7-Day Discovery: Paris
Discover the elegance, magic, and "joie de vivre" of Paris, a city rich in museums, history, and gourmet restaurants, and enjoy the perfect blend of excursions and free time
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!”
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Hemingway described Paris as a “moveable feast,” a never-ending collection of sights and sounds unlike any place else in the world. It's a city rich in museums, monuments, and grand boulevards, elegance and fashion, and gourmet restaurants! Join us for a week in Paris for the perfect blend of excursions and free time to pursue personal interests—all at a great value! A full-day city tour offers the perfect orientation to the highlights of magical Paris, while a guided tour of the Louvre provides an ideal way to discover its masterpieces. Meanwhile, a Smithsonian expert provides background on the city and its art and culture to enhance your stay.
From there, enjoy a leisurely pace or pack your week full of activities—it’s your choice. Paris offers a rich selection of museums, neighborhoods, boutiques, and restaurants to discover on your own. Yet you can also choose to go beyond Paris on one (or both) of our full-day optional tours. In the Champagne region, enjoy tastings at famous wine cellars and a tour of Reims, or join a day trip to the world-famous Versailles and Chartres. This program offers an incredible value, as it also includes international airfare, first-class accommodations, and many meals, plus the services of a tour director and Smithsonian Journeys Expert!
November 2 & 3 — U.S. to Paris, France
Depart the U.S. for your overnight flight to Paris, France. Upon arrival transfer to the Mecure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel hotel. A Travel Representative will be available at the Activity Resource Desk to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner or shopping suggestions, or any other assistance you may require.
Join you fellow travelers for a Welcome to Paris Reception at the hotel.
November 4 — Paris
Discover the many historic landmarks of Paris, the City of Lights, during today’s panoramic tour. Glimpse the Champs Élysées, bookended by Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe and thePlace de la Concorde with its Obelisk of Luxor. See Trocadéro, Place Vendôme, Opéra Garnier, Académie Françaisé Madeleine Church and the famous symbol of Paris, theEiffel Tower. Admire views of the Louvre Museum, former palace to the kings of France, and marvel at the Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the city’s crown jewel. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of Montmartre. See the bright-white Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Learn about the history of the basilica and the artists and portrait painters of Place du Tertre. (B,D)
November 5 — Paris
Enjoy the day at leisure.
You may choose to join an optional excursion to Versailles and Chartres. Travel to Versailles and experience the glory and splendor of the gilded world of King Louis XIV. 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. Explore the formal gardens on your own. Continue to Chartres, a small village located south of Paris, known for its impressive Gothic cathedral. During a guided tour of the cathedral, a World Heritage site, view the spectacular stained-glass windows featuring colored glass dating back to the l2th and l3th centuries, all in excellent condition. (B)
November 6 — Paris
Enjoy the day in Paris to pursue individual interests.
You may choose to join an optional tour to Reims and the Champagne Region. Journey to Reims, the gateway to the Champagne region, and discover its many treasures, including the 13th-century Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, where generations of French kings have been crowned. Enjoy an orientation tour of the town and a guided tour of the cathedral. Admire the cathedral’s stunning façade, elaborately decorated with statues and its magnificent stained-glass windows. Afterward, embark on a scenic drive through the vine-covered hills of the Champagne region to Épernay, home to some of the finest producers of the world-renowned bubbly. Tour the prestigious wine cellars of Moët & Chandon and enjoy a tasting of their famous champagne. Continue to the House of G.H. Mumm and learn about the art of winemaking and sample the classic Cordon Rouge. (B)
November 7 — Paris
Following a presentation on the Louvre Museum by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, enjoy a guided visit to the museum. Once a royal fortress, the Louvre is now a treasure trove of the world’s most spectacular artistic masterpieces. During today’s visit, marvel at Greek and Roman antiquities, ponder the secret of Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile and delight in expressive modern sculptures.
Enjoy the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Gather with fellow travelers for a special Farewell Dinner. (B, D)
November 8 — Paris to U.S.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)
Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to operating conditions.