22 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 2 - Moderate
Activity
Paris in depth map

Explore Paris Small Group Tour

On this small group Paris tour, we take the time to get to know the Paris beyond the tourist centres. Staying in apartments, we are able to immerse ourselves in the city's history, art, and culture, with a mixture of guided tours, day trips, and time to enjoy the city on your own over a 21 day period. This trip includes themed days, focusing on literature, fashion, art, and history, along with entire days at leisure, allowing you the opportunity to return to explore key areas of interest or new parts of Paris.

We begin the tour with a day themed around the life and achievements of Napoleon, visiting the Arc Du Triomphe, the Vendome Column, and more. The next day we set off on an excursion to one of Paris's wealthiest suburbs, Rueil-Malmaison for example.

In the following weeks, there are days dedicated to discovering the haunts of the great writers who've lived in Paris, or seeing the city's most wonderful galleries or walking through the arcades. While tours frequently pass quickly through cities, leaving only time for highlights, this extended tour is for travellers who wish to really get to know the city, spending time as a tourist and time as a local.

Explore Paris Small Group Tour Itinerary: a collection of in-depth experiences

This tour takes you to some 22 museums, galleries and key places of interest in Paris. This is a program designed to beyond traditional Paris sightseeing. Some of the museums and galleries we will visit from our centrally located Paris hotel will include:

  • Musee de L’Arme
  • Musee Rodin
  • Musee les Arts Decortifs
  • Mussee Yves Saint Laurent Paris
  • Musee du Vieux Montmartre
  • Fondations Louis Vuitton
  • Picasso Museum
  • Marmottan Monet Museum
  • Musee des artes et Metiers
  • Palais Decouverte
  • Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte
  • Jewish Museum
  • Sainte Chapelle
  • Arab World Institute
  • Jules Verne House

This city tour is based almost entirely in Paris, with occasional excursions from the centre with our tour guide. Our tour from Paris to other points of interest in the regions of France will add to the overall experience of the tour. This is not only a Paris sightseeing tour; we have designed a program that allows you to explore and live in Paris for a few weeks, providing you with a great Paris experience that allow you to learn based on a collection of themed days exploring the city's art, history & culture. To deliver a positive Paris experience, Odyssey Traveller has engaged some great local guides who are typically natives of Paris. They are chosen for their in depth knowledge of Paris so travellers will benefit from learning about their teachings on the art, the history, and the culture of Paris during your time together.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.

Articles about France published by Odyssey Traveller

You may want to browse our country profile about France. Odyssey Traveller also published informative articles for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of France when visiting:

External articles to assist you plan your visit to France

Enjoy Odyssey's long stay return to explore city programs

Since 2012 Odyssey has offered long stay tours based in some of the greatest cities of the world. It began with exploring French history by rail inspired by Ina Caro's book.

Since that first long stay city tour Odyssey had added the following great cities to the list:

There are more programs to follow that have a similar style. They are centred on cities where you have indicated that you would like to return to explore further. They are places of cultural and historic importance where in a different life or different time you would have enjoyed a period of living in these cities. So whilst you may not be able to live here today, you can spend 3 weeks living as a local exploring with a local guide all that each city has to offer. A chance to return to explore some of the greatest and truly fascinating cities of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions About France

During the Roman Empire, the region known as France today was referred to as Gallia, or Gaul. Following the end of the Roman Empire, the region was associated with a Germanic tribe known as the Franks, and when a monarchy was established it became known in Latin as Francia, or the Frankish Empire. From Francia the modern English term France was derived.

Where the term ‘Frank’ comes from is an issue of historical debate. Some have linked it to the term ‘frank’ (free) in English, as after the conquest of Gaul, only the Franks were free of taxation. Others theorise that it comes from the proto-Germanic word *frankon or javelin. In Latin, the throwing axe of the Franks was known as francisca. Other scholars have suggested that these weapons were named because of their association with the Franks, not the other way around.

The association of France with style and fashion began during the reign of Louis XIV, who established the great palace of Versailles. In the 1670s, the first fashion magazines were created in France, which marketed French styles to women across Europe, and introduced the fashion ‘season’, meaning that fashions constantly changed.

In the late 19th century, haute couture – in which clothes were made specifically to fit the buyer – was developed in Paris. Fashion designers such as Paul Poiret and Jeanne Paquin became international celebrities, presaging today’s designer labels.

In the 1920s Coco Chanel promoted a boyish and simple chic – including the enduring ‘little black dress’ – that overthrew the corseted designs of the 19th century. Chanel endures as a luxury fashion house today, joined by other French designers such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Today, French fashion and beauty inspire fashionistas worldwide with an ethos infused with the effortlessness and simple elegance of the art de vivre.

The climate in France varies considerably, with four major climate regions. The western coast of France has a rainy and cool climate, with little variation between seasons, while inland has a continental climate of hot summers and cold winters. The Mediterranean has a hot dry summer and a mild winter, and the final region, the French Alps have a mountain climate, with snow three to six months a year.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: On arrival in Paris, you will make your own way to your apartment. In the evening, we meet for a welcome dinner.

Overview: Today we enjoy a full guided tour of Paris, constructed around the life and achievements of Napoleon.

Napoleon did a lot for Paris and many of the monuments he built can still be seen today. A local guide take us to see some of the main sights related to the grand historical figure, such as the Vendome Column, the Arc du Triomphe and the Boulevard des Marechaux.

Overview: Today, we continue with the theme of Napoleon. In the morning, we take an excursion to Rueil-Malmaison where we visit the Chateau de Malmaison. This chateau was oncethe residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais and the final residence of Napoleon in France. In the afternoon we return to Paris and the rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure.

Overview: Today, we embark on a full-day guided tour that guides us through the drama of The French Revolution, one of the most influential historical events not only in France, but also globally.

We visit the Place de la Bastille, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, and finish the day with a visit to the stunning Musee de l’Armee. In the evening, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Overview: Paris is among the richest cities in the world when it comes to art, and this tour takes advantage of that. Today, we enjoy a full day guided tour which includesthe Outdoor Sculpture Museum, the Musee Rodin and the Musee les Arts Decoratifs. Pending availability, we will attend an opera performance in the evening.

Overview: Today is all about fashion. We have a local guide for the day to take us through a number of fashion museums and areas with high fashion shops

We’ll visit the Palais Galliera, the only dedicated fashion museum in Paris, the Musee Yves Saint Laurent and walk through the famed Triangle d’Or.

Overview: You have the full day to explore Paris at your leisure.

Overview: In the morning, we take a trip to Le Port-Marly, where we visit the beautiful Chateau du Monte-Cristo, once the home of Alexandre Dumas and named for his famous novel. Today, the chateau is a museum dedicated to the writer’s life. In the afternoon, we return to Paris and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Overview: Today we take a guided tour of Paris that is themed around the Enlightenment period, following in the footsteps of some of the great eighteenth century thinkers. We visit the Pantheon, a neoclassical church, and view le Procope and le Palais Royal, and a statue of the magnificent philosopher Denis Diderot.

We end the day with dinner at a local restaurant.

Overview: Today, we turn once again to the history of the city, with a guided tour of central Paris. We enter the Musee du Vieux Monmartre, visit Sacre Coeur, Place du Tertre, Moulin de la Galette, Moulin Rouge, and more!

Overview: In the morning we board a train to Lille. On arrival, we take a walking tour of the city, before having free time to explore Lille on your own. We return to Paris by train in the late afternoon.

Overview: Today is another day dedicated to art in Paris. We have entrance to the newly opened Fondation Louis Vuitton, le Jeu de Paume, and the Picasso Museum, each magnificent in its own way.

Overview: Throughout the years, Paris has been the home to many authors, natives and those who have moved there. Today, we enjoy a tour that focuses on the city’s literary side. With a local guide, we visit the Cimetière du Père Lachaise where many famous authors and artists such as Jim Morrison are buried. Then we visit the Maison Victor Hugo and the Notre-Dame Cathedral which inspired Hugo’s “Hunchback of the Notre Dame”.

We also visit the old and well known bookshop Shakespeare & Company, the first outlet to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses . Other stops on the tour include the British Embassy where Somerset Maugham was born and La Closerie des Lilas. Ernest Hemingway lived nearby this café and it was here that he read the first finished manuscript of The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald. Pending availability, we end the day with an evening ballet performance.

Overview: Today is themed around science, and the industrial revolution. We visit the Musee des artes et Metiers and the Palais Decouverte with a local guide. During the tour the group will also view the Institute de France, the building itself is only open to visitors one weekend per year (the 3rd weekend of September). During the tour the guide will discuss the importance of the Industrial revolution and why it was not as spectacular in France as it was in its neighbouring countries.

Overview: Today the group will visit the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte in the morning. This is a baroque french chateau with glorious gardens. In the afternoon we return to Paris and the rest of the day will be at leisure.

Overview: Today we focus on the various cultures that come together to make Paris what it is. A guide will walk us through the Marais area where many Jews live, here the will visit the Jewish Museum and the Shoah Memorial which commemorates the Jews that were deported during WWII. Afterward we visit Sainte Chapelle, a church well known for its spectacular glass stained windows. To end the day we visit the Arab World Institute.

Overview: Today is free to explore Paris at your leisure.

Overview: Today is another when we focus on Paris’s rich literary history. A local guide takes us to view the Bibliotheque Mazarine, La Sorbonne, and the Ceramic Mosaics at Cluny-La Sorbonne metro station. We also visit Jardin de Luxembourg, among other local literary sites.

Overview: Today, we focus on the history of film in Paris, visiting locations that have been used in films and television.

We visit the open-air market Carré Marigny which was used in the film Charade (1963), the Pont Alexandre III Bridge which was used in the movie a Midnight in Paris, the Place Dauphine which was used in the series Sex and the City, The Louvre Pyramid, Le Nemours, and many more sights.

Overview: In the morning we board a train to head to Amiens. On arrival, we’ll be met by a local guide to show us around the city. We will also visit the late-19th-century home of Jules Verne, with preserved interiors, his effects & a winter garden. In the afternoon we will return to Paris, with the rest of our final full day free to wander the city. In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.

Overview: Today, we make our own way to the airport for departing flights.

1
We stay in apartments in the heart of Paris, meaning we can quickly see the best of the city, and relax in comfort
2
Days themed around Art, Literature, History, and fashion, in which we immerse ourselves in the city’s rich culture
3
A visit to Alexandre Dumas’s home, the Chateau du Monte-Cristo
4
The Palais Galliera, Paris’s only dedicated museum of fashion
5
A half-day excursion to Rueil-Malmaison, including a visit to the beautiful Chateau Malmaison

What’s included in our Tour

  • 20 nights of serviced apartment accommodation.
  • 5 dinners.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • Touring by local public transport and local inter city trains.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return international airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive international travel insurance.
  • Items of personal nature like laundry, phone calls and meals not included in the itinerary.
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