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Paris planning

Can you give me ideas about the best way to plan activities in France?
The Louvre
Eiffel Tower
Versailles Palace
The catacoumbs
Boat ride along Seine River
Tour guide or not?
Thanks! I’m having fun planning and everyone’s advice has been very helpful!

Posted by
922 posts

You have posted in the Hotel & Restaurant Reviews category. You might want to move your post to the Destination Q&A category which will get you many responses. Also there are many posts on this topic already. If you go to Destination Q&A and click on Select Country and select France, you will see wonderful information.

Posted by
14175 posts

You'd want to book ahead for timed entries for every sight you have listed except the Boat Ride. You can just decide at the time which one you want to go o.

How many days do you have for Paris?

I've done Rick's Best of Paris tour and enjoyed having a tour guide on that trip. Otherwise are you asking about a general tour guide for Paris? I'd say no but I would recommend a walk with the company Paris Walks or two depending on how many days you've got.

Book your tickets directly on each location's official website. Here is the one for the Louvre:

Depending on when you are going, I'd recommend you watch the website to see how much in advance things are booking out. The Louvre might not need to be booked more than 2-3 weeks ahead. Eiffel Tower will need to be booked as soon as the date comes open that you want to go and they sell out fast.

editing to add: Doesn't everyone just look at the All Topics view of the forum and then just scroll down and read what's interesting to them?

Posted by
567 posts

We used a combination of a Museum Pass, the buses and walking, Paris Walks tours and RS walking tours.

Day one we visited Eiffel Tower late afternoon. Day two we started our Museum Passes. We did something big like a Museum then did some smaller things or completely unexpected things.

Favorite activity was our picnic dinner on the Champ de Mars enjoying the people and the amazing Eiffel Tower viewing.

Being our first visit We had a list, too. That went to the way side after day two as we fell in love with Paris.


Posted by
323 posts

We booked (pre-advance tickets well before we left for the trip) for the Eiffel Tower for our arrival day of our mid-summer trip -- about 5:00PM booking as I recall. It helped us (mostly) beat the jet lag because we then walked back along the river to our accomodations near Notre Dame.

We also followed Rick's guidebook advice about touring Versailles - arriving first thing in the morining when it opened. (Crowds were light as Rick said they'd be, though we somehow were sycned with a woman who was taking selfies in EVERY room of the palace using a selfie stick that somehow missed bonking people in the same room. Those things should be outlawed!)

I can't recall which day Rick suggested in his guidebook, but one evening during the week the Louvre is open. So, after the palace walkabout, we headed back and toured the Louvre. We encountered very few tourists. The throngs you may read about in front of the Mona Lisa were completely absent.

And the only place in France where we hired a guide was Normandy -- well worth it, BTW. The rest of the trip we used Rick's audio tours. For the Paris walk, for the tourist stops, etc., I can't recommend them highly enough. Perhaps we missed some things, but I was happy with them. (FYI, we've used the audio guides for other Eurpoean stops, including the Vatican, and they're always terrific.)

I can't say anything about the Catacombs, since we didn't tour them.

We spent several weeks in France, starting and ending in Paris. So on our very last full day we took the boat ride on the river. It was fine, not unlike boat rides along other rivers or harbors in other tourist destinations. I felt like we got our money's worth... You won't go to your gravwe regretting missing the ride, though...

I loved staying in Paris. It was so chill and easy. Good food and wine. And you can book literally every ticket online in minutes. So easy. Have you guys been to Moulin-Rouge. It was such a good show!