A late afternoon departure from Ramstein gets us underway for our drive into France. On route we will make a rest stop to provide an opportunity for a quick meal and use of the restroom. Upon evening arrival in Paris we will travel directly to our first-class hotel where you are able to relax and rest up for the exciting weekend ahead. Current COVID government ordinances in effect in Paris can be found here.
Our day gets off to a satisfying start with breakfast at our hotel before we set out for an amazing day of sightseeing in the center of Paris. The first stop on our action packed day of iconic Paris sites is the base of the celebrated Eiffel Tower, where we will make an extended photo stop. If you would like to journey up the Eiffel Tower, it is highly recommended that you pre-purchase your tickets with a reserved time slot (see Booking Details for instructions). Show your US vaccination card at a german pharmacy and get the EU one free of charge.) Current COVID-19 policies in effect at this location can be found here.
Next, we'll visit the most beautiful public park of Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens behind the Luxembourg Palace. Stroll through the park. Next, we travel by bus up the legendary Avenue des Champs Elysées to the Arch of Triumph, a celebrated memorial for soldiers of the French Revolution, Napoleonic War and World War I. From here we travel into the heart of the city to Isle de la city and Notre Dame Cathedral, the beloved soul of Paris that was damaged by fire in 2019. Reconstruction is well underway and although access to the inside is not currently permitted, the magnificent gothic features, imposing bell towers, elegant flying buttresses and gargoyles along the façade can all still be admired from the outside. There will be some free time here for you to explore the local sites such as the Place du Pont-Neuf, Place Louis-Lepin, The Fresh Flower Market or many the beautiful bridges, all within a quarter mile of the cathedral. The many brasseries and café’s lining the central square offer a perfect opportunity to enjoy lunch and the magnificent views.
Our next stop is the Opera House, historically linked to Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel and eventually world famous musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Here we will have an opportunity to see the masterful 19th century architecture and check for exhibits that are sometimes available for public viewing. Current COVID-19 policies in effect at this location can be found here. While in this area there will be free time for you to visit some of the other sites here such as the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Now we will return to the hotel for a chance to change and freshen up. Tonight we will enjoy a delicious 3-course meal at a traditional French restaurant in the heart of Paris, followed by an illumination tour to experience the parisian monuments at night.
After breakfast and hotel checkout, we travel to the grounds of the glorious royal palace of Versailles, built by the “Sun King” Louis XIV. This opulent chateau has served as residence to many generations of French aristocracy including Queen Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Here we will see the Palace from the outside and visit the gardens which offers one of finest examples of the jardin à la française (French formal gardens) in the world. Numerous fountains, canals, reflecting pools and immaculately manicured grooves, each with their own specialty and theme are waiting to be discovered. This experience can be further enhanced by downloading the Versailles App which offers an interactive map of the entire estate. Current COVID-19 policies in effect at this location can be found here.
After our time on the Palace grounds, a short walk takes us to Les marchés de Versailles, one of the finest open air markets in all of France. Here you will find artisan cheeses from every region, all kinds of produce, traditional breads, delicious pastries, candy, exotic fruits, wine, flowers, cured meats, and even hot food like rotisserie chickens and fresh fish. A great variety preserved food items like marinated olives, spices, dried fruits and nuts can also be found here. The market offers an ideal way to sample a variety authentic French culinary traditions that you can eat on the spot or gather together for a picnic lunch to be enjoyed at your favorite spot in the gardens of Versailles.
Our final stop in Paris takes us to Montmartre, on Paris’s Northern right bank and highest natural point in the city. This area is famous for the beautiful Basilica of Sacre-Coeur, quaint cobble stone streets, colorful buildings and artistic spirit that thrives here. After a brief orientation from your guide, there will be free time to explore the nearby sites like the famous Moulin Rouge, ride the funicular, visit Sacre-Coeur and take in the amazing view of Paris and admire the art works on "Painter's Square". Enjoy a coffee or early supper in one of the many street side cafés. Finally, we must to say “Au revoir” to this incredible city and begin our journey home for an evening return to Ramstein. On route we will make a rest stop to provide an opportunity for a quick meal and use of the restroom.
Travelers must be in possession of a Blue US Tourist Passport. Nationalities traveling with a non US Tourist Passport must check with the respective consulates and ensure they have the appropriate travel documents required to enter all countries the tour visits and travels through.