Explore at your own pace and let your interests be your guide as you explore the art, culture, and joie de vivre of Paris during this special stay that showcases the City of Light in the tradition of lifelong learning. 

Starting at: $4,190 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris  Traditional French breakfast or <i>petit-déjeuner</i>  Parisian cafe. Credit: Paris Tourist Office / Photographer Daniel Thierry  Relaxing in the Jardin des Tuileries. Credit: Paris Toursim Office, David Lefranc  The City of Light at sunset. Credit: Suzanne Silagi  Stained glass windows in a medieval chapel, Paris. Credit: Vincent Cheng  The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles  The Palace of Versailles  Traditional square in Dijon, Burgundy

Paris

A One-Week Stay in France

9-12 days from $4,190

Explore at your own pace and let your interests be your guide as you explore the art, culture, and joie de vivre of Paris during this special stay that showcases the City of Light in the tradition of lifelong learning. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

We really like the 'city break' concept. You get the best of both worlds: the study leaders (always excellent) and time on your own. And, as always with Smithsonian tours, wonderful travel companions.

- Previous Journeys Traveler

You can count on Smithsonian for quality and excellence. First class all the way! 

- Carolyn D.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

LAST CALL!

Save $250 *per person when you book by July 29, 2016! Use promotion code LASTCALL online or when speaking to our travel specialists to secure these savings.

• Sept. 15, 2016

*Offer valid on new bookings only.

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Join us for a magical city stay in Paris—the center of French history, culture, and art—and enjoy walking tours, day excursions, and time at leisure.

Highlights Include:

  • Walking Tours: Gain a deeper appreciation of the city through walking tours of Le Marais (one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris), the Trocadero, and sites along the Right Bank associated with World War II. Plus take a Seine River cruise and ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You’ll also savor a tasting at a chocolatier shop!
  • Day Excursions: Go beyond Paris to the Palace of Versailles and the Burgundian town of Dijon on special day excursions.
  • Flexible Schedule and Museum Pass: Pack your time full of activities or enjoy a more leisurely pace—it’s your choice! Talks led by experts provide background knowledge for afternoon explorations—either solo or with new travel friends. Your two-day museum pass provides free and expedited entry to more than 60 city museums so that you can choose your schedule and follow your passion! Plus, you’ll get around easily with Metro passes and your resident director is always available to advise on other activities. 

We really like the 'city break' concept. You get the best of both worlds: the study leaders (always excellent) and time on your own. And, as always with Smithsonian tours, wonderful travel companions.

- Previous Journeys Traveler

You can count on Smithsonian for quality and excellence. First class all the way! 

- Carolyn D.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2016 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on an overnight transatlantic flight to Paris, France.

Day 2 — Paris, France

After an early morning flight arrival, clear brief formalities then transfer to your hotel. Your Paris home-away-from-home is a comfortable studio apartment with a fully equipped kitchenette located near the Paris Opera Garnier, Metro, railway stations, and many interesting city highlights. Meet with your travel director, who will be available throughout your trip to assist with independent sightseeing arrangements, dinner or shopping suggestions, or other “concierge” services you may require. Attend a group welcome briefing that will acquaint you with the Paris Metro System and answer questions you might have. Following the briefing, depart for an orientation walk of your new neighborhood. Bienvenue a Paris! This evening Smithsonian Journeys travelers will gather for a welcome reception and dinner at a favored local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 — Paris

Breakfast at the hotel is included each morning during your stay in Paris. The day starts with a cruise on the Seine River. UNESCO has designated the banks of the Seine as a World Heritage site. On this remarkable river you’ll see the Grand Palace, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower as you sail under the famous bridges of Paris, such as the Pont Neuf. This afternoon, you’re invited to attend a talk focusing on the history of Paris. This evening, sit down to dinner at a local restaurant with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers. (B,D)

Day 4 — Paris

This morning, travel with local Parisians on a short metro ride to the Marais neighborhood, where you’ll meet a local expert for a guided walking tour of this historic district. Explore the heart of the artistic and cultural life of Paris in this intimate neighborhood, known for some of the city's best surviving Baroque architecture; charming, narrow streets; historically large Jewish community; and current trendy art galleries and hip boutiques. This afternoon is at leisure to pursue personal interests. In late afternoon, join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for an in-depth presentation. Afterward, get together in the Smithsonian travelers' corner for some lively conversation and discussion.

Day 5 — Paris & Versailles

Today, go beyond Paris and take a train ride to the Palace of Versailles. Visit the opulent Grand Apartments, the stunning chandelier-lit Hall of Mirrors, and the Queen's Apartments, while discovering illuminating details of courtly life in the palace. Take time to discover the remarkable formal gardens. We’ve included an audio headset so that you can explore independently and at your own pace. Return to Paris by local rail service. This afternoon you’re invited to attend an engaging lecture on the treasures of the d’Orsay Museum. (B)

Day 6 — Paris

Today is free of planned activities. See your travel director who can assist with planning your day. It might be fun to take in a Paris market or find a spot to enjoy life and people-watch near the Luxembourg Gardens. Later in the afternoon attemd a lecture on the treasures of the Louvre Museum. This evening Smithsonian Journeys travelers will get together for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 — Paris

Today is at leisure so you can follow your own path and explore on your own. Your travel director will be on hand to assist with planning your day. In late afternoon, join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for an engaging talk. Afterward, get together in the Smithsonian travelers' corner for an exchange of ideas and some lively conversation. (B)

Day 8 — Paris & Dijon

Travel at 200 miles per hour aboard France’s TGV high-speed train to the city of Dijon in Burgundy. An expert guide will introduce you to the historic city center and to the sights and heritage of this charming city. Luncheon will be served at the famous Hotel Particulier. There’s time to explore on your own before boarding the TGV for the trip back to Paris. (B,L)

Day 9 — Paris & Rouen

Today, journey in comfort aboard a regional train to the historic town of Rouen, the capital of Normandy. An expert guide will meet the train and lead a walking tour to the landmark Gros Horloge. Continue to the Rouen Cathedral of Notre Dame made famous by Monet in his studies of color and light and hear the haunting story of heroic Joan of Arc before returning to Paris by rail. (B)

Day 10 — Paris

The French Revolution is the focus of a guided walking tour of the Latin Quarter. See where revolutionaries lived and met in the oldest cafe in Paris, and the hall where Danton and the radical Cordelier’s Club held their debates. Learn the back-story of Dr. Guillotin’s sinister “razor” and that of Marat, stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday. In late afternoon, you’re invited to attend an informal talk focusing on contemporary France. (B)

Day 11 — Paris

An escorted walking tour detailing the history of Paris under German Occupation is scheduled. Learn how the Parisians survived the dark years of the occupation from 1940-44 on this walk in the area of the Champs Elysées. Hear the stories of daily life, the Gestapo, the Resistance, and the Liberation. See the traces of the last street battle on Rue de Rivoli and the Hotel Meurice where General Von Choltitz surrendered the German forces. See the Jeu de Paume Museum, where Rose Valland's heroic endeavors saved priceless artworks from Nazi plunder. The remainder of the day is free of planned activities to continue your exploration of Paris. Tonight gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a farewell reception and dinner at a favorite Parisian restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 12 – Depart for the U.S.

Depart the hotel and transfer to the Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

2017 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on an overnight transatlantic flight to Paris, France.

Day 2 — Paris

After an early morning flight arrival, clear brief formalities, then transfer to your hotel. Your Paris home-away-from-home is located close to the Grands Boulevards and the Paris Opera Garnier, the Metro, and many interesting city highlights. During your stay, the travel director will be available to assist with independent sightseeing arrangements, dinner or shopping suggestions, or other “concierge” services you may require. Depart the hotel with your travel director who will show you around the neighborhood. This evening Smithsonian Journeys travelers will gather for a welcome reception at the hotel. The Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer welcoming remarks. Afterward, dinner will be served at a popular Parisian restaurant or brasserie. Bon Appetit! (D) 

Day 3 — Paris

A full English-style buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. The Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer an engaging presentation. Later in the morning a cruise is planned on the Seine River. UNESCO has designated the banks of the Seine as a World Heritage Site. On this remarkable river you’ll see Notre Dame Cathedral, the Ile St. Louis, the Louvre Museum and the French Institute. After the cruise, lunch will be served at a local bistro. This evening gather for dinner with fellow Smithsonian travelers at popular restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Paris

This morning, join the Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an engaging presentation. Afterward, travel to the Marais neighborhood where you’ll meet a local expert guided for a walking tour of this historic district. Explore the artistic and cultural heart of Paris in this neighborhood known for its historic Jewish community. Stop at a bistro in the Marais for lunch with fellow travelers. The afternoon is at leisure. Get-together with fellow travelers in Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner for lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 5 — Paris

Depart Paris by motor coach for the drive to Versailles to visit the most famous and opulent palace in France and a designated World Heritage Site. See the Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Prior to the French Revolution, Versailles was the political and cultural center of France. An expert local guide will offer fascinating narrative during the tour. Luncheon will be served at a bistro nearby. After returning to Paris, the Smithsonian Journeys Expert will present an engaging topical presentation. (B,L)

Day 6 — Paris

This morning, explore the Parisian “moveable feast” on a culinary walking tour. Browse a chocolatier, patisserie, and a fromagerie and sample the delightful sweets and cheeses. Later, join an escorted walking tour that will highlight the history of Paris under German Occupation. Learn how the Parisians survived the dark years of the occupation from 1940-44. Hear the stories of the Gestapo, the Resistance and the Liberation. The remainder of the day is free of planned activities to continue your exploration of Paris. Join fellow travelers this evening for dinner at a select restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 — Paris and Dijon

Travel at 200 miles per hour aboard France’s TGV high-speed train to the city of Dijon in Bourgogne. An expert guide will introduce you to the historic city center and to the sights and heritage of this charming city. Luncheon will be served at a historic home in Dijon. There’s time to explore on your own before boarding the train for the trip back to Paris. (B,L)

Day 8 — Paris

Begin the day with the Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an informative presentation. Visit the Trocadero, set across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. It’s a lovely open space with delightful formal flower gardens dominated by the Palais de Chaillot. Later, take a ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower and have a “chic picnic” lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. This evening, gather with Smithsonian Journeys friends for a special farewell dinner at a popular Parisian restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

Depart the hotel and transfer to the Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)