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Five Day Itinerary in Paris - Uber everywhere?

Comments, Suggestions? Two young folks, one middle aged folk, and one senior with hip replacement, flying from Texas the evening before, Thursday evening.

Day 1- Friday

  • 1:30pm - Arrive in Paris; Uber XL from airport
  • 3pm - Airbnb Check-in (Canal St. Martin area)
  • 3:30pm - Grocery store run
  • 4:30pm - Uber to Hotel de Ville to pick up Museum Passes, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle
  • 6:30pm - Dinner
  • 8:15pm - Seine boat tour
  • 9:15pm - Uber home

Day 2- Saturday

  • 8:30am - Uber to Musee de l’Orangerie
  • 10:30am - Walk to Orsay
  • 2:30pm - Lunch
  • 3:30pm - Uber to Trocadero
  • 4:30pm-6:00pm Eiffel Tower summit
  • 6:30pm Pont de Bir Hakim
  • Dinner (suggestions welcome, or cook at home)

Day 3- Sunday

  • Early Breakfast at Home
  • 10am - Rodin Museum
  • 12pm - Napoleon's Tomb
  • 1:30pm - Quick Lunch
  • 2:30pm-4pm - Opera Performance at Opera Bastille
  • 4pm-5:30pm - Maison Victor Hugo, Places des Vosges
  • 6pm Dinner

Day 4 - Monday

  • 9am-2pm - Louvre
  • 2-3pm - Quick Lunch near Louvre (Happy Cafe creperie)
  • 3pm - take bus down Champs-elysees to Arc de Triomphe (2.9km)
  • Uber to Institut Cochin
  • Dinner

Day 5 - Tuesday

  • Versailles via Uber to Orsay Metro stop and connection to RER-C train
  • Leaving on Wednesday Day 6, in the morning, to Lyon via train
Posted by
2054 posts

As you ask for comments, there are a lot of busses and the métro that will cost you much less than uber. Private cars are not allowed to pick up people in front of the airport. Where are you meeting your uber XL? I would only consider taxi from the airport.

Overall, I use tramway/bus/métro for transportation in Paris. Sometimes I call taxi G7, particularly from the airport, as there are fixed fares of 53€/58€ and only taxis have access to the HOV lanes. If I were to use a VTC, it is typically Bolt or FreeNow. Uber would be my last choice for transportation.

Posted by
4954 posts

Paris has an excellent public transportation system with Metro, RER, and buses. I'm sure it might seem daunting if you aren't used to using public transportation, and for anyone with mobility issues, Metro and RER might be a challenge, because there are a lot of steps up and down, and even though there are escalators, sometimes they are broken. The buses though should work pretty well in many cases. Use your phone to navigate the bus system. If the best bus connection to your next destination will be a long slog maybe Uber is going to be much easier sometimes, but there's no reason to take Uber (in my opinion) if a bus will get you there almost as quickly. All depends on the situation, where and when you are going.

Posted by
9893 posts

Yes, from the airport, just get in the taxi rank and take a taxi to your accommodation. Have the name of the hotel typed out to hand to the driver. As Tocard indicates there is a fixed rate.

I downloaded the G7 app and used that a lot last October when I was with a friend who was having some mobility problems. It worked really well from the hotel on WIFI as well as clicking in to data on my phone and using it when we were out and about.

Five hours in the Louvre sounds like a lot. They have loaner wheelchairs on the entry level. The office is off to the left as you face the escalators going up to the Richelieu wing. This worked well for us and helped conserve some strength but it was also not terribly straightforward finding elevators and both of us have been to the Louvre dozens of times.

Your days are pretty packed. Will the Senior be OK with taking a cab back to your lodging on their own while the rest of you continue on?

Posted by
1333 posts

I would ditch the Timed method and opt for the AM/PM Method. Things take a lot longer than you expect.
Allow for actual sightseeing. Paris is filled with so much eye candy. All the places you are going could capture your attention to the point of needing more time there, what a shame to be stuck to a schedule and not fully enjoy the experience because the clock is ticking.
Day 1: TOP things are get to your AirBNB, Dinner and the Boat Tour...if the other stuff happens great if not...move them to the next day.
PM: Arrive, TAXI to Lodgings, Dinner (this could take 2 hours) , Seine Boat Tour
Day 2:
AM: Musee de l’Orangerie, Orsay
PM: Trocadero & Eiffel Tower, Dinner
Day 3:
AM: Rodin Museum, Napoleon's Tomb
PM: Opera Performance at Opera Bastille, dinner (the other stuff goes on your "B" list for "if we have time"

I find that our meal schedule changes when we travel. We barely eat actual lunch as we do not want to waste 1-2 hours of the day sitting in a restaurant eating. We have a big breakfast, grab a snack at a bakery (maybe split a quiche or grab a baguette sandwich, find a bench and people watch) then dinner which is eaten late (8PM-9PM).

Posted by
21287 posts

I'm 70 years old and would have zero interest in a boat ride on the Seine on the evening of my arrival day. Actually, that was equally true when I traveled during my 20s. If I sat down at any time on my arrival day after adrenaline got me to my lodgings, I'd be asleep within ten minutes. Perhaps your senior is a lot livelier than I am after an overnight flight.

Posted by
25 posts

A few comments.

I would learn the bus and metro system instead of relying on Uber. But I’m also just not a fan of such services in places with excellent public transport. So take that for what it’s worth.

I would edit your itinerary. I think you have one or two too many things scheduled each day. And some of your things are practically overlapping. Sunday is especially cramped. And I would not do a Seine cruise on your arrival day unless you want a nap. Four hours at the Louvre would also do me in. Happy Cafe appears to be temporarily closed.

Read up on meal times in Paris. You can find places that serve dinner as early as 6:00 or lunch as late as 2:30 but it is not the norm. And you may find yourself rather hangry if you eat an early breakfast and late lunch.

Posted by
1780 posts

I think you are too optimistic about what you can do especially after arrival. My husband and I traveled with five young adults last summer and no one would have been up for river cruise that first night. And we certainly were not out of the house by 8:30 the first morning after a transatlantic flight.

Posted by
676 posts

Unfortunate, the Canal St. Martin area isn't close to any of the sights you mention. Is there a reason you are staying there? Cost? Online hype? I'd save yourself a lot of hassle by staying closer to the things you actually want to see. I think your first day is okay activity-wise. Not too much, not too little. Arriving from the Airport to your first hotel or B&B, I would take a taxi. It is a flat rate that includes four people plus luggage, and the taxis can use the bus lanes, which the Übers can't. Quick and cheap. But unless you are flush, I would avoid using Über just because it is convenient for the unprepared. Personally, I like taking buses in Paris. It takes just a little time to scope out their routes (ahead of time preferably), but they give you the feel of the city and actually let you see it—which the subway doesn't.

Posted by
10116 posts

We walked along Canal St. Martin last autumn on a gorgeous day but found it rather dull as a potential place to stay. I admit we did not spend a lot of time there, but what I saw did not draw me like the other arrondissements. I would move closer to the sites you want to see and some fun evening activity. Then the public trans options make more sense as does walking.

Posted by
8493 posts

I agree about the Canal. The photos look nice, but it smelled like piss a lot of the time, and is where the homeless encampments/ housing protests were for a while. We stayed in an apartment for six months not too far away.
Uber has no advantage in Paris or from the airport.
Dinner is served at the earliest 7, but more often 7:30. Places that cater to American, English, and northern European tourists will serve you at American hours. Generally, French people have fixed mealtimes and don't munch all day.

Posted by
4136 posts

Another vote against the Canal ! It is a fun area for going out with some good restaurants and young people picnicking/drinking on the quays when the weather's nice, but otherwise it is far from major attractions and not particularly pretty.

Posted by
314 posts

I think that you will miss out on a lot of the magic of Paris if you don't walk the streets to get from A to B and take transit. As strange as it sounds, taking the metro in the city and the train to Versailles with locals were actually one of the best part of our trip. We felt like it allowed us to see the real Paris with real Parisians doing real life, everyday things.

Walking around means getting lost sometimes and discovering things that weren't on your list of things to see. It also forces you to talk to locals to ask for help and directions.

You might see fewer of the actual sights, but you will see more of what makes Paris the unique, magical place that it is.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. We will switch to AM/PM scheduling. We also went ahead and cancelled the Canal St Martin Airbnb and went with one in the Latin Quarter instead. As soon as we made it, I began to see the dramatic impact as we are now incredibly close to the main attractions we wish to see and the RER C stop to Versailles.

I think we will keep our schedule as is and if things go more slowly than anticipated, we will drop the lesser priorities (e.g. Maison Hugo and Places des Vosges, and Orangerie). Our must sees remain: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles, Orsay, Institut Cochin (work related), and Opera Bastille (already bought our tickets to the opera).

Posted by
1236 posts

As someone who loves museums(should have been an archeologist:), we spent 3.5 hours at the Louvre and my brain was fried. It is really big and really crowded and after a while all I wanted to do was get out. We were lucky that back then we could go back on the museum pass on a different evening.

I was 30 years old back then so I can't imagine a senior staying 5 hrs or sitting waiting for you. I also think you could get around by bus cheaper than Uber.

Posted by
9893 posts

I'm glad you were able to change your lodging. I think the Latin Quarter area will serve you well.

Posted by
5556 posts

Did you make sure your AirBnB is legal? Paris is very strict, and if the owner gets caught, you might have to pay the walk-up rate at a hotel at the last minute. I don't use AirBnB because it harms those local residents who aren't in the Real Estate business. Have you checked to see if Uber Surge Pricing occurs in Paris? Are you afraid to walk on city streets, maybe? The whole point of being in Paris is to walk around and ride the busses and the Metro. Do you know how much safer Paris is than any city in your home state or all its contiguous states?

I didn't try to look up the Hotel de Ville Pass office hours, but i would not go to any European government office at 4:30 PM for anything! (There may be a line, for example, taking you past closing time.) Do you know what has to be booked in advance, like Eiffel Tower ascent?

Posted by
11 posts

Did you make sure your AirBnB is legal? Paris is very strict, and if the owner gets caught, you might have to pay the walk-up rate at a hotel at the last minute.

I don’t know how to make sure it’s legal. I’ve never had an issue with an Airbnb before. It does have a registration number but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal. Might have to roll the dice a bit here.

Edit: I called Airbnb and they didn’t see anything wrong with the listing, confirming it was a new account, as per the host in our private conversations but assured us that they would work with us to ensure we had a place to stay if things went south for the host.

Have you checked to see if Uber Surge Pricing occurs in Paris? Are you afraid to walk on city streets, maybe?

The senior wants to be taken from “door to door” so we are working to accommodate her. She will walk short distances with her roller walker, but not far.

I didn't try to look up the Hotel de Ville Pass office hours, but i would not go to any European government office at 4:30 PM for anything! (There may be a line, for example, taking you past closing time.)

If we don’t get the museum passes then, we can get them the next day. The tourism office will close at 6:30, I believe. We can probably head to the tourism office as early as 4.

Do you know what has to be booked in advance, like Eiffel Tower ascent?

As far as I know, only Saine Chappelle, vedettes du Pont neuf boat tour, Eiffel Tower and Louvre need to be booked in advance.

Posted by
121 posts

We're in our later 60s and went to Paris in 2019 for a week. We only taxied to the airport and we used the Metro and and buses and walked a lot. It worked out very well. We kept a full schedule and I think your schedule is do able. We were really tired by evening, though, and tended to eat a late lunch and then snack at the hotel in the evening and go to bed! We had a wonderful time, but We only went out after dark twice! Too tired.

Your senior person is a trooper. I think Paris with a rollator would be challenging. The museums will be a challenge. You can taxi or Uber to the Louvre or the Orsay, but once you get there, it's A LOT of walking inside the museum. And, personally, I would find 5 hours in the Louvre to be too much. I've been to Paris 3 times and the Louvre is always so so crowded. And it's huge. I can't take more than 2 hours. I loved the Orsay and the Rodin, though.

You know what's an easy place to manage with mobility issues? Giverny. We went there on a day tour on a day when my husband's hip was acting up. We just did Giverny (and did Versailles on our own another day) but many of the tour companies, like City Visions, have all day trips that do Giverny and Versailles in one long day. Just a suggestion for your Tuesday plans.

Have a wonderful trip! I wish my mom and I had gone to Italy before she died. She had mobility issues and she thought it would be too hard. I should have made it happen for her. So my advice to everyone, is GO!!!

Posted by
9893 posts

There are other places to buy the Museum Pass. Since you are now in the 5th, how close to the Parthenon are you? There is usually no line there but have not been since before Covid. Still, can’t imagine you couldn’t just walk in and purchase.

There also may be a Tabac (yes, mainly sells tobacco products) in your neighborhood. They often sell museum passes. Take a walk from your Air BnB on google street view. When you find a Tabac, look to see if they have a bright pink sign in the window which is the ad for the Museum Pass.

If your Senior is using a rollator then for sure ask about loaner wheel chairs in museums. You can also be admitted to museums without standing in line as many have special disabled access. I also recommend you ask for wheelchair assist thru the airports. SO quick and easy and the whole party should be able to go with.

Posted by
5262 posts

I think Pam means the Pantheon -- the Parthenon is a long way to go for a Paris museum pass! ;-) You could get the passes at a tabac, or a participating museum (like the Pantheon) near your lodging, or at the Orangerie when you first use them. No need to go to the Hotel de Ville or a tourist office just for this.

I don't think you need a reservation for the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, unless you're looking for a dinner or champagne cruise, which I wouldn't recommend. And I'm like acraven, an evening boat ride would be a bad idea on my arrival day. I suggest working in the cruise whenever time and weather allow.

Given that one of your party is using a walker, I think most Metro lines would involve too many steps, both vertical and horizontal. But I believe line 14 (newer) and all the RER lines are step-free. No doubt this is the fastest way to get across the city, but you have wisely grouped your sights geographically. If you've committed to "door to door" for your senior member, then I'd say keep that commitment. I haven't used Uber so I can't compare with taxis.

Paris is made for walking. Why not buy or rent a wheelchair for the senior in your group if they can't walk any distance? Also, have you taken into account that person may not have the stamina or desire to be out and about all day? You need to plan to do other things later in the day or evening when they may prefer to rest up back at the apartment.

On the TripAdvisor forums a couple of regulars who live in Paris never use Uber there. They have a couple of alternatives that they say are much better. Pop over to TA and ask.

Posted by
7691 posts

I highly advise using G7 taxis rather than Uber in Paris (if you're not going to be using public transport). Uber has become so unreliable and a huge PITA.

I think you will be much happier in the Latin Quarter, good move on changing lodging location.

Posted by
478 posts

Another vote to get the Paris Museum Pass @ the Pantheon in the 5th.

Make sure your Airbnb is ground floor or they have an ELEVATOR.

Contrary to what a couple of others think, I did do a Seine cruise the day I arrived (I think I boarded at 4 or 5 pm, was there in October). It was CHILLY with the wind, which did wonders to keep me awake!

Posted by
1118 posts

I was just in Paris this past Nov/Dec with my mother, who has limited mobility. We used a combo of Metro, UBER & G7 taxi's. Bolt is an UBER like company in Paris, but after the driver dropped us, two different times, to pick someone else up within a minute of arrival, I stopped using Bolt & went with UBER or G7.

Enjoy you trip.

Posted by
1333 posts

Just to add about G7, you can book your taxi online which helps when you don't speak French. I found this invaluable when booking an early morning taxi to take us to the airport.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for the replies. The senior is not actually that old or weak, simply "out of shape," as she puts it. She's only 72. We've hired a personal physical therapist (she had been doing physical therapy after her hip replacement) and yesterday, she was able to walk with the rollator in the park for 1.3 miles in about forty minutes, taking a few rests sitting on the rollator here and there. So, we will build her up from there and she should be able to do well around the center of Paris by mid-June when we are going. We will get a golf cart for Versailles.

We will go to Pantheon to pick up the Museum Pass, since I guess we can't pick them up at Sainte Chapelle.

Posted by
9893 posts

Oh my…yes, thank you Dick for catching my error. I did indeed mean Pantheon. Please don’t try to go to Greece for the Paris Museum Pass. Apparently my fingers were thinking independently from my brain!!

Posted by
29 posts

I would second the suggestion for buying and bringing a travel wheelchair. I brought my husband twice to London and wheeled him all around the city in that light wheelchair. Its the kind with small wheels, and I think we bought it many years ago for about 100 dollars in a Walgreens. I am a fast walker. My husband was able to walk but not fast and not far, so the w/c was perfect. It folded up easily so in the subway and getting on buses he would get out of the w/c, I would fold it up and we would board the bus or subway and away we went. It was also great for getting around the airports. We had two carry on suitcases. He would put one on his lap, and the other was a Rick Steves backpack that I would wear. Highly recommend.

Posted by
1333 posts

Hikki- I have really bad knees and do a lot of walking in Paris, so we stop about every few miles so I can rest them for about 15 min (that's all it takes for them to reset), but Paris is all about stopping and sitting and just taking it all in! This allows my husband to roam around the area and get video and pictures while I rest my knees. We may try to find a cafe so I can get a coffee and him a beer and some snacks to recharge. Sounds like your travel partner is doing everything right to get ready for the trip, she will be fine as long as she listens to her body and does not over do it.