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Ideas for a day and 2 nights in Paris?


We are 2 couples in our 50s. All first time in Paris. We land on Monday July 3rd mid morning and leave Wednesday the 5th at 10 am. We are staying at a small hotel close to Rue Cler - Hotel Muguet.

With most of the “main” sites closed on our only full day there, it’s hard to know what to do. We will definitely wander around Rue Cler and walk to the tower to do the picnic thing and see it lit up. Maybe keep walking to see the arc? (Day or night?). Likely do a simple boat tour up the Seine.

We are wondering if taking a trip to see Sainte-Chapelle would be “worth” the time? It looks amazing but worth a short Uber? (Doubtful we would be up to a long walk).

Maybe Moulin Rouge? Looks very “quintessentially touristy”.

None of us are foodies but maybe a moderately priced decent meal? Anything to suggest within walking distance from our hotel? Or if we did the show, anything that wouldn’t be stupid touristy around there? Or instead of sitting for what I hear is a long process in a real restaurant, maybe gabbing bites (and drinks of course) in a few fun bars? If we don’t succumb to jet lag (we will be coming from Calgary).

Anything else that is a short walk from our hotel or worth an Uber that would be good to see? The catacombs look interesting but my wife’s claustrophobia would make it too interesting.

Open to any suggestions.

Thanks for the help.

Posted by
383 posts

I don't know whether I would consider going from Rue Cler to Sainte-Chapelle to be a "trip" - it's a short jaunt via Metro or bus, but also a rather scenic walk - and you see the exterior of Notre Dame without any additional effort. Versailles might be considered a trip.

You are rather close to Musee d'Orsay, so that should be a no-brainer.

Posted by
9128 posts

You say most of the main sites will be closed your sole entire day in Paris, but if I am reading correctly, that day is a Tuesday (July 4). The only big thing that I can think of that is closed on Tuesdays is the Louvre. Most things are closed on Mondays.

As someone else noted, you are staying in the same arrondissement as the Musée d'Orsay, so that is a good option, as is the Musée Rodin with its beautiful garden (and small size). Add in to that some cafe time and a boat cruise along the Seine, and you have easily filled a nice summer's day.

And yes, Sainte-Chapelle is fabulous and worth crossing a couple of arrondissements for.

Posted by
47 posts

Thanks. It was the Louvre and the Palace that we were disappointed to not be able to see. Good to know that there are lots of other things to see and do on a Tuesday.

Posted by
9128 posts

What palace are you thinking of? Most people's first thought is of Versailles - but it is closed Mondays and open on all the other days of the week, so maybe you had a different palace in mind

For an idea of things to do in Paris, you can check out the information on Rick's info on Paris on this site: go to "Explore Europe" then choose France then choose Paris - click on the + sign by "At a Glance" and you will see brief descriptions -- and ratings -- of sights.

Posted by
27 posts

I would do the hop on bus and stay on it for the complete circuit and then decide if you want to go back to take time at a few stops. Next take a evening cruise and decide when your coming back to one of the beautiful cities in the world.

Posted by
47 posts

Thanks. It was the Palace of Versailles that I thought was closed on Tuesday. Great to know it’s an option.