Paris is such a glorious city to explore, I think it’d be a real shame to come here and not go on a few walks. While you can always take a stroll independently, I’d recommend going on a guided walking tour or two. This way, you can get some great insights into the local culture, whether it’s your first trip to Paris and you fancy having a general introduction or you’ve been here before and want to dig a little deeper.
How much do walking tours cost?
Paris isn’t always the cheapest of places to visit, so I always recommend looking for ways to save money while you’re there. A good place to start is by booking some low-cost accommodation, which you can do through companies likeÂ Hostelbookers, but you can also save by being smart about the activities you choose.
For instance, companies like Discover Walks offer several free English-language tours of Paris every day – in fact, it’s only on December 24th and 25th that they don’t host any – which are perfect for spending-savvy holidaymakers like you and me. As an added bonus, they provide lots of different routes, including general introductions to the city, tours of Montmatre – including the Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur – and walks around Notre Dame.
Flea market tour
As you’d expect, there’s also a sizeable selection of paid walking tours. In fact, Discover Walks offers these alongside their free tours, with the paid itineraries usually being a little more specialist in nature, as well as longer.
Among the tours that particularly caught my eye is the route around the Paris Flea Market, which is home to a mind-boggling 2,500 shops and 17 individual markets. So, it’s not surprising you’d need a tour to get your head around it!
What this 90-minute guided walk does is introduce you to the market, telling you things like where to find different products, what’s available and – most importantly, in my mind – how haggling works here. If you’re keen to shop while you’re in Paris, this is a fantastic way to learn how to navigate one of the best places for finding interesting, unique bargains.
Eiffel Tower food tour
My next top tour recommendation is the Eiffel Tower food tour, which you can take through walking tour company Locales. This itinerary (which is paid for, rather than free, I’m afraid!), takes you through the 7th arrondissement of Paris – i.e. the area home to the Eiffel Tower – stopping at fantastic food producers along the way.
The focus is on artisan food, and can include visits to authentic fromageries, where you can indulge in a cheese and wine tasting. A trip to an artisanal market is also likely to be on the cards, and here you can slip away from the crowds for a privileged tasting of patisseries, foie gras and macarons.
Space Invaders tour
Last up, we have the Space Invaders tour, which is also offered by Locales. I’m sure this must sound a little odd as a Parisien walking tour theme, but bear with me!
Basically, this is an absolute gem if you’re travelling with kids. You see, all over Paris, there are little mosaics of the Space Invaders from the 80s video game. So, the tour operator has used these as way to create an itinerary that’ll appeal to both adults and children.
Kids will be asked to ‘hunt’ the Space Invaders by spotting them and, during stops, drawing them. Adults, meanwhile, can enjoy soaking up the atmosphere in the heart of Paris and finding out all about the amazing architecture – parfait!