What's in our tour?
Nazi Germany occupied Paris the full duration of WWII. How did the Parisians live through it? Who resisted the German troops, who cooperated with them? And how did everyone survive and make ends meet?
What did people eat and do? As Nazi occupying forces abused and tortured the local population, and plundered the country, what Frenchmen came forward as heroes and beacons of hope? And what did the rest of the population do?
Leading to that 4 years of occupation, in 1940 the Nazis subdued the French army and the German soldiers invaded Paris in a mere six weeks of war. How could that even happen?
How did Paris react to global episodes of WWII – the blitz of London? The air raid on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the war? The dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, and Hitler’s eventual suicide?
Then, in 1944, Hitler ordered that Paris be burnt down to the ground. How come Paris is still standing today? How did Paris escape Hitler’s death sentence?
And who liberated Paris: was it the Paris Police? The French Communist Party? The Allied Forces? Or De Gaulle’s troops?
And why is all this so critically important to the French to this very day?
Along the streets of Paris, we review WW2 where it was fought, and where it happened. Throughout, we choose to look at the course of events from the perspective of the man in the street.
This WW2 walking tour in Paris starts in the Marais – Paris’ Jewish quarter. We visit the War Deportation memorial, we see where the local population fought the Nazis, how they fought, and the scars that remain to the present day. We see how Paris remembers and commemorates WWII to this day.
Finally, we end the tour where WWII ended for Paris: on the Champs Elysées.
- The Jewish Quarter & the Paris Holocaust Memorial
- The War Deportation Memorial
- The HQ of the French police
- Notre-Dame Cathedral
- The Nazi Military HQ
Where and when?
This 2.5-hour WW2 Paris walking tour is designed to cover short distances and to run at an easy pace.
Coffee breaks are available at any time.
This tour is available every day on request.
Why take this tour?
To refresh one’s memories about WWII.
To see what WWII all meant for the man in the street in Paris.
And to discover how WWII continues to haunt and shape French society to this very day.
Reservations by schools are welcome.
This is a private 2.5-hour walking tour of Paris in World War II.
Advanced reservation can be accepted up to one week in advance. We advise booking well in advance. To book, use the “Book Now” button on the right side of this page.
Wheelchairs not advised on this tour, because of long climbs.
Starts outside metro Saint-Paul (line 1). Ends near metro Concorde (line 1).
Look for our distinct pink vests
Paris during WW2 – the sites
- The museum of the companions of Liberation – inside the Army Museum, in les Invalides
- The palace of the Legion of Honor
- The memorial of the deportation to Nazi concentration camps, on the Eastern tip of the ile de la cite island
- The shoah museum on rue François Miron
- The Musée de la 2e DB/musée du Général Leclerc/ Jean Moulin museum (scheduled to re-open at a new venue on place Denfert-Rochereau in August 2019)
- And numerous plaques showing on non-descript buildings, residences and schools, all over the city.
Then outside Paris you can find:
- Camp de Drancy. The starting point for 64 train convoys that transported over 67,000 Jews to the extermination camps.
- Mont Valérien: a fort to the West of Paris, where Nazi Germans shot dead many French underground resistance fighters. Today a memorial, open every day, but visits are by guided tours only.