Ten days in Paris in May

Apr 27th, 2014, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,913
Agree with Chartres, but only if the weather is being kind.

Our daughter and her boyriend at the time were staying with us in our house in Le Vesinet, and we took them to Chartres for the day.

We treated them to a lovely al fresco meal just outside of Chartres Cathedral, and I can vividly remember our daughter thanking us for the treat. I can also vividly remember replying to her thanks, by saying "It's a pleasure my dear, paid for from your inheritance!"
LancasterLad is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,913
Unless you've got your own transport to reach Giverny, then the time lost in getting to and from would be better spent in Paris, or perhaps the Marie Antoinette hamlet in the grounds of Versailles Palace...


It's a lovely spot and v.popular with tourists.
LancasterLad is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 24
Obviously you could spend the rest of your life exploring Paris, but as a tourist, 10 days is a lot without day trips. Thursdaysd's suggestion is a good one - and if you go to Chartres, you must ABSOLUTELY take the tour given by the English guy - just ask as the desk, they all know him. He's made it his life's work and it is NOT TO BE MISSED- if you decide on Chartres.

If you like gardens, why not go to Giverney? Lovely at this time of year, and about an hour from Paris. Lots of buses, trains etc. can get you there.

And Versailles is Versailles. Get tickets in advance, though, online, the wait is ungodly otherwise. Or just go for the gardens, Marie-Antoinettes farm, etc.

Inside Paris, do not miss the Sainte Chapelle. Glorious.

Picknicking for dinner is sort of a bad idea unless the weather really improves. Many parks are closed, cheese shops close at 7pm. You don't have to spend a fortune on dinner, but where else are you going to go after 7pm? And it's the French way...
nononora is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,622
Right, it was "the English guy" whose tours I took. See http://www.cathedrale-chartres.org/f...ticle-254.html
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,467
I think 10 days in any city without day trips is a bit much.

I don't agree that the metro is only good for distant places, it is often quicker than buses due to no traffic (and metros usually run more frequently, also, some buses only stop once every half hour, and in the evening, you have to make sure it's a bus that runs at night). If you have plenty of time, it can be more enjoyable to see something and not go down into the tunnels, of course (unless it's raining and you want to get out of it). I think buses are mainly recommended for people who have trouble walking a lot or with stairs, of course. I take the bus when the bus stop is near where I am and it's going where I want without any changes. But I tend to avoid it in the very center as it can be so slow (ie, around Hotel de Ville). Depends how much time I have to spend on that.

I don't see how you could see so many things to make a museum pass worthwhile as much as you intend to buy one. Especially the consideration of buying a second one for two days after you've had one for four days. SOme worthwhile museums are completely free, you know (like the Petit Palais or Carnavalet). A 2-day museum pass is 42 euro!!!

As for gardens, there are nice ones at Fontainebleau, Chantilly and Versailles, outside Paris, and Giverny, of course. Within Paris, Luxembourg Gardens is okay and the Tuileries, of course. To really see special gardens, I think going out west to the Bois to Boulogne would do-- the rose garden out there is very nice. With 10 days, you definitely have the time. http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum...is-de-Boulogne
Christina is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 06:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,687
Lots of great suggestions here - thanks!

I expect all of the Paris buffs here have read it, but we are both reading How Paris Became Paris - a wonderful book on the history of Paris. In addition to giving us the history, it has given us lots of ideas on places to see.

Much of what we do in Paris will be "play it by ear" depending on the weather and our inclinations. right now we are not planning on any trips outside the city, but if we decide to do a day trip, I you you've hit on our top few - Giverny, Chartres, Versailles. And I have read of Malcolm Miller, so if we go to Chartes, we'll certainly take his tour.

What about live classical music in Paris? I've always gone to a concert in St. Martins in the Field while in London. What is similar in Paris? I'd be especially interested in concerts in the churches and cathedrals.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,175
Sainte Chapelle hosts concerts at night. Very intimate..we got our tix online before we left. Many other churchs offer concerts, as well. I believe the church at St Germain may also offer concerts.
denisea is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 401
I also really love the ratp site... I was able to figure out how to get anywhere in the city with just the simple click of a mouse... and I don't have the best sense of direction!

I've been to Paris 5 times and still find more than enough new stuff to do... I disagree 10 days is too much without considering day trips.. especially if you have a super long list of museums to see.

I've done a chocolate tour and was disappointed... you can easily look up a list of the top 10 shops and visit yourself. Don't miss Patrick Roger's window display, always very impressive! 2 of my best discoveries have been Hugo et Victor on Blvd Raspail (near the market) in the 7th, very close to La Grande Épicerie, and not far from there is the wonderful La Pâtisserie des rêves, on rue du Bac, also in the 7th. Le St-Honoré is to die for!!

I'm very jealous! Paris in May is very lovely...
Ruby99 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,687
Thanks, I thought Sainte Chappelle had concerts. I'll look into it.

Ruby, I am with you. I see no reason to do a chocolate tour. I know a lot about chocolate-making, could likely do that lecture myself. Thanks for some names to add to my list. I will have to try Pierre Marcolini again for sure and Patrick Roger has been recommended to me by others.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Here is a self guided circular city tour of Paris using 4 bus lines. We're starting at Opera.

Walk down the Ave. de l’Opera and left on rue du Quatre Septembre [second street] and board the 29 bus [direction Gare du Nord]. You will pass the Bourse, Place des Victoires, Centre Pompidou...into the Marais...passing Musees Cognacq Jay, Picasso & Carnavalet; and the Place des Vosges.

Get off at Bastille [the stop after Bastille-Beaumarchais], walk a few steps to the next stop, and take the 69 [direction Champ de Mars]. This is the best of all the bus routes.

A better idea is to get off earlier at the Place des Vosges [stop after Payenne] and walk through, maybe stopping for a coffee at Ma Burgoyne. Proceed through the center south exit and down the street to the corner and left a few steps to the 69 bus stop on rue Saint Antoine.

Soon you’ll be on the rue de Rivoli, passing the Hotel de Ville and close to the Palais Royale before going left through the Louvre complex [between the pyramid and the Arc du Carrousel] and crossing on the Pont Royale. Now it’s past the Musee d’Orsay, through the Place des Invalides, past Rue Cler and into the Champ de Mars.

Get off at the end of the line and walk to the Eiffel Tower, then straight across the boulevard and board the 82 bus [direction Neuilly-Hopital Americain], getting off at Porte Maillot. Then walk around the corner to the right and board the 73 bus [direction Musee d’Orsay].

You will be going around the Arc d’Triomphe [thankful that you’re not driving a car] and then down the Champs Elysses. Get off at the Rond Point Champs Elysses and board then 42 [same stop].

Now it’s down down past the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais and through the Place de la Concorde. Then up Rue Royale to the Madeleine and back to Opera.
RonZ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,175
Skip the chocolat tours but maybe make it your "job" to find the best macaron or pain au chocolat. For me, Gerard Mulot for the pain au chocolat and the citrus ginger macaron at Un Dimanche a Paris.
denisea is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
When you arrive get a copy of Pariscope which comes out each Wednesday. You can buy one from any news kiosk. It lists all the concerts for the week.

My dessert vote is for the lemon tart from Dalloyau.

I also love Gerard Mulot but Dalloyau is better for lemon tarts.

adrienne is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,687
Thanks, RonZ, that route sounds great.

Enjoying all the suggestions for wonderful places to buy treats.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Speaking of treats, Le Creperie, right inside the Passage des Panoramas on Blvd. Montmatre, serves elaborate ice cream sundaes and parfaits.

The Musee Grevin across the street is well worth a visit.
RonZ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
hi Kathies,

Lucky you having a "free" stay in Paris! i'm sure you'll make the best of it, to judge by your plans so far.

In case you haven't seen it, there is a recent thread with Adrienne's wonderful list of ideas for obscure [and not so obscure] sights to see in Paris, plus FMT's day trip tips. here it is:


beside those my tips are a bit tame, but you can put me down as a fan of the batobus after we were able to use it to get from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame in a transport strike! it's also a really easy way to get to the Jardin des Plantes as it's the last stop.

keeping to the aquatic theme, we really liked the cruise along the canal st martin - if you download the info, you can get money off, or pick up the leaflet from the quay on the pont neuf [one per person to get the full discount]. canauxrama do the same sort of thing i believe:


back to the plants, something I'd like to do but haven't got to yet is the promenade plantee, which also starts at Bastille so might be combined somehow with the canal cruise:


Have a wonderful time!

PS - any room in the luggage for an extra person?
annhig is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 75
the best chocolate shop in Paris is on the left bank just off of rue du bac. it is Le Cacaotier. It is the only location in Paris.
sueb08 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 12:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,687
ooh, thanks, ann. I had seen the great list of day trips, but somehow missed Adrienne's list of in-Paris sites. I'd also like to walk the promenade plantee, And I'll check out the cruses you mention.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 12:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,687
And Sue, I'm always glad to have another chocolate shop recommended.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,913
Blimey, what a thread!
10 days in the capital of La Merde really ain't enough!!
Allez les bleus!!!
LancasterLad is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,622
Another possible day trip, although really it warrants an overnight, and is a bit further, is Nancy.

See: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...omment-5666981 and for loads of unedited photos: http://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/France-2009/Nancy password nancy.

And a couple of house museums I realy liked: http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/
and http://www.parismuse.com/news/profilecg.shtml

Don't miss the alpine section in the Jardin des Plantes. And if you're over that way I recommend the Arab Institute - http://www.imarabe.org/
thursdaysd is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:52 PM.