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France

Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture

Program No. 10034RJ
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.
Length
9 days
Rating (4.85)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,349
Flights start at
1,000

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 8 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Apr 15 - Apr 23, 2023
Starting at
2,649
May 6 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
2,649
May 12 - May 20, 2023
Starting at
2,799
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Jun 3 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Jun 10 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Jul 8 - Jul 16, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Sep 1 - Sep 9, 2023
Starting at
2,899
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Sep 9 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Sep 22 - Sep 30, 2023
Starting at
2,899
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Oct 7 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Dec 2 - Dec 10, 2023
Starting at
2,349
Mar 23 - Mar 31, 2024
Starting at
2,649
Apr 13 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
2,649
May 10 - May 18, 2024
Starting at
2,799
May 18 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Jun 1 - Jun 9, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Jun 8 - Jun 16, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Jul 6 - Jul 14, 2024
Starting at
2,699
Sep 7 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Sep 20 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
2,999
Oct 5 - Oct 13, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Oct 12 - Oct 20, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Nov 2 - Nov 10, 2024
Starting at
2,499
Dec 7 - Dec 15, 2024
Starting at
2,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 8 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
3,439
Apr 15 - Apr 23, 2023
Starting at
3,439
May 6 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
3,439
May 12 - May 20, 2023
Starting at
3,579
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Jun 3 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Jun 10 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Jul 8 - Jul 16, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Sep 1 - Sep 9, 2023
Starting at
3,879
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Sep 9 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Sep 22 - Sep 30, 2023
Starting at
3,879
Itinerary Note

This departure stays in a 4 star hotel.

Oct 7 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
3,599
Dec 2 - Dec 10, 2023
Starting at
2,879
Mar 23 - Mar 31, 2024
Starting at
3,439
Apr 13 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
3,439
May 10 - May 18, 2024
Starting at
3,729
May 18 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Jun 1 - Jun 9, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Jun 8 - Jun 16, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Jul 6 - Jul 14, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Sep 7 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Sep 20 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
4,049
Oct 5 - Oct 13, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Oct 12 - Oct 20, 2024
Starting at
3,889
Nov 2 - Nov 10, 2024
Starting at
3,199
Dec 7 - Dec 15, 2024
Starting at
3,199

At a Glance

From a table at a street-side cafe near the Sorbonne, you watch students excitedly discoursing, mothers shepherding children along the sidewalk, the life of a Parisian neighborhood unfolding before you. It’s just one moment in your independent exploration of the Paris behind the postcards. Stroll the grand boulevards, meet local experts who illuminate the city’s most marvelous treasures, compare the city’s diverse quarters and savor every new experience that crosses your path.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to five miles per day. Extensive use of the Paris Métro system, often accessed by stairs. Activity level is based on included program elements. You may enjoy a more leisurely version of this program, "Paris at a Slower Paris: Art & Culture in the City of Light" (#22235).
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Be introduced by a local Road Scholar expert to life as a Parisian and explore the center of Paris.
  • Examine and discuss the art of Paris at museums, gardens and an open-air market.
  • Enjoy free time for independent discoveries or follow the Group Leader to intriguing corners of the city.

General Notes

Included in the program: Seven nights hotel accommodation, Métro and museum passes, all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, escorted activities and optional field trips. Current Events in Paris: Due to the fire at Notre Dame, the cathedral is closed to visitors. Road Scholar programs that visit île de la Cité will be able to see the outside of the cathedral, but we will not be able to go inside.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Hotel Majestic
by Georges Simenon
The most famous fictional detective in France, Maigret, tackles a case in the heart of Paris.
F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders
by Piu Eatwell
An alphabetized catalogue of quirky French culture and history tidbits.
Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
by Tyler Stovall
A history of black Americans who settled in Paris, France, from 1900 to the present.
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.
My Life in France
by Julia Child
The touching and famous story of Julia Child in France, where she learned to cook and fell in love with French cuisine, all in her own words.
Markets of Paris
by Dixon Long & Marjorie Williams
An in-depth guide to the best markets in Paris. Dive into the heart of French culture and navigate the markets like a local with maps, tips, and handy phrases.
The Secret Life of the Seine
by Mort Rosenblum
After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The New Paris
by Lindsey Tramuta
Move past the clichés and learn about what makes up Paris today. Explore the open-minded sensibility, diverse populations, and hidden corners of The New Paris.
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
by Joan DeJean
A captivating history of the growth, design, and planning of Paris, telling the story of how the modern city came to be.
Murder in the Marais
by Cara Black
Literate and thrilling, with a strong sense of the geography and flavor of Paris, the first in a series of mysteries starring Aimee Ledoc shows off the French-American detective's wit and wile. The series continues with Murder in Belleville (FRN562), Murder in the Sentier (FRN563) and many more.
Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement
by Atlas Indispensable
This pocket atlas contains detailed maps of every neighborhood in Paris, as well as details about bus and metro stops.
A Traveller's History of Paris
by Robert Coles
A fast-moving, short survey of French history with a focus on Paris from its foundation, through the heady days of revolution and up to modern times.
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, A Pedestrian in Paris
by John Baxter
Australian critic and writer Baxter draws on his second career as a literary tour guide in his adopted city for this witty memoir, laced with terrific tales.
The Food & Wine of France: Eating & Drinking from Champagne to Provence
by Edward Behr
Behr seeks out the best of French food, in encounters from Champagne to Provence, to tell the stories of French artisans and chefs who work at the highest level. He shares what he learns from these experts on French traditions and how to best enjoy this food.
The Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris
by Edmund White
A 'flaneur' is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians.
38 Reviews
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4.85 Average
(5) Review left 12/13/2022

Had a great time in Paris. Got a real feel for the city and the venues that were visited. There was not one of the members of the group that we didn't have many conversations with about the tours and personally. We would do it again to other destinations in a heartbeat.

(5) Review left 12/12/2022

Excellent program for balancing the long and incredible history of Paris with the remarkable culture (i.e. art) of Paris. A great introduction to Paris

(5) Review left 11/17/2022

The entire tour was well organized from start to finish. The tour leader was capable and helpful. The historical and cultural guide was very knowledgeable and humorous.. As a solo traveler I enjoyed the group experience and the roommate with whom I was paired. However, I was disappointed with the location of the hotel. It was not centrally located and often required long trips underground on the metro. With a more centrally located hotel, I would highly recommend this tour.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 11/07/2022

Excellent trip with guides that did not disappoint!

(5) Review left 10/20/2022

It was thoroughly enjoyable!! I will use and recommend Road Scholar in the future.

(5) Review left 10/19/2022

My trip to Paris was a transformative, rich, and thrilling experience. Our coordinator and lecturer were so enjoyable as people, in addition to being highly skilled at their jobs. Finally, the other participants were equally enjoyable. I made new friends and plan to keep in touch.

(5) Review left 10/18/2022

Perfect for the independent traveler who wants to stretch their knowledge of a location they already know. The additional lectures each day added to my overall experiences of the trip.

(5) Review left 9/23/2022

Excellent balance between guide and free-time activities.

(4) Review left 7/18/2022

Great overall view of Paris and it's history and arts. I really learned a lot in a fun and interesting way. I think if you can put in the miles it is well worth the money.

(5) Review left 7/05/2022

Independent Paris was a great combination of guided excursions and lectures with sufficient free time to explore on our own. Highly recommend.

(5) Review left 6/22/2022

three generations of my family were on the trip and the program was equally thrilling for the whole family

(5) Review left 5/30/2022

If you want an enjoyable introduction to Paris, especially the fine arts and cultural history of the city, and don't mind some walking and using the Metro, this would be a great trip for you.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 5/22/2022

Our 2nd RS trip was even better than we could have possibly imagined given the last few years we've all been through. Paris was magical and the incredible tour guide team of Elsa and Jennifer made it all the more accessible and special. We so hope to return and revisit the City of Lights!

(5) Review left 5/22/2022

This is an outstanding introduction to Paris for those who want to learn the basics of Parisian history and culture as a foundation for their own travels in and around Paris. The caliber of instruction from James was very high. Tom displayed an exceptional ability to keep the group organized, on-track and comfortable, and to provide us with extra assistance when the need arose, as it did on numerous occasions. Both James and Tom are absolute pros, and I would love to do more tours with either of them.

(5) Review left 5/22/2022

Our Independent Paris program was outstanding in every way. The guides and instructors were extremely knowledgeable and articulate. The tour group was friendly and interesting and fun to spend time with. Overall, a great program at a favorable price. I highly recommend it.

(5) Review left 5/17/2022

Website has plenty of info - truthful headlines, a bit more detail to tell you if it’s for you, and then a pretty detailed description so you know 80% of what to expect every day. The other 20% happen when you get real people on the ground making magic.

(5) Review left 4/22/2022

The trip was a blast! Thom's organization skills had the trip go off without a hitch. James' instruction was detailed and insightful. I would gladly take another trip with them. The activity description is correct, you have to be able to stand, walk, and go up and down stairs to enjoy this program.

(5) Review left 4/18/2022

WOW! Even though I'm not a huge history or museum fan, I absolutely loved this program. I have been studying the French language since the pandemic began, however, and so I have become quite interested in French culture, now and historically. There is a lot of walking, stair climbing, and standing around on this program, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. I preferred my hiking boots because of many cobble stones in places. (I don't see a place to mark number of stars but I give this program 5 stars!)

(5) Review left 4/18/2022

Wonderful trip. It has been a lifelong dream to go to Paris. Because of covid, I had to wait. Worth it? My highest recommendation.

(5) Review left 4/04/2022

5 stars out of 5! This trip was fun, informative, and enlightening. Our leaders, Martin and James, are upbeat and knowledgeable about everything related to Paris. This was my first Road Scholar trip, but it will not be my last. Buy a pair of comfortable shoes because there is a lot of walking, and go for it. You will love Independent Paris!

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 12/04/2021

like all my travel adventures this past trip to Paris was exciting and challenging considering the covid risk. However over all it was a good trip with an impressive group of Road Scholar leaders and a great group of travelers.Eric Thompson and Laurent Guariglia kept us informed and entertained. Eric thompson always was looking out for our safety and well being. Laurent kept us informed and constantly lectured our Group on Parisian history and French culture.

(5) Review left 12/03/2021

This is a fabulous way to see Paris and learn about the architecture, art and history while making new friends and eating exceptional food. Paris was magic.

(5) Review left 11/18/2021

My wife and I just got back from our adventure on the "Independent Paris" trip with Road Scholar. It was our first Road Scholar trip, but not our last. The tour director and the lecturer/guide where wonderful. They managed everything but still treated us like adults and empowered us to explore Paris on our own when we had free time. We left Paris knowing and appreciating it so much more than we had on our previous trips to this wonderful city. We cannot say enough about how much fun we had. We are looking forward to our next Road Scholar adventure, very soon.

(5) Review left 11/18/2021

We just took our first Road Scholar tour (Independent Paris) and can't wait to do many more. The small group size (17) removed that herded feeling I've had with other companies. The group leader and guide were outstanding without appearing to be performing/acting. We were treated as adults and then friends. Can't wait to do it again.

(5) Review left 11/02/2021

This program is a comprehensive course on French history through to current historical, sociological and cultural events.

(5) Review left 10/13/2021

This trip could not have been better. Good hotel, around the corner from the Metro, a grocery store, pharmacy and several cafes. The guides, Emmanuelle and Tristan, made the program informative and fun. Everything worked like clockwork and our independent ventures were supported. Paris was easy to navigate. I feel like we saw all the major sites as well as local sites we would not have known without our wonderful guides. I cannot say enough about it - you have to go and find out for yourself.

(5) Review left 9/29/2021

Do It!!

(1) Review left 9/29/2021

We just got back from Paris with Road Scholar, and it was a great trip. Good hotel in an interesting part of the city half a block away from a subway stop with good restaurants nearby. Paris is incredibly beautiful with so much history and so much art. You should go. COVID vaccination cards required to enter all buildings, so we felt safe.

(5) Review left 12/27/2019

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.

(5) Review left 10/14/2019

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.

(5) Review left 5/20/2019

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.

(5) Review left 5/17/2019

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.

(5) Review left 5/01/2019

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.

(5) Review left 4/29/2019

Great web site!

(5) Review left 4/07/2019

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. Review left 4/05/2019

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.

(5) Review left 4/01/2019

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.

(5) Review left 3/31/2019

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!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.