One day in Paris - what not to miss

Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:09 PM
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One day in Paris - what not to miss

We will spending one day in Paris on a Saturday March 31, 2007

We are 2 adults, 2 children, girl age 12, boy age 10. We have never been to Paris and are doing this as a daytrip from London

What is the best way to get a taste of the city in one day?

ga9497 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:27 PM
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There are bus tours of the city which may be good.


Or a walking tour

And a night time Seine cruise

You could do a nice walk from Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Gardens, past Louvre, over to Notre Dame cathedral (go in), St Chapelle (go in, stained glass windows), then wander Ile St Louis and some Left Bank. That would take whole day...dinner and Sein cruise to see Eiffel Tower at night and buildings and bridges of Paris lit up..perfect. I would skip going into museums with your limited time.

People here can further refine based on your interests.

Sound good?


Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:55 PM
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What NOT to miss? That is a question that is hard to answer because it entirely depends on your interests.

Well don't miss the Eifel Tower, even if you don't go up in it. A trip to Paris without seeing that is like a sailing ship without a mast.

(The first time I went to Paris I never saw the Eiffel Tower, but I felt of it!! The fog was so thick that I could scarcely see higher than 10 feet. So I had to content myself with touching the base of it.)

I suggested to a friend that he visit the Musee d'Orsay and its fabulous paintings.

Well he did not like art. That ruled out the most famous art museum of the world, the Louvre, and also the Musee Rodin, and a host of other smaller galleries around the city.

I suggested a few churches, like Ste. Sulpice. Well, no, he did not particularly care for churches or cathedrals. So that ruled out Notre Dame rather quickly.

Then I suggested Napolean's tomb at Hotel Invalides. Well, he did not care for Napoleon.

I suggested he walk from the Tuilleries Gardens to the Arc de Triomphe. Well, no because his feet hurt; he had bunions.

Finally I suggested that he find a sidewalk cafe and sit, eat, and drink.

If I had to suggest one place that is not an art museum, not a church in the literal sense, and not a tomb, I suggest Ste. Chapelle. The stained glass walls, some 6,000 square feet of them, are absolutely fabulous.

Other than that, the above suggestion is as good as any.

Oh yes, one other place I suggest. La Brioche Doree. The pastries are very good. But just about any bakery in Paris can serve that need. It just is not Paris without a pastry or two or three or four.

I find it hard to walk along some of the streets becaus I keep stopping at the bakeries.
bob_brown is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Pick up a map of Paris that includes the names of the metro stations.
Arriving at Gare du Nord, exit the station at the northeast and board the 42 city bus and ride it to the Eiffel Tower. You'll be passing the Opera Garnier and the Madeline, then through Place de Concorde and up the Champs Elysses, past the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, before turning down Avenue Montaigne and crossing at the Pont de Alma. Get off at the second stop past the bridge.

From here I would take the Batobus [to the left, facing the river]
This is a water taxi making various stops, and the web site [and brochuure] will give ideas as to what to see and do, where to eat, and so on.

I would end up on or near the Ile de la Cite, where Notre Dame is located, and take the Metro back to the gare. The Cite and St. Michel stations are on Line 4, a straight shot--direction Porte de Cignancourt.

RonZ is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Hi, Ga,

perhaps a description of what we did with our then 15 & 12 years olds in one day in Paris will help [it was a public transport strike day too, so that influenced some of our choices!]

Arrive at Etoile [free on RER from st. Germain en laye] - looked at but didn't go up the arch as we were worried about fitting it all in - but you could do the tomb of the unknown soldier which I belive is there]

Walk [no choice] down the boulevards to th eiffel tower - if you do nothing else, do go up, at least to the 2nd level.

Took the boat [stop is just by on the seine] down to notre Dame [chance to rest the feet] and round the cathedral.

lunch in a near-by bistro - 3 courses for 10e each. [might have goine up a bit but loads of choices in this area - look for the ones that are full of office workers- they know the best ones]

Walked around the markets t the right bank [large dept. store nearby, plus animals etc in the shops, all very strange], then past the louvre through the tuilleies, and up the Champs elysee, wondering all the time of our RER back to St. Germain would still be running.

Hooray - it was. [just as well- no plan B i'm afraid].

you will have to adjust this for starting and finishing from the Gard du nord, and actually having the metro running - so you can take more time at each place/see more. Les Invalides [near the eifel tower] springs to mind, unless you want to try to fit in a museum visit.

but don't miss the tower!!!

Best wishes and good luck,


annhig is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Michel, I just wanted to thank you for posting that link for boat trips. As soon as I read about them in Frommer's "Paris on $95 A Day", I knew that was something I wanted to do. You saved me the trouble of trying to find the web site.

My impression from reading their web site is that one just shows up at the boat near departure time (as opposed to buying tickets ahead of time)? Is that correct? My daughter and I think we'll be there from Thursday, March 29 until Sunday, April 1. Are we likely to have trouble getting tickets for one of the evening cruises on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday that time of year?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

And, ga, I apologize for highjacking your thread. But thanks for posting it as I'm benefitting from the responses you're getting!
CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:08 PM
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Thanks everyone
If we do any museums it will only be one, playing this one by ear depending on time while we are there

Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower are two must sees. The seine river cruise sounds like a good option in the evening. Our train back isn't until 8:30pm

Ste Chapelle sounds like something we would enjoy
ga9497 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:09 PM
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CAPH52 - no problem
I too am interested in the response to your question as we will be there during the same time
ga9497 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:10 PM
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annhig - thank you for the post, good information
ga9497 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:14 PM
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ga, I hope someone who knows about this will respond. But I'm thinking you might not be able to do the evening cruise if your train leaves at 8:30. I think the time changes the preceeding Sunday. So it may not be dark in time for you to go and still catch your train.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:21 PM
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For the Seine boat tours, I have been 3/4 times, and always just showed up. If you are around there (Notre Dame nearby) you could get tickets and not need to worry. It is not reserved seating, then again they are not enormous boats either.

I like Vedettes because they are well located, near Notre Dame, and in an area close to lots of restaurants. There is also a nice park that is worth visiting on its own, right where you board.

There are other boat options (Bateaux Mouches, Batobus,etc). You can also consider bringing on some wine/food, others here have done it, I've boated "dry".

Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Mike thank you for the information
I too think that just walking and exploring the city with a couple of stops will be the way to go

CAPH52 - didn't know about the time change, good point, maybe we can take a late afternoon one
ga9497 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:24 PM
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we rode a bus past the eiffel tower a few times and there were lines to get in.

on the other hand, a ride up the tour montparnasse elevator to the 56th floor to the restaurant (no entry fee.. this is NOT the observation deck) is a wonderful relaxing "john hancock Chicago" type experience.

i love going there. you can have lunch or just a coke. ( 8 euros) i think the kids would like it, and the bonus is you can SEE the tower and the rest of paris at same time.

they are also open for breakfast.

fun pictures to take of kids standing on the striped round short pilars in plaza behind the comedie francaise.

good views from top of arc de triomphe, too, thus allowing you to see the tower at same time.
lincasanova is offline  

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