First Paris trip--5 nights

Old Jun 6th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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First Paris trip--5 nights

Our first trip in Early October 2016, other than an overnight stay years ago. Interested in museums, Renaissance to Impressionism, churches, and wondering around, shopping, people watching at cafes, etc. Trying to see things while still having time to enjoy just hanging out.
Is this itinerary too ambitious for a couple 60+ active seniors?
Monday--arrive around noon from Normandy. Staying at small hotel in 6th between Luxembourg Garden and St. Sulpice. Plan to visit garden, maybe picnic lunch, walk around St. Germain-des-Pres and dinner in 6th that night. If mood strikes us, may go to either Museum Delacroix or Pantheon (Museum Pass).
Tuesday--day in the 7th. Metro to Orsay for morning. Lunch (suggestions?) on way walking to Invalides/Napoleon Tomb and Rodin. Afternoon at Invalides and Rodin. Metro back to hotel. Late afternoon and evening exploring 6/5th some more. Dinner in 6th.
Wednesday--day in 1st and 4th. Metro to Place de la Concorde. Quick visit to Orangerie. Walk thru Tulieries to Louvre. Spend rest of morning and part of afternoon at Louvre. Lunch, a snack in Louvre or outside restaurant(suggestions?). Walk to St Chappelle and Notre Dame. Walk to and explore Ile St. Louis. Dinner on St Louis. Taxi to hotel. Realize this is a busy day. Plan to take time to stop at cafes along the way. Probably will not spend as much time at Louvre as some folks would as we know we are coming back.
Wednesday--Versailles. A must. Spend the day. Kings apartment tour to help with waiting in line issues. Dinner on Calife boat for dinner cruise on the Seine.
Thursday--Montmartre/shopping around Opera area. Metro to Abbesses station and furnicular to top of the hill. Visit Sacre Coeur (must for my wife), walk around area, down to Rue des Martyrs for lunch. Afternoon, Metro to Madeleine, visit church, shopping at Fauchon, etc to way to Galeries Lafayette. Visit Opera house if time. Evening and dinner in 6th.
Friday--late morning TGV train to Provence.
Main question is whether this is too much to see on each day, especially on Tuesday and Thursday.
Thanks so much for your advice.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:33 AM
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It wouldn't be too much for us, also 60+ and very active, but if it turns out to be, won't you know that and be able to change plans? Seems to me the worst that could happen is you'll miss something. Big deal? No.

I wouldn't be taking a taxi back to the 6th from the Ile St-Louis, btw.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Forgot to tag France for this topic. Is it too late now?
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 10:09 AM
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probably, but I'm not sure the tag matter that much, I mainly read all new posts in order at the left--or at least look at the titles, I thinkn a good title is more important. Sometimes I search by country.

No, I don't think your itinerary is too much. I'm in your demographics and do stuff like that all the time. But really, don't worry about it, make some plans and if you get tired during a day, just cut them short.

okay, upon re-reading, yes, I think Tuesday is too much. I would never do such a thing but I have zero interest in visiting 3 museums in one day. I just wouldn't do such a thing. I can only see things in museums for so long, even if I like them. And combining two art museums in one day is something I never do (Orsay has some other stuff than art, but mainly paintings are the focus for most people), even if Rodin is much smaller. I could physically do that day but never would, because I wouldn't enjoy it. You may not be aware, but Invalides is a huge military museum. I don't go to see some tomb of Napoleon, but for the museum as I'm very interested in history. Somehow you think you will be done visiting three museums (two of which are huge) by late afternoon? Have you ever done something like that?

Thursday doesn't seem that bad to me, even if a lot, as it is more a variety of things. Actually, it isn't that bad at all -- Montmartre in the morning, Madeleine area in the afternoon, Opera House if time.

I'd have some backup ideas for Tuesday myself, I'd probably drop Rodin museum, but that's of the least interest to me and you will have seen plenty of art in the morning. I have seen lots of Rodin sculptures in various places, though, even though I like him, and there is even one in the US in Philadelphia (a Rodin museum). I go to Paris every year, though, and have been there a couple times, but I just wouldn't put iot on the must-see level as the Orsay or Invalides museums.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 10:27 AM
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I always have an "itinerary" that's has too many possibilities on it. But I consider them just that, possibilities , knowing I won't do all of them. On my recent visit I did even fewer than I expected, time marching on. I wouldn't give your list a second thought until you find yourself planning "today". You know what your priorities are and will precede accordingly.

I'd attach no value whatever to a stranger telling you that there's too much on Tuesday. My recommendation would be better to have too much on your list every day and do them in order of importance to you than to miss putting something down that you'll regret having forgotten when it's too late. Do what you feel like doing when the time comes and don't worry about those that fall by the wayside. I have items carried over from previous visits every time I go. Some I'll never get to, new discoveries will be added. Traveling is an adventure continually in flux.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 10:36 AM
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Tuesday is not a good museum day because the Louvre is closed.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 10:38 AM
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By the way, part of making an effective list is making sure a place is open on the day I'll consider going there (I probably needn't point this out but have been tripped up myself on occasion). And knowing that your window of opportunity for some things is fixed by your limited presence in the city, others can shift to different days as you go. I consider knowing which are which, fixed or floating, more important than knowing exactly what I'll do any given day.

The one I was hoping to see and was thwarted recently was Musée Gustave Moreau, closed for a change of exhibit. Very disappointing and I would have known if I'd paid attention..
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Best I can tell, we are at least headed in the right direction for 5 days.��
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 12:51 PM
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On Tuesday you could first walk to Rodin from Musee d'Orsay. If time is short you can go into the garden and not the museum. There are several works in the garden (gates of hell, the thinker, etc)that wouldn't take a long time to see and there is a nice cafe in the garden (self-serve) with good tartines and salads, wine and desserts. Since it is cafeteria style it does not take the time that a restaurant would take for lunch. Quick walk to Invalides from Rodin.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 01:34 PM
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Lunch near Rodin, Cafe Varenne is one of my favorites. If you are in Place de la Madeline, do a lap in Baccarat...the chandeliers are amazing. We always stop in Maille for a crock of fresh mustard from the tap.

In the 6th we love Marco Polo, Allard, Le Comptoir for dinner. Gerard Mulot is a favorite for pastries (Rue de Seine). Many recommend FISH and Semilla, as well.

Near the Louvre, Verjus wine bar serves sandwiches for lunch (great place for dinner with a creative prix fixe menu). Cafe Marly has a wonderful terrace that overlooks the Louvre pyramid. It is a bit overpriced but if you want a view....

I recommend a glass of Champs at Galleries Lafayette or at the bar at Le Grand (Hotel Intercontinental) which right by Opera Garnier. The 6th has lots of great boutiques and chocolatiers. Henri LeRoux makes wonderful salted butter caramels.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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My take on Invalides: I'm just the opposite of Christina in that I would never go to a military museum and have repeatedly visited the Napolean's Tomb section of the compound. I think it's breathtaking. And it only takes a short time to see.

You could easily combine it with the Rodin. I will also say that a visit to the garden of the Rodin museum might be quite satisfactory.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 03:40 PM
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I'm confused by your Wednesday. Are you planning to spend the day in the first and fourth, or go to Versaille? Or are you asking which?
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 04:28 PM
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Burta
I messed up the last 3 days by putting Wed down twice.
So much for proofreading.
Should be

Thurs. Versailles all day
Fri Montmartre etc
Sat Train to Provence

Denise
Thanks for the suggestions
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 05:08 PM
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Envious. However, I usually build in a half day of nothing, to give us wiggle room if we have to reschedule something, if the weather turns out to be a big issue, or if there is one or another "interruption" in services. Or we are ill or burnt out.

EG: Your Wed. in particular depends on no hiccups -- but sometimes there a line at Ste. Chappelle and it's next to an important government building that was cordoned off when we were there. Someone told me there were often demonstrations, or whatever, there. I'm sure a resident (plenty on this board) would have a comment on that specifically, but I included it as a general point about leaving "margins" along the way.

Also, in cities new to us, we often lose time the first day trying to figure out public transport. The more familiar you are with the Metro - which lines go where, etc. - the more time you'll save. It's worth getting the various passes (off the top of my head, can't recall names) not only for museum entrances but also for unlimited Metro travel during your stay.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 05:21 PM
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Skip the dinner cruise on the Seine. Do the boat ride only and have dinner before or after. It gets dark pretty early in October so I would do one at about sunset. The food on boat cruises are so-so ad pricey. You'll do better to do them individually.

For a super lunch, http://www.cieldeparis.com/en/ A really wonderful, reasonably priced prixe fixe lunch and great views... of the Eiffel Tower and all of Paris. 39 € for 3 courses; 30 € for 2 courses. Make reservation online and be sure to request a window table facing the ET.
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