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-   -   New to Paris- what to see in 3 days? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/new-to-paris-what-to-see-in-3-days-14091/)

Elaine Apr 23rd, 1997 05:19 PM

New to Paris- what to see in 3 days?
 
I will be in Paris for 3 days this June. I am planning on visiting obvious attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc. However, I also want to visit some attractions that are "off the beaten track." Basically, I want to know about any interesting places I could visit in Paris that is NOT overrun with tourists. Any suggestions?

Bill Apr 24th, 1997 07:52 AM

I am going back to Paris for 4 days this June. I don't really know if there are many things off the beaten path in Paris, but a few things that I like to vist
& usually don't have hoards of people are: My favorite is the archeological ruins underneath the plaza in front of Notre Dame -- this were Paris started. Also in that
area, a tour of La Conciergerie can be an eye opener because of the size & bleakness. The Musee de l'armee is interesting if you enjoy armor & knights & it is large
enough where you are not always bumping into people, along with that you then need to go to the Eglise Du Dome(Napolean's tomb). Another somewhat out of the way place
where you don't bump into alot of people is the Pantheon where there are a number of tombs of some famous people. From there you can then walk over to the Luxemburg
Gardens & sit & relax & enjoy watching all the people & also the kids sailing their model boats on the pond. For views of Paris, besides the usual Towers, the top
of the Arc de Triomphe, & Montmarte -- Sacre Coeur. Climbing to the top of Notre Dame is also worth it, but with all the emphasis the past few years on Hunchback
movies, there may be more crowds for that. As far as the Louvre, it is worth going to see the Mona Lisa & venus de milo & other pieces of art, which I did on my 1st
visit to Paris I did go there for that, but if you are only in Paris a short time, consider how interested are you really in art & is it worth the crowds & time you
will need to spend to visit this place -- could you spend that time doing twice as much in seeing other things in Paris. Again the Louvre is worth seeing, & I will
go back to see it again sometime, but weigh the time & effort it will take to see that versus doing something else. Hope this all helps. I am sure everybody else
has their thoughts on various places, as you will also develope your own philosophy on places that you vist. Even with the possibility of crowds, a boat ride on the
Seine is worth it, it gives you acouple hrs to sit down & relax while taking in some of the sites. Have fun.

BYS Apr 25th, 1997 11:38 AM

Like impressionest art, go to the Musee D'Orsay. When I was in Paris, we went in the evening and the museum was almost deserted (of course that was in September when everyone is still on holiday). The building itself is worth the visit. It's an old train station. The art works are wonderful. I preferred it to the Louvre. The d'Orsay is much smaller so it's easier to view everything. I suspect that in June tourists will be everywhere but it is nice to hear english every now and then. Versailles is wonderful, it'll take at least half a day just to scratch the surface.

Steve Apr 25th, 1997 12:15 PM

Some people don't agree with me, but I always like to take a brief guided tour of a city when I first arrive to get an overview. There is an American Express half day tour that I found helpful. The Musee D'orsay is great- if you want to see several museums get a museum pass-you save money and avoid long lines. We saw a performance at the Opera Garnier which is a wonderful building. My favorite shop is the gourmet shop Fauchon. Also just walk, walk, walk virtually every block you'll see wonderful places. Go to the famed sidewalk cafe- Cafe de Flores- very"old Paris". Whatever you do you'll have fun.

richard gilbert Apr 26th, 1997 11:36 AM

For starters, what kind of weather can we expect in Paris aroun May 22? Does anyone know of the Hotel Royal?

l.martin Apr 27th, 1997 07:56 PM


We spent exactly 4 days in Paris and did Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Montmarte (climbed all the steps in Sacre Couer),train to Fountainbleau (Napoleon's hunting lodge), train to Versailles(you Must do this--get the cassette earphones and go on your own since time is a factor),Champs Elysee at night is best time to see Arc du Triumph, did the Louvre but only to see Mona and Venus (how can you say you went to Paris and didn't see them??!!) and walked,walked,walked!!!The catacombs were a very strange tour------read up on it first so you're prepared. At night we ate at bistros and tried wine at every single one along the way---

J Masterson Apr 28th, 1997 01:16 PM

Go to the Rodin Museum! and visit St. Chapelle for the beautiful stained glass windows.

Joyce Apr 29th, 1997 04:42 AM

So much to see, so little time. St. Chappelle, as mentioned, is a must. Do find time to visit Pere Lachaise (sp?) cemetery. It is huge and beautiful with winding walks. Everyone who is anyone is buried there -- from Gen. Ney (Napoleon's right hand man) to our own Jim Morrison. Also Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Edith Piaf, Chopin, Gertrude Stein, and the list goes on. Many of the above graves (especially Piaf's) are always covered with flowers. There is a florist's shop just before you enter the cemetery. Go in there and buy a map of the cemetery, or you won't have any idea of where to go. There are also some outstanding metal sculptures reflecting upon the holocaust which are very moving. I think Paris is truly the loveliest city in the world.

Maryann Apr 30th, 1997 07:58 AM


You won't find many places in Paris that hordes of tourists haven't discovered before you. However, Paris is truly spectaculor, tourists and all. Whenever I arrive in Paris, I like to take one of the river cruises on my first day. It's a great orientation to the city, and also a nice way to stay awake that first day if you arrive in the morning. Also, Versailles is not to be missed. It's an easy train ride and well worth the time. One hint is to bypass the brutal line out front by purchasing one of the tours. You'll get right in.

Maryann Apr 30th, 1997 09:36 AM


You won't find many places in Paris that hordes of tourists haven't discovered before you. However, Paris is truly spectaculor, tourists and all. Whenever I arrive in Paris, I like to take one of the river cruises on my first day. It's a great orientation to the city, and also a nice way to stay awake that first day if you arrive in the morning. Also, Versailles is not to be missed. It's an easy train ride and well worth the time. One hint is to bypass the brutal line out front by purchasing one of the tours. You'll get right in.

Donna May 4th, 1997 07:55 PM

We were in Paris for nine days last September and we ran out of time before places on our list of things to do! Highly recommend you visit PARISTORIC first. This is a multimedia presentation shown in a small theater at 11bis Rue Scribe. Shows start on the hour, daily, 9-9. Covers the history of Paris and all the sights and attractions. Having seen this, you will know what appeals to you most to visit up close. You will be able to see plenty in three days, but you'll want to go back!

rikki condon May 14th, 1997 08:41 AM

How was the weather in September..will be in Paris on business to the Pompadou..first time in France and definetly intimidated but of course excited..what did you pack? Did you go to flea markets? any tips,etc? where did you stay?Thanks for any info!Rikki

rikki condon May 14th, 1997 08:41 AM

How was the weather in September..will be in Paris on business to the Pompadou..first time in France and definetly intimidated but of course excited..what did you pack? Did you go to flea markets? any tips,etc? where did you stay?Thanks for any info!Rikki

j May 14th, 1997 12:31 PM

I just came back from a short trip to Paris---but 3 days in such a city is quite a challenge! Contrary to some of the others who've already replied, I'd suggest skipping Versailles this time around (don't worry, you'll be back). Basically, it will take up one of your precious days, and if you'd like to see some opulence, you'll have plenty of choices in the city itself (in the Louvre, there are some Napoleon III apartments that are truly eyepopping). Another vote for the Jardins du Luxembourg---quiet, beautiful, Dallyoau (fantastic patisserie) right across the street. And the Rodin Museum is also an excellent place to see; it's not every day that you can see incredible statuary (including the "Thinker") in an elegant garden. And you may want to consider a short guided walk; there's a British woman who leads these in various neighborhoods (check Pariscope). At about 2 hours, they won't eat up your whole day, and you'll be able to really get a feel for whatever area you're in. For example, in Montmartre you won't spend too much time on those too-touristed Sacre Coeur steps; instead, you'll be on the small winding streets to see Paris' only vineyard and the remains of the Moulin de la Galette. Have a great time!

JANNA May 17th, 1997 06:22 AM

Saw your travel posting regarding the benefit of taking a boat ride in Paris, especially as an enteraining way to spend ones first day in the city, overcoming jet lag. I was thinking that a boat ride might be great, but was worried that sitting down for another long period, following sitting on the plane all night, might seem too much. I definitely need to do something to keep me awake! My husband and duaghter won't be along until two weeks later, so we don't have each other for conversation/stimulation.
Tell me why you think the boat ride helped you. And, would you plan to take it before or after noon? Your comments are appreciated.
Thanks so much.

Paul Nickerson May 17th, 1997 11:31 AM

In three days you can spending a morning at the Louvre and see the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower (spectacular at night) while relaxing by the Champs Elysee or anywhere along the Seine. Be sure to see Musee d'Orsay and the Rodin Museum and my favorite l'Orangerie, home of Monet's Water Lillies. After seeing Notre Dame (and l'Ile St. Louis) stop for a glass of wine in the Latin Quarter at Cafe aux Deux Magots (Sartre's favorite hang-out) by the church of St-Germain-des-Pres. Everyone knows how to cook there so a meal wherever you stop will be delicious.

Caroline Warner May 18th, 1997 10:37 AM

Would someone tell me where to get a museum pass in Paris? Thanks!

Paul May 18th, 1997 08:04 PM

Simple!Just go to any museum to get one. There is for 1 ,3, 5 days.I think the 5-days one is the best.

sherman May 23rd, 1997 11:14 PM

any recommendations on hotel options such that it's eay for me to get access to the airport? will be in Paris for only 3-4 days... hear much about the quaint little hotel on 5th er ... grand escoles ?? (sorry .. not sure of the name!)how do i go to the airport from there ??? thanks a zil !!

Alan May 30th, 1997 04:29 AM

MESSAGE: For a 3-4 day visit, is it worthwhile to
purchase a 3-day museum/monument pass in the U.S.
before going? Costs $34.00. How about the Metro/Bus
passes for $30.00?


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