"Paris street, rainy day", Gustave Caillebotte

An atmospheric 19th century tour :

Be a flâneur in the 19th century of Paris with Ann Jeanne in Paris

paul-gavarni-le-flaneur-1842Allow yourself to be transported into this old fashioned luxury atmosphere. The atmospheric 19th century private walking tour with Ann Jeanne in Paris, will make you step into another world. It will draws you in, as if you were living in the 19th century ! A tour full of the charm of an old world, and a refined atmosphere..

Along the way : 5 or more covered passages, the Palais Royal, wonderful tearooms and traditional old shops, Marie-Antoinette’s favorite chocolates (though it dates back to the 18th century !), Haussmanian buildings, old theaters and many more. During the whole day tour : you’ll see the Galeries Lafayette dome and many more 19th century gems.

MORE ABOUT the Atmospheric 19th CENTURY TOUR at the botton of this page

The 19th century is everywhere in Paris. It was a fascinating time in the capital city of France.


A Paris street on a rainy day – Gustave Caillebotte

Miscellaneous evocations of the 19th century in Paris (listed in random order) :

Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885)

Victor illustration-5-e-manet-la-parisienne-1875Hugo,    Emile Zola,    Frédéric Chopin,   Napoleon,    The Second Empire,   Edouard Manet, Balzac    Paul Verlaine,    Arthur Rimbaud,   the Opera Garnier,   Haussman style,   the Industrial Revolution,   top hats, walking canes,   ladies in flowing gowns,    Historic cafes,   Dandies,   shopping arcades ,   Marcel Proust, Guy de Maupassant, Eugène Delacroix, the World’s Fairs,   the Eiffel Tower,   the first Metro,   Georges Sand,    Charles Baudelaire,   Berlioz, Debussy, Romanticism, Café de la Paix, the first train stations,  Renoir, Cézanne,Degas, Monet,   first movie screening …


Mid 19th Century

The 19th century fashion :


Tortoni cafe

During this 19th century tour, you’ll really feel the 19th century atmosphere. Among other shops, we’ll see an amazing shop with very old walking canes.

Gradually, men adopted long trousers rather than knee breeches, the tall hat developed into the top hat, the hair was often worn short and curled and the coats still finished in long tails at the back. The women’s dresses gradually revealed the form of the body.


Le Café du Helder – at the Grands boulevards


Galerie Colbert

The covered passages and shops :

We’ll stroll more than 5 covered passages.  Everything will make you feel you’re living a 19th century moment


Passage des Princes in the 10th century – Copyright Edition du Mercer

The covered passages are real architectural gems which have not really changed since the mid 19th century. And you will stroll in some of the 15 Paris’ covered passages left (there were 60 or so “passages couverts” in the 19th century) and will be able to go shopping exactly the way Parisians have done during the 19th century ! The haunts of the flaneurs !

Many different shops such as antique boutiques, book shops, toyshops, jewellers, designers…and also beautiful old theaters. High range fashion shops : for example, Christian Louboutin (picture below)


Galerie Vivienne in the 19th century

During the 19th century, the wealthy class were attracted to the passages by their elegance and their intimacy.

They were built to protect the Parisians from the rain and the mud of the streets and the traffic (the streets were still unpaved, dirty and dangerous because of the traffic). They were also used as short cuts between blocks.

At the end of the 19th century, they were gradually overshadowed by the new Grands Magasins (department stores) and somehow, left behind. Renovated mainly in the late 20th century, now, they’re again great places to walk and browse the boutiques, being protected from the rain and get a feel of the 19th century.

This Luthier has kept his old 19th century frontage

Many of the boutiques have kept their old-fashioned frontage. And their architecture  is really beautiful : glass and metal doors. In the covered passages :  marble paving, tile floors, glass roofs, hanging lamps, painted ceilings, copper pillars. Many of the passages and the boutiques are listed on the Historic Monuments register  (as above : a picture of a Luthier which has kept his original frontage).

An old charming tearoom

Amazing locations to get the feeling you’re living back in the 19th century and to experience the marvelous old fashioned atmosphere of this century


During your walking tour : why not some Marie Antoinette’s favorite chocolate ?

For a while, we’ll step back in the 18th century, with Marie-Antoinette’s favorite chocolate in a very old shop  And in the whole day tour option : we’ll visit a wonderful confectionery in an old traditional shop first opened in 1762.


Marie Antoinette favorite chocolates

Another secret gem I’d like to share with you : On our way, I suggest you try or get some of what were Marie-Antoine ‘s favorite chocolates : the pistoles of Marie Antoinette, a coin shaped chocolate :



A la mère de famille, candy and chocolate shop

Le Palais Royal in the 19th century (1828)


You’ll be charmed by the garden, the arcades, the galleries with old traditional boutiques..For the first third of the 19th century, the arcades and gardens were the center of Parisian high society





Palais Royal

The 19th century is the Golden age of Cafés :

The Café Tortoni, located at the 22 boulevard des Italiens was one of the most renown café of Paris in the 19th century. This café doesn’t exist anymore

During the 19th century, the whole of Paris, used to meet in cafes. It was the place where were you could see all the famous and fashionable people. Many iconic cafes were located at the Grands Boulevards, such as Le Café de La Paix or Tortini (more details on the left and below).

Cafe-concert by Edouard Manet – 1878

After the renovation by Baron Haussmann (since 1870) the Grand Boulevards were no longer the meeting centre of the elite, as much as they were before. During the next decade, the fashionable places were for example : the Champs Elysées and the Place du Chatelet. 

A tearoom in a Paris Gallery

Le café de la Paix : 

It is located on the ground floor of the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental, nearby the Opera Garnier.  The entire block was designed by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera Garnier. The café and the hotel opened in 1862. It’s decorated in the style of the Second Empire. The proximity to the Opera brought figures such as Oscar Wilde (1898), Josephine Baker, Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant or Ernest Hemigway. Frédéric Auguste Baratholdi produced here parts of the sketches of the Liberty Statue.


Café de la Paix

The Café de la Paix – end of the 19th century

After the opening of the Paris Opera in 1876, the Café de la Paix immediately became the place for influential political men to meet, as well as those from the finance world and from abroad.

The Café de la Paix is still one of Paris’ most famous cafe. It was designed by the Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opéra Garnier . The décor recalls a past era and the elegance of the 19th century remains.

The Haussmann style and the Urban renovation of Paris: 

During our walking tour, we’ll see how to recognize an Hausmannian building and what their specificities are. On our way, we’ll observe and find out what changes were achieved during the 19th century.


Works done during the second empire (1852-1870) in Paris

gravure-mmeuble-haussmannienDuring the 19th century and the second Empire, Napoleon III and his prefect Haussmann, decided a very important urban renovation of the city, which made the Paris that we all know now.  The city of Paris was rebuilt and modernized : the Opera Garnier, the Eiffel Tower, the Alexander bridge, the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, the Metro… were built.

London inspired Napoleon III to change Paris’s urban landscape. In 1850, most streets were very narrow, often unsanitary and not efficient for commerce and traffic. Napoleon wanted to change the medieval city of Paris into a modern capital with wide streets able to accomodate new modes of transportation, large parks and updated sewage systems.

The Emperor gave Haussmann, the Prefect of the Seine, the power to achieve these transformations. He planned a uniform and harmonious cityscape. Entire neighborhoods were raized. Large straight avenues, edged with trees, here green areas and stone buildings were created.

He required that the buildings obey some rigid architectural codes (the height, the number of floors, the construction materials to use, decorative details…), in order to creat a sort of unity and harmony.
His work decisively has determined the current appearance of Paris.

A typical 19th century architecture : (Can be included in the whole day tour –  “Atmospheric 19th walking tour”)

The Paris department stores

When you choose the  whole day option, we visit the Printemps (created in 1865) or the Galeries Lafayette (opened in 1912) and see their art nouveau dome.

Le Printemps department store


The Dome of Les Galeries Lafayette department store


Opéra Garnier – Late 19th century

The Opera Garnier : 

First opened in 1875 (Napoleon III – Second Empire) . A Neo-Baroque facade and a luxurious interior. For Ballets. 

The interior can be visited  www.operadeparis.fr

My article about the Opera Garnier

Opéra Garnier

 pariss-world-fair-of-1889-by-kimberly-phillips-1-728The Eiffel Tower : 

The Atmospheric 19th century walking tour doesn’t include the Eiffel Tower (not in the same area). However, the Eiffel Tower is the emblematic landmark of the 19th century. Opening day in 1889 for the World’s Fair





The Eiffel Tower in 1889

The Eiffel Tower on the opening day in 1889


Ann Jeanne

The atmospheric 19th century private walking tour : 

An amazing tour that will take you to some of the nicest covered galeries with old traditional and high range shops, marvellous tearooms and cafés. You’ll have the opportunity to get or taste some 19th century candies and/or chocolate (if you feel like it !). Why not Marie-Antoinette’s favorite chocolates… ? It includes a break in a café or a tearoom too.
And above all, it will take you back in the Paris of the 19th century. 2 options : a half day tour or a whole day tour for a even larger exploration of Paris of the 19th century. Book your tour !


A tour with Ann Jeanne in Paris is also a way to meet a Parisian and to know more about Paris culture and everyday life, and to experience Paris as a true Parisian. And I will answer your questions to help you to get the most of your stay in Paris (tips, informations…)

Half day tour or whole day tour : we’ll follow an itinerary people of the 19th century used to take, with boutiques that still have their old fashioned frontage and 19th century buildings…

And now, MORE PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS... to let you soak up  the 19th century atmosphere !


Hailing a cab outside the American cafe by Jean Beraud – 1890


A covered passage – 19th century

CHT198706 A Thief in a Department Store in Paris, illustration from 'Paradis des Dames', c.1895 (litho); by French School, (19th century); lithograph; Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France; Archives Charmet; French, out of copyright

A Thief in a Department Store in Paris, illustration from ‘Paradis des Dames’, c.1895


Boulevard des Italiens – Paris 9


Drinks on the boulevard -1878 by George Augustus Sala -1882

An etching of Paris circa 1860 - Carrefour Richelieu-Drouot, Grands-Boulevards - Courtesy of amourparis.fr Author Benjamin Pépiot

An etching of Paris – 1860 – Carrefour Richelieu-Drouot, Grands-Boulevards – Courtesy of amourparis.fr Author Benjamin Pépiot