Paris for 3 days

Dec 11th, 2000, 10:42 AM
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Paris for 3 days

I am leaving for Paris for 3 days and have never been there. What should I see?
Dec 11th, 2000, 11:01 AM
Al Godon
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I can recommend two places where only the sophisticates go. One is to take a tour of Les Egouts des Paris, located near where Pont de l'Alma reaches the left bank. It is perhaps the most sought after tour in Paris.
The other is to take a tour at dusk of Bois de Boulougne, but only in the company of other people. Unless it is raining, the avant garde of Paris society should be there on parade.
Dec 11th, 2000, 03:54 PM
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Take a bateau (boat) ride -- we went on Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf. You will see a great deal of Paris from the river, all of the different bridges over the Seine, plus it is a really neat ride.
Dec 11th, 2000, 04:29 PM
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To Al Godon:

Where do I find the tour of Les Egouts des Paris? Doesn't compute on any of the sites I have visited. Who give it? How do I get in touch with them?

Dec 11th, 2000, 05:28 PM
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I think Al was having fun, and I would not recommend these places in case someone was taking them seriously. Some people for some strange reason do take the egouts tour (which is the sewer system). It is given by city employees, I would guess, and should be listed in any decent guidebook or comprehensive Paris Tourism site. For example, go to, then the museums section and it is in there. It is at metro Pont de l'Alma in the 7th arr. I know it is on Timeout Guide's site also ( I would not recommend it unless you have some occupational interest in sewage; I have it on good authority that it smells. I would recommend that Aileen get a good guidebook which should list more than enough must-sees or main tourist sites for a 3-day trip. Also, one could go to, a great website, and click on both the "musems" and "monuments" links and they give you a very nice list of the "must-sees".
Dec 11th, 2000, 05:34 PM
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Of course you should go up to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower and spend at least a half day in the Louvre Museum. A day trip to Versailles would also be highly recommended. Spend the rest of your time just strolling around the city people-watching and soaking up the ambience. You'll always remember your first trip to Paris and you'll want to go back.
Dec 11th, 2000, 07:03 PM
Al Godon
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Rick Steves lists the egouts tour in his book on Paris. That is where I saw it.
Dec 11th, 2000, 09:50 PM
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Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower (you can get good pictures from the garden of the church St. Julien le Pauvre across the river), Orsay Museum definitely (get there before it opens so you can see the 2nd floor impressionists without so many people--if possible, go out on the terrasse (by the cafe) for lovely view (may be closed in winter). Sainte Chapelle (inside the Palais de Justice across from Notre Dame) is gorgeous, wall-to-wall stained glass windows telling the story of the Bible)--the student and adult travelers we have taken have always loved it.

A good city tour first morning gives you an overview and you might get ideas of sites to return to: ParisVision and CitiVision have bus tours starting from the Place du Palais Royal (metro of same name) on Rue de Rivoli, or your hotel could help you with that.
Dec 12th, 2000, 07:38 PM
Al Godon
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If the original request was dead serious, then I will respond to the enquiry in fuller terms. It is however the kind of enquiry that is very difficult to answer because the terminology indicates no preparation at all on the part of the asker, which puts the responder in the position of shooting in the dark. I once suggested that a Paris visitor go to the Louvre. The response was, "Oh yes. That house with paintings of naked people." So much for trying to cultivate art interest.
Dec 12th, 2000, 07:52 PM
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Or, in the alternative, the person may have done some preparation, found enough "must-sees" to easily fill a week, but nothing that particularly fit her own unique passions, and was therefore looking for a variety of opinions re the absolutely most unskippable among the many choices she'd already selected, so she might then arrive at a limited enough selection to squeeze into just three days. (Wouldn't it be a little nicer not to assume that the inquirer is an idiot?)
Dec 13th, 2000, 05:55 PM
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Perhaps a better way to phrase the question would be to ask others what their must-see places are in Paris? No one is going to have the exact same interests. I'm sure Christina has some great tourist recommendations since she seems to know all about Paris - or do you believe in touristy things at all?
Dec 13th, 2000, 10:57 PM
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You might want to check with for cool, cheap walking tours of Paris. They cover the must-see spots and give you a fabulous history....all for just under 10 bucks!

Actually, if you go to Pont l'Alma, you can get a good photo with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Plus, this is the site of Princess Diana's fateful crash. Take a look, then jump back on the metro to your next must-see spot.

Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, the Marais are all good places to go. The boat tour is a little touristy and the speakers don't always work, but it can be nice! I did it in the day, but my friend took it at night and said it was really nice with all the lights. Also, unless you are really a museum person, maybe you can save the Louvre for next time. It takes a LOT of time! And you know, once you go to Paris, you will love it so much that you will return, so there WILL be a next time.
Dec 14th, 2000, 06:59 AM
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I agree that the Louvre does take a long time and is better not rushed through. Paris is a very walkable city. I would suggest walking by the Louvre - the building itself is remarkable. Walk through the Tuileries heading toward the Champs Elysees. Walk up the Champs Elysee toward the Arc De Triomphe and spend some time there. Finally, you can walk (or if you're tired by now, take the metro) to the Eiffel Tower.

I also think Saint Chappelle, not too far from Notre Dame, is the most remarkable church I've ever seen, but go on a sunny day! I went the first time on a sunny day and was astounded by the beauty, then went back on a cloudy day and was disappointed.

Oh, and I did the Tour des Egouts! It was recommended to me by someone who had studied in Paris in college. Maybe it was more fascinating to a college student! It was interesting, but yes, it smells! It was fun on our 10-day trip, however since you're only going for 3 days I would not recommend it.

Anyhow, be sure to enjoy an afternoon espresso at a cafe - sit and watch the world go by. And make time for meals - the food is always the most enjoyable thing to me!
Dec 15th, 2000, 07:59 PM
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My advice, as "brief" as I can make it:

1. Think ahead. Obviously you've already done this one!

Read some guide books from cover-to-cover. You'll waste
less time getting oriented on arrival, and the anticipation
will feel, in a way, like an extension of your trip.

(BTW, I like Michelin Green Books for sites, Fodor's for
restaurants and hotels, and Lonely Planet for all those
practical things that nobody remembers to explain to you
before you go--where's the post office? where can i find
a decent public washroom? etc.)

2. Don't try to cram in too much.

For a 3-day trip just pick, before you go, two or three
things that you really don't want to miss (and by the way,
"The Louvre" counts as about a hundred things, so if it's
on your list, pick an area or two!) This will leave
you time to...

3. ... wander.

I once saw Paris described as "human-scale, " and I think that's
perfect. Things are close enough to one another that you can see
a great deal on foot. (When I arrived, I went to the book section
of La Samaritaine and bought a *tiny* street-map booklet, that I
could refer to surreptitiously while walking.) Pick a neighbourhood
that interests you and just meander. Even if it's overcast, still
walk, as long as it's not too cold. Paris has an equal, but different,
charm in the drizzle. I'll venture to say you'll have your best memories
just from drifting around, stopping for "chocolat" when you need a break.

I've wandered in the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, and the Marais, among
other places, and I liked them all, for different reasons. The Marais
is probably a great choice, because it's the only neighbourhood that
remains essentially pre-revolutionary in architecture. Very few of
the generic 6-story wrought-iron-balconied buildings here; instead,
you'll see "maisons particuliers": ornate mansions of the aristocracy.
Very impressive. Place des Vosges is also quite beautiful, especially
if it's a bright morning. (incidentally, there are lots of cute shops
in this neighbourhood as well!)

I loved Montmartre, too; the stairwells and steep streets bring out my
hopelessly sentimental side. There's a feeling in Montmartre these days
that I can't quite describe... it's like something's about to *happen*.
Picture-perfect it ain't--there are neglected buildings and graffiti--but
that's part of its chic. If you avoid touristy Place du Tertre like the
plague, you will find black-clad bohemian beings wandering around, just
looking generally artistic, and uber-trendy stores popping up amidst the

4. Specifics:

Here are a couple of things I enjoyed that aren't on the standard
Eiffel-Arc-Louvre circuit:

- the Picasso Museum in the Marais. If Picasso doesn't already interest you,
don't bother. If he does, then definitely bother.
- the Musee de Cluny (medieval history), in the 5th Arrondissment (Latin Quarter).
As well as housing a marvellous collection of illuminated manuscripts--you won't
believe how tiny they are!--and the very famous "The Lady and the Unicorn"
tapestry, the museum is on the site of excavated Roman baths in which you
can wander around. (now *that's* old Paris!)

5. And finally, I have to echo Christine: enjoy eating! The one night that I went
guide-book-less, I did not have a good meal. I think it's worth doing a little
homework with your Fodor's every afternoon to make sure you have a good
gastronomic experience.

Tell us all about it on your return...

- Q -
Dec 17th, 2000, 09:43 AM
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Appears to be a cluster of 3 day visitors to Paris --- have done it myself. Can't see it all, so make a list & prioritize your own 'must do' list.

* Eiffel Tour (of course)
* Notre Dame
* Sainte Chappelle (close to Notre Dame)
* D'Orsay Museum (great impressionist collection0
* Rodin Museum
* Louvre (another of course, BUT it does take the better portion of a day, minimum)
* River ride on the Seine
* Stroll thru Tuileries Gardens, down the Champs E'Elysee, lunch or a drink at a cafe.
* Versailles (does take a full day outside the city, so have to decide if it's worthwhile -- I did)
* 'Hanging out' = a walk thru Latin Quarter or Montemarte
Dec 17th, 2000, 10:55 AM
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Musee de Cluny
Sainte Chapelle ( if they are having concerts in the evening, it is a must! The experience is one you will never forget.)
Musee D'orsay - Be first in line in the morning and avoid the crowds.
Rodin Gallery
Just walk and enjoy!!!
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