Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Backingham Palace London, England

The Best of London and Paris: A Tale of Two Cities

Road Scholar Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
89%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 3,099 $ 310 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Learn about the modern history of the Royal Family from trusted insider Ken Wharfe, then discover Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana.
  • Uncover the great artistic treasures of Paris at the Musee du Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Musee Rodin.
  • Enjoy free time to explore the neighborhoods, historic sites, pubs and cafes of London and Paris.

Short Description

London and Paris. Both historic capital cities boast world-class museums and instantly recognizable landmarks and buzz with commerce, politics, education and culture. But it’s what separates them that makes them most intriguing: the languages, the aesthetics, the food, the attitudes. Compare for yourself on this journey that combines field trips led by top-notch Road Scholar experts and abundant time for independent discoveries.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City London
End City Paris

Trip Includes

  • 8 nights of accommodations
  • 4 expert-led lectures
  • 10 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes

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Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, London

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Lunch: 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.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5:30pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with a Group Leader in each country, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics as well as lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

Day 3: Panoramic Tour & The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: This morning we depart the hotel by motor coach for a panoramic overview of London’s many monuments and most famous sights. Your Group Leader will discuss the city’s history, as well as its architecture throughout the ages. Our final destination is the Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, holding a collection of some 4.5 million objects from all over the world.

Lunch: Lunch will be served in a local pub.

Afternoon: Free time. Your Group Leader will be able to offer suggestions and directions, or you may wish to join them on a discovery walk to further explore London.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time to relax or further explore London.

Day 4: Kensington Palace, London

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We continue our exploration of London as we board the motor coach for Kensington Palace, the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall as well as Prince Harry. We’ll be able to explore Queen Victoria’s bedroom, George I’s staircase and the spectacular King’s Gallery amongst other fascinating snippets of history. The palace was also home to Princess Diana, and there remains a selection of her famous dresses in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection. Here we will be treated to a very special lecture by Ken Wharfe, former head of security to Princes William and Harry and Personal Protection Officer to Princess Diana. The lecture, titled “Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess” will explore his relationship with the family right up to the time of her tragic death.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 5: St. Paul’s Cathedral & The National Portrait Gallery, London

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Activity note: This day includes use of the Undergound in London. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations. This can add considerably to the amount of walking done in the day. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we take the world famous London Underground to St. Paul’s Cathedral, an unmissable silhouette on the London skyline and often considered to be Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece. It has been standing in its current form since 1711 and its tranquil interior is majestic in its Baroque splendour – your Group Leader will take you through its turbulent and fascinating history as we explore its magnificent three domed structure. From St. Paul’s we will then travel to the National Portrait Gallery for an expertly guided visit. Spanning six centuries of history, the Gallery tells the story of Britain through portraits of the men and women who have made a significant contribution to British life.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken near the Gallery.

Afternoon: Free time, or join your Group Leader to explore the National Gallery.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 6: Transfer to Paris: The Channel Tunnel & Île de la Cité, Paris

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Best Western Premier Opera Fauberg

Activity note: This day includes use of the Undergound in London and the Metro in Paris. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations. This can add considerably to the amount of walking done in the day. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we transfer from the London hotel to the St. Pancras train station, where we will board the Eurostar train for our journey under the English Channel. The journey from London to Paris takes only three hours and luggage service will be available upon arrival, whereupon we will meet our Group Leader for the Paris section and take some lunch.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Begin your discovery of Paris with an exploration of L’Île de la Cité. Your Group Leader will cast an expert eye as we visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Conciergerie and the exquisite Sainte Chapelle before returning to the hotel to check in.

Dinner: Taken at a local restaurant.

Evening: Free time.

Day 7: The Musee d’Orsay, Paris

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Best Western Premier Opera Fauberg

Activity note: This day includes use of the Metro in Paris. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations. This can add considerably to the amount of walking done in the day. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Travel with your Group Leader to explore the world’s largest Impressionist painting collection at the musee d’Orsay.

Lunch: Taken at the musee d’Orsay.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore on your own. The group leader will provide recommendations for activities and maps will be provided.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 8: The Food Culture of Paris & The Rodin Museum and Gardens

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Best Western Premier Opera Fauberg

Activity note: This day includes use of the Metro in Paris. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations. This can add considerably to the amount of walking done in the day. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we explore the market and food culture of Paris. Discover small shops with an expert guide and taste some incredible local flavours in a typical Parisian neighbourhood.

Lunch: Taken at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will take the Metro to explore the musee Rodin, rated as one of the most enjoyable museums in Paris, boasting the finest collection of works by the sculptors Pierre August Rodin and Camille Claudel. It also features beautiful outdoor gardens for you to explore at your leisure.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 9: The Louvre & Montmartre, Paris

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Best Western Premier Opera Fauberg

Activity note: This day includes use of the Metro in Paris. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations. This can add considerably to the amount of walking done in the day. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will take the Metro to enjoy an on-site presentation at the Louvre, one of the largest museums in the world. Formerly the royal residence of the Kings of France, the Louvre is now home to a collection of art unmatched by almost any other museum.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Join your Group Leader for a visit to Montmartre, including an exploration of the Place du Tertre and Sacre Couer. Alternatively, you may wish to take this time to further explore your own interests in the City of Lights.

Dinner: A farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Round off your Parisian experience by boarding the motor coach for a view of the famous city lights before returning to the hotel.

Day 10: Program Concludes

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Transfer to Charles De Gaulle Airport for onward flights. This concludes our program. 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.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,099
Price Per Day: $ 310 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

38 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

89%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 31
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

The Best of London and Paris: A Tale of Two Cities

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Company Reviews

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
Read more

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Accomodations

Millennium Gloucester Hotel: 4 nights  London

Three restaurants and one bar.

 

Best Western Premier Opera Fauberg: 4 nights  Paris

The bohemian-style Best Western Premier Opéra Faubourg is located in the heart of Paris on the rue La Fayette. It is bordered by the Opera Garnier, the antique auction house of Drouot and the Grands Boulevards. This stunning area is known for its glass covered passageways with chic boutiques, traditional Parisian restaurants and cafés and department stores. Guestrooms are contemporary in style and decorated in chocolate brown and cream. All rooms are equipped with modern en suite facilities and flat-screen TVs.

Trip ID#:

LonParRoa

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 4 Dinners

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