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Best of Paris: two questions


I'm strongly considering taking the Best of Paris tour, but wonder if it's possible to skip out a day? I have no interest in Versailles and would prefer to spend that day at the Army Museum (which isn't on the tour). Is "cutting class" allowed on the tour?

Second question is does the tour stay at the same hotel for the length of the tour, or is there more than one hotel involved?

Thank you,

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
10344 posts

Hi Mike, these are 2 questions, about specifics of a specific Rick Steves tour, that you probably want to ask the Rick Steves staff on Monday. They're the best authorities about the kind of details of their tours that you're asking about.
You can contact them directly on Monday through other parts of this website.
On the Forum here we're just travelers, not RS staff. We'd just be guessing about what you're asking about.

Or you could drive over to Edmonds and ask them. You might even catch a glimpse of The Master, from directly across the street, his office is through the window on the 2nd floor. Or sometimes He mingles downstairs with us customers.

Posted by
738 posts

Mike, while I have not been on this particular tour, I have been on 8 RS tours, including Best of London. For the city tours, they stay in the same hotel for the entire duration of the tour. Also, tour members are free to skip any of the activities as long as you're not skipping a bus trip to the next destination. Just let the tour guide know that you will be skipping the Versailles trip as early as possible so he/she does not purchase a ticket for you that may go to waste. I suspect that you will get a Paris Museum Pass during this tour, which will cover Versailles. You will probably also get a transportation pass or carnet of tickets to use during the week.

Posted by
796 posts

I have been on this tour. It is possible to skip a portion, just consult with the guide to fond out where & when the group reconvenes so that you can catch up with them again. It is probable that after Versailles there will be a bit of free time; on my tour, we all returned to Paris on our own, with our ticket paid in our pocket. So some would spend more tome on the grounds and others return back sooner. I had lunch in Versailles with some tour members and returned mid-afternoon. During the Paris city tour, I did skip a group activity to go the the Orsay on my own, as it is my fave museum.

I really enjoyed the Paris city tour. I was glad that I had booked 3 additional nights on my own after the tour, just to wander along the Seine, or do some shopping. One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to visit the markets, which I did after the tour ends as they are usually morning markets ending about 1 pm.

In my experience, the group stays at the same hotel for all nights.

I toured the Army museum and did like it. The gardens are fabulous. I did return to the gardens only to sit in the sun.

Enjoy. Paris is my favourite place in the world. I have returned at least 4 times on my own and with freinds.

Posted by
2251 posts

My experiences have been the same as those posted above. For the week's tour of London, we stayed in the same hotel for the entire time. One of the things I like best about the Rick Steves tours is that you are free to attend a scheduled activity or not, your choice. I do enjoy being treated like an adult! But as said before, do let your guide know as soon as you know you won't be going with them. Enjoy the tour; I am sure it's fabulous. All mine have been!

Posted by
891 posts

When we took the "Best of Paris" tour we did stay in the same hotel for the whole week. There was one day that hubby and I opted out of the planned activity that we had done on a previous trip. We told the guide before and met them that evening for a planned dinner. No problem.

Have a great time,

Posted by
1198 posts

I have been on the Paris tour twice, yes, I enjoyed it so much that I took the tour twice, once solo and once with a friend. Have also been on several other week long tours and you always stay in the same hotel on the week long tours. You are very much allowed to opt out of an activity. They just ask that you let the guide know you are not going so no one worries about you. You will have a "buddy" a person you did not travel with, everyone gets a buddy, and when they do the count your buddy will say whether you are there or not. You will of course do the same thing. This way everyone is accounted for and no one is missing. Don't be too quick to cut out Versailles. You may want to look at the photos on the internet, it is a wonderful palace and great artwork, wonderful gardens and just an amazing place. Now I know you want to spend time at the Army Museum, I went and did enjoy it. It will take an afternoon, but not the whole day and I do not whiz through museums. You will have free time on the tour and may be able to go to the Army museum on one of the free afternoons. Versailles can take all day, or you can see it and then leave and still have time to go to another museum or walk around, or whatever. When you do go to the Army Museum, right across the street is also the Rodin museum which again doesn't take several hours, but a few hours and very nice museum. You have options is all I am saying. See how the week plays out with your free time. Have a wonderful time, Paris is an unique city to be seen more than once.

Posted by
6965 posts

Hi Mike,

I went on the Best of Paris tour two years ago. We stayed near the Eiffel Tower; the tour stays in one location all week.

I've been to Paris previously, so I left the group when they were going to go inside Notre Dame, followed by the Cluny Museum. There's no reason to feel any hesitation of not joining in an activity that you have no interest - it is your vacation. Just give the tour guide & your buddy the courtesy of knowing you're not joining a specific day.

By the way, I really liked seeing Napoleon's Tomb & the gorgeous building near the Army Museum.

Posted by
13702 posts

I did the Paris tour in September and found the same as the others, that it is fine to do your own itinerary whenever you want as long as you let your guide and also, if possible, your buddy know. I thought it was very odd that on my week tour someone stayed in the hotel ill every day. A different person each day. Colds, jet lag, upset stomach, all different.

Most days we did group type activities in the AM and had the afternoons free. Versailles we came back independently as someone upthread said. Having a metro pass for the week as well as a museum pass was wonderful.

One thing I missed on the original instructions was to bring a passport sized photo for the metro pass. No big deal if you forget. The hotel made a photocopy of my passport photo for me (and others) and that worked fine.

Posted by
32159 posts

As the others have mentioned, you could certainly skip the Versailles trip. Just be sure to tell the guide. IMHO, Versailles is definitely worth seeing, but of course that's your choice. With the tour you'll have faster entry and an excellent guide to explain the history.

In terms of visiting the Army Museum, my suggestion would be to arrive in Paris a day or two before the tour (which is a good idea anyway to get over jet lag), and go to the Army Museum prior to the start of the tour, or stay a day after the tour and go to the museum then. You'll likely be staying in the 7th close to the Eiffel Tower, so the Museum will be within easy walking distance. There's a lot to see there, so planning a full day will provide lots of time for a good tour.

Posted by
16893 posts

All of Rick Steves' tours for a single city in 7 days do use a single hotel for the whole stay. You'll receive the hotel information soon after you sign up. As others have noted, it's no problem to opt out of an activity, after telling your guide.

Posted by
444 posts

THANK YOU for all the wonderful and knowledgeable replies to my questions!

Without a doubt I will be purchasing the Seven Days in Paris tour for my wife and I. If this forum is any indication of how fantastic people who tour with RSE are, I know I'll have a great time.

This will be my first trip out of the US for both me and my wife, so I'm very excited.

Thank you all again,

-- Mike Beebe