personal tour guides -- Paris

Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
  #1  
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personal tour guides -- Paris

Any one have any suggestions for Personal Tour Guides in Paris? Are they worth it ? how much should I pay? Thanks !!
bean2574 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:21 PM
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We really enjoyed our day with guide Michael Osman in October.

Many Fodorites have given Michael rave reviews here, so you might do a search.

He can be reached at [email protected].

Or check out www.geocities.com/parisfinder/

I don't think you will be disappointed with Michael as your guide.

Byrd

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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:07 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Byrd,
I have seen other raves for Michael Osman -- so he must be good. I'll give him a try. Any one have any suggestions on how much I should pay for a guide. Is 50 Euros per hour too much or too little for a small group(7)?
Thanks
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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Michael is nowhere near that expensive! We have gone with him 2 summers and had a great time with him. Our son and wife toured with him on their honeymoon as well. He is less than 100 euro for an entire day...and I mean from 10 in the am to 8 or 9 at night.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:23 AM
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I have been reading about Michael as well. I have never used a personal tour guide. There will be two of us and we've never been to Paris before.

What can we expect from a personal tour guide? do we just tell him what we want to see and he walks around all day? Does he do tours outside of Paris - like wine regions as well?

thanks!!!
iluvs2travel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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We arranged for a personal tour of a site near Paris last July with ContextParis.com and couldn't have been happier. The tour was personalized to our own interests and all arrangements were made prior to arrival. We were guided by an absolute expert in our particular area of interest and we would use these folks again.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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You can find out what to expect from a tour guide (and what he expects from you) at this site:

http://www.atkielski.com/
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Robespierre!!

I had seen this guys web site. It looks interesting -- kind of like your own personnal valet for the day. Has anyone out there used Anthony Atkielski as a guide before?
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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:37 AM
  #9  
lawchick
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just out of curiousity - why do people hire a tour guide? Is a good map and a guidebook not helpful enough?

Do you buy the guide lunch/dinner etc? I'd just like to know how it works.

Thanks
 
Jan 4th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Why do people hire a tour guide? Because they don't feel they can manage it on their own.

If you think you can do it - or you think you can't - you're absolutely right.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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hmm... do you guys ever dine in a restaurant where someone else does the cooking and you just enjoy eating it..? after all, you could just cook the meal yourself.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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You mean hire someone to walk around Paris for you and look at the historical monuments?

What's for dessert?
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Jan 4th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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"Because they don't feel they can manage it on their own."
ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. We been to Paris more times than I can even remember, for various periods of time from 5 days to two weeks at a time and can manage very nicely on our own. My DH says I know Paris better than I know the town where we live. However 3 years ago , we were with frinds who used Michael Osman and we had such a good time with him, that every trip since we've booked at least a day with him. Another friend who also goes several times a year also books him, and always learns something new.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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no, I mean you eat the meal - whether you cooked it or someone cooked it for you! so....you gain information about the sights, whether you looked it up yourself or a guide gives it to you.

You know, a lot of travelers do have to work 8-10 hours a day, not counting getting dressed, commuting, running errands on the way home, and and they raise children, help with homework, and clean house, do laundry, and well.... they just don't have much free time to do in-depth reading regarding the history of every sight/site in Paris...so yes, it might actually enrich their visit if they paid someone else who had done that research to deliver the information to them.

You must be retired.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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Hey, if you think some guy knows more than you can find out by reading about 10€ worth of paperbacks, knock yourself out.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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lawchick
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Do you buy the guide dinner/drinks etc?

I'm thinking I might do it myself!
 
Jan 4th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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What we have gained by going around with Michael has been worth every cent. He has lived there for more than 7 years, and was originally there on an art scholarship. He is passionate about art and knows the history of so many works around town it is amazing. My husband studied art history years ago and was impressed with the depth of knowledge Michael had. He looks at the art as a connissieur and has a great appreciation for it because he himself is an artist. We did things with him that we wouldn't have known existed otherwise.

He only started taking people around because friends who came to visit him in Paris told him he did such a good job, he should do it for a living.

We never thought we could not manage Paris on our own, Robespierre. That is absurd! We simply felt like our experience of Paris would be richer if we went around with someone who lives there, knows off-the-beat places, and we didn't have our noses stuck in a guidebook the whole time.

Whatever floats your boat, I guess!
wren is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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Well, I'd just like Michael to show me the various remnants of the Philippe-Auguste wall, something you cannot find in a guidebook (well, at least not on a comprehensive level).

But I suppose Robespierre is correct. I know I cannot find these parts of the wall on my own, ergo I rely on the expertise of Michael Osman, whose apparent esoteric tastes mirror mine.
Beatchick is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Of course I'm correct. If you need help finding stuff or understanding art, then get help. If you don't, don't.

But I would wager a roast chicken that the VAST majority of people who hire guides in Paris do it because a) they don't think they know enough French to get along (they do), 2) they're intimidated by the transit system (it's easy), or iii) they're afraid they'll get lost (they won't).

Are they worth it? That's your call.

p.s. I think I could probably find the Philippe-Auguste wall, because it's pretty well-documented at http://www.philippe-auguste.com
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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To your reasons, no, no, and no. Michael gives a wonderful view on everywhere we went with anecdotes of history, etc. He was worth every penny, and yes, we did buy his meal and drinks when we were done in the afternoon. I had already met him a year or so previously to when we engaged him for two days of our family trip last fall.
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