From EUR 199.90
Right in the middle of Paris are two islands. The biggest one named Ile de la Cité is where it all began. Originally named Lutetia, it was described by Ceasar when he invaded it. Today, there is not much left of these times but the island is home to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Conciergerie, which was the first palace of the French kings from the Vth century up to the XIVth century, and the amazing Sainte-Chapelle all covered with stained glass windows. Join us on this tour that brings up the memories of the origins and birth of Paris as a capital. Learn and admire all about the evolution of the City with our experienced Memories’ guide. During this tour, you will have a full experience and climb up the tower of Notre Dame and enter the Sainte Chapelle and Conciergerie.
Everybody has heard about Notre-Dame Cathedral but maybe not everyone knows that it was built on the central island of the capital. This location is no less than the origin of Paris when the Celts, known as Gauls, settled there and named it Lutetia long before the Romans conquered it. Our local licensed guide will tell you all about it. This tour is the ultimate experience on this small island. Once you are done, we guarantee you will feel like the island and the birth of Paris have no more secrets for you.
When you meet your guide in front of Notre Dame Cathedral and after an introduction about the surroundings and the history of the island, you will dive into the Middle Ages and go to the North tower to reach its top.
Brace yourself because you will climb 422 steps just as though you were in the 13th century ! But once you are up there we know you won’t regret it. The view over the island and more generally over Paris is amazing and is by itself well worth the effort ! You are in the very center of the city and can then acknowledge its size, its monuments’ positions and admire its beauty. Don’t be surprised if you run face to face with a gargoyle or an angel as you will be at their level ! You will also see the enormous and famous bells of the Cathedral.
When you go down, it is now time to enter the Cathedral Notre-Dame. Not only will you be told about its origins and its architecture but also about the main great historical events that took place in it. For instance, did you know Napoleon I’s coronation took place there ?
After touring and contemplating the breathtaking statues, the choir screen and the huge stained glass windows and when you thought it couldn’t get better, our guide will take you to the Sainte Chapelle. Built by King Saint Louis in the 13th century to house holy relics, among which Christ’s Crown of Thorns, this unbelievable place used to be the chapel of the palace where the first kings lived. The ground level looks like a beautifully adorned crypt and when you reach the 1st floor, you will see something that exists nowhere else in the world : 80% of the walls are covered with stained glass windows ! How could this be made in the Middle Ages ? How does it stay up with so little stone ? Our guide will reveal its secrets to you and explain the history and meanings of the windows.
Before we take a break, let us take you inside the Conciergerie that with its 4 towers, is the only remains of the medieval palace. Later transformed into a prison, you will see Marie Antoinette’s last prison cell and witness the terrible conditions of her detention in this awful medieval dimly lit place.
To recover from all these mixed emotions, we want to take you to a very special place along the river. Let our guide lead you there and relax with a hot beverage and some nice French delicatessen. A perfect way to experience the French “Quatre heure” (“Four o’clock” which would be the middle day snack at around 4pm).
Then to finish this exquisite tour, you will go nearby, at the tip of the island in the first royal square commissioned at the end of the 16th century by Henry IV whose statue you will see on the oldest bridge of Paris named “Pont Neuf” (New Bridge)!
By the end of this tour you will feel like you know all about the heart of the capital and you will be ready to explore the rest of the city.
Note that they are no elevators to reach the top of Notre Dame's Tower so you must be in good condition to go up the 422 steps. Should you not be able to climb up the stairs, don't worry, your guide will take care of you and make sure you are confortable while you wait for the group to come back.
Note that increased security measures may affect lines as we can't avoid them. However due to our Skip the Line privileges, we do have access to shortcuts to the security checks.
Duration: 4:30 Hours
Operating days and start time:
Meet us 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the tour next to Charlemagne Statue in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. You have many options to go to Notre Dame. The closest would be the metro Cité (line 4). After the exit, taKe the road on your left in the opposite direction of the river bank, you will see the cathedral right after the next corner. You could also arrive at Saint Michel Station by metro (line 4) or train (RER C). You will have to cross the bridge and then turn right in direction of the Cathedral