Please comment on Paris itinerary

Old Apr 7th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Please comment on Paris itinerary

Many of you have been so helpful as I've put together this trip; please comment on the following tentative itinerary. We are a mom (50) and daughter (17) and will be there May 13-20, staying in a B&B on the border of Jardin des Plantes. Although I'd be happy just to enjoy the Eiffel Tower from the outside, DD really wants to go up inside, so we worked that in. We are on a tight budget, so plan to picnic a lot, especially for dinner. I would like to take her out to a nice dinner once, though, so if you have a suggestion for someplace near our lodging, I'd love to hear it! Thank you very much.

Wed.

Arrive, decompress
Get familiar with neighborhood
Café lunch out
Picnic dinner

Thurs.

Michael Osman:
Louvre (Denon wing)
D’Orsay Museum (Museum café for lunch in aft.) Picnic dinner
Boat tour? (Vedettes du Pont-Neuf)

Friday

Versailles
Marche Monge?

Saturday

Porte de Vanves flea market
Piano concert at Eglise St. Ephrem

Sunday

Notre Dame 10:00 mass
St. Chapelle
Ile de la Cité, Ile Ste. Louis

Monday

Eiffel (go up)
Rodin Museum

Tuesday

Departure

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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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This looks like a nice, relaxing itinerary to me. Your daughter is very lucky!
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Hi,

Sounds like a great itinerary. A couple of suggestions.

The Rodin museum is closed Mondays so you'll need to switch to another day (Sunday afternoon perhaps).

You might want to spend the entire day at Versailles and not go to the market. There's a lot to see there and you pay one admission for the entire day.

If you're not too tired on your arrival day (Wednesday) consider the Notre Dame free tour (1.5 hours) at 2:00 - it's very good.

Here's a link for a 2Euro discount (per person) on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf.

http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/

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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 09:59 PM
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Thanks so much! I should have remembered that many museums are closed Mondays. And the Notre Dame tour sounds great. Do I need reservations, or can we just show up if we're up for it? I'll rearrange things a bit, then post again.

Lori
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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I just got back from a week in Paris with my daughter. We're both a little older than you two, but here's what we liked, and my suggestions. The Porte de Vanves flea market was disappointing, and I am a big flea market fan. Prices were high, and there wasn't much of interest. Not nearly as good as the Chelsea Market in NYC. Instead of going there, I'd recommend Pere Lachaisse cemetery. It was interesting, and very addictive. We were there for hours trying to find all the graves of famous people--and taking pictures of them. Also a good history/cultural lesson for both of us. We walked up the Arc de Triomphe instead of going up the Eiffel Tower. We've heard the views from there are actually better, and the walk isn't as time consuming. We also loved the Fat Tire Bike Tour at night. It includes a Bateau Mouche ride on the Seine, too. I'm not sure about the price, but I'd definitely recommend that. My daughter's favorite restaurant--and I liked it, too--was Chez L'Ami Jean. The cost for two people was $149.29 (I've got my Visa bill right here), but that included a bottle of house wine. It was lively and crowded and fun. You need reservations. Their rice pudding was the best thing we had to eat the entire time we were in Paris.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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Hi Lori,

You just show up for the Notre Dame tour; they have a couple of guides so the groups are not too large. The meeting point is just inside the center door but check for a notice at the info booth (to the right as you enter the cathedral). The tour is only given on Wed (2:00), Thurs (2:00), and Sat (2:30).
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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A few suggestions...
Versailles: It is definitely an all day trip. Change it to Saturday and enjoy the fountains running. IMO, the fountains are the best part of Versailles. They only run on Saturdays and Sundays from April to September. Look into a Forfait Loisir which includes entrance fees to all major exhibits, round trip RER tickets, and an audio guide.

If you really want to go to a flea market, check out Marche aux Puce in the 18e. It only runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Suppose to be big and great.
Here's the link...

http://www.les-puces.com


Here's what I'd do:
Friday: Eiffel and Rodin

Saturday: Versailles

Monday: Marche aux puces. Monday afternoon figure out how to ship all your wonderful purchases!
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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It is a very relaxing schedule, so I think it's a good idea as you will always be able to fit things in if you change your mind.

Personally, I would eat in real places (cafes or restaurants, etc) more than all the picnicking you talk about for dinner. I am not sure what you mean about picnicking (eating outside in a park?), but you can probably eat almost as cheaply by just finding a cheap cafe or restaurant than buying a lot of separate items. I guess it depends what you are planning to buy to do that, I just think you can find a lot of reasonably priced places to eat in Paris, and it will be more enjoyable as a way to experience Paris (and you can linger a lot when eating and people-watch, etc.).

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, you have your own ideas on that and I'm sure it's fine. Maybe if you are in a B&B you have some kitchen or place to dine in it, rather than being on a park bench at night?

as for Friday, I presume you mean the roving market at Place Monge. It really isn't that feasible as it closes around 2 pm, if you are going to Versailles that day. Rue Mouffetard is just a step away and plenty of fun for walking up and down, browsing and eating cheaply, if you want.

I also would not spend my time at Vanves in a short trip like that -- I am definitely not a flea market fan, however. But it really was a waste of time, to me, I was sorry I even went there. at least the big one (up north at Clignancourt) is something you hear about and more of an experience, as long as you are planning that for a good part of the day.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Thanks very much to all of you for your great suggestions. I've got some tweaking to do...

Regarding the picnic dinners, we are on a tight budget, and I've heard that lunch in a cafe is cheaper than dinner, so I was thinking we could eat lunch out, and buy bread, cheese and pate and eat an early dinner in a park now and then. I'll rethink that, too.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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oh, so you were planning to eat in a park. It is true that meals in general are cheaper at lunch, so that's not too bad an idea. But buying pate isn't cheap (bread is, though).

Here's a tip on one cheap restaurant I know over in your area just off rue Mouffetard
http://www.lepotdeterre.com/

They have a prix fixe at dinner for only 10-16 euro that includes several courses.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Not sure what your food budget is but last summer I budgeted US$50 per day which included all meals, drinks and snacks. Came out to about 35Euros/day (exchange rate was a little better last summer).

I had no problem staying within that budget. You'll be surprised how cheap you can eat breakfast just picking up a bottle of water and a pastry.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 02:04 PM
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fischerl,
What sort of busget did you have planned for meals? Maybe we can see if we can make suggestions to match.

I usually have a small breakfast at a local cafe (croissant, OJ, coffee), a take lunch on some days from sandwich place (sandwich, drink, sweet), an occasional sit down lunch off of a prix-fixe menu, and a sit-down dinner. My "splurge" is usually ar dinner.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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I think the picnic idea is lovely and you will find yourself surrounded by other people doing the same thing. Locals and travellers alike. Don't forget that it won't get dark until around 10pm, so it's not as though you will be wandering around in the dark. We will be in Paris in June in an apartment in the 5th and we plan on having picnics too.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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This will sound really lame, but I don't actually have a food budget (yet). I have about $1000 for 6 days for everything (museums, transportation, food, tours, etc.) Lodging is already paid for. And breakfast is included with our B&B lodging.

Christina, thanks for the restaurant tip. We do want to do at least one dinner out if possible.

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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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Here's an updated itinerary. We are not Catholic, but we are reverent (hope that makes sense!). We thought attending mass at Notre Dame, although probably mostly tourists, might be a worshipful experience. I've incorporated many of your suggestions (thank you for all the tips!.

I so hoped to be able to take my daughter, a dancer, to a ballet at Opera Garnier, but apparently May 13-20 is the ballet company's week off!

So how about this?:

Wednesday
Arrive (at B&B in 5e around 11:00)
Decompress, get familiar with neighborhood
Notre Dame free tour 2:00?
Picnic dinner: Rue Mouffetard

Thursday
Michael Osman: Louvre
D’Orsay Museum (Museum café for lunch in aft.)
Picnic dinner

Friday
Eiffel (go up)
Rodin Museum
Fat Tire Bike Tour 7p.m.

Saturday
Versailles
Piano concert at Eglise St. Ephrem 7p.m.

Sunday
Notre Dame mass 10:00?
St. Chapelle, Ile de la Cité, Ile Ste. Louis

Monday
Marche aux Puce (flea market) in the 18e

Tuesday
Departure

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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Re picnics in Paris: It's been 10 years since I was in Paris, but I remember being surprised that at least in some parks (the Tuileries comes to mind) you weren't allowed on the grass. It seemed like there were fewer places than I'd have expected to sit and eat a picnic, and that the locals would eat a sandwich on the go. Has this changed and/or did I make that up? (I live in DC, so I am used to being able to hang out on the Mall (and play frisbee and softball and do intepretive dance . . .), so maybe my expectations were different from other people's.)
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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I attended Mass at Notre Dame and from what I could tell...mostly locals ...as in actually participating in the worship service.

When we went, we were touring around when Mass started (we didn't actually plan to be there for Mass) so we joined in.

The tourists were mostly walking around the outer corridor inside the buildingwatching the Mass.

It is a great experience - amazing music.
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 04:16 PM
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Depending how you feel on that first night, consider taking the boat ride. It's relaxing and gives you some first glimpes of what is to come.

I still think that after spending the day at Versailles, you will probably be too exhausted to do anything else. Versailles is huge!

I just thought I'd add something about attending or visiting a church during mass.

My friend and I went to Sacre Coeur during a service. There were about a dozen nuns singing, and something just came over me and I started to cry. I felt so weird and confused, so I walked away from my friend so she wouldn't see me and wonder what was up. So as we were leaving, she looks at me and says " OMG, the weirdest thing just happened when we were in there!" Surprised, I said "really, what?" I kid you not, she said that something overcame her and she started crying and I then said "OMG, me too!" True story!

Oh, I do love Paris!
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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I like this. It's a fairly laid-back schedule that will allow for all those moments when your eye just gets pulled to something you didn't expect and you end up having an adventure.

I'll just add that the grounds of the Musee Rodin are a great place to have a picnic. There's a little outdoor cafe there, but there are also benches, so you don't have to worry about whether you can sit on the grass or not.

And I'm pretty sure the Champs de Mars is available for grass-sitting - it's the closest thing to the Mall in DC.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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So happy to see that you included St. Chapelle-- go during the time of day that gives you the most sunlight as the stained glass is amazing!

Truly enjoyed D'Orsay.

Have a great trip!
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