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Paris itinerary in May

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Mar 4th, 2012, 11:16 AM
  #1
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Paris itinerary in May

Hi, I am trying to figure out how to plan our Paris itinerary. This is what I have so far:

Arrive Wed eve (May 9) from Nice into Orly at 6.30pm. Check in at BW Louvre, find a place for dinner. Walk around.

Thurs Would like to take the free tour at the Notre Dame at 2pm. (We usually start our day between 10-10.30, not early risers but we can stay up late!)
Can walk through le Jardin des Tuilleries (maybe picnic lunch) and make our way to Notre Dame. Ice cream at Berthillon after! What else can we fit in that day? We could do a show that evening- maybe La Nouvelle Eve? at 10pm.

Fri - Was thinking of going to the fashion show at the Galleries Lafayette on Friday afternoons, I believe that is at 4pm.. Planning to visit the Sacre Coeur before that since they are close by. The Louvre that evening since it is open late.

Sat - Eiffel Tower- will it be far more crowded being a Sat? Place Invalides. Seine river cruise that evening.

Sun - Day trip to Versailles. What time is good to leave? My son has a 2pm flight to Chicage that day so he will not be joining us but we will be leaving the hotel together at around 10.30 am. Does that give us enough time? Which type of ticket is recommended?

Mon - Place des Vogues, Jardin du Luxembourg, some shopping to accommodate DD. What areas are recommended for not too expensive shopping?
Want to make sure we stop at L'As du Falafel at some point during the trip for their falafel, probably for lunch, not sure which would be the best day to work that in?
To which day should we add Opera Garnier?

The only other Museum that I did want to visit was the Musee D'Orsay but will have to see if we can do that , if at all. Maybe on Monday since DS is the one not much interested in museums.
Still have to tentatively pick some restaurants, especially for dinner but will do that once I have an itinerary.

Would welcome any suggestions/critiques. I believe I have kept the days pretty light so we have time to wander the streets, stop at cafes etc but I could be wrong since I do not know how much time we will spend at each place. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks a million!
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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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The Musee d'Orsay is closed on Mondays (and open late on Thursdays).

A great way to incorporate the Garnier is to attend a performance- there's a Rossini/Verdi/Dvorak concert on May 13, and the Paris Opera Ballet is doing Manon on May 9, 10, 11. It looks like there's still tickets available for all those dates, there are always cheap seats but they tend to go fast. Performances usually begin at 7:30pm.

http://www.operadeparis.fr/en/Saison...Dvorak/detail/

http://www.operadeparis.fr/en/Saison...-Manon/detail/
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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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I would go to Opera Garnier the same day you are going to Galleries Lafayette...they are right there together. And do have a glass of champagne at the bar at GL (on 2nd or 3rd floor).

D'Orsay is close to Luxembourg Gardens and it is my favorite.

If you are going because you love Monet, and you don't have time....consider L'Orangerie for the huge Monet canvases. It is right off Place de la Concorde as you go into the Tuilleries. It is small and will be easier to get in and out of.

There are a lot of the typical stores in the Marais if you want to shop there. It isn't my fav, but many love it. I did like Satellite for inexpensive but nice jewelry. That is when you should plan to hit L'As du Falalfel (if it is open on Sunday). You might also consider Promenade Plantee which you can enter right past the Opera Bastille. It would be a lovely walk in May and it is free.

The 6th and 7th also have good shopping...you could add to Luxembourg Gardens. If you find yourself in the 6th and near St Sulpice, Gerard Mulot has wonderful pastries and all sorts of lunch items for a delicious picnic.

Rue Commerce just above the 7th (in the 15th I think) has more inexpensive shopping. Could possibly plan on that around your ET visit.

Go to the Paris Museum Pass site. It will give the hours of the museums...make sure your plan takes into account which days a museum is closed. You can also map out where you want to go, to see what is close together and help you maximize your time. http://en.parismuseumpass.com/

You can use the Paris Museum Pass for Versailles. I would wan to get there earlier but you have some restrictions with your son leaving. I don't think you can see it all truly in a day, anyway. I would think the gardens would be beautiful in May. You can check the PMP site for more info on what is covered at Versailles, etc...
http://en.parismuseumpass.com/search.htm?q=versailles

Enjoy. I love Paris.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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I meant to add that, the best part of the Garnier is inside the auditorium- the seats, the stage, and the famous ceiling by Matisse. If you go during the day to tour inside the building, there's a chance the auditorium will be closed to visitors, for rehearsals.

If seeing the ceiling, etc. is really important to you, I would definitely recommend getting tickets to a performance.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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You can visit Opera (there are tours for visiting) on Friday, as it is near Galleries Lafayette.

IMO Sacre Coeur is not so close to Galleries Lafayette; in any case, if you go Sacre Coeur, plan 1/2 day there, to allow time to walk in Montmartre, you can have lunch, or dinner, or just a coffee at a nice small restaurant there.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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Thanks all. you guys are amazing! Firstly, I want to make sure that the itinerary looks OK, sounds doable?

Thurs Walk through le Jardin des Tuilleries (maybe picnic lunch) and make our way to Notre Dame. Reach in time for the free tour at 2pm.
Ice cream at Berthillon after! What else can we fit in that day? We could do a show that evening- maybe La Nouvelle Eve? at 10pm.

Fri - Opera Garnier tour. (Will check on performances too but in case we opt not to). Was thinking of going to the fashion show at the Galleries Lafayette on Friday afternoon at 3pm. The Louvre that evening since it is open late.

Sat - Eiffel Tower- will it be far more crowded being a Sat? Place Invalides. Shopping on Rue Commerce? Seine river cruise that evening.

Sun - Day trip to Versailles. What time is good to leave? My son has a 2pm flight to Chicage that day so he will not be joining us but we will be leaving the hotel together at around 10.30 am. Does that give us enough time? Which type of ticket is recommended?

Mon - Place des Vogues, Jardin du Luxembourg, some shopping to accommodate DD. L'As du Falafel for lunch. What areas are recommended for not too expensive shopping?

So the Sacre Coeur is not included in the itinerary above. Any ideas as to which day we could add that to? Can replan/tweak the above itinerary if necessary. Maybe we will get an early start one day! How much time should we estimate for the Eiffel Tower on Saturday?

Apres_Londee, thanks for letting me know about musee D'Orsay being closed on Monday. Maybe we will do L'Orangerie instead as suggested. We could also eliminate the fashion show, I just thought DD would get a kick out of that.
denisea, thanks for shopping tips, it would have to be inexpensive shopping so have to narrow down a couple of areas to wander through on Monday. Expecting DD not to shop is expecting the impossible!
Any other suggestions? I usually get a lot of flak on Fodors on my initial itinerary (not so far tho')because I try & pack too much in so keep it coming!
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Mar 4th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Rue Commerce is probably your best bet for less expensive shopping. Pair it with the ET. You can book a timed ticket for the ET. I have not done it...just not my thing, so I can't help you there. I am guessing that it will be busy but a timed entry will help.

I have seen some that recommend Sacre Coeur at night. Maybe consider that as a stand alone and just take the Mtro straight there one night.

You might consider an evening concert at Ste Chapelle. It is gorgeous! Also the deportation memorial is in the park behind ND- worth seeing.

Don't worry... You will get plenty of advice. Search the forum for things you want more info on....read TRs to see where others went "wrong" and for what went well. In the end, you will have a great time andit's your trip-do what you think you will enjoy. You will never see it all! So enjoy the pain au chocolat!
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Mar 4th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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I need to correct myself, the ceiling at the Garnier is by Chagall, not Matisse.

A few thoughts-

The Ile St Louis has a lot of touristy boutiques (costume jewelry, accessories, gifts, food, etc.) your daughter will probably have fun shopping there after you get your ice cream on Thursday.

I had to google La Nouvelle Eve- I have no idea how it compares to other cabaret type venues because that's not really my thing, but it looks like it caters to tour groups which may not bode well. I love ballet so I'm biased towards that instead (and the Paris Opera Ballet is without question one of the best companies in the world).

I haven't been to the Eiffel Tower so I can't help with that, I've only to Versailles once and it was so many years ago, I can't really help with that either.

BVH is a department store across the street from the Hotel de Ville- it's a mid-range affordable and it can be fun to shop.

http://www.bhv.fr/

I always recommend planning out a mode of attack for the Louvre beforehand- study the maps and information on the website, do a little reading, and figure out a general plan of what you want to see and how you'll go about seeing it. Otherwise the Louvre is so huge it can easily become overwhelming, and you don't want to miss your must-sees.

The l'Orangerie museum is a great idea, it's a fairly small museum with an excellent collection.

Another museum I love that's open on Monday is the Pompidou (open until 9pm, last admissions at 8pm).
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Mar 4th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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On Monday I would start the day by visiting St. Chapelle and then walk in the places you want. BHV (for shopping_ and City Hall are not far from there.

Just an idea, have a look at www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/en/ ; maybe you will be more interested to see it than other cabaret show.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 09:24 PM
  #10
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Crazy Horse certainly seems interesting too, just pricier than the other but will definitely keep it in mind, especially if we can find discounted tickets when we are there. I read something about Tickets 4 Tonight, where would I purchase these?
Spoke to 2 friends yesterday about the day trip to Versailles (they have both been)& its funny because they had such extremely opposite opinions! I guess we will play it by ear, if we have not had time to spend in Montmartre by then, may decide to do that instead.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Just wanting to find out how many people on this forum buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower ahead of time? Seems like a good thing to do to avoid the lines but what if the weather is not great that day, at least we can switch days if the tickets are not pre-bought. Just wondering what most people do.
Is it possible that one is unable to get tickets on a particular day because there are too many people in line? Thanks!
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Mar 9th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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Sooo.. thinking of maybe skipping the Fashion show and doing the Sat itinerary on Friday, maybe the Eiffel Tower crowds will not be as bad. This is what the revised itinerary looks like:

Thurs Walk through le Jardin des Tuilleries (maybe picnic lunch) and make our way to Notre Dame. Reach in time for the free tour at 2pm.
Ice cream at Berthillon after! What else can we fit in that day? We could do a show that evening- maybe La Nouvelle Eve? at 10pm.

Fri- Eiffel Tower Place Invalides. Shopping on Rue Commerce? The Louvre that evening since it is open late.

Sat - Opera Garnier. Sacre Coeur & walk through Montmartre area. Seine river cruise that evening.

Sun - Day trip to Versailles. What time is good to leave? My son has a 2pm flight to Chicage that day so he will not be joining us but we will be leaving the hotel together at around 10.30 am. Does that give us enough time? Which type of ticket is recommended?

Mon - Place des Vogues, Jardin du Luxembourg, some shopping to accommodate DD. L'As du Falafel for lunch. What areas are recommended for not too expensive shopping?

Does that sound better?
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Mar 10th, 2012, 05:16 AM
  #13
 
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Have you searched the forum regarding ET tickets online, best times to go? That has been covered quite a bit and I expect that finding those previous threads will answer your questions on the ET.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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On Thursday include a visit to Sainte Chapelle. Try to go in the morning or late afternoon when the sun shines in the stained glass, showing it to its best advantage. Ste. Chapelle is not to be missed - it is included on the Paris museum pass.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Thanks! Based on what I have read here, the Museum Pass is not usually a good deal, is that correct? So far the only 2 museums we had planned to visit in Paris that would be covered are the Louvre & Notre Dame. Even if we do add Sainte Chapelle, it still is cheaper to buy the tickets individually AND we do not have to visit all three within 2 days.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Just wanted to mention that Versailles is also included on the Museum Pass. Notre Dame entry is free, but the pass will allow free entry to the towers. We also used our pass for the Orangerie, the Concergerie and the Orsay (and you should not miss the Orsay).
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Apr 19th, 2012, 06:02 AM
  #17
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Hi, the trip is coming up quick - too quick! I just want to make sure that the tweaked itinerary below looks fine. Should there be any reservations I meed to be making before we leave?
Unfortunately I am not seeing any tickets available online for May. I believe they may have stopped this due to only one working elevator. Has anyone walked up the two floors? How hard is that?
Please let me know if there is anything I need to add. Also any neighborhoods that should not be missed. Thanks!

Thurs Walk through le Jardin des Tuilleries (maybe picnic lunch) and make our way to Notre Dame. Reach in time for the free tour at 2pm.
Ice cream at Berthillon after! Some shopping at touristy boutiques! We could do a show that evening- maybe La Nouvelle Eve? at 10pm.

Fri- Eiffel Tower Place Invalides. Arc de Triomphe Shopping on Rue Commerce? The Louvre that evening since it is open late.

Sat - Opera Garnier. Sacre Coeur & walk through Montmartre area. Seine river cruise that evening.

Sun - Day trip to Versailles. What time is good to leave? My son has a 2pm flight to Chicage that day so he will not be joining us but we will be leaving the hotel together at around 10.30 am. Does that give us enough time? Which type of ticket is recommended?

Mon - Place des Vogues, Jardin du Luxembourg, maybe Saint Chapelle. L'As du Falafel for lunch. Some shopping to accommodate DD - BHV.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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Hi Excited!
In my opinion, walking is the best way to see Paris. There are the basic tourist destinations: Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysees, and about 20 other museums that I could run off. I would suggest that you really look at what you want to do before you get there (so you don't spend valuable time trying to figure it out ..

Walk around Tuscany. (((4:20pm to 6:10pm flight to Paris))) Check into hostel in Paris, grab dinner while watching the Eiffel Tower light show.
The Louvre, Notre Dame, Cruise on the Siene.
Visit the Eiffel Tower, walk along the Champs Elysee.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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Just an FYI - Eiffel Tower only has one working elevator until June of this year. (2012)
Consequently, very, very long lines. You cannot book tickets online as such.

I have heard that if you want to see views of Paris, that the top of Pompidou is equally as lovely.
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