2023 Dates: May 14 – 18; Sept 19 – 23 (Just for Women)
We also offer a seven-night trip The Paris Experience.
Inside Paris is a special four-night Experience, which was offered for the first time in 2022. Our groups base in heart of Paris, not far from the River Seine in the famous Latin Quarter.
Although it can be booked standalone, this shorter Experience is planned to be an ideal pre-trip or post-trip to one of our week-long trips in France (The Luberon Experience or The Mediterranean Provence Experience). If you book Inside Paris and a week-long Experience, transportation between the two locations is included.
Who doesn’t know Paris? It is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating, beautiful and loved cities on earth. This iconic city captures the imagination with grandiose monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the magical River Seine, traversed with multiple pedestrian bridges, lined with booksellers and artists. The “City of Light” is the apex of architectural beauty, artistic expression and culinary delight.
The charm of Paris, however, lies in the small details: the quaint cobblestone streets, perfectly manicured gardens, bakeries on every street corner, Belle Epoque brasseries, and sidewalk cafés. This is the locals’ authentic Paris and the one we will enjoy.
We stay in a typically Parisian, very comfortable boutique hotel, in a neighborhood in the 5th Arrondissement. You will love this area of Paris!
Experiences in Paris
Although it’s a shorter trip, Inside Paris follows the same approach as our other European Experience trips, including a variety of special activities and experiences unique to this area. This trip is designed for those who have already visited the most touristed highlights, as we’ll dig deeper, providing experiences locals enjoy, some of which are not normally accessible by visitors. Because of the city location and the intimate nature of these experiences, we’ll normally have a group of no more than eight travelers for this trip.
This trip will focus on themed days, including French gastronomy and food history, art and architecture, homes and gardens, while visiting through the perspective of locals for a true “inside” experience.
- An introductory jaunt about town in an iconic French Citroën 2CV car. This is a bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime experience and a great way to get to know your fellow travelers.
- A walking tour of the Haut Marais, once the textile district, and now the hub of contemporary artisans and creators. It’s a very authentic and creative area of Paris. Our visit is hosted by a local guide and blogger.
- A visit inside one of Paris’ charming “house” museums, ranging from Haussmannian apartments to city mansions (known in French as “hotels”). Unique collections of art and furniture bring these historic homes to life. We also learn the stories of their former Parisian owners.
- Exploration of one or two special Paris gardens, accompanied by a passionate garden lover.
- A stroll through the Marché Aligré, a neighborhood produce market in the 12th arrondissement, running daily since 1779. This vibrant market attracts Parisians from across the city, thanks to its old fashioned atmosphere and historic central market hall. Tastings are planned!
- A special day focused on gastronomy and food history, hosted by a specialized guide who is also a trained chef. A highlight will be a meal in a “bouillon,” an eating establishment created at the beginning of the 20th century to serve all walks of life. These preserved dining rooms are “old school” Paris, where simple, tasty, unpretentious meals are still presented in glorious art deco interiors that retain their authentic atmospheres.
- Other memorable meals may include a traditional bistro meal, a wine bar for cheese & charcuterie, a crêperie for a savory lunch, and a Parisian tea room. One highlight is dinner hosted by a local woman at her apartment.
Because this is a four-night trip in a city, there’s not much free time. We want to make the best use of our time together to take advantage of all these special opportunities. Because we’re in a city, please also be prepared to walk! (You’ll likely get those 10,000 steps every day.)
Our “Just for Women” trips offer a special variation of Inside Paris. We’ll follow the same overall itinerary, with some adjustments based on the interests of the group. We usually include a visit on the last morning to a legendary “parapharmacie” where Parisiennes buy all their beauty creams. (You’ll be guided to the best French brands and receive samples!) As always with our all-women groups, there’s a unique camaraderie and spirit that’s an important part of the week.
Arrival and Departure
The group will meet in our hotel lobby, late on the afternoon of the first day. We’ll depart after breakfast on our last day. If you’re continuing on to one of our other Experience trips in the south of France, we’ll provide transportation to the Gare de Lyon station and then to the next destination. Our hotel can help coordinate transportation to the airport or other train stations, depending on your plans.
We always recommend arriving in Europe at least one day before our week begins. This allows you to adjust to the time difference and also provides a buffer in case of any travel delays. If this is your first trip to Paris, we encourage you to come a few days early to get a good overview of the city before our Experience week begins. We suggest three days for a self-guided “highlights” trip. We can assist in arranging additional nights at our hotel at a preferred rate.
Paris is the hub of transportation in France with direct flights to and from major international cities. It’s also a great hopping off point for other famous French and European destinations by high-speed train, offering many possibilities before and after this trip.
Leader: Jennifer Dugdale
Prices: $2,600 per person, double occupancy. $2,950 – single occupancy of a double room.