32-hour layover in Paris. What to do?

Apr 28th, 2007, 09:45 AM
  #1  
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32-hour layover in Paris. What to do?


En route to Nairobi, I have a 32 hour layover in Paris - in January. Scheduled arrival time into CDG is 11:20 a.m. on a Saturday. Departure is Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Packing very light (for safari purposes) so not looking for anything upscale. Just want to pass that relatively short "visit" with something meaningful.

My initial thought is to stay overnight in the Montparnasse area and visit the Louvre.

Any other suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks all
going_2_africa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Hi going 2 africa!

What a fabulous trip! I'm not a huge museum fan, so my preference would be to take a Seine boat ride to make the most of my limited time. You see all sorts of fabulous sights (including the outside of the Louvre) and it's not more than a few hours. I'd also choose to stay somewhere on the "airport" side of town (if taking a cab) or near an RER stop if taking the train. This will also help you make the most of your time.

Make sure to take time to have a couple of great meals and sit at a cafe to just relax and watch the view.

margy
margyb is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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hi, going 2 africa,

have you ever been to Paris before?

if not, then a tour might be the way to go - hit the highlights in a fairly easy fashion.

if you have, or don't fancy that, I like the museum idea - just don't think you'll do the louvre in a day.

If the weather is good and you like being outside, why not go to the eiffel tower, then catch a boat down to notre dame, take in notre dame, then walk through the tuilleries and up the champs elysees. you could do as much or as little of this as you like stopping along the way.

have a great trip,

regards, ann

annhig is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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My apologies, Ann. A pretty major detail tha I left out. I have been to Paris - ummm....21 years ago when I was 13y/o.

On some level, it will be like having never been before, although I have some great mental pictures. But what city doesn't change, especially in the span of 20+ years, righ? ;-)

Last time I was there, it was April, however, unseasonably cool and it snowed during our boat trip on the Seine. One of these days, I'll have to visit Paris when it's not cold. hehe
going_2_africa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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geez...sorry about all the typos in my previous post.

Shane
(who REALLY wishes fodors would add an edit feature to these boards)
going_2_africa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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I actually like your plan just fine. If you stay in Montparnasse you will be near plenty of places to eat, cafes, brasseries, creperies. The area is lively at night with lots of theaters as well. And you are near the Air France bus from CDG.

A visit to the Louvre sounds like a good thing; since you've mentioned that out of all the possible indoor Paris sites and museums, I assume that is your priority. In case you haven't thought of other possible museums, though, you could consider the Musee d'Orsay for the Impressionists, housed in an old train station.

Since your stay is in January, you won't be able to catch a boat from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame; the batobus doesn't run in the winter. But taking a bus or the metro (or walking if you are energetic and the weather is good) to Notre Dame is a good idea, and if you do go that way you should visit Sainte Chapelle with its amazing walls entirely of stained glass.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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hi, shane,

The day-trip I described was one we did with our kids about 20 years after my last visit to paris, so we're in the same boat.

DH had a job in Paris for a few months, and I'd just started work in London, so we commuted to each other at weekends - one in the UK, the next in France. Paris in April and it was absolutely perishing!

it was such fun seeing things again [and in the case of the eiffel tower, for the 1st time, believe it or not] and seeing what I remembered.

if m'parnasse is what you fancy, then that's probably the best idea. but take some silk undies to keep you warm.

best wishes, ann

annhig is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Hello, going_2_africa -

This board DOES have an edit feature. Whenever you post a reply, always hit "Preview my reply" first.

After you have posted, use your browser's "Back" button to return to the screen that has "Edit" as the middle choice at the bottom. Choose "edit." Make your changes. Again, hit "Preview my reply" before you post, and you can come back again, if you want to.

Do NOT backspace to the editable text. Only if you go through the "Edit" button will the magic work.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Ann, I only saw the ET on my first trip, but didn't make the obligitory ascent, so that is on the to do list for sure. Definitely understanding that the Louvre can't be done in a day.

Nikki, thanks for the idea of the Sainte Chapelle. I did a touch of reading on it after your suggestion, and it sounds remarkable. Will definitely put it on the list.

Also found a one-day "walking" tour on Frommers.com Might not be able to get the whole thing done, but can work on parts of it Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning before heading back to CDG.

Hotels look to be fairly reasonable at that time, based on the bit of looking I've already done.

going_2_africa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Try to be queued at the Eiffel Tower before it opens in the morning - it's your best chance to avoid the crowds for both tickets and the elevators.

You can see a lot (not in any depth, of course) just by hopping on and off city buses. If you plan to do this, buy the one-day transit pass called Mobilis and print out this map before you leave home:

http://www.ratp.info/orienter/f_plan...reseaux&fm=pdf
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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Thank you for the map link. That will come in very handy.

Shane
going_2_africa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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I love your plan. Having a little time in Paris is certainly much better than no time in Paris. Go th the "Destination" button above and click on Paris for an overview and then pick from the things they offer. My top things are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, the Orsay and Montmartre. There are dozens of others that you can add or subtract depending on your time.
AisleSeat is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Arriving on a Saturday in January will give you plenty of time to get into Paris proper with some time to sightsee. Depending on what weekend, the Louvre may be free on Sunday (1st), so you will have plenty of time there. I would get into town as soon as possible on Saturday afternoon, and take a ride on the Seine. While the batobus may be closed during winter, other rides are available during the winter. We rode on the river the first saturday in February '06 and it gave a great view of the city.

On Sunday, you can get up early and head to the Louvre for several hours, or just a couple of hours in the Louvre and walk over to the Orsay on the other side of the river for a couple hours there. That should allow you to leave for the airport by 3:30, with 3 hours lead time for the international flight on to Nairobi.

Good luck and enjoy!
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