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8 Amazing Days in London and Paris
London and Paris loom large in the imagination of many travelers. After all, few cities can compare when it comes to cultural riches, historic sites, and an incredible variety of shopping and dining options. For families, Adventures by Disney trips offer an appealing range of activities, while sophisticated experiences take center stage on adults-exclusive trips. Travelers on the Adventures by Disney England and France itinerary, which includes a number of adults-exclusive departures each year, can see iconic sites that have long been on their must-visit lists, like Buckingham Palace and Versailles. There are also opportunities to do more than admire the landmarks. The trip includes the chance to walk alongside the ghosts in the Tower of London and ascend the Eiffel Tower. Best of all, your Adventure Guides will take care of all the details, so you can focus on everything these captivating destinations have to offer. 

When you visit the Louvre, for example, a private guide and art expert will provide context to the works you are admiring, from ancient sculptures to paintings by Old Masters. At other historic sites, like Windsor Castle, local guides will explain their histories and point out the highlights of the buildings and grounds. In every destination that Adventures by Disney visits, authentic programs include activities designed to allow travelers to experience the local culture in a hands-on way—like a chocolate-making class in Paris.  

Finally, you can expect your trip to London and Paris with Adventures by Disney to reflect the flawless and warm service that is a Disney trademark. If you want to hand off the responsibility of being the travel planner for your next vacation, Adventures by Disney is ready to take over. You can stop worrying about logistics and start enjoying the sites you visit.
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    Day 1
    Arrive in London
    After you land in London and pass through customs, a representative for Adventures by Disney will be waiting to meet you and escort you to a car and driver who will take you to your hotel for the next three nights, The Landmark London.  

    This historic property, constructed in 1899, offers a taste of old England, while all the rooms offer the latest in comforts and amenities. It also boasts an enviable location, in Marylebone, between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park. It’s a quiet yet central neighborhood, with everything from West End theaters to many of London’s most famous historic sites nearby.  

    You’ll have the remainder of the day free to explore London on your own. Note: The Landmark London has a spa, if you’d like to book a treatment to ease you into your vacation. Perhaps you could try the Traveller’s Massage, designed to help your internal body clock adjust.  

    In the evening, join your fellow travelers and meet your Adventure Guides at a welcome dinner at The Landmark. You’ll learn more about what you’ll see over the upcoming week in two different countries, and the other adventurers who will join you on this journey.
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    Photo By Luke Ow
    Day 2
    London’s Royal Sites
    At your first stop this morning, the Tower of London, you’ll be greeted by one of the famous Beefeater Guards, who have been entrusted with protecting the fortress since 1485. Your first stop in the Tower will be a private viewing of the crown jewels, led by an expert warder. This rare opportunity to see the glittering crowns, coronets, orbs, and specters without waiting in a long queue is typical of the private-access experiences that Adventures by Disney provides to its guests.  

    Afterwards, you’ll tour the Tower itself, an 11th-century castle that stands alongside the Thames in the middle of contemporary London. Over the years, the Tower has had a number of functions, including as a zoo, a mint, and perhaps most infamously as a prison. Among those confined in its walls were the “Princes in the Tower” (the sons of Edward IV), the nine-day queen Lady Jane Grey, and even Elizabeth I (briefly). Henry VIII’s third wife, Anne Boleyn, was executed in the Tower, and her ghost is said to still haunt it. Your guide will bring the Tower’s colorful history and legends to life.  

    You’ll next enjoy a private boat ride on the Thames. This river has long been the commercial thoroughfare of southern England—a place where royals made their way to the capital, and ships from around the world brought goods to the city’s markets, especially at the height of the empire. Your boat ride will provide an unusual perspective on the many buildings—the Tower, the Houses of Parliament, the Tate Gallery, and others—on its banks. 

    In the afternoon, you’ll visit Westminster Abbey on another private tour with a guide. Since the Norman Conquest, every king and queen of England has been crowned here, and it’s also been the location of a number of royal weddings, most recently that of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Most of England’s monarchs are buried in the abbey, while there are also tombs and memorials to many of the country’s leading scientific and cultural figures. There’s a lot of history in the Abbey, and your guide will ensure that you don’t overlook any intriguing details.  

    After lunch, take part in a guided walk via St. James Park, witness the Queen’s Royal Guards on horseback, and then take a photo in front of Buckingham Palace, the historic residence of England’s royal family.  

    You’ll have this evening on your own, and your Adventure Guide will be able to provide restaurant and theater recommendations.
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    Photo By Toa Heftiba
    Day 3
    A Visit to Windsor and the English Countryside
    After breakfast, you’ll head into the English countryside. Your first stop will be an estate, where you’ll enjoy a thrilling morning of archery. The English longbow has more cultural significance than you may realize—it was instrumental in the Hundred Years’ War against France, providing a crucial advantage to the English in a number of battles. Your archery class (followed by contests) will be decidedly more peaceful and benign, with nothing more heated than some friendly competition between fellow adventurers.  

    After your visit, you’ll continue to the town of Windsor for lunch on your own. Given its long history as a market town and the preferred weekend residence of Her Majesty The Queen, this town is a popular getaway for both residents and visitors to London. One result is an abundance of restaurants—there are traditional English pubs and taverns, but many global cuisines are represented, too. You can also pop into a few shops before rejoining your group.  

    In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world. Constructed in the 11th century, it also has the distinction of being the longest-occupied palace in Europe. Highlights includes the 19th-century state apartments and St. George’s Chapel, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Britain.
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    Day 4
    Travel to Paris
    After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll head to St. Pancras station to board the Eurostar to Paris. Since launching in 1995, the Eurostar service has made hopping over to France an easy option even for those who don’t own a private jet. In about three hours, you’ll arrive in Paris.  

    Your first activity in Paris will be a funicular ride to the top of Montmartre with your local expert and Adventure Guides to begin your guided walking tour of this charming Parisian district. This neighborhood in the north of Paris is most famous for its landmark church, Sacré-Coeur—a Romano-Byzantine basilica visible from many distant corners of the city and one of Paris’s iconic buildings. Montmartre is also known for the period in the late-19th and early-20th centuries when it was the center of the city’s bohemian life. Many Impressionist artists—as well as Picasso, Van Gogh, and others—lived and worked in Montmartre. While starving artists are less common there these days, this remains one of Paris’s most culturally rich neighborhoods.  

    After exploring Montmartre, you’ll enjoy a wine tasting at La Bonne Franquette. If you’re relatively new to the world of wines, it will serve as a helpful introduction to all the elements to consider when evaluating a wine. For more serious oenophiles, it’s an opportunity to sample three French wines that you may not have tried before.  

    In the evening, you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel, the Hilton Paris Opéra, which originally opened in 1889 and was thoroughly renovated in 2015. In a central Right Bank location, the hotel is convenient to many of Paris’s most famous landmarks.
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    Day 5
    Explore Paris
    You’ll have this morning free to enjoy Paris on your own. After breakfast at your hotel, you may want to wander the streets of Haussmann-Opéra, the area where the Hilton Paris Opera is located. You’ll find several of the city’s leading department stores here, as well as smaller boutiques. Or you may want to visit one of Paris’s many museums. While a tour of the Louvre is included on your Adventures by Disney itinerary, there are dozens of others that you might want to see. Perhaps the Musée d’Orsay, which houses many of Impressionism’s most important works, will appeal the most, or you can go to the Centre Pompidou, the city’s leading museum of modern and contemporary art. 

    You’ll rejoin the rest of your group for lunch in an unforgettable setting, 58 Tour Eiffel, located in the Eiffel Tower—the 1,063-foot-tall wrought-iron building completed in 1889. Your lunch today will be accompanied by stunning views of the Paris streets below. After your meal, you can see more of the tower, and Paris, from the first-floor observation deck. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can climb the 341 steps to a second, higher viewpoint.  

    In the afternoon, you’ll visit a museum dedicated to chocolate. You’ll learn about how chocolate is made from the cultivation of cacao beans to the finished products of chocolate bars and candies. Your visit will also include a chocolate-making class, with a professional chocolatier guiding you through the process of creating your own sweet masterpiece.  

    On the many adult-exclusive departures, your evening includes a marvelous, freshly prepared meal of French cuisine on a late-evening dinner cruise. Take in the illuminated sights of Paris—including the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, the Pantheon, and Notre Dame Cathedral—as you cruise along the Seine River.
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    Photo By Yeo Khee
    Day 6
    Masterpieces of Art and Architecture
    After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll visit one of the jewels of French Gothic architecture on a tour of Sainte-Chapelle. This royal chapel on the Ile de la Cité, in the middle of the Seine, was erected in the 13th century. Even if you’ve seen other Gothic churches on your travels in Europe, few compare to this royal chapel. It’s not just an artistic feat, but an engineering one as well. The stone walls have been reduced to the slenderest of supports, with the space between them filled by dazzling stained-glass windows. It can feel like standing inside of a glowing gem.  

    You’re then free to get lunch on your own, and again the Adventure Guides will help with suggestions, from local favorites to markets where you can buy the essentials for an impromptu picnic.  

    In the afternoon, you’ll rejoin your group for a guided tour of the Louvre, one of the world’s foremost art museums, with a local art expert. Its most famous work is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, but in gallery after gallery, you’ll find other renowned sculptures and paintings: the Venus de Milo, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Ingres’ Odalisque, and many others.  After your visit to the Louvre, you’ll have your last free evening in Paris to explore on your own and try one more restaurant on your list.
  • Day 7
    Versailles
    This morning, you’ll travel to the legendary Château de Versailles, roughly 40 minutes from Paris. For just over a century, from 1682 to 1789 (and the French Revolution), this opulent palace was the principal residence of the kings of France. As you wander its many halls and salons, it’s possible to imagine the world of excess and intrigue that revolved around monarchs from Louis XIV, the Sun King, to the doomed Louis XVI. It earned a place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites not only for stunning and historic rooms like the Hall of Mirrors and the more intimate palaces like the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, but also for its influence on architecture that extended far beyond France. From Russia to Portugal, other royal families wanted their own palaces modeled after Versailles, even if they were more modest than the original inspiration.  

    You’ll eat lunch today at La Flottille, a restaurant on the Grand Canal in the landscaped gardens by André La Nôtre, with views of the fountains of Neptune and Apollo.  

    Those gardens by La Nôtre are almost as famous as the palace itself, and you’ll explore them this afternoon in a unique way—on a bicycle. The influence of these gardens extended not only to the world of garden design but also, perhaps surprisingly, to urban design. The grand boulevards of Paris, as well as Washington, D.C. and countless other cities around the world, can be traced to the allées of La Nôtre’s design. Exploring the lush palace gardens on two wheels is truly a magical way to go, riding along tree-lined pathways and taking in majestic views of the grounds. 

    After your royal day outside of Paris, you’ll return to the capital for a final dinner with your fellow travelers, complete with an accordionist playing familiar French songs. It’s a good time to exchange contact information so that you can stay in touch with your new globetrotting friends.
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    Day 8
    Depart
    After breakfast at the Hilton Paris Opéra this morning, you’ll check out, and Adventures by Disney staff will assist with getting you and your luggage to Charles de Gaulle for your flight home. Note, however, that there is a Disneyland Paris extension if you want some more Disney magic on this trip. If you’ve come to realize that Adventures by Disney trips match your travel style, you might want to start picking out another one on your flight home. You can read more about Adventures by Disney trips to Italy, the Danube, and Costa Rica here on AFAR Journeys. Those are only a few options, however—in all, Adventures by Disney has 30 different itineraries on six continents. The world awaits, and Adventures by Disney would like to introduce you to it.