PARIS...Never Been. Need advice Please!

Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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PARIS...Never Been. Need advice Please!

My husband and I have never been to PARIS .... or Europe. We will be in Paris for about 2 1/2 days this May. We are young, active & adventurous. For those of you that have been or live there how would you handle this trip???

Of course we want to see the Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame, eat great food, art, museums, etc....

Please advise. I have no clue what would be the best way to handle this?

Thank you in advance.
nicoleferg is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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Paris is a very easy city for d visitors. The hardest thing will be narrowing down your priorities for exactly what you want to see most, to fit that in to your very short time frame. Then get a street map, and start mapping out your days.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Get a good guide book and figure out what you want to see. I like the Michelin Green Guides.

this is our trip report from last weekend: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...d-in-paris.cfm

It was our 10th time to Paris and we never run out of things to do.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Get the Michelin Green Guide for Paris, or at least browse in it to see if it will give you useful information. I believe that it has suggestions according to the number of days one is in the city, which is really what you are looking for; if it does not, look for a guidebook that does. This would provide a view of the highlights without overloading your senses with information that could not possibly be used in the short time you will be there.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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I'm not clear on what you want advice about handling -- just the idea of visiting a city? Or the entire trip and reservations. There are several decent guidebooks that will give you good descriptions of major tourist sightseeing for a trip of a couple days, I think you should just get a couple from the library or something and read them -- Fodors, of course, Frommers, whatever else you see. While I like the Michelin Green Guide for in-depth info on some historic sites, I personally think it is not organized in a very useful manner (just listing things alphabetically, not by area of the city) nor really the best guidebook for people in your situation. It is also less likely to be at your library, I bet. I think it's better as a reference work in addition to a regular guidebook, and for people with more than general interests. It doesn't have any suggestions for people with a couple day's trip, at least my version does not. That's something Fodors does, I believe (or maybe Frommers). Those are useful.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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I like the green guide because of the great map that shows where all the sites are in relation to each other at the front. It helps you to group things together.

The Top 10 series are good as well.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Is there a possibility you can stay longer? Paris truly deserves more than 2 days....is this part of a longer trip? Can you rearrange or drop a stop or two to add some time to Paris?
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Go to Notre Dame in the morning, then take the Metro to the e Louvre, which will take several hours. The architecture of the building itself is as compelling as the art it holds. The Eiffel is visible from most anywhere, so unless you feel you MUST ride to the top, I would skip the hours it takes in line to do so. There are concerts most nights inside Sainte Chapelle; see if you can make one of them. One of the "off & on" double-decker bus tours is a great way to spend a couple of hours getting a great over-view of the city and some really good photo ops of the Eiffel Tower. I agree with Judy: If there's any way you can get more time, do so. Otherwise, plan for more time next trip and don't make yourself crazy running from one "sight" to another just to say you've seen something.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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Frommer's has their three-day Paris itinerary online if you're looking for ideas. In fact, if you Google "Paris in 2 Days" or "Paris in 3 Days" you'll find quite a few itineraries.

In terms of hotels and restaurants, people here can give you better guidance if you provide more information: your specific likes and dislikes, desires, and perhaps the maximum you're comfortable spending.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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I just suggest: Stay in either the 1st, 5th, 6th or 7th arrondisement...that lets you see the most while walking. Don't try to pack too much into just 2 1/2 days, but you'll probably want to see the Eiffel Tower (as Love2Knit says, you don't have to go up...I didn't go up until my 3rd trip), Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay. (Unless you hate museums! Actually with the little bit of time you have, you may only want to see one museum, and I'd say go for the Louvre. It started out as a palace and it is awesome.) Take one of the boat tours if the weather is good. Seeing everything from the Seine is pretty unforgettable. You may decide, if the weather is good, to do picnic lunches...the Jardin de Tuilleries is wonderful, so is Place des Vosges (in the Marais).

Whatever you do, be sure to leave time to just sit and people watch. You can do this from a sidewalk cafe or just from a park bench. Out in front of the Pompidou Museum in the evenings, there are usually street performers. We've seen some really good ones the last two times we were there. May is usually great in terms of weather, and it will stay light until nearly 10PM.

Don't worry if you don't get to see everything you wanted to...you will be back again. Paris is an easy city to enjoy, and every time you go back, you feel more attached to it!
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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May is a beautiful time to be in Paris - springtime in Paris! With 2 1/2 days, you can definitely fit in the "three biggies" you mentioned with enough extra time to stroll the Seine, people-watch in a cafe, and soak it all in.

You don't mention where you will be coming from; if you are landing in Paris from North America, definitely include time for being jet-lagged. (For me, this means checking into the hotel and taking a nap! But it could just be wandering the streets with no specific goal in mind...)

Have you booked a hotel yet? I agree with uhoh_busted: you'll want to spend the extra money to stay in central Paris. Get a map of Paris and you'll see that the 1st arrondisement (district) is in the center, with the rest spiraling out clockwise from there. (While it's the most central of all and ideal for walking places, the 1st is primarily a business district, and can be rather boring after hours.) FWIW, the Metro is an easy way to get around.

This link is to a recent (rather lengthy) thread is from another poster who only had 2 days in Paris. Some of her requirements won't mesh with yours - for example they were staying about an hour outside of Paris and the Musee d'Orsay was at the top of their list of places to see - but if you read through it I think you'll get a lot of tips for getting around and what you can see in a day:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...y-two-days.cfm
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