Itinerary - 3.5 days in Paris

Jan 18th, 2008, 09:13 AM
  #1  
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Itinerary - 3.5 days in Paris

Paris is the first stop on our trip to France in May. No holidays fall on these days.

I've spent hours on Fodor's and have read five travel books (plus Zagat) and am feeling ready to post our tentative itinerary.

I have been to Paris a couple of times, but my husband has never been, so we will be sticking to a lot of "classic" sights. For my benefit, I have added a few museums I have not visited (l’Orangerie and Rodin) and have chosen a unique-seeming tour (motorized bicycle). Additionally, we will be touring a few “classic” sites with Michael Osman (private guide), so I hope to get a new perspective on these places.

Here goes...

Day 1 (really .5) - Sunday
Land at CDG (flying from California) 11:05 a.m. Customs, baggage claim, etc.

RER to apartment (near Musee d'Orsay). Meet manager with key, get to know apartment, shower, try to resist bed.

When we're ready to hit the city (say 3-4ish), visit l'Orangerie (open until 7 p.m.).

Early dinner at Laduree in 6th (serving until 7:30 p.m.) http://www.laduree.fr/public_en/mais...te_accueil.htm

After dinner: As energy allows, walk around, possibly to Eiffel Tower and back.

Day 2 - Monday
DH has morning to get a taste of the Louvre (perhaps I'll join - we'll see).

Lunch: Jean-Paul Hevin in 1st. http://www.jphevin.com/content.php?lang=en&id_article=9

2:30 - 6:30 p.m. Paris Charms and Secrets motorized bike tour. I read a great review on this activity on a recent fodors trip report. http://www.parischarmssecrets.com/

Dinner: Would love any inexpensive/moderate suggestions in central Paris.

Nighttime Seine cruise

Day 3 – Tuesday
We have booked the services of guide Michael Osman for this day. We would like to have him take us through the d’Orsay, Rodin sculpture garden, Notre Dame and Ste-Chapelle (plus/minus his own ideas).

Lunch and dinner: unknown.

Day 4 – Wednesday
Versailles – gardens, palace, apartments, water fountain show.
Dinner: For our last night, we’d like to do something special for dinner. Perhaps Les Ombres or Jules Verne.

Day 5 – Thursday
Depart Paris in the morning via TGV.

This looks very structured, I know. We like to have a plan of what to do before we travel, and then we often adjust as we go, depending on new things we discover, stamina, etc.

Any feedback/suggestions are welcome an appreciated. We are 28 and 34, in case you were wondering or if this helps with your feedback. I am in advertising and DH is a mechanical engineer. We like art (but I only really enjoy about two hours per museum), food, culture, architecture, history, people watching and generally exploring. In particular, in am interesting in restaurant feedback/suggestions.

Thank you,
Laura

p.s. I promise to post a trip report.
lauraallais is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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I'll post itineraries for the other regions soon, but only Paris is this developed.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Hi laura,

so far, so good. i like the way you have grouped attractions in the same areas together.

you might like to think about some alternatives/ fall-back plans - eg other attractions in the same areas if what you have planned falls through, alterntive restaurants etc.

have a great time,

regards, ann
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Jan 18th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Good plan, Ann. I should really think of back-ups for activities that would be affected by the rain (bicycle tour, Versailles gardens).

Any suggestions? What about alt. restaurants?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Jan 18th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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well laura,

since you ask, i loved the marais, and it isn't on your radar as yet.

there is a great market there, the Beauborg [aka pompidou centre] and the beautiful place de vosges- i stil remember the tour of Victor Hugo's house we did over 25 years ago.

you could easily spend half a day there and have a great lunch in a little bistro as well.

regards, ann
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Jan 18th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Thanks Ann. I'll add that to our "alternative" list.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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If you'd like to dine at Jules Verne, you should make your reservation as soon as they open up- -I'm pretty certain they take bookings at least two months in advance. We tried everything to get reservations for next week but could not. Alain Ducasse just took over in December.

Also, we did the Seine cruise that leaves from the Pont Neuf last July. Can't remember the name of it, but if you have alot of guide books you'll find it. Most of the other boats leave from the Eiffel Tower area. We really liked that this one was a smaller boat and had a live commentary, plus we could easily walk around St. Germain afterwards.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Thanks rileypenny. I'll look into reservations. We're still about four months out, but that would be great if we could make reservations now.

I'm guessing the cruise you took was with Vedettes du Pont-Neuf. Thanks for the recommendation.
lauraallais is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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I am especially looking for dining suggestions based on our itineraries for each day. Thanks much.
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Jan 19th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Day 1- Laduree in the 6th is quite a hike to the Eiffel Tower if you were planning to "stroll" there and back. After a flight from California I doubt if you will be that ambitious. Stop in Laduree and buy some macaroons and then stroll around St. Germain de Pres and eat at one of the many wonderful bistros open Sunday night behind the St. Germaine church on rue de Buci. There is a street market open late and lots of activity.

Day 2- Dinner is going to depend on where the motorized bike tour ends up.

Day 3- Michael is a wonderful guide and he will suggest places to go for lunch and dinner.

Have a great time!
anneeby is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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Thanks anneeby. Great suggestion for day 1.
lauraallais is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 04:09 AM
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Second vote for the marais, my favorite area of Paris. If you will be in Paris on a sunday you must walk around the marais. See all of the many posts about the marais on this site.
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Jan 20th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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tod
 
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Lauraallais - I second Aneeby in pointing out the distance from Laduree on rue Bonaparte to the Eiffel Tower on foot.

Suggest you book Laduree Champs Elysees ( absolutely beautiful!) Request a window seat and people watch - I loved it. From there the Eiffel is nearer but a bit uphill to begin with.
Alternatively you could take the Seine cruise leaving from Pont Neuf (if you eat on Bonaparte).
That way you can stroll up to the Trocadero and see the colourful fountains in all their gushing splendour - and of course watch the sparkle for 10 min. every hour, on the tower itself. Back down river by boat or maybe a local bus??
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Jan 20th, 2008, 06:50 AM
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ira
 
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Hi L,

Our first day in a foreign city we just wander around and get to know the neighborhood, have dinner and go to bed.

In a jetlagged condition, we never do anything that requires thought or should be remembered.

You might want to check www.batobus.com. A 1 day ticket allows you to hop on/off all day. You can take your nighttime cruise with them.

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Jan 20th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Oh, you all are wonderful. You have really helped me think about this plan and make adjustments so far.

lauraallais is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Hi Tod,
I am a bit confused. I thought that the Vedetted de Pont Neuf cruise brings passengers back to Pont Neuf. If this is the case, we will not be able to walk around the Trocadero, right?
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Jan 20th, 2008, 10:44 PM
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Hi Laura, There's no shopping on your agenda!! If you aren't keen on revisiting the Louvre, then perhaps you could drop your other half there and you could cross the Seine and wander through St Germain?? Have fun! We will be in Paris in June and I can't wait to just wander the streets, but admittedly we have 10 days. I'm intrigued to see that you all discuss jet-lag. We live in Sydney, Australia - you should see us after 24 hours in the air!
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Jan 21st, 2008, 08:04 AM
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Cathies - I sure hope I can do some shopping. I must admit that I hoped to do more until I realized how (not) far my dollars will go. A couple of key purchases would be wonderful.

As far a jet lag goes, we will be crossing 9 time zones, and for me that seems to be the magically evil number for screwing up my internal clock. I feel like I did better on our honeymoon to Australia in 06 than on any of my European trips. Though I could barely make it through dinner during our first week in Australia.

Have fun, and I am jealous of your 10 days! Though I guess it WAS my choice to do a larger France tour instead of sticking in Paris. There is just too much to discover!
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Jan 21st, 2008, 08:49 AM
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MaureenB
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Le Caveau de L'Isle is a nice, relatively inexpensive restaurant on the Ille St. Louis. We had a very nice fixe prix dinner, I think for 30EUR apiece w/o wine. Several Fodorites like it, also. You can go to their website and see pics and menus.

Your itinerary looks ambitious, but good. (I can tell you're in advertising-- everything is scheduled precisely!)
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Jan 21st, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Vedettes du Pont Neuf leaves from Pont Neuf (west end of Ile de la Cite, at Square du Vert Galant). LIe the other cruises, it leaves and returns to its starting point. If you want point to point, look at the Batobus, which is more like a "ferry" system, doing a loop wiht stops.

The Bateaux Parisiens leave from in front of the Eiffel tower, Bateaux Mouches nearer Place D'Alma.

The first view of ET while approaching via Palais Chaillot is fantastic. So is seeing it get closer as your cruise boat approaches. So, if on foot, I'd do it via Trocadero, by boat... Vedettes. If you want to end up at Trocadero, then arrive on foot from Right Bank, cross over and do Parisiens.

Ile St Louis has some good restos. I liked Caveau, Brasserie de L'Ile St Louis and Reine Blanche (not been recently though, Madame has retired).
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