A day and a half in Paris

Old Jul 8th, 2002, 07:49 PM
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A day and a half in Paris

We are going to be in Paris at the end of September, arriving at noon on Sunday and leaving for London at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Since this is our first time in Paris, we intend to "see" some of the main tourist sites - Lourve, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc. Obviously our time is limited, but so is our budget. Do you have any suggestions for "don't miss things to see or do in such a short period of time?" Also, recommendations for places to eat - cafes, bistro, restaurants (excluding the extremely expensive ones)? We will be staying at a small hotel near the Rue Cler (Hotel de la Tulipe, Rue Malar).

Thank you for your help.
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 09:20 PM
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A day and a half in Paris is still better than a day and a half in the office!

I recommend you plan a loose itinerary around just 3 - 5 "must sees". Then create a secondary list of "would like to see" places.

Get a good map and familiarize yourself with where your "must sees" are, and highlight them on the map, along with the second tier items. I typically choose one guidebook and add my own highlight/star system (yellow for must sees, 2 stars next to would-really-like-to-if-I-have-time, 1 star for if-I-happen-to-walk-past-it).

I recommend that you visit your
"must sees" as early as possible (be sure to check the hours - there are loads of posts on this if you search). This helps ensure that you won't miss one (the Louvre was closed one day for a strike the last time I was there), and will help you be more relaxed Monday and Tuesday morning.

Personally, I would do it this way:

Upon arrival, go straight to the Louvre, spend a couple of hours there, walk to Notre Dame to arrive by about 4:30 if you want to see the treasury (including a thorn from Christ's crown), 5 if not (the archeological site in the plaza closes at 6, the cathedral at 6:46, I *THINK*, and there is a mass at 6:30 - visits still allowed, but perhaps interesting to participate in). Then you'll have a window of 3 hours before the commonly-recommended Eiffel Tower visit time of 9 p.m. (shorter lines, beautiful at night). During your window of time, you can choose a picturesque area to explore on foot, visit a secondary sight, rest in the hotel, eat dinner in one of the recommended restaurants.

There. A very pleasant Sunday, structured but not rushed, and you've seen your top 3 "must sees". That will leave you with all day Monday to return to the Louvre if you want (it's open late Mondays), wander around the city, see as many of your secondary sights as you feel up too, etc. And, what I always end up doing, last minute shopping Tuesday morning!
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 09:24 PM
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Um, I meant "*OR* eat dinner . . . "

I believe it's possible to do a lot in a little time, but that was a list of CHOICES for the time between Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower, not an agenda!
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 11:32 PM
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Please be sure to include the hours that each sight will be open in your planning. Many places in Europe are closed or on reduced hours Sunday and Monday.
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 11:44 PM
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* a boat tour (awesome way to see Paris for the first time, if it's not raining)
* Ste. Chapelle (near Notre Dame)
*Centre Pompidou and area (skip this if you don't like modern art & architecture)
* Picasso Museum (check opening times) and the Marais
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 08:00 AM
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I agree with Jen, a ride on a bateau mouche is a must--the one at night is wonderful--all the monuments are floodlit and look terrific. The Louvre might be closed on Monday, so keep the D'Orsay in mind also. Ste. Chappelle and Notre Dame are both on the Ile de la Cite so definitely do them both. While you're there, you should also wander around the Ile St. Louis which is right behind Notre Dame across a little bridge. See if you can fit in a 1-2 hour walk around the Latin Quarter and/or St. Germain on the Left Bank--the 11th century church of St. Julien le Pauvre is very atmospheric and a good place to start.
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