Recently a few people asked me for tips on travel to Paris. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a frequent one, here is one suggestion on how you can make your visit memorable, fun and personalized in a very French way.
Remember those funny-looking little Citroen 2 Chevaux (2CV) cars? Well, they’ve been resurrected and have gotten new lives as touring cars.
You can now see Paris in style in one of these iconic cars with a chauffeur-guide, according to an itinerary you have selected from a wide-ranging list of choices. It could be Essential Paris, Paris by Night, Paris for Children, Secret Paris, Romantic Paris (which includes a dinner), and much more. Visit the sights you want to see, without wearing yourself out, while saving time. You may even create your own itinerary. Each 2CV accommodates up to three people besides the driver. Prices start from 20€/$32 depending on the itinerary, number of passengers and length of tour. Another option is to have your own bell boy go with you around town helping with shopping or sightseeing on foot, for one to ten persons for four hours. You set the time and itinerary.
This innovative concept is the brainchild of a young French entrepreneur who came up with the idea of recycling the nostalgic vehicles into Parisian touring cars. Thus, 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie (four wheels under one umbrella) was born. The quirky cars – a sort of French version of the German VW Beetle – were manufactured after World War II and designed to help rural people transition from horses and wagons towards a more efficient yet economical form of transportation. Over the years French people became very fond of their deux chevaux but they were eventually discontinued in the 1990s.
Today, with an extensive fleet of original 2CV vehicles, people and companies can experience the “art of French living” in a unique way – served by a team of cultured and friendly chauffeur-guides stylishly attired by the 125 year-old French clothing company, Saint-James.
Header Photo: Frank Meitzke