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Toralina Jul 18th, 2014 05:40 AM

Paris in Dec - itinerary and hotel choice
Dear all
My family (2A and 3C aged 13,11 and 6 yrs) will be visiting Paris after a week in London in Dec 2014. Here is my proposed itinerary

Dec 5 (Fri) - arrive fr London
Dec 6 (Sat) - Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe - Champs Elysee
Dec 7 (Sun)- Catacombs, shopping (?) or Centre Pompidou
Dec 8 (Mon) - Lourve, Tulleries,
Dec 9 (Tue)- Montmarte/Sacre Couer
Dec 10 (Wed) Paris - Notre Dame - transfer to Disneyland Paris
Dec 11 (Thu) - Disneyland
Dec 12 (Fri) - Walk Disney Studios
Dec 13 (Sat) - La Vallee Village
Dec 14 (Sun) - Paris - Singapore (11 am flight from CDG)

Would welcome comments on:
1) Hotel - thinking of either staying in a rental at Concorde (http://www.parisvacationapartments.c...three-bedroom/) or a hotel ( Is either location better than the other for first timers? Of course the apartment comes with some benefits (more space / kitchen / laundry) but costs about 400 euro more..)

2) The apartment rental is actually charging by the week although my itinerary is actually based in paris city for only 5 nights. Anyone has thoughts about commuting to Disney (twice?) or moving to the Disney area (as per my plan above?)

Any other comments are most welcome.

Thank you!

Christina Jul 18th, 2014 08:40 AM

I am surprised you regard the Catacombs as a major tourist attraction, I would think it only of interest to people really interested in Parisian history, urban renewal, etc. It's an ossuary, do you know that? This isn't some Disneyland spooky fake attraction, those are the remains of real people in there who should be respected, and I don't know why you'd take children. It is very damp even in summer, not sure it will be pleasant in December at all, but that's just my comment on that as one of your main goals of your visit to Paris. There are no toilets down there, either FYI, and I think it is about a 2 km walk through them. Even the website says it is not suitable for young children.

In any case, I would never move to/from Disneyland for a couple days during a trip to Paris as it is too much trouble. I would not go more than one day, either. But if that is one of your main goals in visiting Paris, it might make sense if you were staying in hotels, not apartments. Your itinerary seems to list 6 days in Paris itself, not 5, though.

There are many apartments in paris that do not charge by the week, also, but by the day. Of course, they may charge more per day, so the bottom line is all that matters.

Rethinking your itinerary, if you do Disneyland for two days right before leaving, it might actually make sense to move out there, and then you can go from there right to CDG airport. In fact, if that is all you do those days, it does make sense not to waste time going to/from Paris city. They have an airport shuttle bus (navette) that goes between the two.

You can also take a French train (TGV) between the two (going from Marne la Vallee-Chessy station to Roissy).

Toralina Jul 19th, 2014 03:16 AM

Thanks for the comments. We are pretty much Disney-fans so we will definitely be visiting Disney. I will consider moving there just 2-3days before leaving instead (although it clashes with the weekend where it is apparently much more crowded!) so I can spend more time in the city itself.

My two older children really want to visit the Catacombs - are there any suggestions about I could do with the youngest one nearby while they head in with dad?

adrienne Jul 19th, 2014 05:42 AM

If you're near the Pompidou look at the Stravinski Fountain and the the Palais Royal metro station.

Are your children boys or girls? Girls might enjoy the Doll Museum.

Visit the Rodin Museum garden and see a few of his sculptures. Garden only is E2 for adults; children are free.

Seine boat ride, especially after dark to see the lights of Paris and the Eiffel Tower sparkling (on the hour after dark). Use Vedettes de Pont Neuf boats.

The Army Museum (Les Invalides) and Napoleon's tomb.

Visit some chocolate and pastry shops.

Bring flashlights for the catacombs.

On Dec 8 & 9 you need more things to fill in the day. Are you children really going to spend an entire day shopping at an outlet? They're very unusual.

Dec 14 - you need to be at the airport no later than 8am.

denisea Jul 19th, 2014 07:27 AM

Totall agree with adrienne....take the younger one for pastries and chocolat chaud while the older kids visit the Catacombs. Definitely take small flashlights and maybe some of those hand warmers you can get at outdoor stores in case they get cold down there. I would stay in the apartment rather than the hotel.

If the 6 yr old can manage it, December is not so busy at tourist sites, so it's a great time to climb the towers at Notre Dame. The view from the top is wonderful and the gargoyles up close are great!

The Champs Élysées will be in full swing with the Christmas markets....check to see if ice skating at Hotel de Ville is an option during your trip. You could also check into the Christmas window displays at the department stores --Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. The kids will enjoy them, especially the younger one. I am not sure when they open up.

Can't help with Disney...not my thing. I hope everyone enjoys the trip--good luck with the trip!

adrienne Jul 19th, 2014 08:32 AM

For the Catacombs, you'll want to be near the exit rather than the entrance to meet them. The tour is 45 minutes. I'm not familiar with that area so I can't recommend anything but find the closest cafe to the exit and wait there.

The Montparnasse Cemetery on the way to the Marais and is beautiful. They could meet you at the entrance to the cemetery after the tour.

Another option is to go in the other direction and visit the Mosque and then have a couscous/tagine lunch in the restaurant/tea garden behind the Mosque. On the way, go past Val-de-Grace church (the facade is gorgeous) and there's an interesting legend attached to the church.

All this is dependent on the weather.

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