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London, Paris and Madrid (3/20/20 - 3/27/20)

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TRIP AT A GLANCE



Tour Details:

Departure City: Chicago
Duration: 8 Days
Overnights: London 2, Paris 2, Madrid 2

Cultural Connections:

Paint Paris Neighborhood Tour
Madrid Tapas Evening

Field Trips & Extensions:

Paint Paris Neighborhood Tour
Madrid Tapas Route

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will compare the experiences of monarchy in France and Britain.
  • Students will learn about the development of the City of London from Roman trading post to modern financial capital.
  • Students will become acquainted with the overall structure and major periods of Spanish history including, for example, the medieval era, the Habsburg epoch, and the reign of the Bourbons.

Itinerary:

This is a preliminary itinerary for your group.

Mar 20, 2020 Overnight Flight
Depart from the USA.
Mar 21, 2020 London
Welcome to London! Meet your ACIS Tour Manager, relax, unpack and begin to explore the city's unique neighborhoods. Perhaps check out the street markets along Portobello Road in Notting Hill; explore the paths of Hyde Park or the mansions of nearby Belgravia; visit museums in South Kensington; or stroll along the artsy South Bank. (D)
Mar 22, 2020 London
This morning’s panoramic sightseeing tour, led by a local guide, shows you Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Continue with a guided visit of the British Museum, home to an astounding 150 million items. You'll discover objects from around the world including the Rosetta Stone and sculptural friezes from the Parthenon. A traditional English fish and chips dinner will give you the fuel you need for an engaging evening walk through Covent Garden and the lively West End. (B,D)
Mar 23, 2020 Paris
We use the Eurostar high-speed train to zip underneath the English Channel and on to Paris, known as the “City of Light” for its role as a center of education and culture during the Enlightenment. During the afternoon, a local expert brings you to the very best place to get your picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, shows you the monumental Arc de Triomphe, points out the massive Les Invalides (where Napoleon is buried) and helps decode the Gothic façade of Notre Dame. You’ll have time to discover your own favorite neighborhood café before tonight’s illuminated boat ride along the Seine. (B,D)
Mar 24, 2020 Paris
This morning breeze by the crowds with your timed entrance to the Louvre and discover the many famous masterpieces that call it home. Insightful commentary from your local guide highlights the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo and more as you wander through the galleries. From its beginnings as a royal fortress to its current status as the world's most visited art museum, the Louvre has long been at the center of Parisian culture and home to a collection of 35,000 works of art from around the world. You'll then have a chance to try your own hand on our Paint Paris walking tour of Montmartre. An artist will show you the interesting historical highlights of this unique neighborhood, then help you bring them to life via lessons using painting techniques important to French art history. Voila! An artist is born! You may even dine with some real artists this evening at an authentic French dinner on the Place du Tertre. This square at the heart of Montmartre is known for its artists of all types and has been home to famous painters including Picasso. (B,D)
Mar 25, 2020 Madrid
In the morning board your flight to Madrid, Spain's bustling capital city in the center of the country. We introduce you to the city's elegant boulevards with an evening stroll to see the artists and street performers in the Plaza Mayor. (B,D)
Mar 26, 2020 Madrid
Madrid's rich heritage comes alive on your guided sightseeing tour of classic Spanish boulevards, grand plazas, and the diverse architecture of modern-day Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza de España with its statue of Don Quixote, the majestic Alcalá Gate, and the famous bullring Las Ventas. Then visit the magnificent Prado (skipping the lines with a timed reservation), one of the world's premier art museums. Here, an expert provides illuminating commentary via personal headsets on the artwork of Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch. Even the 18th-century Neo-Classical building that houses the collection is stunning. Tonight, we'll have a tapas evening in true Spanish style: you try different local specialties as you sidle up next to the madrileños for whom this is a culturally important and typical way to spend an evening. Classic tapas dishes include items such as tortilla española, patatas bravas, bacalao, cheeses, olives or jamón. (B,D)
Mar 27, 2020 Departure
Depart for the USA. Optional Extensions and Extra Nights: Enhance your European experience with a two-night extension to Barcelona via AVE, including guided sightseeing with visits to the Parc Güell and Sagrada Familia. (B)
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Tour Cost:

Cost Per Traveler: $3,497

$389/MONTH USING AN AUTOMATIC PAYMENT PLAN

Cost breakdown
Program Fee: $3,697
Early Registration Discount: -$200
Total Group Fees 1:
$3,497
1 Valid through 10/1/19 with deposit of $200

Additional Fees (as applicable)
Adult Surcharge: $100
Single Room Supplement: $570
Double Room Supplement: $300
Ultimate Protection Plan: $240
Comprehensive Protection Plan: $200

Full Payment Deadline: 12/1/19


What to See

Shopping
LONDON

Portobello Road, Tube: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove
For over 300 years, Portobello Road has been attracting tourists and natives alike to its varied markets. Throughout the week, Pembridge Villa sells high quality antiques at high prices, and on Saturdays the North end of Portobello Road offers more in the way of bargains, curios, and second-hand clothes.

Leadenhall, Tube: Bank or Monument
Originating in the 14th Century, the first building was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Erected in 1881, the present victorian covered arcade retails meat, fish, flowers and foodstuffs. Fresh coffee from all over the world gives Leadenhall a delightful aroma. Open Monday through Friday.

Lillywhite's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
This store claims to be the world's finest in sporting goods: from croquet mallets to football strips and cricket whites; it all can be found here! Open daily.

Hamley's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus
A short walk up Regent Street will bring you to London's finest toy store and, at one time, the largest. Five stories of toys, games, stuffed animals and many opportunities for fun! Don't forget to admire the window displays. Open daily.

Oxford Street Shopping, Tube: Oxford Circus
Shop here to stay caught up with all the latest fashions in clothes and shoes. Oxford Street is best known for Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and the other big department stores which are all found in the section from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus.

PARIS

Le Bon Marché, Métro: Sevres Babylon
First opened in 1838, this shopping center is considered to be the first department store in the world!

Les Halles, Métro: Les Halles and Châtelet
Since the 12th century, this large, central wholesale marketplace has been a popular shopping destination.  The area has been rebuilt since the 1970s and now features beautiful sculptures, fountains, and mosaics.

The Saint Ouen Flea Market, Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement
On the outskirts of the city, you'll find this popular flea market.  With over 2,000 stalls filling 17 acres of shopping heaven, Parisians and travelers alike browse the market every weekend.  Here you can find antique furniture, art, glassware and jewelry, as well as books, records and vintage clothing.  You're guaranteed to find something rare and beautiful.

MADRID

There are many places to shop in Madrid, but here are a few of the highlights.  For upscale shops like Chanel, Armani, and Loewe be sure to check out Serrano Street.  For standard retail stores, head on over to Gran Via, where you can shop at H&M, Zara, and Mango, at prices that are a bit cheaper than the States.  For funky, original clothing, take a short walk from Gran Via to Fuencarral and Hortaleza street.

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Museums
LONDON

British Museum, Tube: Tottenham Court Road
One of the world's finest museums: "the closest thing this planet has to a complete record of its civilizations." The Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and an incredible collection of coins. Open daily. Free admission.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Tube: South Kensington
A collection of fine and applied arts from all over the world are displayed here. Particularly noted for the clothing collection and the twentieth century design exhibits. Open daily. Free admission.

Natural History Museum, Tube: South Kensington
This museum illustrates all forms of life, from the smallest bacteria to the largest creatures, dinosaurs, and fossils. Open daily. Free admission.

The Science Museum, Tube: South Kensington
Over seven acres of hands-on scientific history. Also includes a history of medicine and an IMAX 3D film theater. Along with the National Railway Museum in York and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, these museums together comprise the National Museum of Science & Industry ( NMSI ). Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission.

The Museum of London, Tube: St. Paul's or Barbican
From pre-history to the present day, the growth of London is charted here. A museum with something for everyone. Open daily. Free admission.

London Transport Museum, Tube: Covent Garden
For those interested in transportation throughout the ages, here is a fabulous collection of buses, trams, trains, and their history. The museum boasts hands-on fun for all ages and a lovely shop with lots of Tube-related merchandise. Open daily.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Tube: Baker Street
Madame Tussaud started in wax modeling making masks of victims of the French Revolution, and in 1835 she moved to England to this location. Be prepared for the Chamber of Horrors! Open daily.

The National Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
A wealth of art from the early Renaissance to the nineteenth century is catalogued and beautifully displayed here. Spanning the period from about 1250 to 1900, it is one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. Open daily. Free admission.

National Portrait Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
This gallery houses a collection of portraits that well illustrate the history of Britain. The Great and the Good, along with some for whom the jury is still out, are represented here. Open daily. Free admission.

Tate Britain, Tube: Pimlico
This is the national gallery of British art with works from 1500 to the present day. Tate holds the greatest collection of British art in the world, including works by Blake, Hirst and Moore. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Free admission.

Tate Modern, Tube: Southwark
This museum displays the Tate's collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Bacon, Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko, Warhol and McQueen. Open daily. Free admission.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Tube: Wimbledon
Newly opened in 2006, the Lawn Tennis Museum features some incredible new technology in order to immerse the visitor in the world of Wimbledon.  There is a 200° cinema that screens a film about the science and biology of tennis, as well as a recreation of the 1980s dressing room where a projected image of John McEnroe gives you a tour.  Open daily.

PARIS

La Conciergerie, Métro: Cité
Eighteenth century prison held Danton, Robespierre, and Marie Antoinette during her final hours. Open daily.

National Museum of the Middle Ages - The Baths and Hôtel de Cluny, Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne
Built on the site of former Roman baths. Holdings include Dame à la Licorne tapestry and the oldest sculpture in Paris. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Le Musée Carnavalet, Métro: St.Paul
Occupying two adjoining mansions, the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel le Peletier, this museum's holdings include fascinating pieces of Parisian and French history. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée d'Orsay, Métro: Solférino
Housed within an old train station, this museum contains an impressive collection of sculpture and impressionist work, sure to be a favorite. It houses works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Monet, Renoir, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse,  and Degas. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Marmottan, Métro: La Muette
Begun with Paul Marmottan's donation to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and augmented by a large bequest of his father's art to the little museum by Monet's son Michael, the Musée Marmottan houses Monet's late Waterlilies and impressions as well as works by Sisley, Renoir, and Pisarro. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Rodin, Métro: Varenne/Invalides
Housed in the magnificent Hotel Biron, which was once Auguste Rodin's residence, this museum boasts impressive gardens of over 2,000 rose bushes as well as some of Rodin's most famous works: The Thinker and The Kiss are among them. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée National Picasso, Métro: Chemin Vert/St. Paul
The largest collection of his works in the world. It is housed in a beautiful 17th century hotel, the Hôtel Salé. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

MADRID

Prado Museum, Metro: Banco de España or Atocha

This museum contains a wonderful collection of European art with particular emphasis on the Spanish Schools: Goya, Velasquez, El Greco, and Murillo. Open daily, closed Monday.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Metro: Banco de España

A former private collection of art is displayed here ranging from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries housed in a renovated eighteenth century palace. Open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Monday.

Reina Sofia Museum, Metro: Atocha

The central building of this museum, originally an 18th century hospital, is now filled with twentieth century artworks, including masterpieces by Dalí, Miró, and Picasso's famous Guernica. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Archaeological Museum, Metro: Serrano

A brilliant collection of finds from prehistory to Renaissance times such as La Dama de Elche and a reproduction of the Altamira caves and cave paintings. Open daily, closed Monday.

Lazaro Galdiano Museum, Metro: Rubén Dario

Here you’ll find an interesting collection of artifacts from all over the world, including a 20,000 volume library, clocks, bronzes, and artists such as Goya, Velázquez, and El Greco all housed in a lovely 37-room mansion. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Cerralbo Museum, Metro: Plaza de España or Ventura Rodríguez

The Museo Cerralbo was originally the home of the Marquis of Ceralbo and his collection of historic and artistic objects and art are displayed here in an Italian style mansion. Open daily, closed Monday.

Sorolla Museum, Metro: Iglesia or Rubén Dario

A collection of Joaquín Sorolla's paintings are on display here, in the house where he lived and had his studio. Open daily, closed Monday.

Royal Palace, Metro: Ópera

This is the former residence of Spanish royalty. Wander past the beautiful displays of Spanish and Flemish tapestries. Visit a few of the numerous rooms, check out the armory with weapons from the fifteenth century, and then take a stroll around the Gardens. Open Monday through Friday. Closed during official functions.

Descalzas Reales Convent, Metro: Callao or Sol

This sixteenth century convent houses an impressive collection of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and chalices that were once the dowry of many aristocratic women who had come to take the veil. Rated "Museum of the Year" in 1985 by the European Council, a small number of nuns still reside there. Open daily, closed Monday.

 

 

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Outdoors
LONDON

Changing of the Guard, Tube: Green Park
Most famously at Buckingham Palace along with a few other locations, this is a hugely popular tradition of pageantry.  Occurs daily or on alternate days depending on the time of year.

Regent's Park, Tube: Regent's Park
The Park is London's largest outdoor sports area with pitches and courts for a variety of athletic activities. It also boasts the London Zoo, an Open Air Theater, cafés, picnic spots and the renowned Queen Mary Gardens and Rose Gardens.

Camden Lock & Passage, Tube: Camden Town
The Passage offers a selection of antiques, while Camden Lock is the weekend haunt of London's trendy youth. Clothes, shoes, records and a mouthwatering variety of foods can be found here.

Knightsbridge, Tube: Knightsbridge
Home to some of London's most expensive shops. Here, you will find Harrods and Harvey Nichols as well as nearby Sloane Street's Chanel, Hermes, and Gucci.

Piccadilly, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
While on Piccadilly take the opportunity to visit covered arcades on either side of the street, offering expensive purchases. Admire the statue of Eros and stroll to Fortnum and Mason as it is the ultimate place to shop for luxury foodstuffs and is a wonderful shopping experience.

PARIS

L'Arc de Triomphe, Métro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Commissioned in 1806 for Napoléon, although he died without ever seeing this edifice in its finished state. Incredible views of Paris and down the Champs-Elysées from the top. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Open daily.

La Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Métro: Bibliothéque-François Mitterand
This incredible structure, in the form of four enormous glass books, houses the French National Library, also known as the La Grande Bibliothéque, the last of Mitterand's Grand Projects. Open daily.

Le Pont Neuf, Métro: Pont Neuf
Despite its name, this bridge is actually the oldest in Paris, and features turret-shaped recesses. Construction began in 1578 with Henri III and finished in 1604 with Henri IV.

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

L'Hôtel de Ville, Métro: Hôtel de Ville
This has been the site of Paris city halls since 1260. The current structure, completed in 1882, is a néo-Renaissance marvel. Information center is open Monday through Saturday. Free admission.

Les Deux Magots, Métro: St. Germain des Prés, 6, Place St. Germain des Prés
The place to see and be seen in the Quartier Latin. 1950s haunt of intellectuals and philosophers. 

Les Buttes de Chaumont, Métro: Buttes-Chaumont
With 5 kilometers of walking paths, this park is full of beautiful panoramic opportunities.

La Tour Montparnasse, Métro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris, but lines to go to the top can be long and tiresome.  A great alternative that gets you a better view of the city skyline is the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris. Although the tower is considered an eye sore for many Parisians, it is open everyday and offers a 360 degree open-air view of Paris.  There is no pre-booking needed and the tour can take less than an hour.  It is sometimes said by the French that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, as this is the only place from which you cannot see the tower!

The Château de Vincennes, Métro: Château de Vincennes
Since its construction in the 14th century by Charles V, the Château has been, along with the Louvre, one of the most importat castles in French history.  Now after a 10-year rennovation, the Château has opened its doors for the public to explore.

MADRID

Ermita de San Antonio de Florida, Metro: Príncipe Pío

This chapel contains wonderful frescoes by Goya and also houses the remains of the famous Spanish artist. Open daily, closed Monday.

Templo de Debod, Metro: Plaza de España

Visit the only Egyptian temple in Spain. It was given by the Republic of Egypt in 1968 and moved to Madrid in order to save it from impending floods caused by the creation of the Great Dam of Aswan. Open daily, closed Monday.

Retíro Park, Metro: Retíro

A former royal park where the Madrileños stroll with their families past the magnificent fountains and beautiful buildings such as the all-glass Crystal Palace. Rowboats can be rented on the pond and the statue of El Angel Caido is said to be the only statue in the world dedicated to the fallen angel.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Metro: Atocha

These shaded gardens were ordered by King Ferdinand VI in 1755 and, in the reign of Charles III, were installed in the present location, the Paseo del Prado in Madrid . This is a good place to cool off on a hot afternoon. Open daily, 10 a.m. until sunset. 

Plaza Mayor, Metro: Sol

A seventeenth century square set in the heart of old Madrid. Enjoy the entertainment of the artists and musicians and admire the bronze statue of King Philips III in the center created by Italian sculptors Giovanni de Bologna and his apprentice Pietro Tacca in 1616.

Plaza de España, Metro: Plaza de España

This plaza is home to a monument to Cervantes with a beautiful statue of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. It is one of the largest squares in Madrid and attracts tourists and locals alike.

Stadium Santiago Bernabeu, Metro: Line 10 (station Santiago Bernabeu)

Located on the Paseo de la Castellana, this Futball stadium plays host to the Club Real Madrid CF and is an exciting place to watch a match or just to tour the facilities. Madrid's sports fans take a great deal of pride in the Bernabeu, which was inagurated on the 14th of December 1947 and has been rehabilitated on 4 occasions: in 1954, 1982, 1993 and 2003. Stadium tours occur daily between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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Restaurants
LONDON

Harry Ramsden's, Euston Station Foodcourt
World famous fish and chips.

Hard Rock Café, 150 Old Park Lane
Full of rock 'n' roll memorabilia and serving tasty, casual fare like the 10 oz. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, this is the Hard Rock Caf
é that started it all. See the first donation, Eric Clapton's Lead II Fender, and derive inspiration from viewing John Lennon's hand amended lyrics to 'Imagine,' among many other items, in the Vault.

PARIS

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

Chez Omar, Métro: République/Temple
A trendy, Moroccan restaurant with nice outdoor seating.

Le Vaudeville, Métro: Bourse
Known to be an incredible (and hip) dining experience,this bistro retains its marble walls and Art Deco carvings from 1918.

Le Train Bleu, Métro: Gare de Lyon
In the heart of the Gare de Lyon train station, this restaurant was built to impress foreign visitors in 1900.  With gilded archways and beautiful murals painted on the ceilings, it is truly an elegant dining experience.

La MediterraneeMétro: Odéon
A favorite of Hollywood stars, be sure to make reservations early for this upscale seafood restaurant!

Café Marly, Métro:  Palais--Royal Musee du Louvre
Tired after you're trek through the Lourve?  Be sure to stop at this quaint bistro for a light lunch and a glass of champagne.

MADRID

El Corte Ingles

A shopping center like a Macy's that has a good restaurant with a little bit of everything.

Casa Labra, Calle Tetuán, 12

One side tapas bar, one side a sit-down restaurant, Casa Labra is a great place to chat and dine.

Pans and Company

Perfect when you are on the run and want a cheap lunch.  Avoid the trap of McDonald's and go for the Spanish fast food!  A drink, sandwhich and potatoes, all for around five Euros.

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Route

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Map may not reflect your final trip itinerary.

What's Included

  • Round-Trip Flights
  • Daily Breakfast and Dinner (unless otherwise noted)
  • Centrally Located Hotels
  • 24-Hour Tour Manager
  • London Tour with Guide
  • British Museum with Guide
  • London-Paris Eurostar
  • Paris Tour with Guide
  • Seine Boat Ride
  • Louvre with Guide and Reservation
  • Paint Paris Neighborhood Tour
  • Place du Tertre Dinner
  • Two Paris Métro Round-Trip Tickets
  • Paris-Madrid Flight
  • Madrid Tour with Guide
  • Prado Tour with Personal Headsets
  • Madrid Tapas Evening


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