Architectural walking tours that combine the best of urban sightseeing with visits to historic gardens.
Join us to discover why Paris is a picturesque city. From the heights of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre to the townhouses of the Marais, we learn about the connections between architecture, gardens, and urban history.
Then & Now: Each tour begins with an iBook presentation of images selected from historical archives, providing a comparative context for viewing Paris today. After the tour, you can add your own photos to create a personal souvenir of your Picturesque Voyages.
Picturesque Voyages Tours Adhere to Recommended Health and Safety Guidelines
- Masks can be provided upon request.
- Tours are limited to 6 people. Family groups may be larger.
- All garden and walking tours maintain social distancing standards.
Custom tours are our specialty. Contact us to plan a personalized itinerary for a most memorable, life-long learning experience.
The Gardens of the Marais
3-Hour Walking Tour (350€, 1-6 people, excluding entrance fees)
One of the oldest and best-preserved neighborhoods of Paris, our tour of the Marais focuses on the historic gardens located behind the facades of the 17th and 18th century townhouses. We begin our visit at the Place des Vosges, the first royal square of its kind in the city and later home to author Victor Hugo. We will learn about the square as an example of Renaissance city planning and explore its importance for the building of town houses, such as the Hôtel de Sully, whose still extant garden includes an orangery. We then continue to explore urban gardens along the Rue de Rosiers, the heart of the Jewish quarter, including the recently opened Jardin des Rosiers-Joseph-Migneret. We conclude our tour at the National Archives. Formerly the Hôtel Soubise, this townhouse is an outstanding example of 18th-century architecture and interior decoration. After viewing the interiors, we will visit the surrounding gardens designed during the First Empire.
The Palais Royal Gardens and Les Passages
3-Hour Walking Tour (350€, 1-6 people)
For more than 200 years, the Palais Royal has been at the avant-garde of French society. Home to cardinals, princes and kings, this complex of buildings that surrounds interlocked courtyards and gardens is a green haven in the center of the city. The space offers a unique opportunity to learn about French history while strolling the arcades, following in the steps of philosophers, revolutionaries, and entertainers. The garden tour invites a leisurely stroll, visiting boutiques and learning how the garden inspired the development of the 19th-century passages—covered streets designed for easy shopping. We may also visit the elegant Passage Vivienne, the Passage de Panoramas and the Passage Joffroy.
Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
3-Hour Walking Tour and Museum Visit (350€, 1-6 people, excluding entrance fees)
Our walking tour to Montmartre explores one of the most celebrated cityscapes appreciated for its magnificent views. We start in lower Montmartre at the Place Blanche at the Moulin Rouge, learning how Montmartre emerged as a site for entertainment in the Belle Epoque. As we walk to the top of the hill, we visit the medieval church of St. Pierre de Montmartre, the only remaining vestige of the prosperous women’s monastery founded here in the 12th century. We then explore the controversial Sacre Coeur Basilica, built to redeem Paris from its reputation of easy leisure and lax morals after the Fall of the Second Empire. We conclude with a visit to the Musée de Montmartre and Jardins Renoir, the former home and atelier of Auguste Renoir, where we can admire remains of windmills, vineyards and cottages that once dotted the hill and became subjects of some of the most celebrated Impressionist paintings.
*Special Note: Montmartre is hilly, with stairs and steep inclines, so please inform us of any mobility concerns when submitting your booking form.