Paris itinerary....what are must do's?

Old Jun 26th, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Paris itinerary....what are must do's?

We will be in Paris for 3 days (July 14 -July 17 - we leave in the morning).
This is what I was planning....tell me if you think it is too much...I have never been before so I have no idea.

Monday (it's Bastille day so I think there may be fireworks too)

Champs Elysee
Arc de Triomphe
Place de la Concorde
Jardin de Tuileries
Au Printemps dept store
Galeries Lafayette dept store
(possibly do the Seine boat cruise at night- is dinner on those cruises good?)


Tuesday

Eiffel Tower (we have reservations for lunch at 12:30 at Le Jules Verne)
Hotel des Invalides
Palais de Chaillot (we were told to go up it at night and watch the suset on E.T.)
Musee d'Orsay (if we have time)

Wednesday
Notre Dame
Louvre (not too long maybe a couple hours just to see some specific exhibits)
Jardin de luxemburg for a picnic lunch
St. Chapelle
Conciergie
Le Bon Marche dept store


Am I missing anything? Have I tried to pack too much into 3 days? This itinerary is not set in stone so we will not be sticking to it 100%.
Sorry this is long and your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 26th, 2003, 08:41 PM
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No, I don't think you are trying to pack in too much. But, I would definitely skip one department store in favor of the Musee d'Orsay and I'd skip another department store for Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. Then I'd skip the third department store for Fauchons.

A dinner cruise on the Seine is lovely as is walking around the Sant Germain des Pres district.
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Old Jun 26th, 2003, 10:02 PM
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After studying in Paris for 4 months, I would have to say my favorite site is the Musee d'Orsay. It's much better than the Louvre, you will recongnize many more paintings and sculptures in it too. Worth your money to attend and if there's a choice between the Louvre and Orsay, I'd honestly recommend the Orsay. In response to another persons comment, I'd recommed Fauchon as well. I'll be in Paris this summer for the first time since I've studied there and those two are on my MUST DO list. Enjoy your time and hope you don't let the french frustrate you...
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 05:05 AM
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Just curious, but will department stores even be open on Bastille Day if it is a national holiday?
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 05:09 AM
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Hi
If you want to do a department store for other than fashion reasons, La Samaritaine has a cafe on the roof with a spectacular view of Paris. They also happen to have a very extensive department for needlework (kits, supplies) if that interests you. They have fashion of course, but I wouldn't call it cutting edge.
I can't imagine the stores will be open on Bastille Day. Each store has a website
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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I second the suggestion for a sunset cruise on the Seine. When you visit the Notre Dame, make sure you go up in the towers. The view is incredible and we got some great pictures of the gargoyles. Have a great trip! We went to Paris in March for the first time and loved it.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 05:58 AM
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On Bastille day all the stores AND museums will be closed. The Champs Elysees is where they have a parade that day (so it will be mobbed). The fireworks at night are at the Trocodaro. The Seine boat cruises on that day will also be packed (and may be very expensive).

You can certainly do the walk you planned but understand you really only have 2 days to see the inside of things so budget carefully. Don't miss having a walk through Place des Vosges in the Marais. It's everyone's favorite square in Paris. The Picasso and Rodin museums are 2 small gems that are easy to do in a short time. There are great little boutiques near the Picasso museum. While I know the sales are on in the dept. stores, I've found much more memorable treasures in the small shops.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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On Bastille day all the stores AND museums will be closed. The Champs Elysees is where they have a parade that day (so it will be mobbed). The fireworks at night are at the Trocodaro. The Seine boat cruises on that day will also be packed (and may be very expensive).

You can certainly do the walk you planned but understand you really only have 2 days to see the inside of things so budget carefully. Don't miss having a walk through Place des Vosges in the Marais. It's everyone's favorite square in Paris. The Picasso and Rodin museums are 2 small gems that are easy to do in a short time. There are great little boutiques near the Picasso museum. While I know the sales are on in the dept. stores, I've found much more memorable treasures in the small shops. Enjoy shopping
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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I actually just checked the Louvre website and they are open on Bastille Day and it is free (except for Napoleon Hall)....so maybe during the parade we can do that instead of being squished with thousands of others and that'll make time for Musee d'Orsay on Wednesday.

Am I crazy for missing the parade?
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:26 AM
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Hi Petula,

You might not be crazy, but you will be making a big mistake if you miss the parade.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:36 AM
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I don't know if you listed items in the order in which you plan to do them, but if so, you should change around the schedule on Wed and do Notre Dame and Ste. Chappelle together, as they are very close to each other and both on the Isle de la Cite. Hope that helps.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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Why not do both? You don't have to watch the parade for hours-just get a taste \/
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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I wonder if Musee d'Orsay is worth your time. Unless you are an art aficionado and have a real interest in the art of that period, I am not sure you would benefit. I think your interests would be better served elsewhere. The stores are interesting, and I find that just watching the passing scene at a sidewalk cafe is very much interesting.

Are you missing anything. Sure. I don't think one visit to Paris that is less than 10 days can be all inclusive. For example, Sacre Couer is not on your list; neither is the museum of science and industry.
And you have not the time for an excursion to the outskirts of Paris for places like Versailles, Vaux le Vicomte, Chartre, Giverny, Fontainebleau, Chantilly, or for some of the smaller museums like Hotel du Soubise or Jacquemart Andre.

Musee Marmottan is a must for Monet lovers, but otherwise probably missable. Musee Rodin is a must for sculpture devotees; otherwise missable.
The Picasso Museum is missable, period.
(some may disagree, but I don't think the displayed paintings represent him well and the museum itself is less than inspiring.)

Just my thoughts. Others will disagree I am sure.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 07:46 AM
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One big highlight for me was the Eiffel Tower at night. I will return to Paris just for this !! Well maybe because a few other things too.

The cafes, the Seine, the museum......
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Call the Jules Verne the day before to confirm your reservation. Smart to go there, because you will be able to use their private elevator. There are always cabs there, and you can take one to the Musee D'Orsay which is right down the street. Make sure you have a museum pass.

I would not reccomend the Louvre with such limited time...too much time investment just getting in and getting oriented.

If you go to Au Printemps, the building to the west [La Maison] has a roof deck with nice views of the city.



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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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Let me say it was a pleasure to read your post. No questions about what hotel, where to eat, what to wear, just straightforward questions about an itinerary to which you had obviously given thought.

It is too bad that Bastille Day will constrain your plans but I think you will adjust nicely. Instead of the dept. stores, consider going to the Pompidou Center or Place de Vosges. Many people consider the dinner on the Seine cruise to be overpriced but so what.

You threw me with the reference to the Palais de Chaillot until I looked in my guides and discovered it's the Sunday name for the Trocadero. Great place to start your day before lunch at the EF.
After lunch, consider adding The Rodin museum after Invalides. Since you'll be pressed to get to d'Orsay, concentrate on the garden. Turn left when you go in for The Burghers of Calais and The Gate of Hell and continue clockwise.

The Conciergerie is interesting but something I would jettison if time becomes an issue. If you have the museum pass, stoping in quickly after St Chapelle makes sense. And do try for Galeries Lafayette. If you get no further than the lobby to view the stained glass cupola it will be worth it.

Have a great time.






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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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The last time I was in Paris on that day (2001, I think), more stores were open, which surprised me. I don't think the grand dept. stores are open, though, but a lot of stores in the Les Halles shopping center were open.

The Louvre was open then, also, but believe me you do NOT want to go to the Louvre on a holiday when it is free. I was going to do that that day and got there and it was literally suffocating and wall to wall people, you could barely move around. That was before I really go into it much, so I left. The Pompidou was open that day, also, and I went there instead and it was okay--not nearly as crowded. I was choose some museum that will be open, several are nowadays, but not the Louvre. A lot of the monuments are open (and were free on that day). I visited the Pantheon and that was quite nice, but might not be on the must do list IMO.

I enjoyed the parade very much the one time I saw it. I've been there on that day maybe 6 times, but only saw the parade once. I don't really enjoy parades or military stuff that much, but I am glad I went once and found it enjoyable. I'd never really seen a military parade before, and they had the cavalry (which I liked) and a lot of historic tanks which were kind of cool, as well as the F14 flyover. It doesn't take that long, a couple hours, but it depends on your interests.
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 02:19 PM
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Make sure you get a 3-day museum pass. It is a good bargain, and you don't have to wait in line at most of the sites. To climb to the top of the ND you cannot bypass the line, so get there early. Even if there are 20 people in line you can wait almost an hour. Lines will be longer later in the day.
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Sacre Coeur is open till like 9, so hit that at night/late afternoon. Do the Arc late in the day too. That way you can hit the museums when they are open.


I would suggest you do the same with the Eiffel but you already have a reservation.
Bump the Louvre for the d'Orday.

Skip Day 3 and do Disneyland. (Just kidding)
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 04:34 PM
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Bastille Day was the highlight of our trip a few years ago. We went to the parade in the morning. We arrived about 90 min before it started. We watched on the Champs, about a block away from the Arc. I would recommend mover further down the Champs, toward the Louvre (I think we missed some of the parade, as it seemed to start where we were). After we went for lunch and rode the metro to Pere Lachaise Cemetery. We found the resting places of several famous Parisians. Jim Morrisson's plot was particularly amusing - several mourning teens (weren't even born when he died). There are people selling cheap maps just outside - it is well worth a visit. For dinner, we assembled a picnic and bought some wine to have in the Champs du Mars while watching the fireworks!
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