Are you planning a trip to Paris and looking for things to do? For free walking tours, Paris Greeters is a fabulous choice! Below you can read my review on the amazing tour my family of 4 took with this lovely organization.
Paris offers a whirlwind vacation with top attractions on both sides of the River Seine, beautiful architecture, historical landmarks, and so much more.
But it can be challenging to know where to start. Consider a free walking tour with Paris Greeters!
When it comes to free walking tours, Paris Greeters is the best. Their local tour guides work with you to plan an itinerary based on your family’s interests.
You could explore the Latin Quarter in the heart of Paris or explore one of the city’s suburbs.
Traveling to Paris as a family with young children, I knew I wanted to book a private tour that could accommodate us. Paris Greeters went above and beyond! Below, you’ll read my detailed review on one of the best walking tours in Paris.
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Paris blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Paris with kids.
Popular Paris Tours/Activities
- Scavenger Hunt at the Musee d’Orsay (my kids voted this the BEST thing they did in Paris)
- Paris Food Tour (We ate SO much yummy food)
- Tootbus (this is a kid-friendly hop-on-hop-off bus)
- Eiffel Tower (skip the line and go straight to the top)
- Day Trip to Giverny and Versailles (it’s a great city break)
- Flytographer photo shoot (they are easy to book are really affordable)
Kid-Friendly Paris Hotels
Want an epic Paris guide book? This is my favorite Paris itinerary and guide!
What is Paris Greeters?
Paris Greeters is an organization of volunteers who are passionate about sharing their city with visitors. The volunteers live all over Paris and its surrounding areas.
On their website, they have a spot to register for a free walking tour. Then, based on the information you give them, they connect you with a volunteer.
But these aren’t skip-the-line tours of the Louvre Museum. Instead, it’s a great way to enjoy Paris from a more authentic perspective (and still see major landmarks, if you wish).
Volunteers are passionate about their amazing city. They’ll suggest walking tours in different neighborhoods while sharing all the intriguing facts along the way.
What Happens Before Your Tour
A few weeks before our trip to Paris, I ran across a blog post about Paris Greeters. My husband and I are always looking for authentic experiences when traveling and this seemed like the perfect way to do it.
While I filled out the online form on their website, noting that we’d have a baby and 3-year-old with us. A few days later, Paris Greeters proposed a walking tour of Boulogne, a suburb of Paris.
I had to Google it. This quiet neighborhood is known for 1930s Art Deco design. We excitedly confirmed the walking tour!
Up until the day of our free tour, we kept in touch with our volunteer, Patrick Lucard. This was helpful so we could plan the rest of our trip itinerary.
Book a Family Photo Shoot
Whenever we travel, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND it guarantees that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.
Our Paris Greeters Walking Tour
We later learned that our volunteer, Patrick, was actually the President of Paris Boulogne Greeters. This is a “sister” or affiliated association of Pais Greeters. And he was beyond fabulous!
After met him at the Michel Ange Auteuil Metro stop, he suggested we grab coffee like true Parisians. It was a great ice breaker for our free walking tour!
We headed across the street to sip cappuccino at the bar. In talking, we found out that he had just returned from a trip to Seattle a few weeks prior.
It was nice to see what he thought of our city before we explored his! It really helped us trust Patrick, the way he found a common point of interest with us.
Visiting a Geniune Parisian Park
Since we had our 3-year-old, Patrick thought we’d like to visit a neighborhood park in Boulogne. We’d brought a stroller and Patrick offered to push our son around.
This made the walk even more enjoyable! I wore our baby in our Tula baby carrier and this freed my husband up to take photos along the walking tour.
On our walk to the park, Patrick point out a vintage Art Nouveau “Metropolitan” sign by Hector Guimard. I’d seen this on a postcard but didn’t realize how rare it was to find. There are only 2 left in Paris!
Then he showed us the different styles of architecture in the neighborhood. He explained how the second floor was the most desired floor and often featured a balcony. That’s the floor where the builder would live!
The park was a really wonderful experience. We saw several nannies there with a handful of children. It was our first time in a park in Paris and our son was ecstatic for the chance to run and play!
Patrick and I sat on a bench and talked about life. He told me that when he travels around Europe, it’s about seeing great architecture and experiencing the culture.
But he said that when he visits the United States, it’s like a dream vacation! I told him that when we feel the same way when we visit Europe.
We also talked a lot about the importance of learning other languages and exposing our children to other cultures through travel.
We decided to continue our walking tour and go “look at the fishies,” so we headed to a nearby greenhouse.
Patrick told us that this was a favorite spot to bring his daughters because it was never crowded. We only saw one person in the greenhouse, and she was sketching in a notebook.
It was really beautiful to see the different plants and to see the fish. They had just pruned so we didn’t get to see as many flowers as we had hoped. But it was still very relaxing.
We saw that it was raining outside, so we lingered a bit inside another greenhouse to stay warm and dry.
Exploring the Hotel Molitor Paris
Coming from Seattle, we never let a little rain interrupt our plans. But Patrick was quick to think on his feet and told us he had somewhere to show us.
He brought us to the Hotel Molitor Paris. Originally a public swimming pool in the 1930s, they kept the Art Deco vibe when they turned it into a hotel.
It was a stunning stop on our tour! It felt like the type of place where you could just relax and soak in the cool vibes.
Patrick took us inside to show us the original 1930s pool and it was breathtaking. He also was able to get us inside the spa area so we could get a look at the indoor pool.
Not only was it a great way to warm up and stay dry, but it was definitely somewhere we never would have seen without our guide.
He rounded out the walking tour by showing us more Art Deco homes and the Rugby stadium on our way back to the Metro station. By the time our 3-hour-tour ended, we really felt like we were saying goodbye to a family member.
It was so much more than just a tour of a city. My husband and I felt like we were in great hands.
My Thoughts on Our Paris Greeters Tour
When it comes to free walking tours, Paris Greeters is priceless! Our guide, Patrick, was thoughtful and passionate. He chose destinations we wouldn’t have seen as unknowing tourists in Paris.
He immediately put us at ease, and it truly felt like we were exploring Boulogne with a family friend! And you could really tell that he thought about what a family would be able to do on a Paris tour.
This was a highlight of our entire trip to Europe. I highly recommend Paris Greeters to anyone traveling to Paris. Whether you’re looking for quality free tour options or want a unique experience, this organization is an excellent choice.
FAQ about Paris Walking Tours
When of the best ways to see Paris is on foot! You could easily walk across the city in a few hours. I suggest picking a neighborhood and spending at least a few hours there! For example, you could spend an entire afternoon walking down Champs Elysées. See the Arc de Triomphe, stop at a cafe, and go shopping at the stores along the avenue.
The most walkable neighborhoods in Paris are along the River Seine, especially if you want to skip the metro. Le Marais and the Latin Quarter are great for a mix of old and new attractions. And Rue Cler is stunning. Spend your days shopping at romantic street markets with one of the most famous landmarks in the background- the Eiffel Tower!
You’ll find that prices for tours in Paris run the spectrum. I highly recommend Paris Greeters if you want to save some money. They’re perfect for an authentic experience with local guides and half-day neighborhood tours. You’ll work with your local guide to plan a private walking tour that works for your party.
Book the Best Free Walking Tours with Paris Greeters
When you’re looking for free walking tours, Paris Greeters is a cut above the rest. We cherished this opportunity to connect with a local Parisian and see Paris off-the-beaten-path!
Of course, we loved exploring the main attractions of this amazing city, like the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral. And no trip to Paris is complete without seeing the Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Pyramid!
But sometimes you want the authentic, down-to-earth experience that only a local can give you. That’s what Paris Greeters offers. Plus, it’s a free walking tour! What’s better than that!