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Advice on Sightseeing

Bonjour, My Husband and I are traveling to Paris in August. We will be there for 8 days. On our list is a trip to Giverny to Monet's house and gardens( a must for me as I am a big fan.0 Inside Paris we would like to visit Notre Dame , St. Chapelle, The Lourvre and of course the Orsay. We were thinking of a day trip the Loire for the castles. Does this sound doable? Any advice would be welcome as this is our first time traveling to Europe. I have the RS Paris guide book and am reading it carefully. I want to see as much as we can but don't want to be unrealistic. Thank You

Posted by
2536 posts

It will be a full 8 days but you'll love it! Also since this your first trip to Europe, don't be surprised or discouraged if you don't see everything on your list. Something else might catch your attention and draw you into another direction or interest. We always start with a list but are rarely able to do everything on our list so we just "save it" for the next time. I think your list looks appropriate and doable for a first time visit, have fun.

Posted by
287 posts

I agree with Nigel to add in L'Orangerie museum and the Marmottan if you are a big Monet fan. We took the bus to the Marmottan and it was a bit of a journey - I'll always be thankful to the French woman who walked us from the stop to within sight of the Marmottan as it was a ways away, tucked into a beautiful neighborhood. It was one of the few places we went on that Paris trip where we felt far away from the tourist zones (and English speakers). Definitely a highlight for us.

If you get to Giverny, try to get there really early in the day, before the hordes of tourists descend!

Do some searching here on the forum for Loire Valley advice - there's a lot to see there, and a day trip might not be enough time for you to see what you'd like to see. We really enjoyed visiting Amboise, Chenonceau, and Le Clos Luce, where da Vinci lived. That place was so interesting, with many sketches and models of his brilliant inventions. We did a drive-by of Chambord - not enough time to even go in there! My whole family loved Le Clos Luce and Chenonceau the best of the places we visited in the Loire Valley.

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
5714 posts

Put St. Denis on your list; IMHO the most overlooked amazing site in Paris (just over the city line but on the metro #13 at Basilique St. Denis stop. There are also some other great day trips from Paris -- I'd not go all the way to the Loire when Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau are both nearby (not to speak of Rambouillet, Ecouen, Malmaison, Versailles and of course the Louvre is a chateau.

Posted by
4656 posts

A lot of the Loire chateaux are quite isolated and hard to get to without a hire car or an organised tour. I agree with Janet that you should look at chateaux closer to Paris like Fontainebleau or Chantilly.

Posted by
3330 posts

You appear to be a fan of impressionists. If that is the case, then the Orsay is a must. Actually it would, in my opinion, be worth a visit even without a single piece of art work.

Posted by
51 posts

Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions ! Marmotton is now on our list and is just what we were looking for, perfect! I think considering a closer chateau is wise.