The Grand Palais in Paris, what to visit in Paris in 4 days

Private Tours Paris – A Complete & Unbiased Review

Have you ever tried a private tour in Paris?

Visiting Paris for the first time was a dream come true for us!  Paris had been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember so my anticipation was high when our dream came true of visiting Paris.

Trying to decide how to spend our time in Paris was difficult!  With so many activities and attractions to choose from and so little personal knowledge of the city itself, I found it difficult to make a decision about how to spend our precious time in Paris.

I knew I wanted to see the highlights of course – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe.  But, I also wanted to get a more up close and personal look at Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris - one of the sights we saw on our private Paris tours
The Gorgeous Arc de Triomphe

When I thought hard about how to make this happen, I thought a perfect solution would be to find a Parisian to show us around and tell us about their city.  Sadly, I didn’t know any Parisians personally and I thought a private Paris tour guide would be cost prohibitive.

I was wrong!

After a bit of internet research I learned that private Paris tours not only cost much less than you might expect.  They were also exactly what I had dreamed of.  A perfect, cost-effective,  up-close and personal peek into the lives of local Parisians.  I can honestly say that booking our Paris private tours was the best decision we made on our visit to Paris.  They were that good!

This detailed review of several private guided tour providers in Paris is 100% un-sponsored and entirely my own, unbiased opinion.  I paid for tours with these private guided tour providers with my own money.

Disclosure:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Thank you for support – it means a lot!

Tours WithLocals Paris

We booked one of our Paris private tours with WithLocals Paris.  We had a GREAT experience.

WithLocals has a wide variety of private tour guides in Paris.  Each guide offers tours designed to provide you with a unique and interesting experience that is not available on a group tour.

The WithLocals website offers different ways to select the best private tour for you.

We had a specific day in mind that we wanted to book a private Paris tour.  After we selected the date, the website presented a variety of private guided tours (Paris) we could choose from on the date we selected.  You can also search by the type of experience you’re interested in or search by the private guide Paris.

Pro Tip:  The farther in advance you book, the more variety of local Paris tours and activities you’ll find.

WithLocals in Paris has a huge variety of Paris tour guides, all of whom are experts in different things.   The languages spoken by each travel guide in Paris are listed.  You can therefore ensure that your best Paris tour guide is fluent in your preferred language.

There are cosmopolitan foodies, Montmartre experts, chefs, artists, cheese mongers, art connoisseurs, wine experts, historical storytellers, and a huge variety of others.

We really wanted to experience Montmartre with a local, so we chose Joao Luiz, an expert photographer living in Montmartre.   He had more than a hundred 5-star reviews of his Paris private tours so we felt confident that we would have a wonderful experience with him.  Joao was offering a private walking tour of Montmartre during which he takes photos of you in local settings.  The tour can be 100% personalized, but we chose to go with the experience Joao offered.

A Hill in Montmartre, Paris - one of the sights we enjoyed on our private Paris walking tour
A beautiful view of Montmartre

Our Private Tours Paris Experience

We met Joao at a cafe in Montmartre (we rented electric scooters to get there from our hotel).  What we didn’t know in advance was that the cafe was featured in the movie Amelie, and was justifiably famous for that!

Joao was very personable and friendly.  He lives in Montmartre  and has for more than 20 years – his local knowledge was extensive and he was so interesting. We walked all over Montmartre and everywhere we went, Joao told us about what we were seeing.  He showed us the best bakeries, cafes and brasseries that the locals love.  He also told us which places to avoid!

We heard stories about what we were seeing, with my favourite being the story about the local Montmartre winery and Joao’s advice about how to find one of their elusive bottles!

As a professional photographer, our Tours  WithLocals Paris guide was able to take the most amazing photos of us in beautiful settings all over Montmartre.

A photo from our private Paris tour guide in Montmartre
This is us!

My favourite part of our private tour of Paris with Joao was the insights about living in Montmartre that he offered.  I was delighted to learn about what it’s really like to live in Montmartre – how the locals shop, where they go in the evening, how they live and so much more.  It was simply fascinating and it really satisfied my desire to learn more about Paris.

I simply can’t say enough good things about our experience with Joao and WithLocals Paris.  It really was the highlight of our trip to Paris.

Check out all the experiences, prices and current reviews at WithLocals Paris here.

How Do WithLocals Paris Ensure Great Paris Tour Guides?

Before WithLocals hires a private Paris tour guide to provide luxury private tours in Paris, they perform a thorough verification via their head office in the Netherlands.  Basic information like name, address, social profiles and phone number of the luxury Paris tour provider are confirmed.

The With Locals Paris team creates and nurtures strong connections their private tour guides to ensure quality standards meet the expectations of guests.

Lastly, and my favourite, is that every guest has the opportunity to review their experience of their private guided tour of Paris.  When you see positive reviews, you can be more certain that you can trust the host to offer you a great private tour of France.

Alexandre III Bridge in Paris - a sight we saw on our guided city tour of Paris
Alexandrew III Bridge

Personal Tour Guide in Paris – Tours by Locals Paris

Another great option for a tour guide in Paris is booking a tour with Tours by Locals.

Tours by Locals operates on much the same idea as WithLocals Paris.   Guests access the Tours by Locals website and input a destination.  You then browse through the available tours and find a tour that you like.  Filter by date, special interest, length of tour, activity level and more.  Browse by guide profiles, and choose someone who most matches your interests.

The next step in booking your private walking tour of Paris or Paris city tour is to message the Guide and arrange the details.  You can go with the suggested itinerary for the Paris private tour or ask the guide to design a custom itinerary based on your interests.

Our Local Paris Tours Experience

We used Tours by Locals for a half-day Paris “à la carte” tour.   We searched the Tours by Locals website for a private Paris tour guide who was an art and history buff and who spoke fluent English.  I wanted to get a first-hand Paris guided tour from someone who could really tell us about the history and background of the sites we were interested in seeing (Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Palais Garnier)

The beautiful Opera Garnier in Paris - a sight we saw on our Paris guided tour
Palais Garnier

We found Gabriela  and after reading some of the reviews on Tours by Locals, decided to book our Paris city tour with her.  She was simply a delight!  Gabriela was a real expert on Paris and was knowledgeable in both art and history, just as we had hoped for.  She has advanced degrees in both art and history so we really felt we were learning from her.   Gabriela seemed to know just how to arrange our private guided tour of Paris so that it didn’t feel rushed, and she was on time, super friendly and helpful.

The time we spent with Gabriela was a real treat and I would highly recommend her as a great private tour guide in Paris.

Check the latest prices and all the reviews for Tours by Locals Paris here.

How Do Tours by Locals Paris Ensure Great Paris Tour Guides?

Tours by Locals has recruitment specialists that recruit and select the very best guides to ensure the best tours in Paris.  Only after successfully meeting the criteria set by Tours with Locals (such as language proficiency, competency and suitability) and completing reference checks are guides permitted to post their VIP tours Paris and profiles.  Only 1 in 10 applicants are accepted.  Tours by Locals attracts curious and enthusiastic travelers, just like you 🙂

Guests are invited to leave public reviews after the end of what was no doubt one of the best private tours in Paris.   You can check out all the reviews on each guided tours of Paris description.

A gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower across the Seine in Paris - something we enjoyed on our walking tours in Paris
Gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower across the Seine

Private Tours Paris – Why Hire a Private Tour Guide?

There are so many great benefits of booking local tours in Paris versus a group tour of Paris.

  • You can choose your own company.   If you’ve ever taken a group tour, you’ll know what I mean when I say there’s always someone who tries to dominate the tour guide’s time by asking too many questions or is just simply someone whose company you don’t enjoy.   When you book your own tours with Locals Paris or Tours by Locals Paris you decide who is in your group, whether that’s just yourself or your family and friends too.
  • Your Private Paris tour is a discussion, not a lecture. You  and your best Paris tour guide will have a conversation about the sights you’re seeing, which is a very different experience than just listening to a tour guide giving their standard much-rehearsed patter.
  • Access to exclusive experiences and events. When you book a tour with Tours by Locals Paris or With Locals Paris, you can get access to a myriad of experiences that may not be available to the general public, like private experiences at gourmet restaurants, exclusive wine tastings, or chef access.  Private tours in Paris France will have favourites to introduce you to and establishments not always available to bigger groups.
  • Expecting the Unexpected.   If you’re new to a city, there’s so much about it you don’t know yet.  Local Paris guides conducting the best Paris tours have personal connections with the city and are constantly seeking out new and undiscovered experiences that may not even be on your radar.
  • Have the experience YOU dream of.  Your perfect Paris itinerary doesn’t always match the pre-packaged tours available.  Not only will you chose the people you want to have the experience with but you’ll chose the experience yourself.  Guided by your private Paris tour guide, you’ll have your dream vacation, which may include family private tours of Paris.
  • Go on your own time.  Pre-packaged tours don’t always fit your schedule.  With a personal tour guide Paris, you’re able to schedule your private tours in Paris France when it best meets your needs and timelines.
  • Save time and skip the line.  When you book a Paris local tour guide, you’ll often be able to access popular attractions quicker, and skip the long line to get in.  Don’t lose a minute of your precious vacation time by standing in line!

Recommendation – Best Paris Private Tours

I unreservedly recommend hiring a private tour guide in Paris.   Our private guided tours in Paris were the highlights of our trip.  We received the benefit of a private tour guide who was an expert in what they were showing us.  We also had the great experience of really getting an insider’s perspective.   I think taking a private tour in Paris would be a great decision if you had one day to spend in Paris.  I simply can’t say enough good things about it!

A private tour in Paris would make a great gift!  The gift of an experience is always a welcome change 🙂

Have you ever taken a private guide tour in Paris?  What was your experience?

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27 thoughts on “Private Tours Paris – A Complete & Unbiased Review

  1. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been to Paris many times but have never done a tour like this. Now I definitely want to try this!

  2. wow how amazing to have a professional photographer be your private tour guide!! I would love that! I’ve taken tours in other cities and loved it but haven’t tried it in Paris yet!

  3. Wonderful information. I would never think of going with a tour since we are all about getting out and finding the stuff off the map but for Paris, it sounds perfect. The fact that you can get photos too is such a win-win. Thanks for sharing

  4. Your photos are stunning!! I remember when I went to Rome with my mom and sister, we had a private tour who took us to the sites everyday and he took us to a restaurant outside the touristy area and the food was really good!

  5. I did a WithLocals tour in Vietnam, and it was such a great tour. We got to see places we wouldn’t otherwise have visited and got a local’s perspective on things and some interesting info. Would highly recommend. This looks like a great tour. Although you can’t really go wrong in Paris

    1. Thanks for your comment, Emma. I’ve heard such great things about WithLocals in so many cities – they really are top notch. Having a tour with local makes all the difference in Paris 🙂

  6. Wow, what stunning pictures of Paris! some of the best I’ve seen and giving me serious wonderlust to go book a trip over there again. I had a short visit to Paris quite a few years back , but because I was just doing my own kinda walk around thing, I missed so much by looks of it! I didn’t even think to visit the cafe in Montmartre where Amelie was filmed. I need to go back soon.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Becki 🙂 There’s so much to see and do in Paris that you could spend a month there and not see everything. I need to go back soon too!

  7. What a fabulous idea. We had some locals show us around their home region in Italy and it made a huge difference to our experience. So much more intimate.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Karen. I really loved our personal tours – they really made such a difference to our overall experience. I would definitely do it again!

  8. I have done MANY tours in Paris, been lucky that I haven’t done a bad one yet, but I haven’t heard of either of these companies, so I will definitely check them out on my next trip which is n 2020! I love Paris and love discovering new parts and pieces on each trip, tours are a great way to do that!

  9. We have used private guides in several destinations but not in Paris. AND we’ve never gotten to Montmartre despite three stays in Paris. So next time, we book Joao! Thank you for the recommendation.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Amy. I can really recommend Joao – he was so personable, friendly and knowledgeable and that really made a world of difference from the other tours that we have experienced.

  10. We used With Locals for our trip to Barcelona. Our guide was knowledgable and showed us a side of the city we wouldn’t have discovered on our own. He was full of suggestions for places to eat, and helped us understand the local Basque culture. It was such good value for money, and it was just the two of us and him. It seems like you had a similar positive experience.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jay. I’m so pleased to know that WithLocals is so well received in other cities as well. We really loved our tour with them and will definitely be using them again. It makes such a difference when can have a conversation with the guide!

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