Paris w/ Giverny & Loire Chateaux

Make This the Year for Your Paris Trip

No more waiting! This is the year for your Paris trip. Paris, “City of Light,” is a global center for art and culture will inspire you, enthrall you and capture your heart. The city houses iconic museums, from the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa, to the Musée d’Orsay, with its extensive collection of Impressionist masterpieces. The Eiffel Tower stands tall as an iconic symbol of Paris…one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle sit on the larger island in the river, with the ever-present Batobus and Bateau Mouches floating by.

The Champs-Élysées, a grand avenue lined with shops and theaters, leads to the forceful Arc de Triomphe, symbol of French national pride. And peering down upon all this loveliness is the artist’s enclave, Montmartre, topped by the wedding cake Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Paris is a culinary paradise, renowned for exquisite cuisine. From charming bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants to lively historic markets, savor French delicacies, pastries, wines, and cheeses. Cruise along the Seine for a unique perspective of Parisian landmarks illuminated at night. A haven for writers, artists, and intellectuals throughout history, Paris has been home to famous literary figures like Hemingway and Fitzgerald who frequented the city’s cafes and bookshops, contributing to its rich intellectual legacy. And as a global fashion capital, Paris is synonymous with haute couture and chic style.

Paris is Paris. You are here to make it yours. And you will venture out from Paris on two wonderful day trips… venturing north to wander Monet’s gardens at Giverny and west to the ethereal Mont-Saint-Michel, surrounded by the sea at high tide and sand at low tide.

Where to stay

Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

Stay at Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a prime location on the left bank, only steps from the Seine. This will put you immediately across the river from the lovely St. Chapelle on the big island, Ile de la Cité, and a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. You will be able to step out your door and hop on the Batobus, cruising the river to where you want to go. So getting there will be as enjoyable as arriving… efficient, picturesque and fun.

Your studio or apartment will be air-conditioned and serviced by an elevator, not always givens  in these historic Parisian buildings…also satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. Since you will have a kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator and toaster, you will be free to make good use of wonderful finds at the nearby markets and shops, And you will be surrounded by many great restaurants and cafés.

A small kitchen for Market Day & wine

Citadines Hotel Location Map

Near Notre Dame & the Seine

Book Your Paris Hotel Near the River Seine

  • Book your accommodations as soon as you know your travel dates so good options will still be available.
  • Locate yourself well so when you walk out your door each day, you already will “be there.”
  • Try first for the ideally located CITADINES SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS PARIS.
  • If this  hotel has no rooms available for your travel dates, click on Map View (see above) and look for  other options in the same area across from Notre Dame on the large island.

(NOTE: Booking links on this page are live. Some links will yield a small commission)

How you will get around

Most of your comings and goings in Paris will be by Batobus, traveling from your stop (beside Notre Dame) down river towards the Eiffel Tower, then back up river, hopping on and off along the way to visit museums, monuments, parks and neighborhoods. By using the river for transportation instead of the underground Metro, the getting there will be as enjoyable as the arriving.

Much of historic Paris was built along the river. By using the river for transportation, you will quickly develop a sense of what is where and on which bank, left or right?

Day-by-Day Trip at a Glance

Arrive, Walk About, Flower Market & Saint Chapelle

Arrive early morning at CDG airport. Taxi to the Left Bank, your “home base.” Orient yourself to your “neighborhood.” Walk across the bridge and past Notre Dame for LUNCH at Brasserie Esmeralda on the larger island, Ile de La Cité (“Island of the City”), behind the buttresses of the Cathedral.

Walk a full circuit around the larger island. Stop at the Flower Market to pick up flowers for your flat. End your walk at the Sainte-Chapelle (you may be returning here this evening for a concert). Across the street from Sainte-Chapelle at Souvenirs and Services (5 Boulevard du Palais; open Saturday 10 am to 7 pm), redeem your voucher for your 6-day Paris pass that will give you skip-the-line access to museums. Activate your pass with a visit inside Sainte-Chapelle to view the stunning stained-glass windows with daylight shining through.

DINNER outdoors at Le Flore en L’Ile on Ile Saint-Louis (the small island). This evening, take a night cruise to the Eiffel Tower and back on Bateau Parisiens or Bateau Mouche, with all of Paris and its bridges aglow. Or attend a concert at Sainte-Chapelle. Consider doing one of these this evening and the other tomorrow night.

Bookings for Day 1


  • Your driver will arrive at a specified time or check your flight arrival time and meet you with a name plaque.
  • Pre-arranged transfers between airports and hotels save valuable vacation time and reduce stress as there’s no need to search for buses or taxis.

Purchase Batobus Pass

Purchase an Annual Bateaubus Pass (€73). This is the best deal since you will be staying in Paris for  days. Activate this pass on Day 1 and use it the whole time you are in Paris.

Yes, you could use the Metro instead. But then you would be underground and miss the experience of seeing where you’re going. Also, consider the Batobus to be a convenient resting spot when you need one. Use it as a place to sit down and drift along whenever you are tired.

purchase Paris Museum Pass

Purchase a 6-Day Museum Pass (€92). This will save you from many frustrating lines. Activate your pass on Day #1 and use it whenever you wish to enter a museum without waiting in line.

Since most museums will be covered by this pass, feel free to stop in even when you have limited time to visit. Having this pass handy will eliminate the struggle to decide if the time you have for a visit will be worth the cost.

Book Your Seine Cruise, with Music (Click Below)

Check for Evening Concerts at Sainte-Chapelle While You Are in Paris & Book Tickets

Sainte-Chapelle Concert

Book Concert Tickets through ClassicTic:

Check the calendar for classical performances such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Tickets can be booked for Category 1 (Rows 3 to 10) or Category 2 (Rows 11 to 20) for:

  • Concert only ($53 or $64, based on Category)
  • Concert with champagne ($62 or $73, based on Category)
  • Concert with wine and tapas ($64 or $74, based on Category)

Concerts generally start at 8:00 PM (check for your actual time). Arrive early to pass through security.

Book Lunch at La Esmerelda


When you know your arrival time in Paris, make lunch reservation at l’Esmerelda (2 Rue de Cloitre Notre Dame) to ensure you will have a table. Open 8 AM to 8 PM, 7 days a week. +33-1-43-54-17-72. Book an outdoor table. This will be your arrival meal. Make it special.

Book Dinner at Le Flore en L’Ile


Book dinner at an outdoor table at 6 PM at le Flore en L’Ile (42 Quai Orleans; (0)1-43-29-88-27) on the little island (8 AM to 2 AM), in view of the back of Notre Dame across on the big island. Toast each other and the amazing sights and atmosphere that surround  you.

D’Orsay Impressionists, St. Germain & the Latin Quarter

Batobus downriver to the turn around at the Eiffel Tower, then back upriver to hop off at d’Orsay. Use your skip-the-line Paris Pass for immediate entry. Start with the Impressionists, then wander at will. LUNCH in elegance at the restaurant of the 1900 Expo Grand Hotel that once stood beside d’Orsay train station.

Take the Batobus back to St. Germain for a walk through this fashionable neighborhood, with pauses to window shop. Walk towards Luxemburg Gardens. If you split up to shop, meet up at an agreed time at an outdoor table at Au Petit Suisse for wine or a snack.

Then walk through the Gardens, passing the Palace and pond, and over to the eclectic Latin Quarter. Stop in at Shakespeare & Company and nearby Café Procope, hangout of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.

Book DINNER in the Latin Quarter at Le Jardin du Roy. After dinner, stroll along the eclectic streets, listening out for music. If you pass by an inviting piano bar, stop in and enjoy.

Bookings for Day 2

Book Lunch at Musee d'Orsay Restaurant

+33 (0) 1 45 49 47 03

Glittering with frescoes and chandeliers. Reservations not required for individuals.

Please note: Closed for work June 10 to September 30, 2024. 

Book Dinner at Le Jardin du Roy

+33 1 43 26 10 08

Typical French cuisine at moderate prices in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Escargotscheese salads and cheese fondue. Nice house wine 28 Rue de la Huchette. Open 7 days a week, from Noon to 1 AM.

Louvre, Tuileries Gardens & Cluny Museum

Batobus downriver to spend an eye-popping morning at the Louvre. Walk in the footsteps of kings who lived here when this was a palace, and walked these halls, admiring their priceless collections of paintings and sculpture. Winged Victory. The Mona Lisa. Venus du Milo. The Gallery of Apollo.

Take a break at Café Mollien on the terrace overlooking the courtyard and the glass Pyramid. Use the “12-Point Masterpiece Treasure Hunt” (link below) to view a good range of world-class work without becoming overwhelmed.

Leave the Louvre via the Pyramid and walk over to Napoleon’s smaller arch, Arc du Carrousel, with the Venetian horse sculpture on top (originals were captured by Napoleon and later returned; these are copies). Look through this smaller arch towards the much larger Arc to Triomphe at the far end of  the Voie Triomphale (“Triumphal View”). You’ll visit the big arch later in your stay here in Paris.

Walk through Tuileries Gardens. Pause to admire and puzzle over the sculptures. Join the locals sitting in the sun around the octagonal basin. Make a brief stop at at L’Orangerie to the left of the pond to view Monet’s massive and remarkable water lily murals, painted as his eyesight began to fail. Tomorrow you will see his inspiration when you visit his idyllic gardens at Giverny.

Then walk out the garden gate to hail a pedal cab in the square that once was the scene of royal beheadings. Catch a ride to the Grand Palais next to the river (built as an exhibit hall for the 1900 Paris Expo) for LUNCH on the terrace.

Catch the Batobus back to the St. Germain stop and walk over to visit the  the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages, housed in the sumptuous 1485 mansion of the wealthy Jacques d’Amboise, Abbot of Cluny.

Built to incorporate the remains of the “frigidarium” (cold baths) of ancient Gallo-Roman baths, this museum is a treasure trove of unicorn tapestries, stained glass and elegantly opulent formal clothing worn as a visible sign of wealth. AND the original heads of the Kings of Judah from the facade of Notre Dame, loped off by rebel mobs during the French Revolution who mistakenly thought these were sculptures of French Kings, then buried for two centuries to be rediscovered in 1977.

DINNER outdoors at Beaurepaire Café. Then find a Boat Bar along the river for drinks and live music.

Bookings for Day 3

Book Lunch at Minipalais restaurant


Located in the Grand Palais, magistically set on Avenue Winston Churchill, built to prepare for the Universal Exposition of 1900. Book a table on the pillared terrace overlooking the gilded bridge, Pont d’Alexandre III. 3 av. Winston Churchill

Book dinner at Beaurepaire Café


Book an outdoor table at Beaurepaire Cafe, a small but charming haven on a quiet street, just a 12-minute walk along the Seine from your apartment. Browse the book seller kiosks along your way. If you love it here, make this your go-to restaurant. 1 rue de la Bucherie,

Monet's Gardens at Giverny

Discover the village of Giverny on this outing from Paris. Explore Monet's world with a ticket to Monet's House and dive into the artist's life with an audio guide app to download on your device.

 Explore the scenic village of Giverny, former home of Claude Monet.

  • Visit Monet's house and explore his gardens.
  • Devote a day to Impressionism at Giverny and the Museum of Impressionism.

Departure will be at 8:15 AM from a centrally located meeting point. It will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach this idyllic location, the lovely Norman village of Giverny.

Discover the place of inspiration where Claude Monet, master of the Impressionist movement, created his most beautiful works. By visiting the artist's house and gardens, still in its original decor, let yourself be carried away by Monet's imagination. Enjoy the vibrant colors as you listen to your audio guide on an app to download on your device and make your way through the two gardens which are an exceptional work of art in themselves.

When crossing the Japanese bridge inside the water garden, don’t miss the famous water lilies and the majestic weeping willows that decorate the charming pond. The flower beds will dazzle your eyes with their endlessly varied colors and will lead you to daydream and romanticize.

Stride along the streets of this charming little village, and stroll through the painters' and sculptors' galleries. Complete your day by visiting the Museum of Impressionism that has one of the most beautiful collections of Impressionist works.

Bookings for Day 4


(Pay later, with free cancellation)

  • FULL DAY devoted to Impressionism in Giverny, with Monet's home & Gardens, free time in the quaint town of Giverny and a visit to the Museum of Impressionism.
  • As an alternative, book a HALF DAY Giverny trip, with Monet's home & gardens, then return to Paris to enjoy some free time.

Maubert Market, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe & Eiffel Tower

Walk to the delightful open-air Maubert Market (open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Or visit the wonderful permanent shops: Fromagerie (cheese), Charcuterie (cold cooked meats), Vin (wine), Patisserie (pastry), Boulangerie (bakery). Find and outdoor table for BREAKFAST at Metro Café across the street from the market, and try a mushroom and cheese omelet. After shopping the market, carry your purchases home to lighten your load.

Then catch the Batobus to the Champs-Élysées stop at the Alexander III bridge (decorated in gold). Walk over to the Champs-Élysées, passing between the Petit Palais (another impressive 1900 Expo building) on your right and the Grand Palais on your left. Pause for coffee in the lovely interior garden courtyard of the Petit Palais. Your Museum Pass will allow you free access.

Walk to the Champs-Élysées, then shop and window shop your way along this famous mecca of fashion and style. Or maybe “pretend” shop, pointing out or photographing what you would buy here if you happened to win the lottery. Meet up for LUNCH at Bistro des Champs Elysées, overlooking the throngs. You will have made reservations for an outdoor table.

After lunch, walk all the way to the Arc de Triomphe at Place de l’Étoile (“star”)— the juncture formed by 12 radiating avenues. Take the tunnel on the right side of Champs-Élysées to cross under the craziness of the traffic to visit the arch. Do NOT attempt to cross at street level!! Napoléon I commissioned this magnificent triumphal arch in 1806 to celebrate the victorious French Grande Armée for its success conquering most of Europe.

Then taxi or Uber to the Tour Eiffel in time for your scheduled visit. The Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance to the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fall of the Bastille—the event that launched the French Revolution. Standing 984 feet tall, the tower far surpassed the height of the world’s tallest structure at the time, the 555-foot tall Washington Monument. It remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for the next 41 years.

First, view it from in front… Walk up to the tower’s massive legs, oriented with the four points of the compass. Look up into the intricate geometry of the tower’s angles and braces, a total of 18,038 pieces, joined together by 2½ million rivets. Next, view it from beneath… Walk under the tower and out the other side, as visitors did when they entered and left the spectacular fairgrounds of the 1889 Expo. Now, view it from partway up… Your pre-booked tickets will give you priority access to the 1st and 2nd floors (or to the Summit, for an additional cost) at your appointed time ONLY. Once you are inside the tower, you will be free to stay for as long as you like.

You may have added DINNER at Madame Brasserie on the 1st floor of the tower to your visit. Otherwise, you will have made dinner reservations at Beaurepaire Cafe.

A Note About Your Eiffel Tower Plans for Today

You will have made your Eiffel Tower plans well in advance of your trip since access is limited and the tower is very popular. Making advance  arrangements online will allow you to skip the 2-hour ticket lines.

Bookings for Day 5


(Pay later, with free cancellation)

Reserve a time to access the elevator up the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views from the first and second levels of the iconic structure. Spend as much time as you like at the tower and explore the different levels at your own pace. See Paris from above and from a completely new perspective. Spot the ancient façade of the Louvre on the right bank and the ultra-modern Pompidou Museum, with its electrical, air and water systems shown off on the outside of the building, with each type of system in its distinctive crayola color. Locate the hill up to Montmatre, topped by the white expanse of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

If you select the summit option, take the second elevator all the way up to the top of the tower to view Paris from its highest point. On your way back down, take in the many interesting activities on the first floor. Test your courage by walking on the glass floor on Level 1. Stop at the buffet on this floor for a snack and a drink.

Another option is to splurge and book dinner at Madame Brasserie on the first level. Elevator tickets to the first level are included in the price of your meal.

Map of the walk from the Meeting Spot to the Eiffel Tower

OPTIONAL: 6:30 or 8:30PM dinner at Madame Brasserie (1st floor Eiffel Tower)

Collect lift tickets at the welcome desk of Madame Brasserie. Take entrance 1 (South) to access the Eiffel Tower’s esplanade. You will pass through the first security check at this entrance. Skip the line of this security check; there is a sign with the Madame Brasserie logo where you have direct access to the restaurant. Elevator ticket to the first level of the Eiffel Tower is included in the price of your meal.

Book Lunch at Bistro 5, Champs Elysées

+33 1 53 53 04 04

Bistro 5 Champs Elysées is the unmissable Parisian address. Located on “the most beautiful avenue in the world,” with two terraces overlooking the fashion parade, Bistro 5 offers Neapolitan pizza & Mediterranean dishes, in a historic building dating from the 19th century.

Book dinner at Beaurepaire Café


Book an outdoor table at Beaurepaire Cafe, a small but charming haven on a quiet street, just a 12-minute walk along the Seine from your apartment. Browse the book seller kiosks along your way. If you love it here, make this your go-to restaurant. 1 rue de la Bucherie,

Loire Valley Castles Day Trip with Wine Tasting


  • Visit 2 fairytale Loire Valley castles in a day’s round-trip from Paris
  • Listen as your tour guide provides entertaining commentary
  • Taste local wines at the "Ladies" Château of Chenonceau
  • Enjoy free time for lunch in the quaint town of Blois

Discover iconic castles on this bus day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley and explore Château de Chambord on a self-guided tour. Have free time in the charming town of Bloise and visit Château de Chenonceau for a self guided tour and wine tasting experience.

From Paris, head to Château de Chambord. Disney fans will find this castle’s turrets familiar; it was the inspiration for the castle in "Beauty and the Beast.” Though originally conceived as a royal hunting lodge, it was built to a scale that must be seen to be believed. Learn all about the castle’s captivating history from your guide before entering the castle. You can then visit the inside at your own pace on a self-guided visit. Climb a staircase supposedly designed by Da Vinci, enjoy spectacular turret-framed rooftop views, and glimpse wild deer around the grounds.

Having worked up an appetite, get back on the bus and continue on to the next stop: the quaint town of Blois. Take some free time to enjoy lunch (at your own expense) in one of the restaurants located around the beautiful and vibrant Square Louis XII.

Last but not least is the elegant Château de Chenonceau. The chapel, bedrooms, and magnificent vaulted kitchens are still furnished and decorated from times gone by, showing off the castle’s many sweeping stone carvings. Don’t miss the impressive main hall, which spans the river Cher, or the gardens cultivated by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici — 2 of the famous owners that earned Chenonceau the nickname "the Ladies’ Château."

After a your visit, continue exploring or indulge in a wine tasting in the castle’s vaulted wine cellar. Your tour leader will entertain you between stops with insights and stories about the countryside and the nobility who once reigned over the region. Two uniquely beautiful French castles and a wine tasting, all amid the stunning scenery of the Loire Valley — this memorable day trip from Paris will delight all the senses.

Bookings for Day 4

Loire Châteaux & Wine Tasting Day Trip

  • Meet your guide in Paris for a full day trip (13 hours) to the châteaux of the Loire Valley, playground of French kings. During a 2-hour drive through the French countryside to Château de Chambord, your first château, your guide will weave stories from the castle's captivating history.
  • When you arrive at the castle, you will have 2 hours to roam the castle and grounds on your own. Afterwards, your driver will transport you to the charming town of Blois where you will have 2 hours of free time for lunch and exploring.
  • The afternoon will be spent at the Château de Chenonceau, a short ride from Blois. Henri II gifted this lovely castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Later, after Henri died from a tournament injury, his wife, Catherine de Medici, snatched it back. You will have 2 hours free at Chenonceau to visit the castle and gardens and participate in a wine tasting in the castle's vaulted wine cellar.

Montmartre, Vintage Shops, Stravinsky Fountains & Moulin Rouge

Today, before you head up to Montmartre, you will have a chance to stop by the Post Office (16 Rue Étienne Marcel) to mail home a box and lighten your load, the better to make room in your luggage for one final day of shopping. Then set off to experience three additional neighborhoods of Paris, Montmartre, the Marais and Beaubourg.

First, the arty and village-like Montmartre, known as a creative breeding ground, as well as for its bohemian lifestyle…home to many famous artists, including Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Modigliani, Picasso and Pissarro. Second, back to river level for a stroll through the Marais, with its eclectic vintage and fashion clothing shops. Then over to the Beaubourg to take in the modern and startling Pompidou Center and Stravinsky Fountains.

In Montmartre, have your driver drop you off at the “Low Station” (Gare Basse) of the Funiculaire for the ascent up the steep hill to Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Or, if you would prefer, climb the 220!! steps to the top.

Visit the working artists in Place du Tertre, watching artists at work and perhaps sitting for a portrait or caricature of youself. Then walk back over to the basilica steps to sit awhile and admire the view looking down over Paris. Step inside the basilica for a look at the gilded interior.

Lunch at the nearby l’Eté en Pente Douce, at the brightly colored tables, away from the bustle around the basilica.

Taxi or Uber back down from Montmartre to the level of the river to Bis Boutique Solidaire ( 7 Boulevard du Temple) in the Marais neighborhood to begin your Marais shopping. Wander the twisting streets of the Marais, pausing at vintage and fashion clothing shops including these:

1.       Bis Boutique Solidaire: 7 boulevard du Temple

2.      Vintage Désir: 32 rue des Rosiers

3.      Mam’zelle Swing: 35 rue du Roi de Sicile

4.      Free ‘P’ Star: 52 rue de la Verrerie

5.     Kilo Shop: 69-71 rue de la Verrerie

Your quest will be to uncover mementos of Parisian style. When you wear your finds after you return home, you will be transported back to this, your final day in Paris.

Set a meet up spot and time at Le Relais de l’Hôtel de Ville (50 rue de Rivoli) to pause for drinks and to share your stories and finds.

Exiting the Marais, walk to rue du Renard and turn right, heading away from the river into the Beaubourg area. It will be impossible to miss spotting the avant-garde Pompidou Center up ahead on your left with its internal structure exposed and brightly color-coded—green for plumbing, blue for climate control, yellow for electrical, and red for circulation and safety systems.

Walk over to and around the quirky Stravinsky Fountain and claim a seat to watch the antics of the street performers. Circle the fountains to puzzle at the garish but engaging Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures and pick your favorite.

Dinner will be at Bistro Beaubourg, a local favorite in this neighborhood. And tonight, head back up to Montmartre for a 9 PM performance at the Moulin Rouge. Arrive early enough for drinks or dessert at the rooftop bistro.

Then taxi back down to river level for a final pause to soak in the glittering views from the bridge across from your apartment as you bid “au revoir” to Paris—“until I see you again.”

Bookings for Day 7


  • DRINKS – Optional:½ bottle of champagne or wine per person, or other drinks with or without alcohol.
  • DOORS OPEN: Welcome from 8 PM.
  • Rooftop lounge.

Make Lunch Reservations at l’Eté en Pente Douce

+33 1 42 64 02 67

Classic dishes, veggie options & beers at a relaxed brasserie with multi-colored sidewalk tables. Call to book your table, or book online. 8 Rue Paul Albert.

Make Dinner Reservations at Bistro Beaubourg


Brasserie food & drinks in a cutting-edge space with terrace seating for Pompidou Center views. Call to book your table, or book online. 43 Rue Saint-Merri,


  • Book your airport transfer for tomorrow to ensure that you will be on time for your flight.
  • Confirm your transfer tonight, including where your driver will pick you up.

Tapestries at Cluny Museum

Orsay Impressionists

Batobus on the Seine

Louvre Palace

Saint Chapelle Windows

Flower Market

Latin Quarter Hangouts