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Personalized guided tours, excursions and soirées...

that shine fresh light on a legendary culture

"Privileged entries into France" – PEF – proposes a great number of Parisian visits, as well as ideas for evenings, excursions, regional tours, and possibilities for groups. A non-profit organization, its price/quality ratio is unequalled.

"Privileged entries" are discoveries one cannot make alone. They show a culture that is infinitely richer than the aseptized version that conventional tourism presents.

 

 

  • Seeing the celebrated sites is much more meaningful when one understands their contexts 

     

     

The Champs-Élysées and the Automobile Centennial

Take the giant perspective that cuts through the city, the Champs-Élysées. Designed on order of the Sun King to emphasize majesty, it influenced the layout of a number of capitals, including Washington and Saint Petersburg.

 

Yet while shopping for brand-names on "the most beautiful avenue in the world" is relentlessly touted, the perspective itself is ignored.

 

Our visits concentrate on rarely-mentioned basics: prevailing winds and topography, architecture, decor, empty spaces (...) 

 

"One picture says more than 1000 words:" and as you will see on this web site and on our blog, illustrations bring home the main ideas.

 

 

  • We leave the main drags to explore "real Paris"

 

 

Sainte-Elisabeth d'Hongrie (17th century) and neighborhood café

Walks focus on monuments that the media forget, serene streets, hidden gardens, and, depending on your interests, boutiques or workshops where owners share what they love, art galleries (with the reasons for our choices), gourmet shops, open-air markets. Ask us about restaurants that have a soul (and affordable prices).

For an in-depth example of a walk about Art de vivre, please click.

 

 

Should you wish a personalized tour (there is no extra cost) please return this questionnaire.

 

 

  • As for the periphery, energy bubbles under the radar

 

 

Fete in overlooked La Goutte d'Or, in northern Paris

 

 

Montmartre and Montparnasse have entered art history. But a century ago, only eccentrics like Gertrude Stein would go there.

Youth and artists settle where rents are affordable. So museums cluster in the historic center and the prosperous west. But for creativity, go to the northern, eastern and southern outskirts.

 

 

 

 

  • This web site and our blog let you discover a different Paris on your own. They are "FREE AS GRAFITTI"

 

 

 

 

  • Of course tours in person are livelier, and we adapt them to you on the spot or in advance.

    You will appreciate our professionalism and price / quality ratio 

 

Personalized tours start at 250€, the set fee for a half day. This is roughly 40% less than a tour agency charges, for standardized programs.

 

For how the rate breaks down and a comparison with the fees and services of agencies and guides contacted directly, please click.

 

We are a non-profit organization, which means that you must add annual dues of 15€ per adult, or 80€ if you are leading a group of more than five, or are a company. 

 

The reason for dues is that a non-profit's advantages are legally open to members alone, and dues prove membership. For the details, please click.

 

 

  • An American in Paris

 

 

Catherine Aubin, U.S. and France

 Catherine Loveland Aubin
Guide/lecturer and teacher of guides

B.A. Vassar, M.A. Harvard, PhD. Columbia

All degrees in History

At the Louvre

I love to explain.

 

I have lived in Paris most of my adult life, as well as part of my childhood. I know many milieux and admire this city's art de vivre. As a historian, I love its past for its drama, because it helps make sense of the present and for the way of thinking that it demands. As a resident, I'm awed by a dynamism that is too often overlooked.

 

I accompany tours in French and English. For other languages, or when groups are too large for a single person, I call on chosen guides, trained to present this "unexpected Paris."

 

We love sharing it.


Credits:  webmaster / David Worms; banner / Julien Debure; Champs-Elyées / Claude Abron; drawing / Harald Wolff; Catherine Aubin at Louvre / Claude Abron