early A.M. arrival in Paris

Old Feb 14th, 2001, 12:30 PM
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early A.M. arrival in Paris

We are scheduled to arrive at CDG airport at 6:15 a.m. and plan to tour til we drop. What should we do when we first hit town? Will anything be oopen, and where should we leave our luggage until check-in? Never been there, never done that, and always appreciate good advice.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 12:36 PM
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Go to you hotel and leave your luggage there. They will be able to tell you what time your room will be ready which will help when planning your day. Try to get into the time zone by finding a nearby cafe for breakfast. Museums certainly won't be open early, but there are monuments you could visit just to look at (Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, etc.) or walk through Tuileries or Luxembourg Gardens.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 12:45 PM
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After you drop off bags at the hotel, head for the nearest bakery and get coffee and a pastry...sit on a bench along a boulevard and watch the Parisians on their way to work (just like you might have been doing at home). If you are lucky, an open-air market will be opening up along the Boulevard (We saw one that traveled up and down Boulevard Richard Lenoir all week long.) Hopefully you will now feel somewhat initiated to Paris daily life and you can set off to see the sites!
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 01:47 PM
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You probably won't actually get to your hotel til after 7:15 at the earliest, possibly closer to 8. Take the above advice, leave your luggage at your hotel and head out, keep moving on that first day as much as you can so you won't succumb to fatigue.
Many museums open at 9am but I try not to do one of those on the first day, again becauses of fatigue. I prefer long walks outdoors with relatively short indoor stops at places like
Notre Dame or Sainte Chapelle. If you plan on going up inside the Eiffel Tower, the earlier you go, the less waiting in line you will do.
If you'd like to see my Paris file, email me.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 02:24 PM
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As elaine's pointed out, you won't be at your hotel much before 8; they'll hold your bags for you until your room is ready (usually 10:30ish). Find a cafe for a little breakfast, stroll (do maintenance stuff like hit the ATM, get a map or Paris par Arrondissment, find a Pariscope or Timeout, buy metro tickets or pass, check out restaurants in the neighborhood, etc.), then head back to your hotel to check in and freshen up. If you have a museum pass, go into any of the museums covered; if you get pooped after 30 minutes, you won't have spent $6 on a ticket, so leave. Take a bateau ride on the Seine, or a tour around the city on the Big Yellow Bus; plan to eat dinner somewhere near your hotel - I guarantee you'll feel like falling asleep in your food, so you don't want to be too far away from your bed. Do try to see the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 03:05 PM
Bob Brown
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A friend of mine, who was on prednisone, made the somewhat ignorant mistake of following a friend's "advice". After an early arrival in Paris, she drank a cup of the blackest Parisian coffee to make sure she was awake. She was so wired that she did not know she should be tired.
So depending on your medications, it might be best to be tired.

Oddly enough, I find I am ready to go because it is morning even though the flight over was hell. (Thanks Delta.
I did it inspite of your sardine can seating!! I swore that would be my last Delta flight, but now I need to go to Salt Lake City from Atlanta)

Old Feb 14th, 2001, 03:32 PM
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We recently tried ENADAlert jet lag pills and found them to be great to help you get through that first day - and the first day back home. You take one or two an hour or so before you get off the plane. On our first trip to Paris, we arrived early in the morning (and then had hotel problems, but that's another story), so we didn't get into our room until late in the afternoon. We roamed, rode the bateaux mouche and took a city orientation tour - and fell asleep on the bus! It was a long day.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 03:51 PM
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After you drop your luggage off at the hotel (they'll store it for you), this is the perfect opportunity to relax in a cafe for a while, then explore your neighborhood. Review the posted menus and peek inside the restaurants within a few blocks. Great for future reference - for those days you're just too tired to change and head out for dinner. It's a good idea to make a note of the name and phone numbers of those you find appealing, as reservations are always advised. If you like eggs, etc. for breakfast, you'll want to find places that serve "real" breakfast food, so you'll know where they are. We like to find a post office (for stamps, phone card, ATM), then the nearest metro stations to pick up our metro and museum passes and a new metro/bus/RER map. Along the way, we note the locations of convenience stores (for bottled water, etc.), take-away food shops, pharmacies, the nearest laundramat, and the best cafes (some chairs are much more comfortable than others and are not so close to the traffic). We never use our museum pass the first day, though. Better to visit a place not on the pass and save it for a full day when you're going at full steam. If there's anything you're just dying to see, such as the Tour Eiffel, go there first.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 08:11 PM
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Avoid taking taxis this early because they charge a higher rate also because it will be rush hour probably. A shuttle will do much better.
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 12:30 PM
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I thought the taxis peak period rate was over at 7 am so would not be a problem (I think it's 7 pm to 7 am and also Sundays and holidays, when the rate is higher quite a big, maybe 30 pct).
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 01:03 PM
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We just returned from our first trip to Paris. Just as you, we landed at 6:30 am and headed for our hotel aboard the Air France bus and then by the Metro. The other posters are correct, you probably won't get to you hotel until after 8.

Also, as others have suggested, we dropped off our luggage (we were able to actually go to our room), got a quick bite at a cafe, and headed off to Ile de la Cite to see Notre Dame, Conciergerie and La Sainte Chapelle. We then went to the Champs-Elysées, and took in the sights (we were dog tired by then, so this was a good time for slow walk that didn't require a lot of "attention to detail") and had dinner. After dinner, we caught the Metro back to our "home neighborhood". We were somewhat refreshed from dinner, so we took our time and enjoyed the walk from the Metro station to the hotel, picked up dessert from a gourmet shop along the way and retired to our room for a good night's rest.

It was a great beginning to a fabulous stay in Paris!
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 02:48 PM
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Firstly, send a note to the hotel now (or ask your travel agent to do so) requesting an early check-in. I have rarely had a problem getting a room at 8 am, but you must reserve ahead .

It will take at least 45 mins to get toi the taxi rank. I recommend you book an airport pick-up from the following web-site (a third of the price of a taxi)


It will be at least 8 am (if the traffic is good) before you reach your hotel. My recommendation would be to take the Metro to Abbesses, have breakfast and then climb the hill to Sacre Coeur - you will see Paris before you in all its glory. Then, take the Seine boat tour which is a wonderful introduction to Paris.

My favorite tour book for Paris is Fodor's Exploring Paris - the above walking tour is in there.
Old Feb 17th, 2001, 08:04 PM
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If you have little luggage consider the train RER into paris to avoid the rushhour traffic. Go to the hotel, get some breakfast, and orient to the neighborhood. Find the river, if you are near Champs Elysee, go to Laudree for hot cocoa and croissant, near the Louvre, find Angelina's. Notre Dame and ste. Chappelle can be overrun with tour busses but the people watching is great. Ile de la Cite is wonderful at any time of day but especially beautiful early and late in the day. Very little will be open however. Look for some of the neighborhood markets. In general, Paris starts later than the States.

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