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Completely Overwhelmed!! 2 day Paris Itinerary Help!!

Completely Overwhelmed!! 2 day Paris Itinerary Help!!

Apr 27th, 2013, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 200
Well here is my tuppence worth. I was going to recommend Louvre, even before seeing it was a definite for your husband. But, it would be good to work out your priorities there - Mona, Venus de Milo, Egyptian, Babylonian, Marly statues etc. Tuileries gardens are close by to walk to Place d la Concorde.

If there is a queue, I personally would skip interior of Notre Dame. Its exterior is beautiful, especially from the little park at the rear.

St Chapelle is very beautiful.

We have been to Paris many times but never to to the Rodin museum and garden until last time. Highly recommend if you have time.
SusannahT is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 03:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 17
So I made some changes, took out a few things and also opted for a walking tour instead of a river cruise.

Arrival Day (day 1)
-Arrival at 1:45pm at Gare du Nord, travel to hotel, check in if available (otherwise just drop off bags).
-Walk over to the Eiffel Tower. Maybe go up, we aren't sure yet
-Nighttime walking tour starts at 8PM (2.5hrs)
-back to the hotel

Day 2 (full day)
-Notre Dame first thing in the morning
-Pont de l'Archevêché bridge
-Louvre for a few hours
-Champs Elysée and L'Arc du Triomphe
-appropriate wandering throughout the day, eating at cafes etc.

Day 3(departure day)
-Sacre Coeur and Montmarte
-Lunch and wandering
-food somewhere
-hotel for bags

What do you think? I know it is still a lot but we are not the leisurely stroll type people. For our leisure trips we go sit on a beach. Does anyone have any personal favorites for restaurants?
MrsOtter is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 200
Le Chenin nearish to the Arc is my favourite restaurant in Paris. The hosts and food are fabulous. But booking is advisable as it is very small.
SusannahT is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,821
There are SO many more interesting parts of Paris than the Champs and Sacre Coeur/Montmartre, but if that is what YOUwant to do, have at it
You seem to have incorporated a lot of "wandering" which is great. But targetted "wandering" is better.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 11,786
You arrive around 2pm, and will take a 2.5 hr walk at 8pm? I don't know where you are traveling from, but won't you be jet lagged
Tabernash2 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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@Tabernash2 We are coming from 5 days in London so jet lag wont be a problem in Paris.

@Gretchen I just threw the wandering in there for a place holder to remind myself that we need to take time just to chill out and people watch.

Was thinking of adding back in Saint Chapelle if there is time.
MrsOtter is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Nice combo trip with London. Are you taking Eurostar?

I think the Louvre is a must see in Paris. Its architecture, outside and in, is as beautiful and fascinating as the art on the walls.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,871
All these definitive plans are going to go right out the door the minute you arrive in Paris, anyway. They always do. Pick maybe 4 places you really,, really want to see, and then wing it. Your time is insanely short and will fly by. There really isn't any point in planning "an itinerary." Give yourself a break and just go and enjoy. If you had 2 weeks an "itinerary" might make sense - for 2 days, silly. It will depend on the weather, how disoriented you are, your language skills, and lots of other things...so don't try to pin it down, just go and find your own Paris.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 28th, 2013, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,268
Paris is bigger than most people realise when planning their first visit. It takes longer than you think to get around.

I love musee Rodin and if you prefer you can just visit the garden and see the beautiful sculptures and have lunch in the cafe in the gardens.
cathies is online now  
Apr 28th, 2013, 01:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
I wouldn't spend an afternoon on the Champs Elysees if i'd only got 2 days in paris.
annhig is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 02:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 320
We spent a week in Paris in 2010 and walked everywhere and that is one of the things we enjoyed. We did not go into the Louvre, or go to Montmartre or Rue Cler. I agree that once you get there your itinerary may go out the window because there will be so much that will distract you from your initial plans. But don't despair. This could open up something unexpected and that is the wonderful thing about just being there. Pick a few things you must do and let everything just follow. You want to experience Paris and not just dash madly from one place to the next so you can say you have been there.

Bon Voyage.
rhon is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 320
I have re-read your posts. I think that with the time you have perhaps you each need to choose one thing that you really want to do in Paris. You said your partner wants to visit the Louvre. You make your choice and you do these things first. Then you see what time you have left and enjoy being there. What ever happens you are luckier than a lot of people who will never get to Paris.

Have fun.
rhon is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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i didn't mean t be so brusque with my last post!

what i meant to say was that you might find a better use of your time on your Day 2 would be to go to St Chappelle [get there early to avoid the queues] then Notre Dame, and then explore the isles St Louis and Isle de la cite, having lunch around there before you make for the louvre. if you've the energy afterwards, either get the metro up to the Arc and walk down [you'll be getting the metro one way or another!] or go over to the palais royal, walk up to the opera, then down to the place de la concorde, over the alma bridge, and back to your hotel.

that would give you a really nice overview of the centre and hopefully not be too exhausting!
annhig is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think all this will work out just fine now that several have pointed out that the OP will probably get "captured" by an area, and just enjoy it.
I do think the comment about Paris's size is interesting because I have always found Paris to "feel" like a small city and it is easy to get from place to place. Plus, the main sightseeing is in a fairly compact area (Arr.1-8). It's true that Montmartre falls outside that area.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 516
your scaled down itinerary makes more sense. whatever you end up choosing Mrs Otter i'm sure it'll be wonderful. it was very smart to pair this destination with London
tailsock is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 11:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 17
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the advice and tips. I like the direction I have our itinerary going but I still have plenty of time to work on it before our trip.
MrsOtter is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 10
Hi, you must have your plans by now but...
I would drop off bags at hotel and go to Sacre Coeur and Montmarte... walk around and have a late lunch or early dinner. Then metro or taxi to boat near Notre Dame to Eiffel tower for night experience. Return to your hotel and sleep or have wine/drink at anyplace near your hotel or the famous Hotel Bristol.
Next day get in line 15 minutes before the Louvre opens and go in and visit while it is not crowded which is the 1st hour. Then walk through the Tuileries Garden, stop at Paul and sit and have coffee and a croissant. Walk to the Musée d'Orsay (so wonderful) and there is a fancy beautiful restaurant on the 2nd floor (not the Cafe) and you can have a full lunch or share a cheese plate and soup onion and wine and enjoy! Or eat anywhere. Then...
Walk around Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées and rest at hotel until dinner.
Dinner with jazz and Chez Papa in the St.Germaine area, need a reservation or
if splurge but only if you can get an outside on the terrace with a view of Eiffel Tower at Mason Blanc (expensive).
Next day Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle and to Rue Mouffetard that is a bigger Rue Cler and buy a picnic lunch and lovely foods for the journey back home.
Gingerja is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,577
Gingerja : >>Hi, you must have your plans by now but…<<

One would think so . . . since the thread is from 15 months ago and the trip was last September.
janisj is online now  
Jul 14th, 2014, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 39
Hello. No doubt you are far along in your research. I just returned from a 2 day stay in Paris and wanted to share my experience with the hope it may be of use to you.

Some points of my trip: I was with a group that dictated some of my time allotment. I also arrived on Friday late afternoon and left early Monday morning.

On my first full day, Saturday, we left the hotel early and visited St. Chappell. I was staying in Montparnasse so took the Metro. After that, we navigated some of the Left Bank and headed to Notre Dame. A special event was occurring – an ordination of priests presided over by the Pope via satellite? We did not get in. We spent lunch on Isle St. Louis, very enjoyable. Thereafter, the larger group convened and we headed to the Orsay. The heavens opened, and every tourist in Paris (within walking distance) with a museum pass or not, tried to enter the museum. We had a museum pass. Given the number of visitors, I left post-haste. While it was still raining, I walked back to the St. Germaine area for some targeted shopping. I had planned in advance the shops I wished to visit. I located all three and made 1 purchase. It continued to rain. I made a small mistake in the metro, but got back to the hotel in Montparnasse around 6. Later, I had dinner in the neighborhood. That was the day spent and very full. I was disappointed not to visit the Museum of the Middle Ages, but I was far too exhausted.

Day two: Sunday. Louvre, very early. In one way, I am glad I was with a group as we by-passed the queuing hordes. The group, however, visited “highlights”. I have visited the Louvre before, 30 years ago, and have seen the Mona Lisa in a more favorable situation than this. I wish I had a photo to show how ludicrous this visit was. The museum was chock-a-block full of humanity. Protect your valuables. This “tour” was a waste of time to me, but given the number of people, I am not sure I would have made it to the same works without a savvy guide – but then, I did not have any of these on my own must see list. Afterwards, I left the group and visited my first choice, the Albrecht Durer self portrait. I was delighted to discover the room almost empty, a well-known Hans Holbein, and a Cranach I have admired. Plus, I found the elevators. Bliss to circumnavigate the hordes.

I spent lunch and a few hours in the Marais. I looked to get into Notre Dame, but the queue was impossibly long. It rained. I returned to Montparnasse, dinner, etc. I think I filled my days as full as they could be, though did not check a lot of items off my original possibilities list. I saw some museums under circumstances that have me planning to return in autumn or winter, and not with a group. I ate in congenial places, Isle St. Louis, Marais, and Montparnasse.

I liked Paris more than I thought after my 30 year hiatus. I dislike crowds more than I expected.

By this time, you probably have noticed on the Louvre’s website that the museum is closed on Tuesday. If you are going to visit, very close planning may be needed to achieve it on Monday afternoon – may be tight with your arrival time, or very early Wednesday. Maybe that would be the one thing you achieve before heading to the airport.

Enjoy your time in Paris, even if only strolling and viewing sites from a distance or a nice café.
pixiedeb is offline  

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