If you didn't found the answer to your question on the website, I invite you to read the FAQ. You will find questions frequently asked by visitors as well as several tips to prepare your stay in Paris.
You can also contact me to ask me directly your question. I am always happy to help you plan your stay in Paris.
Let's be clear: the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world! You will not be alone in the Louvre, no matter when you visit. There is no magic bullet, but here are some tips that may be useful:
8 million visitors at Versailles in 2018: a record! But then, when to visit the Palace of Versailles to avoid the crowds?
During a private tour, your guide will only be available for you, as a couple, with friends or as a family. It is also possible to organize a private group tour: the group will then be composed of your school class, members of your association, or employees of your company... In a private tour, you define the composition of the group.
On the other hand, during a public group tour for individuals travelers gathered together, the guide organizes a guided tour following a schedule set in advance and published (for example on its website). Then, each participant comes to join the guide and other visitors at the meeting point. On a "public" tour, you don't know the other participants.
The rate of a private tour is usually higher than a "public" tour because you choose the date, the timing and you can define exactly what you want, to adapt the tour with your private guide.
As for me, I only organize private tours.
It is not always easy to visit a big city when you cannot walk a lot or you have difficulty getting around. Here is some information that may be useful to you.
About transportation, please note that most metro stations in Paris are not wheelchair accessible (except for the metro line #14, the most recent one). On the other hand, most of the bus lines are accessible and will allow you to move (a little) more easily in Paris. To visit Paris without too much walking, the ideal solution remains to hire a driver with a minivan (up to 6-7 people).
In some major public museums such as the Louvre Museum or the Versailles Palace, it is possible to borrow a wheelchair, free of charge (an ID will be required) during your visit.
Please be aware that those ancient monuments are not always suitable for a full wheelchair tour. Sometimes the walking time towards the elevator will be longer than climbing a few steps on foot. This will depend on your ability or not to climb a few steps.
If some people in your group cannot or do not want to walk for too long, there are some tours where it is easier to sit regularly (the Orsay Museum for example). I also recommend to visit some "human-size" monuments, such as the Basilica of Saint-Denis or the Garnier Opera House.
In any case, do not hesitate to book a private tour to visit museums and monuments in Paris, while warning your guide about your needs: your guide will adapt the route to help you, and will know the "secret passages" and the location of the lifts.
For now, I do not organize guided tours in the temporary exhibitions in Paris. Nevertheless, I can use my network to recommend you some excellent trustworthy tour guides I regularly work with. Some of them organize guided tours in temporary exhibitions in Paris.
These thematic temporary exhibitions are a very good way to (re)discover Paris if you have already visited the main monuments and museums. It is also an opportunity to discover works of art that are rarely exhibited in France or in Europe (like the great Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in the Louvre museum, for example).
Firstly, because the official license of professional tour guide, issued by the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, is the only one that allows us to "lead guided tours in the museums and listed historical monuments" throughout France.
This license can be obtained after passing the Professional Tour Guide Degree, which I personally obtained at the University of Angers, in the heart of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. This degree includes theoretical training at the University, many trips to France and several months of internships. It is therefore the guarantee that your guide is trained to be a professional guide and that he or she will adapt to your requests.
The professional license is therefore a guarantee of quality, and this is also why I am committed to respecting the quality charter of the National Federation of Certified tourist guides.
But the professional license doesn't do everything, and in this job, we must always update and deepen our knowledge! That's why I'm a member of the GUID'Z Association, which organizes guided tours and lectures given by experienced teachers and expert guides. This association is intended only for professional tour guides, as part of our continuing education.
Moreover, as the President of the Guid'Z Association, I am involved in the promotion of the tour guide profession through actions for the general public and partnerships with the institutions. And, as I do not know everything and I am not always available, the Guid'Z Association is also a large network of certified and trustworthy tour guides that will allow me to recommend you a colleague if I cannot do the tour you want.
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous Parisian monument, but it is managed by a private company. I have no possibility of finding skip-the-line tickets (with a fixed date and time) when the tickets are sold out on the official website of the Eiffel Tower (www.toureiffel.paris).
If there is no more ticket available on the date you want, here are several alternatives:
To visit Paris, there are many different options:
If you are on this website, I think you already got it: I strongly advise you to trust a certified tour guide for your trip to Paris.
As soon as you can: it is always better to plan your tour as soon as possible, because I may not be available on the day you want, and because most museums and monuments require an advance booking. Usually, I advise you to book at least one month in advance. The busiest tourist season in Paris goes between April and September. So, the sooner the better!
If you didn't plan ahead and you would like a tour in the next few days, you can still give it a try: if I am available, I will do my best to ensure you can enjoy a great guided tour.
It depends on which tickets you bought, for which tour:
Are you planning a business meeting or an orientation seminar for your team? It is possible to organize some tours off-the-beaten track (for example, a gourmet tour in the covered galleries of Paris) or a tour at the end of the day, so that your employees or colleagues can discover Paris between their working day and a dinner for example (Arch of Triumph, the Seine river at sunset...).
If you need to organise transportation, I can give you the contact of several transport companies I am usually working with, to adapt the tour to the best of your wishes (8 seats minivans, small or large coaches up to 50 people...)
Dur to the current sanitary situation, if your team members are all around the world, and cannot travel right now, I can organize a virtual guided tour of Paris, to discover Paris or Versailles, with live comments.
Don't hesitate to contact me to organise a tailor-made tour according to your requests.
To become a professional tour guide in France, it is necessary to start with a university degree in history, art history, architecture, archaeology, tourism or foreign languages (from 2 to 5 years of study). Then, you should carry out the Professional degree of tourist guide (1 to 2 years) which gives all the skills you need to work as a tour guide (guiding techniques, group management, internships...)
About fifteen universities in France offer this degree: I have personally graduated from the University of Angers (in Chateaux of the Loire Valley), which I recommend. By graduating from this Tour Guide Degree, you will receive the professional tour guide licence, which is mandatory in France to guide in museums and historical monuments.
It is also possible to receive the professional licence by validating some course units of a master's degree or by Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. More information can be found on the website of Minister for the Economy and Finance Affairs, in charge of Tourism: https://www.entreprises.gouv.fr/Tourisme/Metiers/guide-conferencier (in French)