If you had just one day in Paris...

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Aug 29th, 2003, 09:17 PM
  #1
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If you had just one day in Paris...

...what would be the most efficient way/route to see as much as possible. We'll be coming in via the train station and probably pick up metro tickets and tour that way on our own. More clearly, which sights would you start with and end the day with.

We fully understand we won't be able to do it all or even come close.

Thank you!
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Aug 29th, 2003, 11:31 PM
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Starting at 8 am, stroll through Luxembourg Gardens (2 hrs). Enter through the SW gate at Rue d'Assas, walk along the west perimeter (nice gardens with statuary set in the greens or in the midst of separate garden areas within park), to the north perimeter (Delacroix fountain, facade of Luxembourg Palace, ending up in the Medici fountains), walk south to the foot of the long basin in front of the palace and get a grand view from the south (with the palace in background, basin in middle ground, flanked by two formal rows of trees in foreground), walk back to the Medici fountains area and exit the NE corner of park.

Soak up the quiet and noise, the color of the Left Bank's Ste Germain area (2 hrs). Walk north past Theatre National de l'Odeon, up Rue de l'Odeon, until you hit Blvd. Saint-Germain. Walk east along this boulevard, cross Blvd. Saint Michel. Just past this intersection, turn left into alleys Rue de la Harpe, then right into Rue de la Huchette (set for Last Time I Saw Paris). At the end of this alley, you should be in sight of Notre Dame.

Have early lunch (1 hr) in this Huchette area, or one of the restaurants or bistros along the Seine.

By 1 pm, cross the Seine to the square in front of Notre Dame. Explore the cathedral, see the rose windows, check out the sides and the park behind it to get a great view of the flying buttresses (2 hrs).

Take the Metro (subway) to the Louvre. In 3 hrs at this museum, you should be able to see the tourist haunts (UGH!) of Mona Lisa (1st flr., Denon Wing), the Winged Victory statue of Samothrace (1st flr., Sully Wing), and the Venus de Milo (grnd. flr., Sully Wing)...plus some must-sees: large-format salon French paintings of the 19th c. incl. The Raft of the Medusa, The Coronation of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, Madame Recamier lounging (1st flr, Denon Wing), and the "smaller" French paintings of the 14th-19th c. (all of 2nd flr., Sully Wing & part of 2nd flr., Richelieu Wing).

In this last section, you will see masterpiece upon masterpiece by the big names: Louis David, Gericault, Georges de la Tour, Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, Corot, Poussin, Watteau, Ingres, Delacroix...just unbelievable.

In any case, aside from the Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, Winged victory, stick to the French paintings. After all, that's the main reason one visits a country's national museum...to see the country's own masterworks, right? Save the Rembrandts, Goyas, Michelangelos, etc. for their more exhaustive collections in the national museums of their home countries.

By 6 or 7 pm, you can still take the Metro and sneak a visit to one of the ff: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Basilique de Sacre Coeur?) for a dusk view of the city lighting up (as Balzac describes it at the end of Old Goriot).

You mught be panting at the end of this day, but it would be worth it.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 01:42 AM
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I think you've gotten great advice from C Rafael but I would say, what do YOU want to see? What have you always dreamed/heard about Paris? A cruise down the Seine is beautiful, less tiring than walking and you get to see all the bridges.

Several people have asked this question in the past. If you type one day in Paris in the text search here, you'll find lots of previous threads with other thoughts. Enjoy!
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Aug 30th, 2003, 04:33 AM
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Jan:

It would help to know just exactly when you will arrive and leave. A "day" could mean arrive at 10AM, leave at 3PM--which would just about give one time for lunch. Are you spending the night?

One note, I would NOT buy metro tickets. You will spend much of your day simply figuring out the system and finding metro stops.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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I had one day (actually 3 pm - midnight) in Paris last summer and walked, walked, walked ending with a late Seine cruise which was wonderful and would highly recommend it.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 07:24 AM
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I agree with dellyb, also I will want to visit Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur.. Great church and also nice view of Paris..
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Aug 30th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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good suggestions
If I had only one day, I don't think I'd spend much time in a museum, especially if there is a long line, much as I usually am an art buff,unless I had a dream of seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. In that case go for an hour, and then leave.

I'd metro or walk to the Eiffel Tower, walk to the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs Elysees for a while, move over to Faubourg St Honore to window shop. Stop for lunch or a snack at Laduree, either the one on the Champs, or the one on Rue Royale. You must have pastry or cookies as a dessert, that's what they are known for.
Find yourself at Place de la Concorde. Walk through Tuileries Gardens,end up at Louvre, where you can make your stop if you like. Metro to Cite stop to visit Notre Dame. Then explore the left bank,wandering the side streets of the 5th and 6th districts, ending up at the St Germain church, part of which is the oldest church in Paris.

The above can also be reversed.You will definitely need a good map: Streetwise Paris is excellent, pocket-sized, easy to read, metro stops marked.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 07:34 PM
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You guys are absolutely fantastic. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions and time spent answering my post.

C Rafael and Elaine: you two really outdid yourselves. It is very much appreciated.

We will be in Belgium on business for an entire week and decided to stay an extra day to see Paris. There is so much going on at home, we couldn't push for any extra time as much as we would have loved to stay longer. We are just thankful to have that extra day. We are taking the first possible train into Paris in the am, and returning on the last possible train that night.

Mclaurie: Thank you for suggestion to do a search using 'one day in Paris'. That brought up greats threads too. I had previously put only 'Paris' in search and it brought up almost as many threads as in the France forum.

Again, thank you to all for your input.
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