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Trip Report Paris in 3 Days

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I am posting our itinerary to help others in their planning. It was a short trip but it was enough to whet our appetite. Always assume that you'll be coming back. Happy planning!

Party
3 pax consisting of me, DH and MIL

Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival from Orly Airport at about 1pm. Checked into the hotel by 230pm. Left the hotel by 3pm and went straight to the Louvre to visit the ladies, Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa. Winged Victory is being restored and therefore absent in the museum. After Louvre, we went to Trocadero, visited the Eiffel Tower and waited until the lights were turned on.
Day 2: Sainte Chapelle at about 1030 am, Notre Dame at 1130 am, Versailles at 130 pm
Day3: Arc de Triomphe at about 1045, Champs Elysees until 230pm, Museum d Orsay at 3pm. Train to Brugge at 7pm

Notes:
Day 1: Luckily, no lines at the Louvre and we march straight in and bought our tickets by then it was 330pm. We visited the Denon Wing first where the ladies are located and the Napoleon room. It was overly crowded and chaotic in the Monalisa room so there really isn't any time for peace and quiet to take in the beauty of the portrait. It was almost 6 when we left and it was closing time.
Day 2: No lines in Versailles but we were only able to visit the state rooms. It was suppose to be 2 hours palace, 2 hours garden and Versailles closes at 5pm. It became 4 hours palace due to the crowds. It was very crowded when we visited almost like the crowds in the Vatican and there was a queue to each of the rooms. Once again, too noisy and crowded to fully appreciate the grandeur of the palace.
Day 3: Did not climb the stairs at Notre Dame. Still no lines in Orsay and went right in to buy tickets. Visit was just an hour and a half, which is too short. Would need at least an hour more to visit the "must see" masterpieces. We were only able to visit the Van Gogh section at the 2nd floor and the Impressionism section (Monet, Renoir, Manet, etc.) at the 5th floor and was not able to fully absorb the beauty of them all; next time.... Also, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has a better collection for Van Gogh fans.

Lodging
Libertel Gare du Nord Suede

Notes:
A bit expensive at EUR200 a night but it was for a triple room and it was a bigger room, no breakfast. Location wise, it was perfect for our trip, close to the Gare du Nord and lots of buses, trains, RER options. The location seemed safe as we were never bothered by any other people and the path to the hotel was well lit. It's about 5 to 10 min walk to the train station. Had a lift which is a plus for those with big luggage.

Food:
Dinner: Food court Carrousel Mall near Louvre
Dinner: Zinc Restaurant near Gare du Nord
Lunch: Leon de Bruxelles at Champs Elysees (EUR13 lunch with bread, salad, mussels and dessert)
Along the way, we ate crepes, baguettes and bread as we saw them. Can only recommend Leon de Bruxelles, the rest were mediocre.

Transportation
Planning tools:
http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_20561/bus/
http://www.ratp.fr/itineraires/en/ratp/recherche-avancee
Orly Airport to Hotel: Taxi at EUR33. It was more economic and convenient since we are a party of 3. Line was long and the wait was about an hour but the actual trip to the city took less than 30 min.
Hotel to Louvre: Bus 48 from near Gare du Nord to Palais Royal. Bought carnet tickets which is good on all types of transportation in paris at EUR 13.70 for 10.
Louvre to Eiffel: Metro to Trocadero
Eiffel to Hotel: Bus 42 from Champs Mars to Gare du Nord
Hotel to Sainte Chapelle: Metro from Gare du Nord to Cite station
Notre Dame to Versailles: RER C St. Michel Notre Dame to Versailles Rive Gauche
Versailles to Hotel: RER C to St. Michel Notre Dame, change to RER B to Gare du Nord
Hotel to Arc de Triomphe: Bus (cant remember the number but just in front of the Hotel) to Charles de Gaulle Etoile
Champs Elysees to Musee d Orsay: Bus 73 from Champs Elysees to Musee d Orsay
Musee d Orsay to Hotel: RER C to St. Michel Notre Dame, change to RER B to Gare du Nord

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