Day Tour

City Invented, Haussmann and the Making of Modern Paris - Walking tour (4 Hours)

We travel France

Paris, France

Valid for Travel Now Through: 28 Aug 2019

City Invented, Haussmann and the Making of Modern Paris - Walking tour (4 Hours )

Paris, France

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Culture, History & Arts

Meals

None

Recommended Ages

All Ages

Activity Level

Easy

Description

Meet your English speaking guide in the lobby of your hotel and departure for a half day walking tour

You will Visit

Palais RoyalArcades of ParisGrands BoulevardOpera Garnier

Of all the revolutions that gripped Paris in the 18th and 19th centuries, none so completely changed the face of the city as the architectural revolution directed by city prefect Baron Haussmann. This walking seminar explores the work of Haussmann and urban planning in Paris over two centuries.

We begin our discussion at the Palais Royal, which was constructed in 1781 by the Duc de Chartres as the city's first purpose-built shopping and leisure complex. Today a charming oasis of calm, Palais Royal caused a sensation when it opened, revolutionizing shopping in a city whose narrow, congested, medieval streets were a danger to any pedestrian foolish enough to set foot in them. Palais Royal was also the site of the city's first covered passage, or shopping arcade. This launched a vogue that would sweep the post-Revolutionary city, with over fifty arcades being built between 1790 and 1850. We will wander some of the surviving passages that were not destroyed by Haussmann, and which later became a source of nostalgia for those yearning for a pre-Haussmannian Paris (Walter Benjamin's 20th century encyclopedic "Arcades Project" dedicates over 1000 pages to the topic).

From here, we'll emerge into modern Paris, stepping out onto one of the wide, straight-as-an-arrow "grands boulevards" created during the Second Empire (late 1800s) by Napoleon III and his prefect, Baron Haussmann. While the scale of these changes was unprecedented -- huge tracts of the old city disappeared overnight -- the ideas they implemented were not new. We'll discuss how Haussmann's boulevards were modeled on those created by Louis XIV in the 17th century. As we stroll, we'll discuss the role of these streets as the hub of fashionable Parisian life in the 19th century, providing a backdrop for novelty shopping, theaters, and all variety of entertainment, as well as being a popular place of promenade.

Our walk will include what is perhaps the most iconic example of Second Empire urbanism, the Opéra Garnier and its surrounding streets and avenues. Completed in 1875, the Opéra is the jewel in the crown of Beaux Arts architecture in Paris. We will always explore in detail the exterior of the building, but, rehearsal schedules permitting, we may also visit its sumptuous interiors, including the famous auditorium with its whimsical ceiling painting by Marc Chagall (see note below).

Depending on time and interest, our walk may also include a visit to one of the late 19th century department stores, Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, or the Société Generale, with their art-nouveau glass domes, completing the vision of the Haussamannized city as a city of luxury consumption and high finance.

The sites visited on this architectural and urban walking seminar will provide an opportunity to discuss many issues, most notably the change in French social structure following the revolution. The resultant rise of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century and the concomitant development of railways, industry and capitalism all led to Napoleon III's radical rebuilding of Paris.

End of the tour at your hotel

About Us

We Travel France was founded by Edwige Chevallier in September 2010. Our agency specializes in luxury trips to France for families and individuals, but also provides group packages. We handle last-minute and complicated incoming travel arrangements. We know our customers always have a multitude of choices when they buy goods or services, which is why we are committed to offering personalized and individually tailored services to suit our client’s needs. We also guarantee 24-hour emergency service to all our clients.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions vary by program. Details will be provided upon request.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for We travel France

96%

of 27
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Our lifeline in Paris

By: NickandJenny


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2016

Both of our airport drivers were excellent, and it was so reassuring knowing that they were there to pick us up and drop us off. Giverny was gorgeous, and our tour guide Paul really made the experience memorable. Our contact Edwige confirmed everything and made sure we were taken care of during our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson

WONDERFUL tour guides

By: Sunny


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2016

So we met our first tour guide on our fabulous trip and was like wow he the best than each next tour guide was even better. So satisfied .....
Travel Advisor:  Hellen Hoffman

great experience

By: Heels


Reviewed on: 08 May 2017

the total experience in Paris was wonderful from hotel to tour guides. the tour guides in particular tailored each excursion to the interest of our family.
Travel Advisor:  Ginny Mabry

France

By: Bridgett


Reviewed on: 22 May 2017

Very happy with service, everyone seemed very knowledgeable.
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Fairvalley

Great job.

By: Thomas


Reviewed on: 24 May 2017

Everything was peefect. Absolutely no problems. The ideal trip.
Travel Advisor:  Sally May

Great guides, smooth transfers

By: Jack


Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2017

There were a lot of moving parts in our trip, that started in Paris, went through Reims and Champagne, to Strasbourg and Alsace, to Annecy and then Geneva. W arranged for terrific guides, one more knowledgeable and interesting after the next. The drivers were very friendly and accommodating. We had a wonderful cooking class in Alsace. Just a perfectly arranged trip.
Travel Advisor:  Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg

Champagne

By: Rick


Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017

Wonderful two day tour of Reims and Epernay. Our guide, Amanda, was very knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with. Will certainly recommend to others.
Travel Advisor:  Louisa Gehring

Paris and Cannes 2017

By: Barb


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

Perfect experience, excellent well informed travel guides, classy operation. Made our first trip to Europe one to remember--so easy and interesting, we always felt confident about where we were and what we were doing.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Macleod

Nice tours, friendly operators

By: Jane


Reviewed on: 24 Aug 2017

Overall, very good and we liked our tour guides in both locations. Our contact was also particularly helpful in changing a restaurant reservation and babysitting time when were delayed on our day trip. That was really appreciated.
Travel Advisor:  Catherine Parkin

Beautiful Day In the Rhone Valley

By: Jessica L


Reviewed on: 27 Sep 2017

I had an incredible day with Laurent in the Northern Rhone Valley. I have always wanted to see the vineyards of Cote Rotie and Condrieu. Laurent was so knowledgable about not only the wine regions, but also the food, history, and architecture of the region. His hospitality was also very genuine as I could tell he was very concerned about my personal expectations and goals of the tour. I learned so much in one day that I now have to go back to do more exploration of the things I wasn't able to read about on-line when doing some studying prior to my trip. Laurent completely exceeded all of my expectations and I would recommend his tour services to anyone looking to explore this region of France.
Travel Advisor:  Ron Phillips

Excellent trip

By: Wine Guy


Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2017

Alexia was an outstanding guide. She had a great depth of knowledge and her English wa very good - easy to listen to. She arranged an outstanding lunch and wine tasting at a winery - incredible day. Was very flexible. Cannot recommend enough!!
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Paesano

Champagne Tour

By: M. PALERMO


Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017

While visiting Paris, we decided to take a day trip to Champagne. W Travel France provided the transportation and itinerary. We could not have spent a more enjoyable day in Champagne. Our guide arranged for visits to two Champagne houses (one small and one large) for tastings and lunch at a local brasserie, all the while educating us on the history of the region. Very well done!
Travel Advisor:  Irene Quisenberry

Excellent

By: Lillypad


Reviewed on: 29 Oct 2017

We felt very safe and secure during our entire trip.
Travel Advisor:  Silvana Frappier

Versailles Day Tour

By: vers


Reviewed on: 09 May 2018

The guide met us at the hotel and provided interesting commentary all along. He made sure we were getting the tour we wanted and then some. He was delightful!
Travel Advisor:  Jean Hargis
Not Recommended

We Travel France

By: Steve


Reviewed on: 29 May 2018

Did not use this service.

Loved France

By: JP


Reviewed on: 03 Jun 2018

We had such a great in France. Danielle was awesome
Travel Advisor:  David Mellon

Fabulous trip to the south of France

By: Jackson


Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2018

First rate. No complaints
Travel Advisor:  Stephanie Miller Murphy

Great Guides

By: MBD71


Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2018

We had two different guides from We Travel while we visited Paris and they were both fabulous! Super knowledgeable and nice to let me practice my rusty French. Would highly recommend!
Travel Advisor:  Ginny Mabry

Provence and Nice

By: Jennifer


Reviewed on: 16 Jul 2018

The tour guides were very nice, extremely knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. I would definitely recommend We Travel France to friends and family, and I would use them for future trips.
Travel Advisor:  Stephanie Miller Murphy

Super tour!

By: Phil


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2018

Thanks for the tour. Will recommend you to friends.
Travel Advisor:  Krista Wissinger

Excellent multicity trip to Europe

By: JN


Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2018

Through our advisor, Michael King, we used We travel France for recommendations, itineraries and guide services while in Paris. The service was fantastic... excellent, knowledgeable guides who were both entertaining and educational. Will definitely use on our next trip to Paris. Highly recommend!
Travel Advisor:  Michael King

Amazing Guides!

By: Adriana


Reviewed on: 18 Aug 2018

Every guide we had through We Travel France was perfect! Thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime!
Travel Advisor:  Megan Winslett

Paris Tour

By: Paris tour


Reviewed on: 19 Aug 2018

We had 3 great tour guides that took us to many sites in and around Paris. They were extremely experienced and knowledgeable. We learned a lot and had fun doing it. The guides were very enthusiastic and engaging.
Travel Advisor:  Dianne Baroff

30th Anniversary trip to France

By: Marian


Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2018

Guides were good. Although I've had better. Versailles guide was very knowledgeable. Normandy guide was good for D-day beaches, but just a good driver otherwise. Both were pleasant.
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Fairvalley

Petar

By: APH


Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2018

PETAR was an excellent driver!!! Would use him again;) Very professional and made our day in Paris wonderful!
Travel Advisor:  Andrew Butler

Tours

By: Mbb


Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2018

Everyone was so Nice and very accommodating to what we wanted to see
Travel Advisor:  Louisa Gehring

Tour operator

By: Mollie Schaffer


Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2018

No problems. A good experience.
Travel Advisor:  Cristina Buaas