Family Paris Trip - General Help

Oct 18th, 2007, 03:11 PM
  #1  
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Family Paris Trip - General Help

Hello -

My family and I are taking a week long trip to Paris the last week of January. We're all set with flights and an apartment for the week (7e).

This will be my parents first trip to Paris and our second. My parents (in their late 60's) are very excited and have only been to Ireland before this.

I've laid out a sample itinerary below and was hoping to get some feedback as to the order of things, places I'm missing, if I have too much in one day, etc. I'm trying not to pack in too much, but also want to make this trip as memorable as possible. Here it goes:

Day 1 (Sat): Arrive midday, lunch around our apartment, Rue Cler to walk around and shop for goodies for the week and in the evening Batou Boat for evening ride. One caveat to this is that it seems from the Batou website they might not be operating for some time in January which I believe includes the last week of January. Can anyone confirm this?

Day 2 (Sun): Versailles in the morning, Sacre Couer in the evening for sunset. Thinking this day of doing dinner at Jules Verne. I went on their website and see that dinner is 150E to 199E. Is this worth it? Is the food, the view, everything worth it OR can you economize and get this somewhere else or do it for lunch? My husband and I would do this, my parents might have a heart attack.

Day 3 (Mon): Palace Vosges, lunch at Chez Benoit, Notre Dame, St. Chappelle, walk around Latin Quarter

Day 4 (Tues): Hotel Invalides, War Museum, Napoleon's Tomb, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower. I was thinking about the Moulin Rouge at night. Now I've seen time and again that it's kitchy on this board but I think my parents would be interested in it. I'm not SO excited about it however that I want to buy tickets beforehand. I was hoping to treat it as "oh well if there are tickets available for a night when we are in town we will get them if not ..." Thinking in January, tickets might be easier to come by.. .any thoughts on this?

Day 5 (Wed): Louve early in the morning, Jardin des Tulieries walk, Palace de la Concorde, Champs des Elysess, Arc di Triumph

Day 6 (Thurs): daytrip outside Paris - still working this one out

Day 7 (Fri): St. Germain, Luxe. Gardens, St. Sulpice, general walking around

Day 8 (Sat): Travel day back

Any thoughts are appreciated. We have a great list of restaurants down so we're covered on that part.

thanks!!
jodeenyc is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Since you will have your parents with you, I think you should not try to do too much.

For example, I wouldn't count on going to Sacre Coeur on the same day that you go to Versailles. It can tend to be a long day and can wear you out.

Also I really wouldn't plan another day trip as there is so much more right in town to do/see. I personally liked the Musee d'Orsay better than the Lourve- it just wasn't so overwhelming. But I loved Musee Rodin even more. Now since it will be your parents first time, don't overdo it- give them sometime to just relax at a cafe or just stroll around. How about an evening concert at St. Chappelle or St. Eustache? I would still go to Sacre Coeur but just add it to another day.
namaka is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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I'll just give you a few comments based on what my parents (mid 60's) loved when I took them to Paris last year. I think it's great that you are staying in the 7th because seeing the Eiffel Tower is surreal to many people when they see it for the first time.

Bateau Mouches: Parents loved
Hop on Hop off buss: Parents loved
Sacre Coeur: Mom loved shopping in the area, buying cheap souviners for everyong.
Lido: My mom thought this was one of the greatest shows ever, I didn't see it but she raves about it. The hop on hop off bus stops right in front of it, and she went to the window and bought tickets herself. They took a taxi back (just write the address down for them).
Versailles: We didn't do this together, but for me it is an all day sight.

Have fun!
happytotravel is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Do you mean Batobus or Bateaux-Mouches? The Batobus site shows no service between 7 January and 15 March. I think that the Bateaux-Mouches operate year-round. For a more intimate ride on a smaller boat, check www.vedettesdupontneuf.com. Their site says they will be operating in January.

If you like Impressionist art, do not miss the Musee d'Orsay.
TimS is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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For the Louvre, they have a great feature on their website where you can print out a guide to just the kind of things you want to see. They call them 'thematic trails'. There one ones for the Divinci Code, Highlights of the Louvre, etc.

Very exacting dirctions to specific items in the museum. Since you only have a 1/2 day, it can make for a much more 'efficient' visit.

http://www.louvre.fr/llv/activite/li...sp?bmLocale=en

astein12 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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I personally wouldn't bundle them off to Versailles on day 2. They land on Sat, have a low key day, start to get over the jet lag - and then the next mornign you drag them out of town w/o having seen much of "Paris proper" or gotten their bearings much at all.

If you want to visit Versailles - I'd do it later in the week (if at all)

Also - sunsets are nice - but you really can't depend on clear "sunset weather" in Jan. It could be fine - but it could just as easliy be frigid/sleety/rainy
janisj is online now  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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I'll offer a few comments on your
day-by-day. But first, do realize that the days will be short. It will start getting dark shortly after 4pm. We were there last January and all the fountains were frozen solid...it was beautiful! But it can be bitterly cold when the wind blows, especially around the river. All my comments are dependent on weather.

Day 1 (Sat): I would not do the boat ride the first night. Some may have jet lag and won't have their bearings yet. When we did it in January it was VERY cold...bundle up.
Since you'll be in the 7th, walk them over to the ET and let them see the "sparkles" at the top of the hour. Great treat for first night in Paris. Plan an early supper, little walk, and then early to bed for those so inclined.

Day 2 (Sun): I would move Versailles to a later day. This is your first full day...spend it in Paris!


Day 4 (Tues): Consider the Rodin museum while in the Invalides area. I haven't done Moulin Rouge, but if they would like it, by all means include it. The neighborhood doesn't get great reviews so I don't know that I would send them over there alone.

Day 5 (Wed): Do not try to walk all the way up the Champs to the Arc . It's not worth the time or the chill. Take the metro, bus, or cab. While you're in the Tuilleries, consider the Orangerie Museum (Monet water lilies).

Day 6 (Thurs): I'll wager you will not want to leave Paris for another day trip.


Random thoughts:

---There should be ice skating in front of Hotel de Ville.

---We thoroughly enjoyed Musee Jacquemart-Andre (and they have a lovely dining room).
http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/fr/jacquemart/

---What about shopping? You will likely be there during the winter sales.

---Opera? Ballet? Winter has a lot to offer. Check out the museum at Luxembourg Gardens Palais. We caught a fabulous exhibit there in January. Didn't even know it was in town until we noticed the sidewalk posters.



JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Oh yeah...take warm hats.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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I have taken first-timers around Paris several times. One of the biggest thrills very early on (first night would be great) is to take the metro to the Trocodero and walk down toward the Eiffel Tower. The sight of the Eiffel Tower from that perspective makes everyone feel like they are really in Paris, and presents a wonderful photo op as well.

Others have disagreed, but I love dining at Jules Verne. I have only been there for lunch (perhaps five times), which is a little less expensive. The service has always been wonderful. The food is perhaps a bit expensive (but good) for what you get, but, hey, you are IN the Eiffel Tower! Don't miss walking around the outside of the restaurant for the views (the maitre'd can point out the exit to take -- there is a bell to press to get back in).

The hop on, hop off bus gives a great overview of Paris. If you've already seen the sights, you might put your parents on the bus so that they can see all the major sights in two days. See the routes and info at: http://www.paris-opentour.com/en/open.htm.
Leburta is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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I am wondering if your parents might enjoy the Jacquemart-André Museum. (They might know it from the movie Gigi.) It is supposed to be a great museum. Alas, I haven't made it there yet. It is open on Sunday. I might do that and some things in that area on your first Sunday instead of going to Versailles, then go on to Sacre Couer that night if you want. You can save Versailles for your free Thursday.
AZKathy is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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I have to disagree with the previous poster about postponing the boat ride from the first day-- I think a boat ride on the Seine is the best way to get your bearings. Gives your parents an overview of most of the major sights without having to do a lot of walking while jet-lagged. My mother and I did that on our first evening in Paris 7 years ago, and it's still a favorite that I have to repeat every time I'm back there.

Although I like the Bateaux Mouches (at Pont de l'Alma) and the Vedettes (at Pont Neuf), off-season they don't always run as often as scheduled if there aren't enough passengers. The Bateaux Parisienne (at the Eiffel Tower) is the most likely to run as scheduled on winter evenings. Make sure you bundle up with warm coats, gloves, and hat or ear-muffs so that you can go out on the open deck (try to go to either the very front or the very back) where the view is absolutely magical-- it's no fun being cooped up inside the glass-enclosed area with possibly noisy tourists.

I'd postpone Versailles to much later in the week (if at all), so that if you run out of time to do many of the things you want to do in Paris, you'll have the option of dropping that. Definitely don't do another day trip since this is their first time and you have only 6 1/2 days.

Would your parents be interested in seeing a concert at the Opera Garnier? There's this: http://www.operadeparis.fr/Saison-20...le.asp?IdS=413 Or just take a tour of the opera house.

MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:38 PM
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Consider moving the "Day 4" stuff to day 2, since they're near your apartment-- nice to walk around and familiarize yourselves with the neighborhood early on. I agree about adding Rodin Museum-- the garden is beautiful.

Get a Carte Orange Hebdo (on the Navigo Decouverte) for the rest of the week.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 05:55 AM
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This is great feedback - thank you all very much.

I see now the error of doing Versailles on our first full day and will definitely move that to later in the week.

I now have a lot more questions so hopefully everyone will come back for round 2!

namaka - the concert at a church is a great idea. Do you know where online there is a schedule?

TimS - I actually thought the Batobus was the only one so thanks for this great heads up. Although some thought it was not a good idea I do think it would be a great way to show them the sites at night and all the lights on the first day. We'll be napping for the majority of the evening and I hope to do this somewhat late at night. I'll check the schedules.

Leburta - lunch at Jules Verne it is! I think it's a nice compromise. We're also very lucky to have our apartment overlook the Eiffel Tower.

I'm also writing down the countless other suggestions from everyone and rethinking the second day trip.

Thanks again I really appreciate your comments!
jodeenyc is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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I second JeanneB's suggestion to see Rodin's home. It was the reason we chose to stay in the 7th last trip. The gardens alone are worth the visit.

Sandy
sandypaws3 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #15  
ira
 
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Hi J,

You are overplanned, which is all right as long as you realize that you won't be able to see it all and still have a pleasant visit.

A few comments:

>...dinner at Jules Verne. I went on their website and see that dinner is 150E to 199E. Is this worth it? <

There are those who think it is and those who think it isn't.

Are you the type who enjoys dinner for 150E pp, if it is properly done?

Lunch is much cheaper.

>Day 5 (Wed): Louve early in the morning, Jardin des Tulieries walk, Palace de la Concorde, Champs des Elysess, Arc di Triumph <

It is uphill from the Louvre to the Arc. It might be easier on your parents to do this in reverse.

>daytrip outside Paris - still working this one out

I would skip the daytrip and slow down a bit. There is a lot to say for serendipity.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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The Bateaux Parisiens cruise operates year-round.
Website for times:
http://www.bateauxparisiens.com/EN/o...wer-times.html

Alternate to Jules Verne:
Altitude 95, on a different level of the Eiffel:
http://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/
Travelnut is offline  
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