10034
France
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 (4.95)
Program No. 10034RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
1,399
Flights start at
800
60 Reviews
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4.95 Average
Ruben
(5)
my first trip with Road Scholar. will be doing many more. was a great introduction and learning experience
Evelyn
(5)
I did not receive an evaluation for this trip. I really want to complete an evaluation so can you please send it to me. Evelyn Shaevel eshaevel@gmail.com
Mark
(5)
We organized our Paris trip around photography and a study group of Americans in Paris in the 1920’s. Knowing this Road Scholar adapted the Independent Paris trip to our needs including sessions with a professional photographer and a scholar knowledgeable about Americans in Paris during that time period. Our guides were top notch and we could not have asked more of them. Highly recommended!
Leora
(5)
What a wonderful excursion I just had! I was with a smart and savvy group of twenty road scholars and enjoyed my time with them a lot, but I also had plenty of time to explore the unique city of Paris on my own, too. That was truly marvelous. I can honestly say that nothing about this trip was a disappointment. The city, the people, the itinerary, the food, the art, architecture and history, were all a balm -- and a thrill. I learned so much from our group leader and instructor. Louis taught me to get around via subway and bus so I felt safe and comfortable wherever I went. And Malcolm, our charmingly eccentric British instructor, helped me plan all my solo excursions. His recommendations -- and directions -- were spot on. This is my second Independent City journey. I highly recommend both Paris, and Prague. Where to next, I wonder?
Mark
(4)
Best going with someone. People stick with who they know.
Effie
(5)
If you want to take a trip that is both entertaining and educational, Road Scholar is the way to go!!
Jane
(4)
This was a wonderful trip. The leader, Louis Bideau, was very caring and highly organized. He went out of his way one evening to escort a few of us to a concert at Notre Dame. Malcolm, on the other hand, was a bit scattered in his presentations. A power point in the mornings would have enhanced his organization. A brilliant man, he is not really a teacher. The itinerary was well selected. I will do another Road Scholar trip in the future. The hotel was OK. Jane S.
Francis
(5)
Excellent program, the guides were fantastic!
Lynn Ann
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
This trip was wonderful. Many things to see and do.
Patti
(5)
Our trip was made extra special by our caring and well prepared guides, Malcolm and Louis. We enjoyed this once in a lifetime trip!
Joan
(4)
Independent Paris was a very well organized progam that was the perfect blend and balance of organized group activities and free time to pursue individual interests and discoveries. The inclusion of a Metro ticket and Museum Pass made all of this possible.
Emily
(5)
This is a good adventure. You can walk til you drop, explore gourmet foods. Great people watching. Look at the world differently. The capital of the French speaking world is a beautiful mosaic. You'll never look at Africa the same way again. oh yeah & there are elements of this in the Impressionists from Gabon & Cote d'Ivorie. Get lost on the walks near the Sorbonne or the Marais. We even saw two brides whose photographers waited patiently for us--& all the other tourists to pass through. On y va :-)
Barbara
(5)
A fun and extremely useful introduction on what the city of Paris has to offer, and how to access activities in an affordable way.
Kay
(5)
"Independent Paris" was the best program I have ever been on. I was apprehensive about being on my own in the afternoon but our guides, James and Louis, always made sure we had accurate information on what to see and where to eat and knew how to return to our hotel. I had thought of skipping parts of the program but realized i didn't want to miss anything. If you go, plan to go to Giverney before the trip starts and Versailles either before or after.
Connie
(5)
This is a very interesting, exciting, and educational program. I loved learning about the history of Paris and the people who live there. The guided walks and museum tours were the best. I learned about a side of Paris that I had only ever read about.
Eva
(5)
My daughter and I went on this trip together. We have a 30 year gap in our ages. We had different interests in the trip and all our interests were satisfied.
John
(5)
Excellent educational program. Staff was supportive, knowledgeable, well organized and very informative. Only take however if you like a lot of "free time." If you want a more structured program, look at another.
Debra
(5)
Great introduction to Paris, lots of insider information to make your free time more enjoyable. The leaders were interesting and informative with tips to make your stay as fulfilling and fun as possible. The included meals were excellent and you certainly won't leave the table hungry!
Sharon
(5)
Before signing up for this Road Scholar program, I had heard only good things about Road Scholar and this trip confirmed all that I had heard. I participated in the Paris program and even though I had been to Paris on other occasions, I saw the city and the sites in new ways. This was largely due to the guides who were excellent. By the end of the program, they had become friends to participants. The group was 16 in number and the members were very compatible. I and a friend who signed up with me for this trip very much appreciated the overviews of the neighborhoods and sightseeing conducted mainly in the mornings and, in particular for us, the free afternoons - with some ideas from the guides - to wander around the city and pursue our personal interests. I want to recognize Pauline's ability to deal with unexpected events. One participant was ill during most of the program but was checked on constantly and a doctor was provided by Pauline and Road Scholar. Another participant was quite elderly, pretty confused and obviously had special needs - Pauline and Road Scholar provided someone to look after him on sightseeing excursions, which was really necessary but unexpected and therefore her response and the response of the person provided as a helper by Road Scholar was above and beyond the call of duty! My friend and I were very impressed. The fact that these two people were cared for enabled the rest of us to get the maximum out of the program, with no interruptions to the itinerary. It should also be reassuring that if an emergency occurs, that doesn't necessarily require major medical intervention, the guides and Road Scholar are prepared to do whatever is necessary for involved participants without delay, or bother for the group as a whole.
Linda
(5)
The check my trip section has never worked and has never been fixed, thereby leaving us at the mercy of people who shunt us from one part of the organization to the other. I loved the trip, but was very fed up with the details .
Nathaline
(5)
This trip was wonderful, educational, fun, inspiring. The group leader and instructor were great, we'd go anywhere with them! The hotel was lovely and well-located, close to the Metro. The group (16) became very cohesive and we intend to keep in touch with several fellow travelers. Just the best time!
Anne
(5)
This trip to Paris both met my dreams and made me long for more. The group participants were good travel companions, the activities interesting and informative, and the free time allowed me to experience a new place in a very "on the ground" way. I was able to figure out various modes of transportation and choose casual lunch spots on my own as well as stop at "must-see" and serendipitous shops I would have missed in a more structured program. Our guide was wonderful and the experience exactly what I wanted.
Constance
(5)
This was a wonderful experience. It was our first tour with Road Scholar and my husband and I were very impressed with their welcoming guides, the level of knowledge that our guides had about Paris. I feel like I had a vacation and a valuable education also. I can't wait to re-visit art history, and anything related to Paris! I honestly can't think of one thing I was not satisfied with. Can't wait to plan our next trip with Road Scholar.
Amanda
(5)
Our experience with Road Scholar was wonderful. Our visit to Paris was informative and stress free. Our guides made us feel like family and it was incredible to share such memories with them and the other members of our group. Our trip was educational and paced perfectly with plenty of free time to explore the city on our own.
Suzanne
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! This was our first time out of USA and this could not have been any more perfect. Guides were great. Paris was great. Never felt in fear or worried. Wish there was a "Paris-Part 2" being offered. Can't wait to return to Paris. Sue A.
Judith
(5)
This trip was more than I expected. I knew the people who would lead us would be knowledgeable and helpful and I was not disappointed in any way. Every day was full of wonderful information, experiences and joyful activities that made us want to stay longer and have more of this beautiful city. There were four of us, myself, husband and two adult children. We had so much fun we were bursting with laughter as well. The days did not have enough hours to absorb all. We want to come again for another week with a more advanced look at Paris, not just the sites beginners expect. We hope that Road Scholar eventually offers this and that we might get the same guides. I hope they get rewarded for their wonderful, special treatment afforded all our group.
Michael
(5)
The Road Scholar Tour: Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture is a very well organized and run travel event. The leader and instructor were very well informed of Paris and the various museums and art works. Would recommend this tour highly.
Gary
(5)
My wife and I ended our Road Scholar Independent Paris program this A.M. and can't say enough good things about it. We arrived 5 days before the start of the program to acclimate to the 6 hour time change and to see some sites (Versailles, Giverny and Normandy) we thought we wouldn't have time for during the program. Our Group Leader Louis, who was warm and welcoming, did a great job organizing and leading the group and vigilantly caring for our safety and welfare. The Paris public transit system can be very busy at times but Louis made sure we stuck together and he always provided directions to those who wanted to venture off on their own. Our Instructor Julian was extraordinary - extremely knowlegeable about so many things French - art, architecture, history. His classrooms are the streets, arrondissements, historic buildings, churches and museums of Paris. He seamlessly wove stories and facts together and if we retain a small fraction of what he taught us, we will consider ourselves fulfilled. Thanks to Louis and Julian our short time in Paris will be fondly remembered.
Margaret
(5)
Great guides. Great city. Great Food. Great People. Great Culture. Viva La France
Carl
(5)
As a first time visitor to Paris this program was perfect. The leader were so informative , friendly and helpful they made it a perfect week. The program is accurately desriibed in their info. Road Scholar exceed my high expectations.
Jan
(5)
Autumn, when the museums are less crowded, is a great time for a visit to Paris. Road Scholar makes it economical. What could be more fun than walking the streets with a dashing French Foreign Legionnaire in a trench coat and being guided to the best of each museum's collection by an art history guru wearing a red tam.
Glenda
(5)
If you want to experience Paris, have only a week to do it, and are in good walking shape, Independent Paris is a great way to do it. No regrets, great value.
Ann
(5)
The Independent Paris program was so well crafted! By the end of our week we had experienced French culture not only in expert lectures and guidance in museums and other monuments, but also in the restaurant suggestions, the visit to the open air market, the wine tasting, the cooking lesson and even the metro and bus rides.
Susan
(5)
Just returned from my trip to Paris. Louis-Gabriel Bideau was superb. On more than one occassion he went above and beyond the call of duty. He made sure we were safe at all times. Jennifer had an excellent command of the history and art of Paris. Her lectures were well thought out, informative and educational. An added special touch was Jennifer's wonderful quick wit. This is an excellent trip for those traveling solo, with a friend or as a couple. Wear good shoes, because you will definitely walk a lot.
Sheila
(5)
I just returned from the Independent Paris adventure, and I was very happy with the entire trip. I traveled solo and was a bit apprehensive about traveling to a country where I had minimal language sills and also did not know anyone on the trip, but my fellow participants were friendly and fun, and I really connected with some of them. Jennifer, our instructor, was terrific and I am home now wanting to learn even more about French history. She has so much knowledge about art that going to the museums with her was a joy. Her sense of humor makes me smile still. She gave us such wonderful information about the history of France and Paris that it made seeing the sites even more meaningful. Our Leader, Louis, was so knowledgeable, helpful, fun and just a great guy. He gave us great suggestions for places to eat that had good quality, delicious food at reasonable prices. He was so so helpful in providing directions for independent time and travel on the Metro and many tips for navigating the city. The location of the hotel made travel around the city via metro and bus so easy (with guidance from Louis) and by the end of the week, I was feeling very confident traveling around by myself.There are many cafes and brasseries in the area and also some wonderful bakeries.There are some grocery stores too so its easy to buy some water (or wine) and snacks if you want for the room. There is ALOT of walking, the activity level is accurate in the description, much of it on cobblestones, and lots of stairs every where, so my advice is pay attention to that description. I think most days I walked more than 5 miles ( including the time on my own) and one day I walked over 10. If you speak any French, don't be afraid to use it, people in Paris are polite, and no one laughed at me ( to my face anyway) for attempting to use my minimal French. Paris is an amazing city!
Jacqueline
(5)
My trip (Independent France) opened up a new world of adventure for me. I look forward to taking another Road Scholar trip very soon.
Evelyn
(5)
Great program for giving an overview of highlights of Paris and Local Life.
Linda
(5)
Paris Independent exceeded my expectations. It immersed me in Parisian life and culture, Introduced me to amazing food and wine and inspired me to explore Paris on my own. Thank you Pauline and Jennifer!!
Marvin
(5)
Paris came alive in the presentation of artifacts from centuries of existence of a community in the Seine river area now know as Paris.
David
(5)
This is a wonderful introduction to the history and art and architecture of one of the world's great cities, with background talks and visits to important neighborhoods and art museums. The use of public transportation and the location of the hotel outside the central area makes Independent Paris remarkably affordable in a city which can otherwise be quite expensive to visit.
Maeona
(5)
This is a wonderful way to see Paris for the first time or as a repeat visitor. Fast paced, knowledge packed lectures and walking tours are coupled with the opportunity to craft some personal time for additional tours, sightseeing, shopping, and eating.
Germaine
(5)
If a program is listed as moderately active (must be able to walk 5 miles per day) please take them seriously! This includes lots of steps, and standing during tours.
Richard
(5)
A great experience--educational, enjoyable, satisfying. The other group members were delightful and the leaders were superb. I highly recommend the program for anyone you wants a good experience in Paris.
Bertha
(5)
The Independant tour of Paris was a trip won't forget. It was educational and informative. All the people involved from the hotel staff, instructor and program leader were so friendly and helpful. I would not hesitate to so another trip with road Scholar.
Steve
(5)
This was our first Road Scholar experience and we had a fantastic time. We especially enjoyed our group leader and program instructor and every person in our group was a pleasure to spend time with. This trip provided an excellent and positive introduction to Paris and to Road Scholar.
Sheryl
(5)
If you love to learn about the history of a city you are visiting, if you are willing to experience public transportation, if you are ready to walk and learn, and if you wish immerse yourself in the culture of Paris, then Independent Paris is the tour for you!
Charles
(5)
Our Independent Paris program was well organized, and extremely well presented by our outstanding, engaging, and humorous expert guide, Malcomb. it was all we expected and more! Highly recommend it!
Mary
(5)
Wear good walking shoes and see Paris like a local. Great opportunity to visit the major sights and attractions of Paris with the support of a group, then venture out solo during free time.
Lauri
(5)
This was my husband's and my first Road Scholar trip but will certainly not be the last. The program itself exceeded both of our highest expectations and both the tour leader and guide were world class-- knowledgeable, capable, and engaging.
Carolyn
(5)
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, Laura (who had to step in at the last minute) and Malcolm knew so much and their love for Paris colored our experience. The participants were friendly and open and I am looking forward to my next Road Scholar voyage.
Thomas Ray
(5)
We were delighted with the experience. Good, helpful tour guides with lots of information.
Marcia
(5)
I liked this program and felt it more then met my expectations. If I could I would do it again.
Ann
(5)
May 2016 -- Home from the Independent Paris trip and missing Malcolm ( our instructor), Luis (our guide), and the other participants from this great adventure. I had no concerns about my safety while visiting Paris with Road Scholar personnel. Traveling on public transportation was such fun,adding to the Paris experience. I can't believe all I saw and experienced in eight days!
Susan
(5)
Independent Paris was exactly as described! I had the freedom to visit other sites while still having connections and support from the guides. They made the travel easy and safe and very enjoyable.
William
(5)
Great trip. Louis was fabulous. He kept us on schedule while being flexible when necessary. Good coverage for first-timers and well as for repeat visitors to Paris.
Carole
(5)
Although I had visited Paris several times in the past, this was my first trip with Road Scholar, and it was truly a delight. Our Group Leader Louis-Gabriel Bideau and Instructor Jennifer Burdon were both extremely competent and knowledgeable; in addition, each has a warm and caring personality and a fine sense of humor. This trip included many experiences I could not have had on my own and taught me a lot more about this exquisite and very historical city.
Sally
(5)
This is such a fun experience. The balance of independent time and group opportunities is perfect and the experiences are unusual, including some activities that most Paris tourists won't have. We had a great time and felt well cared for by program staff. This was our first Road Scholar trip and when traveling to non-english speaking countries, we will use Road Scholar again.
Michael
(5)
This program offers a wonderful mix of experiences, including exposure to a lot of great art, architecture, food and history. Our lecturer and museum guide, Jennifer Burdon, was not only very knowledgeable about Paris, particularly about its art and history, but also made the trip a delight through her infectious enthusiasm and quirky sense of humor. Our group leader, Louis Bideau, made sure that the tours ran smoothly and worked very hard to accommodate the individual interests and needs of the people on the trip.
Tama
(5)
The group leader Louis-Gabriel Bideau is perfect for this responsibility. He was able anticipate and meet the needs of individuals and as a group. His goal was for each of us to have a more than satisfactory experience in Paris. He is an asset to Road Scholar.I always felt well taken care of. Jennifer Burdon-Instructor demonstrated vast knowledge and quick wit.
Bruce
(5)
The program was as described in the Road Scholar literature. It was educational, the staff was informative and professional, the hotel was comfortable. I was delighted.





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