Focus or mix? Some ideas for your Paris tour:
Paris streets, parks and museums represent quite a challenge for small feet or adolescent patience. My custom-made riddle rallyes will guide you and your children on exciting paths through town linking special museum tours with climbing walls, carousels and really cool shops, some places funny, some a bit freaky. Besides, the number of child-friendly Paris restaurants is constantly growing.
Paris highlights and their mysteries - a historical chimney telling the story of the Eiffel Tower, greetings from Venice on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a giant clock and a false memorial tablet on the Place de la Concorde, a headless saint outside La Madeleine - most of the almost 2000 historical monuments have a secret story to tell.
Everyday is market day. In most of Paris' 80 quarters, open-air markets with busy vendors loudly offering vegetables, cheese, poultry, fish and meat are held several times a week. And though "les Halles", the famous "belly of Paris" have been gone over fifty years, a few beautiful ancient market-halls have resisted.
Frank Gehry's building of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Le Corbusier's villas and buildings, Pei's Louvre Pyramid, a night-club and a church designed by Gustave Eiffel, the 2000-year-old Roman arena of Lutetia, Guimards "crazy house" and Garnier's opulent opera represent only a small portion of the grand architectural land marks in Paris.
World-famous celebrities have found their final resting place on Parisian graveyards: Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Debussy, Manet, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Balzac, Nijinski, Nurejew, Offenbach, Stendhal, Eiffel, Heine, Berlioz, Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Zola, Degas, Piaf, Gertrude Stein, Proust, Molière, Modigliani, Colette, Bizet, Pissaro, Moustaki, Jim Morrison, Seurat, Isadora Duncan, Richard Wright, Truffaut and many more.
The district of "les halles" - so old, so new. After the destruction of the historic market halls in the early 1970s, the area had been reconstructed and hosted the new "Forum des Halles" which is now being replaced by the glass-roofed "Canopée". To be continued. (picture: inside Saint-Eustache, parish church of the hall merchants)
Daytours (by local or highspeed-train from Paris plus taxi on the spot):
The Palace of Versailles – 2 acres of ground, 721 square feet of interior surface. We will take our time, visiting the enormous palace and gardens, talking about the kings and queens, especially Marie-Antoinette and her hamlet
Visit the gothic cathedral of Chartres said to be the most impressive of its kind.
Another city proud of its remarkable cathedral is Reims, one of the French champagne centres. Private Champagne tasting in a champagne cellar of worldwide reputation can be arranged just for you and your company.
Giverny – a journey to impressionist Monet's residence and gardens
The city of Provins – World Heritage Site due its town wall – almost 4000 feet long, seven hundred years old - and the perfectly preserved underground medieval defense system
The beaches and military cemeteries of Normandy – sites of grateful remembrance and commemoration.
The Châteaux of the Loire Valley, Burgundy vine cellars, Southern France, … more of France in more than one day.