Critique my 5-day itinerary in Paris

Jan 18th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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Critique my 5-day itinerary in Paris

Hey all, first time in Paris for my wife and I! We will be spending 5 days in Paris and a few days in Barcelona after that. We are pretty adventurous, so we don't mind being on the go. However, we would like to stop and enjoy the Parisian way of life as well here and there. I'm an urban/landscape photographer as well, so I'd love to capture some of Paris' beauty.

Here's my first stab at a 5-day itinerary. I'm doing my best with limited knowledge trying to group sight-seeing together based on location so it's more efficient.

AM: Marais Walk - Place des Vosges, Hotel de Ville, Palais Garnier
PM : Galeries LaFayette, Le Crazy Horse Cabaret show

AM: Left Bank Walk/Shop, St. Sulpice Organ concert
PM : Historic Paris Walk - Ile St. Louis, Notre Dame, Deportation Memorial, Palais du Luxembourg

PM : Montmarte Walk - Sacre Couer, dinner @ Chez Toinette

AM: Rue Cler Walk
PM : Eiffel Tower (tickets purchased,) Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees

AM: Louvre
PM :
danzaman is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 07:17 PM
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What time of the year will all this be taking place? Overall, you'll find that 5 days is not very long when it comes to exploring Paris, which remains one of the unique places to spend some idle time. Just map out Paris Ville so you know where you're heading on any given day and enjoy what you can.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you might want to download Patricia Wells' "The New Food Lover's Guide to Paris", as well as Fodor's Paris app (free).
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 07:34 PM
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This looks like a very leisurely itinerary.

2. There are masses at St-Sulpice on Sunday mornings but no concerts. You need to be aware of mass starting times.

Will you go through the Luxembourg Gardens or just look at the Palace?

You're not interested in Ste-Chapelle? It's one of Paris's highlights.

4. Rue Cler is a very short street so this won't take the entire morning. Your afternoon is pretty packed (unless PM also means evening). You might want to move some things around.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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thanks for the replies! I forgot to add this will be in March. The weather could definitely change some of these plans if it's raining.

I must have misread the info about St-Sulpice, I thought I saw you can catch the organist playing after the mass.
danzaman is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 08:19 PM
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Any thoughts on if the Luxembourg Gardens are worth it in March?

Also, I was thinking about checking out Sainte-Chapelle on Sunday since I think I'll be in the area.
danzaman is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 08:26 PM
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Allow plenty of time for st chapelle, there are security checks before you can enter the grounds. A good option is to go late in the day after the tour groups have gone, say 3pm. And try to choose a sunny day so that the stained glass is shown to its' full advantage.

The gardens might not be at their best, I'm not sure.
cathies is online now  
Jan 18th, 2014, 09:33 PM
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of the 4 days we were in Paris in March i got 1/2 a sunny day so good luck with the stained glass in St. Chapelle. ;-)

anyway i like how you didn't cram a million things in there leaving space for ideas that will most certainly pop up. one suggestion for a night activity is to scale the top of Montparnasse for a stunning view of Paris that includes the Eiffel tower. might be a bit cold though
tailsock is offline  
Jan 18th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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I was just in Paris over the new year.. Just a heads up they are doing work on a part of St. Chapelle's stained glassed windows. However, it is still worth going. Also the Eiffel Tower is under renovation so one of the elevators was out of service. The lines for the elevator were massive. Also walking around the Latin Quarter would be great too. I went up to the Pantheon area and that was nice. However the dome of the Pantheon is under renovations so the pendullem is not currently on display. The church next to the Pantheon is just Gorgeous. The beauty of Paris just walking around is wonderful. I have been to Paris in the spring, it can get a bit nippy so do make sure you bring layers. Invalides is great too. There is just so much to see. I have been there 3x. Good luck and Enjoy..
SoyLilyRN is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 02:27 AM
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<< I must have misread the info about St-Sulpice, I thought I saw you can catch the organist playing after the mass. >>

There's an organ prelude before the 11:00 mass and a recital afterwards around noon.

The schedule for January is posted on the church web site. Check back closer to March for that month's schedule.

There is a concert on March 23 at 4:00.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 04:59 AM
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The Champs is a big wide street with car dealerships and chain stores. Don't bother with a walk. The Arc is fine--go, and then take the bus down the Champs to Pl. Concorde. You could get off there and walk over to the Madeleine, and around the shops near there.
Rue Cler is a market street, and interesting in spite of those who disregard it as a "tourist" street. Its shops are fun fun to look in the windows. But even more fun is one of the street markets that set up almost every day (except Monday). Make a plan to visit one of those for an hour to walk through and see the beautiful food displays--and the people purchasing their daily food.
If you like concerts maybe one at Ste. Chapelle. They aren't long (an hour or so) but they are LOVELY.
How about the Seine river cruise on your first night?
And I would not miss going to the Musee d'Orsay, if for nothing more than seeing the magnificent building. And then there is the Rodin, Marmottan, Orangerie, and other museums. You have a lot of walking--I'd duck into a museum here and there.
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 05:59 AM
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You have a wide-open itinerary and can add more. So far you have great suggestions above - Luxembourg Gardens should be lovely any time of the year; Sainte Chapelle is a must both for daytime viewing of the stained glass and for evening concerts. The Seine river cruise is best taken at dusk so you can see the lights come on all over Paris.
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 06:52 AM
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Galleries Lafayette is very popular these days...bus loads of people...I mean BIG BUSES...I would not pick Sat. afternoon where you are also competing with all the Parisians out of the day. I love that store but we hit it on Sat. afternoon and had to leave. I would pick another spot for that. I also would include a Seine river cruise with good inside options in March.
Lois2 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 07:21 AM
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Great plan. I spent a week in Paris in 2008 - covered most of what you have. We added Lourdes & Normandy also. Make sure to visit Moulin Rouge on way to Sacre Couer. Vist the Orangeria if you want to see Monet's Waterlily paintings. I highly recommend purchasing the paris pass (google it) ahead of time. You will skip the lines at the musuems. I am planning on visiting Paris for 2 days on a "backpacking" trip this summer. Make sure you research days/hours of places you are visiting to ensure they are open on the days you plan to visit. It's worth the heartache
katiedid2014 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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You are planning to walk in the Marais on Saturday, when many stores there are closed because part of the area is traditionally Jewish and they close for Shabbat. If shopping is not a priority, this might not be a problem. Stores in the Marais tend to be open on Sunday, when stores in the rest of the city tend to be closed, so it is quite lively then.

On the other hand, you are planning to walk and shop on the left bank on Sunday morning, when almost all shops will be closed.
Nikki is online now  
Jan 19th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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Do NOT purchase the Paris Pass. It isn't even a pass; it's a collection of tickets that you can easily buy on your own at far lower prices. Plus, there are tickets in there for things no one would ever want or have time to use.

Buy a Museum Pass if you want (that will enable you to skip some lines), and buy a transport pass if there is one that suits your schedule, but NOT the Paris Pass! Total rip-off.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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I think your itinerary looks great! Have a great time! Both Paris and Barcelona are wonderful.
sanderskn is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 12:06 PM
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Definitely do not buy the Paris Pass which is totally over priced. You're not even going to enough museums to make the museum pass worth while.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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danzaman - your itinerary sounds very Rick Steves-ian...not that there's anything wrong with that.

katiedid - I notice that here and on your other thread you've misspelled Orangerie as Orangeria. Just FYI.
azzure is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. This is excellent so far! I will definitely add Saint-Chappelle and the Latin Quarter.

@Nikki, I could switch the days but I was worried I'd miss out on the organ prelude @ St. Sulpice which I've heard is pretty amazing. Has anyone been here for this? Is it worth it?

@azzure, you caught on to me! I just finished the Rick Steves book to help orient myself a bit. However, I'm totally open to suggestions to make my trip not so "touristy." some of our favorite moments when we were in Italy last year were all the things outside of the touristy areas.

Is anyone familiar with how the tickets work at Crazy Horse? I tried buying tickets online tonight but didn't have much luck translating the options into English (even with Chrome translating.)

Thanks again everyone!
danzaman is offline  
Jan 19th, 2014, 07:07 PM
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<< but I was worried I'd miss out on the organ prelude @ St. Sulpice which I've heard is pretty amazing. Has anyone been here for this? Is it worth it? >>

If you're an organ aficionado I'm sure the organ and music would be amazing for you. I'm an average music lover. I've attended mass at St-Sulpice and concerts there and could not tell one organ from another so for me it did not have any greater "wow" factor than the organs at other churches.

The Marais is quiet on Saturdays but since you're not planning to do much there I would not worry about it and would not swap days.
adrienne is offline  

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