Q: I will be spending just a few days in Paris in late April. How can I arrange an English-speaking half-day tour of the city? Groups are OK.
A: Paris is a city made for walking, so I'd suggest you join a walking tour offered by either The Original Paris Walks (www.paris-walks.com) or Classic Walks (http://classicwalksparis.com), both of which offer daily, guided strolls through interesting historic and contemporary parts of the city.
If it's an overview you want, consider Class Walks' "Classic Walk," a 3.5-hour, 4-mile walk that begins at the Eiffel Tower and covers important sites such as Notre Dame, the Musee D'Orsay, the Louvre, Tulleries Gardens, Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. You'll get a lay of the land, and feel more confident about getting back to any of these places on your own, should you have time to see more. Walks are 20 euros, $26.80 at current exchange rates, and no reservations are required.
Paris Walks, modeled after walking tours organized in London by The Original London Walks, offers a variety of daily tours that delve in-depth into particular neighborhoods such as the Latin Quarter and the Marais. Some explore themes such as the French Revolution or Hemingway's Paris. Walks are 12 euros ($16) for adults and 10 euros ($13.40) for students under 21. No reservations needed.
With some advance notice, you could spend a morning or an afternoon with a Paris Greeter through Parisien D'un Jour (www.parisiendunjour.fr). This is a volunteer organization that recruits locals to lead strolls around their favorite parts of the city.
Just fill out the registration form on the Web site, and wait for a volunteer to get in touch. Tours are free. Donations are accepted to defray costs.