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First day in Paris -arrive 7am -suggested itinerary

First day in Paris -arrive 7am -suggested itinerary

Nov 11th, 2006, 11:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 93
First day in Paris -arrive 7am -suggested itinerary

We are scheduled arrive at 7am on Nov. 24 (after a long flight from California). We have arranged a shuttle for transportion to the Hotel Littre. I don't know how long we should expect it to take to get from the airport to the hotel and to check in, which makes it hard to plan what to do that day. I just bought Rick Steve's book to help plan and am considering doing the Historical Paris walking tour, the Louvre and a late night cruise of the Seine that night. Does that sound too ambitious for the first day (not even factoring in the jetlag...)?
kitamaria is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 11:59 PM
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Well, I find it important to keep moving in order to not fall asleep due to jetlag on the first day. And it is always a challenge if you arrive that early in the morning on the very first day. Are you sure you won't fall asleep on the late night cruise
My wife and I went to Paris in April by the way. Here is a trip report with pictures and links http://www.gardkarlsen.com/Paris_France.htm . Have a great trip to Paris

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 02:45 AM
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There are at least two schools of thought about the arrival day. Many people insist that you should stay awake all day, go walking in sunlight to reset your clock and go to bed at as normal an hour as possible. I find this impossible.

I can not stay awake all day after travelling all night with little or no sleep. Arriving so early in the morning, you may find that your room is not ready. When this happens to me, I go out, see something in the neighborhood, maybe have lunch, and come back to the hotel for a nap. That may actually be what I do even if the room is ready.

After a nap, I find it much easier to go out to dinner, and then, since I am not yet on local time, I can stay up pretty late and enjoy the nightlife. I would have trouble enjoying both the Louvre and a walking tour the first day.
Nikki is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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Early morning arrivals usually require you to leave your luggage with the hotel as your room is not ready.

Do whatever during the day that appeals to you. I would suggest an earlyish dinner and to bed. You will then be ready to go in the am.

I arrive rather early in Feb., my hotel picking me up, will have breakfast, my hotel is making a reservation for me for the Orangerie for about 12:30, when they open. I will do some wandering in the area, have a 7:30 dinner reservation at the Celadon (my hotel restaurant) and to bed early. I will be all rested and ready to go in the am. That will work for me..
gracejoan3 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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..I am also of the nap school. I assume you will arrrive at Roissy. By the time you get through formalities pick up your bag and into Paris (rush hr..is the 24th a Friday?), it will probably be 9:30 or 10 . I would try to check in (at least drop bags) and walk around the neighborhood have a very early lunch (?brunch) and then nap. I would be out of the hotel by 4 and walk for at least 3 hrs. Have dinner and then to bed. I know some people stay awake the first day but I literally feel sick and can't remember anything,
travelbunny is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 03:44 AM
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I also suggest a nap - but only about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, with alarm or wake-up call to get you up. Just long enough to keep you going comfortably until Parisian bedtime without falling over into your dinner, but not so long that you can't fall asleep that night. You can then fall asleep on the cruise or in your bed. Take your pick!
kwren is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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I'm assuming this is your first visit to Paris?

You should get to your hotel between 9-10am. Check in or drop off bags, then go get your metro tickets, maps, etc. It may well be raining. In short, all of this takes time. It will start getting dark around 4:30, so you'll have about 4 hours of daylight to really "tour".

Thus, I would drop the Louvre that day. It's better to be outside. We aren't "nap" people---sleep well on the plane and the adrenaline kicks in when we land. If you don't want to nap, I suggest...

From your hotel, walk up to St-Placide metro. Get tickets, maps and ride to St-Michel (direction "Clingancourt"). You'll find lots of choices for lunch around St-Michel or the Isles. Start your self-guided walking tour in the sector of Notre Dame and the Isles---where Paris history starts. It's a beautiful setting with scenic views of the river and nice little shops to pop into. The two Isles could easily take more than 4 hours.

If weather looks good you can buy your night cruise tickets at Pont Neuf. Consider the 5 or 6pm cruise on Vedettes du Pont Neuf. Get the coupon off their website.

By the time you return to your hotel and have an early dinner you will be ready for a good night's sleep. (We find the adrenaline drops off fast once the sun sets.)

Everyone travels at a different pace, but I just want you to allow for the time it takes to get your bearings in a new city, possibly with jet lag.

Have a wonderful time. You're going to adore Paris!

JeanneB is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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We don't nap anymore as it doesn't help us and we've learned to 'manage' the jet lag (truthfully, don't really feel it much anymore)... we drop off our luggage and head out for a good day of walking, fresh air and also do the early dinner/bed by 9:00.

I wouldn't plan anything that has an "appointment" tied to it, such as tours. Also would avoid anything "studious" such as museums.
Travelnut is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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As you can see from the comments so far, what works for one person may not work for another. As for me, I stay awake and active all day, eat a modest dinner, and go to bed fairly early according to local time. I also lay off coffee and alcohol on the flight, skip the movie, and try to get as much sleep on the plane as possible.

Unless you do get in a nap, I'd save the Seine cruise for another day. You'd certainly be at risk for sleeping through the whole ride.
TimS is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 05:00 AM
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kitamaria - Congratulations on the choice of hotel! I went to their website and it looks terrific. Hope you give us your views on it in a trip report when you get back.
You may enjoy the historical walk Tour after all that sitting but I wouldn't plan on a late night cruise. Rather get the old body clock re-set and have an early night!
Do go up to the the top of the Montparnasse Tower seeing its right on your doorstep - It has the most wonderful view of Paris. Some say better than the Eiffel Tower and I'm inclined to agree.
At the other end of Rue Littre, across rue de Vaugirard is rue Jean Ferrandi.
At No. 11 is The Restaurant B.E.P. of the Ecole Ferrandi. Tel.01 49 54 29 33/01 49 54 28 00.
This is the cooking scool run by the Paris Chamber of Commerce seating about 40-50. Open from 12.30-2-30pm for lunch and also open for dinner.(weekends incl.) The menu is pre-fix and is a feast!
For instance: Fish in a sauce of cream, shrimps & mussels, or the best roast beef in France, sliced very thin and served with a marchand de vin sauce and very delicate roast potatoes.
After that, you are offered a choice of seasonal salad or an exquisite cheese tray, and then the desert - 4 courses in all. Crepes Suzette is prepared at your table with great e`lan! Also on offer are pastries, fresh strawberries and cream or fruit.
Not to be missed.
tod is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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enroute is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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Everyone is different. For me a walking tour, the LOURVRE, and a Seine cruise would be about 3 things too many on the first day -lol!

You say "not even factoring in the jetlag"... but I think you must take that into account. Have you been to Europe before?

I keep my arrival day simple. Check into the hotel, if the room is not ready, leave the suitcase and wash up in the lobby restrooms. Go out for a walk around the neighborhood. Get my bearings. Have a nice long meal with some wine. Shop for things for the hotel room (snacks, bottled water, magazines). Have a nap when I get into the hotel room. Venture back out for dinner nearby the hotel.

I'm not saying this is what you should necessarily do, but it is what I do. Jetlag affects me horribly, and the rest of my trip is better if I try to deal with it by getting rest and on the local time on that first day.
suze is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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All these responses are assuming you will be in Paris for a few days. Reading your other post, are you doing only 2 days actually IN Paris? If you still plan to do 3 day trips on a 5-day vacation, that might influence the answers you get here.
JeanneB is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Good point JeanneB, I was assuming this was only the first day of at least a one week trip!
suze is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Oops, ignore my post above recommending a leisurely first day!! I just read in your other question, that you only have 5 days, and are trying to fit in 3 long day trips in the timeframe. Yikes.
suze is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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I have just made a Google map of Paris that might be of interest. You can find it on http://gardkarlsen.com/paris_france_map.htm

gard is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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We arrive at CDG at 7 am, took Roissybus to Opera Garnier and arrive at 8 am, got to hotel on Rue de Rivoli by 8:30 am, left our bags, took a stroll in the Tuileries, spent 3 hours in the Louvre, had lunch, walked to Musee d'Orsay, spent 3 hours there, walked back to the hotel, had a two hour nap, then a great dinner and to bed by 10:30 or so. We slept on the flight maybe two hours? Adrenalin set in and we had no problem staying alert and having a ball. I was 59 years old, wife was 52.

knoxvillecouple is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Yes, you'll probably have to leave your luggage at the hotel. If you get enough sleep on the plane, I would go out and do some sort of overview tour of the city. You then get an idea of the geography of it, and may see or hear of things you'd like to do that weren't on your original list. Do that and then spend a few hours in the Louvre, have dinner and go to bed very early. You'll sack out on the Seine cruise, no use wasting the time or money.

Many people schedule the Eiffel Tower during the day, but it is magical at night.
kswl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Knoxville, you the man! I've been accused of packing in a whole bunch, but 3 hours in the Louvre, lunch, and three hours in the d'Orsay makes you a tried and true energizer bunny!
degas is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Hi all; I can't thank everyone enough for taking the time to write suggestions --I appreciate it --and I like all the different approaches/opinions.

Someone asked how many days I would have in Paris --We arrive on the 23rd and leave on the 29th via Eurostar (going to London for 4 days). We had originally planned a zillion out of Paris day-trips (Brugge, Versailles, Landing Beaches of Normandy), but after wise advice and lurking I realized that was a mistake --so we except for the Landing tour (which was non-neg with the H), we will have 4 full days in Paris. I have a pretty good feeling about our revised itinerary and what we plan to do to get a real flavor of Paris, but its just hard to know what to do the first day since I don't want to be overly ambitious, but I realize time is precious here. Of course will play by ear though...I hope we have the energy of knoxvillecouple!

PS: Gard, that is a great map, I love the pictures! so cool!
kitamaria is offline  

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