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New Year's Eve in Paris

Program No. 22476RJ
Experience New Year’s in Paris Road Scholar-style: learn about the city’s most famous landmarks, discover local culture with experts and enjoy traditional Parisian cuisine.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Dec 27 - Jan 2, 2025
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Dec 27 - Jan 2, 2025
Starting at

At a Glance

This New Year’s, experience the rich culture of Paris and witness the City of Light live up to its name. Make the most of this exciting time in Paris, taking evening strolls down the city’s famous boulevards lit up for the holidays. With local experts, learn about Parisian history, culture and Impressionism, and discover its best-known landmarks, including the Louvre, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy the freedom of all-access Métro and Museum passes as you explore the city on your own. Ring in the New Year with festive French cuisine and the lovely company of your fellow Road Scholars!
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to three miles per day. Extensive use of the Paris Métro system, often accessed by stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Celebrate the holidays at Château de Vaux le Vicomte and marvel at this impressive and historic property.
  • Discover Gothic architecture with an expert instructor on Île de la Cité, including Sainte-Chapelle.
  • Explore Paris on your free time with a Paris Museum Pass, granting access to many museums.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Caroline Buizza
Caroline Buizza was born and raised in Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy. After completing her master’s degree, she became a teacher in Europe. Through her teaching experiences, she decided that her purpose was travel education. Therefore, she went back to school to become a certified group leader. She loves French history, art and culture and she takes pride in sharing her country's wonderful heritage with adventurous groups.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Caroline Buizza
Caroline Buizza View biography
Caroline Buizza was born and raised in Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy. After completing her master’s degree, she became a teacher in Europe. Through her teaching experiences, she decided that her purpose was travel education. Therefore, she went back to school to become a certified group leader. She loves French history, art and culture and she takes pride in sharing her country's wonderful heritage with adventurous groups.
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.
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.
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.
F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders
by Piu Eatwell
An alphabetized catalogue of quirky French culture and history tidbits.
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.
Les Grands Magasins: The History of Paris’s Legendary Department Stores
by Jennifer Ladonne
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Hotel Majestic
by Georges Simenon
The most famous fictional detective in France, Maigret, tackles a case in the heart of Paris.
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.
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7 days
6 nights
11 meals
5 B 3 L 3 D
In Transit to Program
In Flight
Arrival Paris, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 2:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. You will also receive some expert advice on getting around Paris and find out more about our planned special holiday field trips and happenings in the City of Light. The program is staffed with an instructor — a licensed professional “Guide-Conférencier” in Human & Social Sciences — who will give lectures, accompany field trips, and provide expert commentary as well as a Group Leader who will deal primarily with logistics. The program also provides each Road Scholar with Paris Métro tickets for program-related travel as well as a 2-day museum pass. They will make your free time and personal independent exploration easier and more rewarding. Extensive use of Paris Métro, accessed by walking up/down flights of stairs and through pedestrian tunnels; elevators/escalators not available in most stations; be prepared to stand on Métro if seats are not available. Expect crowded conditions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Note: The order of activities may vary to accommodate holiday hours. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will walk to a restaurant near the hotel. We’ll have a 3-course plated meal featuring traditional French food plus a glass of wine and water; other beverages available for purchase. French restaurants take pride in creating a relaxed atmosphere where patrons expect to take their time, savor every bite, and set the pace of the meal, requesting “l’addition” — the check — only when they are ready. Meals are accompanied by complimentary “pain” (bread) and “eau” or “l’eau” (water), so you need not ask for them. When wine is offered, it is customary to fill your glass only half way so the wine can breathe and to be sure everyone has a share. Servers wait until everyone at the table has finished their dish before clearing and bringing the next course. To indicate that you have finished your meal, place your utensils together on the right hand side of your plate.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Paris Origins, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Performance
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; afternoon field trip via Paris Métro, accessed by walking up/down flights of stairs; elevators/escalators not available in most stations; be prepared to stand on Métro if seats are not available; walking up to 3 miles throughout the days, standing up to 2 hours at a time; pavement, cobblestone streets. Potentially crowded conditions. Note: The order of activities may vary to accommodate holiday hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will gather with our instructor for a lecture on the origins of Paris from Roman development through the Middle Ages. Archaeologists estimate that the area has been inhabited for about 9,000 years. What eventually became Paris began in the 3rd century BCE when members of the Parisii tribe settled on an island in the Seine River. On foot and via the Paris Métro, we will head to the Île de la Cité and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Construction on the cathedral began in 1163 and was not completed until 1345. Damaged and restored a number of times — including the disastrous fire of April 2019 — it remains one of the largest and finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere. We will be able to admire the exterior. Our next stop will be to see the Sainte-Chapelle, one of the glories of Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1239 and completed less than a decade later, an achievement in itself almost miraculous given its structure and decoration. Originally part of the royal palace of Capetian monarchs, it was built by King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to house religious relics he acquired from the Holy Land — including the Crown of Thorns! The sense of otherworldliness in the upper church comes from amazing stained glass, held within slender columns in the flamboyant Rayonnant style of architecture, creating the sensation of being inside a jewel box.

Lunch: At a restaurant near Notre-Dame.

Afternoon: We will have some time to explore independently. Later in the afternoon, we’ll gather at a designated time and place and take the Métro to attend a performance together. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. The information will be confirmed during our Orientation session on Day 2.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: We'll reconvene and head to a performance together.

Musée de l’Orangerie, Vaux-le-Vicomte
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 75 miles, approximately 2 hours riding time. Use of Paris Métro; unavoidable stairs. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, standing up to 2 hours at a time.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will take the Métro for a field trip to the Musée de l’Orangerie and view Monet’s magnificent “Les Nymphéas” (Water Lilies). Situated in the heart of Paris at the corner of the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was constructed in 1852 as an actual orangery (shelter for orange trees), with a variety of uses in subsequent eras. When it was repurposed and refurbished after 1921, the great Impressionist artist Claude Monet began work on eight huge panels that are regarded as the ultimate expression of his artistic ideas. They were installed here after his death. The museum also contains works by Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, and other great artists of Impressionism and Modern Classicism.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will board a motorcoach for a field trip to the extraordinary Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, decorated brilliantly for the holidays. Vaux-le-Vicomte was a relatively modest manor in 1641 when Nicholas Fouquet, an ambitious member of the local parlement, bought it and began its transformation into the grandest estate in France until Versailles. Fouquet rose to become the Superintendent of France and commissioned the leading architect, painter-decorator, and landscaper of the day to achieve a unified vision of exceptional splendor that set a precedent for French architecture and design. Unfortunately for Fouquet, the magnificence of Vaux-le-Vicomte was his undoing. He fell victim to a plot by his rivals and King Louis XIV ordered his arrest — but not before attending an extravagant fête at the chateau in 1661.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local fare.

Evening: Next, we will board a motorcoach for a panoramic view of some of the spectacular holiday light displays on the boulevards and in the specially decorated showcase windows of Les Grands Magasins — the “grandes dames” of Paris department stores.

Open Air Market, Louvre, New Year’s Eve Celebration
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of the Paris Métro. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, standing up to 1.5 hours at a time; even and uneven ground; unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will take the Métro to one of the city's many open-air markets that display food from local farms. During the field trip, our instructor will discuss food as a significant element of French identity, markets as an important part of French culture, and regional specialties.

Lunch: Near the market at a local restaurant, we’ll have a light lunch of charcuterie, fromage, and taste some wines.

Afternoon: We will take the Métro to the Musée du Louvre for a self-directed exploration. The largest museum in the world, the Louvre’s unrivaled collection includes thousands of masterworks including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and the statue of a goddess known as “Vénus de Milo” for the island where it was discovered in 1820. Note: Crowds may make it difficult to get a good look at some of the most popular works.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will celebrate New Year’s Eve with a special festive meal.

Evening: At the restaurant, we will ring in the New Year together, clink our glasses, and toast Tchin-Tchin (cheers). Meilleurs vœux pour la nouvelle année!

The Marais, Montmartre Hill
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of Paris Métro; unavoidable stairs. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, standing up to 2 hours at a time; pavement, cobblestones, gravel paths. Expect crowded conditions; large crowds at Louvre may make it difficult to see the most popular works. Note: The order of activities may vary to accommodate holiday hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Free time. You may join the Group Leader to explore the renowned district known as Le Marais — the Marsh — hearkening back to its medieval identity. This area was once called the Jewish Quarter because it was the most populous Jewish community in Europe. It has more intact pre-Revolutionary structures and streets than anywhere else in the city and is what much of Paris resembled before the vast 19th-century reconstruction designed by Baron Haussmann. Its most striking feature today is the superb Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris, built by King Henri IV in the early 1600s.

Lunch: On your own to have what you would like.

Afternoon: We’ll head to Montmartre to learn about this historic area. Often referred to as being at the Heart of the Parisian Artist Movement, we will walk the same streets where artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec strolled. Some of the sites we will explore are the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre.

Dinner: We will board a bateau — riverboat — for a festive meal as we glide along the River Seine.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Program Concludes, In Transit From Program

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s “Getting There” information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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.