All experienced travelers,
Please review my proposed itinerary. I've attempted to incorporate a balance of structure and spontaneity for my first trip to Paris.
We will be staying in an apartment in the Marais. The location is just a block east of the Centre Pompidou.
RE: Museum Pass, I ran the numbers and I don't think we will be saving any money on the 4-day pass, however I think the luxury of bypassing most queues will be nice; therefore I am leaning towards purchasing the 4 Day Museum Pass. This is also reflected in my itinerary w/ museums being visited Sat - Tue.
So... What do you think? Does it provide an acceptable amount of balance/direction for a first time visit? I am really not inclinced to follow my itinerary step-by-step, but more so use it as a suggestion and provide structure to my days. After all, there are a lot of things I have a real interest in seeing. My soon-to-be wife (this is our honeymoon) has expressed concern in the past about my ability as a trip planner - mostly because I often try to plan too much and she prefers the spontaneous approach.
THURSDAY JULY, 18 - ARRIVE FROM BRUGES/BRUSSES VIA THALYS
Arrive at 5:30pm. Locate Apartment. Run to store to pick up any essentials.
Evening Seine cruise. Vedettes Pont-Neuf.
FRIDAY JULY, 19 - BAKERY & BOULEVARDS
Rue Montorgueil (and Les Halles - just to check it out, I'm currently reading Zola's Belly of Paris)
Meet the Parisians at Work: Au Grand Richelieu bakery (Starts 11am, duration 1 hr)
Explore Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (Inc: Palais Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, Concord, Vendome)
Explore Boulevard Haussmann
Galeries Lafayette Fashion Show (Every Friday at 3pm. Reservations required.)
Dinner: Chez L'Ami Jean (no reservation as of yet), perhaps followed by some Live Jazz in the Latin Quarter or simply an evening stroll along the Seine.
SATURDAY JULY, 20 - ILLE DE LA CITE & SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRES
*This would have been my ideal 1st day in Paris, however due to the Bakery & Fashion show only being available on Fridays (plus, it works better for the Museum Pass), I swapped Sat/Fri.
Rue de Buci
Musee d'Orsay (open until 6:30pm)
Dinner: Somewhere near the apartment in the Marais
SUNDAY JULY, 21 - CHURCH & THE MARAIS
10:00 AM Mass at Notre-Dame.
Marche aux fleurs
Richard Lenoir for dinner supplies (open until 2:30pm)
Maybe return to apt to put away groceries
Stroll the Marais - Village St. Paul, Philippe Auguste's wall remains, Place des Voges, Rue des Rosiers
Musee Carnavalet (Tue - Sun, 10-6pm) This is a must.
Maison de Victor Hugo (Free, 10-6pm)
Dinner: Cook in the apartment
MONDAY JULY, 23 - FLEX DAY
Have decided to leave this day unplanned until the very last minute (day or two before).
Possible options: Versaille, Reims, Montmartre, or simply just leave completely unplanned.
TUESDAY JULY, 24 - LOUVRE & PICNIC (Last full day)
Visit the Louvre - Interested more so in the architecture and historical significance of the Louvre as a palace & fortress than the art collections. Of course I would still like to visit a few artworks. I also think my fiance would enjoy the Musee des Arts Decoratifs very much, so maybe we will spend majority of our time their. Who knows...
Rue Cler for picnic supplies
Picnic at Champ de Mars
Perhaps if we want, we can wander the SGDP more, or Latin Quarter, or Champs Elysees (I know it is touristy, but I've heard it still makes for a beautiful stroll at night)? Again this where I am hoping to encorporate the "in the moment" decisions.
WEDNESDAY JULY, 25 - LEAVE FOR AIX-EN-PROVENCE
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All experienced travelers,