Please sign in to post.

RS Paris 7 day Tour - Free Time

I just signed up for this tour and with so much to do and see in Paris I would like to schedule additional activities around the free time. Is there really enough time with this tour to schedule my own activities?

Thank you

Posted by
9675 posts

Yes, it seems like most afternoons were free but the times we were finished with group activities varied. I would not schedule anything on the Versaille day as you don't want to rush to get back. Another tour member and I stayed pretty late, returning back to Paris at maybe 630 or so. Schedule your longer activities when there is no group dinner.

I went to the concert at St Chapelle one night (I think maybe Monday or Tues) after the guide offered to arrange tickets for anyone who wanted.

This is a fun week! I hope you can give yourself a day or 2 ahead to adjust to the tie change.

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you Pam for the information! One of the things we wanted to do was take the Hoho bus. We know we get a transit pass with the tour, but was that included?
Thanks Tara

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you Pam for the information! One of the things we wanted to do was take the Hoho bus. We know we get a transit pass with the tour, but was that included?
Some of the activities we were looking to book were the catacomb and sewer tours, moulin rouge and a few more. Some of these need to be prebooked. We are arriving 2 days prior and we thought with additional tour free time we could fit these all in

Posted by
16883 posts

The HOHO buses (and boats) are private companies with separate tickets that you can buy there, and maybe that would be something to do when you first arrive. To do a little sightseeing with your pass on public bus #69, see the route description in Rick's Paris book.

Posted by
9675 posts

I did the Paris tour last Sept about this time of year and it did include a short bus tour on the first evening. I was surprised at how much the driver and guide were able to fit in!

However as Laura says you might want to do that on one of your pre-days. We did have tickets to a Seine river cruise so dont do that ahead in case that is still part of the package. The travel card is wonderful!!

I would do the catacombs early AM on one of your pre-days as most mornings are with the group. You can do the Moulin Rouge on one of the tour nights where there is not a dinner.

Posted by
7124 posts

If you wish to further utilise your 6 day Paris Museum Pass (which the tour provides), and depending on free time, then the daily schedule would see the following possibilities as easy 'add on' options.

Monday Options
Conciergerie (where Marie Antoinette imprisoned)
Pantheon (dedicated to the greats of France)
Musee Delacroix (the artist’s former house + studio)

Tuesday Options
Les Egouts (the sewer tour)
Musee Quai Branly (artefacts from Africa, Americas, Asia, Oceania)

Wednesday Options
Musee Picasso (recently renovated)
Pompidou Centre (modern art collection)

Friday Options
Musee Rodin (famous bronzes in beautiful gardens)
Invalides (Napoleons tomb)

Posted by
11286 posts

In addition to various museums, the Museum Pass also covers the Arc de Triomphe. This gives a great view of Paris by day and by night, and is a wonderful activity during your free time, particularly it will also be cost free with the Pass.

Posted by
4438 posts

The RS Paris tour doesn't include the Eiffel Tower, and you will save a lot of time if you reserve your tickets months ahead of time. Check out the time-of-day for sunset because it's nice to go up around sunset and stay up to see the city light up at night. (Check with the RS office to see which evenings you're free. I remember we had a few group dinners.)

There's a lot of free time - mostly afternoons & evenings. I went through the Orsay museum, Rodin museum, the Opera House, Arc d' Triumphe, out to the La Defense area, spent a lot of time in gardens - Luxembourg Garden & Tuileries, and briefly went through the Galeries Lafayette shopping area and a perfume museum. I relaxed at the Eiffel Tower park grounds at the end of the day several evenings.

The RS tour gives you Metro/bus week pass, so it's easy to go anywhere quickly within the city. Wear comfortable shoes and enjoy your trip!

Posted by
1101 posts

You can book Eiffel Tower tickets 3 months out for the date you are looking for. They sell out fast, its best to book as soon as they open. Which for the west coast is 11:30 pm Pacific Time.

Enjoy your trip, I'm down to 8mo. before my return.

Posted by
11286 posts

"They sell out fast, its best to book as soon as they open."

Just to clarify, he means they sell out within minutes of being available, so if you want to do this, you really have to be online and ready to pounce right when the tickets are released.

Posted by
7205 posts

But just because the reserved time tickets sell out online doesn't mean ALL of the Eiffel Tower is sold out. Just go stand in line like the rest of the souls who were unable to buy the online tickets before they sold out.

Posted by
23 posts

For the Eiffel Tower, we booked with Easy Pass Tours just 2 weeks out. You meet at the office just a couple blocks from the tower, and they take you on a guided tour with headphones, and they make sure you are on the final elevator that goes to the top. Everyone speaks English - it seemed they catered to American tourists. We both felt it was worth the extra cost of a tour. You learn about the history of the Eiffel Tower, and important sites are pointed out with their history, also, as you look out on all sides at the city.

Posted by
774 posts

A great tour! I took it several years ago and have returned numerous times.

I suggest finding an open air market to attend, one of my fave things to do. The guide can help you but do google food markets before you leave. The city of Paris website has a comprehensive list. Choose some yummies and have a picnic. There are numerous small parks where locals eat lunch.

Walk along the Seine. Return to the Notre Dame for a service, or choose another church. One trip I was one of the first to enter the church before 8 am. A small service took place in the centre area, leaving me and a few tourists to roam without feeling I was interrupting. So marvelous!

Stop and relax at cafes! I usually carry my small journal in my purse and catch up while enjoying a coffee or drink. If you like licorice flavour, try the aperitif Pastis, often ordered by the brand Ricard. Similar to Sambuca. Add a bit of water that is served in a small carafe, it turns cloudy. I love it!

I did a lot of research, looking for sights that are near where the tour ends each morning, saving transport time. The guides are great; talk to them early asking for ideas. They will probably offer options for to do's for free time.

I love the Luxembourg Gardens and the small Museum there. Many benches to relax. I enjoyed visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetary too.

Enjoy your trip.