1 week in Paris and Nice

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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:18 AM
  #1
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1 week in Paris and Nice

Traveling to Paris and Nice with my husband and 9 year old daughter in April. We are all pretty well traveled in Europe and Asia, however this is our first trip to France.
Looking for recommendations on hotels with close proximity to major tourist attractions. We would like to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, take a Siene River Cruise, Versailles, Moulin Rouge, and we are open to other options as well. We are looking for the best and most efficient ways to see Paris due to limited time.
Also, would really appreciate some advice on a day trip to Monaco from Nice and best ways to get there (train, bus, car, etc). We are open to other recommendations on things to see in both and around both cities. Thank you for your help in advance.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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My wife & I have vacationed for 21 weeks along the Cote d'Azur. Mainly around Nice. I developed a 35 page Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary that describes our favorite sites, scenic drives, markets, etc. Monaco is not one of our favorites - too much noise, congestion, concrete, luxury, and people. I have sent this itinerary to over 3,000 people n Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. Specify that you want the Nice itinerary, because I have about 8 others for other regions in France.

When we stay in hotels in Nice, we stay at the Hotel Windsor (they speak English - as their name implies). Ask for a room facing the garden (quieter).

Stu Dudley
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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:59 AM
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I’d change your mindset about Paris. You can “see” the Eiffel Tower and Arc du Triumph in minutes — but not have experienced Paris or its culture. Start off with a walking tour through Paris. Consult guidebooks or PM for a link. A good tour will introduce you to the city, and you’ll see things you’ll want to return to for further exploring.

The common advice here on Monaco is to skip it!
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Feb 11th, 2018, 12:52 PM
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Also skip Moulin Rouge in Paris. There are so many quallity places to visit in this beautiful city. Take your child to Luxembourg Gardens where she can rent a toy sailboat to sail on the pond like the French children.
In Nice you can get easily to Monaco by a bus ride along the water. However, Monaco is not a favorite of ours. Better to get off the bus in Cap Ferrat, visit Villa Rothschild, and have lunch at town of St-Jean. Or vist pretty Antibes. Both are far superior to Monaco. There is so much to do in Nice that you don’t have to any day trips either.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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Agree with Stu that Monaco is far from the best excursion from Nice. Either train or bus work well, depending on where you go. Suggest some time with some guide books, or the beginning of this TR is my first trip to Nice (have been back).

Nice to Paris: on not taking it easy in Eastern France
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Feb 11th, 2018, 01:12 PM
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How are you going from Paris to Nice? Consider the train which takes about 5.5 hours but you see a lot of France and singature French countryside. Maybe a little long for kiddo but bring any food drink you want onboard. Really not much loner than flying taking into account getting to airports - arriving prerequisite time before plane and planes moree likely to be late or delayed than trains. Experience one of the world's fastest trains - going over 180 mph many places.

Many of these TGV trains are Duplex or double-deckers and when chosing own seat when booking own tickets online be sure IMO to chose upper deck with much more expansive views than the sunken lower deck.

Book tickets ASAP - about 90 or 120 days in advance I think at www.oui.sncf - French National Railways. Check www.seat61.com for prodigious advice on booking your own discounted tickets; general info trains, especially around Nice, www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.

If you spend 3 days in Paris and 1 getting to Nice and 3 days there it ain't much time and unless there is some reason to want to see Monaco yes there are much better day trips IMO too to spend a day. Trains do go to Monaco from Nice all the time as do buses - especially thrilling can be buses that take the famous corniches or roads hewn out of the inclines along the sea.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 01:49 PM
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Do you have one week in each location or one week for both?
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Feb 11th, 2018, 02:29 PM
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Both the Moulin Rouge and Monaco are mini-dreamers' cheap thrills venues in France. Might be lovely for you but you'd miss the heart of the country.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 02:48 PM
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Do you have a week on the ground (which is a nine day trip) or is the entire trip a week? Where are you flying in to and out of? If it is one week total and R-T in/out of CDG then you don't have enough time for Nice.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 05:50 PM
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Thank you Stu. I just sent you an email. I appreciate your help
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Feb 11th, 2018, 05:53 PM
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Thank you for your advice. We definitely plan to do a walking tour and we enjoy walking the city neighborhoods as well as people watching while sitting at a cafe, but would like to see some of the main sites as well. Do you have a recommendation for a good (English speaking) tour in Paris?
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Feb 11th, 2018, 05:55 PM
  #12
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Fantastic. Thank you for your insight Happy Trvlr. I will definitely add Luxembourg Gardens as well as the Nice day trip recommendations to our itinerary.
I appreciate your help.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 06:00 PM
  #13
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Thank you Thursdaysd. I think we may reconsider Monaco based on some of the feedback I received from you and others.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 06:07 PM
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Thank you PalenQ. We would really like to take the train, we had great experiences traveling in Switzerland and Japan via train, however do to our limited time on this trip we opted to fly to Nice. We will have 3 full days in Paris, followed by 2.5 days in Nice and then back to Paris for 1.5 days before departing.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 06:09 PM
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Judy, unfortunately 1 week total for this trip. 3 days in Paris followed by 2.5 days in Nice and back for 1.5 days in Paris before departing.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 06:14 PM
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Janis J. We fly into CDG early am arrival, 3 full days in Paris. Early flight to Nice on day 4 for 2.5 days, followed by 1.5 days back in Paris before departing
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Feb 11th, 2018, 06:22 PM
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That is a very inefficient allotment of your time. An extra, unneeded change of cities/packing/unpacking/checking in/checking out.

if Nice is a must, then go there on your arrival day, spent a couple of days, the go back to Paris and finish there.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:32 PM
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>>Do you have a recommendation for a good (English speaking) tour in Paris?<<

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Stu Dudley
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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:53 PM
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For Paris, we really liked the Hotel Clement, which I found recommendations via recommendations from others on this board. In particular, they had a 3 person room, which had the main bed in the larger room, and the twin bed in a smaller room still inside the same suite along with the bathroom. It is in the 6th arr and one block from an excellent bakery.

One thing that might be fun for your daughter is to watch the movie Hugo with her before your trip, and then visit the Musee D'Orsay. The Musee D'Orsay is set in a train station that the movie was mostly based on. The art itself are some of the best Impressionist works in the world.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 09:18 PM
  #20
mjs
 
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I agree with Janisj. Your trip will work better if you fly to Nice on your day of arrival. I think you are counting your first day in Paris as a full day and we have never found the first day after a long overnight flight to be a really productive full day. Better to use it to for travel time to Nice. This way you only have another half day of travel back to Paris than home. I also suspect that you are not including travel time in your calculations for how much time you have for Nice and Paris as you will lose two 1/2 days to travel in between Paris and Nice. One week is 7 days and this itinerary does not pencil out so you must mean 9 days or something like Saturday to Sunday and even than it would not make 7 full days as you will lose a day to transit to/from Paris/Nice. This appears to be a very rushed trip and I am not sure you have time for Versailles. I too would skip the Moulin Rouge and agree that Monaco would not be on my list for such a short stay in Nice. What is your budget for hotels?
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