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European Capitals (3/19/15 - 3/27/15)

Best Trip Ever 2015
Hi everyone, 

So excited that you are interested in the Best Trip Ever! I have created the perfect trip for you and your friends ... London, Paris, Lucerne, Florence and Rome. What could be better?:) 

Stay tuned for more details on www.besttripever.com and on Twitter @jaimegrady.
If you or your parents have any questions, please feel free to contact me at besttripever@gmail.com and contact me through twitter.

Hope to hear from you soon:)

Ms. Jaime Grady
Leading trips to Europe since 2004
Posted on 11/16/13 , Updated on 11/22/13


Tour Details:

Departure City: Miami
Duration: 9 Days
Overnights: London 2, Paris 2, Rome 3

Cultural Connections:

Tower of London Opening Ceremony

Field Trips & Extensions:

Tower of London Opening Ceremony

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the Tower of London's many roles from palace and prison to zoo.
  • Students will learn about Haussmann's renovation of Paris in the mid-19th century and how it radically changed Parisian life.
  • Students will gain a better understanding of the history and current governance of the Catholic religion by visiting the Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica.


Mar 19, 2015 Overnight Flight
Depart from the USA.
Mar 20, 2015 London
Welcome to London! Relax, unpack and begin to explore the city's unique neighborhoods. (D)
Mar 21, 2015 London
Start your day at the Tower of London to witness the pomp and circumstance of the Beefeaters' Opening Ceremony, followed by time to explore the Tower. This afternoon's guided panoramic bus tour shows you Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Then your local guide takes you through the British Museum, home to an impressive collection of objects from around the world including the Rosetta Stone and sculptural friezes from the Parthenon. (B,D)
Mar 22, 2015 Paris
The morning is free to mingle with locals in Hyde Park or come face to face with royalty in the National Portrait Gallery. Then jump aboard the high-speed Eurostar train for Paris. After dinner why not explore the cafés and shops of your hotel’s arrondissement? (B,D)
Mar 23, 2015 Paris
Morning sightseeing shows you the city’s most impressive monuments, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde to the Gothic façade of Notre Dame. This afternoon explore the Louvre and discover the many famous masterpieces that call it home. See the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory and the Venus de Milo as you wander through the magnificent galleries of this former royal palace. In the evening perhaps stroll the Latin Quarter or ascend the Eiffel Tower to see the City of Light’s glittering skyline from above. (B,D)
Mar 24, 2015 Rome
This morning board your flight to Rome. Arrive in the Eternal City and begin to explore your new neighborhood. (B,D)
Mar 25, 2015 Rome
Today’s sightseeing tour introduces you to Rome’s history with a panoramic drive of the city. Your local guide will also accompany you through the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, providing commentary via personal headsets. Then visit the ancient Colosseum. Tonight explore the historic center on a passeggiata romana, including the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. (B,D)
Mar 26, 2015 Rome
Today why not visit the tranquil Borghese Gardens or the shops of Via Condotti? Climb each of the seven hills, or visit some of the majestic churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore. Be sure to sample the gelato. One of the best spots for that is Piazza Navona. (B,D)
Mar 27, 2015 Departure
Depart for the USA. Optional Extensions and Extra Nights: Further immerse yourself in the culture and wonders of la dolce vita with an extra night in Rome, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager. (B)
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Tour Cost:

Cost Per Traveler: $23,494
Cost breakdown
Program Fee: $23,285
Extra day in Rome: $209
Total Group Fees 1:
1 Valid through with deposit of $495

Additional Fees (as applicable)
Adult Surcharge: $95
Single Room Supplement: $560
Double Room Supplement: $315
Ultimate Protection Plan: $270
Comprehensive Protection Plan: $225

Full Payment Deadline: 12/1/14

What to See


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.


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.


Campo de' Fiori
This piazza becomes one of Rome's liveliest outdoor food markets in the mornings. After dark however, crowds spill out of the restaurants into the square. The statue in the center is of Giordano Bruno; it’s up to you to find out why he became famous.

Borghetto Flaminio, Piazza della Marina 32
Open only on Sundays, this partly covered flea market has plenty of knick-knacks, antiques, and designer clothing. Travelers have the opportunity to rummage amongst the goods with Rome's upper class and international celebrities.

Archeoart, Via del Teatro Marcelo 12
Across the road from the Campidoglio is this workshop that sells incredible archeological reproductions of artifacts. Here you can find items from all eras of Roman history, from 10,000 BC to the times of the Roman Empire.

Chocolate & Praline Cioccolateria, Vicolo della Torretta 18
This shop has a charming interior with elegantly painted walls, but the sweetest thing is of course the chocolates. With traditional recipies and natural ingredients, this shop is an excellent place to stop for a treat after a long day of shopping.

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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.


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.


Castel Sant'Angelo, Lungotevere Castello, 50
Just down Via della Conciliazione from St. Peter's, the massive fortress known as Castel Sant'Angelo, first built by Emperor Hadrian and later used as a papal residence, holds an interesting artillery and arms museum where you can see old battle garb. The papal rooms are ornately decorated, and the views of Rome, especially of St. Peter's, from the top of the castle are breathtaking. Outside, stroll past Bernini’s angels on Ponte Sant’Angelo as you cross the Tiber towards the historic center. Open daily, closed Monday.

The National Museum of Rome
The massive collection of the Museum of Rome is truly unparalleled, for this institution holds some of the most important artifacts of Western History in the world. The collection is contained in three separate facilities: the Baths of Diocletian, which include the Octagonal Hall, the Palazzo Massimo, and the Palazzo Altemps.

The Museums of the Vatican
Within the Vatican there are dozens of museums to be explored. Some of the higlights include: The Egyptian Museum, The Gallery of the Maps, and the Chiaramonti Museum.


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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.


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.


Spanish Steps & Piazza di Spagna, Metro: Spagna
Spend an afternoon wandering the shopping area around the Spanish Steps and Via Condotti, or watch the local artists paint the surrounding scenes. The church at the top of these magnificent steps is the Trinita' de' Monti.

Originally where Rome's working class congregated, this area has become one of the more fashionable places to live and to visit. Wide, cobble-stoned Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere forms the heart of this vibrant area, where locals and tourists come out in the evening to stroll beneath the facade of the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere is also one of Rome's more interesting churches and Piazza Sonnino provides a variety of restaurants to try.

St. Peter’s Square, Metro: Ottaviano
Although your tour manager will take you to St. Peter's Square and Basilica, another visit to ascend the dome's spiraling stairs to the top will afford one of the greatest views of Rome. Be forewarned: the stairs are not for the claustrophobic! Basilica and Dome are open daily.

The Pantheon
Another feat by Emperor Hadrian, the Pantheon stands in its glory much as it did in the ancient days. This was the largest dome ever until the creation of Brunelleschi's dome at the Florence Cathedral of 1420-36, and it's still the largest masonary dome in the world! Take time to also explore Piazza Minerva around the left side of the Pantheon and the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.  This beautiful church boasts Michelangelo's Risen Christ. Pantheon: Open daily. Free admission.

Villa Borghese, Metro: Flaminia
The largest public park in Rome is the perfect place to wander or enjoy a picnic away from the bustle and noise of the city streets. Don't miss the Galleria Borghese, newly restored, filled with famous works and some of Bernini's early sculptures, such as Apollo and Daphne. The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, full of modern European art, is also in this area. Afterwards, exit by Via Veneto walk down one of Rome's most famous streets. Keep your eyes out for the American Embassy, which resides in a beautiful palazzo surrounded by palm trees. Galleria Borghese: Open daily, closed Monday.

Piazza Navona & Campo de' Fiori
The long oval shape of Piazza Navona is due to its original use as Emperor Domitian's race track 1,900 years ago! As the centuries went by, Romans used the bricks that made up the sides of the track to build homes and shops right along the edges, and today it is filled with street artists, famous cafes, and people from around the world enjoying an afternoon espresso or evening gelato. Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers graces the center of the piazza.

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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.


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.


Insalata Ricca, near the Piazza Navona
Meaning "rich salad," this restaurant serves moderately priced, specialized salads, as well as other traditional Italian food. Like many of restaurants in the city, the hours of operation extend later into the afternoon, making a 3 p.m. lunch possible.

Giolitti's, Uffici del Vicario, 40
The oldest gelateria in Rome!

Pastarito Pizzarito, Via Veneto, 13
A refined but informal setting for true lovers of pasta and pizza. What's unique about this restaurant is that you can choose between a classical Italian pizza, or pick your own ingredients. There are numerous locations around Rome, as well as the rest of Italy!

La Pigna (Piazza della Pigna)
A real, family-run trattoria located in a quiet square just behind the Pantheon.

Da Giggetto (Jewish Ghetto)
This restaurant serves typical Jewish Italian food and has been known to have the best fried artichokes in the area.  It's recommended that you make reservations early, before it fills up!

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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
  • Tower of London with Opening Ceremony
  • London-Paris Eurostar
  • Paris Tour with Guide
  • Louvre
  • Paris-Rome Flight
  • Rome Tour with Guide and Personal Headsets
  • Vatican Museums with Reservation
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Colosseum with Guide and Reservation

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