Private Tour Guides in Paris

Two Picks for Paris Travelers

Author: The Traveling Professor/Friday, August 7, 2015/Categories: Paris

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There is something to be said about touring Paris on your own.  There are plenty of good guidebooks, maps, audio guides and smartphone apps to help along the way.   For a more in-depth and personal look at Paris, consider hiring a private guide to get insight, commentary and answers to questions that no book or other media can provide.   Private guides are especially useful if looking for a specialty tour.  For instance, former California television journalist and international travel reporter, Ricki Stevenson offers up little known facts about the wealth of African and African American history in the City of Light. She takes her Black Paris Tours clients to the hang-outs, haunts and places made famous by black musicians, soldiers, writers, artists, historians, celebrities, and political exiles.  Her website is

Elyse Rivin is a guide I use on my small group tours to Paris and is available for private tours.  She is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, fun, and personable.  An art historian and an expert on all things French, she loves the art, architecture, history, food and culture of Paris.   Elyse has lived in France for over 20 years, and now divides her time between Paris, where she has lived, and Toulouse in the southwest of France.   I’m impressed by her ability to custom-design itineraries for each traveler.  Her website is

Heather Stimmler-Hall runs the popular Secrets of Paris ( website.  In addition to being one of the best guides in Paris, she is a blogger, author and editor.   Be careful though, she recently quoted me a price of 1,000 euro for a full 8-hour custom private guided tour of Paris.  That high price can scare customers away. 

In order to guide inside museums and monuments, a registered credential is required.   This rather thorough and exhaustive licensing process is designed to ensure guides maintain a high level of knowledge and professionalism.

When I select a guide, I prefer to have someone who originally came to Paris as a tourist themselves then decided to become a guide.  This is true of the guides I have mentioned here.  They seem to have an unbounded enthusiasm for learning all they can about the city they love, understand American culture, and truly enjoy introducing travelers to wonderful Paris as it was introduced to them.

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