Paris audio tour: Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages

Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages

Walking Tour

|
90 mins
|
2.3mi

About the Tour

Escape the crowds that linger on Paris’ large avenues to a neighborhood filled with bucolic scenes within the city.

On this walking tour, I’ll show you a side of Paris that most people don’t see. We’ll wind our way through streets adorned with art nouveau mosaics around Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement, to a small plaza surrounded by palm trees. Along the way, I’ll tell you about Paris’ complex water system and let you in on where the city’s drinking water comes from. (Here’s a hint, it doesn’t come from the Seine River!)

Highlights on this tour include:

• Hidden streets with small, ivy-covered houses, including the home of a ménage à trois, characteristic of the 1920s when neighbouring Montparnasse was an artistic mecca
• Incredible centuries-old ruins, with queue-free access
• Stories of diverse locals including a lesbian painter and socialist who joined the resistance in WWII, and a comedian who ran for President
• A glimpse of the super-secure underground cathedral of water

Allow 1.5 hours for this walk. There are several stops, some with benches for you to rest on, and public restrooms along the way.

Let's enjoy this refreshing slice of Paris together!

Tour Producer

avatar

Comte de Saint-Germain

I was born in Paris 2200 years ago, wasn't always a Count, and am now a mere immortal spirit, eager to walk the city again. Be my feet, and I'll be your ears! You can expect some debunking of French myths, sound effects conveying the spirit of the city, and personal stories told by someone who survived through the best and worst of Paris' tumultuous history.

Major Landmarks

  • Montsouris reservoir

  • Square Montsouris

  • Aqueducts

  • Cité Florale

Directions to Starting Point

To reach the Pavillon de la Porte d'Arcueil, your best options are to take the T3 tram, stopping at "Montsouris" or the RER B, stopping at "Cité Universitaire". If you prefer the metro, "Porte d'Orléans" on line 4 is not too far either. Walk towards 41 boulevard Jourdan and look for a low, wide building with giant metal plates on top.

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Enjoy the eclectic architecture of Cité Universitaire Internationale before the walk. After the walk, walk back to relax in Parc Montsouris, or keep walking to explore the much more modern buildings surrounding Jardin Charles Trénet: they may even take you to the former Petite Ceinture train tracks!

Best time of day

Daytime to fully enjoy the architectural details. A nighttime walk will have more of a more film noir atmosphere and may require using your phone's flashlight for certain details. The walk does not go inside Montsouris park so you don't have to worry about its opening hours.

Precautions

Uneven ground in some small streets. From spring to autumn, you can bring an empty bottle of water, the tour includes a fountain!

Comments

The lovely spirit of the Count of Saint Germain guided me through some of Paris' lesser known history. It was an intimate walk accompanied by his voice, his amazing storytelling, and his intricate knowledge of the place.

I loved how he made connexions between the streets and French periods from the Roman Empire to most recent XXIst century facts. This very local guide comments historical events with his own personality and sometimes tongue-in-cheek comments that have a nice critical flavour to them, without harming the overall guided tour.

My experience was with a group of other French people, and the app's geolocalisation allowed us quite a synchronized experience, even if the journey may be better alone for a better IMMERSION.

Posted by Michael , 9 months ago

I really enjoyed this intimate, off-road tour around Parc Montsouris. I’m a born-and-raised Parisian and I completely discovered the secrets of this district with all the little hidden gems that Comte de Saint Germain unveils for us during the tour.
From the homes of early 20th century celebrities of the Montparnasse artistic life to remnants of the Roman Empire, I dived in a completely new Paris history.
Comte de Saint Germain is a mysterious and endearing character that made me time-travel and daydream in a playful way.
If you are looking for a non-touristy, well-informed and inclusive tour, I totally recommend it !

Posted by Melanie , 9 months ago
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Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages