The Best Walking Tours of Paris

Paris is well known for its international, world class museums. And certainly a week in the city could be filled exploring one museum after another art gallery, all the while experiencing some of the most extraordinary objects and artefacts from all over the world. The city is equally well known, however, for its fascinating past, histories and events that have often had wide-reaching influence. Many visitors come to Paris to see the sites associated with this history.

Saint Chapelle in Paris.

The ceiling of the lower chapel in Saint Chapelle, one of the Gothic gems of Paris.

Most of us know about the French Revolution of 1798. When we visit Paris then, many of use want to see the Bastille we have heard so much about. There are, however, many more points of interest associated with the French Revolution to see. And one way to see more of these sites, and so learn so much more about the French Revolution, or any other event in Paris’s past for that matter, is to take a guided tour. Or, if you prefer going at your own pace, find yourself an itinerary and follow a self guided tour for a period that interests you. Here are our top picks of the best history related guided tours on offer in Paris, as well as a few itineraries for specific archaeological and historical themed self-guided tours.

Guided Walking Tours in Paris

Whether you have a day or two or a week or more, from the incredible range of organised tours and activities on offer you will certainly find something that interests you. Whether a few hours on a bike in Paris or Versailles, a hop-on-hop-off bus, or a walking tour of the Marais District, have a look at this incredible list of things to do in Paris. Three of the most popular attractions feature heavily – with some truly wonderful experiences for you to sign up to: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Versailles. Drill down into these lists and there are so many more experiences awaiting you. Local tour guides just know the city better, and so here are a few walking tours that stick out, for what they offer and their positive reviews:

  • Stories & Secrets of the French Revolution – this seems an obvious choice, after all Paris is the French Revolution. During this three hour walking tour takes in some of the well known and lessor known sites. Start at Saint-Sulpice Church and learn all about the start of the uprising, and see the failed escape attempts of Marie Antoinette and Louis.
  • Paris Père Lachaise Cemetery Private Walking Tour – see the final resting places of such famous Parisians and visitors as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jean Paul Sartre. This is a private tour with a maximum of 10 people, taking two and a half hours walking through Paris’s most famous cemetery.
  • Skip The Line Paris Catacombs Tour – another deathly experience; this time in the underground passages of the Catacombs. Skip the queue and your guide will lead you through these passages where the bones of some six million people were neatly arranged after they were removed from several cemeteries.
  • Guided Tour of Notre Dame Cathedral Towers – the gargoyles of the Notre Dame Cathedral make for some iconic images of the city. On this two hour guided tour, you will get to explore the cathedral and its towers and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Paris, the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur.
  • Treasures of the Opera Garnier Tour in Paris – The Palais Garnier is on of the largest opera houses in Europe – with a capacity for about 2,000 people. Explore the lavish interior of this extraordinary building on a 90 minute tour where you will learn about the origins of the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ story.
  • Neoclassical Paris 2-Hour Private Walking Tour – Paris is well known for Neoclassical architecture, a style that transformed the Medieval city into a city of nobility and aristocrats. This two hour walking tour takes in some of the most well known architectural landmarks in Paris. Your guide will point out the Classical origins and explain the symbolism of the opulent decoration.
  • Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour Including Skip-the-Line Musee d’Orsay Ticket – After a 90 minute walking tour of the hilltop streets of Montmartre, during which you will hear about the much loved Impressionists such as Renoir and Monet, skip the queue and see some of their paintings hanging in the Musee d’Orsay.
    If none of these take your fancy, get a private guide to customise your own walking tour of Paris, or sign up for a tour of the Louvre specifically for families with young children. Or do something different and go and find yourself a bargain in the St-Ouen Flea Market.

    Disclaimer: these tours are provided by GetYourGuide partners, you will not pay extra for buying via this website, or GetYourGuide. Although I will receive a commission for introducing you, the commission comes out of the advertised fee it is not added on to the price of the tour. Thank you for purchasing via Archaeology Travel, your support enables the team to continue to produce helpful content for travellers like you.

    Self-Guided Walking Tours of Paris

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    Exploring Roman Paris – Lutetia Parisiorum

    There is a popular misconception that all there is left to see of the Roman period of Paris are the Thermes de Cluny and Arènes de Lutèce. While it is true there are not that many Roman ruins in Paris, there is more to see than those two great sites. For a start, there are the remains of the Roman port on the Seine in in the archaeological crypt under the parvis of the Notre Dame cathedral. For those with a particular interest in the Roman past, there are other ruins, but there are also a number of signs of Paris’s Roman past. Take this self-guided tour to see what is left of the Romans in Paris today, from the amphitheatre to the port, the aqueduct to the baths they provided water for … Read More >>

    The Thremes de Cluny from the Boulevard Saint -Michel.