Interview with Paris Tour Guide

  • Posted: 11.06.2021
  • Paris Tour Guide

    1) How did you become a tour guide?

    I became a tour guide working in Champagne cellars. My hometown is Epernay during my studies of Tourism and I loved it!

    I decided to get the specialization, in France you need a master of university to become “Guide Conferencier” and I moved to Paris ...

    That was the beginning of a great adventure. I think I took the best path! This job is the best job of the world. Always surrounded by beauty, enjoying heritage, art, food and culture with people!

    2) You have been working as a guide for over 15 years, what advice would you give to beginners?

    I would advise them to stay curious and open to new sites and new topics over the years. Learning and discovering new things, exhibitions, museums, destinations, reading more books! It will enrich their tours and open them new doors and collabs over the years. They will grow as professionals and as humans sharing more with different people and learning back from them!

    3) What is important to you when you talk to people about Paris?

    For me, people have to enjoy their time! That is important for me, so I will adapt my tour, my speech, my itinerary to them. I consider my job is done when at the end of the tour, they are happy, they learned something and get the feeling of the town, of its beauty, History, gastronomy and Art de Vivre.

    4) What kind of tours do you lead in Paris, TOP bestsellers

    I lead a pretty good variety I think! And many unknow paths that people love to discover.

    But the top bestsellers in Paris are still the Louvre, Versailles, Giverny and D Day beaches (for a longer day). And I would add Rodin Museum that I know especially well… The Louvre is always magical, summer or winter, sunny day or pouring rain. It is the Home of Parisians, where every single local kid has been going with school or family. An Amazing architecture and exceptional collections. A first time visitor in town needs to say hello to Mona Lisa?!

    Versailles is Grand! Former palace of French monarchs, my part is to give life to the walls, the doors, to explain you History and little stories of our kings and queens. And eventually take you to his magnificent French formal garden and find hidden treasures such as the Queen’s hamlet.

    Giverny is Claude Monet’s Garden, at the gate of Normandy, it is always a pleasure for me to enjoy this heaven on Earth with my visitors, and giving them an approach of the master’s life and second part of 19th century art. Such a cool runaway from town!

    I go often to D Day beaches with visitors too, if we go together be ready for a long day to Normandy! But this day might change you and your family! How moving …

    That is important for me to lead battlefields tour too and explain History to people of different ages.

    What happened during world conflicts, it is so visible there, understandable, touchable … Helping to understand the past is also why I chose that job.

    Let me add a special place for me?!

    Rodin museum, a private mansion and a garden with the soul of the Master never too far hidden in Paris. Different times in my professional life and my private life, this place was on my way who knows why? He became my favorite artist, and Mr Rodin taught me how to look and appreciate the grace of a sculpture!

    Paris Tour Guide

    Photo: © Celine La Monica Parre

    5) Being a guide means meeting different people from different countries, how do you do that? what are the nuances?

    Every one comes from somewhere and has a story to tell. Meeting different people is one of the reason why this job is the best (that is a secret Uhm !). I’m a social animal, I couldn’t live isolated.

    Being close, able to understand, working with empathy is the key to share a true moment together.

    Some will be touched by Nature, some by Art, some by Architecture, some by Food, Fashion, History, some by all that! (I know Paris has all these) A professional should adapt to the people, not the opposite!

    6) Please share any funny stories during tours with tourists :)

    I’ll tell you a very beautiful story. Once I was leading a tour to Champagne region with a couple on honeymoon. Cool tour! A lot of tastings planned (Not for me of course)!

    At the winery the young lady came to me and told me she had a “problem”...

    I asked how I could help ...

    She explained me that as she loves Champagne, her husband wanted to treat her with this tour but she couldn’t drink … She was pregnant, and was planning to announce him during a diner at the Eiffel tower… the day after…

    I was supposed to find a way to change or dissimulate her glasses of Champagne all day long to keep that beautiful secret!

    And we manage, with a lot of help from winegrowers and bubbly apple soda...

    7) Tell us 7 things to do in Paris until leave :)

    • 1) French breakfast in a café. We are “sweet” people: Coffee, juice, baguette, jam, butter and croissants. It works on the afternoon too: Hot chocolate, macarons, ice cream, … You will never leave again…

    • 2) Walk along the river, take your time, and enjoy the sunrise, or sunset over the bridges of Paris. If you feel tired, take a cruise! Paris is made to be seen from the river.

    • 3) Eat on a Brasserie, I wrote an article on my blog about that, we have so many specialties! And French food is totally a part of local culture! But please no onion soup on a touristy place.

    • 4) Enjoy Museums and Art: The Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, Pompidou, Carnavalet, Orangerie, Marmottan, Picasso, … We have so many absolutely great sites to visit and see, and a guide will give you all the keys to understand!

    • 5) An escape to the outskirts: Versailles, Giverny, Fontainebleau, can give you another perspective!

    • 6) Climb up the hill of Montmartre and enjoy the view ! Former village outside Paris, it kept the appearance of a picturesque village, so charming. The museum of Montmartre is a wonderful secret place…

    • 7) I cannot let you go without telling you to take pics or visit the Eiffel Tower ! Come on we are in Paris!

    Paris Tour Guide

    Photo: © Celine La Monica Parre

    8) Your favourite places in Paris

    I love the garden of Rodin Museum and its small great café. In general, I love to find back nature in the city: The Luxembourg garden in spring time is stunning, and what to say about the cherry trees of Jardin des Plantes.

    The top floor of Orsay museum named the gallery of impressionists, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Boudin… Amazing.

    The glass pyramid of the Louvre on my sunrise run is a special moment.

    For the outskirts: Chantilly palace, garden and the most beautiful stables of the world, with living horses inside! One of the places which made me fall in love with art when I was a kid. And I love equestrians…

    9) Places you loved while traveling outside of France?!

    I’m missing travelling so much right now! I was lucky and I saw great locations and met great people in my “tourist” life.

    I spend a lot of time in Goa, India, actually months and months and that is still a second home in my heart, I miss my friends there.

    The beaches of Gili island in Indonesia are still one of my best memories for underwater life.

    On a totally different mood, I absolutely love London, its energy, fun, spirit, architecture. So different from Paris but so close in distance. Only 2 hours by train from Paris.

    10) What is your favorite French foods and your favorite French wines?!

    I have roots in South West of France so …

    Duck is my favorite, and goat cheese! Can I say any cheese, at any time?

    You know now that I grew up in Champagne, so let me speak like Napoleon just once: “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it.”

    And a burgundy light red wine can be so enjoyable.

    Paris Tour Guide

    11) How has the pandemic affected tourism in France?

    The pandemic and its consequences were something of course unexpected, before Covid 19, Paris was among the most visited cities of the world. Tourism was an important part of local economy. Like everywhere it stopped abruptly.

    We hope tourism will rebirth soon and I personally hope that we used this time to become better than before!

    I’m very interested by ideas of respectful tourism and slow tourism. Developing visits in unknown districts, finding interest on a wider range of activities. Being closer to visitors…

    Paris Tour Guide

    Photo: © Celine La Monica Parre

    Contact with Celine
    • Web:
    • FB: Céline LMP - My Paris Tour Guide
    • IG: @myparistourguide

    It was big interview and absolutely amazing one, it’s a honor to have an opportunity interview with Celine from Paris, thanks!!