Go for a stroll on the Ile de la Cité, one of Paris' two islands on the Seine, and enjoy quintessential French cuisine on this 3-hour walking tour. With a guide, learn about the island's role in French history, hear about events full of drama, love, and mystery, and see sights such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Conciergerie, Sainte-Chapelle, and the oldest bridge in Paris. For lunch, sit down to a typical meal of local dishes and take in the spirit of 'art de vivre.' Plus, receive a ticket for a river cruise.
Your walking tour starts at Pont Neuf, Paris' oldest standing bridge, where you'll meet your guide for your exploration of Ile de la Cité.
For about 1.5 hours, walk around the small island to see sights such as the statue of Henri IV, Dauphine Square, the Palace of Justice, and the Conciergerie, a former royal residence turned into a prison during the French Revolution. As you walk, hear stories from your guide about French history, the mysteries of Templars, and even old grapevines. Pass by the Clock Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, and the flower market where guards once bought modest bouquets to give to imprisoned Marie-Antoinette.
Walk by the oldest hospital in Paris, stroll down streets so picturesque they could be in a movie, and learn where the best ice cream and cupcakes can be found. Eventually, you'll reach the heart of medieval Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral. You have some time to admire the Gothic masterpiece and hear about its history, and you can enter to soak up the atmosphere from inside.
Next, the second part of your tour (about one hour) begins as you leave the island for the Left Bank, where you'll roam a labyrinth of medieval streets to see some culinary attractions, pass by a historical church, and check out the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. For lunch, enjoy French dishes suggested by a local chef, such as frog legs, meats, and something sweet—it's your choice, but you'll have a set menu of starter, main dish, and dessert, with wine added. While waiting for the food to be served, hear more about French cuisine from your guide, and ask any questions you have.
After lunch, your guide gives you a ticket for a boat cruise along the Seine and provides instructions for where and when to board. You can take the cruise right after lunch or later, according to your preferences. The cruise lasts a little over an hour, with flexible start times, and you can expect to see many sights from the river, such as Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Place de la Concorde, Musée d'Orsay, and the Louvre. Float all the way around Ile de la Cité, and go back to other way to see the Eiffel Tower.