Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture

Celebrate the grand culture of Paris on expert-led walks and independent excursions, reveling in architecture, world-class museums, famed cuisine and traditional open-air markets.
Rating (4.82)
Program No. 10034RJ
9 days
Starts at
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4.82 Average

Great Trip. Guides were excellent and helpful, they complimented each other. Despite the Nationwide strike we missed nothing. The guides did a great job, seamless, you would not have known there was a strike in place. Paris was wonderful and beyond expectations.


This program was excellent. It was my third trip to Paris, but the first that I felt like I really got to know it. The walking tours and the museum tours were great! And the leaders were both excellent.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

I did not get a review form for this trip. It was outstanding in all respects. Max is an outstanding teacher, well prepared leader, and pleasantly interesting personality. He filled in important details which had been omitted by two of the presenters, and kept continuity of the extensive history of Paris. It helped a great deal that the activites focused sequentially with Paris history. The activity level was high, but very satisfying. The only frustration was the first day bus tour that ran long due to traffic.


Had a sensational time. James and RJ gave us the tools to strike out on our own and be truly "Independent". Highly recommend!


The Independent Paris Road Scholar program was outstanding on all levels, from the impressive expertise and skills of the two tour guides and the design of the instructor led-field trips to the size of the group and the quality of the accommodations.


A perfectly paced trip with outstanding group leaders and a charming boutique hotel in a safe and pretty location walkable to much and within proximity to an easy-to-use Metro station which took us to those areas and places that we wanted to see.


Independent Paris in April 2019 was our first Road Scholar trip. There will be others. We had a wonderful time. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect.


Great web site!


This week-long Road Scholar trip will give participants a feel for Paris: the tourist highlights and cafe and Metro life of Parisians.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

The program Independent Paris was excellent in all aspects including hotel accommodations, food, program content and especially our group leaders, Pauline and James who were experts and most helpful. We recommend this program without reservation.


Outstanding experience - our guides Pauline and James were delightful, humorous and made every day an adventure. There is nothing James does not know about French history, art, and culture, and nothing Pauline doesn't know about the French people, food, wine,current events and how to navigate le Metro! Many special touches and surprises every day - just a wonderful week all around! Highly recommend this high energy trip with just the right amount of group time and independent time.


If you like walking, history, museums, churches and exploring a different culture - then this is the tour for you. Walking and Standing are a big part of what is required, but it's well worth it!


Another excellent adventure with Road Scholar! As the beginning of the trip neared, we were hearing a lot about the Gillet Jaune protests, which was a small concern, but Brigitte and James were up to the task. We were only affected one day, and the change in schedule was beyond expectations! A trip out of Paris to see the little town of Senlis, as well as the Chantille (estate) In addition, our experts managed to fit in everything on the original schedule, working around the change! This was shown as "independent" and there were several folks who ventured off on their own throughout the week, but there were many of us who took advantage of the expertise of our fearless leaders - and were not disappointed. The beauty of Paris as the holidays approached was amazing. To see the Eiffel Tower light up from a boat on the Seine was a rare treat. And speaking of treats, the sweets were delicious. The people were very friendly and kind. James and Brigitte did a wonderful job imparting information about the history of Paris, the current events, the architecture of the city and -thankfully- the metro system.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking for a nice walking tour with a few lectures and excellent historical overviews of Paris. We had just the right amount of guided tours and free time for personal exploration. The group leader was excellent and took fabulous care of us through out the trip. Our instruction was amazing as he imparted just the right amount of history to us without being overwhelming. I could not have asked for a better tour and I am hooked on Road Scholar!


This program is absolutely super. It won't be long enough. So you might go early or stay on a few days. Paris has so much to do this trip will get you ready for your next visit.


This tour is a great way to visit Paris. Our group leader Brigitte and guide Jennifer enhanced our days and nights in Paris.


This program is great! I had been in Paris before and I thoroughly enjoyed it, more than I expected, including a live play (with English subtitles projected on the curtain). Jenny provided excellent commentary on the art we viewed. Bravo!


This program is an excellent way for those of us who have not done a great deal of traveling to learn about Paris's culture and history, and to learn to navigate public transportation. I highly recommend it!


This tour was fantastic. From Group Leader to the Tour instructor - everything I would have planned for if I had to have planned this trip. Could not have been better. Want to go back to learn and see more.


This was our first Road Scholar experience and it was fantastic. The program was everything it purports to be and more. We could not have had a better sampling of the major highlights of Paris. We could not have had a better trip. If you have never been to Paris, or even if you have, I highly recommend this program. You will not get a better taste of Paris than this one.


I was quite disappointed in my Road Scholar experience. I had problems from the very start, first with my travel reservations, then with my request for electronic communications only, which RS ignored completely despite repeated requests. I found it incredibly inappropriate that each time I contacted Road Scholar a rep tried to solicit the contact information of my friends and family for marketing purposes. Our group was lovely and the group leader was very pleasant and attentive, but our tour guide gave strange, stream-of-consciousness tours that hopscotched among centuries and topics with no unifying narrative and generally left me feeling confused and disoriented. The lectures were boring and held in a cramped hot room, especially unpleasant when there was a spacious conference room directly across from us. Our guide seemed particularly unqualified to talk about art and I would've gotten much more out of the audio tour provided by each museum. The hotel room was fine, but I couldn't believe that they didn't clean our room all week and the breakfast room was a traffic jam every day. I feel like communication could've been handled better using simple technology- an emailed agenda for each day including Metro directions would have been helpful and simple to create. And we wasted a lot of time in the metro because of issues with our paper tickets. Why not use the durable weekly Navigo passes accepted at all turnstiles? Lastly, the included dinners were really sad. What our tour leader called fois gras was actually a (partial) fois gras pate, the Coq a Vin was dry and underseasoned, and the Beef Borguinon was undercooked, full of visible connective tissue, and fairly inedible. It must be possible to find French restaurants that can prepare basic French dishes properly. Though I enjoyed spending time with our interesting, diverse group, and Paris was delightful, I don’t plan to travel with Road Scholar again.


Our road scholar program (Independent Paris) was wonderful. We learned so much and having the metro and museum pass was invaluable. Our guide and instructor made the trip so special and we will definitely try another program in the future.


I enjoyed my time in Paris and appreciated the museum pass and Metro pass. The lectures were interesting and the museums visited were all wonderful. The hotel where we stayed was adequate but not great. We were not as independent as anticipated; our guide was overly concerned with keeping us all together and this frustrated me. I did choose to leave some of the group activities as I wanted more independence than some others did.


Wonderful introduction to Paris. I would advise staying a few days extra as by the end of the tour you are very comfortable getting around Paris by metro. It is a joy to revisit the sites from the tour and to just sit and enjoy Paris, especially with a wine and a pastry.


This is a great tour, Julian and Charlotte are the best.


It works, well.


This program was amazing, so well organized and an incredible value for the time spent and all that we did. I highly recommend Road Scholars!


Invest in a good pair of walking shoes and do it!


This was the best week of my life. Jennifer and Brigitte were amazing guides and the schedule was perfect. It didn't hurt that the weather was also perfect but the wine, lectures, wine, food, wine, tours were wonderful...did I mention the wine? It was so much fun and educational. I cannot imagine that doing any trip alone or on your own could even come close to what we saw, experienced and learned with the RS trip. Amazing!


This was a wonderful program, which was made even better by two superb guides, Pauline and James.


What a wonderful trip! We went the first week of June and the weather was perfect. There's a nice mix of art, architecture, and history.

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