May 11 – 25, 2024
University of West Georgia Students
Depart on overnight flight to Amsterdam
Once we arrive in Amsterdam, we will go straight to our hotel and check-in. Once settled, we go on a traditional Dutch food tour.
Today, we will take a guided walking tour of the city’s historic center to see the canals, bridges, and architecture that inspired Van Gogh’s artwork.
Later, we will visit the Rijksmuseum to see the Dutch Golden Age masterpieces, which were also an influence on Impressionist artists
We will start the day with a visit to the Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to Frank’s short life, her writing and the families who hid in the annex during the Second World War. Organized by her father, Otto, the only member of the families who left Auschwitz alive. The museum is a moving and intense tribute to lives lost.
From the Anne Frank House, we will hop across the canal and find ourselves in the trendy neighborhood of Jordaan. This suburb has gone through gentrification in recent years. After wandering through its streets, we will stop for lunch.
After lunch, we will visit the Van Gogh Museum, dedicated to the famous Dutch painter. The museum houses works not only by Van Gough, but also fellow Amsterdam artists. It contains the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world, with over 200 paintings and over 500 drawings.
Afterward, we will head to Albert Cuyp Market, a nice insight into the local communities that make up a city. This lively street market has a strong multicultural feel to it. Within its 260 stalls you will also come across plenty of food for sale, including freshly made Stroopwaffles
Today we will travel to visit Zundurt, the birthplace of Van Gogh. When we arrive, we will visit the Vincent van Gogh Huis, a museum located in the house where Van Gogh was born. We will see the collection of his early works and learn about his family and upbringing in Zundert.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will travel to Nuenen, a small town where Van Gogh lived and worked for two years. Here we will visit the Vincentre, a museum dedicated to Van Gogh’s time in Nuenen. We will see the collection of his paintings and drawings from this period, and learn about his relationships with the local community and his family during this time.
Afterward, we will take a walking tour of Nuenen to see the locations that Van Gogh painted, including the Potato Eaters Cottage and the church where his father was a pastor.
Today we will visit the Stedelijk Museum to see modern and contemporary art, including works by Dutch artists who were influenced by Van Gogh and Impressionism.
This afternoon, we will take a bike tour of the city’s outskirts to see the Dutch countryside and windmills that inspired Van Gogh’s landscapes.
Today we will go on a day trip to Giethoorn. While you may think the canals of Amsterdam are unbelievably pretty, wait until you see the village of Giethoorn. Giethoorn is often referred to as the “Venice of the Netherlands” thanks to its fairytale canals. You won’t really find roads in Giethoorn, with its canals connecting up the many cute cottages in this green village.
We will wake early this morning to travel to Paris. After grabbing the quintessential French croissant from a bakery, we will head to the most famous of all Paris monuments – the Eiffel Tower. Today we will skip the line and go all the way up to the summit of the Eiffel tower, marveling at the amazing views of Paris below.
After we have enjoyed the Eiffel Tower, we will visit the Musée Rodin. Here we can see some of Rodin’s most famous works, including The Thinker. The museum also displays works of Rodin’s mistress, Camille Claudel.
Later this afternoon we will head to one of the most fashionable districts in Paris – the Marais.
This morning we will start our day at Palais Royal to see Les Colonnes de Bure, a courtyard with beautiful black and white striped columns. This is a popular location for photos. Next, we will head to the most famous museum in Paris – the Louvre. We will be at the Louvre when it opens and enter through its iconic glass pyramid. You will see some of the Louvre’s most famous works including the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo.
After you have explored the Louvre we will walk through the Jardin de Tuileries, possibly stopping at a nearby grocery store to purchase items for a picnic lunch in the garden. After our lunch we will stop by Angelina’s and try their famous Hot Chocolate.
We will then head to Place de la Concorde. This was the most famous guillotine site during the French revolution and marks an important time in French history. After hearing more about this famous area, we will then head further down the Champs Elysées, which is largely considered to be one of the most famous boulevards in the world. We will then explore the Arc de Triomphe, which was commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. We will climb to the top for amazing views of the city.
Today, we will visit Musée de l’Orangerie to see Monet’s Water Lilies and other Impressionist works.
After lunch, we will visit the Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris to see modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall.
Today we will travel to Auvers-sur-Oise. When we arrive, we will head to the Auberge Ravoux, where Van Gogh lived during his time in the town. Here will have a chance to take a guided tour of the inn, also known as the “House of Van Gogh,” and see the room where he stayed and died. We will also learn about his final months and the circumstances surrounding his death.
After the tour, we will walk to the Église NotreDame d’Auvers, a 12th-century church that Van Gogh painted in his famous work “The Church at Auvers.” We will visit the interior of the church and see the original stained-glass windows.
Next, we will visit the Musée de l’Absinthe to learn about the drink that was popular among artists in the 19th century, including Van Gogh. See the collection of absinthe-related artifacts and learn about the history and cultural significance of the drink. Lastly, we will walk to the Château d’Auvers, a 17th century castle that now houses an interactive museum dedicated to the art and culture of the Impressionist era. See the multimedia exhibits, including a 3D projection mapping show, that explore the works of Van Gogh and other Impressionist artists before strolling around town to visit other sites van Gogh painted.
This morning we will visit Notre Dame Cathedral. We will have a chance to hear about the cathedral’s history as well as what was saved from the fire in 2019. You will have a chance to also enter the archeological crypt beneath Notre Dame. After our visit to Notre Dame, we will stop to see Sainte-Chapelle.
Next, we will head to the Opera Garnier. The opera house was used as the inspiration for the book The Phantom of the Opera and is a beautiful sight to behold.
This afternoon, you will have the chance to explore the area of Montmartre. Our first stop, we be the Sacré Coeur Basilica. Marvel at the beautiful views of the city from here and take a rest on the steps outside, like a true Parisian. We will then enjoy a wonderful food and walking tour of Montmartre, where you will get a true feel for this bohemian neighborhood. You will have a chance to try some Paris specialties like wine, cheese, pastries and chocolate. You will also see famous sites along the way including the Moulin Rouge and walk in the footsteps of Picasso.
We will leave early in the morning to head to Château de Versailles, the palace that Louis XIV, XV, and XVI called home. Here we will have a guided tour of the palace including the Hall of Mirrors. Afterwards, you will have a chance to visit the gardens surrounding the palace.
We will stop for lunch on the banks of the Epte River.
Next, we will travel to Monet’s Impressionist Garden at Giverny where you can wander around the garden at the artist’s residence, which served as inspiration for his Nymphéas (Water Lilies) series.
On our last day in Paris, we will spend the morning touring the Orsay Museum, home to the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist art with works from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and beyond.
You will have some “free” time this afternoon to shop for more souvenirs, take in a last Paris café, perhaps visit the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore or just wander as you wish.
Tonight, we will celebrate our trip with a Farewell Dinner and Seine River Cruise – enjoy dinner on the Seine and see some of Paris’ most famous landmarks by night – Notre Dame, the Lourve and the Eiffel Tower in her sparking glory!
Afterward, enjoy a night walk and maybe a ride on the famous carousel next to the Eiffel Tower.
Depart on return flight to the United States
Payment must be made in full at time of booking.
Due: April 1, 2024