Walking tour of Belleville Paris very informative, interesting and full of surprises
My wife and I have visited Paris many times since 1963 and have always focused our tours on the usual highlights of cathedrals, museums, towers, shopping districts, and river cruises. This time we wanted a different view from the point of view of where the average Parisian works, creates, eats and lives. We were not disappointed. From the artwork displayed on public walls to the diverse residents and their shops to the original churches, it was an adventure we would recommend to anyone who enjoys experiencing French culture from the perspective of average citizens. In addition Allison did a wonderful job presenting the history of Belleville, its raucous beginnings and its hilly geology including gypsum formations and natural water supplies. A memorable trip for our entire adult family. One we will definitely do again.
A Fun Adventure in Belleville!
Belleville was made all the more interesting this morning by the charming and wonderful personality of our American tour guide, Allison, who has lived there for more than 20 years. It’s a very interesting tour which highlights historic events that took place there, famous people who lived there as well as identifying the popular attractions of Belleville today. I have lived, studied and worked in Paris many years and never toured this neighborhood. Now, I’m glad I did. It shouldn’t be missed!
Wonderful tour of Belleville, stories, history, street art and where to eat along the way
Allison was a great guide, full of information and the history of Belleville. I live in Paris and learned a lot, about sinkholes from old quarries under the streets, the working class anarchist origins of the neighbourhood, eighteenth century nightlife, bands of brigands and recent raves in abandoned railway tunnels. Allison had pictures and maps to illustrate and she has lived in the neighbourhood for years and had great anecdotes from people she knew who remembered the quarter from the old days. It was a wonderful way to discover the neighbourhood, all sorts of curious corners, local street artists and hidden bridges and a beautiful park I had never been to. Very highly recommended.
This walk was one of the best Parisian experiences of my stay here this summer. Allison is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. I learned a lot and saw a part of Paris I never would have seen otherwise.
It was wonderful! Allison is a knowledgeable, charming and bubbly Paris lover and she makes you share her love for Belleville. I learned a lot. Thank you!
Great experience at a local level!
The walk through Belleville offered by Allison is a really great experience. She brings a real feeling of being in the presence of a local as you walk around the area. The shopkeepers wave to her and it is obvious that she is really committed to telling the story of the history, the art and the food of the area.
Walk Through Eastern Paris
We met Allison by the Jourdain Metro stop and we started walking in what turns out to be a very interesting part of Paris. Allison was informative, and managed to bring to life an epoch of Paris which we didn’t know much about. She is a terrific guide and we learned quite a bit. Highly recommended!
– Daniel and Christine
Take this tour!
Allison is an enthusiastic guide who will charm you with this wonderful part of Paris. We met her at the Jourdain station on the 11 line. The next 2 hours involved a walk through Belleville with stories, local art work and illustrations. She is warm and knowledgeable and an excellent conversationalist.
– Anne and Ed
A Different View of Paris
The tour was a terrific taste of Belleville. Allison offers interesting, historical insights that defy the typical touristic view of Paris. As a historically developing neighborhood and the crossroads of the rich and the poor, Allison did a magnificent job in tying the challenges that Belleville is experiencing today to the questions and issues that affected the area two to three hundred years ago. Make sure you wear walking shoes! If you like Chinese food, there are plenty of options at the end of the tour, but I would recommened the one that comes from Allison herself.
Awesome tour of secret Paris
Allison was a great guide. Her personality coupled with her knowledge of Paris, French history, art and food really made for an awesome tour… not an easy review coming from someone who worked in the guiding industry! I actually live right near the area and still learned about so many cool places I’d never heard of. She has such an expansive knowledge of French culture which really makes this tour dynamic – not just straight history or art but a really nice combination of it all. And you get to see a Paris not many tourists know about. I’d definitely recommend Allison to any of my friends or family.
Excellent tour through a fascinating neighborhood
Allison was wonderful! We spent about two hours walking through Belleville, one of the neighborhoods away from the center of Paris. She regaled us with stories about the neighborhood’s sometimes seedy past, and showed us what makes the neigborhood unique. On top of it all, she gave out some really good restaurant recommendations along the way. I lived in this neighborhood for a while, and I thought I knew it well, but I learned a lot from her. This was a great tour for someone like me, who already knows a bit about Paris, or is looking for a new perspective on the city.
Fall in Love with Belleville
We highly recommend the Belleville tour with Allison. She is a walking encyclopedia of this funky, passionate neighborhood. A short hop from Hotel de Ville on metro line 11 gets you there. Allison is a long-time resident who generously shares her in depth knowledge and, by doing so, preserves Belleville’s identity. As with most neighborhoods on the outskirts, gentrification has its sights on Belleville, and someday it will no longer exist in the way you will see and learn with Allison. You will learn about Belleville’s humble beginnings as a village surrounded by vineyards, eventually becoming part of Paris. You will learn about Belleville’s political passion and its rich artistic atmosphere, evident throughout the neighborhood. There is a richness here that cannot be understood without seeing it for yourself. Take the tour with Allison and catch her passion. You will not be disappointed. Merci Allison! Until next time.
– Paula and Tom
Fun thing to do in Paris
My husband and I took Allison’s walking tour of Belleville and Ménilmontant. For 2 or 3 hours we strolled, learned about the history of the area, talked about French culture, and appreciated sights & street art that we would otherwise not have noticed. We then shared a wonderful lunch. Allison is knowledgeable, personable, and just plain fun! We greatly enjoyed our time with her and look forward to spending more time with her on our next visit to Paris.
Belleville walking tour
Excellent communication and accommodating schedule. The tour was excellent, exceeding expectation. Allison brings a wealth of enthusiasm, local insight & historic information. Highly recommended.
Wonderful walking tour experience in Paris!
My wife and I really enjoyed Allison’s walking tour in east Paris. We had never been to eastern Paris (Belleville/Ménilmontant) before and we were so glad to walk with Allison this time. Allison provided lots of information about the area and showed us lots of historical churches, streets, bars, and graffiti. We especially loved the view from Belleville park where you can see the sunset and the Eiffel Tower. Allison is well-prepared and a very fun lady who also is a cook. That’s why she also introduced many good restaurants and French food. We had a great time and eastern Paris has become one of the most unforgettable places in our trip. If you come to Paris more than 2 times, I would definitely recommend you to join the tour and walk with Allison in eastern Paris.
Market Tour Reviews:
Best way to learn about French Markets!
We met Allison on our second day in Paris and the experience was fabulous! Allison has a great knowledge of the markets and their history. We have teenage daughters and Allison made sure they were included in every part of our tour. She was attentive and supportive to encourage us to try new foods, with a respect to items we were not interested in. Allison has well-developed relationships with market vendors and all were friendly and welcoming. If you’re thinking of a market tour, Allison is the Chef and expert to be your guide. This tour is top of the list of best experiences ever!
Great way to spend a day in Paris
This was a surprise gift that I got for my (now) wife for our honeymoon. She loved it. Allison’s knowledge of the history of the market, the neighborhood, and all the different sights and smells of the market was outstanding. We were able to ask her tons of questions and got to go a bit off script to try some things we had never seen before. This experience was unique and personal, and getting to spend half the day with Allison was one of the highlights of our trip. Don’t miss this!
Amazing Market Tour!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the 3-hour market tour with Allison! She is incredibly knowledgeable about the fabulous food and wine in France, and she is such a sweet, fun and professional person! She introduced us to some exceptional coffee, cheeses, pate, bread, pastries, and wine. It was truly a wonderful experience that we will never forget and learned so much from her. Do yourself a favor and take this tour with Allison. You’ll be so glad you did!
Open air market with Allison
This was one of my favorite days in Paris. Allison is so knowledgeable and fun, I learned so much! We shopped the open air market, tried a variety of cheeses & baguettes, I could not believe how beautiful everything was. You will learn so much about Paris, Parisian cooking and I guarantee you will enjoy yourself. Thank you Allison!!
Wonderful Market Tour
We met Chef Allison on our first full day in Paris. While we were expecting a market tour, I wasn’t expecting her to give us so much history about the area and little tips about searching for the best places to buy food and wine. She is very knowledgeable while also being approachable. We bought fruits and veggies at the market, sampled cheeses, and found the perfect wine to pair with our meal. I love that we began our trip with Allison because it gave us the confidence and information to navigate the market, cheese, and wine shops to gather food for picnics throughout the rest of the trip. To anyone wondering if it would be worth it… she definitely is!
A “foodie” lovers paradise!
I love French food, French cheese, French markets, and French wine. Allison’s market tour was the highlight of my three-week stay in Paris. I learned how to shop in the market, which cheeses to choose, how to use spices such as espelette, and powdered vanilla. What a fantastic learning experience even for an experienced cook! I cannot wait to share my experiences with my friends and family. I will be returning to Paris next year and will look forward to another session with Allison.
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