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4 Days in Paris

Trying to squeeze as much as possible. We arrive by train from London on Monday April 6 2020. My bucket list is:
Monet House
Mt Saint Michel
Eiffel Tower
We leave Friday April 10 train to Frankfurt.
Any tips to help organize this list or recommendations on other places to visit, lodging or restaurants would be great. We will not be renting a car.

Posted by
1275 posts

You have said 4 days in Paris so that really does rule out Normandy and Mont St Michel and probably Giverny (Monet) and possibly Versailles (although you could do each of these last two as day trips but each would take an entire day.
So that would leave you one full day in Paris itself and perhaps another half day.
I hope that you can buy a guide book and look at a map of Paris (and France) to get an idea of what you are thinking and what is reasonable.
I've been to Paris at least 10 times and I think that for 3 1/2 days I would recommend that you stay close to Paris or choose either Giverny or Versailles.
For the Louvre and Eiffel Tour you will need timed entry tickets purchased in advance (months in advance for Eiffel). And the Orsay museum is usually recommended as well for a first visit.
Will you be jet-lagged? You'll need to factor that in to your first day as well.
Good luck with your planning. I'm sure that others here will have ideas for you as well.

Posted by
1103 posts

Most of the places on your list are outside of Paris. You would be spending most of your time traveling instead of seeing things. Paris itself has more than enough to offer for a four day visit.

Posted by
15086 posts

cfern744, I'm guessing that you more accurately have 3.5 days to work with, and all but the Louvre and the Eiffel are outside of Paris. Day tours JUST to Normandy run 12-14 hours. Mont Saint Michel run about the same, and Versailles will essentially eat the lion's share of a day as well. That leaves you almost no time for Paris itself or Giverny (Monet's house/garden).

Very kindly but I think that if you want to see PARIS, you need to trim your day trips down to no more than 1 full and 1 half day (you could do a Giverny tour in a little over a 1/2 day)? Even that would be seriously shorting the City of Light, IMHO, but maybe you're OK with that.

Posted by
1180 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Don't attempt that list.

I have spent many weeks in Paris and never been into the Louvre. I can't stand the lines to get in (I've seen them). And from what I hear, if you are going to see the Mona Lisa, you will have to view it through dozens of selfie sticks or are they selfish sticks. I have gone to the D'Orsay several times and I love it. Great art. And never seems crowded.

The Musee Marmottan Monet is a great museum set in a wonderful location. Under appreciated. You will see some wonderful Paris on your way there and back.

L'Orangeie is another wonderful experience if you are into Monet paintings.

Monet's house, if you mean Giverny, it may not be open April 6. I say that as a warning. I think it opens April 1, but it is better if you check. It might be something funky like, "Opens the second Moday after Easter." We visited on an April 3 and they had just opened. I expected it to be open all year long. It is a bus ride out there and back which will gobble up hours of time. But if you are a Monet freak, It would be worth it. And even on Aril 3rd, when we were there, there were flowers and fruit tree blossoms and few tourists. The garden was really something.

But wait a minute, this is all art and museums. The reason some people move to Paris from the USA are the croissants and baguettes.
So let's not forget to spend some time in coffee shops. Even though it will likely be cold, not Wisconsin cold, there will be seating outside.

And one last shot at things, The Eiffel walk up to it and go, "well there it is, now what?" and then that's it. If you walk around Paris you will catch glimpses of it and that is neat.

An evening walking around the Marais is nice as is walking the left bank of the Seine at night. The Eiffel Tower is lit up at night, from a distance, You go, "My God, I am here. What is a kid from (fill in the blank) doing here?"

wayne iNWI

Posted by
8 posts

I did Paris last year. We did Le Louvre and the Eiffel Tower in one day. We spent the ENTIRE day at Le Louvre and then went to the Eiffel Tower before dinner. We were exhausted but did it. We literally closed down the museum and rushed through but saw the main points.
Versailles is a quick train ride and walk from the train station. This will also take an entire day. We got there around 10 a.m. ate lunch at the museum (great places right next to the "pond") then left after the sunset. We closed this place down as well. Then, walked back to the train station and had dinner at a bistro on the way back. we were back in Paris at our hotel around 10 p.m. we crashed into our beds.

That being said, you could do it all in four days, but you won't get to truly enjoy the Paris/France lifestyle. You might want to cut some stuff off of your list...

Posted by
191 posts

I am in Paris right now, and agree with what everyone has said. We are here for a week, and went on a 9 hour skip-the-line tour with Take Walks on our first day, and it was fantastic! We started at Sacre Coeur and ended with the Eiffel Tower, where we had a timed entry. It also included 2 guided hours at the Louvre. We took the metro all over town. It also included anytime tickets for a Seine River Cruise, which we took the next night. This was a great intro to the city. Since then we have visited the Arche de Triomphe, Champs E’lyses, Musèe Rodin, took a class on making Macarons and much more. Today the main event is Musèe Orsay and tomorrow we are off to Giverny. Meals take a couple of leisurely hours, and there are many to be had! The leaving town trains (RER) aren’t much fun, btw.

Posted by
62 posts

We just got home from France. We went to the Louvre with a 9am timed ticket; took about 15 minutes to get in. Another 10 to see Mona. No selfie sticks. We also went to the Eiffel Tower with a 6pm timed ticket. No lines to speak of. We were at the top in about 30 minutes. We also went to Versailles: 2 pm timed ticket for the chateau but they let us in at 1 pm (on a Saturday) with no line. During our trip we also visited Giverny and Mt San Michel. We went about 4 in the afternoon and both had only light crowds (we overnighted both in Giverny and off island near Mt St Michel).