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4 days in Paris in January - Itinerary

We are going to Paris for my birthday in January. Its been on my Bucket List since the first time I went in 2013 with my daughter's French class. We went in early April that time then I went twice after with my husband, both times in May. It was pretty cold in April and we saw some snow flurries one morning so I'm hoping its not much colder than that when we go but whatever, we're going to be in Paris for my birthday!!! I am so excited. Here's my tentative itinerary -

Day 1 is Thursday. We arrive early in the morning & will take a taxi to our hotel (Crown Plaza Paris Republique) to drop off our luggage then take the Metro to Montmartre. Since we'll likely not have slept much on the plane, I figured we'd be outdoors and that should help keep us awake. So we'll spend most of the day in Montmartre. I'd like to stop in to see St-Pierre de Montmartre church (we've already seen Sacre Coeur) then visit Musee de Montmartre, I want to try and find the house Renoir lived in and take a picture of it as well as the Moulin de la Galette (pics), have lunch at Cafe de Deux Moulines or Moulin de la Galette. After lunch visit Musee Gustave Moreau & Place de Tertre then back to the hotel to check in, rest for a little bit then find someplace close to the hotel for our dinner. If anyone has any recommendations near Republique for dinner, I'd really appreciate it.

Day 2 is Friday. Planning on visiting Musee de Orsay in the morning to see the Degas exhibit and all my favorite Impressionist paintings then to St Germain des Pres area to see the St Germain des Pres church, St Etienne du Mont & the Pantheon. Lunch in St Germain. After lunch, the Cluny Museum. Evening plan is head to La Tour Eiffel and take a river cruise.

Day 3 is Saturday and my birthday. Shopping - Passages des Panoramas, Galleries Lafayette & Fragonards for perfume. After that, head to Madeleine church and Musee Jacquemart-Andre. Evening plans - dinner on the Champs Elysses then we have tickets for the 9pm show at the Lido.

Day 4 is Sunday, our last day. My husband mentioned he wanted to go somewhere on a train but I'm not sure where he wants to go or what he wants to see. I was thinking take in more of Paris, maybe to exhibit at the Grand Palais, St Eustache church, Place du Chatalet, Angelinas for some chocolate chaud then to Hotel de Ville to check out the ice rink. In the evening, head to the Louvre to see it lit up at night and also see the ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde.

Comments, suggestions, better ideas, dinner recommendations etc welcome. Thanks!

Posted by
15638 posts

Train ride out of town? Chartres comes to mind. 1 to 1 1/4 hour train ride. You can visit and be back before dark.

Posted by
4304 posts

Chartres is a nice day trip but will take most of your last day, and you may have been there before. Versailles would be another possibility, reachable by RER (that's a train, oui?), not as crowded in January even though it's Sunday, gardens probably not appealing in winter, but the palace should be fine.

On Friday it looks like you're going from St-Germain over to the Latin Quarter, then back to St-Germain for lunch, then back to the Latin Quarter for the Cluny Museum. Seems inefficient, but maybe I don't understand where you're thinking of for lunch. If not a specific place, just have lunch near the Pantheon or Cluny. BTW, I found the inside of the Pantheon underwhelming and most of the tombs uninteresting unless you're quite a close student of French history. But you might have a different impression.

Happy birthday! What a great way to celebrate it!

Posted by
694 posts

After a bit more consideration, we've decided not to take the train anywhere on Sunday but instead to visit either Chateau de Malmaison or Chateau de Vincennes then do some of the other things that I had mentioned for Sunday. Also if you have some restaurant recommendations near Place de la Republique, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Posted by
14035 posts

Consider that sunset is between 5.00-5.30 in January and skies can be overcast making for dull grey days. For any plan to a scenic outdoor sight or stained glass windows, have a back-up plan if it isn't sunny or at least bright. Remember that Paris is a good bit farther north than even Detroit, so the sun will be lower in the sky around midday that at home.