Paris for 4 days. Time for a day trip?

Old Aug 27th, 2000, 04:01 PM
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Paris for 4 days. Time for a day trip?

I will be in Paris in mid September for 4 days before traveling on to Germany and Italy. I haven't yetdecided if I should try a day trip because I don't really have a good idea of a how many full days I should plan to see the highlights of Paris. Do I have time to do Paris justice and still see Versaille or go to Chantilly or another nearby city? If you think I do, what day trip do you think is the best choice. I don't want to absolutely kill myself to fit it all in, but I do understand that I could spend weeks in Paris before I had seen the best of Paris. Any thoughts are much appreciated . . .
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 04:18 PM
Bob Brown
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I was in Paris for 5 days last September and took trips to Giverny and Versailles. This year I am going back for 4 more days to see some of what I missed last year. So you can put your trip into perspective from my experience. Except for the first night, we went late every evening.
I think the main issue is this: how much time do you plan on spending in the major museums like the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre? We spent considerable time in those two museums. If you are content to take quick tour of the Louvre with stops at the major attractions only, like Mona and Venus, then you could be out and gone in a half day. We were not content to take the quick tour, so after some 7 hours I was getting a little leg weary. But there was a lot left unseen and undigested.
You might treat this as a scouting trip and prepare for the big expedition later.
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 04:23 PM
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I would recommend just staying in Paris. There is SO much to see there. We were there for 2 weeks so were able to fit in 2 day trips but I think you'd be short changing yourself in Paris if you tried to throw in a day trip as well. I could have easily just absorbed Paris the full two weeks.
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 04:58 PM
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It's all about choices. I was in Paris last year for 3 days & yes, did a day trip to Versaille. Versaille is very easy to get to via the train (metro to the RER). And granted those other 2 days were action packed, but I'm glad that I made that decision.

My visit to the Louvre was a quickie, just a few hilights. However I spent more time at the Musee D'Orsay, which I really enjoyed. Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Rodin Museum, boat ride along the Seine, up to the roof of Samartaine Dept Store (great view of the entire city), lunch at a cafe along the Champs D'Elysee, Arc D'Triomphe, walked thru Tuilerie Gardens - did all that in 2 days.

And after my whirlwind Paris tour, I flew on to Italy - fortunately I was staying with a friend, so could relax on my first day there. However you structure your itinerary, do give yourself a "leisure" day or two in between all the 'must sees' and 'must do's'.
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 11:57 AM
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I think this really depends on your interests, and while you certainly can't see everything in Paris in four days, I personally think spending a day seeing Versailles is more interesting and unique than visiting the Louvre, if that were your choice, for example. You can see good art museums in many, many cities (and actually, I don't like the Louvre that well, it's not one of my favorite world museums, but I do like several other Parisian museums very much) but Versailles is more unique and also gives you perhaps a better idea and feeling for French history. Chantilly is very nice, also, as you get to see a couple things there--a chateau, some nice gardens, they have a nice small art museum in that chateau, plus you get to see a small French town (not typical, surely, due to the racetrack, but still; if you are interested in horses you can go to the horse museum, also). So, I would probably do a day trip outside Paris if you have four full days; I think going outside a city breaks up your visit and perhaps make you appreciate things better in the city, and you may organize your time better, also, and get refreshed. I think seeing Versailles or Chantilly is preferable to a lot of things tourists spend hours at (ie, going up in the Eiffel Tower, walking around the Louvre, etc). It always surprises me that so many people want to see the Louvre so much when they don't even know what kind of art is in it and habitually do not go to art museums at home (modern and impressionist art is not there, although they do actually have a few nice impressionist paintings in the Louvre, if you wander down the right corridor, it's a very small section, but there are better museums for that in Paris, as the Cluny museum is preferable for Medieval art although there is some of that in the Louvre). You can see the highlights of Paris in three days, I think: one day around the Ile St-Louis (Notre Dame, Conciergerie, Sainte Chappelle, Seine boat ride maybe), one day for Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, one day for parks and maybe a museum or two (I prefer the d'Orsay, Cluny, Rodin, Marmottan) or walking around Champs-Elysees and that area. I think you will remember the Versailles Hall of Mirros and its gardens a lot longer than the Mona Lisa behind plexiglass and a hundred tourists.
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 01:07 PM
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agree that the choice is yours. there is certainly more than enough to keep you busy in paris for 4 days. however, you can't see everything in paris in 4 days. so as i always suggest get a good guide book and set your priorities. if you think you'd rather spend a day in giverny than at the louvre, then do it.

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