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2.5 days in Paris....

Hi All,

Paris is the last stop for a 17 day trip to Europe. We fly from Rome to Orly on May 6th and land around 5 pm. We fly from CDG on the morning of May 9th. I need some ideas how to get to the hotel, which is located in the 9th district at 30 Rue la Bruyere. I want to see and do the following while in Paris and I'm open to other suggestions on what to see, do or places to eat given the amount of time.

  1. Eiffel Tower -will continue checking on line for tickets but may just end up taking the stairs! Is it worth eating at the restaurants there? Or will I be better off eating somewhere else where I'm not paying for the elevated view and subpar food? ie Disneyland or top of the Space Needle in Seattle?
  2. Louvre Museum- any suggestions are appreciated, not very likely to stay more than 2-3 hours. Do they allow non flash photography in the musuem?
  3. Notre Dame- thoughts?
  4. Evening cruise on Seine-I'm hoping this will be a romantic last night or second to last night? Suggestions on cruises?

This is my second trip to Paris and my wife's first. She is open to seeing and doing whatever in Paris. Thank you in advance!-Les

Posted by
2081 posts


dont know about the logistics, but the metro is nice. Worse case, bus or taxi.

you can fit in alot in the 2.5 days but i would go with 2 since your first day is shot.

look into what day the Louve is open late. I think its wednesdays?. It maybe a way of getting in more than 2 hours or so. THey allow non flash photo when i was there. although i did see some tourist that didnt know or pay attention. i always ask when i enter a museum since some of them dont have the icons/signs posted in a great place.

as far as eating on top of the Tower, after i got there i skipped it since the line was long. If you cant make it onto the Tower, save it for #1 on your next trip. It will give you incentive to go.

if you can fit a walk along the Seine, i would try that. you can get a better view from up top instead of the bottom of the river.

Notre Dame. If youre into churches/architecture, i would go. St. Chapelle is real nice with all of the stained glass.

Happy trails.

Posted by
7697 posts

Les, We've stayed in this neighborhood the last two years and will be there again in a month. However, I had to research a bit to give some ideas on how to get here efficiently. You are between two metro lines, the 12 and the 13, and can also easily use the #2 line, as well. You have a lot of configurations for getting here. You can use the OrlyVal shuttle train to the RER B directly to Gare du Nord and then walk for 20-30 minutes. To get closer to St. Georges, Liege, or Pigalle stops using the OrlyVal and RER, you'll need 3 changes (OrlyVal to RER, RER to metro, and a second metro). You have a lot of choices of where to change metros but they involve large stations. Finally, you have the Air France bus that takes you to either 1) Montparnass (huge station) where you can get the 12 or 13, 2) Invalides where you can catch the 13, or 3) Etoile (huge station) where you can catch the 2 to Pigalle (stairs part of the way up, escalator part of the way out at Pigalle and can be very, very crowded at the entry).
Metros at this time of day will be crowded. The RER will fill up as it gets into the city. Traffic going into the city in a taxi will be ok, but will bog down in one short part of the ride as you get into the city but will then speed up as the lanes become all one-way going the direction you want to go. The driver should shoot straight north to Gare de l'Est and then turn west. Look on a map from Porte d'Orleans to your hotel to see.
We've walked from Gare du Nord but stayed closer to it than you are staying. We've also taken a taxi to Orly from the northern part of the city. Bon voyage.

Posted by
9 posts

Sounds good so far. I concur with seeing the Louvre when it is open late and much less crowded (yes it is Wed. as of now), and a bit less overwhelming. St. Chapelle, which is close to Notre Dame, is another great choice. My two favorite, smaller museums are the Rodin (beautiful inside and out with a convenient cafe) and Orangerie (across the Seine from Musee d'Orsay. Just my opinion, but I wouldn't spend to have dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Tour the Tower in the evening after a wonderful dinner at a Parisian restaurant. Bon voyage!!

Posted by
6111 posts

The Louvre allows non flash photography most places; not in special exhibits.
Notre Dame Tower requires a long wait in line so go half an hour before it opens and hope for the best. It is worth the wait IMHO but with so little time, you have to decide if it is worth it for you. To see the inside of the Cathedral just walk in -- even if there is a line, it goes quickly.

You don't have 2.5 days -- you have one evening and 2 full days -- not much time. I would take a taxi in from Orly as the cost of public transport is close to the cost of a taxi for two people to the center and it will save you your limited time.

The Seine cruise location doesn't matter, they all go the same place, so take the one most convenient to where you are. Just walk up and get a ticket; in the rare case where the boat is full, there will be another shortly. You can buy the tickets for Vedettes Pont Neuf on line ahead and use them whenever you want and this saves a couple of bucks. These are smaller boats. If you want to be able to wander around, the larger boats are better for that.

Posted by
7697 posts

Here's a link to an hour and a half introductory Louvre tour given in English by Louvre employed art historians/guides:

To join a tour, go to the Group Reception area to buy a tour ticket for the English tour and wait there for it to begin. This is in addition to the admission ticket. There used to be one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I don't know about May 7,8.

Posted by
14404 posts

The Louvre is open on Wednesdays until 9.45 p.m. In the evening, it's likely that you will be almost alone in most of the galleries, probably arriving any time after 6 would be good. Look at their "thematic trails" which are self-guided tours you can print out or download as pdf's from the official website. They help to focus your attention on what most interests you. I did "From Palace to Museum" and it took me past most of the highlights of the museum. Use the Carousel entrance to avoid the possibly long security line at the Pyramid entrance.

I've taken the Vedette du Pont Neuf Seine cruise that started just about at sunset, cruised to the Ile de la Cite as dusk fell and the lights went on, then back and to the Eiffel Tower in the dark. Lovely. Get there early for front row seats. You can buy online and save €4 per ticket. They aren't refundable, but you don't have to select a time in advance. There are dinner cruises on other lines, but you are likely to get a better, less expensive meal just about anywhere else. Sunset will be around 9.15 p.m. while you're there.

The Eiffel Tower is (in my opinion) better enjoyed from below after dark. You can watch from the Trocadero or from the Champs du Mars, while sharing a bottle of wine.