Rick Steves' Best of Paris, Day by Day
Paris is synonymous with the finest things that culture can offer — in art, fashion, food, literature, and ideas. On this tour, your Paris-savvy Rick Steves guide will immerse you in the very best of the City of Light: the masterpiece-packed Louvre and Orsay museums, resilient Notre-Dame Cathedral, exquisite Sainte-Chapelle, and the extravagant Palace of Versailles. You'll also enjoy guided neighborhood walks through the city's historic heart, as well as quieter moments to slow down and savor the city's intimate cafés, colorful markets, and joie de vivre. Tag along on this slideshow preview of our Best of Paris in 7 Days tour…let's go.
Day 1: Welcome to Paris
We'll gather at our hotel in Paris at 3 p.m. for a short meeting and orientation stroll around our neighborhood. Then we'll get acquainted with one another over a delicious "Welcome to Paris" dinner together.
Day 2: The Historic Heart of Paris
Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including a pair of the world's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the resilient and legendary Notre-Dame and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle. After free time for lunch, we'll regroup and stroll through the bohemian Latin Quarter, named for the language you'd have heard on these streets if you'd walked them in the Middle Ages. Then you'll be set free for the afternoon to explore more of the city.
Day 3: Montmartre and a Seine Cruise
This morning we'll hop on the Métro, then hike up Montmartre to tour the colorful neighborhood that was the haunt of artistic geniuses a century ago — including Van Gogh, Picasso, and Renoir — and generations of hopeful artists since. We'll end our walk with spectacular views of Paris from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. After free time for lunch and exploration, we'll regroup this evening to enjoy dinner together before embarking on a dreamy Seine River cruise.
Day 4: The Marais District and the Louvre
We'll begin our day with a walking tour through Paris' diverse, history-layered Marais district. As we walk, we'll learn about enlightened 17th-century urban planning at the beautiful Place des Vosges, the cultural roots of the Jewish Quarter, and how the French Revolution grew from this neighborhood. This afternoon, we'll visit Europe's greatest museum — the Louvre — where you'll come face to face with the works of Raphael, Delacroix, and Leonardo and timeless treasures including the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more.
Day 5: All Day at the Château de Versailles
Today we'll explore the elaborate palace that Louis XIV, XV, and XVI called home. We'll make the 30-minute train trip to Versailles, where we'll have a guided tour of the dazzling Hall of Mirrors and other sumptuous rooms of the palace. You'll then have free time to wander through the expansive gardens and visit the farm animals at Marie Antoinette's hamlet, or to zip back to Paris early via one of the frequent trains.
Day 6: Masterpieces of Paris
This morning we'll tour the Orsay Museum, home to the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art with works from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and beyond. Then you'll be free to visit the nearby Orangerie Museum, featuring Monet's magnificent water lilies and other fine works by Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, and more. Or visit other places covered by your included 6-Day Paris Museum Pass, such as the Rodin Museum or the military museum of Les Invalides. Tonight we'll enjoy a farewell feast together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Salut!
Day 7: Tour Over After Breakfast
Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Merci et au revoir!
Ready to go to Paris? Learn more and book your seat for a 2023 Best of Paris in 7 Days tour.