Only 36 Hours in Paris-My first time!


Jul 6th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Only 36 Hours in Paris-My first time!

My husband and I are going to Africa at the end of July and have just decided to stop in Paris on the way home. We will have 1 1/2 days. I have never been and need to know what to do. I have read LOTS of posts but there is so much to take in it is overwhelming. Plus, I have spent so much time researching Africa, I'm afraid my brain is overloaded!

We arrive at 9am 8/8 and depart at 11:30am 8/10.

We will obviously see the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Arc de Triomphe. I also plan to eat as much as possible while still being able to walk around.

Any suggestions are appreciated as well as how much time to allow. How long does it really take to get in and up the Eiffel Tower? How long to allow in the Louvre to hit the super highlights (as that is all we have time for)? Etc.

Thanks in advance!
neworleanslady is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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My kind of traveler "I can do the Louvre in 32 minutes!"

Look at Rick Steves 'Paris book' in the front where he has an "if you only have one day in Paris" list of sights to see. He then goes on to add a second and third day and he even has a section on doing the "cliff notes look at the Louvre".

Enjoy your romp through Paris.
AisleSeat is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Musee d'Orsay... over the Louvre... for any visitor, any trip.

The Louvre has (perhaps) a fantastic collection of much of the greatest art of the World...

Musee d'Orsay has a fantastic collection of the greatest art of France.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 07:07 AM
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we saw Paris in June.

The Eiffel Tower. We went late in the day and early in the day and the tourist bus lines dropped off hundreds and hundreds of people who stood in VEry long lines to eitehr ride up or walk up the tower. Early and late were the time recomended us for shorter lines to get a ticket to go up the tower.

We wanted to walk up, not ride up , and my husband and I thought it wasn't going to be worth it to waste so much time standing in those very long lines. At least a couple of hours with so many people in each of the lines.

we almost left to see other sites.

Low and behold we saw one short line and thought it was to the Eiffel tower gift shop , walked over and it was the line to buy a ticket to walk up the tower. So less then 15 minutes later we were climbing the steps to the tower. there couldn't have been 30 people in that short line to buy a ticket to walk up the tower.

So keep that in mind if your not going to ride the lift up, look for the line with the gift shop near it. The walk was not hard at all, at each landing there were little pictures with information about the history of the tower to read, which gave a little break if you should get a little out of breath. I'm 58 and had no problems walking up.

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Jul 7th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Hi Again,

MY best suggestion is buy a ticket to the Batobuss, you can purchase a ticket at the office near the Eiffel tower, just walk toward the Seine and when you reach the first bridge looked down toward the river and there is the Batobus ticket office.

It was the best money and time we spent. You can cruise up and down the river so you see a good deal of Paris that the other more expensive tour guided boats show you, yet, one can get on and off at all the major tourist sites, and see Paris as you go. It was very inexpensive. NO guide, but we didn't miss that at all.

We went in the Lourve after 5 pm and they let us in for free, we did a couple of hours and by that time we saw several of the major art painting and scuptures we wanted to see, and were ready to find a quiet place to eat.

Do Notre Dame, and walk past the garden to a little bridge that leads to all the shops, bakeries and stores, There you can eat Berthilon ice cream ( not sure of the spelling, I'm dyslexic) the little restraunt on the left as soon as you cross the bridge, has some quirky waiters ( were told about them before we went on our trip) and the food was good, and we sat and watched the tourists go by and listened to street muscians play on the bridge. Don't expect them to give you a table, just walk up and sit down.

Try the bakeries in Paris, IN the mornings we bought all types of breakfast buns and Keich's of many types( agian can't spell worth a darn), which they heated up for us. Best breakfast meals we had.

IF you have time see the Rodin museum. Near Invaildes Park, near were Neoplean was laid to rest. IMpressive park area, and the museum was wonderfull.

have a wondefull trip. Paris I was there for 6 days and didn't see half of what I wanted to see. Luxemburg gardens is great if your into gardens, and is great for people watching.



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Jul 7th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Definitely the Musee d'Orsay. We picked a couple of wings in the Louvre that we liked the style of paintings in and then did the "Big Three", but since the place is so big it still took a couple of hours. If you go to Notre Dame be sure to pay to walk to the top to see the bell and the view. We went to the Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning and the lines weren't bad. On that same day we did the Orsay on our walk back to the center of the city.
While most of the stores on the Champs Elysse (sp?) can be found in any major city it is still a nice walk from the Arc de Triomphe through the Jardin d'Elysse, to the Place de Concorde with the obleisk (sp?) to the Tuilleries.

Enjoy your time and take a lot of pictures!
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Jul 7th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Hi N,

You have the 8th and the 9th and two nights to enjoy Paris.

There is no need to go up the ET, you can see it from all over the city.

The Louvre is to big to bother with this visit.

Spend your time seeing the city, not the insides of Museums.

Take an evening boat ride on the Seine your second evening (you'll be too tired on the first) and watch the ET light up.

Take the Metro to the Parc Monceau, walk over to the AdT and down the Champs to the Tuileries and the L.

Walk along the Seine to Notre Dame and the Isle St. Louis.

Walk through the 5th.

Have a drink at the Deux Magots or the Cafe Flore.

Visit Montmartre.

Enjoy your visit.

Have you picked a hotel?
ira is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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I would agree with the recommendations to spend time at Notre Dame, including climbing the tower for the bell, the gargoyles and the view. I would personally rate this much higher than the Eiffel tower.
also the stained glass windows at Ste chapelle are truly amazing

there was a recent posting of an old Art Buchwald column called the 6 minute Louvre. Realistically you probably want to spend at least 2 or 3 hours there.

Frommers has another suggested itinerary for one day in paris (or two or three)
He suggests going to the Eiffel tower late in the day
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Jul 7th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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How long it takes to get to the top of the Eiffel will depend on the length of the lines. You may already have a full day planned. After just returning from Africa, walking about in Paris might be plenty.

Personally, I would chose an art museum over spending time waiting to go to top of the Eiffel. But I love Modern art, and would certainly chose the Musee d'Orsay and the Pompidou over the Louvre.

What’s important to you? Shopping, gardens?
If you narrow that down, there are threads and people on this board that can answer you in detail.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Okay... this might sound like a "newbie" question, but I haven't been to the Eiffel Tower in about a decade, and never to Altitude 95 (besides, so what if it sounds like a newbie question!)...

...but if we make dinner reservations for 7:45 (first seating) at Altitude 95, will we have to stand in line for hours to go up there by elevator? or, alternatively, can we walk up, and gain admission to the restaurant by having walked up?
rex is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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I saw the mention of the Batobus office. Is there another ticket stand further along the river--say somewhere Notre Dame?
hopingtotravel is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Hi Hop. shows all of the stops. You can buy passes at each of them.

ira is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Ira, thanks. Last trip we took the vedettes, but I like the idea of using the boat as a bus.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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rex - there are dedicated elevators to the restaurants
Somewhere (on their site?) it should tell you which "leg" to go to
Have a fabulous time and tell us all about it!
robjame is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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If you have a Carte Orange, you will get a discount on the Batobus ticket.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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By the time I'd read all these posts, I'd forgotten you'll be there only 36 hours. Sorry, senior moment!
Cameron is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Since you don't have a lot of time, i would suggest buying a 2 day musuem pass. You can get in without waiting in lines in lots of places, including the Arch d'Triomphe and Notre Dame.

Like others, i would recommend climbing the Arch and the tower at Notre Dame (only place we actually waited in line) instead of the Eiffel Tower. It is amazing to see it throughout the city, as well as by standing underneath.

Regarding musuems, i don't think there's anything wrong with popping into lots of places for a short amount of time.
Louvre -- you can spend an hour and see the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and anything else that captures your interest. (be careful, it's really easy to get lost in here!)

Musee d'orsay -- you can pop in and just see the Impressionist and have some cheese and a glass of wine in the cafeteria with the big clock.

L'Orangerie -- it doesn't take more than 20 minutes to enjoy Monet's water lily rooms.

Rodin Garden -- this place is spectacular. i wouldn't miss a quick stroll through here.

We had lunches at Les Deux Magots and Cafe Bonaparte. We thought they'd be really touristy, but actually we loved the food and such a great time people watching and relaxing in these outdoor cafes.

If you're interested, you can see my notes about Paris in my trip report. The Paris part is first.

have a great trip!
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Jul 7th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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I would skip going up the ET and Louvre.
Walking around the city, stopping in cafes and restaurants , walking by the river etc. is much more rewarding than popping into several museums for 20 minutes each .
If you have to go into a place, d'Orsay is wonderful( plus you get a lovely view of the city from the terrace).
good luck
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Jul 7th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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I certainly agree that you can skip the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Better to spend time walking around and sitting in a cafe, visit a market and if necessary go to the Musee d'Orsay. I too would recommend a river cruise. It's just your first visit. If you are like me, once there you will realize it will not be your last.

Have a grand time!
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Jul 7th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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All the museums are fabulous, but they are also daunting. Pick one or two things you want to see in each one and leave it at that. The Rodin is beautiful and relaxing. Just walk on the Champs Elysees, don't eat. The evening and dinner Bateau Mouches need reservations, but lunch is usually easy.
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