The cathedral and its surroundings : the Ile de la Cite, heart of Paris
The story of Paris started on the Ile de la Cité. This is the real center of the city.
Most tourist stay on the plaza but a 2 hours walking tour will allow you to understand how the city grew from the first settlers to the 19th century.
I will of course explain you many facts about the cathedral, the many statues of the facade, the symbols, and we will go inside. There may be a line to get in, but we cannot skip it because there is no ticket process that I could pre-arrange for you since the entrance is free. However, we will use this max 10 minutes waiting time for the facade explanations.
Once we are inside, I will tell you about the alterations, modifications and renovations that occured since the 13th century, you will learn about the stained glass windows and about some famous events that happened there such as Napoleon coronation. We will walk around the cathedral and admire many low reliefs inside depicting Jesus life.
We will not go up the towers because it would take much longer than the 2 hours.
Meeting by the metro exit Cite on line 4 by the flowers market.
We will head to the cathedral talking about the oldest public hospital of Paris originally created to take care of the pilgrims. We will start with the facade and then go inside the church. We will sit for a while in the main nave to talk of the inside of the church and admire the stained glass windows. Then we will walk thru the church to see Jesus Crown of Thorns and more sculptures.
After, we will go back outside and will have a look at the spectacular flying butresses behind from the love locks bridge and we may go inside the WW2 memorial (except mondays).
We will keep walking around the island and talk of Heloïse and Abelard love story (the french Romeo and Juliet that really existed), and walk towards the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge of Paris.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I will wait for you at the metro station "Cité" on line 4, outside. There is only one exit and I will carry a paper sign with your name on it.
End location: I will leave you at the same spot.
Duration: 2 hours
My knowledge and expertise about the history of Paris, my guidance thru the church and thru the island. There is no tickets fee, the entrance to the cathedral and to WW2 memorial is free.
After the tour you may want to visit the Conciergerie (Marie-Antoinette prison) or the Sainte-Chapelle.
If you have museum passes, you will be able to get there easily.
A Recent Review of this tour
Read More Reviews For This Tour
We had picked a short tour (2 hours) as we were pacing with our 11 year old son. This was perfect -- balancing movement with rest, outdoors with indoors. Our guide stayed mindful of keeping our son engaged as we went through 800+ years of history. We would recommend this tour for a family with kids 10 +, but also for adults traveling without children. Next time we're in Paris we will book this particular guide for the Louvre or Musee D'Orsay.