Paris itinerary

Aug 12th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Original Poster
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Paris itinerary

Hey everyone! I'll be going on a whirlwind tour of europe on september, and will only have 2 days in paris. I was wondering if this itinerary for my first day there is too ambitious...?

Start around 5:30 am, take metro from corentin cariou (don't ask why) to notre dame cathedral, spend maybe 30 min.

Then take metro (cite) to trocadero to get the best view of Eiffel tower, spend 30 min.

Then take metro to champs elysee; shop for an hour, then see the arc de trioumph for a quick pic.

My goal is to do all these before noon so I can join the tour to Versaille. Is this doable? Actually, I was hoping I could see more, like the sacre cour, jardin du luxembourg,pont alexander III, etc. sighs

Anyway, all comments will be appreciated, thanks.

roseannegon is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:24 AM
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Well nothing is open at 5:30 so if you want to go inside Notre Dame (a very good idea) you can't at that time of day. And stores definitly won't open till 10 or later. But early morning is a wonderful time to walk around Paris and see the city waking up. If you really want to be in the center of the city at 5:30 I'd start with the view of the Eiffel tower, then walk along the river as far as the Pont Alexander (which you mentioned you'd like to see and if very worthwhile), then turn away from the river towards Champs Elyses - stores will not yet be open but in my opinion there's nothing worth shopping for there anyway but it's nice to see it. Place du la Concorde is very pretty, and the view up the Champs Elyses towards the Arc du Triomph is great. Then walk through the Tuilleries Gardens to the Louvre (outside is almost as beautiful as much of the art inside). Continue down to Pont Neuf and walk over Ile du la Cite to Notre Dame. If you walked really slowly, and stopped for coffee and a croissant this might take you 3-4 hours which would still mean it's only about 9, but I think that's when Notre Dame opens. After seeing it, walk across the Seine to the left bank and explore the old twisting streets, Luxembourg Gardens is only a few minutes walk from Notre Dame, but don't stay on the main streets, get a little lost in the side streets. All of this could fairly easily be done before noon. If you really wanted to rush you might be able to squeeze in a metro ride to Sacre Cour but I'd skip it in favor of doing the rest more slowly.

And you didn't ask, but I'll give you my opinion anyway. If you only have two days in Paris, I'd spend them IN Paris and skip Versaille.
isabel is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Actually, I just thought of something, it won't be light out at 5:30 in September. I was thinking July. In September it doesn't get light out till around 7am. You could still do all this between 7 and noon though. Go to the sunrise/sunset computing site (I think you can google it) for exact time of sunrise on the dates you'll be there.
isabel is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Stay in Paris and don't go to Versailles, as Isabel said.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 04:41 AM
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Me three - I would never suggest including Versailles for anyone staying in Paris less than 7 nights. Especially a first and possible only visit. Stay in Paris.
bardo1 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Me four. DON'T go to Versailles. With the schedule you are describing you won't remember a thing except a lot of metro rides. My very first visit to Paris was only 2 days so I know exactly how you feel. You can actually see a LOT of Paris in 2 days if you plan things right. Try to avoid saying you'll "spend 30 minutes" here and there. Go to the places you really want to see and spend some time enjoying them. If you don't get to everything on your list, don't worry about it.

DO go UP something to get a bird's-eye view of Paris - Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, or Arc de Triomphe.

You really need to check opening times, as others have mentioned. Nothing is going to be open before 9 am in Paris.

I agree with isabel - you could see a ton by walking from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysees, through Place de la Concorde and the Tuilleries, past the Louvre and across the river to Notre Dame. My DH and I did this in a long morning, then went over to Ile St. Louis (my favorite place in Paris) for lunch. This is a nice route because you spend the whole time outside seeing the sights and not underground on the metro.

Sacre-Coeur is pretty spectacular, particularly the views from the dome, but if I had to choose between it and going up the Eifel Tower, I would do the tower.

You should really peek into a museum or two as well - my advice would be to skip the Louvre, which is impossible to do in a short amount of time (I actually didn't get there until my 5th trip to Paris!), and go to the beautiful Musee d'Orsay (especially if you like Impressionism).
hausfrau is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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Roseannegon-- Read your original post, take a deep breath, and maybe you will see how nutty it sounds. There you are asking advice on how to rush a visit to some of the most unique places in this world so that you can spend eight hours (est.) in one that's lower rated. Nutty.
Viajero2 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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If you really want to go to Versailles, I suppose it's doable, though I am assuming you are not planning to enter Notre Dame or climb the Eiffel Tower (since the lineup itself is more than 30 min).

Isabel made some really good suggestions. I don't think shopping is that worthwhile either... it's mostly American shops.

Walking will allow you to see more, and it is possible to walk from Notre Dame to Arc de Triomphe. Sacre Coeur is very out of the way, so I wouldn't even bother.

You could also do the Eiffel Tower at night after you get back from Versailles.
blakejared is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 12:28 AM
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The walk up (or down) Champs Elysee will take up a huge chunk of the OP's limited time. That's one looooong walk! I also found it boring.

The 92 bus runs along the Champs between the Arc and Concorde.

I would probably be inclined to start at the ET, then take the metro from Trocadero to the Arc (Etoile). Ride the bus down Champs Elysee, getting off at the Palais. Walk between the palaces to Pont Alexander, then along the river to Concorde...continue from there as hausfrau described.
JeanneB is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 02:46 AM
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I agree as far as dropping Versailles and staying in Paris. But DO NOT waste the time going up the Eiffel Tower. You will spend more than 2 hours in lines waiting. We just did that. Also, instead of taking the Metro, take the Batobus (the public transportation river boat). If you get a one-day pass, you can get to Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower and Champs en route the Seine, and spend a half hour seeing the rest of the sites via the river. It's a lovely experience.
birdofsong is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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I think that I am one of the very few persons who was not so impressed going up on ET. i like to look at it from Trocadero, in special at night.

The best view of Paris I had from Printemps , at 9th floor. you just take the elevator and go there, you have no lines. it is a terace, you go arouind it (on open air), the view is superb.
valtor is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 05:24 AM
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Though not as high, the view from the terrace at Musee D'Orsay is among my favorites.
JeanneB is offline  
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