- To decipher Paris’s darkest hours during the World War 2.
- To share your passion for history with an expert of the period.
- To learn about the dramatic story of Paris’s Liberation.
- To discover amazing anecdotes about the French Resistance’s ploys
Paris World War 2 Tour
This walk through the heart of Paris’s will evoke the World War 2 “dark years” and the days from 1944, August 20th to 25th, when Paris uprising managed by the Resistance led to the liberation of the city.
During this 3-hour walking tour, discover the Parisians’ everyday life during the German Occupation, as well as the German soldiers and the Resistance fighters’ daily struggles. How was the “black market” ruled? How did people lived clandestinely? What role was played by the police and the French authorities? Answers to these crucial questions will be provided by a wwii expert historian, while going from the Opera House district to the Tuileries Gardens, from the Louvre to Notre-Dame cathedral and to some more surprising locations…
You’ll meet your guide in front of the Garnier Opera House, the embodiment of Parisian nocturnal pleasures. Discover also how this Mecca of entertainment was used by the Resistance. Although Hitler did not like Paris, he had stated that every soldier and officer in the German army should be granted a 3-day permission in the City of Lights. On the program: concerts, cinema, fun with French girls…
Then, head towards Place Vendôme and listen to the story of the celebration of the Liberation of Paris by an unknown war correspondent: Ernest Hemingway. Not far, on Rue de Rivoli, you’ll see the hotel windows behind which the Germans surrendered to the Allied forces. Terrible fights took place between the latter and the last German troops in the Tuileries Gardens and around the Carrousel du Louvre.
Your next step is the Ile de la Cité, the institutional buildings of which had been showing swastika flags since 1940. In the Prefecture, some policemen arrested Jews, Resistance fighters, black marketers… In neighboring offices, others warned discreetly about the next morning’s custodies and gave to the Resistance information about current inquiries and stakeouts. In the Law court, French judges applied Vichy laws, along with German military judges, they massively pronounced death penalties.
Facing Notre-Dame, you’ll remember General de Gaulle’s famous speech before wandering across the Latin Quarter. You’ll certainly be emotional spotting a significant number of commemorative plaques, honoring the courage of fallen men and women killed when fighting for Freedom to be returned to their city. That’s also the district where many American soldiers were accommodated in the weeks following August 25th. They got permission to play their music only in bars’ cellars. That’s how freed Paris soon entered the Jazz era.
And if you are passionate about Paris history and want to go deeper into it, don't miss our best-seller: Heroes of the French Revolution!
Is the inside visit of Notre-Dame included in that World War 2 tour?
The tour does not include the inner visit of Notre-Dame, as the World War 2 events are more related to the cathedral forecourt and surroundings. The tour will end very close by, so it will be more than easy to walk back to Notre-Dame to enter it on your own.
How much walking is involved in the tour?
The tour includes just over 3-km of walking in Paris, alternating with commentaries and standing or seating stations. The tour takes place on flat and quite even grounds.
May we add some points of interest to those mentioned?
That’s perfectly possible. In that case, you should book this wwii tour on a private basis, so the itinerary could be fully adaptable to your wishes and personal interests.
Meeting Address: 8 Place de l'Opéra, Paris - In front of Lancel shop. Closest metro station: Opera (lines 2, 7 and 8)
Solo Traveler? Welcome here!
Oops, we're sorry, but this tour can't be booked for 1 person, please fill up our contact form if you're a solo traveler!