Help! Two Days in Paris!!!

Mar 1st, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Help! Two Days in Paris!!!

Hey there! My friend and I will be visiting London here in a couple of weeks and we have decided to go to Paris for an overnight trip. We've already booked the tickets through RailEurope and we will be doing a package with Golden Tours (I believe). With the package, it includes a river cruise, and coach tour around parts of the city, including the Louvre and a trip to the second landing of the Eiffel Tower.

However, the NEXT day is ours to do as we wish. We just have to be back at the rail station by 7:30 to catch the train back to London. Does anyone have any suggestions on what we can do in our spare time? I thought about going to Sacre Coeur? Maybe Notre Dame... I like history and so does my friend. I know she is very excited about seeing the Arch de Triumph. Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated! I have spent so much time looking into our activities to our London trip but I definitely don't want to forget about Paris!!!

Thanks again!
kristanp is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Well I wouldn;t have done a tour since you'll get a lot of on the left is the XXX - andyou'll just see the outside versus going in.

But since you have it - I guess that's one day. If I only had one more day I would do Notre Dame and St Chapelle, The Musee D'Orsay and the Musee de Cluny. But I love old - and impressionists. Other will give you completely different ideas.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:29 PM
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OH - and this will give you time fo ronly a small taste of the D'Orsay - which could easily be 3/4 hours by itself.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:59 PM
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Yeah, we were in our very early stages and it was cheaper this way than to get our own ticket and hotel for the night... so we booked it early on. I'd really rather have two days myself, but I'll take what we've got cause it's better than nothing!
kristanp is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:10 PM
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I'd skip going into museums unless this is of interest. A day spent doing Notre Dame, St Chapelle, Ile St Louis, Place des Vosges and wander around Right Bank would be nice. Or, instead of Right Bank, after the Islands head over to the Left Bank and wander down Boluevard St Germain.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Do you usually like escorted tours? And is the tour non-refundable? You could easily do something similar on your own, if you do a search there are old posts on here about which public bus lines to take in order to do a sort of self-directed tour of the city. It's more fun riding with regular people on their daily business than on a coach bus imo, but I'm don't like escorted tours so I'm bias. Although I'd also be more inclined to just walk around instead.

Does your tour include an actual tour inside the Louvre or does it just drive by? Does your friend want to just literally see Arch de Triomphe or does she want to climb it?

Other suggestions in addition to what nytraveler suggested would be to walk around the Marais and then visit the Pompidou Centre (if you like modern art).

The Musee d'Orsay will be having a special exhibit, "Crime and Punishment, from Goya to Picasso" if that interests you.

Another idea would be to see if there are any tickets available for a ballet at the Palais Garnier/Paris Opera. The theater is both gorgeous and historic.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:17 PM
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Oh, sorry didn't see that the tour is a done deal. I'm freakin slow
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:40 PM
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krista - while I generally avoid group tours like the plague, it is not the end of the world. If you are a first time visitor the quick and dirty tour can let you get an overview of some major sights, albeit only in a superficial way, and get a sense of the layout of the city; you can make notes on what you want to explore further next time. The one upside is that being with a group can actually save you significant time getting into the ET as there is a special queue for groups that moves much faster than the regular line. Same is often true for other places, too.

Something to keep in mind is that just because you bought the group tour as part of a package (sounds like you did this for an overall price advantage) you do not need to do it. Review what is on the schedule and if you see something you don't care to do you can just leave the group and catch up later. The tour guide may not like that, but you are a customer, not a prisoner. Just be sure that you know exactly where and when to re-meet the group and how to get there - if you are late they will not wait for you.
Seamus is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:21 PM
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If the tour bus goes to Montmartre, you may not want to go back there to see Sacre Coeur again the next day.

If you see any sights or neighborhoods on the tour that you would like to explore in depth, you can go there the next day.

If you like museums and especially Impressionists, you can go to the Musee d'Orsay.

If you would like to walk around a neighborhood and window shop, the Marais and the Place des Vosges or the side streets in St-Germain around St-Sulpice would be nice.

I would make sure to go into Sainte Chapelle, which is quite near Notre Dame.

You might want to pick out a nice restaurant for lunch in one of the neighborhoods you would like to explore. There are lots of ideas for restaurants in posts here, or you can ask about specific neighborhood suggestions.
Nikki is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Some good ideas above, and there's a lot you can see in the area centred on Notre Dame that's within walking distance.

Last year I spent 2 days in Paris, though it wasn't my first visit and I'd seen most of the main sights before. I wrote a report in the hope it might provide some information in what to see in a limited time.

Incidentally my son is in Paris at the moment, for just 2 days. Today they have the drive around the city and climb the Eiffel Tower, tomorrow they have school stuff in the morning and spend the afternoon in Montmartre.
julia_t is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 12:48 AM
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i would recommend (for a two hour walk), walking from Chatelet to Champs Elysee

points of interest enroute
1. chatelet
2. rue rivoli
3. louvre
4. parc tuleries
5. champs elysee
ironfever is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:58 AM
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If I had just one full day, I would walk along the Seine to see the beautiful bridges, the bouquinistes, the Bateaux Mouches and then visit some parks, maybe Jardin du Luxembourg, Les Tuileries and Parc Monceau. Take time out for some coffee or Calvados at a cafe and plan how and when you can return.
bumper is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 05:19 AM
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great ideas for a short trip!
julia_t - your trip report is quite nice as well!
annesherrod is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Wow! These are some wonderful ideas! Thank you so much! I'm sitting here trying to sort through them all but the more I try, the more I'd like to do them all! But, as Seamus said, it can all be explored further next time!

I have frequently thought about just canceling the actual coach part and exploring on our own to meet with the group later. They do say we can do the River Cruise on our own the next day if we'd like. If we don't end up canceling, I think we might try the Sacre Coeur (I am pretty sure the tour does not take us to Montmartre), Notre Dame and St Chapelle, maybe take a walk down the Seine River and people watch!

The tour also says a visit to the Latin Quarter is worth checking out?
kristanp is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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julia_t... forgive me please but I almost forgot to ask... how was your son's trip to Paris? Did he enjoy his time there? I certainly hope so!!!
kristanp is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Oh that's all right, I didn't expect anyone to ask! He did enjoy his trip, but it was basically 2 days on a coach (we live in England) and 2 days in Paris. They stayed in the 19th up by Cite des Sciences. Apparently quite grim, a few of the kids got mugged/robbed though the other kids chased the robbers and there were police there so it didn't come to anything serious. Just the loss of a mobile phone and some cash.

Thing is with school trips, they have to kind of stay with the group, so there was no nipping off for falafel in the Marais! But the UNESCO presentation and visit was good, and overall he had a fun time.
julia_t is offline  

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