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View over Paris including the Eiffel Tower
Photograph: MaxPixel

The 11 best walking tours in Paris

Get to know the glorious French capital on foot via one of these themed walking tours in Paris

Written by
Danielle Goldstein
,
Matt Breen
&
Georgia Evans
Contributor
Camila Karalyte
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Landed in the City of Light for the first time? Don’t be intimidated. This place is big. Really big. And there’s so much going on it can be hard to know where to start. But luckily for you globe-trotters, we’re here to help out. If you’re an out-of-towner with next-to-no knowledge of Paris, we think booking a walking tour might be your best bet. Thanks to a guide who knows what they’re talking about – and, more importantly, where they’re going – you’ll have sussed out this city in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your comfiest shoes and set out on a tour of one of the finest cities in the world. Here’s our pick of the best walking tours in Paris right now, from tip-top chocolatier trips to erotica-themed excursions (yes, really). 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris

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Best walking tours in Paris

Hit all the main sights in one go
Time Out

1. Hit all the main sights in one go

One for the newbies: this two-hour tour will take you to all the big Parisian landmarks. Think Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, all in a smaller group setting. It’s even led by a clued-up guide who’ll keep you informed as you go. Or you can just Google stuff instead. 

Ramble around hilly Montmartre
Cecile

2. Ramble around hilly Montmartre

Immerse yourself in la vie bohème – Bohemian Montmartre is one of Paris’s most charming (and historic) areas. This tour will take you around the hilly northern district, stopping by at cool shops and some of the finest food spots in the area. Of course, you can expect the odd historical anecdote... or three.

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Stroll through streets rich with criminal history
Courtesy: Get Your Guide

3. Stroll through streets rich with criminal history

True-crime fans will love this historical crime Paris walking tour. Embrace the Parisian streets from a different, slightly eerie, perspective. Join the darker side of Paris on a walking tour learning all about the dark and dangerous past of the criminals who roamed the streets before you. Visit sites of executions, stroll the routes known for dodgy dealings, and discover the maze of side streets – the helping hand for criminals to outrun the law. Hold onto your purses.

Discover the city’s scandalous side
© Paris City Vision

4. Discover the city’s scandalous side

One for the risqué among you. Bone up on the city’s erotic history with a three-hour tour exploring where the fancy maisons closes were once located, checking out the red light district in Pigalle and discovering what went on in Belle Époque Paree. The tour culminates with a cocktail in an ex-brothel – fitting.

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Delve into the depths of the Catacombs
© Time Out

5. Delve into the depths of the Catacombs

You know, like that film? One of the French capital’s eeriest attractions, these underground ossuaries hold the remains of more than six million Parisians. Your guide will fill you in on the long and storied past of this spooky subterranean cemetery. Definitely one for fans of spine-chilling adventures.  

Explore Paris by night

6. Explore Paris by night

This late-night tour will introduce you to the city just as it starts to get dark – you’ll walk along the Seine, around the courtyard of the Louvre, and then pay a visit to some lesser-known (and largely tourist-free) attractions.

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Walk in the footsteps of Coco Chanel
© Paris City Vision

7. Walk in the footsteps of Coco Chanel

Fashionistas can see Paris through the eyes of one of the 20th century’s greatest designers. The tour will begin at Coco’s favourite café, Angelina – renowned for its hot chocolate. Then you’ll venture on to Rue Saint-Honoré, where Chanel lived and see the site of her first shop (which remains today). Lastly, you can rummage through a vintage shop in the hope of scoring some old-school designer goods. 

Spy some stunning street art
© Juan Antonio F Segal/Flickr

8. Spy some stunning street art

For something beautiful and slightly less touristy, take a moment to admire the in-your-face artwork lining walls all over the city. Learn about some of the capital’s most well-known street artists, and discover the techniques they use to scale those mighty Haussmannian façades. Make sure to bring a camera, you'll have heaps of good photo ops. 

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See Paris through Hemingway’s eyes
Wolfgang Beinhauer

9. See Paris through Hemingway’s eyes

Obsessed with classic literature? Go back in time with this stroll through the city. You'll walk past the cafés Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald once frequented, track down the hotel where Oscar Wilde spent his final days, and explore the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, founded by Sylvia Beach in 1919, which is responsible for publishing James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’.

Satisfy your sweet tooth
© Céline Astorg

10. Satisfy your sweet tooth

Treat that sweet tooth with a delectable tour of the city’s most impressive chocolatiers. Learn all about the history of confectionery in Paris by visiting some swanky sweet shops along the Right Bank and, best of all, get your sticky mitts on some freebies. Our pro tip: wear elasticated trousers and thank us later. Bon Appétit.

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Whizz round the coolest kid-friendly sights

11. Whizz round the coolest kid-friendly sights

It can be hard keeping the tots entertained when you’re in a new city. But we've got you covered. This fun tour caters to families with children aged seven to 12, with a route decided by the kids themselves. The merry-go-round at the Jardin du Luxembourg and the gigantic Grande Serre greenhouse are both unmissable highlights.

Not done exploring the city yet?

More Paris tours

More Paris tours

Take a look through our complete list of the best tours in Paris. 

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