Exploring Paris with a vintage Citroen 2CV has been a completely new experience. In Paris, I absolutely love to walk. No distance is too far, you just walk to see as much as possible of this beautiful city. The metro is another option to easily get from A to B, check out my Guide on public transportation in Paris soon, but on most lines, you don’t have a view at all. But, sitting in a vintage car, driving around Paris, that’s something everyone should do.
my positive experience with Paris Authentic
Standing in the shade of the trees of the Champ de Mars in Paris, I hear a rattling sound coming towards me from afar. In the backdrop of accelerating and braking cars around the famous Eiffel Tower. But I hear it clearly, the Citroen 2CV “duck”. The driver quickly gets out and apologises for the delay, saying that Parisian city traffic is to blame. As I had already been on the road in Paris myself, I could understand the delay of half an hour and took a seat in the passenger seat of the duck. Paris Authentic is the name of the company that offers “authentic city tours” and sightseeing tours through Paris, in typical French Citroen 2CVs, also known and loved as “ducks”.
Read here my full Paris Travel Guide.
The top of the car is already open and we roar off. My hair is blowing in the wind and I can’t suppress a grin. Many obvious tourists point at us, take photos and wave friendly. You just have to be in the right car in the right city and the sympathy points are sure to come your way, you don’t need a car costing hundreds of thousands of euros to stand out.
After Avenue Joseph Bouvard, we turn off to drive past the Eiffel Tower again from the other side. The other cars honk their horns, hazard lights flash like there’s no tomorrow and generally there’s a lot of hustle and bustle outside the vintage car, but inside the driver is telling me about Paris and the sights. After a few traffic lights and honking cars, we cross the Pont d’Iéna over the Seine river towards Place Charles de Gaulle and Arc de Triomphe. The small and thin wheels of the Citroen just bounce over the asphalt and the crunching and rattling of the whole car makes the adventure perfect. The quite low seating position on the springy seats makes even “normal” cars look so high and houses passing by through the small windows look even more beautiful and French. Nevertheless, at the beginning it feels a little unsafe when three lanes on the other side of the intersection turn into only one, or when you change from one lane to four lanes further on.
But that’s the way traffic is in Paris, and yet there are very few accidents because everyone is careful, in some way. On the Charles de Gaulle, which feels a hundred lanes wide, we do another lap and continue towards the St. Germain district. But first we continue along the Seine, through the Louvre and over the Pont Neuf. A little further through the small streets and the one-hour drive with the Citroen 2CV and Paris Authentic comes to an end. I get out in front of one of the many busy street cafés and stroll through St. Germain and the 6th arrondissement.
What to expect from your Paris Authentic Tour around Paris
The meeting point for my Paris Authentic Guided City Tour has been nothing less than the backside of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Due to Parisian traffic, my meeting time with the driver was heavily delayed, without any previous notice. I just waited and waited, wrote emails and called, until I suddenly heard a sound. With all the modern cars around, this iconic sound of an old engine struck out. There it was, my ride for the upcoming hour, the vintage Citroen 2CV by Paris Authentic in the iconic french-colour livery. After a quick hello I jumped in the passenger seat and we took off again, into the midst of the Parisian traffic. More traffic, more time in the car. The Tour with Paris Authentic doesn’t only include a ride around town, the driver is also a local and can tell you so much about almost every building, historic statue and place.
my Test summary of the drive in a Citroen 2CV duck through Paris with Paris Authentic
All in all, I can highly recommend a city tour with Paris Authentic in the Citroen 2CV. There is room for up to three people in the duck, plus the driver, and hopping and rattling across the Parisian tarmac lets you soak up the Parisian flair even more, and the tips and information on the sights round off the experience perfectly. The pick-up and drop-off points (directly at the hotel, at sights, at the train station,…) can be arranged individually with the driver/company and if you choose two separate points, you can still use the time-limited trip for further excursions in the city of love.
How to book your Paris Authentic Tour
Simply visit their website to check out available dates and tours: parisauthentic.com/en/