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Museums in Paris. How much time spend in each one?

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Museums in Paris. How much time spend in each one?

Old Nov 8th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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i am with Hypatia. I do not see how you can go to versailles and lovre in the same day. Maybe after you return from versailles , it will be better to walk on Champs Elysee, or in Marais.
I would visit Orsay instead Louvre (it is too big for a short visit), maybe only see the Pyramid and the Arch .
Go to St. Chapelle, to Rodin and Orangerie, all of them are gems!
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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I could see doing Orsay (2 hrs max) in morning and Louvre (2 hrs max) in afternoon with the idea that you bought a pass and could come back to revisit a portion of either museum you liked, but...

...I can't understand doing Versailles and Louvre on one day AT ALL!!! Even if the Louvre were open until midnight.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 10:40 PM
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I definetely agree with all of you without question, that Versailles and Louvre are very 'heavy' visiting them in one day, but note this: If I go to Versailles early morning (be there at 9:00), visit palace and gardens (weather permiting), I could easily leave back to Paris at about 14:00 or 15:00 and then I could start visiting Louvre at 16:00, or 17:00. I'll have more than 4 hours till 22:00 (closing time). Of course I won't have much time for any breaks, and I'll go right ahead to the hotel for sleeping after such an exhausting day. Next day I could return back (with the museum pass) for a couple of hours if I missed something I wanted. Then all the other days will be much much more comfortable for seeing Paris' life... Thank you all!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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Art Buchwald wrote a famous column about how to do a "6 minute Louvre"
"It is common knowledge that there are only three things worth seeing in the Louvre. They are the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory and the Mona Lisa. The rest of the stuff is all junk. ..."
Realistically I think you should plan on at least half a day there.

For Notre Dame, I think the half an hour estimate for the interior plus climbing the tours that others have given is too short--I would think at least an hour. I do recommend climbing the tower for the view of the city, the gargoyles and the bell.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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I always like to combine, I could not schedule two full days only museums and then days for only walks and shopping.
For us is easier to visit a museum, than have a walk, lunch, visit a church, etc. We can not spend more that 4 hours in a museum, and we can not visit 2 big museums in the same day. Even Versailles is not a museum, there are so many things to see there, and when we arrived back in Paris we were not able to go in the same day to a museum.

Maybe I am wrong, but the way you plan your visit make me think that is your duty to visit these museums and you want to finish this 'job' to feel then free for what you really like.
As is your vacation, your time and money, you have the right to visit what you want and what you like, isn't?
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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I have found, after trying to save money for the 2 day pass, it is much better to spend a little extra for a 4 day pass.Then I can be flexible especially with the weather and the closing days.

And you may find yourself in an area passing a museum (like the St Chapelle or the Conciergerie ) where you can pop in for a quick look.You can avoid unexpected closings etc. and remain flexible. And if you get tired there's always another day. After trial and error we've found it works.Whats a few dollars to the pleasure of a flexible trip?

I wish they still had the three day pass.But If you havent been to Paris before then you should heed advice of those others who have been several times.
I like to have one museum per day and mix up the activities but it's your trip. Try it and let us know how it works for you....
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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I can't even imagine doing Versailles and then the Louvre until 10 pm the same day. It also sounds to me like this is a real job and you just want to get it over so you can just enjoy yourself.

I don't know if I've ever visited two museums in one day, but if I have, it was two small ones or two that were very different (art museum versus hospital museum or something).

I don't think you could do all of Notre Dame in 30 minutes, that seems impossible unless you just go in and run around it and dash out in order to climb up, etc. This is like a triathlon or something. I'm sure I spent at least 30 minutes just inside the church.

I wouldn't advise people to go for a short time with the idea that they will then return to see other parts they haven't had time for in a museum. I just think that is going to waste a lot of time to start going to museums twice. I usually plan my visits to some extent that I'm in different parts of the city on different days, for one thing. Also, just going through screening and other things eats up time, as well as just getting in and out.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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Another really amazing museum we discovered a few weeks ago is the Musee National du Moyen Age in the Latin Quarter.

Maybe I'm just inexperienced regarding Paris museums, but I had no idea that it even existed - and the collection of Medieval art and artifacts was astounding. When we happened into the room with the "Lady with the Unicorn" tapestries, I was so taken aback to be in the same room with this work of art. I've seen it so many times in art books and other publications - truly overwhelmed me to see the real thing.

If you go, be sure to get the audio guide - it's only a Euro - and don't spend an inordinant amount of time on the first few rooms (mostly old Roman statuary that we have all seen a zillion times) - you will want to gaze at the Medieval jewelry, jeweled crowns, and the remarkable tapestries.

In my opinion, well worth a few hours!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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vayio-

I understand your reasoning to save $ by getting the 2-day museum pass, but in your case, I'd suggest you pay more for the 4-day. As much as I love to rush around and see everything, trying to visit Versailles and Louvre on the same day is just too much. There is a lot of walking at Versailles, and visiting it alone will tire you out. I find myself usually at my best shape to visit art museums in the morning. By the afternoon I get tired and really don't enjoy looking at the paintings because my feet are tired and my back is hurting.

I'm not saying you cannot do all these in 2 days, but I'm saying that you won't really enjoy your visits that much because you're always in a time crunch and tired.

If you get the 4-day, you may find your visits more leisurely, and you probably will end up seeing more museums than on your list because you may just "pop in" a smaller museum for and hour or two...
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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vayio: I've written at least four draft responses to your last post and deleted them all throughout this afternoon/evening. I keep returning to the idea that this is your decision, not mine.

But the last few posters have emboldened me. I cannot comprehend why you would want to the schedule you have proposed. Is this part of some bet? Are you trying to earn a Paris merit badge? I'm being cynical, yes, but that's how odd this is.

Please remember that I have no problem with doing two museums a day. My family doesn't either--we are indeed "museum rats." But suspending all enjoyment of Paris for the confines of museums is just baffling to us.

Take it from people who are willing to tour from dawn to dusk--Versaille and Louvre in one day? NO. Two-day versus four-day pass? You've got to be kidding me--a four day pass with your idea of travel is a must.

For heavens sake, please figure out that Paris is not museum, tour stairs, and palaces. It is art, food and life. Live it. Don't march it.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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I agree- the 4 day pass is a smart investment. The 15 euro difference is not worth the headaches and exhaustion of trying to cram all your museums into a 48 hour period. Be nice to yourself- you're on vacation.

If money is tight, the 15 euros can be made up from somewhere else. Skip dinner one night, or make your meals up from groceries and cheap take-aways.

Going to the Louvre in the evening is a great idea, but I would not recommend doing it on the same day as Versailles. Versailles is a fairly exhausting place, you'll want to be able to go home and put your feet up after you get back to Paris.

Plus it will be January. You'll need to give yourself lots of time to spend in cafes drinking hot chocolate.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Thanks to everyone. I agree that it will rather exhausting to follow my program as I have planned, but note this: I have only 5 days, low budget, much much to see and also one day will be the 1st Jan, when everything (except tour Aiffel) is closed. Also I don't know if and when I'll be able to visit Paris again (I have visited it first time when I was 15 with my family, 15 years ago). So one of my limited options is to enjoy Paris life, make my walks, drink my coffees and relaxing during the 3 out of 5 days of my stay (31st Dec, 1st Jan and my last day 4th Jan), and make my museum visits and Versailles during the other 2 days (2nd Jan, 3rd Jan). Tiring? Very. Obligation? Not at all. I'd say a tiring pleasure...
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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I'd like to ask something to apersuader65. You said that last Feb you had visited early morning Versailles and then afternoon Louvre (on Wednesday I suppose). How many hours did you spend in each one and what was your scedule that day? Was it ok to enjoy them both, especially Louvre?
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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My family and I did a similar trip last December/January - fantastic trip. I discovered taking a 14 year old Art Student was very hard work. We had planned so much to see but when you see a young girl with an audio on and just in a world of her own you forget about your "before you came schedule". So my suggestion is start with the place you really, really want to see and then if you love it STAY LONGER!!! Mind you I actually developed an appreciation for Art because I lingered so long in corridors waiting for her. Try and do everything but dont get upset when you cant because there is next time and that is exactly what we are all doing again this break - GOING BACK!!! P.S. December/January we never waited to get in anywhere except the Eiffel Tower.
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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Hi V,

>I have only 5 days, low budget, much much to see and also one day will be the 1st Jan, when everything (except tour Aiffel) is closed. Also I don't know if and when I'll be able to visit Paris again ....<

Not trying to talk you out of your plans, but under those circumstances I would skip Versailles.

This would allow you to buy the 4-day museum pass.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Vayio:

As I recall, we took an 8:00 train to Versailles, and went directly to the MCD's for the kids, then went straight to the palace. We had museum passes so we bypassed the ticket lines and entered. Also, it is important to note, we went in February (the OP said in January) and the gardens were all but closed. We did go outside to view some of the fountains and gardens but did not stray to far afield. We were in Versailles for approximately four hours. We then went to the station and caught the next train back to Paris.

Once we returned to Paris, we had a regular lunch, I don't recall the restaurant, and headed to the Louvre. We tried the Richelieu entrance but were turned away (a large tour group was entering). Entered through the pyramid and were inside by 3:45. Spent a couple of hours on the whirlwind - Winged Victory, Mona Lisa, etc. and went to the basement to see the original walls area. Walked through the area with the Code of Hammurabi, and ended up calling it a day after seeing the statute of Hermaphrodite. That marble statute was amazing! Finished with dinner at Joe Allens in Les Halles, walked back to the apartment and slept very well.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Sorry, you were the OP!
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Also- we were staying for a full week and had two additional days after this excursion. Since we stayed only five minutes from the Louvre, I knew I would return for a more leisurely tour later. Oldest son and I did return, after spending three hours in the Orsay. I believe the second trip was on Friday.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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Sorry for the multiple posts, but the phone kept ringing again and again!

Vayio: I don't want to overly influence you into doing it. Other posters have certainly recommended against it. But since you're there in JANUARY, are near 30 years old (I was 41), have only 5 days, don't know when you'll be back, and on a tight budget, it is certainly something you should physically be able to handle. I repeat, you will be tired if you do it.

As you can tell from my posts, my memory was a little faulty in my first post. The versailles-louvre day and the orsay-louvre day were combined in the original, but after checking my photos again, I saw that the Orsay was only on Friday. Sorry for any confusion.

Paris in January or February will be dark, dank and not a lot of daylight hours. I personally preferred being in museums walking around than in 39 deg. F weather (misting) viewing the various neighborhoods, parks, or even cafe's. I went to Paris to see the various historical sights (including Versailles), but found the lifestyle absolutely charming. Planned a May 07' trip, but a death in the family cancelled that one. I am currently planning a trip in 08 back to Paris with another trip to Versailles and adding Normandy, but it will hopefully be 10 days, and in June, when the days are longer.

Just consider your own personality, your physical fitness, and your wish list and plan your trip accordingly. If this is your first time to Paris since you were 15, your perspective will likely have changed since then. You will likely fall in love and continually think of returning again and again. Have a great trip and enjoy yourself.

P.S. Please consider posting a trip report in January or February and let us know how it worked out!
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 11:00 PM
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Thank you so much for your precious time apersuader65.
The good thing is that although I had ordeded online a 2-days museum pass, they sent me (by mistake I suppose), a 4-days pass for the same charge. So I will have more time to visit Louvre again as you did. Thanks again.
P.S. I don't think I'll fall in love in Paris, because I am married and I'll visit Paris with my wife. I just hope she has the same stamina for the multiple museum visits, as she has for the stores.
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