Ile de la Cite Paris Walking Tour | Semi-Private
LivTours Ile de la Cite Paris Walking Tour is a semi-private experience that takes place on an island right in the center of the River Seine, the birthplace of Paris and home to its beloved Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral. The island, known as Ile de la Cite, is one of two natural islands as the Seine River flows through Paris. This tour takes you through this history-rich district that hosts gorgeous Gothic churches and historic buildings.
On this engaging tour, you will discover the history of Ile de la Cite, which was originally home to Roman settlers, how it hosted a palace, and the many subsequent purposes it has served, including a hideaway from enemy attack. However, from 1869 onwards, this once populated island can only officially be called home by less than 1,000 people. You will be intrigued by your guide’s engaging explanations as you explore the center of Paris.
Visit the magnificent Sainte Chapelle, with skip-the-line tickets, known as the Sistine Chapel of Paris your guide will share with you stories of Notre Dame. Your expert guide will teach you about the Parisian pride and the city’s efforts to rebuild this iconic building.
Come take a walk back in time on Paris’ most historic island!
- Admire stunning stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle on this semi-private tour
- Listen to the shocking tales of Marie Antoinette’s final days in prison
- Enjoy the luxurious and romantic Place Dauphine, set just next to the Seine River
- Discover the fascinating history of Celtic tribes who settled in Île de la Cité
- Explore the current restoration of the Notre Dame and its proceeding 1,000 years
Semi-Private tours and experiences are guaranteed six participants max.
Our prices always include tickets and reservations fees (no waiting in lines!)
Our tour guides and staff are selected experts and speak perfect English
Easy to book and prepay your tours with our secure payment system
Eco-sustainable tourism, designed to respect and support local culture, art and traditions
Your LivTours Ile de la Cite Paris Walking Tour starts at the statue of Louis XIV located in front of the recognizable IM Pei Glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre. Once you and your semi-private group of no more than six travelers have met your guide, you will begin the tour with a stroll along the Seine River to Pont Neuf. You will find out why the bridge called the New Bridge is actually the oldest stone bridge in Paris! At just a glance you will have an idea of what makes this one of the most charming cities in the world. Crossing one section of the bridge puts you firmly in the Île de la Cité’s peaceful Place Dauphine. Movie buffs will recognize this square from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Though this square may be familiar for its more modern accomplishments, it holds an essential place in history. The second oldest square in Paris, dating back to 1600, its construction was initiated by King Henry IV and named after his crowned prince son Louis XIII, the Dauphin of France.
Your LivTours expert guide will explain the varied history of this natural island in the center of Paris and before you know it, you will soon find yourself at your next stop, the Sainte Chapelle. The French equivalent to Rome’s Sistine Chapel, it was built in the 13th century by Louis XIV and this chapel was originally created to house the famous holy relics including the famed Crown of Thorns. It was venerated in the 4th century, as the actual thorny crown that Jesus wore on the way to his crucifixion.
Sainte Chapelle, once used by French nobility for Catholic masses, hosts floor to ceiling stained glass windows making you feel as though you have entered a glass jewelry box. Many art critics consider Sainte Chapelle’s windows a “Jerusalem of the Sky.” You will find out why images were so important in telling a story in the Middle Ages as you admire these colorful windows that depict tales from the Old and New Testaments as well as stories related to how Sainte Chapelle acquired Christ’s Crown of Thorns. You will enjoy LivTours’ priority access entrance, so you do not have to worry about going through a security check or waiting in line. After admiring the beauty of Sainte Chapelle’s stained glass windows, it is now time to hear a few of the darker tales of Paris’ past as you walk by the notorious Conciergerie building. Your guide’s engaging commentary will take you back to the bloody days of the French Revolution, where you will get an idea of Marie Antoinette’s last days before meeting her fate under the guillotine.
Your semi-private tour continues to one of the most beloved spots of Paris, the Medieval masterpiece known as the Notre Dame Cathedral. Parisians are still shocked by the devastating 2019 fire, but they are working tirelessly to rebuild this masterpiece for future generations. Notre Dame is temporarily closed to the public, but you can still learn about this architectural wonder and take stunning photos. When touring around this history-rich cathedral, take extra time to appreciate its innovative use of the flying buttresses. These outdoor arches were revolutionary and helped architects accommodate the soaring interior heights associated with High French Gothic. Learn about Notre Dame’s intricate frame and the current efforts in restoring it and find out what future renovations, so you know exactly when to plan your next trip to Paris!
Your tour continues onto Île Saint-Louis, another, yet much smaller, natural island in the center of Paris with picture-perfect homes and balconies looking out onto the Seine River. Your tour ends at the charming Pont Marie in the trendy Marais District where you can enjoy the rest of your day boutique shopping, gallery browsing, or enjoying a French lunch!
- The glass pyramid
- Walk by Seine river
- Place Dauphine
- Sainte Chapelle tickets
- Notre Dame Cathedral (from outside)
- Île Saint-Louis
- Pont Marie in Le Marais
- Due to these unprecedented times and ongoing safety and regulation changes, some sites may have limited accessibility if the venue can not guarantee social distancing which may lead to unforeseen tour modifications. Thank you for your understanding.
- LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel and especially in these new times, we are proud to be at the forefront of the innovation, changes, and challenges that are presented to us during this post-pandemic time. At the moment, due to COVID-19 safety regulations, the museums and sites visited on this tour require wearing a mask while on the site. Please bring one for every participant over 6 years of age.
All LivTours Semi-Private Group Tours are limited to 6 guests per tour guide. Our commitment to maintaining our uniquely tiny group sizes can sometimes be a little tricky, mathematically speaking. For example, we want to ensure that traveling families and friends can tour together so on rare occasions we may add one or two guests in order to not split groups. On that same note, you may also find yourself on tour with less than six people! We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.
Best guided tour ever!
"My husband and I took LivTours Ile de la Cite walking tour and we were so glad we did! Strolling along those quaint streets and soaking up all the Parigian history with our very French guide, made for a really fun and memorable time. Our group was definitely small (only 5 of us) so we were able to make friends and the guide was great about personalizing the tour around our various interests and curiosities. This was definitely one of the best guided tours we have ever taken and we will recommend it to everyone we know coming to Paris."
Rachel M. - USA
Great tour, LivTours!
"My girlfriends and I met in Paris for a long weekend. We weren't planning on doing much tourism but when we saw that LivTours offered a walking tour of the island, it sounded like it would be fun. Our guide, Ferit, was a blast! We agreed that he kind of enjoyed our company too!! But anyway, he was the greatest guide: smart, lots of info, delivered in a really entertaining way and very attentive to our needs and wishes. By the end of the tour, we felt like old friends and he made several restaurant recommendations that we took him up on. It was a great tour and a fun time and definitely worth every penny! "
Jenny - USA
Highly recommend this tour
"This was our first trip to Paris and LivTours walking tour in the Ile de la Cite really gave us a great introduction and appreciation for the beauty and history of this marvelous city. Super guide and fascinating place! You won't be disappointed!"
Cynthia - USA