From the historic heart of Paris, to the famous Our Lady of Paris, Notre Dame, this private tour provides an in-depth experience of some of Paris’s most famous sights.
With its rich history, Île de la Cité ('the island of the city') is much more than just a pretty place. Your guide will help you discover the stories behind its beautiful architecture and unusual sights. This is where medieval Paris was founded, and your guide will point out vestiges of this and other historic times as you walk its picturesque streets.
The Conciergerie is the oldest part of the first royal palace and the prison where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution in 1793 during the French Revolution. Here your guide will point out Bonbec, the tower named for the prisoners tortured until they “sang”. From here you’ll stop to admire the Sainte-Chapelle, built in the French royal style in the 1200s by Louis IX to shelter the Crusade’s Crown of Thorns and Piece of the True Cross.
Between Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame is the island’s cherished Marche aux Fleurs, which made recent history and headlines when it was renamed after Queen Elizabeth II during the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Since 1830, this charming flower market, both covered and open air, has delighted the senses. At the Pont Neuf, you will be intrigued by the sculpted heads and the tales of actual people said to be their models.
Notre Dame Cathedral, “Our Lady of Paris,” is the point from which all distances in France are measured. Founded by Louis VII in 1163 on a sacred Roman site, it is one of the biggest and best-known churches in the world, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, and has captured people’s imaginations and hearts for hundreds of years. The inspiration for Victor Hugo’s timeless, tragic tale, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it has had a starring role in several movies, including Disney’s family-friendly version.
Your guide will point out the details of Notre Dame’s world-recognized, impressive exterior as well as its beautiful interior space with vibrant stained glass windows and sculptures, flying buttresses, and dramatic arches. As you explore the architecture of the cathedral, you will learn about its construction, the damage caused during the French Revolution, and its restoration to its current state.
Then it’s time to break away from the crowds for a special treat. With our Skip the Line tickets, you’ll be able to circumvent the long lines and explore one of Notre Dame’s towers. Your reward for climbing the long, winding staircase is perhaps the most gorgeous views of Paris - the Sacre Coeur on one side, the Eiffel Tower on the other, and the Seine River just below. You’ll also be up close and personal with Notre Dame’s famous gargoyles. Your guide will explain that these amazing, frightening stone sculptures are actually drainpipes. But, they’re not like any drainpipes you’ve ever seen and one can only imagine how they looked originally when they were painted in bright colors!
Our Notre Dame private tour with Île de la Cité will take you on a journey through time, vividly describing historic events and figures, making these sights come alive.