Paris - Help with itinerary !

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Feb 8th, 2003, 05:52 PM
  #1
Kau
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Paris - Help with itinerary !

Hi all,

We have finally decided on a list of things that we want to do while in Paris. We will be in Paris for 3 days from Feb16-19. I am still not very knowledgeable about commuting in Paris and the geography etc.

Could someone please help me with planning my days in Paris ? How would you split the following list into 3 days (based on proximity of attractions etc.) ?

Eiffel Tower (twice, once during day and once during nighttime)
Arc de Triomphe
Notre Dame
Sacre Coeur
Versailles
Paris Underground - Les Catacombes
Champs Elysees
Siene Cruises

Any suggestions ?
Thanks in advance !
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Feb 8th, 2003, 05:57 PM
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First day:
Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower-daytime, Champs Elysses, Arc de Triumph

Second day:
Versailles in the morning
Catacombs
Eiffel Tower at night

Third day:
Sacre Cour
Bateau Mouche
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Feb 8th, 2003, 08:45 PM
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Kau:

Sounds like you don't have a map of Paris yet. You should get one, and once you have one will be able to figure this out on your own. You're going to need on once you get there, so why not get on now and familiarize yourself with the city ahead of time? With only three days, you need to maximize your efficiency anyway, and a knowledge ahead of time of how the city is laid out will be crucial. You can also easily get online or elsewhere a map of the métro and bus routes.
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Feb 8th, 2003, 09:00 PM
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Kau
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Hi StCirg,

I have tried looking online for a good map but I havent had much luck. Do you know of any web site that has a good map of the metro and bus routes ? If so, could you please post the link to it ?

Thanks !
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Feb 8th, 2003, 09:07 PM
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http://www.ratp.fr/center_eng.shtml
I believe that this is the official site for Paris mass transit. I find it helpful. Paris is a great city in which just getting lost is pleasant. Don't push yourselves too much and you might enjoy the experience more. Just a thought. Tim
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Feb 8th, 2003, 11:31 PM
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Kau,

I'm just wondering, too, if you just plan to go inside Notre Dame or did you want to include the towers?

I'm thinking you definitely want to do the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame as early as possible as they get crowded with tourists very early. I've never been in February, but I have been there in March and was flabbergasted at the crowds during the low season.

But, you could probably do it in this order:
NOTRE DAME (9am sharp)
walk up the rue de Rivoli
cross over to the Tuileries Gardens and meander/shop/sightsee up the main axis all the way down the CHAMPS ELYSEES to ARC DE TRIOMPHE.
Take Metro or bus from the ARC DE TRIOMPHE to the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon (probably late afternoon and you could get there by the time the sun sets, that way you could see Paris change from daylight to dark). And then finish with one of the dinner cruises near the Eiffel Tower.

Next day, I'd do Versailles for a 1/2 day tour, then Montmartre area late in the afternoon thru the evening when it will calm down. Then go to Eiffel Tower late that evening.

Do Les Catacombs on another day. It doesn't take too long to do it, perhaps a 1/2 hour. But it's open at odd times (9-11am & 2-4pm) so it kinda breaks up the day. If you did this in the morning, then you'd have your must-dos crossed off your list and would feel free to just explore those things you saw on the other days. Also, the Catacombs are closed Mondays, so keep that in mind when planning.

Oh, yeah, and a MapEasy Paris map will only cost you about $6. I just bought mine at Christmas at Border's.

From one time-sensitive traveler to another - HAVE A GREAT TIME IN PARIS!!
MaryC : )
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Feb 9th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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Just a question here, but do you actually have 3 full days? The first day, where are you arriving from and what time? If you are arriving from the US, you will have jet lag and need to get settled at the hotel, so your schedule should be a light one. On the last day, what time do you have to leave Paris? Is it first thing in the morning to catch a flight somewhere?

Have you thought of going to the Eiffel Tower, once, just before dusk? Then you'll be able to experience daylight and starlight in one trip. Besides being time effective, it's cost effective.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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I recommend a Streetwise Paris map. It's laminated, easy to use, and has a metro map on the back. You can get one in Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. I think they're still about $6.00.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 08:47 AM
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You can't get a free online map to Paris with any detail; you should buy one for planning, I agree, for such a short trip. Borders, etc have Streetwise maps as Verbena recommends, which will be fine, as well as others. Streetwise are nice. The metro map online is just of the lines and names of stops, it won't include the streets, but the Streetwise map has all that (lines and metro stops marked).

I know you didn't ask this, but I wouldn't recommend you include the Catacombs in such a short trip because I think there are far better ways to spend your short time, unless you have some particular interest in ossuaries. Paris has so many marvelous art museums, so many of them would be a better use of time, unless you really don't like museums or art (which you may not as I notice you don't include any). Even so, I think there are better things to see, such as the Conciergerie and Ste Chapelle.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 09:00 AM
  #10
Kau
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Thanks all !

We arrive from the US on Sunday morning around 9am. We have all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and we leave on Wednesday around noon.

So you're right, we will need to make our first day a light one coz of the overnight flight and jetlag and stuff. So given that we need a light first day, what would be everyone's suggestions ?

Thanks all for your kind replies !
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Feb 9th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Kau,
First day arrv CDG at 9:00 AM. Arrive at hotel abt 11:00 AM.
Leave luggage at desk. Walk around neighborhood. Have lunch. Check in at hotel. Have a nap.
Wake up. Walk around neighborhood. Have dinner. Go to Eiffel tower. Go back to hotel. Go to sleep.
Wake up early and sightsee.
I also suggest that the Catacombs is not a "must see".
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Feb 9th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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A quick way to get the best view of Paris is to go to the top of the Samaritaine Dept. Store. Whis shouldn't take you more than 1/2 hour, but is well worth doing.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 10:20 AM
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I think Ira's plan for a first day is a sound one, but I do think you could work in a river cruise if you wish. I've taken the night and day version, and while the lights are pretty at night, there's far more to be seen during the day. I liked the boats near the foot of the Eiffel Tower; if you go in the afternoon after a nap, you could then go up in the tower to see Paris while still daylight, and stay long enough to watch the sunset. Upon descending, find a restaurant in the vicinity for dinner, or go back to your own neighborhood to eat and stroll about. That would check several items off your list, leaving 2 full days for the balance.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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You must not be an art lover because none of the world famous museums are on your list. I agree, Catacombs are secondary or even excludable.

There are many places in Paris that outrank those musty, claustrophobic passages.

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Feb 9th, 2003, 10:30 AM
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Sorry, I posted too soon1 The other tip that is a good one is to buy the laminated street map and some small stickers or labels. I put a sticker next to each site that I want to visit, then I'm better able to group things for efficiency of travel. I started doing this a few years ago, and now I use colored dots about dime size; green means cultural or sightseeing, red means food(resto or salon du the), yellow means shopping.

It takes a little time, but especially on a short visit, it helps you plan best use of time.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 11:32 AM
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Hello, I went to Paris last Feb. and other than cold, it was spectacular. One KEY thing to remember, most museums AND the Palace of Versille are CLOSED ON MONDAYS, so plan accordingly. The metro is VERY easy to travel on, but beware of pickpockets...yes it happened to me. Have a blast!
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Feb 9th, 2003, 12:14 PM
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GET A MAP!!

Where is your hotel in Paris? Why twice to the Eiffel Tower?

You will be there such a short time I think you have to do more on Sunday than ira suggests even if you have to use toothpicks to keep your eyes open.
Wednesday will probably be a washout because you'll have to leave for the airport no later than 9 AM.

We were there in February last year and it is dark early so you may want to combine a day and night visit to Tour Eiffel into one. If you take the Metro to Trocadero you get a good view of the Tower, Invalides etc. and just walk acroos the bridge to the tower. The suggestion of the Samarataine for the view is excellent. You are near Notre Dame and a few other great places - Saint Chapelle, Le Louvre.

GET A MAP!!
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Feb 9th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Kau!

I missed where you will be staying. That can make a big difference in where you start, if you walk or take the Metro. One thing I would certainly do when at the Eiffel Tower is walk over to Rue Cler (about 4 blocks) for either the experience of sights or, better yet, cheese, bread, wine, and anything else you may like on a picnic. If you take the river cruise during the day that can be a great time to enjoy the fruits of shopping on Rue Cler.

I agree on the catacombs. Time will be much to short to spend underground.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 05:12 PM
  #19
Kau
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We are staying at the Ibis Port De Clichy (163 Bis, Avenue De Clicky).

We are not art lovers, nor are we into shopping. (I know we may sound wierd to lots of you, but thats us ;->). Actually, we would like to see the Louvre, but only from outside.

So here is the list again.

Eiffel Tower (twice, once during day and once during nighttime)
Arc de Triomphe
Notre Dame
Sacre Coeur
Versailles
Paris Underground - Les Catacombes
Champs Elysees
Siene Cruises
Louvre (only a short trip to see the outsides)

Further, I dont think we will be able to take it toooo easy the first day. While I would love to nap all day on Sunday, I think we will head out almost as soon as we reach the hotel. So we will have Sunday (from noon or so), Monday and Tuesday to take in the sights.

Given this, what are your recommendations ?

Thanks a ton again !
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Feb 9th, 2003, 05:16 PM
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Then definitely go to the Louvre first, walk around the outside, the Pyramid, stop at Cafe Marly and sit outside and just people watch, that is restful.
Then walk through the Tuilleries to the beginning of the Champs Ellyses and walk! Maybe you will make it as far as the Arc de Triumph
Take a bus or cab back to Notre Dame and have lunch on the Ille St Louis which is right next door.Then take a river cruise(bateau mouche) that evening.
Next day, Sacre Couer,back to the Catacombes and see the Eiffel Tower at night.
Last day, Versailles in the morning, back to the Eiffel Tower.
I hope this works I hope you get to manage all of this in 3 days..but it is fun trying!
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