marie de Médicis’ project to the contemporary Senate and take a dive into the 22.5 hectares of this beautiful French park with countless Italian influences.
  2. Fontaine Médicis - Built in 1630, at the request of Marie de Médicis, this is a true celebration of her Italian family and heritage. Once the central piece of the Luxembourg gardens, moved to its current position and saved by Napoleon in the 19th century, the Fontaine Médicis is considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Paris.
  3. Place de la Sorbonne - The history of this square goes back to the 2nd century. Intrinsically connected to the Sorbonne University, the Sorbonne square has been a center for knowledge since the Middle Ages and a central piece in the history of the Latin quarter.
  4. Cinémas Rue Champollion - Connected to cinema’s history since the Lumière brothers projected their first images, Paris is a city of cinema lovers. Get to know a small street that houses 3 of the most authentic movie theaters in the French capital: Le Champo, Reflet Medicis and the Filmothèque du Quartier Latin.
  5. Collège de France - This is one of the most unique public higher education institutions in the world. The purpose of Collège de France is to lead international research in all fields and teach everyone, making knowledge truly available to all and free.
  6. Panthéon - “To great man, a grateful homeland” is the inscription on top of the French Panthéon, the resting place for the greatest minds in French history. A combination of neoclassical and gothic architecture, this building had many purposes: a symbol of the monarchy, a temple to Sainte Geneviève; it went back and forward through centuries until becoming the monument it is today.
  7. Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont - One of the most unusual churches in Paris, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont was at the center of religious and royal life right until the 14th century. With a beautiful and rare interior, it is devoted to Sainte Geneviève, the patroness of Paris, a central religious figure that defended the city many times.
  8. Maison Verlaine - This modest house, with a restaurant on the ground floor housed two bohemian literary figures: it was the last address of Paul Verlaine in the end of the 19th century, and the working place of Hemingway in the beginning of the 20th.
  9. Notre Dame - The biggest cathedral in Paris, a great example of gothic architecture and a place of worship with some of the most important relics in the Catholic Faith. Victor Hugo transformed it into the personification of Paris in his famous book: Notre Dame de Paris and it has earned a spot in the heart of people all over the world, independently of their beliefs.

Check out a free sample of this tour!

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