Wednesday 1 July 2009

Free Paris Walking Tours!

The first freely downloadable Invisible Paris walk is now available – as well as a completely new dedicated website (!

The first walk, a 20 page PDF document, is entitled From Sainte Rita to Saint Lazare : A trip into the female experience of the city, and runs from Pigalle to the old Hôpital St Lazare. This area is rich with images and anecdotes on the female condition, mixing art, religion and work. It investigates places linked to women, where women have tried to live freely or where women were forced to do things against their will. Naturally this often involves discussion of men too, and their role in the repression or liberation of women, as well as how they chose to represent them.

Why am I creating these walks though? Well, I enjoy running this blog and researching different parts of Paris, but it started to feel as if the information only had a very short life-span. Blogs are hungry creatures and need regular feeding, but the accumulation of information means that posts are quickly relegated to the hard-to-find archives. A solution to this problem therefore was to group together the posts as walking tours, and liberate them from the blog format.

This was the theory anyway. In reality, this has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to put together, but I still think that the effort was worthwhile. It was quite easy to find a cluster of posts that were linked by theme and geographical location, but a walk also involves directions, maps and supplementary information between the principal spots, and this is the time-consuming part!

I also felt that readers of this blog may want another resource, especially if they are planning a trip to Paris. I have tried to make these walk documents something that will be interesting to read and look at even if you never visit Paris, but the main goal is that they be used to help show a slightly different side of the city to visitors and residents.

Forthcoming walks (currently being polished up!) will include Street Art and Contemporary Architecture. Others will follow if these are popular and when I have a little bit more time!

Anyway, I hope as many as you as possible choose to download the PDF walk documents, even if it is just for a little light reading. Please feel free also to share them with friends and family, as an additional goal of the document is to attract new visitors to this blog. Finally, if you do download one please don’t hesitate to give me any feedback, corrections or suggestions you may have. Happy reading and walking!


martha said...

That is wonderful!!! I can hardly wait to try it out on my next trip to Paris. I was just telling friends of mine, one is an architecture historian about your Blog last night.

Starman said...

For some reason, it's not working for me.

Starman said...

Just a thought....if you give the starting point and each street as it is walked, one could Google it and take a virtual walk on Google Street View.

Adam said...

Starman: It's been brought to my attention that there may be some problems with Firefox. If anyone else has the same troubles, you can try downloading for here:

PeterParis said...

I uploaded without any problem (Firefox).

This is fabulous and fantastic what you have produced. Much more interesting than what many of the professional tour organisers offer! (Well, you are of course "professional", but not making your living with it.) Anyhow, a very good idea! I have a few times tried something similar, but not in this very successful way! Bravo!

CarolineLD said...

Absolutely marvellous, it made fascinating reading and I've saved it ready for my next visit to Paris.

Thérèse said...

Bravo! What a marvellous idea!
The download is slow (who cares?) but works very well.

Cergie said...

Tu as bien raison lorsque tu dis que les messages derniers venus enterrent les précédents ; cependant lorsqu'on fait des messages on les fait tout d'abord pour soi. Les visiteurs piochent dans la matière qu'ils trouvent et ensuite à eux de faire leur propre programme ; c'est ainsi que je le vois. Pour ma part j'ai tendance à picorer comme un petit oiseau.
Pour découvrir Ménilmontant et Belleville, il m'a fallu la première fois être guidée par un ami ; puis j'ai emmené à mon tour un ami et ai retrouvé les lieux sans problème.
Maintenant lorsque j'y retourne je passe devant de vieux amis que sont les parcs, les rues les monuments que je relie entre eux. Aujourd'hui, je suis passée en dessous du parc de Belleville en venant de la place Maurice Chevallier. Bien sûr j'ai croisé la Rue Ramponneau, entre autres.
Il en est d'un quartier comme d'un blog : il faut y retourner souvent pour le connaitre et l'apprécier. Et il faut à un moment prendre soi-même l'initiative.
Ce que je dis n'est valable que pour des personnes qui peuvent venir et revenir, ce n'est pas possible pour des visiteurs de passage.

martha said...

As with Thérèse, my download with Firefox, was slow but ultimately successful.

margaret said...

This is really terrific, Adam! I already enjoy your blog so much; I can't wait to try out your new offering. BTW, I wasn't able to download the pdf on Safari, but Firefox worked out just fine for me.

Hey, I came across a book review in Le Point for "Paris dans la collaboration" by Cécile Desprairies (Editions de Seuil). Have you seen it? The book is a guide to how the physical fabric of Paris was transformed during the Nazi occupation--and thus how everyday life was also changed. Desprairies looks at all kinds of places, from government buildings, to hotels, to cafés, to public swimming pools, to private homes. And she draws her information from all kinds of sources, including personal diaries from people like Arletty. Clearly a period when Paris was far from being the City of Light.

Gina V said...

A munificent gift to lovers of Paris! I think you will cultivate a great following, and perhaps catch the interest of a generous guidebook know, what goes around comes around!
Thanks very much, too, for the kind mention of my blog, Adam!

Adam said...

Thanks for the tip Margaret. It is a very interesting topic and one that is not spoken about in the city today. I did see one question that I have written the answer to before though - "where was the One-Two-Two"!

Mark said...

My wife and I took this walk last Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it - had lunch at Le Sans-Souci (very nice) and hope to get to dinner soon at Cafe Panique. Square d'Orleans was a treat we otherwise would have otherwise walked right by. Will be taking Walk 2 soon and looking forward to the Street Art walk. Whenever you are ready for a tour of the racetracks in the vicinity of PAris - let me know!
Thanks again for making these walks available,

John said...

Hey, this is great! also, i dont know do you know there is one great tour in paris, run by young student Chris! we found it online, and it was just great! his website is

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