About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

 

 

 

Calendar of Paris Events

Through February 19
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! This year the ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower is back, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), sleds and scooters for kids, gloves are required. This year's theme is Ice Hockey, though it will be less brutal than the NHL!

January 11 - February 21
The annual winter sales, aka Les Soldes. Honestly, the rules about when and how sales can take place in France since the economic crise have essentially made the sales irrelevant. There are sales all of the time now (often called "promotion" or "7 Jours BHV" or something like that). 

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

Secrets of Paris Neighborhood Exploration Walks 

Forget about the checklist of random sites. To know Paris like the Parisians you need to know its neighborhoods, each with its own unique history and special atmosphere, its famous landmarks and hidden gardens, its locals’ cafés and open-air food markets, its historic boutiques and noteworthy architecture. Some neighborhoods are known for their multicultural food markets popular with young families and local artists, while others are famous for their  luxury stores frequented by fashionistas and international jetsetters. Every Parisian and visitor has their own personal favorite, discover yours on our signature Neighborhood Exploration Walks.

These walks are not your typical tour circuit you could do on your own with any half decent audio guide. As we stroll through the scenic streets, down hidden alleyways, and across bridges with postcard-perfect views, we seamlessly weave together historical anecdotes and modern Parisian life. You’ll learn how the neighborhood and its iconic monuments evolved over the centuries, as well as that district’s restaurants, shops and cultural entertainment popular with the locals. Depending on your customized itinerary, we might stop for tea in a hidden passage, catch an organist practicing in a Renaissance church, pop into an artist’s atelier to see what they’re working on, or fill up on fruit, bread and cheese at a local market for a picnic in the park.

Even in the most popular tourist areas, many visitors never get beyond the usual clichés and hackneyed anecdotes to discover the real insider secrets we share on our tours. They don’t realize you can’t see the best little streets from a tour bus, so that’s why we zoom across town by metro and explore on foot!

Choose Your Own Adventure The hardest part will be choosing which neighborhood you’d like to explore. One or two adjacent neighborhoods can be visited on a half day tour, but you can also combine them into a full day or two-day package with lunch in one of our favorite bistros. As usual, each tour is customized to fit your interests, knowledge, and energy level. 

Paris Neighborhood Walking Tours

  • Secrets of Historic Paris These exploration tours take you beyond the usual clichés of the six most popular historic districts in Paris: The Islands, Saint-Germain, Latin Quarter, Marais, the Louvre district, and Montmartre. Read more...
  • Paris Off the Beaten Path Some of the city's most interesting neighborhoods are in the lesser-known neighborhoods often ignored by time-pressed visitors. Once you've seen the major sights, escape the tourist crowds and discover where the Parisians themselves prefer to hang out during these relaxed exploration walks. Read more...

Booking Your Tour: How it Works

1. Contact us with the tour you or tours you're interested in, as well as your preferred dates and times. Once we've agreed on the tours, times and dates, we’ll send a confirmation email with the deposit link to book the tour. 

Note: the best time to book a tour is 1-2 months before your trip; we require at least two weeks minimum to book any tours.

2. Once the deposit is received (you’ll get an immediate confirmation), we will send you a detailed questionnaire that we ask you to fill out and return to us at least ten days before your tour.

3. We will contact you a week before your tour with the final itinerary and the link for the final payment balance. This is your chance for any last-minute questions or requests!

4. Your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby at the agreed time and date for your tour, ready for action! All you need are comfortable shoes, lunch money, and a fully-charged camera if you’re taking photos.

5. At the end of your tour your guide can return you to your hotel, or give you directions on how to get back on your own.

Spend the day with us in Paris!

Our half day neighborhood explorations are four hours, scheduled from 9:30am-1:30pm or 2-6pm. These always include at least one café stop to rest our feet, use les toilettes, and refill on hot or cool beverages.

If you'd like to extend the fun, consider spending the day with us! We can combine any two neighborhood explorations or a fun afternoon activity: venture off the beaten path to a quirky museum, visit artists in their ateliers, go shopping in specialized Parisian boutiques, explore the flea markets, or go on a tasting tour of the city's best chocolate and pastry shops. The full day experience begins at 9:30am and finishes at 5:30pm. We'll enjoy a leisurely lunch together in one of our favorite bistros or crêperies (where we'll share all of the tips and tricks to getting the best service). Or if the weather is nice we'll gather picnic supplies -- we'll bring the corkscrew! -- and dine al fresco with the locals along the Seine or in a park with a playground for the kids. 

For the best deal, consider booking our two-day packages. Since kids under 18 are free, a family of two adults and two kids pays just €150 per person per day! Not only do you save hundreds of euros, your guide will make sure you get the best variety of experiences without overlapping or backtracking. 

Tour Prices (Half Day/Full Day/Two Days)

1 Adult: €300/€600/€1000

2 Adults: €400/€700/€1200

3-4 Adults: €500/€800/€1400

5-6 Adults: €600/€900/€1600

Payments are accepted by credit card or PayPal. Kids under 18 are included for free with a parent, but the maximum group size for all ages cannot exceed six, or you’ll need to split into two groups with two guides.

Included in your Tour Fee

  • Your own private guide who meets you at your hotel
  • Transportation (metro, bus, taxi) on day of the tour
  • Any entry fees for sites visited on tour
  • A €50 discount when combining an Orientation Tour with any Secrets of Paris Private Tour, just ask when booking.
  •  The 20% Value-Added-Tax (VAT) required for all French service companies

What about Lunch?

 On full day tours your guide will help you choose a suitable place to stop for a leisurely lunch depending on your tastes, budget and appetite. Lunch is not included in the tour fee.

Ready to Schedule Your Paris Neighborhood Tour? 

Refund policy: Tours cancelled by email (with confirmation) at least two weeks in advance can be fully refunded minus the non-refundable deposit.