Critique Paris Itinerary, 4.5 days

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Nov 11th, 2004, 12:15 PM
  #1
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Critique Paris Itinerary, 4.5 days

Hi
Two friends of mine are going for the first time next week, and they've prepared a tenatative itinerary. They've done a lot of research and understand that they may not get to everything they've listed, but they wanted to have some plan--as a planner, of course I think that's a wonderful idea. I've taken a look at it, but despite several visits to Paris my metro and navigational skills are not always as efficient as they could be, so I thought maybe some of you would have some thoughts or suggestions as well. They are staying in the 6th.

Friday--arrival day (in Paris by 9:30 am)Their first long walk: Get some breakfast in the 6th, perhaps at Boulangeries Paul or Cafe Bonaparte or Laduree.
Then
ET (just as a starting point, no waiting in line to go up), Arc de T, Champs E, Rue Faubourg, to Concorde. Snack at Angelina.
Relatively early dinner close to the hotel. (I shared the info recently gleaned here about places that serve dinner starting at 7 or so.)

Sat
Grand Palais art exhibit
Lunch, Jules Verne
Orsay Museum and/or Rodin museum, stroll left bank, including a couple of churches in the 6th and 5th I've insisted on
First day of 3-day museum pass

Sunday
They may try for Versailles for the first part of the day, but then again,maybe not. I'm going to P in January myself, and I'm having 2nd thoughts about a long-overdue return visit to Versailles--with winter weather, gardens not in season, the Hall of Mirrors under renovation, and early darkness, these may not be the trips for any of us to go to Versailles.

If not, they'll head for the Marais for strolling and browsing in the shops, then head over to Ile St-Louis, Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, and the Conciergerie if there's time.

Monday
Louvre
lunch
Opera, place Vendome and???

Tues
whatever they have left to do that they are desperate to do: browsing, perhaps Marmottan museum or one of the other museums that they didn't have time for.
late lunch, then leave for airport around 3:30 pm for a 6pm flight.

Oh, I've suggested that one evening they try one of the classical concerts in Ste Chapelle or elsewhere.




elaine is offline  
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Nov 11th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Hi, I might rearrange this a little differently.

Maybe go to the Louvre on the first day instead, and take a shorter walk. I'd cross the Pont des Arts that will take you from the Left to the Right Bank, and the views are spectacular. I'd not start at the Eiffel Tower if I'm planning lunch at Jules Verne the next day. Perhaps Place Vendome here, if Louvre is visited on the first day, since this is within walking distance.

Place de la Concorde is near the Grand Palais, if I remember correctly, so this can be visited while the Grand Palais is visited.

If I rearrange the itinerary this way, I'd go to Champs Elysees on Monday. A trip to Laduree (rue Royale) can be added in addition to the visit to the Opera. Other possibilities would be shopping (the grands magasins). Also places like Fauchon and Hediard, if I'm interested in looking at epiceries.

I hope your friends have a great time!
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Nov 11th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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One little add for a a Monday might be the Jacquemart Museum on the right bank.
It is in a beautiful Italianate mansion. You can get a wand describing the mansion and setting the late 19th century ambience. It has a very nice place for lunch and could be toured in 2 hours. I believe it is open on Monday when many other museums are closed.It is a short Metro ride from Laduree.Might be open Sundays, not sure.

If you are in the Marais consider dinner at Le Pamphlet, tres francais. Need reservation.

Your plan is ambitious but doable. We normally conclude our 3/4 day visits with a Stes. Chapelle or Germain concert.

FYI: the tourist office that used to be on the Champs Elysee, near Laduree, was no longer there as of June 2004.

Have fun.

Anthony
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Nov 11th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Hi
I love the Jacquemart but don't know if they will want to add another museum however small; I will suggest it.

I think now it would all be better this way, and thanks for the ideas:

Fri arrival day, Louvre (1st day of 3 day museum pass) and in the afternoon choose either
Ile de la Cite sights, or else Left Bank walk

Sat: Grand Palais, lunch at ET, then afternoon will be Cite or Left Bank or Faubourg/Vendome/Opera stroll

Sun
Orsay (opens at 9, last day of museum pass)
then in the afternoon: Flea market or Marais/Ile St Louis or Cite, or Left Bank stroll

Monday
Choose two areas of what's left from above

last day, Tues
Marmottan or Rodin or Jacquemart or just whatever appeals, lunch, leave for airport
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Nov 11th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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I thought it was a good itinerary as is, I know you know Paris pretty well. I actually liked the first version better myself -- but I would not be in the mood to do the Louvre the day of my arrival. I am tired that day and while I do want to stay awake and be moving, I don't want intense things and the Louvre is tiring and intense to me (I know it wouldn't have to be if someone just wanted to breeze by a couple things).

So, I thought just walking a lot and seeing the overview was a good idea for the first day. ON the day you had extra time after the Louvre (around Vendome and Opera), I thought they might just enjoy shopping in that area around the Madeleine, Fauchon, Dijon mustard, all those food stores are fun, and if they want to do any shopping in dept stores, that's very near BHV, and they could see the Hotel de Ville (there are sometimes nice exhibitions in there).

Anyway, I liked your first one better, but think both are fine.
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Nov 11th, 2004, 03:09 PM
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I also think that the Louvre is not good for the first day. You're tired and jetlagged, not a good way to spend a lot of time in a big museum. Just my opinion. On the other hand, I agree that there's no need to go to the Eiffel Tower the first day if you're going there for lunch the next day, just start the walk at the Arc. Hope they have a great trip!
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Nov 11th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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The Turner, Whistler, Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais is limited to reserved ticketholders until 1:00 PM. If they don't already have tickets, it's likely they won't be able to spend Saturday morning there.

Here's another suggested itinerary:

Day 1: breakfast at Paul, Café Deux Magots, Café Bonaparte, or Café Marly overlooking the Louvre pyramid. Boat ride on Vedettes de Pont Neuf from Square du Vert Galant. Visit Notre Dame, walk on Ile St. Louis, early dinner at Le Reminet. (This would knock me out, without a nap in the afternoon, but some people like to keep going all day and it has the virtue of being outdoors a lot.)

Day 2: Stroll Saint-Germain area, lunch at Jules Verne, exhibit at Grand Palais, if time walk on Champs Elysees to Arc, walk or bus to Place de la Concorde and Place de la Madeleine, wine/light meal at L'Ecluse.

Day 3: Marais, Place Des Vosges, Sainte Chapelle, with appropriate meal breaks. Maybe felafel at l'As du Felafel on rue des Rosiers or brunch at Le Loir dans la Théière. Dinner at Balzar on rue des Ecoles.

Day 4: Louvre. A good choice for lunch is Le Fumoir on rue de l'Amiral Coligny just east of the Louvre. Palais Royale, Passage Vivienne, tea at A Priori Thé.

Day 5: Musée d'Orsay, Tuileries, lunch at L'Ardoise or Le Soufflé, leave for airport.

OK, I'm ready. When do we leave?
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Nov 12th, 2004, 06:20 AM
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thanks, I ordered the Grand Palais tickets for them, the tickets just have to be picked up.

Is Deux Magots really a good idea?
Not too overpriced and touristy? I've never eaten there , but having a meal at Brasserie Flo a few years ago really turned me off to those ultra-famous cafes on St Germain.

Le Souffle used to be one of my favorites, going back a LONG time.
But on my last trip, 3-4 years ago, it occurred to me that dinner was MUCH more expensive (dollar-euro conversion aside) than it used to be, and I thought the food was just so-so. Maybe it was an off night.

I think even for lunch they can do better, and if they go to the Orsay that last day I think they might as well have lunch in the 7th or 6th (rather than going over to the 1st) before going to the airport.

Holding off on the Orsay until the last day worries me--I'm really 'pushing' them to go there, and my own rule is to never save important sightseeing for the last day (I've been shut out more than one.) But the Orsay is less important to them than to me, so maybe it will be fine.

I'm going to keep tweaking this for me (let me stress that they've ASKED me to do this). Weather will also play a factor, I'd really like them to see Ste Chapelle in the afternoon of a bright day.

Thanks all for the input. I may run this by you one more time, with some restaurant ideas.
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Nov 12th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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I agree that Deux Magots is a bit touristy and Cafe Bonaparte or Paul much better for breakfast. And I also would not leave the D'Orsay for the last day. Be sure to visit Ste. Chapelle on the brightest day possible and I highly recommend both the Marmottan (if your friends like Monet) and the Opera. The renovation of the Opera is spectacular and it is exquisite even if you are not an opera fan.
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Nov 12th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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if you still have patience, how's this?

Friday, arrival day
breakfast/lunch
then, Ile de la Cite, or if it's raining hard, Orsay (for museums, they are seen-it, done-it more than art aficionados)
Perhaps a boat ride before dinner

(early) dinner, Chez Maitre Paul

Sat: Grand Palais, then Jules Verne.
afternoon choose one: Cite or Louvre or Right Bank walk (Champs, Opera, Vendome, Madeleine)or Left Bank walk

late dinner: le Vieux Bistro or La Fontaine de Mars

Sunday
Choose one each for a.m. and p.m.--
Marais/Ile St Louis, Louvre, Cite, Orsay, Left Bank Walk (but don't choose both the Orsay and Louvre for same day)

dinner: Bistro de Breteuil, 7th

Mon
Choose one each for a.m. and p.m.--
Left Bank walk or Cite or Louvre or Right Bank walk or Marais

dinner Chez Julien (my old favorite) or else their runner-up from Saturday

Tues-- whatever is left for sightseeing, (not Louvre, it's closed) and then a nice lunch

I still haven't allowed time for Montmartre at all, but maybe they can figure that out themselves or skip something else. They've mentioned liking to see the outside of the Moulin Rouge, I guess they'd like a picture.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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...I really have trouble with a busy first day. I think there are 2 stratagies (and I have used both depending on how frantic my days before departure have been..and I always sleep from the end of dinner on the plane until landing)-1. either have an early lunch at a great location that screams Paris followed by a nap..then I am up early say 5ish and walk to a restaurant(and I make sure it is an interesting walk and at least an hour) with dinner at 8 and asleep at the usual time or 2. luch then 1 "light" sightseeing activity and a walk (a ride on a bateau mouche would be great..again says I am in Paris but not too taxing with an early dinner and to bed..dont try to pack too much into the first day but make sure you take a good walk to get some light...avoid museums like the plague on day1.
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