Heart of Paris: Île de la Cité, Seine Cruise, River Walking Tour, and Skip-the-Line Sainte Chapelle

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Save time with skip-the-line access!

Île de la Cité is a small island in the Seine river with a huge influence on the history of France. Discover how this tiny island became the center of one of Europe’s most vibrant cultures with this fascinating tour of Île de la Cité and the heart of Paris - ​including skip-the-line access to Sainte Chapelle and open tickets for an hour-long river cruise.

Our guide to Heart of Paris: Île de la Cité, Seine Cruise, River Walking Tour, and Skip-the-Line Sainte Chapelle

This in-depth exploration of the histories, myths, legends, and lore hidden behind the stones of Paris’ most interesting neighborhood ​takes you to the historic Île de la Cité in the heart of the city.​ From the gothic splendor of the bell towers of Notre Dame that inspired Victor Hugo to create his hunchback bell-ringer, ​to the tranquil, leafy Place Dauphine that offers breathing space and calm for its residents, you’ll see Paris from several entirely different perspectives, and discover exactly what makes it such a special place.  

Your day starts in front of the ​Louvre Pyramid. From there you’ll be taken for a stroll along the banks of the Seine, where you’ll hear all about the hidden history of this intriguing city, taking in its romantic sights along the way.  

As you approach the iconic Notre Dame, your guide will take you back in time hundreds of years to when the mighty cathedral (the distance from which all points in France are measured) was first built and Paris looked very different than it does today. You’ll be taken as close to the majestic landmark as the ongoing restoration will permit to give you the best views possible.  

After crossing the river into the historic Latin Quarter, you’ll stroll down meandering, cobbled, streets where you'll hear the stories and learn of the characters - poets, philosophers, artists - that made Paris the City of Light.  

Next, you’ll head to the city’s most beautiful chapel - Sainte Chapelle. This royal chapel was originally built to house relics and today it’s still one of the most jaw-dropping rooms in Paris. It’s also one of the city’s most popular attractions. ​Luckily, you’ll have skip-the-line tickets, so you can spend more time enjoying the chapel and less waiting around! 

The guided part of your tour ends here but your guide will leave you with a special treat - a river cruise along the Seine where you can experience and view Paris and it’s many magnificent buildings from a new vantage point.  The cruise will last one hour and has also a live guide on board. 

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for Heart of Paris: Île de la Cité, Seine Cruise, River Walking Tour, and Skip-the-Line Sainte Chapelle

  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. 
  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Itinerary subject to change.
  • Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory. 
  • This tour provides skip-the-line priority, but is subject to all procedures and security requirements.
  • This skip-the-line tour enables you to skip the line if indeed there is one. Unfortunately, there is no way to foresee which days and times will produce lines and which will not and occasionally there may be no line at all. In general, long lines are common in the summer, on most weekends and during peak travel periods throughout the year (Christmas, Easter, local holidays).
  • Please note, prices apply to everyone 2 years and older. Infants 0-1 years are free of charge and do not require a ticket but proof of child's age may be required.
  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
  • Unfortunately the upper floor at Sainte Chapelle are not wheelchair accessible.
  • To ensure the safety of visitors, French authorities enforce security measures upon entry to the attractions of Ile de la Cité. Suitcases, luggage, and larger bags are not allowed inside. Only bags smaller than 55 cm x 35 cm x 20 cm are permitted. Please accept our apologies for any delay or inconvenience caused by extra security checks.To ensure the safety of visitors, French authorities enforce security measures upon entry to the attractions of Ile de la Cité. Suitcases, luggage, and larger bags are not allowed inside. Only bags smaller than 55 cm x 35 cm x 20 cm are permitted. Please accept our apologies for any delay or inconvenience caused by extra security checks.
  • Some galleries of the Ile de la Cité monuments may be closed without prior notice, or select pieces may be removed for restoration or loan. In this case, your guide will make an appropriate substitution.  
  • Sainte Chapelle are places of worship and require appropriate attire to visit; both men and women are required to wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees.  Please note we are not responsible for entry prohibited due to improper dress.. 
  • Please ensure that all members of your party have a valid ID on them on the day of the visit. This is particularly important for guests who have qualified for child reduction. 
  • Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be given on cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to tour commencement. Cancellations received within 72 hours prior to the tour are non-refundable. We will, however, do our best to reschedule you for another tour. Please note, this is subject to availability and price changes.
  • Tours depart precisely at the scheduled tour start time. If you show up late or cannot find the meeting point, for any reason, refund requests are not honoured per policy. For most tours, it is not logistically possible to join the group after it has started.

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