Top 8 Paris Tours You Don’t Want to Miss: A Personal Guide
As a travel writer who has wandered the streets of Paris more times than I could ever count, I can assure you that this enchanting city is filled with, not only unforgettable experiences, but some hidden gems and surprises.
I’ve personally handpicked 8 must-do tours that will help you make the most of your time in my favorite European city.
Each tour immerses you in the history, culture, and charm of Paris, creating memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Before we start and so you know what we’re going to cover, here’s a quick summary of the tours I’ve picked out for you:
- Eiffel Tower tours
- Louvre Museum (for The Mona Lisa)
- Seine River cruises
- Versaille Palace tours
- Montmartre walking tours (guided & unguided)
- Paris Catacombs
- Gourmet food and wine tours
- Paris by night trips and tours
[*You’ll see below I’ve already added some trips into each section of the article. If you choose to book one, they will pay me a small commission which helps fund my writing efforts and websites. This is my full-time job, so every little helps. Thank you.]
1. Eiffel Tower Tours: Explore the Iconic Symbol of Paris
The first time I laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower, it took my breath away. That may sound a bit cliched but this iconic landmark, standing tall since 1889, is the most obvious symbol of Parisian charm (1).
I don’t live far from the tower and during the time I’ve been here, I’ve explored various ways to experience it, and I have a few favorites to share.
An enlightening guided tour unveils the tower’s history, architecture, and the mind behind its creation, Gustave Eiffel. As you ascend, you’ll marvel at the panoramic views of Paris. If you’re short on time, skip-the-line tickets are invaluable, allowing you to bypass the crowds and head straight to the top.
For a truly unforgettable experience (assuming you have the budget), I recommend dining at Le Jules Verne, the tower’s Michelin-starred restaurant. With its exquisite French cuisine and stunning views of the city, it’s a meal you’ll never forget.
2. Louvre Museum Tours: Delving into a World of Art Masterpieces
When you enter the Louvre – the world’s largest and most visited museum – for the first time, it’s easy to be awestruck by the sheer magnitude of its collection (2). I know I was.
Housing an amazing 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art, the Louvre is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. To truly appreciate the museum’s offerings, I suggest taking a guided tour.
On the tours that I’ve done personally, the knowledgeable guides have shared fascinating stories and historical context about iconic pieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
With their expert guidance, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the art and the artists behind these legendary masterpieces.
3. Seine River Cruises: Experiencing Paris from the Water
There’s something magical about cruising the Seine River, which gracefully meanders through the heart of Paris.
As I’ve discovered, taking a river cruise not only offers a chance to relax but it provides a unique vantage point to admire the city’s stunning architecture and historic landmarks.
Guided tours provide insightful commentary about riverside monuments, while sightseeing cruises allow you to relax and soak in the views.
If you’re looking for a romantic experience, consider a dinner cruise as the sun sets and Paris transforms into a shimmering spectacle. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like the City of Lights from the Seine.
4. Versailles Palace Tours: Step Back in Time at a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Another of my personal favorites is the Palace of Versailles. This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the home of French royalty, and its opulence is evident in every corner (3).
To truly immerse yourself in the palace’s history, again I recommend taking a guided tour.
Expert guides will lead you through the famous Hall of Mirrors, the royal apartments, and the expansive gardens designed by André Le Nôtre.
Each time, I’ve been captivated by the stories of the palace’s former residents and the grandeur of a bygone era. A tour of Versailles is a must for any history lover.
5. Montmartre Walking Tours: Uncovering the Bohemian Charm of Paris
Montmartre, with its bohemian atmosphere and artistic allure, is a neighborhood I always love visiting.
Perched on a hill in northern Paris, Montmartre has been a haven for artists, writers, and poets throughout history (4).
I’ve found that the best way to explore this captivating area is to either grab yourself a tourist map or by booking a walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide.
During your Montmartre tours, the guides will introduced you to hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and fascinating history.
Montmartre is truly a must-visit neighborhood for anyone seeking the artistic spirit of Paris.
6. Paris Catacombs Tours: Venture Beneath the City Streets
For a truly unique and eerie experience, I suggest exploring the Paris Catacombs, This usually takes around an hour to do, an underground ossuary containing the remains of millions of Parisians (5). It’s one that’s not for the faint-hearted but certainly a must-visit if you’re planning a visit to Paris.
Over the years, I’ve found that guided tours always tend to offer the best way to navigate the maze-like tunnels while learning about the catacombs’ origins and purpose.
Guides will share chilling stories and intriguing facts about the catacombs as you journey beneath the city streets. With its macabre history and haunting atmosphere, a tour of the Paris Catacombs is perfect for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
7. Gourmet Food & Wine Tours: Savor the Flavors of Paris
As a self-proclaimed foodie, I can attest that Paris is a culinary paradise.
From bustling markets and cozy patisseries to wine bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s no shortage of delectable delights. To truly savor the flavors of Paris, I recommend embarking on a food and wine tour.
During my culinary adventures, I’ve indulged in tastings at local markets, sampled pastries at hidden gems, and sipped fine wines at charming bars.
Along the way, I’ve been introduced to traditional French dishes and cooking techniques, deepening my appreciation for the city’s rich culinary heritage.
8. Paris by Night Tours: Experience the Magic of the City of Lights After Dark
As the sun sets, Paris transforms into a dazzling spectacle. The city’s monuments and landmarks are illuminated against the night sky, creating an unforgettable atmosphere. I’ve discovered that Paris by Night tours are the perfect way to experience the city’s evening charm.
From guided walking tours to bus tours and Seine River cruises, there’s a nighttime tour for every taste. During these excursions, I’ve marveled at iconic locations such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, all aglow in the darkness.
Trust me, there’s no better way to cap off a day in Paris than by experiencing its magic after dark.
These eight tours are just a few examples of the incredible experiences that await you in Paris.
Depending on your interests, you may also consider exploring other neighborhoods, visiting lesser-known museums, or embarking on a bike or Segway tour.
Whichever tours you choose, I’m confident that you’ll create unforgettable memories in the City of Lights.
- Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Eiffel Tower. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eiffel-Tower-Paris-France
- Musée du Louvre. (n.d.). The Louvre: Explore. https://www.louvre.fr/en/explore
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre. (n.d.). Palace and Park of Versailles. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/83/
- Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Montmartre. https://www.britannica.com/place/Montmartre
- Paris Catacombs. (n.d.). The Paris Catacombs: History. https://www.catacombes.paris.fr/en/history