First time to Paris

Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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First time to Paris

Is it possible to visit Paris and enjoy the city for just three days for a couple who have not been there before? Also, can you recommend attractions to see, places to stay and eat and typically how much it would cost us (we were looking to go there sometime in late Nov or late December and on a budget).
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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A little more time would be better, but if this is your chance to see Paris, then take it. I've had great visits to cities where I only had a day to see the sights. Usually, I wished I had more time, but I enjoyed the experience anyway.

Your question about sightseeing and restaurants is too general for us to be of much help. More information about your interests would help. You might also try searching the various Paris threads (there's a superthread somewhere) and reading a guidebook focusing on budget travel - and then ask for some help to narrow down the choices to a manageable 3 day plan.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Yes definitely to 1st Q
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Of course it's possible. Are you asking if 3 days is too short to enjoy the city? Or if it's so difficult to get around for a first timer that it wouldn't be enjoyble?

Here's what you should do: Buy the DK Eyewitness Guide to Paris. You'll find enough there to keep you busy for weeks. Each of you should then list your top 3 or 4 "must sees." Plot them on a map (e.g. Notre Dame is near the Latin Quarter) and see what fits best on what day (noting closed days for museums). Then, use the Eyewitness Guide again to "fill in" - see what more "minor" sites are near your must sees.

Let us know your nightly budget on hotel accomodations and we'll be better able to help.
missypie is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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Of course you can enjoy Paris for three days. Just don't go in with the idea that you have to see everything. Pick some things that you enjoy and have a good time.

There are itinerary ideas for short stays under "Destinations" here on Fodors.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Suggest stay in 2 or 3 star local hotel rather than international hotel to keep the cost down areas vary but it may be cold so you want to limit the walking distances. Chose a few high points for me Notre Dame, Musee de moyen age and d'orsey (lots of other things to do in this area (plus street markets)

Take trian from cdg to centre of town. Ask hotel concierge where to eat but tunisian and lebanese also belgian moule and frites is cheap and then blowout one night on special meal (use guides to select) but concierge to book.

If you use concierge to book it is ok to tip at the end but keep it sensible

Hotel Euro 70 for double, breakfast 8 euro each lunch and supper plan euro 20. Museums say euro 10 each for the big ones but a little research will give you prices.

Then a blow out or bateau mouche will flush out euro 70 each.

Now anyone else want to give DTW a better idea of prices??? and how to do it sensibly
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Three days will give you enough time to sample the city.

First, I would look at the guide on this site, perhaps buy another one, and then make a list of the sites/museums that interest you.

You days three that really three days, or you are physically in Paris for three days. Huh, you may say...If you land on Day 1, you will need to allow for 2-3 hours to get your luggage, get to Central Paris (where I suggest you will want to stay) check in to hotel, get lunch...and then your 3 days becomes 2.5. If you are leaving on Day 3, allowing getting to airport 2-3 hours before flight, plus (I believe) most flights to N.A. being early afternoon...Day 3 is gone. So define how many days you have.

Hotels range widely in price. Do you want comfort, jacuzzi, room service, etc..Or a place to store stuff and sleep? I'd guess a hotel in the 75-125 euro range would be a budgeting price.

As with hotels, meal pricing can vary widely. Personally, I never eat at at a hotel, I figure I can get something at a cafe cheaper, by something I mean coffee, croissant, and OJ. A price in the 10 euro p.p. range is budgetary.

For lunch, you can keep costs down by picking up sandwiches/crepes from vendors (all over paris) or you can do a sti down. The vendor route would probably go for around 10 euro p.p., sit down might be 15-25 euros.

Dinner prices range all over the map. I'd say the 20-40 euro p.p. range might cover a good percentage of restaurants. Note that you can get 'set meals' (aka "menu") where for a fixed price you get some combination of appetiser, main course, dessert, coffee. Best value.

For accomodations, I'd say broadly to look in the 1st to 7th arrondissements (districts), with the 5-7th being generally the most popular.

On my last trip (november), I paid US$630 for 4 nights hotel in the 16th arr. (bit far from centre)
Breakfast at local cafe: petit dejeuner: OJ, coffe, croissant: 9,60E

Dinner at Le Jacobine in 6th: 30 euros
(fish soup, maigret de canard, wine)

Lunch at Cafe Hugo (Places des Vosges):17,20E
(veal flank, water, veggies, wine)

Dinner Chez Clement (6th) 41E
(terrine, water,chicken, wine, espresso,dessert)

Lunch Brasserie Ile St Louis (4th) 41E
(faux fillet, water, wine, coffee, ice cream)

Dinner La Rotonde de la Muette (16th) 51E
(soupe, water, wine,sole meuniere, chocolate mousse, expresso)

Lunch Miss Manon (4th) 10E
(sandwich, drink, pastry)

Dinner Bistrot de la 7iem (7th) 35E
(terrine, veal escaloppe, wine, water, dessert) a MENU selection

Hope this gets you started. Bring on the questions...

Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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Go to the top of this page and click on Destinations then dial in Paris for a good overview. Be sure to inlcude Notre Dame, Eiffel tower, Sont Chappelle, the Louvre, the Orsay, Mont Martre, and a stroll along the Seine or perhaps a river boat ride.

We like the Hotel Andrea-Rivoli a little 2* on the edge of the Marais (is that how you spell that?) A double is about $84 euros and it is very conveniently located near Notre Dame, the Pompidieu, the Louvre and a whole lot more. The rooms are small but from what I've seen that applies to lots of hotels in Paris.

Can you visit and enjoy Paris in 3 days? Just enough time to fall in love and start making plans for your next trip. The weather in Nov-Dec can be variable. Be sure to pack your rain gear and wear layers of clothing.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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United Airlines inflight magazine, Hemispheres, has a very useful feature called "Three Perfect Days" in which a resident of a given city describes a three day visit, including hotel and restaurants. Those may not fit your budget, but the rest of the information will show that Paris can be visited very pleasantly in 3 days. After the first time you'll be back for more!

Here are links to Paris "Three Perfect Days" in 2 different versions (note that in the first one there is an error, putting the Luxembourg Gardens near the Parc Monceau, but a look at a map will clear that up):
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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I'm not quite sure what you mean by a budget. My 22 year-old daughter and I stayed at the Britannique, web site The location was fabulous--walk to Notre Dame, Louvre left bank, and many other places and it was a block and a half from a major train station where you could link up with most any line. The staff couldn't be nicer--no problem with the language. We had 3 nights there and saw quite a lot of Paris.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 11:30 PM
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mom -
I spent a week at the Britannique and my group of friends and I liked it too. Granted, it was nearly 10 years ago, but they have always = for nearly 140 years - had a nice reputation, originally as a home base for Brits.

The only room I know of to avoid is off the lobby, so a bit noisy.

Most rooms were pretty small, but with good beds, and spotless. The bathrooms were larger than average, also spotless. My windows were on an inner area, really a large air shaft. Utterly silent. Rooms in front were supposedly pretty quiet too - there is no through traffic on the street.

The location is great, as Mom said: a few minutes walk to Notre Dame, the Louvre, Samaritaine dept store, close to left bank, the Marais, Place des Voges. You can do far worse than The First, and the Britannique is a modest but very pleasant hotel - on a rather quiet street, by the way, as avenue Victoria is only two blocks long.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Forgot to mention that late Nov can be a great time for Paris. I believe the week before Thanksgiving is when the Beaujolais Nouveau arrives, which simply means a festive mood. Thanksgiving is a nice time to be there anyway - slightly fewer American tourists and business travelers from US that weekend. Also, Christmas decorations are going up. Stalls outside the big department stores selling fun and "typical" gifts. Cool weather, but not likely cold (makes for good appetites ...)
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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Whatever happened to the OP?
ira is online now  
Old Apr 20th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Like many others he probably came here, registered, posted his question and then returned a few days later without a clue how to find his post and assumed it had been lost.
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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It is possible to check out the city in three days but the more time you have the better. You should get a good guidebook to get an idea of what you want to see and do and plan your visit

I went to Paris last year and you can check out my trip report with pictures and links on my homepage . You should also check out this interactive Google map that I have made: . This will show you where the main attractions are located and you can click on the various markers to get more information. I hope this helps a bit in your planning phase.

Gard - trip reports and pictures
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Besides UA Hemisphere's "Three Days", a great idea, check out the NY Times "36 Hours" features.
Here's the one on Paris:
tomassocroccante is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2007, 06:47 AM
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This is what I spent on a trip to Paris last year and it can't be too atypical. Breakfest was included in the hotel we stayed at, but next year we are not going to included breakfast at the hotel.

Costs are for two people and in USDollars, and we always had a bottle of wine with dinner. This adds at least 1/3 to the meal.

10/03 Le Mondrian 91.49
10/03 Les Deux Magots 52.42 (lunch & drinks)

10/04 Brasserie St Lo 87.26
10/04 Les Deux Magots 26.57 (drinks)

10/05 Le Bonaparte 25.09 (drinks)
10/05 Les Deux Magots 27.82 (drinks)

10/06 Champ De Mars 48.82
10/06 Le Bonaparte 26.89 (drinks)
10/06 Leon Brux 33.21 (a wine shop)
10/06 Les Deux Magots 28.78 (drinks)

10/07 Le Bonaparte 33.68 (drinks)
10/07 Brasserie St Lo 68.51

10/08 Le Grand 28.72 (drinks)
10/08 L'Atlas 48.79

10/09 Le Bonaparte 33.58 (drinks)

I'm just doing a trip from last week which has more detail if you want.

Peter_krynicki is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Tom and Mom--We are staying at the Britannique in June, so appreciate your notes on it. Any specific bistros nearby that you would recommend?
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 10:01 AM
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I don't know what's near the Britannique right now - it's been 9 years. (Looking forward to a return to Paris in 08)

We didn't do breakfast at the hotel often; instead would stop at a simple cafe/patisserie (buy at the counter) around the corner on Rue Edouard Colonne. (I'm looking at Mapquest ..)

There was a restaurant on that street where we stopped for a nightcap on our final night ... very friendly, a lively group of local people closing the bar.

But being a block or so off the Seine to the south, and the same from Rue de Rivoli to the north puts you in a great spot.

When we checked in we had about an hour wait for one of the rooms, so walked over to Samaritaine department store for our first view of the city from their roof terrace. But I just discovered that the store has been closed, apparently for extensive renovations after being deemed a fire hazard in 05.

By the way, checking the Britannique's website I see that they have really done it up. She has that Belle Epoch look today, compared to the "motel modern" of the late 90s. Congratulations! Also, she's been a Fodor's recommendation the whole time. And the member reviews are excellent.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 03:23 PM
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It won't take long to appreciate how wonderful Paris is. The city center is full of house hold name monuments and many attractions are easily walkable, some info here to plan your trip
equilibrium is offline  

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