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Please comment on 4.5 day Paris itinerary

Please comment on 4.5 day Paris itinerary

Old May 14th, 2017, 04:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10
Please comment on 4.5 day Paris itinerary

Hello, my family (husband, wife and three young adult children ages 18,20 and 22) will be in Paris for 4-1/2 days. We only have time to go to the top attractions and I have done some research and put together my best shot at an itinerary to make sure we make the most of our short time there. I was wondering if you could please review and comment? I would love to hear the suggestions from more seasoned travelers as we don't travel much.Thank you in advance. I very much appreciate your help.

Friday – Arrive 7:15 pm Garde du Nord (dinner on train)
Check into hotel at Rue Danielle Casanova
What to do this night??

Saturday –
Jardin des Tuileries
Palais Royale
Eglise Sr. Eustache

Sunday – Versailles

Monday – Notre Dame
Sainte Chapelle
Musee D’Orsay
Luxembourg Gardens
Le Congergierie - ?

Tuesday – 8:00 Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triumphe
Avenue de Champs Elysses
Catch train back to London 9:13pm Garde du Nord

Need time for:
Boat ride on Seine
Sacre Couer
Cheesecake from place Kim Kardashian likes
jkapoian is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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The Musee d'Orsay is closed on Mondays.
indyhiker is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,314
A couple of thoughts:

- Get a Paris Museum Pass to save money time standing in ticket lines
- It looks like a super-busy schedule. You may want to prioritize a bit more in case you want to drop one or two things.
- Set aside an afternoon or two to just sit at a cafe, read, and people-watch. The one major site not on your list is...Paris.
Edward2005 is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,290
In summer you will have more daylight...take a boat on the Seine one evening. I am not sure if Conciergerie is worth the time (my opinion). I would go to Ste Chapelle first thing and go to Notre Dame afterwards.

D'Orsay is closed on Mondays so you will want to choose another day. Is the Champs Elysee a must for you? The view of it from Place de la Concorde is wonderful but actually walking it is disappointing....crowded and full of stores you can find anywhere.

Make sure you know what you want to see at The Louvre. It is massive and can be crowded, so you will want to have a plan. You may wish to consider L'Orangerie after the Tuileries. The huge Monet canvases are spectacular. St Eustache is nice but L'Orangeries is wonderful and also not crowded.

No idea what the cheesecake place Kim K likes is. I know she likes Ferdi in the first...you could try to visit after Palais Royale if you are interested.

I would not go to Versailles on such a short trip to Paris but it is your trip. Sacre Coeur is not close to any thing else you are going to....maybe you could go after you return from Versailles.

I would suggest you consider doing a little less so you can enjoy Paris a bit more but I understand trying to see as much as possible. Paris is a great city to people watch in....do spend some time in a cafe with some wine and just enjoy being there.
denisea is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I wouldn't eat on the Eurostar -- you will arrive in Paris plenty early enough to eat in the city (and it will seem even earlier since you will still feel you are on London time - an hour earlier)

I personally wouldn't visit Versailles on such a short trip . . . But if it is a 'must', don't go on a a Sunday because that is the most crowded day.

Forget you Tuesday plans -- The Arc is certainly a major sit, but the Champs Elysees is just a busy shopping street.

>>Cheesecake from place Kim Kardashian likes<<

Joking - right?
janisj is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,287
Ohmigosh I'm so embarrassed that I know this; the cheesecake is from the Hotel Costes! You do not want to spend your precious Paris time there. You won't be able to just drop in. Have something yummy at a patisserie that is uniquely French.
Scootoir is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Yes, do not waste your appetites eating on the Eurostar. (Yuck!) You will arrive at Gare du Nord at 7:15, and if you take a cab should be in your hotel and settled by 8:00. Parisians eat late, and the dinner hour does not really start until then, so I suggest you make a reservation at a Paris restaurant while still in the U.K. that appeals, and then have a leisurely dinner followed by a walk on the Seine to see the Eiffel Tower light up at dusk. Stop in a lively bistro or bar for a nightcap before ending you first evening in a city to which you will surely return.
nukesafe is offline  
Old May 14th, 2017, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 907
if you decide not to eat on the Eurostar, I enjoyed eating at the large brasserie Terminus Nord which is immediately across from Gare du nord.

The boat ride on the seine is best at night,imo. Also seeing and then approaching the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero is best, imo.
You could fit in Sacre Cour and Montmartre before leaving; however luggage may be a problem.
Enjoy real French pasteries and skip the cheesecake
giro is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I loved Conciergerie and Sainte - Chapelle - you can visit the 2 on the one ticket - the same day. Go to La Conciergerie first and then Sainte Chapelle and you skip the long queues .
northie is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I too recommend the Conciergerie, particularly if any of you is into history. Northie has good advice on how to visit.

Pretty good plan, overall. I would not go to Versailles on such a short visit unless you're never ever going to come back to Paris.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,845
Last year we did a trip to London/Scotland/Paris with our kids (then ages 20/18/15).

Many of your choices are sound, but one thing I did not pick up in either of your posts, is what do your kids think? What they envision for Paris? For example, are you sure they like art as much as you do, and if so what eras do they enjoy?

By asking, I found out that both my boys wanted to go to a jazz club while on the trip; they went to one in London.

My oldest liked being in a city where if he got tired of an attraction, he could head back to the hotel or go somewhere else on his own. That is one more negative I see with going to Versailles. You are all together all day.

(At least once on your trip: Break into 2 and 3, especially if people don't want to do the same thing. At least two of your kids are probably used to their independence.)

My daughter loved the historic Saturday morning bookstalls along the Seine River. She has taken a lot of French so she bought a couple of books, and we got a close friend a Tin Tin original comic. She also loved the Shakespeare & Co English bookstore.

Sacre Couer can be mobbed at times, but the shops on the hill behind the church were a favorite place to browse. Also we went out in the evening once to watch the street artists performing in front of the church.

My younger two loved stopping at pastry shops. There was a wellknown one near both places we stayed, so it was pretty easy to do. At least some of the times we'd get coffee and take our time, and eat in. They liked those slower moments.

Hope this helps!
5alive is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Be prepared to vary your plans depending on weather. Stained glass requires sun (Ste Chapelle, Notre Dame), for instance. Museums are good for less nice days. Check all your goals against closure days and opening hours. With such a short time and long list, get the museum pass, and skip the ticket lines (but not the security lines). I agree in ditching Versailles and Champs E but no one has ever convinced a first time visitor to skip them so I won't try. Sacre Coeur is worth only a few minutes, less time than it takes to get there. For a nice view of Paris, go to the top of the Tour Montparnasse at sunset, worth the entry fee and has the only view of Paris that does not include the hideous Tour Montparnasse.
AJPeabody is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 05:06 PM
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I like what 5alive said.

For research purposes it might be helpful to spell things right:

Gare du Nord
Arc de Triomphe
Champs Elysées
Sacré Coeur

It's LA Conciergerie - do you know what you are visiting?

You got Kardashian spelled right, but why on earth would you a) want cheesecake in Paris and b) want anything associated with that dreadfully shallow family who know zero about France?
StCirq is online now  
Old May 15th, 2017, 05:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10
Thank you all very much for your useful insights and comments. I really appreciate it. here are some further thoughts.

Denisea - the ride on the at night Seine sounds wonderful. Thank you for the suggestion!

Edward2005 - I agree that I should prioritize and eliminate some things. It's just so hard to know what to eliminate without ever seeing what I'm eliminating. I will try to do some more research and drop off some things. I know we like art museums but really would only go to see the big most famous things. Only 1 of 5 of us would really sit for any length of time and stare at a painting. Maybe I have too many museums?? (Plus I forgot that most are not free like in London.)

AJPeabody - I think you may have convinced me to dump the Champs Elysees. But now I'm thinking - if I dump Versailles (ouch) and CE, and move things around, that puts a lot of pressure to find those cute little corners and bookshops and places to sit and have the best coffee ever etc. What if we cant find those places?

A few of you mentioned restaurants and I am nervous that we are not going to find the type of restaurants that we like. We are hearty eaters. I am picturing Paris restaurants to serve small pretty plates with the food nicely presented, but two bites and it's gone. I know "when in Rome...." but I have three young adults and a DH that are used to eating well. Can anyone suggest any eateries that are French and nice but in the style that we might like?

St Cirq - It is generally considered unkind to post to a forum under the guise of being helpful and belittle the OP. Besides, the Kardashians are sexy and trampy and hot as hell and we like them (mon dieu!!)
jkapoian is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I agree, on such a short trip I would also skip Versailles. We've been to Paris about eight times and have yet to leave Paris to see it.

If I may share a story I've told before: on our first trip to Paris, the Metro was on strike, the big national museums were on strike, and it was raining. It was glorious. The second trip we saw, on consecutive days, the Louvre, the Prsay, and the Cluny. It fell flat, compared to the first, because we were on a "check it off the list" vacation. And ever since, we vacation at a more relaxed pace. If you find that you don't make it to all the things you've listed, you'll still have a wonderful time.

You have no concept of the beauty that each corner reveals, until you have been to Paris. The pastry shop windows are like jewelry stores. Take time to stop for a coffee or snack, take a little detour when you see people coming out of a passage (that's how we discovered the Galerie Vivienne). The gardens of the Palais Royal are lovely, as are the Luxembourg gardens.

We went ten years ago with our young adult children, and we still talk about it. What a wonderful gift you are giving yourselves and your family! Have a great time and write a trip report when you're home.

And PS lots of Paris restaurants serve hearty meals, I'm sure you'll get good suggestions.
Iwan2go is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I agree with trying to fit in the Orangeries - a wonderful small museum that doesn't take too long to see. It is always a highlight of any of my trips to Paris.

I also agree with skipping the Champs Elysses but climbing to the top of the Arc de Triompe is fun and gives you a good view.

The Eiffel Tower at night is very pretty to see (and go up) as it is lit and sparkles every hour on the hour. Doing this at night give you more time in the day to do other things.

I hate to mention another museum but, if you have the inclination for one more, I also love the Rodin museum. A small museum with a beautiful garden that is a treat if you are at all a fan of Rodin.
KTtravel is offline  
Old May 15th, 2017, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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P.S. Don't worry about getting enough to eat. You can always order more food! Do save room for pastries and macarons!
KTtravel is offline  
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