Explore the art, history, and joie de vivre of Paris during this Cultural Stay program featuring insightful excursions and time to follow your own pursuits in the City of Light.

Starting at: $4,340 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Eiffel Tower overlooking the Seine   Seine River, Paris  Traditional French breakfast or <i>petit-déjeuner</i>  Parisian cafe. Credit: Paris Tourist Office / Photographer Daniel Thierry  The Tuileries gardens near the Louvre  Relaxing in the Jardin des Tuileries. Credit: Paris Toursim Office, David Lefranc  Entrance to the Louvre, Paris  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 days from $4,340

Explore the art, history, and joie de vivre of Paris during this Cultural Stay program featuring insightful excursions and time to follow your own pursuits in the City of Light.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Our other tour members were an interesting mix of people with different backgrounds from around the country. We enjoyed spending time with everyone and now feel they are our new friends.

- Mary Anne K.

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

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Overview

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Week-long Cultural Stay featuring one city and hotel stay. Moderate pace with some afternoons and a day at leisure for personal pursuits/museum visits with Museum Pass. Extensive walking tours of neighborhoods, museums, and outdoor sites. Requires use of public transportation within the city; two train trips for excursions outside the city. Hotel centrally located for easy access to museums, sites, shops, and restaurants, which is ideal for time at leisure. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion​. 

Our other tour members were an interesting mix of people with different backgrounds from around the country. We enjoyed spending time with everyone and now feel they are our new friends.

- Mary Anne K.

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.

2020 Itinerary

Day 1 — In Transit

Depart for Paris, France.

Day 2 — Paris

Arrive at Charles DeGaulle International Airport and transfer to Paris and the Hotel Les Jardins du Marais located in the heart of the historic Marais District and near many fascinating city highlights. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to assist with independent arrangements and dining suggestions. Each traveler will receive an informative Welcome Package that contains city information and a map.

After settling in, gather in the hotel lobby to explore the neighborhood around your hotel during an orientation walk.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception at the hotel. Afterward, dinner will be served at a popular Parisian brasserie. (R,D)

Day 3 — Paris

Enjoy a full American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel each morning. Gain insight into WWII from a local speaker who will discuss the French Resistance and its fight to free the French people from German occupation. Afterwards, depart the hotel for a walking tour of the surrounding Marais district. Learn about the history of the Marais as you pass medieval buildings and elegant mansions with leafy courtyards and lovely gardens. See the remains of the original city walls, the Jewish quarter, and the Place des Vosges. Continue exploring on a leisurely Seine River luncheon cruise. You’ll sail under many of the ornate and historic bridges spanning the river including the Pont Royal, Pont Neuf, and Pont Des Artes. See the Musee d’Orsay, the Île St. Louis, and the Louvre Museum from the unique perspective of the river cruiser. (B,L)

Day 4 — Paris

During a morning tour, discover the many flavors of France on an excursion that will introduce you to the delights of French gastronomy. Ernest Hemingway famously said that Paris is a “moveable feast” and on this culinary walking tour, you’ll sample from a basketful of delightful French food specialties. Afterward, tour the famed Rodin Museum. Originally, the museum was known as the Hôtel Biron, where Henri MatisseJean Cocteau, and many other members of Paris’ creative community also resided. This evening, dinner will be at your leisure. (B)

Day 5 — Dijon

Travel to Dijon on the high-speed TGV train. Discover the historic sites and culture of this charming Burgundian capital city. Admire stately mansions, churches, and half-timbered homes from the 15th and 16th centuries. An expert guide will bring to life the sites and culture of Dijon. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and see the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy in the ancient Palace of the Dukes. Lunch is served at the Hotel Particulier, a private mansion occupied in the 17th century by the Malatesta family. You’ll have time to explore the city on your own before boarding the TGV train back to Paris. After returning to the Paris hotel, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L)

Day 6 — Versailles

Depart Paris on an excursion to Versailles to visit the legendary and opulent palace, 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 heart of France. Lunch will be served at a nearby bistro before you return to Paris. (B,L)

Day 7 — Paris

In mid-morning, depart the hotel for a visit to the fascinating Picasso Museum that showcases a remarkable collection of over 5,000 artistic works and thousands of archived items that include sketches, notebooks, etchings in various stages, photographs, illustrated books, films, and documents that reveal the artist’s creative evolution. Afterwards, there is time to explore Paris on your own. In late afternoon, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B)

Day 8 — Paris

With your Paris Museum Pass in hand, explore the iconic Louvre Museum or the famed Musée d’Orsay. Afterwards, let your interests be your guide and explore the city at your own pace.

Tonight, gather with fellow travelers and raise a raise a glass to your Paris adventure at a festive farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast transfer to Charles De Gaulle International Airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2020 Itinerary (April 25 departure only)

Day 1 — In Transit

Depart for Paris, France.

Day 2 — Paris

Arrive at Charles DeGaulle International Airport and transfer to Paris and the Hotel Les Jardins du Marais located in the heart of the historic Marais District and near many fascinating city highlights. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to assist with independent arrangements and dining suggestions. Each traveler will receive an informative Welcome Package that contains city information and a map.

After settling in, gather in the hotel lobby to explore the neighborhood around your hotel during an orientation walk.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception at the hotel. Afterward, dinner will be served at a popular Parisian brasserie. (R,D)

Day 3 — Paris

Enjoy a full American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel each morning. Step back in time to WWII with a local speaker who will talk on the French Resistance and its fight to free the French people from German occupation. Afterwards, depart the hotel for a walking tour of the surrounding Marais district. Learn about the history of the Marais as you pass medieval buildings and elegant mansions with leafy courtyards and lovely gardens. See the remains of the original city walls, the Jewish quarter, and the Place des Vosges. With your Paris Museum Pass in hand, explore the iconic Louvre Museum or the famed Musée d’Orsay. Afterwards, let your interests be your guide and explore the city at your own pace. (B)

Day 4 — Paris

This morning, enjoy discovering one of Paris’ remarkable museums with your Museum Pass. After lunch at leisure, tour the famed Rodin Museum. Originally, the museum was known as the Hôtel Biron, where Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, and many other members of Paris’ creative community also resided. This evening, dinner will served at a local bistro. (B, D)

Day 5 — Dijon

Travel to Dijon on the high-speed TGV train. Discover the historic sites and culture of this charming Burgundian capital city. Admire stately mansions, churches, and half-timbered homes from the 15th and 16th centuries. An expert guide will bring to life the sites and culture of Dijon. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and see the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy in the ancient Palace of the Dukes. Lunch is served at the Hotel Particulier, a private mansion occupied in the 17th century by the Malatesta family. You’ll have time to explore the city on your own before boarding the TGV train back to Paris. After returning to the Paris hotel, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L)

Day 6 — Versailles

Depart Paris on an excursion to Versailles to visit the legendary and most 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 heart of France. Lunch will be served at a nearby bistro before you return to Paris. In the early evening, join new friends in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L)

Day 7 — Paris

Enjoy time on your own this morning. Later, explore Paris from a unique perspective on a leisurely Seine River luncheon cruise. You’ll sail under many of the ornate and historic bridges spanning the river including the Pont Royal, Pont Neuf, and Pont Des Artes. See the Musee d’Orsay, the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, the Île St. Louis and the Louvre Museum from the unique perspective of the river cruiser. In the early evening, get together in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner. (B, L)

Day 8 — Paris

You’re in for a treat today! On a morning tour you’ll discover the many flavors of France on an excursion that will initiate you to the delights of French gastronomy. Ernest Hemingway famously said that Paris is a “moveable feast” and on this culinary walking tour, you’ll sample from a basketful of delightful French food specialties. After lunch at leisure, explore the Picasso Museum that showcases a remarkable collection of over 5,000 artistic works and thousands of archived items that include sketches, notebooks, etchings in various stages, photographs, illustrated books, films and documents that reveal the artist’s creative evolution. Afterwards, there is time to explore Paris on your own. Tonight, gather with fellow travelers and raise a glass to your Paris adventure at a festive farewell dinner. (B, D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast transfer to Charles De Gaulle International Airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)