Interview with Paris Tour Guide

  • Posted: 17.09.2021
  • Paris Tour Guide

    1) A bit about yourself… and how did you become a tour guide?

    I’m native Parisian (only 12 % of Parisians were born in Paris ). I was born in Belleville in the the same district than Edith Piaf. I’m a lawyer (for almost 30 years. I love my job but I wanted to do something else, linked with Art and History. So I at 50 years old I went back at university to get the licence of tour guide. So now I’m an old lawyer but a young tour guide!

    2) I know you also published a book, please tell us about the book in detail

    I’m like Joan of Arc. From time to time I hear great Parisian women talking to me to give me advice in my life, I always have been interested about inspirational Parisian women. Not only about their lives but I wanted to know how did they succeed? Sarah Bernhardt, Josephine de Beauharnais, George Sand, Madame de Montespan end even a woman from Middle Ages, Christine de Pisan, the first feminist in the world, can be our life coaches. My book is a a kind of Coaching by History. You just have to imitate those inspirational Parisian women from the past and you will succeed in life too.

    If you read French here is the title of my book: «Belles et Rebelles, à l’ombre des grandes Parisiennes» éditions du 81.

    Paris Tour Guide

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

    I try to tell them the stories of Paris because every street or corner of Paris can tell you a history from History. Paris is an old city, and Paris always inspired poets, writers and painters from all over the world. I hope that when they come back home they will keep Paris in their heart.

    4) What kind of tours do you lead in Paris?

    Inspirational Parisian women of Paris of course, as Coco Chanel, Simone de Beauvoir, Kiki de Montparnasse, Louis XIV’s women and more, As I teach The Jewish heritage of Paris at university I do the Jewish heritage Tour.

    As I’m a writer I do the Literary Paris. I won’t tell you more sorry, come to my tours and you will see.

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

    It’s a good question. I could tell you that you don’t talk the same way to Mexicans, Americans, Russians or Indians. It is important to have nuances and adapt your speech according the nationality and the culture of the visitors and they don’t have the same knowledge.

    But in fact no. Well me, I don’t adapt myself to the nationality of the people. I stay myself, I try to be authentic.

    6) So coffee question :) your favorite TOP 5 cafes in Paris

    • 1) Le Select, located on 99 Bd du Montparnasse
    • 2) Le Bonaparte, 42 Rue Bonaparte
    • 3) Carette, 25 Pl. des Vosges
    • 4) Le Nemours, 2 à 7 Galerie de Nemours, 2 Place Colette
    • 5) Café de Flore, 172 Bd Saint-Germain

    Paris Tour Guide

    Photo: © Edith de Belleville

    7) Your favourite places in Paris!?

    I rediscovered the modern art museum of Centre Pompidou. I do like the Roaring Twenties and there is a great art section of the 1920’s art. Le Louvre at night is something incredible Jardin du Luxembourg because it’ a poetical garden and it reminds me my youth, when I was studying at Sorbonne university, I used to go there to eat my sandwich.

    Montmartre at Midnight in winter,, you have feeling to be in a time travel machine, it’s empty and magical and all artistic ghosts talk to you.

    Of course le Carnavalet museum because it’s the museum of my beloved city.

    Paris Tour Guide

    8) What is your favourite French foods?!

    About French food, I’m old fashioned I do like boeuf bourguignon and blanquette de veau and for desert une crème brûlée or un flan parisien which is a kind of custard pie ,Nothing fancy. I do like cheese too, camembert, brie or roquefort.

    9) Best neighborhoods of Paris, in your opinion.

    • 1) Le Marais
    • 2) Saint-Germain-des-Prés
    • 3) Montparnasse (as I do like the Roaring Twenties)
    • 4) L’Ile Saint-Louis

    Paris Tour Guide

    Photo: © Edith de Belleville

    10) Tell us 6 things to do in Paris until leave :)

    • 1) Having a coffee on a Terrace Paris Cafe and doing nothing (no Smartphone) just watching the world go by

    • 2) Crossing le Pont des Arts or Le Pont Alexandre III, just before the sunset

    • 3) Going in La Cour Carrée du Louvre when it’s dark

    • 4) Walking without Google Map and being lost in Le Marais (don’t worry, you won’t be lost technically because Le Marais is small)

    • 5) Taking the boat on the Seine River (I know it’s very touristic but it’s fun)

    • 6) Eating a chic pastry on a bench in le Parc Montceau (it’s a chic Park)

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

    I travelled a lot in Asia on my own when I was younger. (Because of the tea). I liked very much Darjeeling in India (you will guess why).

    I liked very much south of Shanghai, a city where there is a big lake, and the first tea fields in the world (I even had tears in my eyes).

    Burma is a country I really loved. People were fantastic ( but the tea is not wonderful) Atacama desert in Chili is something I will never forget. Stars and stars in the sky and geysers.

    And the Rockies mountains in Canada is something unbelievable .

    12) How has the pandemic affected tourism in Paris and France?, since France is the most visited country in the world.

    A nightmare for tourism as you can guess. French visited France as it was too complicated to go abroad .

    As a tour guide without clients I tried to be optimistic (for a French it’s not easy) and I tried to reinvent myself. So I used technology and Zoom.

    I gave French class by Zoom (I have a license of French as Foreign Language), I thought it would be awful but my students seem quite happy with me as a French teacher so far. And I gave lectures about my favorite subjects, French Inspirational women in History.

    I found another way to share my passion for French culture. And I also wrote a book, in English about my life in Paris. it will be available soon.

    If you want to know more about Paris culture you can subscribe to my FB Goup, it’s free, La Vie Parisienne.

    Contact Edith
    • Web:
    • FB: Edith de Belleville Auteure
    • IG: edith_de_belleville

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