Paris audio tour: Île de la Cité: Where Paris Was Born

Île de la Cité: Where Paris Was Born

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

Welcome to the birthplace of Paris! Île de la Cité is where it all started. Join me on this tour as we explore the city's origins from a small settlement along the Seine River to how it grew into one of the most charming places in the world. So much happened here! We start with the love-lock bridge, move on to King Henri IV and the terrible demise of his murderer, the story of the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, the Sainte Chapelle, as well as the story of Quasimoto and the beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. This is the perfect tour for Francophiles who want a taste of French history while enjoying a glorious stroll along the heart of Paris.

Tour Producer


Annie Sargent

Bonjour, I'm Annie Sargent, tour guide and producer of the Join Us in France Travel Podcast. I love introducing new people to my favorite destinations in France. Because I've lived away from France for many years, I came back eager to re-discover my own country and the places where French history happened. And because I am French born and raised I can't help but introduce a little bit of French culture into your visit. So, let's get walking and enjoy this tour together!

Major Landmarks

  • Notre Dame de Paris

  • Sainte Chapelle

  • Conciergerie

Directions to Starting Point

This tour starts at the corner of Pont des Arts and Quai François Mitterrand. This is on the Louvre side of the Seine river or where the Pont des Arts meets Quai François Mitterrand.

If you're not sure how to find this, the easiest is probably to go to the Louvre-Rivoli metro station on line 1 and exit the metro station (there is only one exit at this station). When you're at the top of the stairs of the metro station, don't cross any street yet. Look around for only building that takes up the whole block and is set back from the street. That's the Louvre. You want to walk with the Louvre to your right until you get to the Seine river, then take a right and walk along the river until you get to the first bridge. The Pont des Arts is the only pedestrian bridge in the area, you can't miss it. That's where I'll start talking to you!

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Pont des Arts, the Pont Neuf, Square du Vert Galant, Place Dauphine, Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle, several stops around Notre Dame, then the tour ends behind the Cathedral at the other end of the Île de la Cité with the Deportation Memorial and the gruesome story of the Paris Morgue.

Best time of day

Any time, but late afternoon is my favorite time. Whenever you do this, make sure you have a full charge on your phone! If you'd like to enjoy a genuine French meal, I recommend the Saint Régis. It is a classic French Brasserie with great flair. It is near the end of our tour on 6 rue Jean du Bellay.


Beware of pickpockets! Don't talk to anyone who wants you to sign a petition, it's a distraction so they can rob you. Bring an external battery because GPS sucks down your power faster than normal use.


Very nice! Learned a bit more about this fascinating city.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 2 months ago

This tour was so informative and helped me enjoy this beautiful area

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 3 months ago

Excellent audio tour! So much more informative than others I had used before. Annie Sargent’s stories make the history more fun to learn about.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago

Excellent tour - merci!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago

Superb tour! Annie is a font of knowledge — history, culture, restaurants and sights. She’s charming and taking the tour we feel she’s right beside us. We took all her Paris tours. Each is fantastic. And her podcast, Join Us in France, is a must for any traveler to France. Highly recommended.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 5 months ago

Fantastic tour. I really like the author/narrator. At times a little cynical but always tastefully so. Lots of information and a great walking route.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 6 months ago

Very nice audio tour, super interesting!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 8 months ago

I’ve three audio tours with Annie Sargent and omg!!! I learned so much! And so many hidden gems! I love the way she speaks from her podcast and recommend her audio tours for everyone!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 2 years ago

Did the tour today and my wife (who does something grownup in tourism) said it was “really good” which is quite the compliment I can tell you. Lots of really interesting moments of history, without overloading you with information. Plus a nice couple of restaurant recommendations on the way.

Posted by Adrian , about 2 years ago

This was a very good tour and had the added bonus of being up to date with the terrible Notre Dame Fire.
You will not be disappointed with this tour.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 2 years ago

WOW! Thank you for such an entertaining peek into the history of Paris. I did this tour with my husband on our first visit to Paris. We loved going at our own pace and learning about the city without the need to join a large group of (sometimes loud or annoying) tourists. Thank you for a great experience at a great price

Posted by Cindy R , over 2 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Île de la Cité: Where Paris Was Born