Paris schedule--climbing Arc?

May 3rd, 2013, 04:15 PM
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Paris schedule--climbing Arc?

I wondered, has anyone climbed to the top of the Arc de Triumph? How long did it take to do so (rough ballpark )? Were you glad you had done so, or did you feel it wasn't a great use of your time in Paris?

We are taking the Eurostar from London for a one day visit to Paris (the whole under the ocean train was too big of a draw for my husband to miss!). We arrive at 9:20am and leave at 18:10, so we are quite limited on time. We figured we would go straight to the E Tower, then to Notre Dame area and see what we could see, heading back to train when time ran out. However, we wondered if going first to the Arc and climbing it would fit, or if it is very time consuming. Not knowing how long we will be at the tower--no more tickets avail on that day for skipping line--I don't know if it is wise to start at Arc.

Thoughts on that schedule? Arc, then Tower, then Notre Dame as time allows? We'll bus to arc and possibly on to Tower, then walk along Seine to ND . . . All very rough in outline.

Thank you so much for your help!!
gogogriff is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 04:25 PM
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With that limited time climbing the Arc would be low on my list - even though it is neat enough to see the Etoile or star-shaped road grid that radiates out from it from above.

To me the best thing for folks like you to do is to walk from Notre-Dame to the Louvre, up thru the Tuileries Gardens, cross the Place de Concord and up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe - a few mile stroll taking you thru so many landmark amnd iconic venues.
PalenQ is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 04:54 PM
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We climbed the Arc, and although we thought it was interesting and enjoyed it, we were in Paris for 7 days, not just one. With your limited time I would not climb anything, but spend your very limited time with your feet on the ground. The route PalenQ laid out above is a very good way to spend your limited time.
michele_d is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 05:55 PM
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This is something to be done on your 7th or 8th day in Paris - not your only one. I would pick your top 3 items (you'll have trouble fitting those in along with a quick lunch in a nearby cafe).
nytraveler is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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You could do it instead of going to the top of the Eiffel tower if you want to avoid the inevitable insane queue there, but the main point is the view, so I would skip it if you're going to the Eiffel Tower as well. Personally, I would also try to go for a walk in the Ile St-Louis/Marais area, which is close-ish to Notre Dame and one of the nicest and oldest parts of Paris.
blabla is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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Based on all the fun things to do in Paris, climbing to the top of the Arc would be lower on my list. In fact, for as much press as the Champs Elysees gets, it has turned into a place for hordes of tourists and major retailers that you can find around the world.

Also, if you do the Eiffel Tower, I would not recommend going to the 3rd level - takes a ton of time to get there and isn't really worth it. I would get timed tickets for the 1st and 2nd level and then just walk down and avoid the lines to come down. Is the best way to maximize your time there and see the 90% of the cool stuff.

I love Ile St. Louis (we just stayed there) - would be a fun street to walk down and get Berthillon ice cream if you are visiting Notre Dame.
surfmom is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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With just one day I would start with PalenQ's tour but turn off at the Place de Concorde and walk across the river to stroll through the Left Bank either toward Invalides and the Eiffel Tower or to St. Germain. And Surfmom is right about the both the Champs Elysees and the Ile St. Louis.
Scootoir is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Thank you all for your advice! We are going to pass on climbing the Arc, still debating on how far up the Tower to go--having a harder time giving up the idea of going at least part-way up, but will then move on to pass Notre Dame and I love the idea of lle St. Louis. Not knowing anything, I really appreciate your suggestions. (I had never even heard of lle St. Louis ) We went into the idea of Paris with the plan that it would be neat to be there even for just a little while and see what we could see. The trick will be not to be sad over what we didn't see and just soak up what we do!
gogogriff is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Don't be sad; when you get home start planning and saving for a trip to Paris!
Scootoir is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 02:53 AM
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Don't worry about not getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower. For most tourists, the Eiffel Tower is the pinnacle of the Parisian skyline. You can't see if you're standing on it! It is definitely not worth missing Notre Dame.
BKP is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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I'd rather just see the Eiffel Tower from the champs de Mars as BKP suggests.
The view from the now closed Samarataine was so much "better". We did go to the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette several years ago. I never see that mentioned.
Gretchen is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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With one day in Paris there is absolutely NO way I would spend any time waiting in a line to go up the Eiffel Tower. As stated above, you want to see IT, which you can't do if you are on it. There are hundreds of great places to view it, and it is best from the ground. The view from up it is fairly boring. (And I am someone who climbs most belltowers, campaniles, etc all over Europe). Go to it, walk around , under it, walk along the Seine and view it from various points (the Pont Alexander has nice views) but don't spend time in line just to say you went up it.

The Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame are the heart of Paris (if you must climb something, climb the bell tower there, although I wouldn't wait in line to do it with only one day). Cross the bridge to Ile St. Louis and walk around. Spend some time walking along the banks of the Seine. Walk through the courtyard of the Louvre and through the gardens. Place de la Concorde has nice views of the Arc and the Eiffel Tower. If the ferris wheel is up and lines are short you could go up in that if you want a view from high up.
isabel is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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For a few hours in Paris here's what I would suggest for a whirlwind tour.

Eiffel Tower---it's beautiful from the ground, too time consuming to go up.

Batobus---not my favorite cruise at all, but quick transportation with a view to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame---see outside, maybe take a peak inside if line isn't gigantic.

Ile St. Louis---small, cute shops, etc. Amorino cone(check out the photos, every cone is made in the shape of a flower.)

Left Bank---walk along the left bank to the St. Michel fountain and thru a few of the pedestrian streets then cross the river to the right bank.

Louvre Plaza, and Tuilleries---A place to remember. Of course you don't have time to go in The Louvre.

You can see the Champs E. from the end of the Tuilleries across the Place de Concorde. You could ride the ferris wheel here for a good view of everything if the lines aren't too long. Or you could grab a cab up the Champs(far too long to walk) to the Arch.

OR---if time is running short, walk up the river on the left bank(skip St. Michel,) and cross the river at the Pont Neuf to The Louvre.

Then off to the train station with dreams of returning to Paris.
TPAYT is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Thank you everyone--those are all very helpful suggestions. I am getting a better sense of how to use our time in Paris. It is all getting closer and closer!
gogogriff is offline  
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