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-   -   4 Days in Paris: Sample Itinerary for First Trip There (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/4-days-in-paris-sample-itinerary-for-first-trip-there-1021760/)

BradCurry16 Aug 1st, 2014 11:47 AM

4 Days in Paris: Sample Itinerary for First Trip There
 
Hey all,

Myself and my companion will be taking an overnight flight to Paris in September. The flight will have us arrive in Paris around 10:00 AM. We then will be there for four nights, leaving the morning after the last night. This is my first time in Paris and my companions second time. I definitely want to participate in the normal touristy things, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, a river cruise on the Seine.

Here are the questions I have:

- What attractions should I buy early tickets to?
- If I'm planning to walk most places, what area of town is it best to stay in? (note: price point for hotel is relatively high per night)
- Is going to Versailles worth it? (I've been told it is a full day trip)
- As the interests I have for the trip are in history and art mainly, I also enjoy doing some things that are not as well known. Any lesser known places I should try to visit?
- Finally, any restaurants that I should definitely try to look to eat at?

I appreciate any and all feedback and am looking forward to this first trip to France! Thank you!

almcd Aug 1st, 2014 12:08 PM

because of your love of art, I would recommend a day trip to Giverny, the former home of Monet. It is a wonderful place and very atmospheric. However, time or lack of it may be against you. Train or bus trip will get you there.

dwdvagamundo Aug 1st, 2014 12:42 PM

Cluny Museum for Middle Ages stuff

Conciergerie and the foundations of the Louvre.

Les Invalides for Napoleon and army museum

None of this is particularly unknown but they're great for history lovers.

We did not go to Versailles our first time in Paris, but we will this time. It will take a whole day.


For restaurants, try Bib Gourmand on the Michelin website--lists good restaurants for a reasonable price. However, although my spouse and I love food, we've found that trying to make it to specific restaurants for meals at specific times really cramps our touring. Unless you're really foodies, you should be able to find a decent meal by just walking around, looking at menus, and sticking your head in to give the place "smell test."

adrienne Aug 1st, 2014 12:58 PM

5th or 6th are good areas to stay.

You should should also plan to take the metro to some sights. There is not one place in Paris where you can easily walk to all sights. Some of the metro stations are very interesting (Abbesses, Arts et Metiers, Bastille, Cluny-Sorbonne and others).

Add Ste-Chapelle to your list.

Since you only have 3.5 days in Paris I would skip Versailles.

Buy advanced tickets to the Louvre and Eiffel Tower and any other major art museums.

<< Any lesser known places I should try to visit? >>

- Deportation Memorial (it's always been empty when I've been there yet it's right behind Notre Dame).
- Jewish Museum
- Victor Hugo's house
- Maillol Museum
- Sewers (although this has become popular in recent years).
- Nissim de Camondo
- Notre Dame tour
- Churches - St-Sulpice, St-Germain-des-Pres, Val-de-Grace, St-Etienne-du-Mont, St-Gervais-St-Protais, St-Denis
- Mosque

mamcalice Aug 1st, 2014 01:09 PM

since you are interested in art, I would purchase a 2-day museum pass. It will allow you to avoid long lines at the Louvre, Musssee D'Orsay and Orangerie all of which you should see. You can also get into most other museums with the pass.

denisea Aug 1st, 2014 06:34 PM

Skip Versailles this time---you are not in Paris long enough.

Our favorite in Paris site for a historical fix is St Denis---burial place of French royalty. Interesting and away from the crowded tourist sites.

Also, if you like Impressionism then Musee D'Orsay, Musee Marmottan and L'Orangerie are great choices (and the last 2 are less likely to be crowded).

BradCurry16 Aug 4th, 2014 07:31 AM

I agree in skipping Versailles and getting the museum pass to avoid lines. So 5th and 6th are good places to stay? Is it reasonable to think I can walk everywhere? Or would I need bus passes at all?

nytraveler Aug 4th, 2014 08:52 AM

Agree to skip Versailes with so little time.

I would definitely add the Cluny Musuem (middle ages) and the Rodin Museum - which has a great sculpture garden as well as exhibits indoors.

adrienne Aug 4th, 2014 09:07 AM

<< Is it reasonable to think I can walk everywhere? >>

No, it's not reasonable although it is possible.

You don't need a pass; buy a carnet of 10 tickets and use them as needed.

Why are you so opposed to taking public transportation?

BradCurry16 Aug 4th, 2014 09:11 AM

@Adrienne, I'm not opposed to taking public transportation, but I feel like walking is such a great way to take in all the sites around me. When I went to Rome, I walked everywhere and it led me to find cool little shops/cafes/things that I don't think I would have found taking the bus. I'd take the metro in a heartbeat if it's needed, such as for the Arc de Triumphe since it is so far from everything.

lilyclaire Aug 4th, 2014 10:19 AM

Another vote to add the Rodin Museum!


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