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Paris Itinerary Help: 5/25-5/30

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Apr 4th, 2013, 10:35 AM
  #1
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Paris Itinerary Help: 5/25-5/30

Hi all! Below is an itinerary a friend and I have come up with for a visit to Paris from Saturday 5/25 - Thursday 5/30. We depart for Provence early on Friday 5/31. We want to check out major sites, but probably can't handle any more than a couple hours at a time in museum/church sites like the Louvre and Notre Dame. Our main focus will be walking around the different neighborhoods, shopping, eating, drinking wine, etc. We are staying in the marais neighborhood. Please let us know if anything logistically doesn't make sense. Also, if you have any lunch/dinner recommendations for the areas we will be in, please let us know. I'm a little uncertain of what we are going to be willing to spend, but probably about 20 euros at the most for lunch and 50 euros for dinner each.
Thanks!

Saturday, 5/25:
o Arrive CDG in AM. Check-in to hotel and wander around Marais.
o Walk to Champs Elysees and pick-up 2-day museum pass on the way at central Paris tourist office (open from 9am-7pm).

Sunday, 5/26:
o Buy ticket for 2-day bus tour (L’Open). Board bus for yellow loop (Montmartre)
o Have breakfast at specialty food shops in Montmartre and do some shopping.
o Between breakfast and lunch:
§ Visit Sacre-Coeur (church on hilltop in Montmartre)
§ Montmartre shopping
§ Marche au Puces de St.-Ouen in Montmartre (largest flea market, food is not good supposedly) (open 9am-6pm).
§ Then head to Marche de Aligre (Oberkampf) and grab lunch (open 8am-1pm) or go to Le Baron Rouge wine bar for lunch (10am-4pm)
· This is a party area so we may want to explore this area a bit).
· Head back to Marais and either clean up at hotel before dinner or shop a bit first (shops open until 6 or 7pm).

Monday, 5/27:
o Grab breakfast somewhere local or on way to Notre Dame
o Visit Notre Dame (20 min walk from hotel).
o Visit St. Chapelle (7 min walk from Notre Dame).
o Walk from there to the Louvre (20 min walk from St. Chapelle) (supposedly there is a great restaurant in the Louvre. Maybe we grab lunch there)?
o Board green loop bus outside the Louvre
o Stop at Eiffel Tower for wine picnic (where should we get food)?
o Get back on bus and visit any other stops we are interested in or have time for.
o Head back to Marais to clean up before dinner.
o Dinner-Sorza in Ile Saint-Louis and hit up the ice cream place that Bourdain recommended (Berthillon)??

Tuesday, 5/28:
o Stop at a market and pickup wine and food for lunch picnic. Also grab breakfast
o Take M8 toward Balard to Invalides and connect to RER C train toward Versailles-Rive-Gauche (totals to 1 hr and 11 mins).
o Gardens 1st
§ Fountain musical show from 11am-12pm (need to buy a ticket for this). We’ll have our picnic at some point during our time at the gardens.
§ Marie Antoinette’s Home (opens at noon).
§ Tour the Chateau around 3pm to avoid crowds.
§ Head back to the city.
§ Dinner in Le Marais?

Wednesday, 5/29:
o Morning open for whatever we might feel like doing (see thursday list)
o Reservations at 1215pm for wine and cheese lunch at O’Chateau (75E each) near the Louvre.
§ Also may want to check out O’Chateau’s wine bar.
o Afternoon open for whatever we might feel like doing (see thursday list)

Thursday, 5/30:
o Leaving day open for:
§ Breakfast
§ Wandering around St. Germain (6th) and Latin Quarter (5th)
§ Jardin du Luxembourg (5th)
§ Pere Lachaise Cemetery (20th - take M3)
§ Fat Tire bike tour
§ Ile Saint-Louis if we don’t go earlier in the week
§ Shopping
§ Another Eiffel Tower picnic

Friday, 5/31:
o Depart early for Provence
Meredith052013 is offline  
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Apr 4th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Since you have pinned down the sites you wish to visit, use the Metro or city bus system to get around, not the tour bus. It's slow and a waste of money.

The easiest way to get to Montmartre is a taxi.

Better plot out the length of these walks.

Post your hotel name or address for replies as to public transportation options.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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I think it's mostly fine but you have a couple things on here that don't make sense to me logistically and I wonder if you understand their location or how far apart some of these things are. Mainly your Sunday -- you intend to visit Montmartre/Sacre Coeur, then go to the flea market up at St Ouen, and then go to Marche Aligre for lunch? First, Marche Aligre is not in the Oberkampf neighborhood, but it also isn't really a place you go for lunch, either. It's a market, people buy stuff to take home to cook (some of their stuff there is a bit questionable in quality, also, as far as I'm concerned). But you couldn't possibly do both Montmartre and the flea market before lunch. Also, that flea market is on the upper boundary of the city, it will take you a while to get to/from it. Not forever, sure, but more than a couple minutes.

I don't think you understand where Marche Aligre is, it isn't a party area, but if you want to go up to the Oberkampf area, you can, although during the day time, it's nothing special at all.

I also don't think your Monday is at all feasible by the timing -- you are planning to visit the Louvre, Notre Dame and Ste Chapelle, all before buying food and going to the Eiffel Tower to have a picnic lunch. If you get a really early start, ND and Ste Chapelle won't take that long, I guess, maybe a couple hours total for that, but the Louvre can suck up a lot of time, not to mention just the logistics of getting around . In short, I just don't see being able to do all that before lunch, unless you spend very little time in the Louvre.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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It seems as though you're using the (expensive) HOHO buses for simple transportation, and I'm not sure why. Anyway,your Montmartre day isn't going to work. Even if you used the métro, it's about 20-25 minutes from the Marais to Montmartre, then another 17 minutes to Clignancourt (plus waiting time in the métro and walking once you get places). If you visit Sacré Coeur and shop and then go to the flea market, the Marché Aligré will be long since closed once you get there.

Thursday looks impossible, too, assuming you're laid those destinations out in the order you plan to visit them, and just as a practical matter - too much to see and do in one day unless you're just flying through St-Germain and the Latin Quarter. I'm a fast walker and do lots in a day in Paris, but even I wouldn't plan a day like that - Père Lachaise alone takes a couple of hours, plus travel time.

And the rest of your plans will be somewhat dependent on weather.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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This feedback is super helpful. Thank you.

@Ronz, we will be at Hotel du petit moulin (29/31 rue de Poitou - 75003).

@Christina, maybe we have the marche de aligre mixed up with another one we were going to go to in oberkampf. I'll have to do some more research to figure that out. As far as oberkampf being a party area, we'll keep in mind if we want to partake that things don't pick up until night. We will also have to re-consider doing both the flea market and montmarte before lunch. Maybe we can do the flea market in the afternoon instead of marche de aligre entirely.

We were only going to spend at most 2 hours in the Louvre. I know you could spend days in it, but our attention span probably won't allow more than a couple hours. If we decide we could come back on wed or thurs with the extra time we will have available then. If we do notre dame and st. chapel in 2 hours, then the louvre in 2 hours, is it still possible to be done by lunch time logistically when you include waiting in lines? If not, that's fine. I'd rather not be rushed and plan one for another day.

@StCirq, We were going to take the HOHO buses b/c we thought it would be a good intro to the city in the first two days. Do you think they are worth it? Thursday looks crazy because it is just a list of ideas for thursday. We don't want to cover all that ground that day. Also, we could pull ideas from thursday to do wed morning or afternoon.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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Put a point of interest or address where it says "plan du quartier" for a map showing public transportation:

http://www.ratp.fr/

Your hotel:

http://www.ratp.fr/itineraires/fr/ra...75003%2C+Paris

Go back to the main site for bus line maps.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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You have indicate sites you would like to see. At least bring a copy of Streetwise and use the Metro or buses to get from place to place.Personally I like the Paris Mapguide, which shows bus routes and has a very readable Metro map.

The Louvre is open late on Thursday, by the way.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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@RonZ, thank you for the links. I have a paris street guide by district and am intending to use google maps (we will have a cell phone activated for internet abroad) as well as offline apps of the metro and bus lines and trip advisor city guide paris. Do you think this will be sufficient?

Does anyone have any specific restaurant/cafe recommendations for the areas we will be (Le Marais for most dinners, Breakfast in Montmartre, Picnic lunch near the Eiffel Tower, Lunch in the 5th and 6th)? We are budgeting probably no more than 20 euros for lunches and no more than 50 euros for dinner. We won't always spend that much, but that's just a maximum.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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Could you perhaps be thinking of the marché des Enfants Rouges on rue de Bretagne? It is known for the array of prepared food on offer, and quite close to your hotel. Toward the back of the market is a guy, Alain, who makes a sort of veggie wrap that is legendarily delicious.

Also close to your hotel is Chez Omar, 47 Rue de Bretagne, famous for couscous. Cash only.

Montmarte shopping - unless you plan to acquire wholesale quantities of kitsch, this should require no more than 15 minutes.

Agree that HOHO bus is wasted time and money. Buy a carnet of tickets and off you go via metro and bus.

In the 5th, highly recommend le Cosi at 9 rue Cujas. Open for lunch from 12 noon - 2:45, dinner 7:30-11:15
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Apr 5th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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Just 1 quick question, why go to the Paris Tourist Office to by museum pass? I bought mine at the first museum I was at.
The Champs isn't much anymore. A walk along the gardens "behind" the Louvre though is very nice.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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@Meredith. You can skip the long queues for the Louvre by using a different entrance than the Pyramid. Check out the details here: http://tinyurl.com/bwcxed5
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Apr 5th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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In terms of "doing" the Louvre in 2 hours and Notre Dame and Ste Chappelle in 2 hours before lunch, I think it's a tight schedule and IMHO not doable. Assuming you plan to each lunch at 1 pm:

At the Louvre and in line before it opens at 9. There 9-11. That includes getting through the security line, which you'll have to do even if you already have entry to the Museum. And the museum is BIG, so it will take you a bit to get from place to place, unless you visit only one small portion of the museum.

Walk to Notre Dame, let's say it's a (beautiful) 10-minute walk. Enjoy the inside and outside of the cathedral. Probably you won't have time for the towers, but if you can fit them in, it's quite fun to be up amongst the gargoyles.

There's usually also a line, sometimes long, for Sainte Chapelle. You could go there (or the Notre Dame towers) first to try to avoid the long lines, but each of them opens later than the Louvre. Your time inside this beautiful place can be as long or short as you want.

Personally, I'd allocate Notre Dame and Sainte Chappelle for the morning, then plan to spend time at the Louvre in the afternoon.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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We were going to pick up our museum passes at the tourism office strictly to save time if there was a line at the first place we visit. Maybe that's not an issue.

Thanks for the advice and restaurant recs. Here's a revised itinerary. I also added the catacombs. to the ideas for wed and thurs. Any additional thoughts or restaurant recs? Thanks again for all the help.

Saturday, 5/25:
-Arrive CDG in AM. Check-in to hotel
-Wander around Marais.
-Walk to Champs Elysees area and the gardens behind the Louvre

Sunday, 5/26:
-Have breakfast at specialty food shops in Montmartre
-Visit Sacre-Coeur (church on hilltop in Montmartre)
-Head back to Le Marais and go to the marché des Enfants Rouges for lunch.
-Marche au Puces de St.-Ouen in Montmartre (largest flea market, food is not good supposedly) (open 9am-6pm).
-Head back to Marais and either clean up at hotel before dinner or shop a bit first (shops open until 6 or 7pm).
-Party in Oberkampf area after dinner?

Monday, 5/27:
-Grab breakfast somewhere local or on way to Notre Dame
-Visit Notre Dame (20 min walk from hotel).
-Visit St. Chapelle (7 min walk from Notre Dame).
-Buy picnic lunch (where?)
-Have picnic at Eiffel Tower
-Visit the Louvre
-Head back to Marais to clean up before dinner.
-Dinner-Sorza in Ile Saint-Louis and hit up the ice cream place that Bourdain recommended (Berthillon)??

Tuesday, 5/28:
-Stop at a market and pickup wine and food for lunch picnic. Also grab breakfast
-Take M8 toward Balard to Invalides and connect to RER C train toward Versailles-Rive-Gauche (totals to 1 hr and 11 mins).
-Gardens 1st
-Fountain musical show from 11am-12pm (need to buy a ticket for this). We’ll have our picnic at some point during our time at the gardens.
-Marie Antoinette’s Home (opens at noon).
-Tour the Chateau around 3pm to avoid crowds.
-Head back to the city.
-Dinner in Le Marais?

Wednesday, 5/29:
-Morning open for whatever we might feel like doing (see thursday list)
-Reservations at 1215pm for wine and cheese lunch at O’Chateau (75E each) near the Louvre.
-Also may want to check out O’Chateau’s wine bar.
-Afternoon open for whatever we might feel like doing (see thursday list)

Thursday, 5/30:
-Leaving day open for:
§ Breakfast
§ Wandering around St. Germain (6th)
§ Latin Quarter (5th)(lunch or dinner option le Cosi at 9 rue Cujas. Open for lunch from 12 noon - 2:45, dinner 7:30-11:15)
§ Jardin du Luxembourg (5th)
§ Pere Lachaise Cemetery (20th - take M3)
§ Fat Tire bike tour
§ Ile Saint-Louis if we don’t go earlier in the week
§ Shopping
§ Another Eiffel Tower picnic
§ Catacombs

Friday, 5/31:
o Depart early for Provence
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Apr 6th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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You could try a late dinner in an area you'd like to have a drink or two in afterward. I've had a fabulous meal at Le Chateaubriand (no choice menu) in the 11th, not too far from Oberkampf. It's tough to get a reservation and a bit beyond your budget, but if you terraced, you could also try their more casual restaurant, Le Dauphin.

http://www.lechateaubriand.net/

Near your hotel, I took my cousin to Monjul this past December, and it was quite good. Modern food but low-key and friendly staff.

http://www.lechateaubriand.net/

I usually manage to have either lunch or dinner at Cafe Des Musees whenI'm staying in or near the Marais.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Sorry, I don't know how "terraced" got in there.

Cafe Des Musees:

http://cafedesmusees.fr/

Can be touristy and crowded. I reserve and try to go at a weird time/day.

There's another thread on eating in the Marais active here now; you should check it out.

Visit Jacques Genin for a chocolate millefeuille! And some passionfruit caramels.

http://jacquesgenin.fr/
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Apr 6th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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Oops, here's the link to Monjul:

http://www.monjul.com/
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Apr 6th, 2013, 06:29 PM
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I'm not sure whether you intend to visit Montmartre twice on Sunday. Why return to the Marais in the middle of the day only to go back to Montmartre?
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Apr 6th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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It's still not a sensible plan.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 06:56 PM
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After the Louvre, head down towards the Tuileries Gardens and have a restorative drink at Café Diane, the first on the on right, looking back towards the Louvre. In fact, if you have the chance to catch the sunset there, it is quite magical. I suggest that you don't just "wander" through the Louvre, but choose what you're interested in and just do and do that e.g. Napoleon's apartments.

The Sainte Chapelle queue often takes about an hour so I agree with the new schedule.

There is a bus, n°72, that starts at Hôtel de Ville and goes down rue de Rivoli, past Pont Neuf and the Louvre and down to Concorde then along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. If you get off at Bir Hakeim bus stop and walk across the bridge to the Tower, you will get the best view of the tower and the Seine. I know the metro is faster, but taking the bus means that you get a better idea of the city.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Do you have a map? Plot the traversing involved in some of your plans and I think you'll see you are spending a lot of time running around. Try to group things in the same general area - e.g., Ile St Louis to Notre Dame to St Chapelle. (btw the Berthillon ice cream is eclipsed by Amorino gelato)

About the flea market - do you realize that it is full of mostly junk and a trek to get there? IMO it is vastly over rated and well worth a miss.

The 72 bus is a stellar suggestion.

Catacombs is great but the line can be long.

Luxembourg Garden is much nicer for a picnic than the ET.
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