Short time in Paris

Jan 14th, 2012, 10:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Short time in Paris

Here's a real challenge for everyone! My parents (both nearly 90), my wife, and I are going to have an afternoon and most of the following day in Paris. We understand this isn't nearly enough time but what can we do within those constraints? One thing we want to do is visit the Louvre. Any ideas on where to stay and eat (midrange)? What else should we try to do (without exhausting ourselves)?
seedless is offline  
Jan 14th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Hi seed,

Visiting the Louvre is not what I would do if I had such a short time in Paris.

What you do will depend on the day of the week. What will it be?

ira is online now  
Jan 14th, 2012, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Well, at night I would so a Vedettes du Pont Neif Seine cruise.
with mobility, I would not be wandering around the city. I might consider looking at a coach tour of the city, like Parisvision or Cityrama. There is alos a Hop On Hop Off bus tour.

the Seine cruise above is very close to Notre Dame, so you could see Nore Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Ile St Louis and banks of Seine with plenty of rest stops.

Also a flower market near ND, little park near Vedettes, and maybe a Bertnillon ice cream on ISL.

scenic area and lots of places to eat
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 14th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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If you have not thought about other things to do, it is ok just to sit at a cafe and see the world go by. Pretty much any guide books, Fodors, Rick Steves, have pages listing what each writer thinks are the top things to do in Paris.

Do I assume that your parents have mobility limitations?

If you are art lovers, by all means go to Louvre. With assumed mobility limitations, you want to avoid having to wait in a ticket line. Entering the center court Pyramid entrance and buying tickets from a ticket window is the most time consuming way to enter Louvre. Enter from the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall instead. Use a ticket machine or buy Louvre tickets from "tabac" in the underground mall. Study the layout and decide where you want to go beforehand. Louvre is not a place to just wonder around. It is too big.

I am not sure how familiar you are with European hotels. If you go to a budget end traditional hotel, they might not have an elevator or only have bath tubs with high rims posing usage problems with people with mobility restrictions.

Metro/RER is not recommended for those with mobility issues. Use taxis or buses if you can figure out the routes.
greg is online now  
Jan 14th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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There are mobility issues. We'll be in Paris from around noon on Sunday until about 3 PM on Monday. Thanks for all of the input. It is the first time to Europe for my wife and I and my Father was in Paris in 1944, so we need help!
seedless is offline  
Jan 14th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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I'd go to the Musee d'Orsay instead of the Louvre. And spend a bit of time sitting at a sidewalk cafe (Cafe Flore on Blvd. St. Germain - great hot chocolate if you don't want a drink). I think the cruise is a great idea.
glennie is offline  
Jan 14th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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I would not do the Louvre - it is just too large and your time is so limited. I instead would do the Musee D'Orsay and walk the area around Notre Dame and Ste. Chappelle. I would also stay on Ile St. Louis - not cheap but a lovely area and has a few small street on which to stroll - there are restaurants and shops there also. None of Paris is inexpensive, but for this trip with your 90 year old in-laws, I think you need to think about how easy and lovely you can make it!
Sophia12 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2012, 02:11 AM
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First, are you coming from elsewhere in Europe or will you be jetlagged on Day One? How are you rriving?
Second, a lot of museums are closed on Mondays; if you want to see them you have to go on Sunday.
Third, the Ile is kind of isolated in terms of transportation for people with limitations. The vedettes on Sunday evening is a good idea.

If this were my family and I could possibly swing it, I would hire a guide with a car, preferably a guide with WWII knowledge, to take us to critical WWII sites: Place de La Concorde and the Hotel Meurice (German headquarters); the Conciergerie where the Paris Police fought it out with the Germans; Gare Montparnasse, where the Germans surrendered. Then I would take in whatever sites a young soldier would have visited in 1944 -- the Tour Eiffel, the Moulin Rouge, the Champs Elysee.

You may get back to look at the art; he won't. Look for a copy of "Is Paris Burning" to read about the last days of the war in Paris from the point of view of ordinaty participants.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 15th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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I would take a look at Musee D'Orsay, as well. POssibly, L'Orangerie if anyone is a Monet fan. I not only prefer the art there, but find the Louvre to be so vast and crowded, I don't enjoy it as much.

It is important to know what is closed on which days (The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, if I remember correctly).

Ste Chapelle is so beautiful and small, manageable if there are mobility issues, but you will want to get there early to avoid long security lines (it is part of the Justice complex).

I also love Ile St Louis. Very easy to see Notre Dame and head over to Ile St Louis. Also the deportation memorial is behind Notre Dame.

There is a great restaurant on Ile St Louis, called L'Orangerie (not to be confused with the museum of the same name). We enjoyed our lunch there very much and stopped at Berthillon for ice cream afterwards.
denisea is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Thanks for your input. We will be in Europe 5 days before and 5 days after. I appreciate the WWII recommendations. That is why we are in Europe. My Dad was in the 101st and they are having a dedication of a plaque on a building in Sinte Oedenrode, Netherlands. We are heading from there to Normandy to Sainte Mere Eglise where he parachuted on D-Day, for a couple of days. We are stopping over in Paris. Dad wants to look for the bar in Paris he was in before they were called back to action in Holland. Even at 91, his mind is sharp, probably a lot sharper than when he was in the Paris bar! Thanks again to everyone for their help. It has been a huge help.
seedless is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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I took my parents to Paris and we stayed at a Left Bank hotel with views of sunrise over Notre Dame. Very convenient for touring. Could go to military museum and Eiffel tower using RER train stop right there.Also the Deportation Memorial behind ND. Second ISL as a good place to stay.

i remember walking along Seine, Left Bank, easy of Notre Dame and coming across a memorial plaque..on this spot (soldier name) was killed during liberation of Paris.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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I've taken my 88-year-old mom on some trips (including Australia) and I would rule out much walking. Unless your dad really wants to see the art, I would skip that, as it would take most of your time. I know it would be a slow process for my mom and we would need to sit frequently on the benches. However, I often arranged to have a wheelchair for her - just because she tired easily. You may be able to get one at the Louvre, if you decide to go there.

I think the idea of the driver/guide would be perfect. Your dad needs to see that bar in Paris! I drove my Australian uncle around San Francisco 2 years ago and he remembered arriving there by ship during WWII and marching along the Embarcadero to the train station for the trip to Canada before deployment to France/Germany. He had never been to SF any other time and amazingly told me exactly where to drive him. He remembered everything so vividly and seeing it again was very important to him.

My guess is that you and your wife will enjoy seeing Paris through his eyes. Probably staying close to the Seine is a good idea, and choosing a hotel with good service will be helpful, too. Perhaps the concierge could locate a wheelchair for you, so you can "walk" around more easily when not on your tour. I thought the Hop On - Hop Off bus gave a good overview of Paris, too ( on a trip when I had a sprained ankle). I don't think my mom could have handled the Eiffel Tower - too much standing and too crowded.
elnap29 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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Good for your dad at 91 and still being able to travel and especially to Paris. We are in our seventies and it seems harder to walk around Paris compared to years ago so all the more power to your parents!
cornelius01 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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Please thank your father for his service. We went to Normandy last year and even though I had read the history and seen documentaries and movies, nothing prepared me for the magnitude and emotions of the experience.
paris1953 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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If you'd like to work out the buses: (the default display is for the metro, click on the link for "Bus" on the left-hand side)

And this looks like a reasonable guide to how to use them:

What does he remember about the bar? Who knows, it might still be there.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 06:01 AM
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Patrick, after hearing him describe the experience (at the bar) probably not much!
seedless is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 06:28 AM
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YOur dad Might enjoy the WWII museums atop the Gare Montparnasse< the Le Clerc and the Jean Moulin. There is also a nice garden there if the ladies want to sit the museums out.The renovated D'Orsay is lovely and has handicapped or walking difficuly facilities. You might look into one of the hotels along Rue Jacob, The Danube, Millesime, D'Angleterre, des Marroniers or the Deux Continents. I have stayed in all of them and they are all lovely and convenient located for Bus Transport, which I prefer to the metro.The Petit Bistro st Benoit has very nice moderatly priced menus.
avalon is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 07:19 AM
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The Louvre just will not "work". It is closed on Monday and it is just too large. The Orsay is wonderful, but also huge. But even seeing the "space" is so stunning.
How are they going to Normandy? We enjoyed St. Mere Eglise when we were there--especially because I am originally from the town that the Waco gliders were manufactured. Seeing those dinosaurs is just amazing for how "primitive" war was.
We travelled to Paris once with a friend who landed at Omaha as an 18 year old, and marched up the Champs Elysees to the Arc on liberation Day. It was tearful and inspiring to hear him.
You might want to investigate a Citadines apartment on the Quay Augustines (I think). It overlooks the Seine and looks up toward Notre Dame. It is more like an apartment hotel--has a concierge, etc.
I am a little pessimistic about your very limited time especially for a first trip for you. A goodly amount of your time is going to be getting into the hotel and getting out.
I'd pick some places and taxi to them. Be sure there is a taxi stand nearby--you can't just hail a cab in Paris.
ANY chance of carving out at least one more day?
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Dear seedless,

I think this is wonderful. Before I continue, the Louvre is NOT closed on Monday. It is closed on Tuesday. If you choose to go to the Musée d'Orsay, it is closed on Monday, so you would have to go on Sunday afternoon.

I would suggest that you ask your father what he would like to do -- other than the bar ;-). Paris being Paris, there is a good chance it is still there. If he remembers where he was in Paris, that might determine where you decide to stay. Otherwise, I would keep to the center.

What time of year will this be?
toupary6 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 03:00 PM
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If you can give us the name of the bar and/or location. I spend a lot of time researching french history, might be able to dig a bit.

there are many smaller museums in Paris that you could vist for 1 or 2 hrs. Any particular interests?
Michel_Paris is offline  

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