Paris Neighborhoods: A Tour with l’Esprit de Montmartre
No trip to the City of Light is complete without a visit to Paris neighborhoods like Montmartre. This hilltop neighborhood, with its small-village feel and big city thrill, has something for everyone. If you’re planning on exploring the area with kids, a new tour, l’Esprit de Montmartre, offers an experience that will engage and surprise the whole family.
Combining theater with historical fact, l’Esprit de Montmartre brings to life the intriguing history of a most unique Paris neighborhood, the Republic of Montmartre. Kids discovering Paris will be surprised as actors clad in turn-of-the-century costumes animate the guided tour through the belle époque in Montmartre, following their guide on his quest to find the beautiful Gabrielle.
While winding your way down a cobblestoned street, a chipper poulbot in a Gavroche-style hat greets the group as your guide explains that these Montmartre orphans, who lived off the street by shining shoes and advertising cabarets, came to be a symbol of Montmartre. Surprises continue as children are invited to sing along with a comic street performer, hear about painter Roland Dorgelès’s inspiration straight from the donkey’s mouth and follow clues that lead closer to the mysterious Gabrielle.
The tour is packed with little-known facts about this Paris neighborhood, like the origins of the saying “There’s more Montmartre in Paris than Paris in Montmartre” and the lyrics to the of the official hymn of the Republic of Montmartre. While immersing yourself in its history, you’ll hit all of Montmartre’s hot spots: la Place du Tertre, le Lapin Agile, le Bateau-Lavoir, Jean Marais’s beloved sculpture Le passe-muraille and the famous grapevines that distinguish Paris as the only capital in the world to have a working vineyard.
The creative team behind l’Esprit de Montmartre has developed a selection of similar tours throughout various Paris neighborhoods, exploring must-see sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the city’s covered passages and the cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Près.
At the time of writing, English-language tours were available only for the Paris neighborhoods of Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower, but bilingual tour guides seemed happy to try their best to translate if you’re intrigued by another tour. Prices vary from 15 to 25 euros, and tickets should be booked in advance.
Editor’s note: If you are signed up for our newsletter, you’ll receive special invites to events in Paris as well as the first word on our contests and giveaways, so don’t miss out!