Walking on the Streets of Paris

Paris sightseeing : Paris is made of 20 arrondissements or districts. We could offer lots of walking tour within each district. However, there are majors sightseeing you shall do specially if it is the first time for you in Paris. Feel Paris Hearbeat !

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Paris sightseeing Most Iconic Districts

Among 20 subdivisions (Arrondissement) of Paris, there are below historical Paris sightseeing for private walking tour guide. Moreover, each district of Paris has its own beauty and story. In addition, Paris offers so many amazing activities and experiences such as shopping made in Paris, dinning in gourmet restaurant… Note that you cannot do it all but you shall choose what speaks the most to your heart. Have a look at what to do in Paris.

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The Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis

The Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis, are two natural islands on the Seine River. This island is the heart of Paris and where the city was founded. Île de la Cité is the very center of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded, certainly the oldest part of Paris or Lutèce for its first name.

Holy Paris Sightseeing

The Île de la Cité is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris, with some of the main landmarks, like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie. As well as historic buildings, the Île de la Cité has beautiful streets, cafés and squares to wander around. Visitors can also go to the Flower and bird Market on Place Louis-Lépine. The island, until the 1850s, largely residential has been filled by the city’s Prefecture de Police, Palais de Justice and the Hôtel-Dieu hospital the oldest of Paris.

Lutetia during the Roman Empire

Around the year 200 B.C., the Parisii lived on the Île de la Cité until the Romans conquered the area The Parisii were a Gallic people settled in the current Paris region, which gave its name to the city of Paris. According to Caesar (53 BC), their main city (oppidum) would have been Lutetia (Paris). Lutèce is the Frenchified form of the name used by the Romans Lutetia or Lutetia Parisiorum to designate the Gallo-Roman city.

During the Roman conquest of Gaul, the Parisii took part in the resistance movement to Caesar organized by Vercingetorix, in 52 BC. The borough grew and prospered until it became the capital of the empire of the Franks in 508 and was renamed Cité. As a fortified city, the island was continually attacked by the Normans. Throughout the Middle Ages, the island had a large population and became a military, cultural and spiritual center in France.

Saint Louis Paris Sightseeing

Strolling along the banks of the Seine, you can admire the architecture unchanged for 400 years on the Île Saint-Louis, often in the shadow of its neighbour, the Île de la Cité. In the Middle Ages, its inhabitants were cows in 867, under Charles the Bald. Located upstream from the Île de la Cité, Île Saint-Louis was a pasture area for the herd of the canons of Notre-Dame. It also serves as a warehouse for the construction of boats during the reign of the Carolingians. In 1356, in the continuity of the surrounding walls of Philippe Auguste, a channel was dug and divided the island in two.

Since 1725, Île Saint-Louis has been named after Louis IX, nicknamed Saint-Louis. Legend has it that the King of France went there to pray and dispense justice. In 1269, it was on this island that he took the cross with his knights before leaving for the eighth crusade, the very one that would be fatal to him. Saint-Louis died of dysentery before Tunis in August 1270.

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Saint Germain Paris sightseeing

St Germain is located in the 6th district of Paris, close to the Latin Quarter. Nestled in the heart of Paris, this chic and trendy neighborhood has always been the place for Parisian intellectual life. There are full of books shops, cafés, art galleries, luxury boutiques. Visit the Saint Germain des Près church, the oldest church of Paris.

Intellectual Paris Sightseeing

Saint-Germain-des-Prés has its literary and intellectual soul since the 17th century. A whole lot of intellectuals like the Encyclopedists gathered at the Procope which still exists at 13 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie. In France, the central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. The main leader of this mouvement was Voltaire.

In addition, the leaders of the 1789 Revolution used to gather in Saint Germain. Danton and Rosbespierre would live in that district.

After World War I, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district became the place of intellectual and artistic Parisian life with young artists, such as Hemingway, Picasso, Giacometti, Brecht, Marguerite Duras, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. They strolled at the café Les Deux Magots or the Café de Flore. The existentialist philosophy coexisted with American jazz, in the caves of the rue de Rennes. The reputation of Saint-Germain-des-Prés has attracted since the early 1970s international tourism. Saint-Germain-des-Prés has gradually transformed the area favoring the establishment of luxury shops.

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Latin Quarter Paris Sightseeing

The Latin Quarter Tour takes us through some of the most picturesque areas of Paris, the streets where the Universities of Paris began such as the Sorbonne, up Montagne Sainte Genevieve, amongst the walls and ruins of Roman and Medieval Paris.

Latin Quarter Must See

The Pantheon sits atop Mont Sainte Geneviève, in the Latin Quarter, and is one of the more noticeable landmarks of Paris. It stands next to the church of Saint Etienne du Mont. An inscription above the entrance reads “Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaisante” (To Its Great Men The Grateful Homeland). Its construction was ordered by Louis XV, in 1744. Born on February 15, 1710 and died on May 10, 1774, he is a king of France and Navarre. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of 5.

The construction of the Pantheon began in 1758, directed by architect Jacques Germain Soufflot (1713-1780). It was built in the style of Neoclassicism dedicated to St. Genevieve (death in 502). Actually, she is the sainte patronne of Paris. The Abbey of St. Genevieve was on the same site as the then standing, though falling into ruins. It is the first in Paris, which breaks from the rococo and baroque, emphasizing simplicity and grandeur. It set the standard for other monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe.

Rue Mouffetard One of The oldest streets in Paris

The pedestrian street “rue Mouffetard”, which Parisians call “la Mouffe”, is one of the oldest and most picturesque streets in Paris. There has been a road here since the Romans were in town 2000 years ago. Moreover, it has a lovely street market. Rue Mouffetard has a medieval character and is popular with Parisians and tourists alike. Sometimes it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Thanks to the location of this street on the Sainte-Geneviève hill, it has been preserved in an old style. Fortunately, it escaped inclusion in the Paris redevelopment project when Baron Hausmann was recreating the city’s streets and buildings.

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Montmartre Paris sightseeing

Montmartre is located in the 18th district of Paris, a large hill on the right bank. Just over a century ago, Montmartre hosted a perfect storm of artistic creativity and avant-garde thinking. Located on the highest hill of Paris, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the emblematic monument of Montmartre. The inspiration for Sacré-Cœur’s design originated on 4 September 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier. At the bottom of Montmartre, you have the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret and Pigalle, the red light district.

Touristy but worthy Paris Sightseeing

The site is very touristy but offers a pleasant environment marked by cabarets and by artists such as Suzanne Valadon, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, Marcel Aymé, Dalida, Edith Piaf… but also by the catholic faith with Saint Pierre de Montmartre church from the 12th century.

Montmartre hill was covered with orchards, vineyards, thatched cottages, about 30 windmills and its Royal Abbey of the Benedictine Religious of Montmartre. Nowadays, its spirit is the one of a village named the rooftop of Paris, being the highest point from the natural ground at 130.53 meters or 426 ft. This beautiful bohemian neighborhood is full of history and famous artists from writers, singers, dancers to painters. You may catch those free spirits here. Every year in October, you have the Montmartre Feast of the harvest to celebrate an authentic Parisian wine.

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Le Marais Paris Sightseeing

Le Marais is located in the 4th district of Paris. The Marais, very close to Notre Dame, holds its name of a former swampy zone occupied for the XIIth century. Nearby, Le Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville or BHV, officially The BHV Marais since 2013, is a non-specialized department store (do-it-yourself, woman child man fashion, beauty, bookshop, arts of cooking, …) based in 1880 by Xavier Ruel.

City Hall of Paris

It is situated in Paris, street of Rivoli, in the 4th district, in front of the City hall but, also occupies several other nearby buildings. At the same time, you can see the city hall, the seat of the municipal institutions for the XIVth century, and the witness of many events which marked the history of France since the French Revolution, as the proclamation of the Third Republic in 1870 and the speech by Charles de Gaulle August 25th, 1944 during the Liberation of Paris.

Arty Paris Sightseeing

Today, this district is one of the most frequented by the capital. It possesses numerous museums (Picasso museum, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Musée Carnavalet,…). The art galleries with la Galerie Perrotin, is a world top contemporary art gallery. The visit of the square (place) des Vosges constitutes the highlight of a stroll. Victor Hugo, author of the hunchback of Notre Dame, used to live here. During summer, Parisians enjoy to relax and take sun bath on the grass, reading a book or having drinks in one of its cafés.

Epicenter of the Parisian Jewish and LGBT community

La rue des Rosiers, epicenter of the Parisian Jewish community, is to discover. Around, you have synagogues, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Mahj) and the Shoah Memorial. The Marais abounds in fashion shops of designers and luxury rue des Francs-Bourgeois and rue Vieille du Temple, in restaurant addresses, delicatessen boutiques around Saint Paul. The Marais is also the biggest LGBT district of France. You will see lots of rainbow flags.

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Les Halles Paris Sightseeing

This district played the role of wholesale food supplier for Paris restaurants and groceries stores. On March 3rd 1969, it moved its fresh food, beverages, flowers and our gastronomic heritage to Rungis, on 234 hectares, a 9 billion turnover market. Les Halles is still a merchant heart of the capital where modern architecture blends with medieval gargoyles, full of boutiques, delicatessen, restaurants, Garden and churches like St. Eustache XVI century, called the sister of Notre Dame for its shape and size.

Pompidou Museum

Centre Pompidou museum is a multidisciplinary establishment born from the will of President Georges Pompidou. Indeed, he was a great lover of modern art, to create in the heart of Paris an original cultural institution. It is entirely dedicated to modern and contemporary creation where the plastic arts would rub shoulders with books, drawing, music, performing arts, activities for young audiences, as well as cinema.

On 15 July 1971, the jury of the international architectural competition, chaired by Jean Prouvé, decided to select, among the 681 projects presented, that of architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini. Inaugurated on 31 January 1977, the Centre Pompidou welcomed 3,273,867 visitors in 20191, an average of 10,595 visits per day. It houses one of the two largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world, and the largest in Europe with 113,675 works by six thousand artists as of January 1, 2019.

Rue Montorgueil One of the oldest street

Straddling the first two arrondissements of Paris, rue Montorgueil is one of the oldest in the capital. It is estimated that its creation dates back to the Middle Ages, before the 13th century. The consensus believes that it comes from Mont Orgueil (Vicus Montis Superbi), a hill close to the route. But, think again if you think that this mound is of natural origin, because it was neither more nor less than a pile of rubbish between the 10th and 15th centuries!

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La Madeleine Paris Sightseeing

Upscale district

The Madeleine district owes its name to the eponymous church located on the Place de la Madeleine. The Madeleine district is an upscale district, home to many places of interest. Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré holds many luxury boutiques. The gardens of the Champs-Élysées and Élysée Palace today the residence official of the Republi President. It is next to the Place de la Concorde.


Square Louis XVI the only public place bearing the name of this king. The square includes an expiatory chapel built in memory of the monarch and his wife, Marie-Antoinette. Nearby, there are l’opéra Garnier. In addition, you have the Boulevard Haussmann and the famous Galeires Lafayettes. Place Vendôme and the Golden Triangle up to the Champs Elysées for luxury shopping.

The Eiffel Tower is not so far away by walk from the Champs Elysées.

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Louvre Rivoli Paris Sightseeing

Architectural masterpiece

The Louvre-Rivoli district is a very lively and urban district in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It covers an area of 0.7 km². From an economic point of view, it is a very busy area with a large number of shops. Located in the heart of the capital, the Louvre-Rivoli district is an architectural masterpiece with its long Rue de Rivoli which runs alongside the Louvre Museum, its majestic churches, its many museums and its large gardens.

The Louvre and its garden

The Tuileries Garden stretches from the Louvre Palace (east) to the Place de la Concorde (west), it is bordered to the north by the Rue de Rivoli, the Place des Pyramides and to the south by the Seine. The Arc du Carrousel, built in 1806 in the Carrousel Garden, marks the entrance to the Tuileries. The Tuileries Palace, which closed off the Louvre on its western side, was burned down during the Commune in 1871 and its ruins were razed to the ground in 1880.

Rue de Rivoli

The Rue de Rivoli runs through the heart of Paris and stretches for nearly 3 km, on the right bank of the Seine. Its name comes from the name of the victory won by Bonaparte’s French army over the Austrians on January 14 and 15, 1797. Take a bucolic break at the Palais-Royal, right next to the Louvre. Not too far from here, there is the so famous Place Vendôme.

Historical Districts and Paris Sightseeing

Ask for a tailor-made itinerary with a private tour guide. There are plenty to do among the 20 districts of Paris for each profile. You choose we create personalized tours according to your aspirations. In addition, we offer custom made Paris Tour Package, all inclusive.

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