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

Custom Paris Travel Planning Sessions 

Planning a trip to Paris and don’t know where to start? Overwhelmed by recommendations, Top Ten lists, and conflicting advice? Worried about wasting money on the wrong “pass” or getting ripped off at overpriced tourist traps? Frustrated with the same one-size-fits-all itineraries found in every guide book and travel site? With so many things to see and do in Paris, you might need a little extra help in planning your trip.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk to a local Paris expert for an hour to sort it all out?

Our Paris Travel Planning Sessions – by phone or Skype – are the ideal way to sort through the confusion and fit all of the pieces of your ideal Paris vacation into a customized, day-by-day itinerary personalized for your specific needs, interests, budget and timeframe.

We help you prioritize your “must see” list, tell you what must be booked in advance or what can be left until the last minute, and make sure your itinerary won’t have you running around Paris like the Griswold Family in National Lampoon’s European Vacation. We can help you choose a hotel in the right neighborhood for you, offer personalized recommendations on dining, shopping and nightlife, and suggest our favorite “Secrets of Paris” -- smaller museums and hidden monuments -- to escape the tourist crowds.

If you’re “in charge” of planning your family’s vacation or a Paris trip with a group of friends, we’re your secret weapon, offering the insider advice and expertise usually reserved for our tour clients.

Why trust us?

 As local travel journalists and tour guides, we have been helping visitors make the most of their precious time in Paris for over 15 years. What would take you months to research and organize, we can quickly put into an efficient and logical itinerary that allows enough flexibility and free time for unexpected surprises that are an inevitable part of travel.

We know from experience (not from Google) that a family of five moves slower than a young couple, that weather plays a big part in how much outdoor strolling is enjoyable, and which neighborhoods have great shopping but no reasonable places to eat (or vice versa). We know which days the markets are open, the best time to avoid lines at museums, when a taxi makes more sense than the metro, where to eat if you don’t have reservations, which monument is covered in scaffolding for renovations, the neighborhoods where French teenagers go clothes shopping, when the churches have free organ recitals, which hotels are on noisy streets, and much, much more.

How it Works

1. Fill out the contact form with your travel dates and availability for the one-on-one session, and we will confirm our availability and the best time to schedule a session.

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

2. We send you the payment link, followed by a detailed questionnaire telling us more about you and your Paris travel plans (to be returned at least one week before our session).

3. We call you on phone or Skype for a 60-minute session where we talk through your different options, brainstorm some ideas you may not have considered, and address any travel concerns you might have about your Paris trip.

4. We then send you a follow-up email with our final itinerary suggestions including any addresses, links, opening hours, other service providers (airport shuttle, museum tours, smartphone rental, cooking classes, etc) we discussed during the session. You can then email us with any follow-up questions if necessary.

5. Enjoy a stress-free, well-organized vacation in the City of Light armed with your insider tips and custom itinerary! 

  
How Much Does it Cost?

€250 (payable via credit card or PayPal)

What You Get

- An hour of one-on-one time with an expert.

- A custom itinerary for your trip with personalized recommendations.

- Follow-up responses to your questions.

- All Travel Planning Session clients save €50 on any Secrets of Paris Orientation or €100 off any Secrets of Paris Private Tour; just ask us when booking.

- Fee includes the 20% Value-Added-Tax (VAT) required for all French service companies

Let’s Get Started!

 

About Our Travel Planning Sessions

Travel Planning Sessions are designed to provide our clients with customized information and advice from an unbiased source. Therefore we do not book hotels, make restaurant reservations, or sell tickets to shows (but we will tell you how to do this easily yourself). Please note we only work with clients directly, not through third parties or agencies. The information received is for the client only, and cannot be shared, broadcast, published or otherwise made available to others besides the intended client.

Refund policy: We offer a 100% refund if requested before the questionnaire has been filled out, and a 50% refund if requested before the phone/Skype session has taken place. We recommend all travelers check their credit card policy for travel insurance coverage.