Are you a Paris Virgin? Join us on the ultimate first-timer’s trip to the City of Light where you and a small group of like-minded women will conquer the city like the iconic ingenues of yesteryear. Do Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace, Anne Hathaway, or French icon Catherine Deneuve bring to mind the Paris you’d like to explore? Perhaps you want to live like Emily in Paris. Look no further – this is the trip for you! We’ll visit the must-see historic sights while weaving in culture, shopping, food, and wine (of course!).
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
Check into the lovely 4-star hotel, Hotel Recamier, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près (6th Arrondissement). For hundreds of years, Saint-Germain-des-Près was its own little village, and it still feels that way.
Let's meet in the hotel’s lobby at around 4:00 pm for tea and introductions, then head out for a leisurely stroll through the Saint Germain area and get to know the neighborhood.
On the way back to the hotel we can stop at the famous bookstore, Shakespeare and Company.
You have time for yourself back at the hotel. Take a short nap to ward off jet lag. If you feel energized, we can direct you to some of the best neighborhood shops, or you can relax at a cafe and watch Paris pass by as you feel the spirit of the city. At this time of year, it stays light until after 9 pm, so take advantage and extend the day.
We’ll reconvene in the hotel lobby at around 7 pm for welcome champagne before heading to a convivial neighborhood bistro, Chez Fernand, in business since 1970.
Champagne Welcome Drinks
After a little sleep-in (kick that jet lag to the curb!) and breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take the Metro to the Eiffel Tower. We’ll meet Krystal Kenny, photographer extraordinaire, for a personalized and group photo shoot! Imagine having professional photos to commemorate your first trip to Paris!
After our photo shoot, we’ll take a quick trip up to the top of the Tower with our skip-the-line tickets. A first trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without a ride to the top of La Tour Eiffel for a birds-eye-view of the city! Suitably inspired, we’ll stroll over for lunch at La Fontaine de Mars, one of our favorite Parisian restaurants.
We’ll walk off our lunch with a stroll to Esplanade des Invalides to marvel at the extraordinary Hôtel National des Invalides. FYI, It’s not a hotel at all. It was built in the 17th century by Louis XIV for those who had served in the royal army. Containing a hospice, barracks, convent, hospital, and factory, the Hôtel was a veritable city. It’s now a military museum and houses Napoleon’s tomb.
We’ll continue our walk to the extraordinary Musée d’Orsay, one of the world’s most enticing fine art museums. Its permanent collection houses hundreds of breathtaking original works from Masters of Early Modern and Impressionist art. We’ll focus on the Impressionists with a guided tour to see masterpieces from Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, and Auguste Rodin.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to rest, people-watch from a cafe, or do a little shopping around St. Germain des Pres.
Dinner tonight is at Restaurant Georgette, a classic bistro serving modernized farm-to-table French cuisine.
Eiffel Tower Visit & Photoshoot
Guided tour of Musee d'Orsay
After breakfast, we’ll take a scenic walk across the Pont Des Art to the right bank to discover the Marais, one of Paris’ most delightful areas. We’ll start with a visit to one of the many outdoor food markets, Marche Baudoyer, to find out how Parisians have shopped for centuries. You’ll marvel at the variety and presentation of the produce, cheese, meat, and fish, and almost anything else you can imagine. (Most Paris apartments are small, with small refrigerators, so a daily visit to a local market is not uncommon).
We’ll continue on to The Carnavalet Museum. Opened in 1880, it’s the oldest City of Paris Museum. For over 140 years, the continuously enriched museum collections have told the story of Paris, from prehistory to the present. It's recently been revamped, so the museum sparkles.
We’ll have lunch at one of the best crêperies in Paris, the Breizh Cafe. Not only will you find extraordinary crepes at Breizh, but they’re also committed to the development of organic, local, and sustainable agriculture from their home region of Brittany.
This afternoon, you'll get to "Be your own perfumer!" Candora is the first French brand dedicated to offering you the opportunity to create your very own fragrance and we're going there.
You’ll also have free time to explore the beautiful Marais, home to some of the best shops in Paris. Wander down Rue des Rosiers, stop in at Buly for some perfume, relax with a cafe and a Pastis in Place Ste-Catherine, and stroll through the Place des Vosges. Make your way back to the hotel by taxi or Uber, both of which are plentiful.
Tonight, we’ll have a lovely dinner, one that’s sure to be a highlight of the trip at Le Bon Saint Pourçain.
This morning, we’ll visit Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny, about an hour’s drive from Paris. Monet claimed that the legendary garden, planted and tended by the great man himself, was his greatest masterpiece. His home is a museum, and it turns back the clock. It contains the artwork and artifacts Monet collected over a lifetime. His passion for beautiful things is evident everywhere. The house also contains the artist's studio-sitting room and an exceptional collection of Japanese prints.
After exploring the house and gardens, we’ll stroll over to the historic Ancien Hotel de Baudy for lunch. Hotel de Baudy was open in Monet’s day – can you imagine him sitting at the table next to you?
We’ll return to Paris for a visit to a jewel box of a museum, L’Orangerie, on the edge of the Tuileries Gardens. L’Orangerie designed and built special rooms to exhibit Monet’s famous “Water Lilies”. They are extraordinary. You be the judge: which is better, the gardens themselves or the paintings?
Suitably inspired, we’ll stroll over to the famous Ladurée to savor their world-famous macarons over tea.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to relax and explore. Perhaps some quiet time in the Tuileries Gardens reading, writing postcards, or updating your travel journal.
After a big day, arrange your own dinner. Order room service or pop out to one of the nearby cafés.
Visit to Giverny
After breakfast, we’ll conquer the Louvre, the largest and perhaps most famous museum in the world. Our private guide will lead us through the daunting collection, spanning several thousand years of history and culture. We’ll come away with a better appreciation and understanding of the world's greatest masterpieces.
After our morning at the Louvre, we'll have lunch at Willis Wine Bar. Since the menu changes daily, we are in for a treat!
We'll return to St Germain passing by our favorite landmarks, including the Jardin du Palais-Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de La Concorde across the Pont Royale; past Laduree, Place Furstenberg, and Les Deux Magots Cafe.
Our final destination will be Pharmacie du Four to shop for skincare and cosmetics. They have the largest selection at the best prices.
We’ll take a break from French food tonight, journeying to Morocco at Le Méchoui du Prince.
Guided Tour at the Louvre
On this, our last day, we’ll embark on a tour of our favorite foodie sources in St. Germain des Pres, featuring some of the city's finest cheese, charcuterie, and gourmet produce.
After lunch, we'll explore the magnificent Luxembourg Gardens with Casey, learning about its history and discovering its sculptures and horticultural treasures.
The afternoon is yours to do some last-minute shopping or explore sites we haven’t yet visited. You can’t see all of Paris in a week … you’ll just have to come back again!
Tonight we've planned a farewell sunset dinner cruise on the Bateaux Parisiens spectacular riverboat restaurant along the Seine. La pièce de la resistance is seeing the City of Light illuminate before your very eyes!
River Boat Dinner Cruise
Sadly it's time to say goodbye and head home. First, we'll enjoy a hearty breakfast together. May this be the first of many trips to Paris and la Belle France.
“America is my country, but Paris is my home”, Gertrude Stein.
This gem of a hotel is nestled in one of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’s most secluded spots, in the very heart and tradition of the Left Bank spirit. A timeless treasure and a haven of privacy, Hotel Récamier exceeds all expectations.
This trip will be led by Casey O’Brien Blondes, a GG2P Colleague based France since 1992. A dual-national and author of two travel and lifestyle books about France, Casey knows Pairs and its history and vibrant culture intimately. Casey receives rave reviews from GG2P clients!
You'll never forget your first trip to Paris
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is known worldwide for the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame cathedral, and the Eiffel tower. It has a reputation of being a romantic and cultural city. The city is also known for its high-quality gastronomy and the terraces of its cafés
Museum or other entry fees
All meals unless noted plus 2 glasses of wine with dinner
All tastings and tours
Perfume Making Class
All activities stated in itinerary
All in town transport (when needed) and Giverny Transport
Round-trip airfare to France
Expenses of a personal nature – telephone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
Airport Transfer on arrival or departure
You are going to want to fly into the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris.
The trip officially starts on May 22nd, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Paris, you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early you can book that directly on the website under the Ad On's button. We will make sure that you are kept in the same room that you will be in for the trip.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
Paris weather in May is very pleasant with an average temperature of 60°F. Things warm up at midday and temperatures can rise up to 70°F with nightly lows of 52°F. There are nine hours of sunshine each day, which continues to increase towards the end of the month.
This trip will be led by Casey O’Brien Blondes, a GG2P Colleague based France since 1992. A dual-national and author of two travel and lifestyle books about France, Casey knows Pairs and, its history and vibrant culture intimately. Casey receives rave reviews from GG2P clients!