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One day only in Paris. What would you do?

One day only in Paris. What would you do?

Old Sep 25th, 2000, 01:00 PM
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One day only in Paris. What would you do?

My husband and I are planning an extended trip to London and the surrounding countryside early next Fall. As we will also be celebrating our anniversary, I've thought about surprising him with an impromptu trip to Paris on the Chunnel.

I've been to Paris only once, as a teenager with my grandparents. My husband has never been at all. We are planning a return trip to Paris (and Vienna) soon.

My husband and I very much enjoy absorbing the cultures of the places we travel and are fascinated by history and architecture.

Sooooo..... Knowing that it will be a very long day and that we would be going into this with that mindset, I would love advice on how you would plan your day. I'd love this to be a very memorable day for my husband and I... A taste of our future trip to Paris.

Thank you very much!
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 06:23 PM
Bob Brown
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This is a very difficult question to take on. At least it is for me because I don't know how you rank order various attractions. Is food the most important item for you, art, or music?
There are quite a few of us who respond to Paris questions, but this one put out a lot of restrictions without many openings. I can tell you where I went and why, but whether or not the places I visited would rank highly on your scale of values I have no way of knowing. So if you want an answer, I think you will need to give us more information about your trip objectives and likes and dislikes.
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 04:07 AM
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Thank you, Bob. I guess I need to be more specific. I think that we would rank what we would enjoy most in this order: architecture, music, art, then food. Does that help?
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 04:11 AM
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With only one day I would walk the streets and visit the markets etc.. That way when you leave you can leave with a feel of what Paris really is.
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 04:48 AM
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Start at the Arch de triomphe and walk towards the Louvre along the champs elysees. Then walk over to notre dame church and continue to the left bank. If this is too much, start at the arch and walk to the roundabout where there are nice tree gardens on all four corners. Then walk back on the other side. This way you will see the "right bank". Stop at Fouquets for a nip or at Ladouries for a tea. Then walk all over from there on Avenue george V to the Trocadero and look at the Eiffel Tower or walk to it. If that is not enough, head for Galeries Lafayette department store and walk around near the stores and the Opera. Are you exhausted yet?
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 06:55 AM
Bob Brown
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You can kill two birds with one visit if you go to Musee d'Orsay. The restaurant , not to be confused with the fast food eatery, serves much better than average food. And you dine in a regal setting with the beautiful ceiling above you.
The best desert I ever ate was a slice of tiramisu after a delicious filet of sole main course. Then, suitably reinforced, you can get back out to the galleries. The museum is easy to see and the impressionist paintings are well collected.
As for architecture, just wandering around in the area of Place de la Concorde will enable you to see quite a bit of variation.
Music abounds in Paris this time of year. The most wonderful concert setting for me is Ste. Chapelle, which is in the Palace of Justice close to Notre Dame. The walls of Ste. Chapelle in the upper chapel are of beautiful stained glass that, if I recall correctly, dates from the 1400's.
The total wall area is something like 6,000 square feet of exquisite stained glass. The acoustics in the hall are fantastic for stringed instruments.
If you check this site:
You can see some of the concerts scheduled for Ste. Chapelle and a couple of other places.
Another location is more comprehensive, so here it is:
It is in English and you can plug in your dates and the type of event you are seeking. I think you can even order tickets that way, too.
I think only one day is hardly enough, but after you get a taste of Paris, I think you may understand why I am thinking of a third trip to Paris ahead of a third trip to London! And Vienna abounds in music also. If you have a chance catch Die Fledermaus at the Volksoper, particularly if Alethea-Marie Papoulias is singing Rosalinde. (Hope I got that name right.) She has a big, full voice that rings out well over the orchestra.

For Paris, wear your running shoes. You have the opportunity to use them well.
Old Sep 27th, 2000, 05:50 PM
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Bernadette, if you visit Notre Dame do make a quick visit to the Deportation memorial right behind the church. Many visitors miss it because they don't know about it. We try to visit (even quickly) every WWII memorial-particularly those relating to the mass killings. Just a suggestion ........
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 07:27 AM
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With only one day in Paris, I would visit the Musee d'Orsay (lunch there is a good idea; I would not attempt the Louvre with only one day since there is too much there to see and it would take up your entire day), then take one of the boat tours on the Seine, visit Notre Dame if there is time, and finish at the Eiffel Tower. Splurge on dinner at Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower.

I personally did not find the Champs Elysee and the Arc de Triomphe to be among my favorites in Paris so if you only have one day I would not choose those. Have a wonderful time!
Old Sep 30th, 2000, 06:47 AM
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Thank you so much Bob, Thomas, Kathy and Lisa for your expert advice. What a wealth of information! Thank you again for being so very helpful....
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 04:43 AM
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If you only have a day, I would recommend taking a bateau mouche cruise, which you can pick up right near the Eiffel Tower. It is a nice cruise down the Seine and you get a great overview of Paris. I would also go see Notre Dame and attend a concert at Ste. Chappelle. I would also try to see the Musee d'Orsay, it is much more compact than the Louvre. I would also recommend taking a stroll down the Champs d'Elysees from the L'Arc de Triomphe down to the Tuileries and the Louvre, and also stop at Fouquets for a snack and to people watch. Another great strolling boulevard is the Blvd St Germain in the latin quarter. You can stop at the Cafe de Flore for a snack and to people watch. Too bad you only have a day-- there is just too much to see and do in Paris! Have a great trip!
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 10:39 AM
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Two years ago we did a one day trip using a group tour company called Britshrinkers. We arranged it thru our travel agent. On the morning of the trip we presented our vouchers to the tour company at the Waterloo station and we received our reserved tickets. We were accompanied by our guide. Once in Paris we boarded a tour bus, with a local guide and we saw the major sights. After this we we dropped off at the Old opera house and told to be back a 6 PM. We found a bistro, had lunch and walked by the Louvre to the left bank. Bought prints, crossed back and walked Champs Elysees to Arch de Triomphe. It was a fun day! We boarded the bus which took us back to the train station and ten back to London.
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 02:10 PM
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Bernadette - I'll try not to repeat too much of what has been said. I think Thomas' suggestion was the best. In my mind you won't feel like you've "been" to Paris (if even for a day) if you do not hit some of the major sights. So, be a tourist (yes, I said it!). Go to the Arc, the Tower, and the Ile. Have a nice lunch and, hopefully dinner at some well-planned and well-located restaurants. If you have time pick one or two museums to zip through, knowing that you can't spend all day there. Although being a tourist gets panned occaisionally on this board, it is not a sin, nor a crime (yet). And, let's face it, a picture of you in front of the Eiffel Tower will bring more of a smile to your face for years to come than a picture of you wandering looking at a map while lost, or a picture of you sternly contemplating the Mona Lisa for 30 minutes. You can do all of that on your return. I can speak from experience when I say that hitting the "sights" on a whirlwind tour will leave you breathless, smiling and wanting to return!
Old Oct 4th, 2000, 04:02 AM
Ah Paris
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Hi Bernadette,
I did that trip in reverse last October, I took the very first Eurostar out of Paris and the last train back from Waterloo. I was glad I did! Use the Metro. It will get you everywhere you want to go. Only one day in Paris.....Effel Tower as early as possible, definitely a Seine Cruise, lunch a a quaint brassiere preferably overlooking Notre Dame, a very short time souvenir shopping at the stores in the same area. Musee D'Orsay is beautiful and less time consuming as the Louvre. I agree with Lisa about Champs Elysees. Boring!! The last train from Paris to London leaves about 7:30 or 8:00 so you may not have enough time for dinner in Jules Verne. Are you sure you don't want to stay at least one more day???
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 07:53 PM
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I would walk around the St. Germaine de Pres area, especially by the market (wonderful food vendors) ... and go to Ile St. Louis, have the best ice cream of your life at Le Berthillion and eat it sitting by the Seine. Cross the bridge, peek into Notre Dame ... walk around the Left Bank a bit and if you have time (and aren't too tuckered out by day's end) choose a museum to visit or forgo that for another time and find a lovely cafe, have a glass of Medoc or pastis and enjoy watching the Parisians scurry by.

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