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8 day trip to paris and surrounding area

Just want to make sure this is possible. I have been to Paris once for a long weekend. So i do have the basic lay of the land.
We arrive on Saturday Sept 5 around noon.
Saturday-- check into our apartment on Rue Amelie near Rue Cler.
do some shopping for our stay (food, ect.)
Trip to Sacre Coeur?
Evening take a walk along the Seine to the Eifle Tower.
have a nice dinner.
Sunday-- CHURCH DAY, Do the English Sunday services at Notre Dame, check out
St. CHapplle, St. Sulpic, maybe the Luxemburg Gardens?

MONDAY- Louvre, Orangrie, (Cluny?) Museums. A big day, NOT expecting to do the Whole Louvre Just one wing.
Invalides (Napoleons tomb)

Tuesday -- Orsay, Branly, Rodin -- all within walking distance of our apartment. Late afternoon- Arche de Triumph
Stroll down The Champ Elysees
I am figuring a WHOLE DAY for each of the "Tour Days" I know the D-Day and Loire Valley tours are at least 12 hours. I might change the schedule, put Versailles on THursday?
Wednesday-- Versailles tour

Thursday -- D-Day tour

Friday -- Loire Valley tour

Saturday Sept 12th-- OPEN Pick up anything we missed or want to spend more time at (ex. Louvre), Shopping, Pantheon?

Leave for London on Sunday at 11 am Gard du Nord
Thoughts, Comments ?

Is this to big or can you suggest something else on Saturday Sept. 12th

Posted by
4214 posts

This is an ambitious plan overall, with some odd gaps. I won't try to "sell" you any more destinations because you really don't have time for more and it looks like you've picked those you're most interested in. But some suggestions:

Saturday's trip to Sacre Coeur is a considerable detour, but I don't have a better idea for when to schedule it. Try to ignore the nightlife at the base of Montmartre and get up to the top as quick as you can. Great view of course, day or night. You might have time also to visit the sculpture garden at the Rodin Museum (close to your apartment and better than the museum itself imho) this day.

Sunday, I don't know what time the service at Notre Dame is, but unless it conflicts you might try to be at St-Sulpice for the organ concert that starts about 11:30 (right after the main Sunday service). Ste-Chapelle will involve waiting in at least one line, the security line, since it's inside the building that houses the courts. Luxembourg Gardens are close to St-Sulpice. You probably have time for something else this day (Sacre Coeur?)

Monday and Tuesday are very heavy museum days. I'm good for only one major museum in a day and you have three. Definitely invest in the Paris Museum Pass to save waiting time and money. Works for Versailles and other places on your list. Consider Orsay on Thursday night and/or Louvre on Friday night (open till 9:45) if you dial back on the long-distance trips (see below).

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will run you ragged. If you're going to try to fit all these day trips into your week, it might be wiser to alternate them with days in Paris instead of taking them consecutively. Having spent a week in the Loire country (perhaps a bit too long in hindsight) I can't imagine a one-day tour. You'll spend a lot of time on a train and/or bus, on both the Loire and Normandy days.

Saturday you may need to spend in bed. ;-) Skip the Pantheon unless you just admire the outside. It's close to the Luxembourg Gardens so you could see it when you're there. If you have time and energy, I'd suggest a walk in the Marais, maybe a stop at the Carnavalet Museum there (free, Paris history), and some down time in the Place des Vosges.

I admire your stamina and I hope you have many more chances to visit Paris so you can slow down and enjoy it more. Good luck!

Posted by
597 posts

My 2 cents' worth on Sacre Coeur is that it is very much worth avoiding. My wife and I were there a few days ago, and were horrified at the extreme crowding and the rows of shops selling tourist junk. The aggressive thieves/scammers (petitions, bracelet makers) did not help either. Seeing SC itself was nice, but for us not Paris-sensational.

I personally would use the Open day to see a museum or two and spread them out a bit. But then you are obviously a lot younger than us!

Posted by
5436 posts

Sacré Coeur is kind of a haul across town for your first day . . .take a look at Rick's recommendations for strolling the Seine to get some much needed outdoor/sunshine/fresh air on your arrival day . . . I do think too that the crowds (as just mentioned by Joel) at Sacré Coeur can be a shock to the senses as well and perhaps not your best introduction to Paris.

But of course there are lots of people out there who love going there . . . but honestly for my first day I would do a bit of Seine and neighborhood strolling, maybe fit in a visit to the gardens of the Rodin museum (I think the museum itself is closed right now).

I think as well just a "look" down the Champs-Elysées from the top of the Arc de Triomphe would suffice . . . but then I can't stand that high-priced, overcrowded, full-of-chain-stores thoroughfare.

And boy you are going to be exhausted with trips to the Loire, Versailles, and Normandy on successive days. I would really look to space those out during the week so you're not heading out of the hotel at 5:30 or 6:00 three mornings in a row.

Posted by
13962 posts

Sunset in September is between 8.30 (beginning of the month) and 7.30 (end of the month). If you want to stroll or cruise on the Seine after dark, you'll be up late.

I have to agree with the others, doing 3 really long day tours in a row may be exhausting.

Posted by
42 posts

Thanks everyone,
I think i WILL drop back a gear....I will probably drop one of the day tours (D-Day, or Loire Valley). I will have to decide which one. Most people have told me that the Loire Valley is worth a couple of days...I also would like to spend a little more time in Normandy. I will have to break it to my wife we will have to make another trip....to france. it was 6 years ago when i was in Paris and I tried to cover to much at one time. You all brought me back to reality...Thanks EVERYONE!!

Posted by
5703 posts

If you want to do Montmartre on day one, I suggest metro to Lamarck Caulaincourt metro stop. On arrival take the elevator up (it is one of the two deepest stations in Paris) and then once out climb the steps above the metro entrance to Caulaincourt. Turn left and meander up towards SAcre Couer. Depending on the exact streets you take, you will arrive at the back or side of the church. This route takes you through the prettiest streets of Montmartre and depending on your route you will see the statue of the man emerging from the wall and pass the vineyard. Once at the basilica you then can walk along the side to the front for the views over Paris. This avoids the bracelet men on the stairs. YOu can then exit to the west and make your way through Place du Tertre (IMHO one of the ugliest tourist spots in Paris, but everyone seems to want to see it) and wind down through Montmartre to the bottom of the hill where you can catch another metro to get back to your hotel. Sacre Coeur is quite ugly inside but is lovely at a distance. This plan will keep you walking in the out of doors for the afternoon which is a good thing to do on jet lag arrival day.

Posted by
6047 posts

I agree with Janet. I took a walking tour of Montmartre and that is the exact route we took. It's a great walk and the views from the terrace in front of Sacre Coeur are wonderful.

Posted by
51 posts

I did the D-Day tour from Paris and it was a long day but interesting. I think everyone on this board always tells you to take longer somewhere, but some people like doing lots. I think doing three day trips in a row is a lot, but you could space them out as suggested and be fine. I am planning on doing a day tour of two of the Loire Valley chateaus from Paris, and I think it looks very doable. Only an hour train trip and then going on a van. I'm not sure I would really want to spend two or three days seeing chateaus, but a day sounds great, so I would do what you want!! Also after what I have read about Versailles lately the Lorie Valley chateaus sound a lot more appealing. Went to Versailles a couple of years ago and it was great, but even crowded then. It sounds like an absolute zoo now. So depending on your age and energy level, go for it.