3 days in Paris

Old Jan 17th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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3 days in Paris

My wife and I will be meeting in Paris for three days as we pass in opposite directions and, since neither of us has ever been there, we thought it would be nice plan to celebrate our 10th Anniversary with a weekend there.

So, my question for those of you with experience of the city, what would you do and where would you stay if you had only three days to spend in Paris?

We want to walk, see some of the more high profile sites and enjoy some great meals. We'd love to see the Louvre but, we don't want to line up all day to see the Mona Lisa however, my wife insists on seeing the Eiffel.

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Most popular areas, for easy walking, would include the 4th-6th arrondissements. Central, walking to Notre Dame, Left and Right Banks, access to ariport via RER.
The Metro is very good, so staying further out is not an issue, but staying more central will give you more choices for restaurants, night time walks,etc..
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Welcome to Fodor's oneword...you will get good advice here.

I was in Paris last spring and admit to popping into the Louvre for just two hours. You could spend days in the Louvre; but I think you could also do as I did due to a time crunch. I went to the web site in advance to determine what pieces I definitely wanted to see. We had no problem viewing the Mona Lisa (though it was crowded---but nothing crazy).

There are some neat interactive floor plans on their site:
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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What is your budget for hotels and restaurants? Since it is a special anniversary it deserves a special dinner.

Let us know your price range and I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Thanks, I'd like to keep the hotel under $200 USD and we'll probably pop for one $200 meal.

Hope that helps.

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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You can actually see and do a lot in Paris in 3 days. Besides the Louvre, which is a beautiful spot even if you only spend an hour or two, there are a number of smaller museums that can be visited.

For example the Rodin can be seen in anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on your interest and has a beautiful garden to stroll. This is a favorite of mine.

I understand the Marmmottan (sp?) is also a wonderful smaller museum in an interesting neighborhood although I wasn't able to get there.

We really wanted to see the Louvre and as we only had a few days in Paris we took a Paris Muse tour as recommended by Fodorites and saw the highlights (including a not very crowded Mona Lisa) in a few hours. It was really wonderful and I liked the Louvre way more than I expected to - worth a walk-by at least to see the I M Pei addition. The most crowded spot there when we visited was in front of the Venus de Milo - no one was looking at her - just taking tons of photos in front of her.

Also, the D'Orsay is beautiful with an endless and amazing collection of Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist work - plus some more Rodin. You could really spend all day here, but you don't need to. The building interior itself is something to see. There is a beautiful cafe inside - food is just okay but do stop for coffee or tea and a rest in this pretty spot.

The Eiffel tower is a must see - get up close to it but you don't have to wait in line and go up to appreciate it's beauty. You can stop by at night and stand below it and watch the twinkling for free and be truly amazed. Romantic too.

Notre Dame and Ste. Chappelle are located near each other and don't require a ton of time to appreciate. You can take a nice walk from there to the Place des Vosges which reminded me of the "Who will buy?" scene from the musical Oliver... Sit in a park bench and pretend you live there.

Save time for wandering the various neighborhoods and sitting in the bistros...Have dinner or lunch in the 6th...very charming. Or, if you're not too macho, stop at Laduree for hot chocolate or cappuccino and a macaroon or a light lunch. The upstairs room is really romantic. Downstairs is nice for a croissant and coffee at breakfast time. You will get points with your wife for this one I promise.

We ran out of time for a Seine cruise, but I've done that before by myself and although it's touristy I think it's really worth doing. You can ask here on Fodor's for the best one and I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback. Perhaps if your tired on arrival it's a nice way to get acclimated and excited about your weekend.

The view from Sacre Coer is worth a visit on a clear day near sunset.

We spent 3 days in Paris in November and saw a ton and had a really wonderful trip.

Happy 10th - I can't think of a better place to start your second decade together!

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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I would stay in the 4-6th arr. as was previously mentioned. My personal favourite is the 5th, but some people feel it is more student focused. I am still a student so this was no issue lol! Regardless I think there is so much going on, the students keep the area lively and vibrant, there are some great spots to have an elegant meal or grab a quick bite, and you are in the heart of the city.

In three days you can see a good chunk of the main sites, and as Katie mentioned I would stop by the Louvre for a few hours. I did that in 2006 and loved it. I'm not a huge art buff so that was enough for me to see a few interesting exhibits and then move on with my day.

If I had only 3 days, I would:

Stay in the 5th
Visit Notre-Dame, Eiffel Tower (try viewing it from Trocadero one evening when the lights sparkle, pack a late night picnic...very romantic setting), check out sacre-coeur and monmartre area, check out the louvre for a couple of hours, and use the rest of my time to leisurely walk from area to area taking in the sights.

Enjoy! It's my favourite city in the world!

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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I have not been personally, but Ira often recommends a Hotel Bonaparte that he likes. We passed by it a number of times and the location is really good. Perhaps it will be in your price range. I can definitely recommend the location esp. for a first trip and as a celebration weekend.

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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There are lots of excellent trip reports on this site with lots of great ideas for you guys. Paris is well covered here via the search feature.

We stayed in the 7th which was within walking distance of most places. We don't know any French so we hired a private guide to show us around and really enjoyed that experience. Michael Osman is who we used and he's well regarded on this board, if you can get him. And very reasonably priced. He'd be perfect for giving you the best overview of the city in a short period of time. He can talk art all day long as well as history. He made going the the Lourve and Orsay so much more enjoyable than if we'd try to navigate them on our own.

Here's the link to my trip report:


Good luck and congrats on 10 years!!
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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I notice that only one person has mentioned Ste. Chappelle --- While many visitors miss it, I it's a one of my favorite indoor spots of Paris. I like the idea Gruezi has given you of Notre Dame/Ste. Chappelle/Place des Voges, particularly if it is not too cold a day to enjoy a walk. The Place des Voges is located in the Marais, a residential neighborhood of narrow, winding, streets, filled with wonderful shops, 17th century mansions, and restaurants, as well as pastry and chocolate shops. Whatever you do during your 3 days, make sure it's what you want to do, and not what others think a trip to Paris must include. Enjoy! Bon anniversaire!
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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Stay in 4-6 arr.

In 3 days, you can see a lot.

Day 1:
Eiffel Tower (if line is long, don't go up)
Notre Dame
Ste. Chappelle
Walk along Left bank down Ste Germaine to Pont des Arts
Louvre (if time)
Night cruise on Seine (bateaux mouches or vedettes de pont neuf)

Day 2:
Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
Photo-stop at Moulin Rouge (if interested)
Musee d'Orsay (2-3 hrs)
Watch Eiffel Tower twinkling at night from Trocadero

Day 3:
Opera house
Arc de Triomphe
Stroll around Marais, Place des Vosges
Rodin Museum
Jardins du Luxembourg (if time)
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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Hi W,

Have you looked up Paris under "Destinations"?

We always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 128E dbl w/bkfst. It is located near 3 metro stops. Has AC and an elevator.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

Photos are at http://tinyurl.com/ludgd

$200 for 2 for dinner is not going to get you into a 2 or 3* resto.

You can have lunch at Taillevent for 70E, Les Ombres for about 40E.

You might like the 50E menu at www.le-train-bleu.com or the 45E menu at www.la-mediterranee.com.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Hotel Bonaparte:
do you know the difference between the 131€ rooms and the 161€? size? We had the highest price double in September, but we are getting the 131€ in May. I originally booked a triple for 176€, but I had to change because a fourth person decided to travel with us.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 04:43 AM
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Hi scat,

The more expensive rooms are larger.

ira is offline  
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