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Excursions & day trips
Culture & history

Nat Geo Day Tour: Paris, the City of Book Lovers

Free cancellation
Place: Paris
Duration: 4 hours
Language: English
Mobile voucher accepted

Do this because

  • Ignite your passion for books as your historian guide takes you on a journey through Paris's literary history and some of its most notable book-related sites.
  • Visit the most important spaces in the Bibliotheque Nationale Française, one of the finest libraries in Europe.
  • Exclusive to National Geographic travelers, talk to the owner of one of the UNESCO-protected bookshops around the Seine river, a "Bouquiniste", and learn first-hand about their enduring trade and their significant role in the Parisian landscape.
  • Enjoy a guided visit to Shakespeare and Co, one of the most emblematic bookstores in Paris and once a hub for influential writers.

This experience meets the Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria. By choosing this experience you can protect the places you love, care for the environment and support local communities.

What to expect

Paris has had a long love affair with books. The evidence is most visible along stretches of the Seine, where for centuries booksellers have traded in second hand, rare or antique books from their distinctive green stalls. This tour is designed for anyone with a passion for books, as your National Geographic-trained guide takes you on a voyage through Paris's literary history and some of its most notable book-related sites.

First, we'll visit the Bibliotheque Nationale Française, one of the finest libraries in Europe. This renowned space, famous for its wonderful architecture and vast collections, has three main sections: the readers' rooms, the Salle Ovale, and the Museum and Galerie Mansart. You will enjoy a private visit to all of these areas while your guide shares insights and fascinating stories about each one.

Next, take a stroll through the city, passing places linked to French history and literature, such as Place Colette, where your guide will reveal the story behind “Colette” and how she became a literary icon in Paris. You'll also see the Comedie Française and learn about French dramaturgist Molière. Pausing by the famous Pyramide outside the Louvre Museum, you will have the opportunity for further discussions with your guide about books that were written in Paris such as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

You'll then take a break for refreshments in a special coffee-library named Café Livre where you can relax over a drink and talk books. A serene Seine River cruise follows, offering great views of the Notre Dame Cathedral, before disembarking to visit Shakepeare and Co, an iconic independent bookstore in Paris's 5th district. Established in the 1920s, it became a hub for influential writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, and Ernest Hemingway. Your historian guide will share insights about the Lost Generation writers connected to this bookstore as you take a look around the fantastic selection of books.

Lastly, you'll meet a "Bouquiniste", an exclusive experience for National Geographic travelers. These historic riverside booksellers have been a staple in Paris since the late 19th century, and have now been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn from one of the booksellers the story of their occupation, the range of items they sell, and their significant role in the Parisian landscape.

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Important to know

Not suitable for:

  • people who struggle to walk distances

Know in advance:

  • terrain type is flat
  • you'll walk approx. 4km
  • your drink will be served at Café Livre

Remember to bring:

  • comfortable shoes
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What’s included

Guided tour

What’s not included


Cancellation policy

Receive a 100% refund if you cancel up to 48 hours before the experience begins.

Booking fee

Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.


Bibliothèque nationale de France | site Richelieu : Bibliothèque de Recherche, 58 Rue de Richelieu, 75002 Paris, France

Meeting point:

Meet at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.



What people say about this experience


Need a hand?

Would you like some help making a booking? Or perhaps you just want to ask a few questions. Whatever the reason, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Opening hours: Our team is available from 10.00 to 18.00 CET

Phone number: +1 208-744-6464