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Castles & Cathedrals of the Marais

Paris, France

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Experience hosted by Ellen

2 hours
Includes food
Up to 8 people
Hosted in English, French

What you'll do

This is a private tour of the remnants of "old Paris" - the city that existed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the city of hidden castles, imposing renaissance palaces & baroque mansions, medieval timbered houses, leafy courtyards hidden behind carriage doors, charming squares & public fountains.

You will learn about the city's history, its rich architectural & cultural background, through researched commentary developed by a historian. Learn how the city was transformed (1853-1870) from a medieval warren of densely overpopulated streets to a modern city with broad avenues, city squares & parks, trees....and the world's 1st system of gas lighting.

You will also see firsthand the nuances of Gothic vs Baroque architecture & art. By visiting the mansions & churches of the Marais we will see the transition from medieval Gothic to renaissance Baroque architecture & discover the rich past (and present) of this picturesque & trendy neighbourhood.
Other things to note
Please note there is a minimum of 2 persons per group - contact me if you are travelling solo. A cheese tasting can be arranged for €5/person with 48h advance notice.
This is a private tour of the remnants of "old Paris" - the city that existed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the city of hidden castles, imposing renaissance palaces & baroque mansions, medieval timbered houses, leafy courtyards hidden behind carriage doors, charming squares & public fountains.

You will learn about the city's history, its rich architectural & cultural background, through researched commentary developed by a hist…

Ellen's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
Learn more

What's included

  • Food
    Option cheese tasting €5
From $30
/ person
Thu, Dec 3
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
$37 per person
$37 per person
Fri, Dec 4
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
$37 per person
$37 per person
Mon, Dec 7
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
$37 per person
$37 per person

Meet your host, Ellen

Host on Airbnb since 2018
  • 62 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I am a trained historian & you will learn about the city's history through my commented walks. All of my tours are researched, documented & scripted to ensure accuracy & interest.
I have lived in this beautiful city for 30 years and will show you the best places to eat, shop, visit. Stroll with me on my unique Paris tours & discover the hidden Paris.
All of my tours are small groups - maximum of 8 people - generally smaller - to allow for more interaction & personalisation.
Follow my blog on https://www.facebook.com/visitthehiddenparis/
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app. Learn more

Where you'll be

We will visit the hidden treasures of the Marais : medieval half-timbered houses, Gothic churches & cathedrals, Baroque mansions & squares. Hidden amongst the trendy boutiques are some of the city's oldest buildings - beautifully restored vestiges of the Middle Ages & Renaissance.
I explain the history & architecture of these buildings to provide context. I share the rich past of the Marais (as well as a few insider shopping addresses).

Rated 4.90 out of 5 from 62 reviews.

Jillian
December 2019
Ellen graciously kept our appointment even though I was the only person attending. She also kindly went overtime on our appointment which was much appreciated. Highly recommended for first time visitors to Marais to orient yourself and gain an understanding of the history of the area. I had lunch at A great deli Ellen pointed out. Thanks for a lovely afternoon :)
Ellen graciously kept our appointment even though I was the only person attending. She also kindly went overtime on our appointment which was much appreciated. Highly recommended f…
Courtney
December 2019
Five stars because Ellen was so helpful and kind to us, even before our trip to Paris. She messaged and provided advice on restaurants, kid-friendly places, churches, etc. We took the tour on Christmas day and it was quite expensive for a walking tour, especially when many of the places we visited were closed due to the holiday. Things close on Christmas but I suppose I expected more or alternative places since the tour was still offered. No children's rate was given so we paid $229 for our family of four to see only the outside of most buildings.
Five stars because Ellen was so helpful and kind to us, even before our trip to Paris. She messaged and provided advice on restaurants, kid-friendly places, churches, etc. We too…
Phil
November 2019
Ellen has a deep knowledge of her topic and we were made aware of things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. She also showed us a lovely tea French tea shop & consulted the group re tour preferences. Very worthwhile
Ashley
November 2019
Had a wonderful experience with Ellen! We were staying in the neighborhood and the tour helped us get acclimated and better understand the city’s history. Ellen is very knowledgeable and included many hidden gems I don’t think we would have discovered otherwise. Highly recommended!
Had a wonderful experience with Ellen! We were staying in the neighborhood and the tour helped us get acclimated and better understand the city’s history. Ellen is very knowledgeab…
Devon
October 2019
Ellen is clearly an expert! Super passionate about history, I learned so much from her and all details felt very accessible (she takes the time to explain). You can tell that Ellen loves Paris, and you feel it too. If you’ve seen the main sights and just want to learn more about Paris, its architecture and its history, I would highly recommend!
Ellen is clearly an expert! Super passionate about history, I learned so much from her and all details felt very accessible (she takes the time to explain). You can tell that Ellen…
Lauren
September 2019
Ellen was a fabulous and personable host! She customized the tour to our groups likings and answered questions with ease. I would highly recommend for anyone looking for some insight into the history and architecture of Paris over the years. Thank you!
Ellen was a fabulous and personable host! She customized the tour to our groups likings and answered questions with ease. I would highly recommend for anyone looking for some insig…

Choose from available dates

12 available
1 / 2
  • Thu, Dec 3
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $37 per person
  • Fri, Dec 4
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $37 per person
  • Mon, Dec 7
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    $37 per person
  • Thu, Dec 10
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $37 per person
  • Fri, Dec 11
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $37 per person
  • Mon, Dec 14
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    $30 per person, previously $37
  • Thu, Dec 17
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $30 per person, previously $37
  • Fri, Dec 18
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    $30 per person, previously $37

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests ages 6 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

What to bring

Wear good solid walking shoes & bring an umbrella