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Itineries for 8-day trip to Paris

Old Aug 12th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #1  
Eunice
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Itineries for 8-day trip to Paris

Here's what I am trying to do during my 8-day trip in Paris. Please let me know whether you think it's doable and I will have time to enjoy the place (except for Louvre as I know it's too big to see everything in one day).

I am very much into art, especially modern art (not contemporary art though), so let me know if you know the places that I might be interested in.

Oct 2 (Wednesday): Arriving in Paris at noon, Arc de Triomphe to Concorde (walk around the area and drop by Tourist information office for museum pass); Seine cruise at night (For some reason, I wanted to do this last I was in Paris but couldn't do it. I bet it will be pretty. Am I wrong?)
Oct 3 (Thursday): Musee D'Orsay (I will spend whole day there.)
Oct 4 (Friday): Louvre, Eiffel Tower at night
Oct 5 (Saturday): Picasso museum, Pompidu center
Oct 6 (Sunday): Rodin museum (morning), Versaille (late afternoon - I would like to see the fountain but I am willing to give it up if you guys tell me it's not worthwhile because of a long line on Sunday.)
Oct 7 (Monday): Notre Dame, Ste. Chappelle (As my museum pass expires this day, I am planning to see few more monuments.)
Oct 8 (Tuesday): Marmottan and relaxing time at parks
Oct 9 (Wednesday): Sacre Coeur and do some shopping
Oct 10 (Thursday): One last stroll down at Rue Cler and taking a return flight back home.

In addition to above, I am thinking about taking a day trip to Chatres on either Wednesday or Tuesday. Can I do a half day trip to Chatres (for 4~5 hours including transportation)? Let me know if you think I am trying to do too much.

Again, thank you for all your comments in advance.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 05:34 PM
  #2  
Melanie
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Actually, it looks like a great plan; you keep busy but allow time to enjoy each venue. Chartres is fine for a 4 or 5 hour day trip.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 05:56 PM
  #3  
StCirq
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Yes, you can do a 4- to 5-hour trip to Chartres if you plan it very well and leave early in the morning, but I would strongly advise you to spend the greater part of the day so you can fit in a Malcolm Miller tour. That would mean spending more like 6-7 hours total.

And Day 3 - whole day at the Musée d'Orsay? I'm a great lover of this museum but can't imagine devoting an entire day to it. Are you a 19th-century art afficionado, or would you consider walking the area around it for a couple of hours during that day? It's a great neighborhood.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:00 PM
  #4  
Howard
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For some who is "very much into art," you've come up with a darned good itinerary.
A few suggestions and observations:
*You may find yourself too tired on your arrival day for that night cruise. No problem, just do it on another night.
*At the d'Orsay, start your touring at the top floor (where the Impressionists are) and work your way down. Also, make sure you have lunch it the elegant dining room. It's an experience in itself. Don't let the elegant decor scare you off; the prices aren't that bad.
*On Sunday, you should be able to get to Versailles earlier than late afternoon. The Rodin Museum, both indoors and outdoors is doable in a couple hours.
*On Tuesday, spend your park time in Luxembourg Gardens.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:03 PM
  #5  
Howard
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PS: Responding to St. Cirq's comment about spending a day at d'Orsay. We did and found it to be one of the best of our 14 days in Paris! About 1 1/2 hours was spent having lunch. As an art lover, I don't think Eunice will have any problem finding things of interest there!
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:11 PM
  #6  
StCirq
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OK, I defer to the art lovers. I could spend a whole day at the d'Orsay (starting at the top as you brilliantly suggested and working down), but ín the past 15 years that I've been in Paris I've had kids with me and have necessarily kept the museum time down to an hour or two per museum - even though my kids love museums.

I'd suggest, though, for an art lover, she might want to include the Orangerie (have they FINALLY finished the renovations? It was closed in early July), the Jeu de Paume, the Picasso Museum, the Palais Royale, and the many minor museums that have such panache - though maybe that's too much in 8 days.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:15 PM
  #7  
SEH
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Great itinerary. My only suggestion would be to spend more time at Versailles, we took the train early in the morning and spent the entire day there - the place is amazing. I would certainly recommend renting the audio guide or you will be a little "lost" even with my background in art I found these EXTREMELY helpful in all the museums that offered them. try not to choose a cruise that offers dinner, they can be costly and the food is mediocre at best. If you want a less expensive alternative to the cruise, get a 2-day ride all you want bat-o-bus ticket, you can use the glass-topped boat as a taxi or get on and ride the entire "loop". The bus runs at dark too so you'll get that great experience of gliding down the Seine at night. The ticket was very inexpensive, I don't remember exactly but it was under $15 USD for unlimited use (you'll go past Notre Dame, Muse D'Orsay, Eiffel Tower etc.). You also may want to check the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, it is another of Paris's treasures. Have a wonderful time.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:22 PM
  #8  
Eunice
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Thanks for your replies. I will be going to Chatres on Tuesday and move my visit to Marmottan on Wednesday.

Howard, should I make a reservation at dining room (D'orsay)? How much did it cost you? I wouldn't mind paying for a nice lunch at one of the great art museums in the world.

StCirg, has L'orangeri finally opened? I wasn't sure about that. If they finished the renovation, I will be definitely there to see Monet's paintings.

Again, thank you all.



 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #9  
StCirq
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Gosh, Eunice, I wish I knew if the Orangerie were finally reopened or not. I was told before we left on our trip in June-July by French friends that it should be open in July. We were there on July 3 and it was shrouded in scaffolding. I have no idea if the work has been finished or not, but it is long overdue.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:36 PM
  #10  
Bob Brown
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I think every place you have listed is a good one. Oddly enough in my last 2 trips, I have not visited Sacre Coeur.
I think it because the others seem more attractive, and I sort of regard that building as something of an oddity that is attractive because of the gleaming white dome. But that is an idiosyncratic view.

I applaud your putting Musee d'Orsay first on your list.

As for the Louvre, I think you should consider dividing your viewing there into two half days. I have made the mistake twice of staying too long at one visit.
After about 4 - 5 hours, I get the "museum stagger." My eyes glaze over, and all the paintings look alike. I just start wandering past masterpieces like I was passing store windows. When that happens, it is time to quit.

Your other problem is Versailles.
It is worth more than half a day.
It is easily reached via the RER, line C to Versailles Rive Gauche. The station is a short walk away from the palace itself, across a cobblestone courtyard. Your schedule as set up might not allow you time to do it justice. It is opulent, and one tour through the palace will demonstrate fully the genesis of the Paris mob and its desire to sack the place.

You have obviously thought out your schedule well, and you are going to find that a steady pace is required to visit all of your objectives.

I am not sure that even for an art lover that Musee d'Orsay will take 7 - 8 hours. For me d'Osay is seeable in 5 hours. And be sure to eat lunch in the big dining room, not the fast food joint. The food there is very good, and the tiramisu is fabulous.
My wife tells me I when I go back, my main purpose is to eat tiramisu.
I claim it is to see the paintings.


 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 07:21 PM
  #11  
Jo
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Regarding the Orangerie, the Paris Tourist Office website currently shows that it will be opening again in the summer of 2004.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 10:36 PM
  #12  
Donna
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I would recommend moving Musee Rodin to Thursday morning, then going to Musee d'Orsay (which is open late Thursday nights). Musee Rodin has a lovely cafe in the Rose Garden for lunch. You can walk, or take the 69 Bus from Rodin to Orsay. Then, you can allow all day Sunday for Versailles. Those who've endured the lines and crowds for the fountains at Versailles say it was worth it.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 10:42 PM
  #13  
Lucy
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Hi Eunice,
The fountains at Versailles accompanied by classical music piped through speakers around the garden is most definitely worth it - glorious! I was there on the 1st Sunday in October last year (just as you will be this year) & I believe that was the last day of the year they were running the fountains (i'm not 100% on that) so check ahead of time if you have your heart set on it. You'll love Paris!
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 04:51 AM
  #14  
Howard
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Eunice, I don't think the restaurant in d'Orsay takes reservations. We just made sure we got there early (around noon). There were plenty of tables available at that time. When we left at around 1:30-1:45, there were people waiting for tables. So, just get there early and you'll have no problem. (And, if you get to the museum before it opens, you'll be ready for a break around noontime!
The price was quite reasonable. The cost for the two of us was 30.50 euro. And that include one kir. We were not rushed. In fact, service was very slow, which we didn't mind because the ambiance was so great!
When I said we spent the whole day there, it was actually from about 9 a.m. (when we got in line) until about 4 p.m. Unlike our 4 1/2 hours in the Louvre, which we found exhausting, our day at d'Orsay was actually quite relaxing. (Of course, the thrill of seeing all that great Impressionist art certain helped create our mood!)
Unfortunately, l'Orangerie is still closed. The latest reports are that it won't reopen until possibly 2004.
Bob Brown is right about Versailles. You will be very, very rushed. Unfortunately, we did not find Versailles very user friendly! With all your plans for the eight days, you may have to sacrifice something if you want to see both Versailles and Chartres.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 05:01 AM
  #15  
Alice
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We took the Bateau Mouche just before sunset (not planned, just serendipity). Initially we could see the beautiful buildings along the bank because there was enough light. As the light began to fade the boat's illuminating beams shone along the way, the moon came out, oh my...
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 06:17 AM
  #16  
elvira
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Oh yeah, doing Paris the way YOU want, not the guidebook way...whoo whoo!

Your Picasso/Beaubourg day should allow you lots of time to wander around the Marais. There are two museums in the 'hood that focus on the history of France, if you're so inclined: the Carnavalet and the Hotel de Sully (history of France museum).

If you get to the Rodin museum first thing in the morning (opens 9:30am), you should be able to be at Versailles in the early afternoon. Alternately, you could go to Versailles for the opening and avoid the crowds, and do the Rodin in the late afternoon.

I devoted a whole day to the Louvre on one trip to Paris; I'd like to do the same for the d'Orsay. Rather than trying to see everything (that museum stupor so aptly described by Bob Brown), I chose to look closely at just a few paintings. Much less mind-numbing, and a lot less walking...
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 07:13 AM
  #17  
Howard
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Elvira, I'm amazed that I've actually done something in Paris that you haven't! (I don't mean that as an insult or criticism in any way!) The joy of spending a day in d'Orsay is that you are able to "grasp" the entire place without feeling exhausted.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 07:39 AM
  #18  
Kate
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You're going to have a wonderful time I'm sure, but PLEASE don't try to "do" Versailles in a half a day! With your love of art, etc. you will want to spend more than 4 hours there. The palaces and grounds are beautiful. Also, take SEH's advice and get the audio tour. Please post a trip report upon your return.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 08:23 AM
  #19  
Eunice
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You guys are awesome. I am so glad that I posted a message here as I've got so much to learn from your own experience.

My friend and I are going to modify our initial schedule on Sunday so that we can go to Versaille for the whole day. I wasn't sure what to expect from the place, but after hearing what all of you guys experienced I would like to spend more time there.

For Notre Dame and Ste. Chapelle, how many hours should I allocate to each place? Can you guys please advise?

Thanks.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 09:37 AM
  #20  
Donna
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An hour each, more if you'd like to spend more time.
 

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