Join a local guide to discover the enigmatic charms of France’s capital on this enlightening Paris city tour that pairs secret local hangouts with delicious food and wine — a winning combo! (small group tour)
Start your Paris tour in front of the Centre Pompidou, Europe largest modern art museum, nestled in an impressive contemporary building. Then, move on pass Notre-Dame to the Hôtel de Ville, the city’s town hall, on the square where public executions were once carried out. Learn about the horrible death of Robert-François Damiens, the infamous man who tried to assassinate King Louis XV.
You will then move on to the little tangled streets of the Marais to spot beautiful medieval churches, corbelled houses and narrow lanes. Pass by an iconic bakery whose baguette was elected one of the best in Paris and you will try your first pastry, a delicious meringue known as a ‘merveilleux.’ Next, visit Rue Saint-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, one of the oldest streets in the Marais and today the centre of the French gay scene. You will learn how this part of city, once sordid, became synonymous with trendy Paris and a shopping hub for fashionistas and the core of “bobo” culture. While here, you will stop and sample a delicious macaron from one of Paris’ most famous pastry chefs.
Just a street away is Rue des Rosiers, the heart of the Jewish community. It’s a vibrant pedestrian street full of falafel stands and delicious Jewish-influenced delis. Enter a fabulous chocolate store to taste a butter-filled pastry, called Kouign Amann, a specialty from Brittany. Your Paris tour will then take you back to the South Marais, where stands the longest remaining piece of the 12th-century defensive wall of Paris. After a walk-through impressive Saint-Paul’s church, stop at a local wine bar, where you will get a professional wine tasting. Enjoy sampling some iconic French liqueurs like Cognac and Armagnac or “Old Plum” brandy. To accompany your drinks, you will have the opportunity to taste some delicious French cheese or charcuterie treats. From there head on to Paris’ oldest and certainly most beautiful square, la Place des Vosges, home of France’s national writer, Victor Hugo. From there, it’s only a short walk to your final destination, la place de la Bastille, the former prison that was captured on July 14th, 1789, triggering the French Revolution.