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Your must-see's if only ONE day in Paris?


Your must-see's if only ONE day in Paris?

Old Feb 26th, 2001, 07:47 PM
the turnip
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Your must-see's if only ONE day in Paris?

Now before you start screaming "only ONE day in Paris!" please hear me out. This April I'll be taking my very fit and active 50-something Mother along with my wife and myself for her first ever taste of Europe. We have 11 days in the Netherlands and Belgium. To be honest I don't know if she'll ever get back to Europe again. She would love to see the Eiffel tower, etc.

If you had but one short day to spend in Paris, say 8 hours, what would be your plan of attack? I know she would much rather see the sights than go to a museum. (I could easily drop 8 hours in the Musee d'Orsay alone, but to each his own.) My must see's so far include;

The Eiffel tower
Notre Dame
St Chappel
The Arc d'Triumph

I would greatly appreciate your input and even suggested possible itineraries.

Many sincere thanks from the turnip
Old Feb 26th, 2001, 07:54 PM
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When I did this I stared at the Eiffel Tower, then walked the Champs, then over to Galeries Lafaytte, then to Notre Dam. Hit every damn pastry shop you see, eat at Le Vieux Bistro (address and review in Zagats.com) which is on the street alongside Notre Dam. Then walk the Blvd St Germain. A complete Paris trip in a day!
Old Feb 26th, 2001, 07:59 PM
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Though St.Chapelle is beautiful, I'd pick one church. Maybe for "Village Paris" lunch on the Rue Moufftard or on Mont Martre (sp?) If your mom is really fit, why not plan a walk along the Seine to see the major sights starting at Place de la Concorde (you can see the Arch from there and of course walk over to the Seine) and ending at Notre Dame with lunch aboard a Bateaux Mouche? The L'Orangerie's rennovation will be complete in Spring and you could see the small but great Impressionist collection there if there's no time for the Orsay.
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 03:36 AM
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This is what I think, if you are good walkers. From Brussels or Amsterdam, your train comes into Gare du Nord.
Get carnet of Metro tickets and take line4 to Barbes, change to line2 to Anvers
(1) Walk up toward Sacre Coeur, funicular to top of hill (Metro ticket) and get a Paris overview from the terrace. Walk around the side to see ‘artists’ and tourists at Place du Tertre (get a coffee and people-watch a moment). With your street map, wander through some streets in Montmartre, ie. Rue Norvins, rue des Saules (see Paris’ only vineyard, turn back on r.des Saules to follow rue Lepic around to Metro Blanche; take line2 to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, come out of the Metro right at the (2) Arc de Triomphe. Stroll down Champs Elysee (or can take Metro to Concorde, if need be) toward Place de la Concorde, see the Obelisk, continue thru Tuileries to Louvre. Just beyond the Louvre, turn toward Seine and walk along the quay, postcards at the bouquiniste stalls. Cross over to Ile de la Cite to Notre Dame. Find the entrance in Conciergerie for St-Chapelle and go inside. (3) Cross over to Left Bank and walk blvd St-Michel to blvd.St Germaine, to the Metro Odeon. Take line10 to la Motte Picquet Grenelle, change to line8 to Ecole Militaire. You can see the Eiffel Tower, walk toward it (lines may be too long to go up, but you have already seen an overview of Paris, including the Eiffel! Look across to Trocadero, walk over if time is permitting for the traditional photo opportunity of Eiffel. (4) If you have time, walk along Seine to Pont de l’Alma and take a river ride on Bateaux Mouches. At Metro Alma-Marceau line9 to Strasborg-St Denis, change to line4 back to Gare du Nord.
In summary, you will have seen: Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, Place du Tertre, vineyard, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee, Place de la Concorde, Tuileries, Louvre (outside area), Notre Dame, St-Chapelle, briefly Left Bank, Eiffel Tower, Seine cruise. (1) 1.5 – 2hrs (2) 2.5 hrs (3) 1.5 – 2hrs (4) 2 hrs
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 07:48 AM
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Hey, turnip. I would say the best thing you could possibly do would be to go on the Seine cruise by sunset/evening on the Bateaux Mouches. They are touristy, but like many things, are touristy for a reason: great quick view of Paris. Plus, it will give you a chance to watch a beautifully-lit Paris float on past your eyes as you stay seated -- something that is VERY much appreciated after the end of a day like yours with a lot of high speed walking! Bonne chance!

And I would never scream at anyone "one day in Paris!!" I might sing "One night in Bangkok," though. (Sorry. Pre-trip giddiness has set in.)
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 09:32 AM
dan woodlief
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It is not hard for me to decide. I would go to Notre-Dame as early as possible to avoid the massive crowds, visit Ste. Chapelle, walk over to the Louvre to see the exterior, walk along the Left Bank of the Seine around Notre-Dame, visit the Champs Elysees around the Arc, and visit the Eiffel Tower toward sunset (if there that long). End with a good 2-hour dinner and maybe a boat ride if time. I too, as much as I like museums, would not go to one in a one-day trip unless my mother just had to do it.
Old May 29th, 2002, 10:15 PM
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I would suggest that you take L'Open Tour Bus. You get a great unobstructed view of Paris from an open roof top Double Decker bus. The route hits 40 stopping points throughout Paris, allowing a pass holder to experience the best landmarks. U can get off at any stop and board another Tour bus after U have explored that place. Check out the route map http://www.gotoparis.net/gotoparis/opentour.html
Old May 30th, 2002, 04:34 AM
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The Louvre would be my bet and then the Chanel store, and maybe Prada if time permits...
Old May 30th, 2002, 04:54 AM
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Just my 2 cents, but I would omit the Arc de Triomphe from your day, except as a short stop from an Open Bus tour - it takes time to get there on the Metro, and do you really want to climb all those steps? The views are so wonderful from the Eiffel Tower. I would second the ideas of Rue Mouffetard for the market and shops, a boat trip, or if you wanted a small museum, the Cluny Museum with the Lady and Unicorn tapestries is my favorite (but maybe you will have seen plenty of tapestries in Belgium!).
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:05 AM
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*MY* one day in Paris would be: Notre Dame to Ile St Louis to BHV and the Marais for paper/blankbooks/journals; lunch wherever; Left Bank for bouquinistes then follow the river to Les Invalides and come back toward Notre Dame via Jardins Luxembourg; dinner wherever.

For a first-time visit to Paris, I recommend the l'Opentour bus - three routes, hop on/off. Don't fret about where to eat. Just stop somewhere that has food you like. Take a boat tour of the Seine in the evening.
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:17 AM
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if you consult any standard guidebook, or the Paris section of the Destinations area of this Fodor's forum, you will find suggested itineraries for Paris. You can pick and choose from there to make your own itinerary.

I'd take some of the above suggestions and do it this way, but all of the above ideas are good

Start at the Eiffel Tower, since that is most important to your Mom. Walk or metro or l'Open bus over to Etoile-Arc de Triomphe.
Walk down the Champs-Elysees. It's not as charming as it used to be, but still... For window shopping in famous shops, you can turn onto rue Faubourg St Honore when the mood strikes. Chocolate or pastries along the way.
End up at Place de la Concorde, where you can also get a long-distance view of the Eiffel Tower. If you are still energetic, walk through the Tuileries but at some point metro over to the Cite metro stop or use l'Open bus, so you can see Notre Dame, and Ste Chapelle.
From there, wander over to the left bank, stroll, find a place for lunch or dinner. End with the Vedettes de Pont Neuf night boat trip.
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:29 AM
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I think Alice has given you an absolutely outstanding recommendation for a day in Paris. If that sounds like a little too much walking, then streamline it a little, and add either the bus ride or the boat tour. Both are great, especially the boat tour at night.(You didn't mention your time schedule)
The best way to get a visual overview for your plan--buy a laminated Paris map from Barnes and Noble or some other shop, and use small stickers (dots) to mark key locations, including Gare du Nord and the metro stops listed by Alice.
I would use one color to mark metro/train stops, one color for key sights, and one color for shopping or eating highlights. It sounds a little like a 4th grade cut and paste geography lesson, but you'll be amazed how much more sense it will make.
It's very do-able and shouldn't be missed. Your mother is lucky to have such a thoughtful son! Have fun, Barb
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:36 AM
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These are some great ideas; what am I doing here at home ?!

Take a cab from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre, asking the driver to go along the Champs Elysees. This will take you through Place de la Concorde and down the Quai des Tuileries and into the Louvre, passing between the Arc du Carrousel and the pyramid. From here walk to the Rue de Rivoli and turn right. There is a rooftop panorama on the roof of the Samartaine department store [principal building] with marvelous views. From here you can proceed by foot to the Ile de Cite. After seeing St Chappel and Notre Dame you can take the metro to the Trocadero and walk over to the Eiffel Tower.

Old May 30th, 2002, 05:36 AM
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If going up the Eiffel tower is important, then try to get there early before the lines get really long - alternatively I believe evenings are also a good bet.
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:48 AM
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All this information is still wonderfully helpful but the turnip and mother have long since returned.
Old May 30th, 2002, 08:28 AM
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Turnip: I have done the 8 hour day in Paris myself. Rather than speculating as others have, I will tell you what we did...

From Gare du Nord to Champs Elysees, lunch, window shopping, Arc de Triomphe. On to Notre Dame/Ste. Chappelle visit. Louvre visit 90 minutes -- hitting only the very high highlights (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Dying Slaves, etc.) Dinner on Ile St. Louis, back to Gare du Nord. I'm sure you could swap our shopping and munching on Champs Elysees for Eiffel Tower, but maybe not have time to go up the tower. We did not have enough time to get out to Eiffel Tower and back on our day trip, but three 10-day long trips later, we managed to squeeze it in! ;-)

I would not bother with Montmarte on your first trip. The view isn't _that_ good (better from Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, for that matter!) and it is out of the way of everything else you want to do. I think the four sites you've listed plus maybe a dabble in the Orsay (see the Impressionist wing in an hour or two) or the Louvre will be more than enough for one day.
Old May 30th, 2002, 08:31 AM
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wow littlelate, we didn't notice the dates! Wonder how it got topped.
Old May 30th, 2002, 08:44 AM
Mr. Go
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OK, I'll play...
Early to Notre Dame & St. Chapel.
Bateau Mouche river tour (gets close to Eiffel Tower).
Quick lunch on St. Germain.
Two hours at Musee d'Orsay.
Self-guided tour of Opera House.
Evening stroll & dinner in Latin Quarter.

Sorry...no Arc de Triumph. That's a day-2 experience, for sure.
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 10:39 AM
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Keep away from Montre Martre. It's filthy. The rest of paris is beautiful. Must see Notre Dame. The Eiffel Tower is beautiful, go see it but don't waste time trying to get to the top, the lines are long. That will kill too much time. I would go along with Richardab's post.
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