Private Ile de la Cite Tour | Walking Tour of Paris
LivTours Private Ile de la Cite Tour is a guided private exploration of the island located right in the center of the Seine River. This historical-rich and beautiful island, known as Ile de la Cite, is the birthplace of Paris and home to its beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. Your private guide will share with you the island’s gorgeous Gothic churches, historic buildings, and fascinating history. You will enjoy priority access to the magnificent Sainte Chapelle. This magical, and once royal church is known for its floor to ceiling intricate stained glass windows, is referred to as the Sistine Chapel of Paris. Your private guide will share with you the history of the island’s most prominent resident, Notre Dame Cathedral, and will discuss the city’s plan for restoration after the devastating fire engulfed the roof in 2019.
The Ile de la Cite is the oldest district in Paris, established by the Romans, the then walled island often provided shelter from enemy attacks. The island continued to develop and saw the construction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame start in 1136, thus making it a political and religious hub of the Middle Ages. The island, one of two natural islands that can be found in the River Seine as it flows through Paris, was largely residential until a big section was destroyed in the 1850s to make way for royal residences. Nowadays less than a thousand people call the island home.
Come stroll back in time on the arm of an expert guide!
- Marvel over stunning stained-glassed windows inside Sainte Chapelle
- Hear shocking tales of Marie Antoinette’s final days in prison
- Feel the romance in the air as you walk along the iconic Place Dauphine
- Learn the fascinating history of Celtic tribes settled in Île de la Cité
- Learn all about the history and current progress of the Notre Dame
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Right in the center of the Seine you will find Île de la Cité, the birthplace of Paris and home to its beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. LivTours Ile de la Cite Tour will take you through this storied island’s gorgeous Gothic churches and historic buildings. Enjoy skip-the-line privileges into the magnificent Sainte Chapelle, known as the Sistine Chapel of Paris. Hear stories of Notre Dame and learn of the Parisian pride and the city’s efforts to rebuild this icon.
Your LivTours Île de la Cité Tour will begin at the Louis XIV statue in front of the picturesque IM Pei Glass pyramid just in front of the Louvre. Start with a meet and greet with your local guide and begin with a leisurely stroll along the Seine River to Pont Neuf, the oldest stone bridge in Paris. A simple glimpse will give you an idea of what makes this one of the most charming cities in the world. Continue onto Île de la Cité’s peaceful Place Dauphine. If this square looks familiar to you, then you have probably seen Place Dauphine before in a few major motion pictures like Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Though this square may be familiar for its more modern accomplishments, it holds an impenetrable place in history as well. This is the second oldest square in Paris, dating back to 1600. It was initiated by King Henri IV and named after his crowned prince son Louis XIII, the dauphin of France.
As you make your way along the island, your LivTours guide will explain the long history of this natural island in the center of Paris, you will soon find yourself at your next stop – the French equivalent to Rome’s Sistine Chapel – Sainte Chapelle. Built in the 13th century by Louis XIV, this chapel was originally created to house the famous holy relics including the famed crown of thorns. It has been venerated since the 4th century, as the actual thorny crown that Jesus wore on the way to his crucifixion.
Sainte Chapelle was once also used by the French nobility for Catholic mass, this High Gothic chapel has some of the most beautiful stained glass in the world. You will immediately see why art critics consider Sainte Chapelle’s windows a “Jerusalem of the Sky.” On each of these colorful windows, you will see familiar tales from the Old and New Testament as well as stories related to how Sainte Chapelle acquired Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Plus, with LivTours, you do not have to worry about going through a security check or waiting in line. Skip every line with our exclusive access and entrance! After admiring the brightness of Sainte Chapelle’s stained glassed windows, it is now time to hear a few of the darker tales of Paris’ past as you walk by the notorious Conciergerie. Your guide will transport 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 tour continues to one of the most beloved spots of Paris, the Medieval masterpiece known as the Notre Dame Cathedral. Although Parisians are still shocked by the devastating 2019 fire, 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 admire it from afar. When touring around this storied cathedral, take extra time to appreciate its noteworthy use of the flying buttresses. These revolutionary outdoor arches helped architects accommodate the soaring interior heights associated with High French Gothic. Learn about Notre Dame’s intricate frame design and the current efforts in rebuilding it. In addition to learning more about Notre Dame’s past, your guide will fill you in on future renovations at France’s famed cathedral so you know exactly when to plan your next trip to Paris!
You and your guide will continue onto Île Saint-Louis, yet another 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 or gallery browsing.
- 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
- Offered in: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Please specify under “Additional notes” if you wish to book the tour in a language other than English.
- 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’ is and always has been based on sustainable travel and especially in these new times, we are proud to be at the forefront of innovation, change, and challenges that are presented to us during this post-pandemic time. At the moment, due to Covid-19 safety regulations, museums and sites visited on this tour require wearing a mask while on site. Please bring one for every participant over 6 years of age.
When you book a LivTours Private Tour or Experience, you are guaranteed a dedicated, expert guide that allows you the flexibility to start your tour at a time which is convenient for you, making planning easy. Our private tours ensure that you will get a tailored experience to meet all your needs so we go at your pace, perfect for families with younger children, elderly, or individuals with accessibility needs. Please be advised that all private tours begin at a base price starting at two people. Prices are inclusive of entry tickets where applicable.