Explore the wonderful French capital on foot, by coach, and by subway, and discover its history, architecture, art, and food. Organized group visits will be complemented by free time to pursue one’s own interests. The tour price includes hotel accommodation, airport transfers, a seven-day subway pass, a four-day "front of the line" museum pass, five dinners or lunches in typical restaurants, a Seine cruise, and a classical music concert! The tour is escorted by Michael Quinn.
Morning arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Coach transfer and introductory panoramic tour of the city, including the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, etc. Early afternoon hotel registration and time to settle in and rest after the overnight flight. Some energy left? Join our leisurely late afternoon walking tour of the neighbourhood, including sights such as the Opera Garnier and the Madeleine Church. This evening, group dinner in a typical restaurant.
After breakfast, walking tour of Roman Paris, with monuments such as the ruins of the amphitheatre (Arènes de Lutèce) and the Baths, as well as the Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame. After lunch in a cozy restaurant of the Latin Quarter, we take the Metro to famous Père La Chaise Cemetery to view the tombs of such notables as Chopin, Oscar Wilde, and Edith Piaf, as well as the evocative monuments of WW II. Return to the hotel in late afternoon and evening at leisure.
A full-day tour of the many important monuments that have appeared in Paris in recent decades, especially since the presidency of Mitterand: the monumental “Grande Arche” in the Défense suburb; the National Library, the Omnisports Stadium and Ministry of Finance in trendy Bercy. In the afternoon we continue to the “Cité Scientifique” of La Vilette, with the spectacular “deconstructivist” architectural creations of Bernard Tschumi on the site of the old Parisian slaughter houses! This evening, dinner in a traditional bistro.
This morning we focus on the food of the “movable feast” that Paris happens to be, with visits to markets and delicatessen establishments in neighbourhoods such as the Marais, and St-Germain des Prés. After a group lunch, we climb the staircase - or take the funicular! – to the top of the Butte (Hill) of Montmartre, the famous district of artists and Bohémiens, featured in Puccini’s opera La Bohème. From the stairs in front of the huge Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, we will enjoy a magnificent view of Paris before returning to our hotel.
This morning we travel by RER rapid transit to Versailles to visit the impressive palace built for the “Sun King,” Louis XIV, with attractions such as magnificent gardens planned by Le Nôtre, the Royal Chapel, and of course the Hall of Mirrors, where the infamous Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919. Time for lunch in the market of Versailles before returning to Paris, where there will still be time for a visit to Les Invalides (with Napoleon’s tomb), the Rodin Museum, or perhaps the Arc de Triomphe.
Today, we explore selected sites and monuments associated with the French Revolution, e.g. Place de la Bastille (where it all started on July 14, 1789); Place de la Concorde (site of the guillotine), the Tuileries Gardens; and the little-known Mausoleum of Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette. Rest of the day at leisure. This might be a good time for a boat tour on the River Seine!
After breakfast, you may want to join Michael on a visit to the Orsay Museum, a grand old railway station that morphed into the great Parisian showcase of 19th-century art, featuring works by masters such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc. The afternoon is available to take advantage of your Museum Pass to visit the Hotel de Cluny or yet another museum or monument. Or how about some retail therapy in the marvelous Grands Magasins, department stores such as Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, whose gourmet counters would be a fine venue for dinner!
This morning we take the subway to the Louvre Museum, featuring countless superb art treasures, including Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. The afternoon allows for personal choices, an open invitation to visit any other museum or monument: e.g. the Picasso Museum and the Pompidou Centre. This evening, Au Revoir- dinner in a typical bistro!
Tour ends this morning in Paris
-Airport transfers in Paris; -Accommodation in 4-star Mercure Opera Garnier, based on double occupancy; the single room supplement is $955.00. -Meals: daily buffet breakfast plus five full-course dinners/lunches; -Sightseeing and visits as indicated in the itinerary; -Classical music concert; -Seine River cruise; -Subway Pass valid for 7 days; -Museum Pass valid for 4 days.
-Airfare, available upon request; -Beverages (wine, beer, mineral water, tea, etc.) with dinners; -All items of a personal nature; -Travel insurance, available upon request.
June 06 - 16, 2019
$3,775.00 including return air from Toronto
June 13 - 14, 2019
$635 + HST based on sharing accommodation
August 05 - 20, 2019
$4,995 from Toronto