Paris, Paris Tours

Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light–my book of essays about Paris–is coming out again in April 2011 in an updated, expanded, redesigned edition in the prestigious Armchair Traveler series published by Broadway Books (Random House).

But our custom walking tours of Paris are already in full swing.

Would you like to spend a day with me and my wife, photographer Alison Harris, discovering the Luxembourg Gardens, Butte-Chaumont and Montsouris—Paris’ trio of seductive, sometimes startling parks?
Or stroll around the Ile-Saint-Louis, exploring courtyards and 17th-century townhouses?
How about getting an insider’s view of the Marais, where we’ve lived for 25 years? We might start at the magical Place des Vosges and wind up at the Carnavalet Museum, after a leisurely walk down the atmospheric alleys of the Saint-Paul neighborhood, or through the quiet back gardens of the Hôtel du Grand Veneur and Hôtel de Sully.
Looking for the panoramic sweep? Skip the elephant train for tourists and let us help you experience Modigliani’s Montmartre instead. Or walk with us through Coco Chanel’s Golden Triangle. If you love “Vincent,” there’s Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise. Architecture buffs thrill when we walk them through the 3-D adventurism of Georges Pompidou and François Mitterrand—a mix of inspired urbanism and extravagant eyesores.
Into zombies? You don’t have to be ghoulish to want to visit Paris’ astonishing cemeteries. We take you to a very lively City of the Dead at Père-Lachaise Cemetery, and Montmartre and Montparnasse cemeteries too.
Paris, Paris walking tours are one-of-a-kind, personalized, tailor-made, customized, bespoke, and, we hope, a pleasant adventure. We are delighted to spend half days or full days with individuals, couples, and families, or small groups. The only equipment you need is a pair of comfortable shoes—and curiosity.
If you don’t already own a copy of our book, Paris, Paris, ordering it is easy. Consider picking a chapter or two and letting us create an accompanied tour for you. Like the book, our walking tours provide an independent, quirky, intimate insider’s view of Paris you’re unlikely to forget. If you’d prefer we do all the work, just say so and we’ll send suggestions your way.
We also craft visits that go beyond the pages of our book. Paris for photographers, for instance, Paris for art lovers, or Paris for food & wine lovers, and Paris City of Light—our favorite nightwalks. Not to mention ancient Roman Paris, and Paris riverbanks, canals and botanical gardens…
Please visit our Paris, Paris Tour blog http://parisparistours.blogspot.com/

Write us for details and rates: dddownie@gmail.com

All the best, David and Alison

“Uncover… the secrets of this fascinating city… have adventures… a day of looking at the Paris of 1900, for instance. It’s still here. You’ll eat at Julian, have a coffee at Angélina, go to the movies at La Pagode, look at the Palais des Mirages… Or if 1900 is too recent, try the Paris of Beaumarchais, the playwright who invented Figaro, in the days of Louis XV and XVI…. You’ll learn about the topography of the Buttes-Chaumont, the gorgeous park in the 19th arrondissement, far from the tourist track; it has a bridge by Eiffel and cliffs built to emulate the famous cliffs of Étretat….”— Diane Johnson, from the foreword to Paris, Paris
Testimonials

“With his deep knowledge of Paris, David can really bring the city alive with fascinating historic and modern stories.” —Susan A. Noonan
“David helped us open doors in Paris that many tourists would never see. He has a passion for the French way of life that exists today and that is disappearing because of globalization. David can help you immerse yourself in Paris with the ease of an old friend. His approach is wonderfully low key but thorough and very much in depth. He can share with you an in-depth education and love for French food and wine like no other.”—Jerry Lane
“Wine and cheese and the pairing of these two delights took on new meaning and excitement when presented interestingly and beautifully by Alison and David. Taking that home and then reading David’s exciting novel, Paris City of Night, made the experience wonderfully whole. Everytime I read a novel that includes Paris, I refer to their insights, tidbits and information about the Marais. All are a must!”—Kathy Stone
“My husband and I have been to Paris several times but we felt that when we saw Paris with David and Alison, we were seeing it for the first time. Off the beaten path, Paris is a whole other experience and it was nothing less than fascinating, fun and memorable. We felt very privileged indeed, and wouldn’t go back, ever again, without them.” —Claudia and Robert Horton
“David and Alison know—and can introduce you to—the food, architecture, history, culture, life and people of Paris better than anyone. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a regular looking for new insights and new discoveries, you couldn’t have a better guide or better company. If Michelin gave stars for tours, David and Alison would have a whole constellation.” —Robert Tolmach
“I’m probably not the most adventurous traveler. I always go back to the same places again and again, then wonder why I’m bored! With Alison and David, seeing Paris through their very knowledgeable and expert eyes was a feast for the senses. I discovered the parts of Paris and their unique delights that I would never have seen otherwise. I’m now totally spoiled. If only Alison and David would give tours of Rome,  Istanbul, the Cotswalds!” —Miriam Stanger (Thanks, Miriam! We do give tours of Rome!! Please join us, David and Alison)
“With today’s mass market tourism, it is not easy to find an authentic travel experience – one that incorporates a depth of history with a shrewd knowledge of the current culture. David and Alison possess both in spades. They know how to find the places that still hold the mystery of Paris hidden in courtyards behind gates that others would never know about let alone have access to. They also know more about French wine and food than most other people on the planet. Those of us who have had the pleasure of traveling or working with them on their home turf in Paris and in Burgundy know that we have had the experience of a lifetime and that we are lucky to know them.” —Pamela Mercer, owner of Tuscany Tours
Traveling beyond Paris? Alison and David also create custom tours to Burgundy, the Italian Riviera & Genoa, and Rome. Write us for details and rates: dddownie@gmail.com

Traveling to Tuscany? Take a tour with our partners, Tuscany Tours.
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