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Paris activity

My wife and I want a tour of Paris that provides a lot of activity; we love walking as a means of seeing the world!

Posted by
895 posts

It's not clear what you're asking for. Are you looking for a suggested itinerary, an organized tour (Rick Steves or another company) to join, etc. How many days in Paris, what type of lodging, etc.

Posted by
8115 posts

Paris is small -- easily walked side to side in an afternoon. And there are dozens of books with 'walking tour' routes -- central and in more obscure reaches of the city. Years ago we did a Frommers walk of the 16th to look at Architecture. You can easily organize your own walking tours of the city with these type books and be free to sit and sip coffee when you feel like it or deviate from the plan when something interesting comes up.

There are commercial walking tours as well -- but Paris with its great public transport doesn't require a guide.

FWIW There are also books that outline day trips to the less obvious nearby places. Simms. An Hour from Paris is one. And Caro's book Paris to the Past also has some day trips not in the Simms book.

Posted by
4952 posts

All of the RS tours are listed, not unsurprisingly, in the Our Tours section of the website. There is one 7 day tour of Paris. You can see the details there.

However the PPs are quite correct - a guided tour for a whole week is quite unnecessary. Paris is one of the easiest of cities to explore on your own and at your own pace with the simple aid of a good guidebook and a bit of online research.

Posted by
972 posts

Check out Paris Walks. I really liked the Marais and Montmartre walks and hope to do the rest of them eventually. All are suspended at the moment, but they should come back some day.

Posted by
6345 posts

Yes, a guided tour is unnecessary, but we took Rick's Best of Paris in Seven Days, and loved it. We learned a lot, including how to use the Metro system and how to be polite in shops and restaurants. There was lots of free time, and our guide had great suggestions for places to visit and restaurants. We also enjoyed the included meals.

Could we have done it on our own? Of course, but we loved the tour and felt it was a good value. And yes, there was a lot of walking. We felt it gave us a good base on which we expanded after that tour, and on subsequent visits to Paris.

Posted by
3961 posts

Two of our favorite walking tours ever was with We enjoyed Le Marais and Montmartre tours. Our guides were knowledgeable, & professional. Our Paris experience was enriched because of the tours we chose.

We always hire guides in Europe. The benefits of a private guide or walking tour gives you an orientation to the area, money saving tips, restaurant recommendations, transportation, sightseeing advice, etc. We’ve had guide recommendations from RS, friends, & relatives. Never regretted hiring guides. One of my favorite blogs that I have used for guide info is Joanne gives eight reasons why you should hire a private guide. She is also a contributor to the RS forum.

Posted by
2310 posts

hey hey jhmckane
RS does have the paris tour, read the itinerary to see if that is what you want or seeing more outside of paris. there are so many walking tours with guides, maps, on your own. of paris wonderful walks in paris something different with getaway cruises around paris secret paris
just putting some feelers out there if you tour on your own. take you time, sit and people watch with a drink, keep a map with you. email any greeters on their websites and tell them what you want, they will help you enjoy, be safe, have fun

Posted by
2749 posts

I’ve done a couple of tours, before the Covid thing of course, with Cory at a french Frye in Paris

you have a lot of walking which I really enjoyed and he is incredibly well prepared.(

He has a YouTube page also so you can see videos of things he does to see if he might be somebody you’d be interested in touring with

Posted by
14097 posts

Like Jane, I did the RS Best of Paris tour and loved it. I learned SO much and still think about my wonderful guide Rolinka when I am in Paris. She gave me a lot of confidence on being able to manage there as a solo traveler and now I can't stay away. We had some free time nearly every afternoon after doing a museum and/or local guided walk earlier in the day. This gives you time to walk additionally if you're not getting enough in although generally on RS tours you can count on 5-6 miles a day. The tour does utilize the Metro but then there is also a lot of walking above ground as well!

Interestingly, the local tour guide we had for a walk thru the Marais turned up this last Fall as a Paris Walks tour guide for one of the walking tours I did with them on the Left Bank. I recognized her immediately and knew we were in for an excellent walking tour.

I'd say go for the RS tour and plan to arrive a night or two ahead of the tour start so you can get over jet lag before you hit the ground with the tour!

Posted by
895 posts

I've found pros and cons to guided tours vs on our own. A knowledgeable guide can bring a site to life in so many ways - history, trivia, technical knowledge, etc. However, going on a guided tour with a group I find too often that you're standing around listening which I find harder than walking. Touring on our own gives us much more freedom to move or rest as desired.

We've done several tours and river cruises and enjoy having a mix of time with a professional guide and time on our own.

Posted by
198 posts

I always recommend Paris Greeters when these questions come up. It's not a group tour -- just you and the greeter, walking around having a chat about their home town. I've done a couple and really enjoyed them, and hope to schedule some more when we can move about the world again.

Posted by
14097 posts

Sorry to add another comment but....

"going on a guided tour with a group I find too often that you're standing around listening which I find harder than walking."

To me this particular part of group touring has been lessened over the last few years with the use of the "whisper sets" so a good guide can talk and keep the group moving. Only when they are discussing something like architectural points of a building, etc does the group really stand still. I also find that on the Road Scholar tours the standing thing happens more often than on the Rick Steves tours.

I'll also add that I loved they way the trip to Versailles was handled on the Best of Paris tour. We went together as a group via RER. Rolinka oriented us to the train station and route to the Chateau (and the McDonalds across the street for a comfort stop, lol!). We entered the Chateau as a group, did a guided tour of the building with a local guide (who is also a RS tour guide!) with a quick orientation to the gardens afterward. Then she gave us our return tickets so we could visit the gardens, the Petit Trianon, the Hameau etc on our own and return to Paris on our own schedules. This worked perfectly. Some went back early. Another solo traveler and I stayed the entire afternoon returning to Paris around 6PM. We literally walked our feet off, lol!!

Posted by
4059 posts

Several years ago I took a half-day walking tour of Belleville to see that district's "street art" -- that's graffiti gone legit. For several hours we huffed up and down that hilly area past an eye-opening range of stuff. It's not visual art for standing still, after all. The Bellville authorities now protect what used to be radical. If some wannabee scrawls his initials on an established graffiti (or whatever the singular of that word might be) the civil servants will restore the wall.
I can't remember the small company running my excursion but a Google search turns up a couple.

Another half-day outing is to take the small ferry from the Bastille harbour up the St-Martin canal to La Villette, then walk back. Or vice versa. There are small locks to be traversed while gazing into the windows of nearby apartments. Several companies can be found on-line. One caution: About a third of the ferry route is in a tunnel, which qualifies as a novelty but perhaps not fully scenic.

Posted by
2141 posts

If this is your first trip to Paris, I highly recommend Rick's Paris in 7 Days tour. I did this tour twice, solo and then with a friend, 10 years apart. I enjoyed it both times. The city tours are great because you get a nice overview and become very familiar with the customs, areas of interest, museums, and public transportation. You'll also have some time to explore on your own and to do things that aren't on the tour (Eiffel Tower). I've walked miles and miles in Paris over 10 trips. It's my favorite European city.