Things to do in little time in Paris

Old Feb 6th, 2001, 06:16 AM
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Things to do in little time in Paris

Hi folks,
Hope you can help me. I will have only 2 full days in Paris and I am swamped with all the things that I have read about in guidebooks and seen on this site so I would appreciate your help.

This will be my first visit to Paris & I am staying centrally. One thing I want to ask is whether the Eiffel Tower open at night ? How far out from the centre is Euro Disney ? Whatr is the best metro ticket to get and where can I get it ?

Please help,

Old Feb 6th, 2001, 06:44 AM
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It really depends on your likes/dislikes of what you will do with your two days in Paris. You might want to visit the Louvre or the Musee d'Orsay if you're an art lover. With only two days, personally, I would prefer to put on some good walking shoes and get a feel for the city. You might start this off with a boat tour along the River Seine. From there, maybe visit Notre Dame, stroll around Ile de La Cite, go to St. Chapelle and Palais de Justice (these last four sites are all in the same area). Then have a nice dinner, and head to eiffel tower, then call it a night. The next day, it it was me and I had never been to Paris, I would head over to Montmartre and see the Sacre Couer (absolutely beautiful cathedral), walk around the artist's village, and then check out the Latin quarter later in the afternoon. Well, whatever you choose, have fun.
Please, don't even think of Euro Disney if you only have 2 days in Paris. The mere mention of it is sacrilege. For only two days, your best bet would probably be buying a carnet (a pack of 10 tickets, good for single rides on the metro).
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 07:11 AM
Bob Brown
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Let me answer the easy question first:
You can get a "carnet" of 10 Metro and bus tickets (good on both)for 58 francs. (As of last September that was the cost.) Otherwise the tickets are 8 ff
each. You could have 2 to give away and still come out ahead relative to the single ride cost. Machines dispense them at the larger Metro stations, and ticket agents sell them. I don't speak French but "Un carnet s'il vous plait" got the tickets for me. Perhaps it was more sign language and 60 francs thrust forward.
When you get on the bus, cancel your ticket in the "composter" and hang on to it until you get off.

Now for the tough part. What do you like???
Sculpture: Rodin Museum near Invalides.
And of course there are many in the Louvre.
Art: Musee d'Orsay is quite managable in about 3 to 5 hours depending on your tastes and interests. And for some good to excellent food, go to the dining room for lunch. It is one place where you eat looking up at the ceiling!!

The Louvre is gigantic. There are two ways to go at it. One is the Rick Steves quick trip, where you gaze at the highlights and move on. (Take a periscope for Mona unless you are 5'9" or better. She is thronged constantly with admirers and suitors.) The other way to see the Louvre is the in depth approach which takes time from now on.

If you love Monet, make the trip out to Musee Marmottan. I suggest this for Monet lovers only because most of his best stuff is elsewhere.

If the Orangerie has reopened, there are some famous Monets there was well. I hope others can tell us if the doors are now open to the public, again.

For Cathedrals and churches, Notre Dame is obligatory. But the stained glass in Ste. Chapelle (inside the Palais of Justice) is breathtaking, particularly late in the day when the sky is turning red and the windows glow. Sacre Coeur and the Montmartre rise have their fans, too. I guess Sacre Coeur is more of an oddity to me, (minority view I am sure) but that gleaming white covering is amazing.

Historical sites: Place de la Concorde, the Arc of Triumph, Place de la Bastille, and a few other locations are worth it for the history involved.

I would save a little time for a stroll along some of the boulevards just to get a feel of the ambient life of the city.
And leave time for a good meal at a Parisian restaurant. That theme has been covered extensively elsewhere on this forum, and the list gets lengthy.

If you like music, Paris offers quite a bit. We took in a concert at Ste. Chapelle and we went to the opera at the Opera Bastille. But there is music all over Paris in various churches.

Then there is Napolean's Tomb and the various museums in the Invalides complex. I am not a great fan of the Little Emperor, but some people regard a visit to his sarcophagus to be obligatory if you go to Paris.

In two days, you will be pushed, but you will have a tremendous experience.
Plan it well so you don't just wander aimlessly, which is easy to do, particularly in the Louvre.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 07:28 AM
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EuroDisney will be a whole day trip; unless you can't live without seeing it, skip it.

Museums and historical sites are open between 9ish and 6ish, so maximize your time:
1) Do museums and historical sites between 9ish and 6ish (certain nights they are open later, so check).
2) Visit neighborhoods and churches before 9 or after 6
3) Eiffel Tower, bateaux are open at night, so do them then.

The Carte de Musees will save you time (no waiting in lines) and can save money, if used enough (one day pass is 85ff - the Louvre is 45ff and the d'Orsay is 40ff, break even moneywise but a time saver).

It's hard to recommend what to see and what to skip without knowing your preferences - like, do you want to do heavy-duty shopping?
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:41 AM
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I totally support the itinerary proposed by Vanessa.

And like M.Brown, I can't urge people enough to visit the Ste-Chapelle.
Possibly my prefered monument in Paris.

Concerning the Louvre, a third possible approach is to pick something you're interested in (for instance : medieval artcraft, Napoleon III's appartments, greek vases, whatever...) and visit this part in depth, ignoring the rest of the displays. It's more rewarding to see stuff you really like in a quiet gallery than famous artwork you don't care about and which are besieged by other visitors.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:56 AM
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I agree with clairobscur - when we are traveling and have little time to see everything, we just pick and choose... for example, i think you could spend motnhs at the louvre and never get a full appreciation of everything there. before going, we knew what we wanted to see, and we were done in under 2 hours. same with the musee d'orsay. some people may gasp in horror at this, but hey, it worked for us & each person does things their own way.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 07:20 PM
Bob Brown
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I was a little hasty when I said there were 2 strategies for seeing the Lourve. There are virtually an infinite number of variations on the basic theme of a Louvre visit.
I tried to see too much in one day and actually got tired of looking at art about 6 hours into the day.
There is just so much there to see that an addict like myself doesn't know when to quit.
On my next trip, I will change my strategy.
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 06:26 AM
Mark McIntyre
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The first time I visited Paris some 20 years ago, I walked the city from end to end. After two days I fell in love with Paris and have continued to return. In my experience, there is not a bad place to walk in the entire city. Every neigborhood has its charms, a variety of small shops, cafes, bistros, and museums etc. Get a good map, walk as much as you can, take rest at cafes when needed, and if you fall for her charms, return as often as possible to explore more deeply.

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