Paris Itinerary

A good plan helps us make the most of our time, but remember Lola's favorite word: flexibility.

The following itinerary lists activities that are scheduled and reserved for your convenience. Most are optional, and more activities can be added once we are in Paris.

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Day 1 Saturday

Arrive
Roissy-Charles-De-Gualle Airport
Come through customs and look for a Frenchman holding a sign: "Friends of Lola." Say "bonjour" and follow him outside to your private car or van. Stop a moment and inhale. This is French air you're breathing, ma cherie. Nothing can stop you now.

Check in
Arrive at the hotel, St. Germaine Des Pres. Lola will meet you at the hotel.

Settle in
Unpack, splash French water on your face, memorize your room number. Those who want to rest and settle in may do so as long as they like. I encourage you, however, to buck up and use today to adjust your body clock. A nap longer than an hour or so could keep you from sleeping tonight and mess up your body clock well into the trip.

Tell Paris You're Here!
2:00 Neighborhood walk, lunch at St. Germaine bistro (TBD)
(Nourishment will be available in your rooms for those who wish to stay and rest.)

4:00 Neighborhood walk
Market Savvy 101
Learn the charming differences of shopping in an urban French market. From selecting your produce to cash register etiquette, you'll be more comfortable after learning a few lessons from Lola.

5:30 (17:30) Seine stroll, Notre Dame (Cathedral open until 6:45), tour Ile de la Cite

Survival French
Learn some French basics to get you through ordering at restaurants, finding your way home and flirting with Frenchmen. Weather permitting, we'll gather in the courtyard of Notre Dame to learn as much French as the group cares to absorb on this, the oldest of Parisian soil.

7:30 (19:30) Dinner at casual creperie in Latin Quarter or St. Germaine

8:30 Enjoy a Saturday night stroll with the Parisians in St. Germaine, and retire early.

Day 2 Sunday

8 10 a.m. Open House Breakfast by Lola
This first morning, feel free to sleep late or start as early as you like. Lola will set up a French buffet breakfast and will help direct you to the best places to spend your first morning in Paris.

Art lovers, consider an early morning indulgence at the D'Orsay. We'll go later in the week, but Lola says Sunday morning at this museum is wonderfully quiet and reflective.

Lunch at leisure You'll be provided a list of nearby bistros and a location to meet up with other members of the group.

1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (13:30 – 17:30)
Private Paris Overview
Meet in the hotel lobby to begin our exciting driving tour of the highlights of Paris.

The monuments, the architecture, the lay of the land. This tour will put those MUST-SEE's under your belt, so you can better decide your preferences for the rest of your visit.
Yes, we'll stop at the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde and other monuments, and you'll understand "sans doubte" why Paris is the best planned and most visited city in the world.

This overview is your only mandatory engagement.

6:00 (18:00) Crossing Pont Neuf
Join us for a walking experience of the places cars dare not go: Ile de la Cite and its sumptuous square, Place Dauphine. We'll stop for a drink, bien sur! (of course!)

Journaling to Capture Memories and Nourish the Spirit (Outdoors, weather permitting, or back at the hotel.)
After our day of power sight-seeing, we'll make sure to capture the highlights in our most valuable souvenir: our personal journals. Bring a simple spiral bound journal and an open mind.
Lola says "writing down memories is like holding them tight and giving them to God, all at the same time." Lola will share some ideas to make your journals more meaningful to you and more enjoyable to write. Don't worry, all your writing will be absolutely private.

Dinner (TBD)

Day 3 Monday

8:30 a.m. Meet in lobby to walk to breakfast at Le Comptoir.
Lola's father knows the chef of this tres chic 20-seat restaurant in the Relais de St. Germaine, but even that won't get her a table for dinner on short notice. There's a 7-month wait for dinner at this celebrated hot spot, but Lola heard a delicious insider fact: Le Comptoir is open for breakfast and lunch — no reservations required. So we'll walk a few blocks on old stones and see what the chef has in store to nourish us before our day of power shopping.

After breakfast, we'll take in some of the neighborhood immediately around the restaurant and the Odeon Metro area until we are in the mood to board the Metro for the Northern rim of Paris.

10:30 a.m. Le Marche aux Puces de St. Ouen (Flea Market) Billed as the largest flea market in the world, Les Puces is really an arts and culture celebration of all things French and beautiful.

THIS IS THE ONLY TIME WE CAN GO TO THE FLEA MARKET AS A GROUP. IT IS OPEN ONLY SAT., SUN. & MON. YOU CAN ALSO GO ON YOUR OWN ON SATURDAY, YOUR FINAL DAY.

12:30 Lunch (On your own in St. Ouen)

2:00 (14:00) Right Bank Luxury Dip
We'll meet at what some call the most beautiful building in the world, The Opera Garnier. One look and you'll understand why the Phantom just won't leave.

4:00 (18:00) Tea at the Ritz (Optional)
From the Opera, we'll walk or taxi to the Place Vendome and its most welcoming establishment, the Ritz, for afternoon tea. High tea in the Ritz's Bar Vendome is one of the Ritziest rendez-vous one can make in Paris. So of course Lola has made us reservations.

"If the walls could talk!" you might say. Well they almost do. Log onto RitzParis.com and click on "The Legend of the Ritz" and learn more than a century of Ritzy gossip.

You'll love the Ritz and wish we were staying there. If you feel you MUST move, Lola will be happy to fetch your bags from the Left Bank: the smallest room at the Ritz is $850/night and the plus cher (most expensive) suite is just over $11,000/night.

5:00 – 7 (17:00 – 19:00) Haute Allure
Emerging from the Ritz, we'll bask in the luxury of the Triangle d'Or (the triangle of gold) for high-brow "window licking," the French term for window shopping. We'll stroll Rue St. Honore to see haute couture's most desired real estate, the windows of Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Valentino, Yves St. Laurent, Hermes and more.

Lola never spends money in such places, but she feels like a woman of the world just knowing what's in the Dior window this season.

Day 4 Tuesday

Lazy Day in the Marais
We'll start out together, but Lola hopes you'll use today to take some time to yourself or break into intimate groups of two or three. The Marais is just the place to find your inner French girl and her favorite café seat.

The word "marais" is French for "swamp," which is only the first of the contradictions in this, Lola's favorite Parisian neighborhood. The Marais was the neighborhood of royalty in the 17th century, until the French Revolutions emptied the mansions and left the area in disrepair for more than a century. Today it is the home of Paris' gay scene and a vibrant fashion mecca.

9:30 Walk Across the Seine.
Meet in the lobby for a sumptuous walk across the Seine, through Ile St. Louis and into the treasures of Paris' historied neighborhood, the Marais.

We'll spend the day seeing the contrasts of Paris, transitioning from the bustle surrounding the Pompidieu Center into the quaint streets and lavish mansions of Lola's favorite browsing district.

10:45 Picasso Museum.
Lola's mother, story has it, sipped Port with Pablo Picasso on more than one occasion. Lola says she can hear him humming in this magnificent mansion, which now houses some of Picasso's most dazzling and varied work, in addition to his own art collection by masters such as Paul Cezanne and a large collection of work by and about Dora Maar, Picasso's longtime lover.

12:30 Refreshments in the Courtyard of Hotel Sully: Weather permitting, we will serve refreshments, perhaps even lunch, in the stunning courtyard of the Hotel Sully, a rescued mansion turned national monument.

Afternoon walk: Place des Vosges, Bastille, and more. So much Paris, so little time! Lola will help point the way to the walk that suits your fancy.

Spa or massage possible in Marais area, too.

Arrive home by 5 p.m. if you plan to go to the Moulin Rouge.

6:15 Depart for Montemarte for dinner and the Moulin Rouge Show Meet in the lobby
Enjoy your evening at the most celebrated and historic cabaret in the world!

Day 5 Wednesday

8 - 9:30 Breakfast in-room or on your own.

9:45 Meet in lobby to take Metro to Montmartre Tour
10:25: 2-hour walking tour of Montmartre. This gritty and gorgeous neighborhood is near and dear to Lola. We'll join a seasoned guide on a picturesque route to see the historic vineyard, old cobbled streets, and the artists' studios, where Renoir, Lautrec and Van Gogh painted. You'll love the quiet gardens, the oldest cabaret in Paris, and the lively place-du-Tertre. We'll take in the famous Sacré Coeur church and its wonderful view over the city.

12:45 Lunch in Montmartre bistros TBD Split up and have lunch in small groups.

Afternoon Open: Stay in Montmartre or hop the Metro for another part of town.

  • A good time to take in the Textiles Museum or the Museum of Decorative Arts, just across the courtyard from the Louvre.
  • Lola will arrange optional spa visits.

5:00 (17:00) Leave hotel to walk to Louvre, or just meet us there.

5:50 (17:50) Meet at Louvre pyramid for private guided tour.
One of the best-kept secrets in Paris is Wednesday night at the Louvre. Tonight, the grand palace stays open until 9:45 p.m., and it's virtually crowd-free. We've found the best guide in all of Paris to give us a two-hour tour of the museum's highlights. If you have particular works you'd like to see, just tell the guide as we begin our tour.

8:45/9:00 (21:00) Dinner near hotel or at La Maree Verte in the Latin Quarter, just East of Notre Dame: #9 Pointoise (north-south) street that runs into Quai de la Tournelle. Cuisine: Francaise Traditionnelle.

Day 6 Thursday

A Day at Versailles (Optional)
Lola is certain she and Marie Antoinette would have been good friends. That's why this day is one of Lola's favorites.

8 – 9:15 Breakfast on your own.

9:30 Meet our tour guide in the lobby for a private tour of Versailles.

9:30 – 5:00 (17:00) We'll be accompanied by a local expert as we take the train to the city and palace of Versailles, the home and playground of the French aristocracy after Louis XIV outgrew the Louvre.

We'll lunch in the city and have time to relax, wander the gardens and see Versailles as Lola would.

5:00 (17:00) Return to hotel

Evening at leisure
Considerations for your evening:
D'Orsay open until 9:45 p.m.
Shops open until 7 p.m.

Day 7 Friday

Today we'll dive deeper into the Latin Quarter, an eclectic mix of history and current Parisian life.

8 9:15 Breakfast in your room or on your own.
9:15 Walk or taxi to Cardinal Lemoine Metro stop.
10:00 "Hemingway's Paris" Tour:A guided walking tour of the colorful Mouffetard district of the Latin Quarter. This is your opportunity to see a still-vibrant market street where Parisians live and work, all under the veil of the literary history of James Joyce, George Orwell and French writers, Balzac and the disreputable poet Veraine. Hemingway lived here and describes the neighborhood in his last book "A Moveable Feast." (Tour lasts appx. 2 hours)

12:30 Lunch in Place D'Italie

2:00 (14:00) Afternoon at the D'Orsay.
We'll ride the Metro or bus to the Musee D'Orsay, a spectacular Seine-side train station converted in 1986 to a museum devoted to 19th century French art. You'll see revered masterpieces by your favorite Impressionistes in a setting that would have made them proud.

6:00 (18:00) Stroll Rue de Buci, St. Germaine area. Leave the D'Orsay on your own or with a friend and make your way home from the D'Orsay by way of Lola's favorite Left Bank street: Rue do Buci. It's open until 7:00.

Dinner (TBD)

Day 8 Saturday

FREE DAY!
By this time, you'll be feeling like a native and totally comfortable taking on the city tout seul (on your own). While Lola recommends leisurely shopping and returns to your favorite areas, Lola will provide a list of tours and activities that are available on a walk-up basis.

If you want to take a guided tour to Givernay or another out-of-city location, you will want to book your tour earlier in the week.

Day 9 Sunday

8 – 10 a.m. Coffee or breakfast with Lola
TIME TBD: Cars or van pick up Lola's friends for drive to airport.