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Best of Paris 7days

I just spent 7 days in Paris and loved every second of it. Our tour Guide Rebecca was incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and professional. She clearly communicated our daily schedule, how we were getting to our locations, and how to get back. After the first tour day we were all very comfortable exploring Paris on our own and getting back and forth using the metro and bus system.

The food was incredible and absolutely great tasting. We ate at some famous local restaurants and the local cafes. The hotel was perfectly located within a 3min walk of the Eiffel Tower and train stations and meters away from many cafe/restaurants and gift shops. The hotel staff were super helpful and kind as well.

I would highly recommend this trip as a "first European" trip for anyone hesitant to leave the US. The Parisians (people of Paris) all spoke English well enough to communicate on the streets and restaurants and churches and museums.

SCAMS - ok so just say "NO" to anyone asking you to sign or read anything. Say NO to anyone approaching you and asking you to buy anything from 'found rings' to souvenirs. There are plenty of souvenir shops locally and around and inside each location for you to purchase gifts for people back home. Wallet/purse keep it in a zipped pocket in your jacket or front pocket. If you say "NO" with confidence (don't yell at them) they will leave you alone.

ATM/CASH - there are ATMs in the airport for your to withdrawal Euros and the conversion is much less than exchanging currency in the US or an exchange kiosk. Extra Euros as you board the plane well most of them walk around for you to donate to different charities or keep for memories or next European trip (remember it's Euros and is the same in in France, and Germany and Italy).

BUY local souvenir shops help them not the people running around selling cheaper gifts than in the stores. Or inside the location you visit all have an exit gift shop anyway.

MUSEUM PASS - CANT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.... will save you money and time in lines, GET IT if you are just visiting on your own.
Versailles is HUGE.. HUGE.. plan to be there all day. The gardens are HUGE. Bring some bread if you visit the village of Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet there the fish will love you for it. HINT the village of Hamlet will remind you of "the Shire" a bit.
Montmatre is hilly and gorgeous.
Louvre is bigger than you think, visit in AFTERNOON, if you wanna go back, but that will be done with your tour guide.
Eiffel Tower - BUY YOUR TICKET ONLINE IN ADVANCE and you can skip the lines and go all the way up save time. DO IT THIS WAY.
Churches - they are huge and incredible. Buy a candle say a prayer, be respectful and quiet.
Museums - before you go or get in, get to know it's layout and where everything is.
Rue Cler - 5min walk from hotel and great street to walk and eat.
Rodin - to see the "Thinker" your Museum pass is enough. No need to buy the museum entry of 3Euros.
Weather - ALWAYS check the weather before you go anywhere, it saved me some money and I was able to pack accordingly.

Packing for return/airport - IF you want to bring wine/alcohol back, 3 bottles is the max. Your bag needs to be checked if you are bringing more than 1 bottle of wine back. For carry on bags 1 bottle only. Security was nice and helpful be kind and smile.

MY steps/miles. - I did some extra walking (from Arc de Triomphe to Louvre) and on my own after the tour guides finished their education lesson of where we were. I averaged 8miles of walking each day and about 22,061 average steps each day. But I wanted to spend all day at Versailles, and walk the Champs-Elysee in it's entirety. I did extra things on my own as well at night.

Hope this helps. I had a great time, and would highly recommend this trip via this tour. And enjoy yourself, go happy and with a positive attitude to see and eat and try new things. Be kind and smile, use your "thank you" and "please".

Ed B. (West Chester, Pa)

Posted by
7693 posts

Ed B, it sounds like you had a wonderful time!! I loved this tou and it made me feel SO comfortable there. Now I can’t stay away!

Was “your Rebecca” Rebecca Berry? If so I had her for Paris and the Heart of France and just loved her!

Thanks for spending the time to post your report!

Posted by
3389 posts

I chose this tour one year when my husband couldn’t travel. We had previously been to Paris on our own, but I wanted to return and spend more time, see more, and take some time to just relax & enjoy being there. We had several single people who chose this tour as their first experience in Europe. I agree, Ed, that this is an excellent choice. Glad you had a very positive experience in this gorgeous city and shared your trip report!

Posted by
230 posts

Thanks for the quick overview and tips!

I did not know you could board with a bottle of wine on the return home. Good to know. Doing Paris on my own with a friend in September and starting the planning with the Best of Paris itinerary.

Yes, always save the Euros for your next trip.

Posted by
4031 posts

Ed B, thanks for your report. We took this tour some years ago, and loved it. Your tips are spot on, as well. Did you get Métro cards, as well? Another time and stress saver.

City tours are great for people who don't think they would like a bus tour, or don't like the idea of moving hotels every couple of days. This is a good one.

Posted by
6811 posts

Ed probably means a bottle of something bought in the Duty Free shop after the security check. But beware if you need to take a second plane once you’ve entered the States. If you have to change terminals and go through security, you’ll lose your bottle.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you so much Ed for this post I'll be on this tour beginning July 8th and beyond excited. I have my ticket for the Eiffel Tower
before the tour and am wondering how far ahead of your ticketed time you arrived to pass through security. I have read anywhere
from one to two hours and would like to know your experience. So glad the hotel is close. Also good to hear that you had enough time
to do things on your own as this tour has less downtime than Rome. Am giving myself 3 days ahead of tour start for arrival. Thank you.
Kathy M.

Posted by
741 posts

This was our first RS tour in 2015, also with Rebecca. She was absolutely fabulous, incredibly knowledgeable, efficient, organized and fun to be with. it was our first trip to Europe (we'd spent three days in London before heading to Paris) and Rebecca helped make it a wonderful introduction.

Posted by
43 posts

Thank you so much for your trip report. Would you be so kind as to share the name of your hotel. I am planning a trip for my husband and I and this time we will be going on our own. I loved the hotels that I stayed at on my last Rick Steves' tour to Prague and Budapest.

Posted by
87 posts

Ed B, Thank you so much for the excellent trip report. Your tips are concise and relevant. Paris is on my list and your report is the clincher.

Thanks again,
Kathleen

Posted by
11154 posts

Thanks for posting a trip report.

"I did not know you could board with a bottle of wine on the return home"
"Ed probably means a bottle of something bought in the Duty Free shop after the security check."

Yes, you cannot get through security with a bottle of wine in your carry-on, but things bought in Duty Free after you pass through security can be subject to different rules. However, as said, if you have to pass through security again at any point before your final destination, the bottles have to go into checked luggage - even if they were allowed as carryon on an earlier flight.

Posted by
166 posts

I did this tour in September of 2017 and we were fortunate enough to have Rebecca also and I can’t say enough good things about her as a guide. Rebecca brings a lot of energy to the group and is very knowledgeable about the history of Paris. The restaurants she picked for the group were awesome!! Please make sure you set aside enough time to visit the Museum D’Orsey, it was my favorite, also either before or after the tour go out to Monet’s Gardens, it is well worth the trip.

Posted by
741 posts

Thank you so much for your trip report. Would you be so kind as to share the name of your hotel. I am planning a trip for my husband and I and this time we will be going on our own. I loved the hotels that I stayed at on my last Rick Steves' tour to Prague and Budapest.

From the OP’s description, I’m guessing it’s the Hotel de Londres Eiffel, which is used a lot for that tour. It’s a little pricey to book on your own, but it’s lovely and we enjoyed it very much.

Posted by
954 posts

This was our first RS tour (2012). We just returned from some time in Paris on our own before the Loire Valley/South of France tour. The second time was great because we felt like we knew our way around, and could concentrate on thongs that we missed the first time.

Posted by
104 posts

Paris and the Heart of France, September 2013. Rebecca Berry. She set the bar mighty high. Thank you for your interesting and information filled report.

Posted by
29 posts

I'm going in September and I can't wait. 7 day tour and second time in paris.

Posted by
272 posts

We were on this tour with Don. Hello there.

Yes the hotel is Hotel Londres Eiffel. It has a great location. Close to the Eiffel tower, Metro and restaurants. It also has a Laundramat right across the street from the hotel. It is very convenient and clean inside. The rooms are very compact, but they do have a small elevator that can carry 2 at a time. Rebecca was wonderful. One thing she did for our group was to have a wine tasting one evening. It was voluntary, but almost everyone came. She gave us some great wines, and some delicious treats to go with them. I also learned about the different regions of France. It helped us a lot when we started our next tour 2 days later "The Best of Eastern France

Posted by
9 posts

Same here -- we had Rebecca Berry as our tour guide (in June, 2017), and she was incredible. Absolute joy to have with our group, and we stayed at the Hotel Londres Eiffel too. Pretty much everything Ed B mentions in his post is very solid advice.

Posted by
954 posts

This was our first RS tour. Partly due to the tour experience, Paris has become our favorite city in Europe.