First draft 1st time to Paris Itinerary

Mar 25th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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First draft 1st time to Paris Itinerary

This is a very rough first draft of a 6 1/2 day, 7 night Paris itinerary. I just need a fresh set of eyes, this is the third itinerary I have made and everything is just starting to run together in my mind. (Paris is the 2nd leg of a 23 day Europe trip, I have finalized the other two weeks already). So any suggestions would be appreciated. I know I am putting too much into everyday, I am using it as a guide, if we don't get to them all, I will either swap it to another day once we are there if it is important to us. There are some things listed that we will simply pass by and take pics. I will make time just to sit and people watch and enjoy being in the city but there will be a lot of rushing around as well to see what we want to see. It is a compromise we are willing to make. So here goes:

DAY 1 We arrrive on a Thursday at 2:50 pm to Nord Station from London. Taking a taxi to our rental apartment located on Rue des Gravilliers. Unload luggage and head out to get any supplies and bring back to apartment. Then wonder around Marais neighborhood / Place des Vosges. Possible Picnic at Vedettes de Pont Neuf to watch sunset before going on cruise. Evening Seine cruise. Vedettes Pont-Neuf

Day 2
Grab breakfast somewhere (will work on where to eat after I get itinerary finalized
I may change this but right now the first thing is the Louvre.
Then head to the end of the Tuileries
Then head over to area of Printemps and be at Galleries Lafayette by 2:45 for 3:00 fashion show (daughter does some modeling and wants to see this--lasts 30 mins, have tickets already)
Shop around Galleries and area around there. Go to top of either Galleries or Printemps to enjoy view take pictures
(Not sure of what to do after this yet)

DAY 3 -daughter's 20th birthday

Breakfast near apartment
Flea market (one that has clothing she might like)
2 hour Private Photo shoot around couple areas of Paris with professional photographer (this is a gift from a friend so we have to do it)
Shopping????? I would like to take her shopping, any suggestions other than Galeries Lafayette since we will have been there already
Then dinner, not sure where yet, suggestions? (we do not like fru fru food LOL)
Eiffel Tower ticket at 10pm, get there by 9:40, (she really wants to go up at night for her birthday, not to mention this is the only time they had available to prebook the entire week we are there)

DAY 4 Headed to Versailles (Sunday)
Day 5
Head to Montmarte
Visit Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Go to top for views of city.
Follow Rick Steves Montmarte walk
(need to finish this day)

*Notre Dame (open everyday 10-6pm)
La Sainte Chappelle,
Explore Saint germain des pres
Explore Latin Quarter, Pantheon
Luxemburg Gardens

Day 7
Champ De Mars (picnic) and photos in day of Eiffel Tower
Napoleon's tomb Musee Rodin or Orsay
Champs Elysees to Arc de triumph

OTHER THINGS ON LIST not sure where to put or swap yet:
Catacombs (daughter really wants to see this)
Cemetary (can't find my book right now to name it)

Excuse any mis-spellings, I left my glasses at work
coachdj5 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Notre Dame opens at 8:00.

The famous cemetery is Pere Lachaise. The only day I can see you fitting it in is Day 3. Your daughter could have a rather unusual birthday visiting the catacombs and a cemetery.

I can't really comment much on the itinerary as most of it does not appeal to me, except Day 6 and the Rodin and Orsay museums on Day 7.

Have fun.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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My only advice is to have some day flexibility as to weather. Notre Dame and the Ste Chapelle require sunlight for the stained glass to show. Then the glass is stunning. No sun and it's blah. Be ready to move planned days around to get the sun for these two.
AJPeabody is online now  
Mar 25th, 2013, 06:20 PM
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Department store shopping in Paris is an efficient way to shop for "main street" brands in France. By visiting Printemps, Galeries Lafayettes and/or Bon Marche (Left Bank), you'll be exposed to a cross-section of many brands (some affordable, others less so). Imagine a US department store like Bloomingdales that also included boutiques from stand-alone chains like Gap, etc. (I'm failing at naming chain stores that your stylish 20-year-old would like, but the point is that you can probably see in the department store much of what you'd see on the streets of Paris, except for non-chain boutiques.)

So, if you don't manage any shopping other department stores, you'll probably see enough. Also, in the department stores, you can pool purchases in one store to meet the minimum threshold to recover the value-added tax (detaxe) and a couple of the department stores offer a 10% discount to foreign visitors. (Ask for the discount at the concierge in the department store and be prepared to show your passport.) However, if your daughter wants to shop more, I'd recommend that you ask her to research neighbourhoods because she'll have a better sense of style and labels. But if all else fails, go to the Marais (which has some stores open on Sunday).

I'm not sure what your travel dates are but have you checked to make sure they're not statutory holidays in France? If any are, that could affect your sightseeing plans.

To add to your museum list, I love the Musee Carnavalet (free museum focusing on the history of the city), Musee Marmottan (huge collection of Monets in a beautiful townhouse), and the Musee Cluny.

One of my guilty pleasures while living in Paris was eating Leon de Bruxelles, a mini-chain that offers (moules) and "frites a volonte" (all you can eat fries). Moules provencale are tasty and fairly low cal. Another guilty pleasure was Pizza Marzano (a mini-chain serving pizza). If you would like to try one more upscale restaurant (maybe to celebrate your daughter's birthday), I would recommend two:

Pomze - 8th arrondissement. It's a pretty restaurant where everything on the menu features apples. It has a prix fixe menu for around 37 euros.

We also like l'Alivi, a Corsican restaurant, in the Marais.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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I admire your enthusiasm!!! Your itinerary is ambitious, but you seem very eager to do it all.
After your visit and Fashion Show at Galeries Lafayette, why don't you just return to the district of your hotel, sit on a cafe terrace with a glass of good wine, and just immerse yourself in French culture. It will give you a chance to relax.
When you visit the area of St.Germain des Pres, there will be plenty of upscale, trendy, and moderate shopping. Do the southside of Blvd. St.Germain. Your daughter will love it.
There is also a lot of fun shopping in the Marais.

On Day 7, I would do only the Musee D'Orsay after the Eiffel Tower. I cannot imagine how you will fit Les Invalides into your day.

And without knowing your other "posts", are you thinking of visiting the Louvre?

Make sure you check for hours of operation for all the museums you wish to visit. The D'Orsay is closed on Monday, and the Louvre is closed on Tuesday, but has evening hours on Wednesday and Friday.

On Day 5, perhaps you can take the Metro from Montmarte to the Opera Garnier. It is very beautiful and not too tiring.

I would not do the catacombs or cemetary.

Whatever you cannot work into your itinerary, save for your next visit. There is always a "next time".

GoodLuckGirl is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 03:30 AM
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<< I cannot imagine how you will fit Les Invalides into your day. >>

This is not an overly crowded day. You can walk the Champs Elysees any time during the day/evening. Go to Les Invalides and then to the Rodin/Orsay, have your picnic, then the Champs Elysees.

One day someone will explain the picnic obsession in Paris.

IMO it's way too much trouble. You have to find picnic food to buy and then sit on possibly wet grass and then carry your leftovers and trash with you when you leave. There are plenty of trash bins but you either have to throw out your leftovers or carry them with you for the rest of the day.

Maybe I'm just too old.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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It's the déjeuner sur l'herbe syndrome.

And I agree about fitting in Les Invalides. I have often done the Tour Eiffel, Les Invalides, the Musée de l'Armée, and Rodin museum in one day and still had an entire evening left to enjoy.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 26th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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A picnic is not hard. Buy a ham on baguette sandwich and a bottle of wine. Champ de Mars has nice benches to sit on by the path. Or a bridge.
The champs walk is a waste of time. Take the bus from the Arc to the Pl.concorde and get the feel.
Better than Leon de Bruxelles is almost any cafe/bistro that serves mussels. OR go to the line of cafes across from the gare du nord and eat all kinds of mussels in one. We have liked Maison Blanche. If the weather is nice sit on the patio/terrasse and people watch.
BUT we like Leon also. Just no ambience.
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 08:47 AM
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<< It's the déjeuner sur l'herbe syndrome >>

I called it an overdose of Manet on another thread.

Sitting on a bench eating a ham sandwich is not what I call a picnic.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Adrienne, the email with the word document you sent me contains a virus. You may want to scan your files.
coachdj5 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Thanks. My files are automatically scanned every day but I'll do another scan now.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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I recommend climbing to the top of the towers at Notre Dame. It was one of the highlights of our trip. You will have close-up views of the gargoyles & great views of Paris. We had to wait in line for one hour & it was worth it.

Are you planning on buying the Paris Museum Pass? We bought them for 4 days, & thought it was well worth it. We were able to skip lines at the Louvre, D'Orsay, Rodin, L'Orangerie & Cluny. We stopped into the Rodin Museum for about an hour after we returned from Versailles. Probably would not have done that if we had to wait in line & buy a ticket.

If you wish,you can click on my name to read my trip report from last summer. We were in Paris for the same amount of time as you.
Kwoo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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We will be there in 3 weeks, so have some info:

Day 1 Dept stores are open till 930pm on Thursday
Day 2 as mentioned Lourve is open till 930 on Wed and Fri
Day 3 for shopping more lovely and interesting re the few remaining Passages
Day 5 see my post re free concerts in several churches, Notre Dame and St. Chapelle.
Day 7 Napolean's Tomb is closed untl June

Arab Museum has spectacular views from the 9th floor (no fee unless you want to tour the museum)

Bus tour- check other Paris threads out but bus #69 is an east-west trip from The Bastille to Champs. From Bastile sit on the left for the best view and on the right on the return trip.

jan47ete is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Wow thanks for all the great tips. And glad to know Napolean's tomb is closed, I can cancel that off. I will go read up on some of the sugggestions.
coachdj5 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Oh, dear, Adrienne, I tried to explain it to you. You are just not open to picnics, I guess. Our family did it--on the grass. It wasn't wet. I just offered that there WAS benches, if you wanted them. We LOVED it, had fun, watched the other French families do the same. I guess it just isn't "you". LOL
We did have pate de foie gras and other goodies, but I still think it can be as simple as jambon et fromage au baguette from the traitteur. Forgive the misspellings. ;o)
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 06:48 PM
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Oh dear, Gretchen - I have no idea what you're trying to explain.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 06:46 AM
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I can't find where it says Napolean's tomb is closed, can you point me to where I can find that information?
coachdj5 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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A picnic. Fun.
Gretchen is offline  

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