Advice for paris in 2 1/2 days please!

May 8th, 2019, 07:36 AM
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Hilarious, thanks!
bakerstreet is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 07:37 AM
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My first instinct was to write that, "No, your itinerary is terrible." My second instinct, upon re-reading your post and seeing the age of your children remains, "No, your itinerary is really terrible."

We dragged our children to Paris on two occasions when they were young (Ages 2 and 7 at the time; and then again at ages 7 and 12). Following our move to Europe, the children themselves visited Paris at ages 15 and 20. Rather recently we spent Christmas 2018 in Paris (the "children" are now aged 17 and 22). On all of these visits we learned that less is more. The younger children will enjoy the simple pleasures; the older children will enjoy simple freedoms. As your initial itinerary stands, your trip will be a hot mess.
fourfortravel is online now  
May 8th, 2019, 09:06 AM
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Are you coming from the US? Have you factored in possible jet lag?
gomiki is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 10:50 AM
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So I'm breaking down your original post into paragraphs for other posters so they can help you. I did not, however, correct the spelling and punctuation:

Hello! I am bleary eyed from all my countless hours of internet research and would love some help from real time recent travelers.

Passing through Paris with my kids. We have 2 1/2 days in early July. Specifically, our plane is scheduled to land at 10:40am on a Tuesday and leave at 11:15pm on Thursday night.

This is a once in a lifetime for my kids so I want to cram as MANY sites as humanly possible! (I grew up visiting Paris but haven't been in 30 years!)

First question: I endlessly researched purchasing the Paris Pass. Seems to make sense that only I purchase it as all my kids will get free admission to the places offered other than metro rail passes and a cruise on the seine and montparnasses. DOesnt seem worthwhile to go on the off and on bus as we will be hussling from one place to the next and walking and/or metro seem to be a better bet. Correct?

Will they be able to enter the fast track line with me if only I have the Paris Pass?

I dont know what time I would arrive in the 9th arrondisement if my plane is scheduled to land at approximately 11:00am. But I was thinking to drop the bags off at our hotel and then head to Versailles as that seemed to be the only day to squeeze that in. Does that make sense? It would be Tuesday and they have musical gardens.

Then the following day we would have a full day in Paris. How many of the main sites could we manage in one day? What happens if I buy the timed entry tickets which everybody recommends but we don't arrive at the time on the ticket??

We also have Thursday until whatever time we woudl have to ehad to the airport which would probably be 7:00pm I imagine...

Does anyone have an ideal itinerary that would take into account what look like insanely huge lines to get in to the Louvre and Tour Eiffel (things seem to have drastically changed in the last 30 years!!!) I want to go to the Louvre, Arc de Triumphe, Tour Eiffel, Seine River Cruise, Opera, Musee D'Orzay if possible, Montparnasse, Champs Elysee, Place Vendome and Concorde and Jardin Tuilleries walkthrough.

And I'd love to walk around by Lafayette a bit and Fabourg Saint Honore. Trying to hussle but I have several kids who range from 4 - 17 and every intention to hussle my younger ones so that we can take advantage of our short tenure in Paris!

All ideas and plan totally appreciated!
Now as to my short input, instead of creating a lifelong hate of Paris because of endless lines (Fast Track is a joke) for your children, I heartily agree with other replies that you allow them to fall in love with it. All of us are saying the same thing, but I think Fleur de Lis has expressed some great pacing and some concrete ideas.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 12:18 PM
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I think your original plan is way too much. Your kids may end up hating Paris as they will be exhausted and that is not the goal. I would try to give all those places you would like to see a rating system and aim for the top favorites. If you have extra time, you can add in other places. I would skip Versailles this trip as it will take way too much of your precious time unless, for some reason, it is your top priority.

Have you asked your older kids to prioritize what they would like to see?
KTtravel is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 02:27 PM
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I mean this in a kindly way but please teach your children that the word is “hustle”
not “hussle.”
It is admirable that you wish to introduce them to Paris; I was never so brave.
VonVan is online now  
May 8th, 2019, 03:21 PM
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You must have skipped school the day they taught about paragraphs. I'm one of the oldsters that find reading solid blocks of print not worth trying to decipher. The purpose of the paragraph is to separate topics, trains of thought, or ideas in case you have wondered..
nukesafe is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 03:40 PM
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Some posts seem unnecessarily mean. Weren't some Fodorites complaining/commenting on the lessened use of this forum over the years? Shouldn't responders stick to answering the question OP asked?
Envierges is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 05:48 AM
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Envierges--Point taken. As we all know, if you can't say anything nice, then just skip the post, These questions are not homework. We are not required to response.

But I do think that many of the posters, like me, were truly worried about the kids with the type of schedule in the OP's mind. With your comment in mind, I reviewed my response and while I was "good" at one aspect in trying to rephrase the original post for people who might want to help, I came across as snotty with my remark about the punctuation and spelling. Believe it or not, I made that remark as defense against future posters who would correct MY spelling/punctuation. So you are right. In warding off blows, I became offensive. I am sorry.

As to being worried about the kids...
We just visited Paris for the umpteenth time. Although I did not know it when we did our first trip, I think the kids may have ended up visiting Paris 10 or more times before high school graduation. They still return as adults. After this last trip, my husband and I said, "Whoa, are we lucky we took our kids here decades ago." This last trip was a pretty horrendous experience in so many ways. We encountered endless security lines, rude people in line, people blocking all paintings with selfies, and even fully videotaped bus trips.

I reached the boiling point IN COLD WEATHER (and I can only imagine what could happen in hot weather) when one of a foreign millennial set was videotaping her entourage's bus trip and blocking the exit for the elderly people exiting the bus. I stood up to say "Arrete ca. Vous n'avez pas la permission de filmer toutes ces personnes ici!!!" Her entourage only barely understood what I was saying (Egads my French is bad), but they did get the vibe from the actual French riders on the bus, who were all glaring at her in unison with a sort of "Yep, this mad American who can't speak French can be right, and you are totally wrong" Even my husband, who seeing a knife fight, would just order another beer at the bar--he never gets involved--nodded his approval.

So imagining these type of family stressors on a jam-packed day I'm sure has driven many of the remarks here. The message remains the same: There is ALWAYS a Paris with which kids can fall endlessly in love. Getting beaten up and defeated in lines is NOT it. Ice creams, parks, strolls, cafes, the sheer beauty of it all, that is Paris. If you do it right, they'll return. If you do it right, you and they will remember shared experience of joy, not exhaustion.

Again, my apologies for any snarkiness.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 06:29 AM
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If this is 10:27:36 AM, this must be the Louvre.
Gee, we have to be in the Tuileries at 10:40 AM
Time to go.
tomboy is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Envierges View Post
Some posts seem unnecessarily mean. Weren't some Fodorites complaining/commenting on the lessened use of this forum over the years? Shouldn't responders stick to answering the question OP asked?

We are (hopefully) speaking to an adult, not a sensitive 12 yo. If the OP can't survive an honest discussion of the issues with her plan, how could she cope herding several children around Paris? She's tougher than that. There ARE huge problems with her plans and we are trying to help her. No one has a 'mean' intent. If you think there are better things to suggest -- do so. Don't just post a "tsk tsk you mean fodorites"
janisj is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 07:05 AM
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I don’t think you have time to go to Versailles.

You can go to the Tour Eiffel and then take a boat ride on the Seine that leaves quite near the tower. The boat takes about an hour and returns to the same spot.

I would decide which museum will best suit your group. It may not be the Louvre, which is huge and overwhelming. The Musee d’Orsay has a wonderful collection of impressionist paintings in a beautifully converted train station. If you do go to the Louvre, I believe the line from the underground shopping mall is frequently shorter than the one in the pyramid.

I would not prioritize the Champs Élysée, Place Vendôme or Concorde. I am not sure what your plan is for Montparnasse, but I wouldn’t prioritize that unless there were something in particular you wanted to do there. If you were thinking of going up the Tour Montparnasse for the view, I would question whether you also want to go up the Tour Eiffel.

I believe you are correct about the hop on/off bus. You don’t want to wait around for it, and you are right that walking or taking the metro between sights is a better alternative.

Nikki is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 07:33 AM
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" If the OP can't survive an honest discussion of the issues with her plan",

But the issues weren't all that was being discussed and critiqued.
I remain unconvinced that comments about poster's spelling, paragraph construction, run on sentences and other flaws have much to do with helpfully answering her original questions. See it your way, but I'll stick with my view that comments like these are mean.
Envierges is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 10:35 AM
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I'm sorry - but to explain that posts without paragraph breaks are practically unreadable is not being rude, unkind or snarky. The OP will benefit from that advice when/if she posts again. People will just skip over threads if they can't read them
janisj is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 01:09 PM
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Why would you think that because you've been to Paris several times with your kids that someone who already said that this is a once in a lifetime trip it is good advice to tell them don't do that? Why would someone who already stated what the kids can do based upon experience as a parent of those kids want to spend time in park with grass and the like? They can do that at home. What they can't do are things like spend three or four hours in the Louvre leisurely walking around, then walk through the Tuileries and across the river to the Orsay. Or maybe not go to the Orsay and instead go to the Orangerie?

My advice to the OP, first, abandon the Paris Pass research. You can, at worst, try this site instead: Price of the Paris Museum Pass and get a two day pass. You'll need to research your intended museums and their children admittance policies. As for travel/metro don't get a pass, get a couple of carnets of tickets(depends upon the total number of kids and whether they must have tickets too) per day and whirlwind all you want.

Lastly, I'd recommend that you go to a travel site that isn't frequented by retirees who have no willingness to travel the way you do, but will criticize you for doing it anyway but theirs. It isn't advice they are offering..

Last edited by Moderator1; May 9th, 2019 at 06:43 PM. Reason: inappropriate language
apersuader65 is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 02:27 PM
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Whoa!!!! Apersuader65
Once in a lifetime intent does not translate to dealing with jetlag with four-yr-olds. And that person has NOT seen Paris for 30 years. This poster has no idea of how congested it all is now. We are trying our best to explain this.

Think about this. We were not retirees when we toured rather lineless Paris. WE HAD KIDS. THEY TRAVELED. THEY WERE AMAZING. But they sure could not have followed the OP's original gameplan then and they sure could not have now because the lines have tripled, quadrupled.

Again, I honestly (and stupidly) believed every place we went was "once in a lifetime" for eons. Heck, we even went to Versailles right from landing at the airport our first 3-3.5 days in Paris, and when we returned to the US, the kids softly said, "You do know it was all a blur. We were SO TIRED." What's wrong with sharing that concern?

Believe me, there is kind intent involved here, so don't beat us up. Quite frankly, with that short of time, I would never do the Louvre. 3-4 hours? OMG. Even without lines, two hours in the Louvre can be exhausting on little legs. It would be last on the list of museums for a little one.

Have a heart. Think of those dears.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
May 9th, 2019, 02:30 PM
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You don’t want to wait around for it, and you are right that walking or taking the metro between sights is a better alternative.>

But RATP city buses can be more convenient than going deep down into the metro - easy boarding right near your hotel and you can see the Paris in between sights. Walking is great in Paris too.
PalenQ is offline  
May 10th, 2019, 12:00 AM
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I wish people in this forum will reply ad rem and stop comenting ad hominem.
Zvi is offline  
May 10th, 2019, 07:54 AM
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apersuader65: I’m a retiree? wow, that is news. Guess I can sleep in Monday morning. The person who thinks he’s my manager will be surprised but such is life.

If you had read more carefully (I guess it was hard to follow all the posts from way up there on that high horse), you’d have noted that most were NOT trying to get the OP to travel “our way”, but rather to involve the kids more in the planning. Let them do some research and help build an itinerary, fast or slow, that excites them. And that has some basis in the realities of 2019 Paris: vastly increased numbers of visitors at many sights compared to 30 years ago, heightened security checks and other changes that make it harder to stampede through Paris and Versailles at breakneck speed even if one wants to.

WeisserTee is online now  
May 10th, 2019, 04:51 PM
Original Poster
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Hello all!
First and foremost, I want to extend a huge thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to reply to my post. Even the "snarky" comments ! I truly had no idea I would get such a huge response!
Second, I apologize for the stream of consciousness post. I truly was bleary eyed from the countless hours of research that didn't seem to be getting me anywhere.
I have to say that apersuader65 was right on target. I most certainly know that my and my kids travels sound nuts to most, but it works for us! Won't even scare you with the number of said children !!!
And the rest of you are correct that in my youth to 18 year old brain, I am seeing a VERY DIFFERENT PARIS! I am actually so sad that my kids cannot see the Paris I grew up with! Sounds like a huge bazaar with thousands and thousands of people fighting for a place on the sidewalk. Certainly wasn't like that in the visits of my youth!
Thank you for the advice not to purchase the Paris Pass! Wish I had asked that before I spent hours on that issue. I went and looked back it does indeed seem that the best thing to do is purchase the museum pass. Despite the hefty delivery fee!
OK, on to brass tacks here as you are all so knowledgeable and helpful!:
1. I did discuss Versailles with my older boys and they would love to get a "taste" of Versailles. As for my little ones, they'd at the very least adore the train ride! And anyway, since all would be so tired I wouldn't want to catch the big sites on the first afternoon/eve.
So...if I do arrive at my hotel in the 9th arrondisement at 1:30pm (post a 10:40am expected arrival at CDG), if we drop off our luggage and then head to a train to Versailles, what time - with cushion, should I expect to get there. And if I have the Paris Museum Pass, I would only have to wait in the security line, correct? It will be a Tuesday so they have the musical gardens as well.
2. I started to make an itinerary for my full day (Wednesday) in Paris and was getting a bit stuck with what time I should purchase the Eiffel Tower pass as it makes most sense to walk (20 or so minute walk) to the Louvre, Orangerie, Tuileries, continue along Champs Elysee, Place Concorde and make it to the Tour Eiffel. Correct that with my "Paris museum pass" I can arrive whatever time I want to the Louvre (I was originally trying to buy the timed entry ticket until I was advised to purchase the museum pass which seems to make most sense).
What time would I make it to the Eiffel Tower? How far in advance of my timed entry ticket would I need to be there? What other sites can we "stop by at" on the way?
3. For my third day, we will have to check out of the hotel and leave our bags and then make it to CDG for our 11:15pm flight.
a. What time would I have to leave my hotel to the airport?
b. Do you all recommend the hotel des invalides?
c. The tour Montparnasse (even if we already did the Eiffel tower the day prior)?
d. Would you recommend that I did the Arc de Triumphe on this day since it is not quite in the right direction of my first day?

Thank you so much for help with putting this whole puzzle together!
We may be nuts trying to cram all in, but I am similarly nuts about making a program and schedule! OBVIUOSLY we are happy to stray but we thrive when we have a plan

Thank you all so much!
shifrap is offline  

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