Top 10 History Tours In Paris, France

| 4 min read

Paris is known for its glitz and glamour. What many do not know is that each alluring attraction - and the city itself - however, has a story to tell. Historians say the city’s history dates back to 225 BC, although there is evidence that shows that there were settlers in the area as early as 8000 BC. Over the years, it has seen a lot of victories, defeats, and other tragic incidents, while it was known as the religious and commercial center of the whole of Europe at some point. It was also affected by violence, all-out battles and skirmishes due to religious and political beliefs. Many of its architecture was destroyed during World War I, but many of these were restored and some new ones were built. Take a look at the colorful past of the city of romance by joining these top historic tours in Paris, France.

1. Get a crash course in Paris history (from USD 13.0)

This tour will serve as your crash course in the history of Paris. While it runs for only an hour, you will get to learn about key moments in the city’s past, with special focus on the Chatelet district, the Latin neighborhood, and Île de la Cité, areas which served as the cultural and religious centers not just of France, but Europe. This tour is offered in English and French. This activity is a great option for those who only have a limited time in the city but want to spend some of it learning its rich past.

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Heart of the city: History under your feet

Duration: 1 hour

29 reviews

2. Check your knowledge about the French revolution (from USD 31.0)

The French revolution has been wrapped in equal parts truth and legend. This tour will help you sift through these stories and find out what really happened during this era, including details that are not included in conventional history books. Learn more about the key figures of the revolution, including Voltaire, Robespierre, and Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, as you explore the attractions inextricably tied to this period in Paris’s history.

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French Revolution Paris Historic Walk

Duration: 2 hours

775 reviews

3. Go treasure hunting with your kids (from USD 31.0)

Do you want your kids to learn about the rich and diverse history of Paris? If so, sign up your family for this tour. This activity, which takes guests around 10 iconic sites in the city, lets children pretend to be time-traveling explorers out on a secret expedition. The destinations and the streets themselves will serve as an interactive classroom that engages kids in fun activities even as they - and their adult companions - are taught lessons about key moments in Paris’s history.

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Paris' History for Kids - Scavenger Hunt

Duration: 2 hours

67 reviews

4. Uncover the hidden gems of Paris (from USD 60.0)

Want to discover parts of Paris that even some locals are not familiar with? if so, this is the tour for you. Besides taking guests to popular attractions such as the Royal Palace, the Louvre, and the Latin Quarters, the host also brings them to some top-secret spots to give them a different appreciation of what Paris is about. Electric bikes will be primarily used as the mode of transport in this four-hour tour.

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Paris' Best Kept Secrets Tour

Duration: 4 hours

4407 reviews

Paris Tour Guide

Angénic  Agnero

Angénic Agnero

Paris Tour Guide

Patricia Aveline

Patricia Aveline

My name is Patricia Bollinger and my family is French. I have always had a passion for art and history and I chose to study them when I went to university. I have been a licensed tour guide for the last 30 years and I work in French, English and Italian. My passion and also as part of my work I travel a lot. For this reason, I have a good idea of visitors expectations. Naturally I want to share this passion for my country and its heritage with foreign visitors.I also love cooking and I am a foody.

Tours by Patricia

5. Get the 411 on Paris from an investigative journalist (from USD 36.0)

Journalists are known for digging for the truth, so you know you have an adventure ahead of you if one of their own will take you around Paris at night. Promising a tour that’s off the beaten path, the host, an investigative journalist and photographer, will teach you to open your eyes and have a better appreciation of the city beyond its popular attractions. Among the destinations you will visit in this tour are an abandoned rail train, an old theater, and a famous writer’s home.

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Charming Night Secrets by French Journalist

Duration: 2 hours

188 reviews

6. See Paris through the eyes of a local (from USD 26.0)

All too often, the history of Paris is told from the perspective of the rulers. This tour provides a different take on the city’s past by presenting it to guests from the points of view of artisans and workers, who have been instrumental since the Middle Ages in shaping Paris as it is today. The activity does not just take guests to the key landmarks along Faubourg Saint Antoine, it will also bring them to the market and the shops of the Aligre district.

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Walking tour in Faubourg Saint Antoine

Duration: 2 hours

60 reviews

7. Go underground and explore the catacombs (from USD 91.0)

One attraction in Paris that many skip is the Catacombs, largely because of the long lines of tourists to see it. Availing this package will mean skipping the line, since you will be given an appointed time to enter it. This, however, is not the only perk you will get to enjoy when you book this tour: you will also be able to enter some areas that are usually closed to the general public.

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Catacombs: skip the 2-4 hour line

Duration: 1.5 hours

649 reviews

8. Learn about Jewish history (from USD 81.0)

This activity takes guests to the Marais district to give them a better understanding of Jewish culture and learn about the lives of those who once lived in the area. Discover not just the stories of the Jews who lived through World War II, but also those who had the courage to hide them. You will also get to visit Jewish bakeries, old synagogues, and even the oldest Jewish school in the city.

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Secrets of the Jewish Marais

Duration: 2 hours

140 reviews

9. Get to know Napoleon the Great (from USD 31.0)

Napoleon the Great is one of the most well-known figures in France’s history, and this tour will give you an idea how he, at age 24, came to power as a general and what he has done to revive and modernize France after the Reign of Terror. The tour includes visits to key landmarks in the city, including the Opera House,Arcades of Palais Royal, and the Louvre.

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Rise of Napoleon Paris Historic Walk

Duration: 2 hours

138 reviews

10. Examine the ins and outs of Sainte-Chapelle and Island of la Cité (from USD 31.0)

This tour allows you to go in-depth into the story of the religious center of Paris. The activity starts at Pont Neuf, where you will get to enjoy views of the city. From there, you will head to Sainte Chapelle (no need to wait in line), famed for its stained glass windows, and then to Notre Dame. The host will not just give you more information about these destinations, but also tell stories of the surrounding areas, as well as give tips and tricks so that you can make the most out of your stay in Paris.

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Sainte-Chapelle and island of la Cité

Duration: 2 hours

25 reviews

Give new meaning to your Parisian holiday

A trip to Paris is often envisioned as a luxury-filled holiday, but as this list has shown, there is more to the city than the sparkling lights and the romantic vibe. Add meaning to your holiday to the French capital by taking the time and effort to learn more about its rich history during your visit.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling. She has gone sightseeing with family,...Read more

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