Embarking on a sightseeing tour in Paris is an enchanting experience that unveils the City of Lights in all its glory. Paris is a city steeped in rich history, adorned with iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
A guided tour provides not only the convenience of navigating through these cultural treasures but also offers insightful commentary that breathes life into the stories behind each monument.
The knowledgeable guides share fascinating anecdotes, historical context, and cultural nuances, transforming a simple visit into an educational and immersive journey.
Whether cruising along the Seine River to witness the city’s skyline aglow or strolling through the charming streets of Montmartre, a sightseeing tour in Paris ensures that every moment is optimized for discovery, creating lasting memories of the unparalleled beauty and cultural richness of this world-renowned metropolis.
In this guide, I will show you the best tours in Paris, each designed to elevate your sightseeing adventure to new heights. Whether you’re a first-time visitor eager to discover iconic landmarks or a seasoned traveler seeking hidden gems, these meticulously crafted tours promise to unveil the multifaceted beauty of Paris like never before.
So, let your wanderlust guide you as we navigate through the cobbled streets and iconic landmarks, exploring the crème de la crème of tours that epitomize the essence of the best sightseeing experiences in Paris.
The Best Tours in Paris
Why Do a Sightseeing Tour in Paris
A guided tour in Paris allows visitors to maximise their time and energy, avoiding the hassle of planning logistics and navigating the intricate web of Parisian streets.
The well-organised itineraries cater to various interests, ensuring that visitor can customise their experience to align with their preferences.
With the guidance of local experts, visitors can uncover hidden gems and lesser-known attractions that might be overlooked otherwise.
Additionally, the opportunity to skip long lines at popular sites provides an invaluable advantage, allowing for a seamless and efficient exploration of the city’s treasures.
In essence, a sightseeing tour in Paris is a curated and comprehensive introduction to the magic of the French capital, ensuring a memorable and stress-free experience for every traveler.
The Best Paris Bus Tours
Every major city has one, those brightly coloured open top buses that cruise around from top attraction to top attraction dropping off and picking up visitors. And while most people don’t love this way of exploring, I do and I find these big buses hugely helpful in giving me a quick overview of a new city and also a time saver if I don’t have much time in a place.
So for those like me who do love the open top bus, you’ll be pleased to know that you have a few options in Paris. Both quite similar, so you be the judge of which one you’d prefer to choose for your next visit to Paris.
Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
With 21 stops at all of Paris’ major attractions, the Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off is the original tour bus in Paris and has a broader range of stops than its competitor. Choose from either 24 or 48 hour tickets and jump on and off at your leisure during that time.
The other big difference with the Big Bus is that you have the option of packaging additional experiences and attractions to save money on your ticket such as entrance to the Arc du Triomphe or a River Seine cruise.
Tootbus Hop-on Hop-Off Discovery Bus Tour
The Tootbus stops at 10 famous attractions around Paris including the Opera Garnier, Lourve Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees.
Choose from three ticket options, either 1, 2 or 3 days, giving you more time to hop-on and hop-off to explore Paris
The Best Paris Walking Tours
Walking tours are my absolute favourite ways to experience a city like Paris. They allow you to see everything from ground level, walk past and stop at interesting places that you wouldn’t be able to on a bus or in a car and they always come with a passionate and experienced expert local guide.
There is an abundance of walking tours in Paris, so to save you the time trawling through them all, I have selected a few that I think would suit most people, with some off the beaten path.
Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur Walking Tour
This 1.5 hour tour takes in the famous area of Paris, Montmartre and takes you up the Sacre-Coeur for the best view of Paris.
Your expert guide will treat you to a history lesson, telling you all about the rich culture that has existing the Montmartre area for many years. You’ll get to see the famous Moulin Rouge, walk streets which were once walked by Van Gogh and Picasso and check out local artisan food shops.
the tour ends with a visit to Sacre-Coeur, the white domed cathedral that sits atop of Montmatre and offers the best view over Paris.
Le Marais District History Guided Walking Tour
Discover the historic center of the Jewish community in Paris in the Le Marais district with a local guide and witness the rich legacy of Jewish culture in Paris.
Visit sights such as Hotel de Ville, Holocaust Memorial and the Museum of Jewish Art on the way to strolling down some of the most stunning streets in all of Paris. Spy bakeries, delis and local artisan shops, while getting a unique take on how the Jewish community once thrived in this charming corner of Paris.
Latin Quarter Walking Tour with Local Guide
Over 1.5 hours discover the oldest district in Paris with a local, expert tour guide. Explore breathtaking spots filled with flowers, stunning architecture, history and charm.
The tour starts on the Ile de la Cite and heads south over the River Seine into the Latin Quarter as you pass the Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll visit the famous Pantheon and see the Shakespeare & Company building. At the end of the tour you will end up in the stunning Luxembourg Gardens, one of, if not the most, incredible public gardens in all of Paris.
Uncover the Dark Side of Paris Walking Tour
This hugely popular tour at night will take you around Paris for two hours with an expert guide to explore the city’s eerie sites, uncover historical murders and crimes and hear about legends that have left their mark on Parisian history.
You will meet your guide at the former site one of the most bloody and popular public executions. And then most of the tour is conducted on the Ile de la Cite, the island in the River Seine, home to the Notre Dame Cathedral which has a story or two to tell from the past.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery Guided Tour
If visiting famous cemeteries around the world is your thing, or you are just a little curious about this legendary place, then this is the tour for you.
With your expert guide explore the tombs and funerary art on a 2-hour guided tour, and see the graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin and many other artists, writers and musicians in 44 hectares of landscaped beauty.
Belleville Street Art Tour with a Local Artist
Street Art has become increasingly popular all over the world and Paris is no exception. On this great tour you will spend about two hours walking about Belleville Street with a local artist who will explain the art movement in Paris and the artworks that you see along the walk.
And if you happen to take this tour on a Saturday, the tour finishes with a live performance and sometimes even a free drink to inaugurate the new wall in the area. If you are a lover of street art, this is one tour you can’t miss out on.
Emily in Paris Walking Tour
Walking around Paris can sometimes feel like you are walking around a famous movie set, with countless movies and tv shows having been flimed in the city of lights for many years.
One more recent and hugely popular show on Nexflex, Emily in Paris, now has its own tour which takes you around to some of the famous spots featured in the tv series.
Over two hours, your Emily in Paris expert guide will take you from the famous red door building of Savoir, to Gabriel’s restaurant and Emily’s apartment, to name a few of the famous sights. And don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for photos along the way.
The Best Paris Boat Tours
Anytime I travel to a place that is situated on water I always try to get out on the water to get a a different view of the place. And that is absolutely no exception with Paris.
There are so much Seine River cruises available to visitors to Paris that it can be overwhelming to pick which one is right for you. So what I have done is narrowed it down to the best in each category, Morning Cruise, Lunch Cruise, Dinner Cruise, Flexible Cruise and Quick Cruise.
The Best Morning Cruise in Paris
Enjoy the morning light from the open top deck of this morning cruise along the River Seine taking in some of Paris’ most iconic sights.
This one hour cruise passes under bridges, past monuments and gives you one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower you’ll find. The onboard guide will point out all the famous landmarks and tell your secret stories as you glide peacefully down the river.
If you are not as much of an early riser, then this brunch cruise may be perfect for you. Departing a little later in the morning than the above cruise, you will enjoy the same cruise, this time for 1.5 hours, commentary and the addition on sweet and salty treats and champagne.
The Best Lunch Cruise in Paris
A great add on to the sightseeing cruise experience on the River Seine is to couple it with a lunch.
As you cruise past the most famous monuments of Paris in this glass-enclosed boat you will enjoy a delicious three course a-la-carte lunch paired with champagne wine and cheese.
The Best Dinner Cruise in Paris
Night is, in my opinion, the best time of day to see Paris from the water. Why, because the Paris literally sparkles at night, and I’m not talking about just the twinkle lights adorned to the Eiffel Tower. Couple this with a delicious four course meal and you honestly have a perfect night in Paris.
Over 2.5 hours you’ll enjoy your meal with champagne while you listen to the live piano and violin play and take in the spectacular Paris views out the window.
The Best Flexible Cruise in Paris
Just like a hop-on hop-off bus, Paris also has a hop-on hop-off cruise that you can do up and down the Seine.
In 24 or 48 hours, depending on which pass you choose, you can hop-on and off 9 iconic spots along the River Seine including the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre Museum
This is a great option for first time visitors to Paris as you’ll not only get the fantastic sightseeing opportunity, but also the cruise acts as your transport from one sight to the next, all in one convenient cost.
Boats arrive at each stop every 30 minutes on average, giving you plenty of time to explore each stop over the course of your one or two day pass.
The Best Quick Cruise in Paris
Only have a short amount of time in Paris but want to get some of the best views and sightseeing opportunities you can get in Paris? Well a quick 1 hour cruise on the River Seine is perfect for you.
Admire the iconic sights of Paris while seated on the open-air top deck or inside below deck which has huge glass picture windows.
Included in your 1 hour tour is an audioguide which you can access from your smartphone or physical audioguide device available onboard. This will give you a full commentary of all the iconic sights as you cruise down the river.
Another quick Paris cruise option is the Paris Illuminated cruise which runs each evening as the light changes from day to night.
It is arguable one of the best times of day to view Paris which is changing light illuminating the iconic landmarks as you cruise the River Seine.
All inclusions are the same for this cruise as they are for the cruise I mentioned above.
The Best Paris Bike Tours
A bike tour is a great way to see more on a sightseeing tour than what you may be able to do on foot. And you can work off a few of those extra kilo’s you may be putting on from all the French pastries.
Among this selection of tours that range in hours and type of bike, you should be able to find something that will suit you.
Electric Bike Tour
This four hour small group tour is on an electric bike, so less pedaling and just as many fantastic Paris sights. Your guide will take you past some of the most famous sights in Paris but also show you some hidden gems that you wouldn’t find on any other tour.
Regular Bike Tours
This best of Paris bike tour will take you past most of Paris’ famous landmarks over the course of four hours with an expert guide to show you the way. At each stop you will have plenty of time for photos while your guide explains the history and importance of each of the stops including Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, River Seine, Pont Alexandre III, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees and the Louvre Museum.
A little shorter in duration, this three hour bike tour takes you off the beaten path through some of the city’s most charming nooks and crannies. Visit the Saint Gemain, Latin and Marais Quarters to get a glimpse of the other side of Paris.
The Best Paris Segway Tours
Becoming popular in cities all over the world in the last 10 year, a segway tour is a different way to see Paris on two wheels, albeit a challenging one if this is your first time trying it.
All the tours I have linked to below include a full safety briefing and guidance on how to use/ride the segway before you take off through the streets of Paris. As well there will always be plenty of time for stops, explanations of various attractions and of course photos.
1.5 Hour Paris Segway Tour
The one and a half hour tour will take you from the Champ de Mars through the Cultural Centre of Paris and past some of the most famous Paris landmarks.
2 Hour Paris Segway Tour
The two hour tour allows you to explore a little further including stops along the famous Champs-Elysees, through the Tuileries Gardens and along the River Seine.
3 Hour Paris Segway Tour
Finally, the longest segway tour available in Paris runs for 3 hours and covers a huge amount of ground and famous landmarks in Paris. You will stop by the Arc du Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, the Grand Palais, Champs-Elysees and Louvre Museum just to name a few of the famous sights on this tour.
The Best Paris Skip-the-Line Tours
The ability to skip-the-line at some of the worlds biggest attractions is a commodity that a lot of travellers with limited time and patience value.
Being able to couple this with a guided tour of the attraction gives you more bang for your buck and valuable insight from an expert of that particular attraction.
With Paris being one of the most visited cities in the world and some of its attractions the most visit, being able to skip-the-line is a must. Here are a selection of guide tours that include the ability to do just that.
Eiffel Tower Guided Tour with Summit Access
When you think of Paris, the first monument that will likely come to mind is the Eiffel Tower. That is no different to just about every visitor to Paris, and just about all of them will visit the massive iron structure at least once during their visit.
With that in mind, the Eiffel Tower is a busy place, probably the most business of all the monuments in Paris. So you will want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible without having to queue but also enjoying the views and experience.
That is where a guided summit tour is a great idea. Not only will your guide get you past queues and whizzed right up to the summit, but they will spend time guiding you around at the top, pointing out all of the famous Paris landmarks.
Paris Louvre Masterpieces Tour with Pre-Reserved Tickets
Arguably the most popular museum in the world, the Lourve attracts over seven million visitors each year. So as you can imagine, having a pre-reserved ticket will save you a lot of time having to queue.
The beauty of this is not just in the ticket, but also in the fact that your guide will take you on the most efficient route around the mega museum and show you the masterpieces, like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, during your two hour tour.
Once the tour concludes, you will then be free to explore the rest of the museum at your leisure.
Versailles Skip-the-Line Tour of the Palace with Garden Access
Just outside of Paris is one of the most decedent Palaces in all the world, Versailles. And given its popularity, booking this guided tour will save you a huge amount of time and disappointment as visits to the Palace sell out every day of the year.
On the 90 minute tour you will be whizzed into the Palace through a separate entrance completely skipping the queues. You’ll visit the State Apartments, the King’s Bedroom, and the emblematic Hall of Mirrors with your expert guide giving commentary along the way.
At the end of the tour you will have the option to hang around and visit the gardens at your leisure.
Paris Catacombs Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
Unlock gates to hidden rooms in the Catacombs on this small group (max. 6 people) VIP tour. The Paris Catacombs are the world’s largest ossuary and continue an abundance of buried secrets.
This ticket will give you fast access to skip the huge queues, special access to parts of the Catabombs that is closed to the general public and a guide who you will learn fascinating history and stories of this underground wonder.
If learning more about the Paris of the past, its dark history and wandering through dark tunnels is your thing, then this is the tour for you when visiting Paris.
Paris Musee d’Orsay Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
Second only to the The Lourve, Musee d’Orsay is a hugely popular museum located on the River Seine that can attract big queues of people everyday of the year.
With this skip-the-line guided tour you will skip those long lines and head straight into the museum with an expert guide.
The expert guide will take you around the museum for 2 hours showing and explaining some of the most treasures art pieces in the museum including piece by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Cezanne.
Over to you!
Which of the best tours in Paris for sightseeing are you going to book for your next trip?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.