Paris Itinerary - Two Days

Jan 12th, 2011, 06:04 PM
  #1  
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Paris Itinerary - Two Days

I have already received amazing advice on my London topic, so I think it's time to plan the Paris leg of our trip.
After London, we fly to Barcelona and then head on a 10 night Med cruise (I'm sure I'll have questions on Barcelona and our Med ports later!). After the cruise, we fly into Paris.

We arrive in the late afternoon and plan to just stay put at that time. We are staying at the Thomas Cook Explorers Hotel by Disneyland Paris and there looks to be lots of things to do there.

We will have two full days in Paris (Sunday/Monday). Then we will have two days at DLP before we fly back to Canada.

Based on advice I've received, we have made a plan for the 2 days. However, after all the help I received in the London thread, we completely revamped those plans, so I more than willing to do so for Paris, too!

This is what we have so far:
SUNDAY:
Train into Paris
Musee D'Orsay for about two hours, walk along the Seine to Ile de la Cite and see Notre Dame. I doubt we will do the big tour, as I'm sure it will be busy!
Then walk down Boul St Mich to Luxembourg Gardens. Then take a walk in the St. Germain, St. Michael areas, followed by a river cruise from Pont Neuf.
Train back to hotel.

MONDAY:
Train into Paris
The Louve first thing for about two hours, and then walk through the Tuilleries Garden to Place de la Concord, which is the start of the Champs-Elysees. (See the Arc du Triomphe from there).
Then I'd walk along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.
Prebook tickets for 3:00?
Train back to hotel.

We really enjoy walking as a family, as long as it's not too far. Our youngest is 8.

The main priorities I have are to see the 2 museums, some gardens, and the Eiffel Tower. I'm mostly excited about just being exposed to the culture of the city.
My husband would really, really like to fit in the Catacombs, if possible.

I really know nothing about Paris, except for a few of the obvious sights. My sons are in French Immersion, so I'm not concerned about the language difficulty. I'm looking forward to them leading us!

Thank you for any advice!!
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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You are packing in a lot for your two days in Paris! I am attending a wedding in London this July and whisking DH to Paris for 2 1/2 days. I've been to Paris four times but this will be his first, so I'm trying to show him the best in a short time. I will probably copy your schedule, however, I think I'll pick one museum and not sure about doing the Eiffel tower tour (can always admire it from down below).
RobertaL is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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It certainly is a lot to pack into 2 days .
The boys have their heart set on going up the Eiffel Tower, so I think it's a must. As well, they have studied artists at both museums, so they are both a must, too. However, we will have a plan in mind when visiting them.

I forgot to ask earlier - does anyone know much about the River Cruise? I hear the Vedette du Pont Neuf is good. Pardon my ignorance, but does it drop you off where you get on?

Also, my DH has said again (since I originally posted 20 minutes ago!) that he really wants to go to the Catacombs. It looks like Sunday afternoon would be the time. I'm wondering if we could do it after touring St. Germain, St Michael areas. We would catch a bus (I'm guessing) to the Catacombs and tour maybe from 2:00-4:00 and then return for a cruise around 5:00? Then maybe have dinner and train back to the hotel.

Thoughts on that addition?
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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My suggestion - don't even think you can experience the Eiffel tower from the bottom. There can be long lines for elevators but if you go to the corner with the stairs you can walk up if you are at all fit. The walk is awesome and views of the city outstanding. I was in Paris 4 days and we didn't go into the Louvre but from what they tell me 2 hours would only get you thru the front door. The catacombs are out of the way, go early as they limit entrance and line ups can get long as day goes on. I thought this was one of the most amazing things we saw in Paris so I would plan on it and set aside a day. I thought the Champs Elysees was a long boring road. I would visit arc de triomphe then hop on subway back down to the gardens which were nice but Luxemborg was better. The night time cruise on the Seine was a high point of our trip. Mac
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Jan 12th, 2011, 07:04 PM
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The Seine cruises do drop you off where you get on. Vedettes du Pont Neuf leave from the tip of Ile de la Cite. http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/

There are also cruises that leave near the base of the Eiffel Tower. These are the Vedettes de Paris http://www.vedettesdeparis.fr/1/en/2...g-cruises.html and Bateaux Parisien http://www.bateauxparisiens.com/cruise-tours-paris.html

They are quite similar, so I would take whichever one is most convenient for your schedule.
Nikki is online now  
Jan 12th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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My first trip to Paris was just under 2 and a 1/2 days and we packed in just as much, even managed an afternoon at Versailles. So go for as much as you and your family can handle!
You might consider the Batobus to have the river cruise and transport to some of the places you want to visit.
http://www.batobus.com/english/
Plan your museum trips
Scootoir is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:06 PM
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Mac3 - Thank you for the advice on the Catacombs. I understand it is closed on the Monday, so we might have to go at opening on the Sunday when we planned to go to the Musee D'Orsay. I wish we could set aside a whole day, but there just isn't time..

Nikki - Thank you for the info on the cruise link!

Scootoir - Thank you for the link, as well. Thank you, also, for the encouragement!! I wish we had more time, but we simply don't. We can always sleep and rest later - but not in Europe!

One more question... I was just looking at the Musee D'Orsay and I see it is under renovations right now until the Fall. Does anyone know what exhibits are closed? Is it a big difference right now?
Thanks.
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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Sorry, accidently submitted . . .
Plan your museum trips ahead to make the most of your time and see the works you are most interested in. Looks like you have already planned for their closed days.
Definitely go up the Eiffel Tower at least one level. If you visit during the day try to go back at night for the beautiful sparkling light display. It's a great way to end a day in Paris.
Scootoir is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/visit/v...eum-today.html
Here's some info on the Orsay renovation.
Scootoir is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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I just realized that our visit to the Musee D'Orsay will be on the first Sunday of the month, so it will be free. Will it be horribly busy? We will go right at opening.

Would it be horrible to miss the walk in the St. Germain, St. Michael areas? I honestly don't know what the areas are, I just read they were strongly suggested. I think the time we scheduled that walk though will be the only time we can visit the Catacombs. It will have to be after lunch, so it might take us a bit...

Also - is it advisable to prebook Eiffel Tower tickets? I hear you can do it online now!
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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I was there last August on the first Sunday of the month and Musee d'Orsay was not too bad. A little bit of a wait but no more than 20-30 minutes and it was just the security bag checks that slowed entry. Go first thing! It's my favorite museum and a total bargain to get in free.

I wouldn't miss St Germain, but it's because I love the cafes and people watching. It feels very French, but not sure if the kids will be all that interested in it.It sounds as if you are more interested in seeing sights. We love to get coffee or wine and sit on the sidewalk in good weather and just relax. If you walk Boul Mich to Luxembourg Gardens, you'll see plenty of it. There are great places to pick up food for picnics at the Gardens....Gerard Mulot has wonderful pastries and they everything you could want for a fantastic picnic.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Agree that you'll get a decent taste of those Left Bank neighborhoods just by walking from the Seine to the Jardin de Luxembourg.

I was going to ask if your Sunday coincided with the first of the month, but I see you've figured that out. As far as I know, the Louvre will also be open that day. Here's a recent thread that talks about first Sunday museum-going:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...th-in-pars.cfm

Denisea is correct that the lines have to do with getting through security, and will be at both museums. In addition, at the Louvre there are crowds around the most popular pieces, and it can be rather a drag to get close to the Mona Lisa. As I suggested in the thread above, you might want to get your tickets for the Monday museum towards the end of opening times on Sunday, if you're in the area - that will cut down on the time spent the next day.

I'm glad to see you don't necessarily plan to go up the Champs Elysees, as there isn't a ton to do along there; the Arc is in the middle of a big traffic circle, and the views from the top aren't worth your time on this trip.

On the contrary, do go up the Eiffel Tower, and do so during the day as you've planned. You'll be able to see the tower sparkle from lots of locations within the city at night, including your boat tour.

I happen to like climbing up the narrow stairs at Notre Dame for the view there - as long as the lines aren't too long to do so. At the very least, it will give your boys some firsthand knowledge of those ancient stone steps!

What time of year will this be? If it's in the warmer months (or even if it's not, right denisea??), you can't miss a trip to Bertillon on Ile St. Louis for ice cream. There's a little bridge from behind Notre Dame over to the other, smaller island. If it will be cold out, I highly recommend taking the time to sit for the decadent melted candy bar - I mean hot chocolate! - at Angelina's near the Tuileries and Place de la Concorde.
ggreen is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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Thank you both for your suggestions! We will be in Paris in August, so I'm sure an ice cream would be great!!

We will definitely also stop at Gerard Mulot on our way to the Luxembourg Garden. I looked at it online and... wow. I can't wait!

Thank you on the advice on the museums. I think we'll go with the plan of the Musee D'Orsay on the Sunday and the Louvre on the Monday, so we can be there at opening for both.

New question: if we are looking at taking a Seine river cruise, which option is best:

Take the circuit cruise at Pont Neuf and then walk to the Eiffel Tower?

Or, take the Batobus from the closest dock to the Place de la Concorde to the Eiffel Tower.

This would follow our Louvre visit and walk through Tulleries Garden. I think the cruise and Eiffel Tower visit would be the end of our day. Then we would train back to our hotel.

Also - any great cafe or bakery spots in the Tulleries Garden area?

Thank you!!
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Maybe I missed it on another thread or something, but why are you staying out near Disney if your intention is to visit all these things in Paris? You're going to lose a fair bit of time just getting in and out of the city.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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StCirq-I know. It does seem a bit odd.

We got a good deal on a hotel near DLP. We have a family of 5 and finding a hotel where we are not split up into 2 rooms has been very difficult. Our last two days will be at the park and so we just decided to stay in one spot rather than moving around.

We will have to train in and out, but I'm sure it will be an adventure. I believe it will shorten our days so we are back at the hotel in the early evening, but that might be fine as we will have been vacationing for over 2 weeks at that point.

My husband is a big Disney buff (history) and so DLP is a must-see for him!!
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Jan 13th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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I don't disagree that a stop at Berthillon is heaven...on two days packed with site seeing it would be difficult, but I would go if you can (not far from Notre Dame). It was perfect even in the snow, ggreen!

Gerard Mulot....you just won't believe how beautiful everything is. They have individual quiches and sandwiches for lunches. The desserts are truly works of art. And, if you are a DaVinci Code fan, it is very close to St Sulpice church where Silas kills that poor nun! I don't know any patisseries or boulangeries over by the Tuilleries...I am sure they are there. The ones I know are in the 6th and 7th (Dallayou, Eric Keyser, Mulot, Poilane, which is why I love the 6th!
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Jan 13th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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jtw, by "train" do you know if you will be taking the railroad or the RER? I don't know anything about DLP, but google maps shows both going to Marne-la-Vallee, where DLP is located.

Here's a stab at your day one, assuming you'll be taking RER A from DLP into the city:
- RER A to Gare de Lyon. Change to Metro ligne 1 (the most populated and tourist-ridden line in the city: be aware for pickpockets!) direction La Defense.
- Exit metro at Tuileries stop, walk across the Tuileries and then across the river to the Musee d'Orsay. Lunch in the cafe there(?) or nearby.
- After the museum, if you choose not to walk, you can catch the RER C one stop to St. Michel-Notre Dame.
- Ile de la Cite, Notre Dame, Bertillon. Walk down Blvd St. Michel to Jardin de Luxembourg.
- RER B two stops from Luxembourg to Denfert-Rochereau. Visit the catacombs.
- Take the same line (RER B) three stops in the opposite direction back to St. Michel-Notre Dame. Vedettes de Neuf boat tour.
- RER A from the nearby Chatelet-Les Halles back to DLP.

I know I've put a lot of subway riding in there. I wanted to show you the options so if the walking gets too much, you'll know what to do!
ggreen is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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You can book Eiffel Tower tickets on line so you don't have to stand in line. Is there some reason you are staying out by Disney? You'll have a lot of tie wasted on getting into Paris proper.

As too the above post skip the metro and take the bus!
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Jan 13th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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WOW! That is very, very helpful, ggreen. The transit system is very intimidating to me. This is an amazing help!! I can't thank you enough!
jtw999 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the info on the Tower, avalon. It seems like a great idea to book ahead.
Look up a couple comments... you'll see our reasons for staying at DLP
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