This catalogue is a non-exhaustive list of
visits in the "Ile de France". These visits are an occasion to discover
the unexpected and unrecognized aspects of well-known and other more confidential
sights of Paris and its region.
Visits last 1h30. According to the time available,
it is possible to join several subject in a same area.
These visits are to be appreciated in small groups
with a maximum of twenty people. In the case of bigger groups, we suggest
to divide them, and have a guide per group of twenty.
Our personalized visits are available in English,
French, Spanish or German.
Some visits in Museums and Monuments, require an extra
charge for entrance fees or reservation fees, which are to paid by the
client. These sights are listed with the following abbreviations : R.N.I.
(Reservation.Not.Included) or E.N.I. (Entrance.Not.Included).
We remain at your disposal for further information.
VISITS INSIDE PARIS
Each topic is a visit lasting 1h30, which can easily
fit in your schedule and offers the possibility to join 2 or 3 different
topics in a same area, according to the time granted.Right Bank
The Bastille and its surroundings
A bustling area where famous landmarks related to memorable
events neighbor with unexpected spots that call to mind the colorful and
sometimes dramatic practices and stories that have spiced its long history.
Meeting place : In front of the Opéra
Bastille,(metro Bastille line 1or 5)
A general view of this versatile and once again fashionable
area, with its restored XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries mansions and squares,
such as, the Place des Vosges and the hotel de Sully.
Meeting place : exit métro St. Paul.
An unusual walk in the Marais
An "off the beaten track visit" to discover some more
neglected but nonetheless interesting spots such as what used to be the
"Champs Elysees" in the 17th century, three of Paris' oldest houses, the
present Guild Hall, ...
Meeting Place : Exit of Metro Saint Paul (Line
A neighborhood of contrast, including Roger's and Enzo
Piano's astonishingly modern cultural center and two of Paris' oldest houses.
Meeting place : At the foot of St Jacques'tower (metro châtelet)
In the heart of the Marais, a beautiful XVIIth century
mansion shelters since 1980, Pablo Picasso's works given to the State by
his heirs to pay their taxes. This permitted to recreate a wonderful chronology
of his work from the blue period to surealism and gathering paintings,
ceramics, sculptures which shows the diversity of his genius. (E.N.I)
Meeting place : museum's courtyard, 5 rue
de Thorigny. (metro St. Paul, line 1)
Near the Champs-Elysées...
The Faubourg St. Honoré : Cradle of Parisian
The history of the Parisian fashion world is written
on the walls along the lower part of the "rue du Faubourg St. Honoré",
the legendary and very select shopping ground of celebrities since the
Meeting place : Exit of Metro St. Philippe
Residences, theaters, and Restaurants haunted by people
who marked their times from the XVIIIth century to the present.
Meeting place : Visitors bureau; 127 av. des Champs Elysées
A magnificent XIXTh century mansion, built by a couple
of art lovers which gathered two incredible collections. The ground-floor
offers paintings and furniture from the XVIIIth century coming from Europe
(Gainsboroug, Rembrandt, Quentin Latour, etc...). Its first floor has a
unique collection of Renaissance Italian works... (E.N.I)
Meeting place : entrance, 158 bd. Haussmann
Around the Louvre
The Opera Garnier
Paris' famous XIXth century opera. Known for its magnificent
inside decoration and his famous phantom... (E.N.I)
Meeting Place : In front of Opera Garnier
(Metro: Opera, Line 3, 7)
Concerning this huge museum we offer several visits. The three followings
visits are often asked :
Treasures of St. Denis abbey
Among the magnificent coronation artifacts used from the
XIIIth to theXIXth centuries stand other precious historic objects, such
as, the abbot Suger's four gorgeous vases, medieval book bindings in carved
Three fabulous courtyards in the new wing
Three stunning six-storey-high glass-covered courtyards
design by M' Pei, housing the Louvre's famous monumental sculptures (Assyrian
VIIIth c BC, French XVIIth to XIXth century ). An occasion to admire the
most remarkable "Bulls of Khorsabad" and "Chevaux de Marly" in a fabulous
Once upon a Royal Palace, The Louvre ...
History of life in the Louvre from the 12th to the 17th
centuries and an explanation of the significant architectural transformations
it underwent during the 500 years in which it was the official residence
of the Kings of France.
Meeting place : Exit metro Palais-Royal/Musée du Louvre (line 1, 7)
(R.N.I) ; (E.N.I)
This beehive of intellectual and artistic activity from
the 13th century to the present is best discovered in a stroll along the
gardens and through the "passages" (covered arcades) that inconspicuously
furrow the neighborhood.
Meeting place : Metro Palais-Royal-Musée
The covered arcades
Enjoy the most fashionable XIXth century pass-time : a
sheltered leisurely promenade through the arcades then teeming with art
galleries and academies, theaters and celebrities, and shops of all sorts.
Meeting Place : Exit Metro Louvre-Rivoli (Line
Les Halles : The former central wholesale market
Recalling daily life in what was the heart of Paris from
the12th c. to 1967, with St. Eustache church and its treasures to bring
back stories of times when it stood next to Les Saints Innocents (the city's
biggest cemetery) and the bustling central market where generations came
to shop. In contrast the contemporary Forum (controversial excavated shopping
center) brings today's shoppers to make two worlds coexist!
Meeting place : Exit Metro Etienne Marcel
This lovely hilltop village of contrasts though mainly
known for its basilica, its cabarets and artists that have peopled it since
the past century (Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau, etc...), was also the site
of a royal abbey and conceals along its narrow streets and paths many quaint
little houses where life goes peacefully on, and where a small vineyard
is still cultivated to produce wine!
Meeting place : Funicular (top exit)
Haunts that cradled the Impressionist explosion
A central and urbanistic area which once was the former
countryside village of Les Batignolles joined to Paris in 1860. Transformed
by the construction of the railway station of St. Lazare (1843), it became
a new and convenient area of Paris which seduced the young generation of
artists first known as the "groupe des Batignolles". This area will remain
theirs from 1863 to 1875.
Meeting Place : Exit Metro Rome (line
Havens of Impressionist masters below Montmartre
1875 date of Manet's death, marks a change for the impressionist
group. Impressionists split and move in an other area situated below Montmartre.
There, they join other artists attracted by the intellectual and artistic
emulation that existed in this area since the beginning of the century.
This fantastic gathering drew uponthe area a rush of diverse people interested
in Art business : Art-dealers, color salesmen...., Thus creating the Art
center of Paris of the late XIXth century.
Meeting Place : Exit Metro Saint-Georges (line
Musée de la vie Romantique
A the foot of Montmartre, the Renan-Scheffer's charming
little house is now a museum dedicated to Romanticism. A wealth of details
reveals the family's private life and that of their famous close friends,
which include such pillars of Romanticism as G. Sand, Lizst, or Chopin...
Meeting place : Entrance of the museum, 16
rue Chaptal (Metro Pigalle or St Georges, line 12 or 2)
An "Art-Nouveau" walk
Discreetly niched among other houses in fashionable Auteuil
stand some of the most remarkable architectural treasures built by Guimard,
the French master of Art Nouveau. Here the beautiful craftsmanship can
be appreciated in its appropriate context.
Meeting place : Exit metro Chardon-Lagache
Auteuil an avant-garde area from Molière
to Le Corbusier.
An occasion to discover the hidden aspects of this elegant
residential area: how a little village became first an "avant guard" town
with Moliere, Racine, and Boileau among its famous residents, then an experimental
working ground for later well-known architects such as Guimard, Mallet-Stevens,
Meeting Place : Exit metro Eglise d'Auteuil
A surprising discovery of vestiges that bring one back
to the charming village that Charonne used to be. Perched on a hill, its
bucolic and quaint parochial cemetery is one of the only two left in Paris.
Meeting place : In front church St. Germain
de Charonne (Metro Porte de Bagnolet, line 3)
Menilmontant Past and Present
Formerly only a picturesque village loved and made famous
by Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf, Menilontant today offers a rich and
uplifting image of contemporary French urban architecture with inventive
residential buildings designed to respect the human scale by some of our
most gifted architects.
Meeting place : Exit metro Menilmontant (Line
1 or 7)
Le Père Lachaise Cimetery
With its 108 Acres, the cemetery is Paris' biggest park.
Many famous people are buried here : Chopin, Colette, Balzac, Oscar Wilde,
Sarah Bernhardt, Molière... Our visits offer several subject matters
as like : Politicians, Painters, Writers, ...
Meeting place : Metro Père Lachaise,
Sortie Bd du Menilmontant ou, Metro Gambetta, Sortie Place Gambetta
A charming XVIIIth century mansion which transformed in
almost a century ago, in a residence for artists where lived among others,
Matisse and Rodin. Rodin bequeathed all his works and belongings to the
state with the idea of creating a museum in this mansion so that it would
be restored. Thus the Rodin museum opens in 1919, and since then, one can
admire his works and part of his furniture.
Meeting place : museum entrance, 77 rue de
We offer several visits of 1h30 in Orsay. Among them we
have chosen three visits which are often asked :
The Impressionists and their followers
Orsay shelters an important collection of masterpieces
which remarkably illustrates the fantastic transformation of painting in
the second half of the XIXTh century. Thus we will start admiring the works
made by precursors of Impressionism like, Courbet, Delacroix, Boudin, Corot,
then continue with the Impressionists masters themselves like Renoir, Monet,
Pissarro, Cezanne, Degas, and finish with some of their followers like
Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Denis... A visit which shows the evolution of
painting to arrive to the beautiful and colorful works made by the Impressionists
masters and their followers. A perfect picture of the long Revolution of
painting which took place in the XIXth century
Furniture, vessels and jewelry made by the most eminent
creators of French and Belgian Art Nouveau : Victor Horta, Guimard, Lalique
XIXth century French Sculpture
XIXth century has been very rich in reconstruct ions and
public monument achievements. Therefore this century was very prolific
for Sculpture. We distinguish three parties of sculptors : The animalists
like Barye and Pompon, the academists like Dalou, and the realists like
Carpeaux, Rodin, and Claudel. (E.N.I)
Meeting Place : In front of the Museum Entrance.
Montagne Sainte Geneviève
A visit in the heart of the latin quarter, recalling student
life since the XIIth century, in an area rich with memories of Calvin,
Erasmus, the Scottish School, etc.
Meeting place : In front of church St Etienne
du Mont, (Metro : Cardinal-Lemoine, Line 7)
Walking-tour in the Latin quarter and snack at
Paris' oldest Café
Now a famous restaurant ,"Le Procope" was originally ,
during the 17th and 18th centuries, the equivalent of a neighborhood "snack
bar" where some of the intellectuals that have marked our civilization
met regularly. To include a halt within its venerable walls in a walking
tour of the Latin Quarter is therefore almost a "must".
Meeting place : In front of Théatre
de l'Odéon, place de l'Odéon (metro Odéon ; line 4 or 10)
St. Germain des Près during the Revolution
Astonishing situation for this area, which is one of the
rare places of Paris that have not suffered from the Revolution. At the
contrary, this area was the beehive of the young revolutionaries, where
they lived and met.
Meeting place : In front of Statue Danton (Metro Odéon, line 4)
A visit of this area, considered a beehive of artistic
activity since the turn of the century, includes the famous "brasseries"
(La Coupole, La Rotonde, Le Dome), the controversial statue of Balzac by
Rodin, the painting and sculpture "academies", and the places where many
artistic and literary figures ( Gauging, Modigliani, Jongkindt, Ezra Pound)
lived and worked.
Meeting place : In front of le Café
la Coupole (metro Vavin, Line 4)
One of the three central Parisian cemetery where are buried
some artists that marked the artistic area (such as Bourdelle, Zadkine,
man Ray, etc...).
Meeting Place : exit Metro Edgar-Quinet (Line
A visit through underground Paris, to discover a spectacular
necropolis (an ossuary for 8 millions Parisians) in the labyrinths of the
city's ancient quarries.
Meeting place: In front of the entrance, place
Denfert Rochereau (Metro Denfert Rochereau ,Lines 4 or 6)
Near the Gobelins manufactory
Along the trail of the underground river : La
Along the trail of this now underground river, a curious
walk through the little the known 13th area of Paris to recall its "golden
age". This visit reveals some surprising landmarks, such as, one of Paris'
most historic 15th century mansions, an 18th century orangery used by Watteau,
surprising little streets lined with charming small houses, ...
Meeting Place : In front of church St Madrid, (métro Censier-Daubenton, line 7)
An unexpected aspect of Paris, where an astonishing population
that settled in huge 1970 buildings has created a bustling, exotic, "city"
within the city.
Meeting place : Metro Porte de Choisy, in
front bank BNP (Line 7)
Ile de la Cité
Paris' first Royal Palace and its later turned into a
prison where Queen Marie Antoinette was held. (E.N.I)
Meeting place : Exit metro Cité
The Sainte Chapelle
The former royal chapel, built to house the Holy Relics
in the XIIIth century. This magnificent shrine is universally known for
its breathtakingly beautiful and abundant stained-glass windows. (E.N.I)
Meeting place : Exit Metro Cité (line
Notre Dame's archeological crypt
A good introduction to Paris' history through the vivid
explanation of models illustrating the city's growth, and vestiges dating
from roman times to the XVIIIth century, excavated below the Cathedral's
Meeting Place : Exit Metro Cité
Banks and bridges in the heart of Paris.
The bridges and banks surrounding "l'ile de la Cite" are
as a book in which one can not only read the city's story as far back as
Roman times, but also picture its bustling life highlighted by such spectacular
and romantic events as river jousts, royal parades, beach parties, etc...
Meeting place : Exit Metro Cité.
Notre-Dame and its former cloister
The cathedral and the former cloister area, (A city within
a city from the IXth to the XIIIth century...).
Meeting place : Exit, Metro Cité
Ile Saint Louis
Ile Saint Louis
Discover a typical elegant XVIIIth century residential
area, still fashionable today. Reminiscence of anecdotes related to celebrities
that lived on the island throughout the ages such as Richelieu, Rothschild,
Daumier, Le Vau, etc.
Meeting place : Exit metro Sully-Morland (Bd
The friends of Gertrude Stein at l'Ile St. Louis
Hemingway, Helena Rubinstein, John Dos Passos, and many
others lived important moments of their lives in the narrow streets and
shady banks of this select island at the beginning of this century.
Meeting place : Exit Metro Pont Marie
VISITS IN ILE DE FRANCE
We have gathered in this part visits outside Paris.
The sights being sometimes very distant from one another, we have chosen
a different classification.
The duration of the visits in Paris' region is very
different according to the sights. Its difference is not determined by
the length of the visit itself but by the distance of the sights and its
Therefore we have decided to classify the sights according
to their access facilities. Thus, a first part will gather sights accessible
by Metro or RER, a second part will gather sights with foreseen
Sights accessible with
public transportation (metro, R.E.R., bus)
Discovery of French modern sculpture and architecture.
Meeting place : In front of the CNIT, place
du Parvis (metro : Grande Arche de la Défense ou RER
A : La Défense )
The fabulous collections of crockery and china
at Sèvres Museum.
An amazing museum created in 1824 that houses a selection
of pieces classified according to the country and date of fabrication :
Near East, Europe, Italy, France (specially from Paris) are represented.
Meeting place : Metro Pont de Sevres, Exit
Basilique St Denis
This basilica was chosen in the VIIth century to become
the French royal necropolis. First enlarged under the Carolingian it was
rebuilt in the XIIth and XIIIth centuries. It is nowadays considered like
a treasure of gothic classic architecture. And in spite of revolutionary
damages it still houses a wonderful collection of gravestones dating from
the XIIt to the XVIth centuries.
For this place we offer two visits of 1h30 each :
Meeting place : In front of the main portal (metro, St. Denis Basilique)
- St. Denis basilica treasure of gothic architecture.
- Graves and funeral practices of French kings. (EN.I)
Versailles et Trianons
Regarding this particular sight, we have several visit
of 1h30. Here are some examples of them :
Meeting place : Exit railway station in Versailles (RER C, Versailles Rive Gauche)
Sights with transportation
to be provided
- The small or the big Trianon (each of them corresponding
to a visit of 1h.30),
- The main gardens (till the Canal),
- The royal apartments.
Residence of the French sovereigns from XIIth to the XIXth
centuries. The palace is a marvelous example of decorative art from the
XVIe to the XIXe centuries. (E.N.I)
Vaux le Vicomte
Palace of the XVIIth century made by the major artists
of the time (Le Vau, Le Nôtre, et Lebrun). It was the residence of
Louis XIV's minister of finance, Nicolas Fouquet. Today the palace privately
owned, is opened to the public. (E.N.I)
This town is well-known for its marvelous cathedral with
its "blue sky" stained glass windows dating from the XIIth century. On
the way one can admire the landscape of this part of the Ile de France
and see the palaces of Rambouillet and Maintenon. Count at least
4h for the tour just to visit the cathedral and the drive.
A magic word for the lovers of Impressionism. This little
village became famous when Monet settled in 1883. One can visit the cute
little house and its splendid gardens where the painter and his family
lived until 1961. A few years ago, was inaugurated The American museum
that houses works made by American artists that came to visit Monet. Some
of them settled to work in Giverny.
Auvers sur Oise.
(A minimum of 5 hours). (E.N.I)
This typical and adorable little village was chosen by
artists in the XIXth century to settle and work. Some of them became very
famous like Daubigny, Van Gogh or the kind Doctor Gachet that welcomed
them all in his house. A sight that can be combined with Giverny. (A
minimum of 5 hours). (E.N.I)
A palace built in the XVIth century, for the warmate of
king Henry IV, the Connétable de Montmorency. One of the most beautiful
example of XVIth century architecture that houses today the magnificent
museum of the Renaissance period. (E.N.I)
Formerly a Royal city, Senlis has kept a special ambiance,
with its charming narrow streets and its two churches, its cathedral and
the church St. Frambourg. Since the settlement of the pianist Cziffra,
the village became the center of Lizst.
Residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Joséphine.
The original nineteenth century decor, with a varied collection of porcelain,
paintings, furniture, and personal belongings recreate the ambiance known
by the famous couple and their relatives. (E.N.I)
Palace built for Louis XIVth cousin, the prince of Condé.
The museum houses an extraordinary collection of furniture and paintings
of the XVIIth century. And specially its gorgeous library were are kept
the unique illuminating of the duke of Berry dating of the XIVth century.