Tour guide for Paris or not?

My wife and I for the first time will be in Paris but only for 3 full days :(
My question is that since we are there for just a short time, should we invest in a tour guide so we get to see more than if we tried to do many things on our own? I am just thinking that would save a lot of time and could be even picked up and dropped off at our hotel. We leave in 4 weeks but our first stop is in Frankfurt for 7 days. Paris was just an add on to our trip but don't want to miss out on to many attractions. Surely some have used a tour guide as well. Tom

Posted by Mary
Boston, MA
134 posts

Have you looked into Paris Greeters? They are local volunteers and can customize a tour that fits your interests.

Posted by Carolyn
Seattle, WA, USA
272 posts

Not. My advice is to invest in a good guide book (Rick Steves Paris guide books are excellent for first timers) and a good street map, and do it on your own. Rick's book tells you everything you need to know about getting around on the Metro. The book has day by day itineraries that cover all of the big sights. Don't worry about missing anything - just do what interests you. Take your time. To really enjoy Paris you need to spend some time sitting on park benches and in cafes watching the parade of Paris life go by. For a more in depth look at a particular area, check out the many walking tours. Some, like Paris Greeters, are free, operating only on donations. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8793 posts

You need to be picked up and dropped off at hotel every day? I hope you are rich because the kind of private guide that would do that for a day will likly run in the area of 3-400 euros. Each day. That's a lot of money to avoid having to figure out anything,lol.but hey if that doesn't phase you ,go for it.
I would suggest taking walking tours (Paris Walks is well reviewed) , try Paris greeters, and maybe a hoho bus and a nice boat cruise at nice( you can walk up and buy tickets).

Posted by dave
freelton, ont, canada
63 posts

Do it on your own , grab a metro subway map , easy to navigate ,enjoy the sites , the people , the parks ,and sit at one of the cafes and enjoy a glass of wine and food and people watch

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21744 posts

thomas,

I agree with the others that you can easily tour Paris on your own, using a good Guidebook. The Pocket Paris is a good choice as it's small and easy to carry around. If you want more detail the full-size Paris book will provide that. Depending on which sights you want to see, you might find it worthwhile to buy the Paris Museum Pass, as that will minimize time spent waiting in queues and will be cost effective if you're going to a lot of places. I don't believe it covers the trip up the Eiffel Tower, but you can reserve that online if you're interested.

If you did want to hire a Guide for a specific place for a few hours (ie: The Louvre), that would be a less expensive option than hiring a guide for several days including pickup at hotels. There are local Guides listed in the books. If you'd like to try a "fun" way to see some of the major sights, you might consider a Paris Segway tour.

With only a VERY short three days, you'll have to prioritize your touring as the number of sights you'll be able to see will be limited. Which Paris sights are you most interested in seeing? Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Metro as it's by far the easiest away to get around the city.