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7 Hours in Paris - Suggestions For A Memorable Day....

7 Hours in Paris - Suggestions For A Memorable Day....

Old Jul 25th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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7 Hours in Paris - Suggestions For A Memorable Day....

My Wife and I have a layover in Paris on our way to Munich on a Monday in Sept. We decided to make it a long one... We land @ 8AM and fly out @ 8PM... So with all the traveling, trains, and check-in; I give us from 10-5 to see a few things... 7 Hours.

We are in our early 30's, like the outdoors, like good food, and want to see the Eiffel Tower... Besides that... you that have been to Paris, what would you do if you had these restraints? This was all an after-thought, therefore unplanned. I know that we would like to eat really good food for lunch at a nice place... (No raw food or organs...)

We would basically like a taste of a few things in Paris... not any one activity that takes most of the day... So please give me you recommendations for Bakeries, Restaurants, Architectural Wonders, Must See Items, and Experiences... What would you show others in Paris if you had the day? This is our anniversary trip... so romantic things are cool too...

Thanks for your ideas!

titantom is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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In addition to the Eiffel Tower, I always put in a vote for a boat ride down the Seine. Figure a bit more than an hour from start to finish for it.

I prefer the art at Musée d'Orsay over the Louvre. Get the audio guide to streamline the commentary.

When you go to Notre Dame, walk down the street a bit to St. Chappelle. The stained glass is beautiful and isn't a very time consuming location.

My mom's favorite thing when we were there was a picnic in the Tuilleries Garden just outside of the Louvre. People watching is great there and it is a wonderful place to relax.

I don't think your timing is enough for a segway tour w/ Fat Tire Bike Company. It starts at 10:30 and will eat up much of your available time. Figure that into your schedule next time you visit. It is a definite "do again" for my family.

Rodin's sculpture garden is nice for a short visit.

If you decide to just "take it easy" and not rush around seeing too much, I really enjoyed having tea at Mariage Freres in the 6th. We were there late in the afternoon the day prior to our return home. It was the perfect way to wind down before going back to the room to pack. Also, the desserts there looked magnifique!

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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:26 AM
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Will it be your first visit to Paris/Europe?
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 04:38 AM
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If you will only be in Paris for 7 hours, see the Eiffel Tower from a Seine cruise. As noted above, it will take and hour and the views of the tower are great. It is not worth waiting in line to go up the tower with such a short visit. After the Seine cruise, make your way through the Tulleries to the Louvre and see the Winged Victory and the Mona Lisa (I'd suggest the Musee D'Orsay but it is closed on Monday), move on to the Ile de la Cite and see the outside of Notre Dame and the inside of Ste. Chapelle. Sometime along the way, stop for lunch at a sidewalk cafe and watch Paris and the Parisiens. And you will return!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 04:48 AM
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Yes, this is our first time... Not sure when we would get to go again. We saved Frequent Flyer miles for the last 7 years to do this.

We will also spend:

2 Days in Bavaria

Travel Day To Switzerland

4 Days in Bernese Oberland - Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Wengen

2 Days in Rome

I am not sure how to experience Paris in such little time, but it would be nice to see a little and have a great meal to start our trip off on a good note... I am sure we will be tired after flying from the U.S., but we will rest in Germany.

Thanks For Your Input...


titantom is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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Maybe I'm overcome by the spirit of the Anthony Bourdain exploration of Paris, but why not get a coffee and croissant in a cafe somewhere, go for the boat ride, have a lovely late lunch in another lovely cafe in a lovely area (Champs Elysee? Rive Gauche? Parisian Fodorites please help) and sit watching the crowds for an hour or two until it's time to join the rush-hour madness to get to the airport.

If you had 24 hrs. and enough sleep, I'd send you to the Musee D'Orsay, the Tuileries or the Place de la Concorde, or maybe a quick visit to Saint Chapelle/Notre Dame.

But a "taste" of Paris when short of sleep ought maybe to be just some food and the boat.
Old Jul 26th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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In such a short time span I would skip any museum to concentrate on the atmosphere, and the main monuments of course. This is the reason why I would feel hesitant to go for the Bateaux Mouche: OK, it's a great introduction to the city, but you are somehow cut off from Parisian life. In the same spirit of "packaged intro" I'd rather go with some of the buses such as L'Open Tour, which is more flexible, since, as their slogan puts it, you just "hop on, hop off".

Buy a Mobilis pass for the whole day: you might lose a few euros compared to individual tickets, but your mind will be free from this contingency, and if you feel tired, you can just hop on the métro or bus for a few stops.

Download and print out the Paris métro and bus network maps on www.ratp.fr to get the lay of the land. Buy one of those "10 not to miss" or "a week-end in... " guide books. Again, we are talking maximum time use, so these few dollars will be well spent.

You'll see that most of Paris's classic monuments are on the "Arc de Triomphe - Bastille" axis that, happily enough, happens to be on the métro's line 1. Any guide book will point the unavoidable monuments.

If you are there in September, the weather should still be nice enough for you to have lunch outdoors. This way, you would kill two birds with one stone: having lunch and watching Paris go by. OK, now, names, names (for actual addresses, enter go to www.pagesblanches.fr, it's the telephone directory, and click on the British flag): next to Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), in the heart of Paris: Les Marronniers or Le Pain Quotidien, rue des Archives; any restaurant on the nearby Place Sainte Catherine; Pause Café at the intersection of rue de Charonne/rue Keller in the Bastille area; on the left bank, any of the cafés on the place de la Sorbonne (all Parisian cafés serve full blown lunches) or place de Médicis, facing Luxembourg gardens. Tell me if you really want a more gastronomic experience, I'll dig up other names.

Neighborhoods to explore at random: the Marais (see www.parismarais.com, in English), the chic left bank (Luxembourg gardens to the Seine), the intellectual Left Bank from place du Panthéon to the Mosque where you will be served delicious Tunisian pastries and mint tea, Bastille on the 11th arrondissement side + the Promenade plantée over avenue Daumesnil, Ile Saint-Louis, the maze of streets and staircases at the back of Montmartre (starting rue Saint-Vincent down towards rue Caulaincourt), "Amélie country" on rue des Abbesses, onwards to the Théâtre de l'Atelier.

Bakeries... there is one every 100 meters, and basically you can't go wrong, even if some "specialists" on this forum will tell you to trek through half of Paris to Lenôtre or Ladurée where you'll buy overpriced chi chi pastries surrendered by other tourists.

Ah, on a Monday you can catch the quieter day of the flea market (actually more of a huge antique market) at Porte de Clignancourt.

Tell me any specific things you'll like to see, I'll try to answer you.

Art_Vandelay is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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Well... I'd take a taxi to Le Tour Eiffel...find an outdoor cafe, if its a nice day...sit with a pastry and a cafe creme. THEN, I'd meander up to Jules Verne where you would have made a luncheon reservation (it is your anniversary any way)... then, you would have borrowed or bought a good guide book and really narrow down 1 or 2 things you two would really like to do. 1 Museum? Want to really see the windows at St. Chapelle? The old streets of the Marais? The Louvre, D'Orsay...
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Google for the Batobus, which is a water taxi going up and down the river. The web site gives you the various stops and info as to what to see and do. There is a stop at the Eiffel Tower, to the left at the quay.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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You can either take a taxi to the Tour Eiffel, or you can take the train to town (saving about 25 minutes each way), grab a city bus at Gare du Nord, and see the same sights - with the added advantage that you can jump off the bus, see something at close range, and jump back on the next one (well, I guess you can do that with taxis, too, but I doubt if it'd be cost-effective). It's all spelled out in my Paris Bus Tour for 5.30€:


But instead of buying a Mobilis pass for your transport, acquire a one-day Paris Visite card for Zones 1-5 at CDG. This will get you from the airport to the city and back on the RER, plus provide unlimited Métro and bus travel. Total cost for each person's entire day's wandering: 16.75€, which is only .75 more than the price of the train from CDG and back.
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