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Critique my Paris Itinerary

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Mar 30th, 2015, 06:23 AM
  #1
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Critique my Paris Itinerary

I've been working on my Paris itinerary and I think I'm getting closer to something I'm satisfied with. I've also planned to take advantage of the days the Invalides, Louvre and D'Orsay are opened late. We're taking advantage of the Free access to museums on the first Sunday on the month on May 3rd. That day is a little heavy but I think it will be manageable, especially if we have nothing planned in the afternoon (except wine and cheese!). From those of you who have been to Paris, does anything stick out as "undoable" or "too rushed"? Two day trips seemed one too many, but we're planning on just strolling in Provins and aren't too concerned about "seeing" particular sights, just soaking up the atmosphere. Same goes with the Montmartre day and Marais day. The days that have a " - " is purposeful, I wanted to give us some down time so nothing planned.


Thursday, April 30
Morning Arriving from Amsterdam
Afternoon -
Evening Musee D’Orsay

Friday, May 1 May Day, National Holiday
Morning -
Afternoon Montmartre
Evening Eiffel Tower from the Place du Trocadéro

Saturday, May 2
Morning Versailles
Afternoon Versailles
Evening Arc De Triomphe (last entry 10:15)

Sunday, May 3
Morning Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Cluny
Afternoon Luxembourg Gardens, Pantheon
Evening -

Monday, May 4
Morning Marais (Musee Carnavelet, Place de Vosges, Hotel de Ville)
Afternoon Parc Des Buttes Chaumont
Evening -

Tuesday, May 5
Morning Provins Day Trip
Afternoon Provins Day Trip
Evening Invalides (open till 9)

Wednesday, May 6
Morning -
Afternoon Palais Garnier, Tulleries
Evening Louvre (open till 9:45)

Thursday, May 7
Flight home
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Mar 30th, 2015, 06:51 AM
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Sun: If you get the museum card, you could hit the conciergerie and the crypte near St. Chappelle and ND respectively. Not top sites (IMHO) but worth a stop (and free, I believe, with the card).

On the way to the Cluny is the Latin Quarter. Touristy but has a nice feel to it.

Probably can't do it they way you have it scheduled, but I've usually hit the Rodin and Invalides together. It's a bit of a walk, but you can then head to the CHamp de mars and approach the Eiffel from the South/east.

I'm assuming Montmartre will include Sacre Couer (sp?).

Wed, consider adding the L'Orangerie, and maybe the Palace Royal area. (I think it has some nice/interesting grounds/garden, but someone can correct me.) You need not spend a lot of time in either but they are "in the neighborhood." Also nearby is one of the Paris passage vero-dodat.

Monday a.m. you might also be able to hit the Picasso Museum if open.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 06:56 AM
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As for whether your days are too crowded, that's subjective and depends on how long you stay at any particular site. With my additions, Wed could be a bit much, but not if you start out in the a.m.

Check into getting the museum card. That may let you be less picky on days (though make sure the museums are open on the days you plan to visit).
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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Thanks Bitter. Yes, Musee de Rodin could an option depending on when we arrive back from Provins. Especially the Gardens (entrance 1 Euro, if I am not mistaken?).

We could get a Museum Card for Sunday, however would it make a difference if the sights are free entry (first Sunday of the month)? Do you get to bypass lines during the free entry day if you ticket is already "purchased"?

I supposed it could be worth it to purchase a 2-day Museum card for both Versailles (Sunday) and then the Tuesday?

Montmartre will include Sacre Couer. We are planning on arriving via the Lamarck - Caulaincourt metro stop and then working our way to Sacre Couer via the back.

As per the Picasso and L'Orangerie suggestions, we may leave them for our next Paris trip. It gives us a good reason to return. Might fit them in if we choose to as a day-of decision depending how we feel.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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* Museum Card for Versailles day (Sunday) and Monday.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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You'll need to do the math on the card. It does give you freedom to "pop in" somewhere that may not be worth a separate fee (assuming it is covered by the card).

The card does let you jump in line for the museums, most notably the Louvre. Also, there used to be (and probably still is) an entrance to the north between the grounds and Rue di rivoli that was not particularly crowded.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:51 AM
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For sure. I need to do the math, but it depends if the sights I see on Sunday would be free anyways (first Sunday of the month).

I'm not too concerned on the Louvre line on the Wednesday afternoon (when it is opened late). We allocated time to wait in line, we're in no rush.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 08:14 AM
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You might do a search on this forum about the museum card and/or free sundays. I don't think I've experienced those, but the sites may be more busy on that day. In other words, that may be the day to avoid the museums, unless cost is a significant concern.

I'll let others comment on that and on the Louvre line.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 08:37 AM
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another idea for monday (along the way) would be the Pompidou center, if just to walk around it. The fountain is whimsical.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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I'm personally not familiar with the Parc Des Buttes Chaumont, or what it offers. Can you share your reason for going to that particular park? I'm just curious and always wanting to learn more about the city.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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It has a man-made grotto, a waterfall, an awesome view of Sacre Couer, an out-of-the-way location, lots of green space, and a suspension bridge. It was a former gypsum quarry and fertilizer farm, until Napolean III (I think) decided to utilize the land for a public park.

Here is a youtube video of the park. It looks awesome, has anyone gone to the park before ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7wbihWoSMM
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:21 PM
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Thanks. Neat park. I was trying to figure out how it would have a view of SC, but it too is a small mountain in the city!

Dang it. I shouldn't comment on Paris threads. Makes me wistful/jealous!
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:48 PM
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Yes, the museum pass allows you to jump entrance/ticket lines, but does not allow you to jump security lines. With that being said, you may see some long security lines for Louvre, Sainte Chapelle, and Versailles.

I went in a shoulder season (mid October 2013) and all of these security lines were atrocious. Maybe slightly better in April.

I also have been in Paris during free museum days--you may have longer than usual lines there too, as they try to keep the crowding inside at bay. The Rodin museum was especially busy on free Sunday. Food for thought.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 04:38 AM
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I guess my question remains...does it make sense to have the Museum Paris Pass when the museums are free the first sunday of the month? Will I be able to skip the buying tickets "line" even though the tickets are "free"? Will we save any time having a pass on that day?

Also, by buying a ticket for Versailles prior to our entry, will that work the same way as a Paris Museum Pass, by allowing us to bypass the purchasing tickets line (I know we will still have to wait in the security line)?
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Mar 31st, 2015, 04:54 AM
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To answer the above question, you may just have to spend your time in a long line because it is free and because other people have tickets.
You have Montmartre and Versailles on two of your first days. Personally when I plan my trips to Paris, I leave those two things for the end of the week and "if I have time and haven't done all I want to do in Paris".
I don't see the Rodin or, as someone else suggested, the Orangerie--or the Marmottan (not on the pass anyway).
The lines at the Orsay are also prodigious.
I'm sure Provins is charming but have you considered Giverney--or Chartres?
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Mar 31st, 2015, 06:07 AM
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Keep in mind that if you get a 2 day museum pass for use on Sunday, you must use it on Monday. Since some museums are closed that day, it might not be a good bet.

Having been to Provins, Giverny and Chartres, I would choose either Giverny or Chartres before Provins.

I would add a Seine cruise on one of your evenings.

Generally, your itinerary is quite doable. Your Sunday is a bit crowded so if you run out of time you could skip the Pantheon.

Have a great time in Paris!
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Mar 31st, 2015, 06:10 AM
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In my experience, you just waive your card and enter. Check out the website:

http://en.parismuseumpass.com/rub-t-price-36.htm

You are going to other sites on other days, when they aren't likely free, but are covered by the card. I think if you add up all the sites you want to go to, the price is close to break even AND you wouldn't have to go on Sunday and face larger crowds. And, per Gretchen's comment, you could re-arrange your schedule and hit the must-sees first, leaving lesser site for time/energy.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 06:57 AM
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Your plan to take advantage of the evening hours at the Louvre and D'Orsay is greater (with the latter I would suggest having dinner there, seeing galleries as late as possible. Click my name to read my Paris report from last spring.
We used the museum pass for 5 days, thought it was well worth it, though we filled a couple of days too full because it was "free".
I would highly suggest the Musee di Jacque-Mart Andre`. It is truly lovely, small and intimate.
Also think Rodin museum is a must. We went twice.

Read my trip report about the Louvre. We had a sistine chapel at noon huge crowd experience.
I'd suggest the gardens midmorning, long lunch at the most expensive restaurant you can find, going through the palace itself as late as possible. Or first thing?? Our private tour was great but unleashed on mob at noon.

Sorry for curt style--rushing to work. I'd suggest my trip report from last spring, also Kathie's
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