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24-hour stopover in Paris...what should we see?

24-hour stopover in Paris...what should we see?

Feb 8th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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24-hour stopover in Paris...what should we see?

My husband and I have never been to France and don't speak any French. We basically get to Paris (CDG) at noon on a Wednesday in May, and have to leave the next morning at 10:30am.

I want to cram as much as possible into that day! I would love some recommendations.

I would like to do a bike tour so we can see some of the city, and we don't care if we are up all night because we can sleep on our flight the next day!

Any convenient hotel options would be helpful too. Should we stay near airport or in the city? Public transportation/taxis or rent a car?
LVmom is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Assuming you're going to be suffering from jet lag when you arrive, stay by the airport and relax. Forget trying to cram anything in the day you arrive. Better to prepare your body for wherever it is that you're going to be spending the rest of your trip, enjoy it and and save Paris for another time.

There's just nothing worthwhile that you can do that will leave a positive impression in that particular kind of time frame.
knickerbocker is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Good Lord, whatEVER you do, don't stay at the airport! Sheesh! There's plenty you can do in that time.

I've never done a bike tour of Paris, so can't help you with that, but find a suitable hotel in the center of the city (can't offer suggestions without knowing your budget and hotel preferences),and take a cab there. Take a shower and get on one of the hop-on/hop-off buses and take a tour of the city. Or, buy tickets for the Batobus and see the city from the river. Either way you can jump off wherever you're so inclined and jump back on again, have a little lunch somewhere or picnic, do a bit of shopping...whatever appeals to you.

At sunset, head for the Tour Montparnasse, go to the top, and have a drink with tout Paris spread out before you. Then retire to a nice local bistro near your hotel (again can't make recommendations without knowing your budget and food preferences). Ask your hotel to call you a taxi for 6:30 am if you're flying overseas or 7:00 am if you're flying within Europe.

Have a ball.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 8th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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hi, LV mom,

we had experience of doing a day-trip to Paris with our kids in a transport strike, so i have a fairly good idea of what can be accomplished in less than 24 hours!

you can see [if not exactly visit] a lot of the main sights as follows:

starting at the eiffel tower, go up if the queues are not too long otherwise just look.

then get a boat down the seine [same side of the river as the tower] as far as Notre Dame. get off and if wanted, have a look at the restaurants on theleft bank and have lunch. tour ND.

walk down the right bank past all the funny flower and pet shops to the louvre and see the pyramide [entrance to the museums]. if you are feeling up to it and the queues aren't too bad, spend an hour or so inside. otherwise, keep walking and find a cafe in the tuilleries gardens and and have a kir [white wine and cassis] to revive yourselves.

then carry on up the champs elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. visit the tomb [optional]. from metro stop get metro back to your hotel for a rest.

in the evening, take the metro to the pompidou centre [beaubourg] and walk east to explore the marais - place des Vosges etc. have supper
somewhere here.

alternatively, go up to Sacre cour and have supper in Monmatre.

IMHO you don't need a car [in fact what you don't need is a car] and you should stay as centrally as possible. between the metro, boats and the odd taxi, getting about is far less problem without one.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Feb 8th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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I'm not saying you can't do anything in 24 hours (22 1/2 if we want to split hairs) in Paris; only that arriving in Paris midday and having to be back at the airport somewhere around 8ish the next morning does not (IMHO) leave time to appreciate anything in Paris. Arriving jet-lagged from somewhere on the North American continent is hardly a mindset whereby one would appreciate anything in the City of Lights©.

Better to prepare yourself for wherever your next destination is under the circumstances rather than make a vacation a challenge of how unrelaxed you can come back.
knickerbocker is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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My suggestion would be to find a hotel near the station that will get you back to the airport in the morning. Take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour such as: http://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Pa...&aid=463293916

Find a nice place for dinner and catch a train to the airport in the morning.
jeff001 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions!

To clarify, we are spending 2 weeks in Italy and on our way home we have the stopover in Paris. So no jet lag to worry about! We are flying first class back to NY and can get sleep on the airplane. So we will be ready to do some walking and exploring.

I think we will find a centrally located hotel...and plan to take a cab back to the airport.

Thanks guys!
LVmom is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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Maybe an evening Seine river cruise?
LVmom is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Hi LV,

I'd made assumptions in my previous posts. If you're hitting the City of Lights© on the way home, you're still fairly limited in the timeframe that you've given. Certainly, a leisurely stroll down the Champs d'Ellyses followed by a trip up the Eiffel Tower's a possibility. Your river cruise is definitely an idea too. Exploring the Rive Gauche is also more than worth the time

Mrs. K. and I found that the longer we were over there in '07, the less intense we wanted to make each day. I'd suggest taking suggestions from other posters. Hopefully, this'll be helpful

knickerbocker is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Listen to St Cirq's suggestions.

Seine cruise or Batobus.

Ride the elevators up Tour Montparnasse - much better option than standing in line for Eiffel Tower.
Take a look here:
yk is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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Several times we've ended up in Paris mid-day (at the end of a vacation) with an early flight home the next morning. These have been some of our most enjoyable days.

I would do exactly what St Cirq recommended. Stash the bags at the hotel, and take off. Don't go anywhere that has a line to get in - like the Eiffel Tower.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Feb 10th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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PS - can you pack a carry-on for 1 night, and check your bags from Italy to NYC without you having to touch them at CDG?? That would save a lot of time.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Feb 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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I would just pick your top spots and go see them - don;t worry about buses or bikes. Just grab a cab (longer distances) ro walk (shorter ones) from one place to another.

My MUST sees:

Eiffel Tower
Notre Dame
Louvre (even the 45 minute tour)
Musee D'Orsay (even a quick walk through)
Spending a couple of hours sitting in a famous cafe with a glasss of wine watching Paris go by (either Cafe de la Pais or one in St Germain)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 04:24 PM
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sfmaster is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 05:52 PM
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I would agree that you should NOT waste time standing in the queue at the Eiffel Tower, go and see it by all means from the Champs du Mars. If you want a similar view you can get that from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and access is much easier.

I like the idea of a boat ride back to Notre Dame and then explore that area a little.

StuDudley's idea of taking carryon to Paris is very good. It will save time mucking about at the luggage carousel.

When you've booked your hotel, if you post again we will be able to give you advice about the easiest way to get there from the airport.
cathies is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Find a good cafe on Rue Cler then wander to the Champs du Mar for picnic.

Let's be careful out there!
Steve_Ricks is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 09:40 PM
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what is the significant difference between waiting in line at the tower for 45 minutes or so and sitting at a cafe for two plus hours? In both cases, you get to people watch, and seeing the view from the eiffel tower is worth it, IMO. I certainly would prefer to have travelled up the eiffel tower than sit at a cafe. I can sit at a cafe in any city and people watch, not so with the tower.

Since you're limited in time, I'd do the batobus tour of the river, see the tower, walk around and maybe do the whirlwind tour of the big three at the Louvre.
apersuader65 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 07:48 AM
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>>what is the significant difference between waiting in line at the tower for 45 minutes or so and sitting at a cafe for two plus hours?<<

About 1 hr & 15 mins.

I would do neither. With less that 8 hrs to explore Paris (for the first time), I would keep moving - by foot or boat.

It would be nice to find out what LVmom actually did on her trip to Paris in '10.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Mea Culpa, Stu. Scanned thru the post w/o checking dates!
apersuader65 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:37 AM
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I wouldn't waste time waiting in any lines...you have such a short time but do get out in one of the arrondisements.
Consider checking out Notre Dame and enjoy Ile St Louis. Maybe have lunch in the 4th, 5th or 6th. Spend some time on a Seine river cruise in the afternoon or at night to see the monuments. Choose a special place for dinner and enjoy it. I hate for you to try to just cram stuff in...part of the enjoyment of Paris is the slower way if life and some time spent in a cafe, enjoying some cafe or wine, watching people and getting lost on one of the street is more enjoyable. Cramming things in will probably lead to less enjoyment and probably more frustrations. Please, enjoy your time in Paris.

You don't need to speak French but do learn a few key words and phrases...it will make your timeless stressful and your interactions will be more pleasant.
denisea is offline  
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