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“Excellent Walking Tour for Architecture Buffs”

Context Paris Tours
Ranked #55 of 534 Tours in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Type: City Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Context Paris organizes scholar-led "walking seminars" of Paris and excursions beyond. Walks are limited to six participants and held as an in-depth exploration of a given topic: French art, Gothic architecture, cuisine, the French Revolution, etc. The docents who lead the walks are drawn from local universities or are practicing architects, chefs, and other specialists.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
174 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Excellent Walking Tour for Architecture Buffs”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We took a fascinating Context walking tour called "City Invented: Haussmann and The Making of Modern Paris." If you have an interest in history and architecture, this is an extremely enjoyable and informative way to spend three hours and see some fascinating parts of Paris you'd probably overlook.

This was our first experience with Context, and we'd book with them again. This definitely was not a mass-market tour with a guide reciting a canned presentation. Instead, our guide was a PhD with considerable expertise, and he clearly enjoyed interacting with us.

Visited April 2013
Thank DCtravler244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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315 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bistro to Baguette - best day of our trip!”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I pre-arranged this tour for my family (husband, 2 girls ages 11 & 15, and myself) - it was our favorite activity over the week we were in Paris. We are definitely "eaters" and love all foods, so it was great to be taken to some of the best gourmet shops in Paris. We learned about the history behind the typical French foods, about the government control of the different types of shops, and did tastings at each stop. We visited a boulangerie, charcuterie, patisserie, fromagerie, bucherie, an armagnac shop, and looked in many other stores along the way. Our docent was AMAZING (Preston Mohr) - he went out of his way to speak in terms the kids would understand, he explained things that crossed our path even though it wasn't part of our tour, he came prepared with hand sanitizer and a knife for tasings, and even advised us on things to do for the rest of our day, with detailed instructions. The tastings were delicious and plentiful!!

Visited March 2013
Thank parisfun413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
180 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Macaroons and Chocolates!”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We have used Context previously, and always found their tours to be excellent. As an introduction to Paris for my teenaged darter, we took the Macarons and Chocolate walk on a very snowy day in Paris. Our docent, Brian, was fantastic - knowledgeable about Paris as well as its food. He made the walk really interesting and took us to some really wonderful little shops. Brian went out of his way to also talk about the history of the area and Paris more generally in a really approachable fashion and to give us suggestions for other things we could do. A wonderful and delicious introduction to Paris!!!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank cdnfamilytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“The best for those more academically inclined”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We took the Versailles "class" and it was wonderful. I had been to other tours before, but this was simply excellent. Small groups, and a seminar-like atmosphere. If you like more detail in your tours, book now. Plan ahead, since these are hard to get.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Hgmnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Versailles Water and Music & Louvre Crash Course”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My husband and I booked two tours with Context for our trip to Paris last September: a private Versailles Water and Music walk and a group Louvre Crash Course tour.

The Versailles Water and Music walk was excellent! We had originally booked a group walk with Context to visit Versailles but when no one else signed up for our particular date, Context offered us a private tour. Although the private tour was more expensive it was absolutely worth it! Marie was our guide and she was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The morning of our tour Marie me us at a cafe in Paris close to the RER train that went to Versailles. The train ride was quick and comfortable and Marie answered all of our questions about Paris, the surrounding area and Versailles.

Although the traditional Water and Music tour didn't include a tour of the interior of the palace, we requested the interior tour be added. It was worth it to see the interior (Hall of Mirrors, etc.) but the exterior gardens, architecture and fountains were absolutely the highlight of the tour. Tip: make sure to visit Versailles on a day when the fountains are on - they are spectacular!

In our view, a guided tour of Versailles was well worth the price. We didn't have to think at all about getting to Versailles from Paris or waiting in long lines to get into the palace - Marie took care of everything. While other visitors were straining to hear their tour guides among large groups of tourists, my husband and I could casually walk among the crowds with an expert at our fingertips to answer all of our questions.

After the guided tour we stayed at Versailles on our own to eat a late lunch and rented bicycles to ride around the lake and visit the Petit Trianon. Marie explained how to take the train back to Paris and we ended up staying until Versailles closed. Staying a bit longer to explore was worth it for us so that we could relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

My husband and I went on a group tour of the Louvre. It ended up being us and another couple. We're not huge museum people, but as the Louvre is a must see, we wanted to get the most bang for the amount of time we were willing to spend there. Our guide took us to the most famous pieces in the museum (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, The Coronation of Napoleon, etc.) and also explained other pieces that were of particular interest to her. I would've liked to spend a bit more time learning about more of the pieces, but as the museum is so vast, I think it would be difficult to narrow it down. I would suggest that folks going on this tour come with focused questions and perhaps areas of particular interest.

I would absolutely recommend Context to others looking for great tours in Paris and beyond!

Visited September 2012
3 Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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