I was a huge skeptic….having lived in Paris for quite a while and driven in this city many times, I could not imagine that driving in the city center could actually be fun (and anything less than terrifying in such a tiny vehicle).

Go-Self Tours
Photo of me thanks to Mary Kay of Out and About in Paris!

Full disclaimer–a few weeks ago, I was asked to review Go-Self Tours’ Paris Essentiel circuit for Paris Weekender. I was offered the tour for free, but yet I almost cancelled last minute. I could not imagine it would be a fun or relaxing experience.

But I was hugely surprised! The car is electric and eco-friendly; it makes no noise at all (with the exception of an annoying blinker signal that they are in the process of adjusting.) I got used to the way the car handled within the first minute or two. The car is really more of a golf cart than a car. Scary at first, yes. But I found other drivers on the road surprisingly pleasant and careful around us–the tiny little car made them (yes, Parisians) laugh and smile! You can see so many sights in a short amount of time, learn about each place you stop and pull up and park anywhere. We laughed the whole way and the time flew by.

Thankfully Mary Kay of Out and About in Paris was adventurous and trusting enough to join me in this adventure. Thank you, Mary Kay! Unless you just love city driving, I really would not recommend this adventure alone. (And the car only seats two, though you could rent more than one car and caravan!) It does help to have someone else not only to share the adventure with but also to work the GPS and the audio portion of the tour.

I would still not recommend this for anyone who’s not a confident driver, but assuming one person in your duo is a good driver, I highly recommend this adventure. Especially for anyone looking to cover a lot of ground quickly or for someone who knows Paris already and wants to try something different.

It seems that Joël, the owner of the company, has thought of everything. The cars are equipped with wifi, a GPS and audio descriptions of the various sites that Joël had written by an historian. There is even another little surprise, but I won’t give it away here….

While I was offered this tour for free, I find the prices to be very reasonable: my 1 hour 15 minute tour is priced at 55€ per car (i.e. per 2 people). I would do a Go-Self tour again for the full fee without hesitation. They currently offer six pre-set tours (daytime or evening), but they are always willing to work out customized tours as well. I look forward to trying the Montmartre tour soon!

For more information, visit the Go-Self Tours website and Facebook page. And if you really want a taste of coming attractions, see their video gallery…. or maybe it’s best to wait and just be surprised when you take the wheel!

 

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