6 days in Paris, France in March...

Jan 5th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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6 days in Paris, France in March...

Can anyone recommend what to do and what countries to visit while staying in Paris for 6 days on March? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Cute
cuteandsnappy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Um, 6 days is barely enough time to scratch the surface of Paris - unless you have been there before. The idea of staying in paris and seeing multiple other countries doesn't make sense - you wold just be spending all day on trains or buses to spend a few hours wherever. It is possible to do a day trip to Brussels - which is close. Some people do London as a day trip - but it is expensive - and unless you take the crack of daw train there and the close to midnight train back - all you wil have is a couple of hours to do 1 or at most 2 things.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Six days in Paris = Not a good idea to travel to other countries.

Maybe make a day trip, or two at most, from Paris and see any of the dozens of worthy destinations that are reachable by train within an hour or so from the city.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:16 AM
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Agree, it's barely enough time to get to know even the basics of Paris. Adding other countries only makes sense if you add a few weeks to the trip.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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I agree with the others re: getting to other countries. Day trips in France - yes. You could go to Chartres or Versailles, both interesting and reasonable day trips by train. I'm planning a day trip (with an overnight) to Strasbourg while in Paris in May. I'll be in Paris 9 days, and have been there probably 7+ times already, to give you a sense.
dunia123 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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I agree that you should probably stick to Paris and the surrounding area. I have a hotel recommendation for you that's close to a lot of the sites - it's a budget hotel (not sure if you're on a budget) in a 5-star location. Location is key if your time is limited.

HKScheidt is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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You need to read a guide, you could start with the destination guide here for Paris.

If you are going to Paris, start with what you want to see
there, instead of planning to leave for other countries.

If you find that you only have 3 days of things you want to see in Paris, then you can decide what to do with the rest of the time.

Not knowing what is in Paris that may interest you cannot lead to a plan that allocates the right number of days.

We can help, but without knowing any of your interests, it is hard to craft a plan. If you love museums, you could fill 6 days easy with them. If you hate heights, Eiffel is out..etc...
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 06:16 PM
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Thanks everyone, I'll take your suggestions. I'll look for day trips for a couple days. Is there any where you can recommend I can get info on day trips before I get to Paris?
cuteandsnappy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 09:39 PM
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As per the others, if it's your first time to Paris don't discount how much time you'll need/want in Paris and think you have plenty of time for multiple day trips.

If, however, you've been to Paris before, then you could consider day trips to Versailles (easy 45mins on the RER), Epernay (easy 1hr15mins by train from Paris, plenty for the Champagne lover), Reims (around 45mins by train, amazing cathedral and town and more champagne), Rouen (1hr45m by train, cathedral and Joan of Arc). That's just a start, but as I said, don't misjudge the time you'll want in Paris. Haven't mentioned Giverny (Monet's Gardens) as they don't open until 1st April.
madamtrashheap is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 11:46 PM
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I spend several weeks each year for the last 25 years or so and have never found it necesary to make trips to other countries, Soemtimes it's even hard to leave for a day trip, If you want to see something other than Versailles, Provins is an interesting small towm.
avalon is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 12:42 AM
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Here is a brief list that summarizes many of the most popular day trips from Paris. There are certainly others but this list covers most of the best of the biggies:

Provins (an authentic walled medieval town): http://www.provins.net/

Château of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale château, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/

Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):

Reims (champagne tours, great historic cathedral, museums): http://www.reims-tourisme.com/

Epernay (champagne tours, can be combined with Reims): http://www.ot-epernay.fr/

Fontainebleau (former royal town with famous château):

Versailles (obvious): http://www.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant château in France):

Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center): http://www.rouentourisme.com/

Giverny (Monet's house and gardens): http://www.fondation-monet.fr/fr/

Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old medieval town):

Compiègne (château with museums, wonderful old town. Can be combined with a visit to the château of Pierrefonds): http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/

Château of Pierrefonds (Magnificent fairytale looking château. Reconstructed in the 19th century but magnificent nonetheless. Can be combined with a visit to Compiègne):

Troyes (lovely small medieval city): http://www.tourisme-troyes.com/

Laon (medieval hilltop town with a spectacular cathedral): http://www.tourisme-paysdelaon.com/

Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village):

Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):

Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh and other impressionist art history):

Malmaison (château of the Empress Josephine and a nice old downtown. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye):

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with a wonderful château now home to the national museum of archaeology. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Malmaison):

Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):

These are the most popular day trips and all are worthwhile but there are many other less popular and equally worthy day trips. I could easily list a couple dozen more but only if what's on this list doesn't interest you. A good guide book for the Ile-de-France region should give you more ideas.

You could also go to the Loire region and do châteaux and/or wine tasting tours. The TGV will get you to Tours in an hour. You want to arrive in Tours Centre, not the train station Saint-Pierre-des-Corps. The tourist office is right across from the train station and that is where you'll pick-up your tour. Here is the weblink for the Tours tourist office. Click the tab on the left that says "Excursions" and you'll find all the info you need.

If you decide on this you'll need to use the TGV website to buy/reserve your tickets. For info on these trains use the website www.tgv-europe.com for schedules and prices. If you get redirected to the RailEurope website then try again and enter "Antarctica" as your ticket collection country. The RailEurope website often doesn't show all the trains and generally has higher prices. You can buy tickets up to 90 days in advance and the earlier you buy them the cheaper they will be. The discounted tickets are known as PREM tickets but these are non-refundable and can't be exchanged.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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You'll need to take a train from Paris to do these day trips. For info on trains in Paris and the nearby suburbs (métro and RER trains) use the website www.ratp.fr. Much of this website is in French so you can use an English language companion site www.parisbytrain.com. For trains that go a bit further out in the Île-de-France region use the website www.transilien.com. For trains that go further beyond the Île-de-France use the website www.voyages-sncf.com. A great website to learn about trains in France (and Europe) is www.seat61.com if you have any train questions/problems.

Paris and many of the places nearby in Île-de-France are divided into zones, numbered 1 through 5. Paris is in zone 1 and areas outside Paris are in zones 2 through 5. Some of the destinations I mentioned are in zone 5. For these journeys it will be more cost effective to buy a one day Mobilis pass for 14 euros for zones 1 through 5. This will be cheaper than the point to point tickets round trip. Plus, this pass is good for unlimited travel on all public trains and buses for one day in zones 1-5. Buy it first thing in the morning before your first métro ride and it gets you to your train station, your round trip tickets, any buses you need to use at your destination and any traveling you'll do in Paris when you return. Before you use the ticket make sure to write your name and the date on the ticket. Don't forget to stick your ticket in the composting machine (ticket validation machine) before getting on your train. You can buy these passes from the ticket machines in métro/RER stations. Sometimes these machines have an English language option. If so, look for the one day Mobilis pass option. When you get to the screen that lists your zones to choose from press zone 1 and then press zone 5. You can also buy them at any ticket counter or stores that sell RATP tickets. They are good for 60 days so you can buy it in advance if you want to be prepared. It's not valid until you write your name and date on it and validate the ticket on your first métro/RER trip or at the train station.

Some of the day trips I mentioned will require a bus transfer once you arrive at the train station (Fontainebleau, Giverny, Chantilly, Senlis and Pierrefonds). If you choose one of these I can help you with bus info.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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As others have said, you will barely see Paris in 6 days. You obviously haven't been there before, so get a guide book, AND start reading the thousands of threads here for things to do.
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 05:40 AM
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As FMT points out, there are a few things to do outside of Paris, as day trips.

As the title of your thread says...6 days in Paris. Plan that first. Then, have in your pocket one possible day trip. Paris has LOTS to do, some people have been going for years and can still say there is lots to see and do.

While in Paris, you could fill your days doing enlgish walking tours.


The most common day trip is probably Versailles. You can do it on your own (via RER train) or as part of a coach tour. There are huge grounds and outlying buildings, but in March this may be less appealing. You could spend a full day, but probably a return mid-afternoon might be best.

coach tours:

Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Taking our 4th trip to Paris (in 4 years) this coming March. While not how I normally operate while traveling, we are taking the Eurostar to London for one day (got round trip seats for approximately $120 per seat) because my wife wants our daughter to at least see London.
clemson91 is offline  

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