The Sun King in Paris

Study History in Paris

During your week-long tour of the Paris of the Sun King, Louis XIV, you’ll be blown away by the opulence in which he and his fellow elites lived. Remember that inequality is still rampant in France today. Add an impact to your trip by volunteering at a homeless shelter or with an NGO serving migrant communities.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Today, you arrive in Paris. Your guide will see to it that you get to your hotel and settled in for the week, and offer an overview of the city with suggestions for must-see places. You’ll have the first afternoon in Paris to explore at your leisure. Consider touring the famous Louvre, snap a few pictures at the iconic Eiffel Tower, or window shop along the cosmopolitan Champs-Elysees. 

The group will start its comprehensive tour of famous sites related to Louis XIV after a full French breakfast. Your guide will lead you to Place Vendome, which the king commissioned and was meant to represent the absolute power of France in the world. The large square was also originally dedicated to war victories of armies led by the great king. There was a statue of Louis XIV on horseback in the center of the square until its destruction during the French Revolution. 

After a historical walking tour of the square, you’ll have a few hours to explore the square and surrounding neighborhood on foot. Shops surround the square showcasing the world’s most esteemed luxury goods. Enjoy a bite to eat at one of the neighborhood cafes. 

Louis XIV had a penchant for gardening and gardens, and he instructed the royal gardener to create an elaborate landscape project known as the Tuileries Gardens. The group will tour the gardens, which are sandwiched between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. There is plenty to take in during your garden stroll. Once you’ve had your fill, you can opt for a Louvre tour or simply explore this vibrant part of the city on foot. 

The group will board a train this morning for a short ride outside of the city to the Palace of Versailles. You will spend the whole day here, exploring the massive royal palace and grounds. Versailles was the center of the universe of Louis XIV and his royal courtiers, and today it is one of the most visited sites in all of France. The king renovated a small, royal hunting lodge, turning it into a sprawling French chateau in the mid-17th century. Construction on the renovations took more than 20 years. 

You’ll have the morning and afternoon to tour through the gardens and admire the many fountains and sculptures that decorate the property. The group will also visit the main palace, which has more than 2,300 rooms. You’ll see the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Apartments, a bedroom used by Marie Antoinette and the Royal Bedchamber. At your leisure, you can also explore the Queen’s Hamlet, which was built as an escape for Marie Antoinette at the nearby Tranon Estate. 

This morning your guide will lead you to the National Library of France for a tour of the building and a glimpse into its massive historical collection. Although Louis XIV wasn’t the first French royal to create or support the library, its collection grew significantly during his reign. After the library tour, the group will head to Les Invalides, a massive complex campus that served as a hospital and home for French soldiers. Les Invalides was the brainchild of Louis XIV. It no longer houses ailing soldiers, but it is still home to an expansive historical collection and two museums. 

You will have one final full day in Paris to explore as you wish. You might consider a visit to the Notre-Dame Cathedral which is right in the heart of the city’s center. This famous church took more than 200 years to construct and has been the site of many of France’s most significant events. Although it is under renovation due to the tragic fire that struck in 2019, it is still worth a visit to see the outside. You might also consider joining a tour of the French Catacombs which contain more than 6 million human bones. 

After a full week in France learning about the many accomplishments of the country’s celebrated King Louis XIV, it’s time to pack your bags. Hopefully, you’ll leave Paris with a more thorough understanding of the king, his exploits, and the period of French history often considered to be the most extravagant and glorious. After a final croissant for breakfast, your guide will deliver you to the airport to catch your flight home. 

Opulence and grandeur are two common themes of the reign of King Louis XIV. He is one of the most celebrated of the French royals, and his huge impact on France is still apparent today. During your week of world travel, you will visit many sites that can be linked to his reign.


3-6 Day
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7-12 Day
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7-14 Day
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Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!

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