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4 Days in Paris - should we go to Versaille?

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4 Days in Paris - should we go to Versaille?

Old Jul 14th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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4 Days in Paris - should we go to Versaille?

Hello,

I will be travelling to Paris this August for four nights, roughly 3.5 days of time in the city. We have never been to Paris and are looking to see many of the major tourist attractions, including Notre Dame, Louve, Eiffel Tower, Musee d'Orsay, Montmarte, ect..

Should a first-time itinerary of four days in Paris include a day trip to Versaille, or is that trying to jam too much in?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

--Paul
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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It depends on how much you want to see Versailles. I've been to Paris twice and still haven't been to Versailles since I'm not particularly interested in it. I would, however, like to do a bike tour of the gardens the next time I'm visiting Paris.

You definitely will have more than enough to do if you spend all your time in Paris.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Depends on your interests. How much time do you wish to invest in the Sun King and what do you know about him or want to know?

You certainly won't be left wanting for things to do IN Paris if you decide not to visit Versailles.

BTW, it's Louvre and Montmartre, in case you're googling for info.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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It is fabulous -- but I wouldn't. You don't even have time for all the major sites in central Paris so I wouldn't take out 3/4 a day for Versailles.

Also - by any chance are you arriving in paris after a long haul flight? If so you will be jet lagged and really won't have 3.5 full days since day one will be mostly for recovery and getting your bearings/exploring the area around your hotel.

Even if you aren't arriving from overseas, w/ just 3.5 days I'd skip versailles this time. Once you've seen Paris -- you'll definitely be back again . . . .
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:37 AM
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I agree, it depends how bad you want to see it. And what you'd be willing to cut from your Paris list mentioned. To my mind, that preliminary list of places, is already a pretty full 3 day itinerary!
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:55 AM
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Hi zin,

>Should a first-time itinerary of four days in Paris include a day trip to Versaille.....<

No it should not. Save Versaille for your next visit (more than 4 days, I hope).

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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but if inclined it is easily done - just hop RER C to the end of the line right by the palace -about a 30-minute ride to what many think is the world's finest palace and also a great park. Come on Sundays when the water fountains are all flowing and there is piped in classical music around them.

To me Versailles equals any single Paris central thing.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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You can take guided-tour to Versailles. I've just returned from Paris (1st timer) and went to Versailles. The tour started at 9am (meeting point), took about 45 min by train (included in the fare), and ended around 2pm. The garden was huge and amazing, with a lot of statutes. I had about 3.5 days as well. One thing that you should not miss: the Louvre museum. It's the biggest museum in the world. I did not have a chance to visit Musee Orsay. If you have time, you should visit Basilique de Sacre Cour. It's on the hilltop, plenty of stairs, but once you're up there, you could see the entire city of Paris.
Bon Voyage!
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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No, with only 3,5 days - no!
Next time maybe you will stay more, and can you then in a weekend day to see the fountains. I do not recommend a guided tour there. It is easy to go there by RER and you can take your time to enjoy.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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I vote no. There are so many wonderful things in Paris - that unless you must see a massive chateaux (besides the Louvre) I wouldn't, To me, the Musee D'orsay is about 5 times more interesting than Versailles.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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It's a quandary. With such limited time, I'd be saying no, unless this is something you've always wanted to do.

Versailles includes the Chateau itself, then the gardens (huge), fountains and some outlying buildings (Marie Antoinette). So a visit would include an inside tour then outside walking (or biking/tourist train).

If you do decide to go, I'd recommend taking an early RER train to get there first thing when they open. Getting there late morning puts you in the midst of the coach bus tours. Early, see the inside, then wander the grounds. I could see spending till early afternoon.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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but Versailles is in Paris IMO - heck a 30-min RER ride - about the same length of time you may take the metro someplace. And it need only take a half day.

But consider taking a picnic for the gardens, etc. I would IMO of course rank Versailles right up there with any Paris proper site - right with the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Period.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:58 AM
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I would probably say no since it sounds like you don't have any particular interest in it (at least, nothing special). It is really easy to get to, however, and I personally would rather go to Versailles than the Eiffel Tower -- where I have never been, actually, even though I've been to Paris many times. So it's personal taste and interests. Versailles is really unique and an important part of French history.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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I agree with Palenque, Versailles is definately worth a visit. Seeing the palace in person really helps you to understand why the people were angry enough to storm the Bastille. I stayed in Paris for 4 nights with the same iternary interests as you and was able to see what was the most important to me in Paris and still take a whole day trip to Versailles and Giverny. The key is to do a ton of pre-planning and prioritizing ahead of time. For example, the Louvre is so massive that it's impossible to see everything or even 1/2 of it of it in one visit, so go browse their collections on their website and decide which pieces that you want to focus on seeing during your visit. (Make sure to wear very comfortable walking shoes and eat a power breakfast before you go.) Consider a visit to the Musee Rodin too. It's in gorgeous old hotel with a lovely garden. The museums are closed on either Mondays or Tuesdays, so that will determine how you should budget your time. If you arrive at your hotel early enough in the day, you can quickly unpack and head out to explore your neighborhood and have something to eat. Then you can head to one of the museums on your list. The Orsay is great museum to visit on your first day in Paris because it's much more managable and enjoyable than the Louvre. After your museum visit, you can have a relaxing dinner at a cafe and then rest up for a power sightseeing day the next day. Notre Dame opens at 8 a.m., so you could start the next day there and then head to the Louvre. You'll probably be exhausted after your visit to the Louvre, so I recommend going for a nice meal, riding to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and then taking a relaxing river cruise along the Seine. The next day you could visit Musee Rodin, or any other museum that catches your fancy, and then go explore Monmarte. I highly recommend the whole day trip to Giverny and Versailles as a wonderful way to spend your last day. For a lovely last dinner, I suggest Le Cigale Recamier (Metro stop: Sevres-Babylone). Hope that helps, and bon voyage!!
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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If your arrival is after an overnight flight -- you very likely won't be up to any major museums or other indoors stuff. You'll want to be outside in the fresh air trying (hopefully) recover from the jet lag so you can survive the next 2+ days.

Day 1 is a time for a Seine cruise, walk in the parks, visiting the Eiffel Tower (not necessarily going up though), sidewalk cafes and the like. The Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and other museums are best left to another day. You could do Notre Dame/Ste Chapelle and a walk on the islands plus a boat trip -- that would be a good first day.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Versailles is something to see, yes. Try to go on the weekend or Tuesday when the music and fountains are going. But .... If it is raining or there is a day of national strike DO NOT DO IT!!! What was supposed to be a highlight for me turned out miserably because of the above 2 factors.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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If going to Versailles and Louvre and Orsay then consider the Paris Museum Pass for 2 days (if that option still remains) as the pass will approximate the cost of the three museums and you get priority entrance, i believe, at all (not sure - please correct me if not so)

and with the museum pass you may also pop into some other museums that you pass by but where you would not normally pay to go in - the Cluny Museum not far from Notre-Dame or the Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie, all also nearby, etc. by the pass at any museum.

Paris Museum Pass | Official website
With the PARIS MUSEUM PASS, you gain free entry, without queuing and as many times as you wish, to over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris.
www.parismuseumpass.com/en/home.php
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Thank you very much for everyone's insight. This has been a tremendous help. Versaille sounds great, and if possible, I would like to go.

That said, here would be a potential itinerary. We arrive around noon on Saturday, so it would be as follows:

Saturday:

Notre Dame
Sainte-Chapelle
Walk around the islands

Sunday

Musee d'Orsay
Eiffel Towel
Arc de Triomphe
Walk Champs-Élysées
Possible boat trip

Monday

Louvre
Explore Montmartre

Tuesday

Versaille

Is there anything really significant that we would be missing here, are we jamming too much into a day or should anything be re-adjusted?

Additional insights are much appreciated.

--Paul
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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I believe the Eiffel Tower's ticket and lift lines get shorter as the day goes on - you could wait a long time around noon or so - and i like to go up at dusk or near dusk to see the lights of Paris come on.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Personally, I thought Versailles was worth the visit. I spent 3 days in Paris, touching the "main" spots on a London/Paris tour. If you intend on this being your one and only visit to Paris, I would go to Versailles, but only if you are interested in what it offers.
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