Visiting any major city can be a daunting task. Often you don’t really know much about the culture you’re dropping into, making it difficult to get around. Not knowing the language makes simply getting a coffee seem like a challenge, and asking locals for directions becomes downright frightening. Luckily most major cities nowadays provide a way to ease into your new surroundings – and Paris absolutely excels at them: City tours. I have tried a lot of Paris tours let me share with you what I enjoyed the most.

Avoiding the ‘Tourist trap’


 

Now I can hear your thoughts: “If I take one of those tours I’ll only see the tourist view of Paris” – but you’d be wrong. Sure, many of the offered Paris tours out there rush you past significant historical landmarks in an average 6.5 seconds per site, thus squeezing as many of them into a one-hour tour leaving you feeling sorry for the hour you lost. As with any obstacle though, I am glad to report there is a way around this one, too.

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The first thing to keep in mind is this: Don’t get on the first sightseeing tour bus that passes you! There are many of these buses to choose from, greatly varying in tour quality, so always make an educated guess. The second thing to realize is that there are many more and better ways to see Paris than sitting on a tour bus: By bike, by boat, or that original – and cheap – way, By foot.

Paris-tours

Free Walking tours – See the city through the eyes of locals

Taking a walking tour of Paris is probably the best way to get into all the little details this beautiful city has to offer. Moving slowly you spend your time studying everything, from the cobble stones to the flower decorated balconies, while the tour guide dazzles you with everything you’ve always wanted to know. And all this is possible, for free!

Discover Walks organizes several thematic walking tours starting off daily at fixed times, held by born and raised Parisian guides. These locals take you anywhere from Montmartre to the Latin Quarter, connecting all the highlights of Paris with less-known features and personal experiences.

Tour Paris

Bike Tours – Follow a scheduled route, or create your own!

Probably not what you ever planned to do, given the notorious traffic of Paris, but taking a tour while zigzagging Paris by bike is definitely worth remembering. Although the prices seem quite steep (around €30,- for around 3.5 hours), these tours do provide you with a good summary of Paris’ highlights.

Tours in Paris

If you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, like me, then why not buy a pass for the Velib bike system? You spend only €1.70 – per day, and for that money you can use some 20.000 bikes all over Paris. Simply buy the ticket, get a bike from one of the many bike stations, ride it to the next station and leave it there. As long as you stay within the 30-minute limit (after which you start paying more) per ride, you will be laughing! Now all you need is a map of Paris, and you can provide your own tour. Check out the Velib.

Bike Tours in Paris

Boat Tours – Find that final, lasting view of Paris

Even though it is nearly impossible to avoid the ‘Tourist Trap’ while taking a boat tour on the river Seine, you should still consider taking one. I too used to be very reluctant of the idea of spending time on a boat packed with noisy tourists, but all that was forgotten once I started slowly floating through the heart of this stunning city. Book a night-time tour, too really see Paris at it’s best.

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Don’t forget to enjoy!

Now don’t be alarmed if you’ve read through this article and still feel you haven’t found the perfect way to visit Paris. Take my advice: don’t make a schedule out of your trip to this city -or to any city for that matter. Tours like the ones mentioned are meant to enhance your trip, not to dominate it. Let go, and just enjoy the City of Light.

Planning a trip to Paris ? Get ready !

These are Amazon’s best-selling travel products that you may need for coming to Paris.

Bookstore

  1. The best travel book : Rick Steves – Paris 2020 – Learn more here
  2. Lonely Planet Paris 2020 – Learn more here

Travel Gear

  1. Venture Pal Lightweight Backpack – Learn more here
  2. Samsonite Winfield 2 28″ Luggage – Learn more here
  3. Swig Savvy’s Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle – Learn more here

Check Amazon’s best-seller list for the most popular travel accessories. We sometimes read this list just to find out what new travel products people are buying.

enjoy the City of Light, Paris