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Paris Walking Tours: Discover Hidden Gems & Free Options! [Guide]

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Paris is a city that is best explored on foot, and taking a walking tour is an excellent way to discover the city’s hidden gems and secret corners. Many travelers enjoy walking tours because they let you have a special experience where you can ask questions and learn from expert guides. It’s a more personal and immersive way to explore a place.

One of the great advantages of a walking tour in Paris is that you can choose the neighborhood that interests you most. Whether you want to explore the picturesque streets of Montmartre or discover the fascinating history of the Latin Quarter, there is a walking tour to suit every interest and preference.

Joining walking tours is a good way to meet other travelers and make new friends. These tours are usually small and cozy, which means you can get to know people better and have a friendly time with others who enjoy traveling and discovering new places, like you.

Besides to the traditional walking tours, there are also a variety of themed tours that offer a unique perspective on the city. For example, you could take a food tour of Paris, sampling delicious French cuisine and learning about the city’s culinary traditions. Or take a street art tour to discover the city’s vibrant and eclectic urban art scene.

Explore Paris on a Budget with Free Walking Tours

Paris can be a daunting city to navigate, but with the help of a walking tour, you can explore and learn about the areas you visit and what things to do in Paris. For budget-conscious travelers, a free walking tour is an excellent option. While there are many free tours available in Paris, they operate on a “pay what you will” basis, so it’s customary to tip the guide at the end. To help you choose the best option, we’ve compiled a list of recommended companies offering free walking tours in Paris.

Eiffel tower in background Paris

New Europe Tour

Hey there, have you heard about the amazing free walking tour of Paris offered by New Europe Tours? It’s a fantastic way to explore the city while learning about its rich history and culture. The tour starts at Place Saint Michel and lasts for three hours, and you can choose between English, Spanish, or French as your preferred language.

To make sure you don’t miss out, it’s a good idea to prebook your tickets online and check the available timings. New Europe Tours may run up to four tours a day, so you have plenty of options to fit your schedule. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the hidden gems and famous landmarks of Paris with a knowledgeable and friendly guide.

Tour Guides walking on street Paris

Discover Walks

Another great company for free walking tours in Paris is Discover Walks. They offer a wide variety of tours, each lasting 90 minutes, so you can explore different neighborhoods and landmarks of the city on foot. With eight different tours to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your interests. From the charming streets of Montmartre to the historic Latin Quarter and the iconic Notre Dame, there’s something for everyone. It’s best to book in advance to secure your spot, and the tours are available in English and Spanish. Get ready to discover the best of Paris with Discover Walks!

Paris Walking tours - Discover Walks

Paris Greeters

Looking for a unique way to experience Paris? Give Paris Greeters a try! With the endorsement of the Paris tourism office, you’ll be pairing with a friendly local greeter who will show you around the city and share their insider knowledge. It’s a personal and authentic experience that you won’t forget! Make sure to register online first to book with a greeter.

Paris Walking tours - Paris Greeters

City Free Tour

Another great option for exploring Paris is City Free Tour, which is leading by knowledgeable locals. They offer three-hour guided tours of Montmartre, Le Marais, Notre Dame, and the Latin Quarter in small groups. Tours run every day at various times depending on the neighborhood you want to explore, but make sure to reserve your spot in advance through email or SMS/Whatsapp.

City Free walking Tour

Self-guided tours of Paris

city of paris

Self-guided tours of Paris are a great way to explore the city at your own pace and according to your own interests. Paris is a city that is rich in history, architecture, culture, and art, and there are several self-guided tours that you can take to discover its many attractions.

One of the most popular self-guided tours is the Paris Museum Pass. With the pass, you can visit over 50 museums and monuments in Paris, including the Louvre, the Orsay Museum, the Pompidou Center, and the Palace of Versailles. The pass allows you to skip the long lines and gain entry to the museums without having to wait. This is a great way to see a lot of the city’s cultural attractions while saving time and money.

Rick Steves, a renowned travel guide, offers an exceptional audio self-guided tour of Paris that you can trust. Download the Audio Europe App or the mp3 files and allow Steves to lead you through popular sites such as the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, historic Paris, Rue Cler, or Versailles. Downloadable maps are also available to help you navigate the city as you listen to the tour.

Besides to Rick Steves, GPSmyCity is another fantastic resource for self-guided tours. With 18 different walking tours to choose from, you can select any of them to explore Paris at your own pace. The app also allows you to create your own personalized self-guided tour, ensuring that you see all the attractions that interest you. With this convenient app, guiding yourself around Paris has never been easier.

Can you walk around Paris in a day?

people walking on a street with tall buildings; Paris

It is possible to walk around Paris in a day, but it would be challenging to see everything the city has to offer in such a short amount of time. Paris is a large and vibrant city with many attractions, neighborhoods, and hidden gems to explore. Walking around the city can be a fantastic way to take in the sights and sounds, but it’s important to plan your itinerary to make the most of your time (for advice on where to stay in Paris, check out our helpful blog post).

You can see some famous places in Paris in a day, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Champs-Élysées, Montmartre, and the Latin Quarter. But remember, visiting these spots will take time and involve a lot of walking. To make the most of your day in Paris, you can join a guided tour, rent a bike, or use public transportation to get around the city faster and easier (barring getting to and from the CDG airport, or if you want to venture out to Versailles).

Paris Tours of Secret Gems

smartphone on white map of Paris

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience in Paris, you might want to consider taking a “secret Paris” walking tour. These tours will take you to some of the lesser-known areas of the city, as well as hidden gems that most tourists miss.

One company that offers hidden Paris walking tours is “Paris Offbeat.” Their tours cover a range of neighborhoods and themes, including street art in Belleville, the hidden passages of the 2nd arrondissement, and the hidden gardens of the Marais.

Another company that specializes in offbeat Paris tours is “Discover Walks.” In addition to their regular free walking tours, they also offer several hidden Paris tours, including a tour of the covered passages of Paris and a tour of the city’s hidden courtyards and alleyways.

If you’re looking for a paid walking tour, check out Hidden Paris Walking Tours who offers a variety of options. Whether you choose to explore hidden Paris on your own or with a guide, you’re sure to discover a side of the city that many tourists miss.

close-up of the Eiffel tower; Paris

Discover Paris with Travel Diaries

Exploring Paris on foot is a fantastic way to truly experience the city and uncover hidden gems. You can choose to join a free walking tour, navigate the city on your own, or simply wander around and immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere. And if your feet start to tire, you can always hop on a Hop On Hop Off bus tour to see some of the city’s highlights.

For more Paris travel tips, Travel Diaries offers helpful posts on what to eat in Paris,  the best hostels, what to do at night, day trips to take, and what souvenirs to buy to ensure you’re fully prepared! And even if Paris isn’t your desired destination, we’re here to help you plan your next trip. With itinerary planning ideas, destination inspiration, budgeting tips, and more.

FAQs

Are there free walking tours in Paris?

Yes, you can find free walking tours in Paris. Local guides lead these tours and share information about the city’s history, culture, and popular attractions. These tours are a great option for budget travelers who want to explore Paris on foot and learn about its landmarks and hidden gems. You can search online for reputable tour companies that offer free walking tours in Paris and book your spot in advance if needed.

Can you walk around Paris?

Yes, you can walk around Paris. The city is known for being pedestrian-friendly, and many famous attractions are within walking distance of each other.

How long does it take to walk in Paris?

Walking through the entire city of Paris would be a significant challenge because it covers a large area. Paris is divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, each with its own attractions and character. The time it takes to walk in Paris depends on your route, walking pace, and the number of stops or detours you make. It’s a good idea to plan your walking route ahead of time and allocate enough time to explore the areas and attractions you’re most interested in.

Can you walk around Paris in a day?

Walking the entire city of Paris in a single day is not realistic due to its size and the numerous points of interest it offers. Prioritize the attractions you want to see the most and plan a route that maximizes your time while allowing for breaks and rest. It’s important to have realistic expectations and understand what you can accomplish in a day.

Can you eat while walking in Paris?

Never eat on the go!
This is because French people never eat in transit. Therefore, munching on anything while walking around in public places is highly frowned upon. This applies to public transport, too.

What is the best way to see Paris?

The best way to see Paris depends on your preferences and the time you have available. Walking is a great way to explore the city’s neighborhoods, soak in the ambiance, and discover hidden gems. Another option is to take a boat cruise along the Seine River, which provides a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks.

Can you walk Paris at night?

Yes, you can walk in Paris at night. While it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, walking in Paris at night can be a safe and enjoyable experience. The city has beautiful, illuminated landmarks and a lively atmosphere.  Stick to well-lit and busy areas, avoid empty streets, and take common safety precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings.

Can I visit Paris without speaking French?

Yes, you can visit Paris without speaking French. Paris is a tourist destination, and many people in the city, especially those working in the tourism industry, speak English. You will find that many signs, menus, and information boards are also available in English.
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