Notices

Help w/ Paris Itinerary

Old Mar 10th, 2004, 08:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 637
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Help w/ Paris Itinerary

I don't know why I can't wrap my head around this . . . Husband and I will be in Paris for the first time in April, four days, and I don't think we've overplanned. But I can't seem to get these things put together in a coherent itinerary so we're not running all over. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Arrive Paris on Friday, early morning, taking shuttle to Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais in the Marais. Leaving early-ish on Tuesday.

Museums: Picasso, Carnavalet (cl. Mon.), Cluny, Pompidou(?) (yes, skipping the Louvre on this trip)

Notre Dame incl. the towers (will we be exhausted after this?)

Ste. Chappelle

Bird Market - Sunday

Tour Eiffel (evening and apertif nearby?)

Montmarte and the Espace Dali. Has anyone been to the Dali museum? What else really is there to do in Montmarte? Worth a nighttime visit?

Pere Lachaise

Explore and shop: Everywhere! Especially Marais, St. Germain, Louvre exterior area and Tuileries, Passages

I just don't know how much time to allot for most of these, along with plenty of time for aimless wandering, eating and drinking!

Thanks so much for any help!
melissa19 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:34 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21,613
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd suggest getting a copy of the green Michelin Guide to Paris, which has good itineraries laid out to eliminate backtracking and estimates of the time it would take, or the Eyewitness Guide to Paris, useful for the neighborhood maps that show contiguous sights.
Underhill is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:37 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,942
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I assume, in addition to skipping the Louvre, you have consiously decided to skip the Musee D'Orsay. I would reconsider skipping the Louvre and D'Orsay. IMHO, they are vastly superior to the Picasso, Carnavalet and Pompidou. The Cluny is lovely but does not compare to the Louvre and D'Orsay. It might make sense to use a map and group the sites you intend to visit by Arrondisement. That way you can see if all of your ideas will fit easily into 4 days.
mamc is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:49 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 109
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I second the recommendation to go to the Musee D'Orsay. It is such a beautiful building and the art is just incredible. I know the Louvre can be a bit overwhelming but I would also agree that it is a must do.

As for the Dali museum, I would probably cut that if you are pressed for time. I thought it was ok. I am not a huge Dali fan though so maybe I am biased? If you do go, be sure to swing by Sacre Couer as well.

Another place to consider is the Rodin museum. One of my favorites- I would definitely pick it over the Dali.

JaneS
JaneS is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:52 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 281
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Melissa: myself and husband went for 1 and a half days on Valentine's Day and we had an overpacked schedule also. We brought our schedule and used it as a loose guideline - and although we did not make 60% of the places I had planned - it worked out very well. We went to the Picasso Museum which you can do in about an hour and the Montmarte district is right there, and we thought that was lovely walking around the streets. We walked from the Picasso Musuem straight to the nearby Pont Neuf-based boats, bought a bottle of champagne from the Nicolas wine stores (Yellow writing on burgundy background - would never have known what it was unless a kind Fodorite pointed it out),I borrowed 2 glasses from the hotel's bar and brought them in my bag. That was a lovely rest before dinner, the cruise is about an hour and its best to take at about 5:30pm just before sunset. Then went to dinner on Ile St. Louis - lovely little romantic restaurants there but you MUST reserve. I guess what I am trying to say is bring your schedule, take rests in between and hit the places and museums you really would love to see. Believe me, you will get caught up in the atmosphere of Paris and might prefer to just watch the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower over rushing around. Have a great time!
Aine is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:58 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,958
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I haven't always gone to the Louvre when I'm in Paris, either. Do what you want, you've been there so know.

As for Montmartre, I didn't go to Dali museum as I don't like him. Aside from Sacre Coeur, I just like doing walking tours to see famous sites and general layout/architecture of places. In Montmartre, ave Junot, for example, as some nice houses, some with famous architects. You need to find out about that though to get the most out of that. YOu could go to the cemetery if there was someone there of special interest to you. However, the site I probably enjoyed most was the Montmartre Museum. It's just a little place, but it was very enjoyable, with photos, artifacts, and information on the history of the area.
Christina is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 10:12 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, the bird market, St. Chapelle and Notre Dame can all be done together on Sunday since they are all within the same general square block. (The bird market is an interesting concept, but in reality it is just cages with parakeet-type birds, some rabbits, etc., and I think took us about 25 mins to wander.) St. Chapelle can be seen in 30-40 mins unless there is a long line to enter. The evening concerts are glorious. Notre Dame would be an hour or more esp. if you are climbing the tower. There's also Roman ruins under Notre Dame that you could do as a walk through; and the Jewish Deportation site behind Notre Dame which is also pretty much a walk in, meditate on man's inhumanity and leave; it is stark and moving. Also for Sunday, the Marais is a busy place with street musicians, etc., so save time for wandering there.

For me, the best part of Montmartre is just wandering the streets, seeing the cemeteries, eating a picnic sandwich on the steps of Sacre Couer. You can also climb to the top of the church for an outstanding view of Paris; it's a long way and part of it is across the roof itself (perfectly safe, but just when you think you have reached the top and are outside, you find there are MORE steps to the viewing area.) There weren't many others at the top; I suspect it is a little less known than the climb up Notre Dame. Didn't get to do the Dali museum because my companions weren't interested, and it does take a specialized interest for Dali! And I had seen the one in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Picasso and Pompidou are interesting if you are truly into Picasso and other modern artists. I found the Pompidou to be showing some "you're kidding me" exhibits, e.g., a video of Yoko's bare butt shaking to music and a closet installation. But it does have some fine abstracts and the building is certainly quirky. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the Picasso because it contained a multitude of periods, with lots of information in English as you enter each room. I think we spent at least 1-2 hours for each of these.

The Eiffel is impressive at night or even at dusk. Again, time depends on whether you just want to "see" it, or go up for the view, stop for coffee, and just mill around people watching.

I agree with previous posters that the d'Orsay is wonderful for both the building and the collections. And the Rodin, at least the sculptures in the garden. I would not have any problem with skipping the Louvre because most of its collection is not what draws me.

If you have some time, do your own walk through of the Opera Garnier; such opulence. It is breathtakingly gorgous.

Make sure you walk either the Tuilleries, or the Luxembourg, or even the Palais Royal gardens for a feel of how the locals "hang out."

I think all you have planned is a bit ambitious, but then there is always the next trip......



palette is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 10:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Melissa,

I would start with the Bird Market (1/2 hour) and then I would do the Marais area on Sunday since there's not much activity there on Saturday and lots of restos, shops are shut. The Carnevalet Museum is fairly large but there's no English information on what you're looking at so you might want to buy a book. You can walk through in 1 to 1.5 hours. If you happen to be in Paris on the first Saturday of the month there's an English tour at the Carnevalet at 3:00. You have to pay for the tour (can't remember how much). Also stop by the Place des Vosges. There's plenty of activity here on Sundays.

On Saturday you could do the Cluny (2 hours), Notre Dame (2 hours incl tower - this is hard to judge since it depends on how long the line for the tower is), Deportation Memorial (15 minutes), Ste-Chappelle (1 hour). The Cluny offers an English tour on Sat at 11:45 and Notre Dame offers a free English tour at 12:30.

Montmartre area is neat. Start at Abbesses Metro and look at the artwork that lines the walls. If your're not up to climbing hundreds of steps you could take Anvers Metro and leave by Abbesses Metro. Montmartre offers Sacre Coeur, St. Peter's Church (next to Sacre Coeur - one of Paris's oldest churches), Montmartre Museum, a small vineyard, and lots of tacky tourist shops which are kind of neat for small souvenirs. I did go to Montmartre one evening after dinner and sat in a cafe that had a female singer who did Edith Piaf songs. It was fun.
adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 01:28 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Dali museum is not real large, so you can see the exhibit in an hour or two; it is located kind of 'below' Place du Tertre, as I recall...we stumbled on it by accident and went inside...I am from Florida so was amused that many pieces are on loan from a Sarasota (FL) museum...We enjoyed it as being a refreshing change in style from so much of the 'classic' or 'impressionist' works showed in the Louvre or d'Orsay(not that we don't love those museums).
Travelnut is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 637
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
thanks, all. i know the best thing is to just hang loose and plan each day as it comes. sunny? let's go to ste. chappelle . . . unfortunately, i'm an obsessive planner!
melissa19 is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 05:51 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just got back from Paris and have a word of advice..whichever museums you decide to visit, they are ALL closed on Mondays, with the exception of the Picasso.

Bon voyage!
Leona is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 06:03 AM
  #12  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,678
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
From
http://www.louvre.fr/anglais/infos/p_ouv.htm

The Louvre Museum is open daily except Tuesdays and certain public holidays, from 9am to 6pm.
Late-night opening until 9.45pm on Mondays " short tour " and on Wednesdays.
Room closure begins 30 minutes before closing of the museum.
ira is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 06:50 AM
  #13  
awbaker
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Your hotel is supposed to be wonderful small hotel. I tried to book there last year, but it was full. I still loved our hotel, though (Hotel Verneuil.) I enjoyed the Picasso museum (close to your hotel) and the musee d'orsay. It was too cold for us to wait in line for the Louvre; we'll see that next trip. We were lucky enough to have restaurant recommendations from a NY Times food editor. Our favorite (& also the most financially reasonable) was La Regelade (01 45 45 68 58). It's usually booked several weeks in advance. And please have a drink in the Hemingway bar at the Ritz. Best chocolates (IMO) - Jean Paul Hevin on rue Saint-Honore.
 
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 08:23 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,467
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Melissa, Pere Lachaise is out of the way of most of your list. Try this schedule:
Fri, Pere Lachaise, then metro back and do your "aimless walking" around the St. Germain area. Plenty of shopping around there, too.
Sat, do Notre Dame, Ste Chappelle and the Cluny, all close together. If you have extra time, you could continue on down to the Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens, or the markets around rue Mouffetard.
Sun, Start with the Bird Market, then over to the Pompidou, Picasso and Carnavalet. Of course, it will depend on how long you want in each of these. I realize it's a lot of museum time in one day, but they are all in the same area. Lots of shopping along the way, too, and you end up at Place des Vosges for a nice place to rest and watch the people.
Mon, go to Montmartre. Don't miss going in Sacre Coeur, inside the main dome it's gorgeous. Walk over to Place du Tertre. The Dali Museum is open on Mon (although the Montmartre Museum is not).
Fit the Eiffel Tower in whatever evening works best. Have a great time!
SusanP is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 11:38 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,182
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just to confuse you even more, the Pompidou is open until 10 pm, so you could go there as one of your 'nighttime activities'. If you take the escalators to the top you will be rewarded with a beautiful view. If you are there late at night you can easily walk to your hotel. We stayed just a few blocks from where you will be staying (your hotel btw is very charming) and walked from the Pompidou to our hotel after 10:30 and felt very safe. I don't know if you were planning to use a museum pass but the Pompidou is included.
Margie is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2004, 04:51 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 637
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i like the idea of going to pere lachaise the first day. our thought had been that we would be so jet-lagged we should stay in the neighborhood (marais), but i also didn't want to take in a museum in that bleary state. wandering around a graveyard could be just the thing. hopefully the weather will cooperate!

i had also considered the pompidou in the evening (maybe the first?). is it worth going to the restaurant georges for an apertif? then dinner somewhere else in the marais.

wow! it's all falling into place!

thanks again . . .
melissa19 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2004, 08:53 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21,613
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't know about Georges, but most restaurants--unless they have a bar--will not want to have people coming in just for an apéritif and taking up a table that could be used for diners.
Underhill is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2004, 03:39 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 637
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hmmm, which leads me to another question. are there restaurant bars where one can sit to just have an apertif? my thought was that we might have a drink one place and dinner at another. or is it customary in paris to have the apertif at the table before dinner?
melissa19 is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2004, 04:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,605
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We ate at Georges in February and I did not notice a bar inside. There were people seated outside having drinks and I believe snacks so possibly that's an option. (The food is good but a little pricey for what you get and the view is terrific.
mvor is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2004, 03:54 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21,613
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In Paris--and indeed in most of France--it's customary in a restaurant to have an apéritif at one's table. If the table isn't ready, you might be directed to a bar IF there is one, and at hotel dining rooms you sometimes start out in a lounge with a drink while perusing the dinner menu.
Underhill is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jean_claire
Europe
24
Jan 26th, 2011 10:22 AM
Photobear
Europe
41
Aug 27th, 2008 01:12 PM
nancbanana
Europe
11
Feb 6th, 2005 06:39 PM
NatandRick
Europe
18
Dec 12th, 2004 05:47 PM
babygator72
Europe
20
Jul 30th, 2003 09:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO