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Is Senlis worth it from Paris - with my itinerary

Hi,

I will be with my wife in Paris Sept 11-17th. I was there before but it's her first time. I was wondering whether it's worth staying last 2 nights in Senlis with a visit to Chantilly chateau from there. Or whether we should just stay in Paris for all nights and not bother. Senlis is chosen because it looks like a nice medieval town so different from Paris itself, cobbled streets look awesome, Chantilly is easily accessible and airport is close for leaving as well.
We are arriving on Sept 11th in the morning, expecting to be at our 1st Arr hotel by 11AM, so dropping off luggage and following:

Arrival Wednesday
Explore by foot nearby Royal Gardens
Come back to hotel - shower
Do the 2CV tour in the car - 2 hours
Dinner somewhere nice

Thursday
Walk to Notre Dame and Ile de Cite area
Tour for Saint Chapelle
Chill by Luxembourg Gardens
Explore Latin Querter for dinner

Friday
Eiffel tower in the morning,
Brunch/picnic from Rue Cler in front of Eiffel
Montmarte and Sacre Cour in the second part of the day - tour ?

Saturday
Explore city towards Le Marais
Late afternoon Versailles with royal serenade and night fountain show - if we can get tix

Sunday
First entry to Louvre for 1.5 hour tour
Tuileries, brunch outdoors if possible
Afternoon leave for Senlis - Uber

Explore streets of Senlis/dinner

Monday
Get to Chantilly chateau, have lunch
Come back to Senlis and wonder around again

Tuesday
Early car ride for CDG airport

The question is whether this is doable or not worth the trouble and staying longer in Paris would be better. Small, charming town of Senils with medieval vibe is what calls out to me, and Chantilly is just something to do being easily accessible from there.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks. Surprised you say for Senlis not being close to the airport, on the google maps it only shows 25min by car,
so I figured an Uber/car service would be easy enough from there, with likely less time needed than going from Paris, whether by train or car.

Posted by
31 posts

Hello
I would do Versailles on the day you are doing the EIffel tower in the morning, as both are west.
I liked Senlis but wasn't wowed by it. I think i would stay longer in Paris, and just do a day trip from there to Chantilly, there is plenty to see with the Grandes Ecuries, and Musée Condé is the second richest museum in France, after the Louvre, and the grounds are beautiful.
Otherwise a very beutiful medieval town, in my opinion more spectacular than Selins, is Provins. Very nice!

Posted by
208 posts

I was just in Senlis in November and it was delightful. Part of it was a craft market at the old cathedral and the weekly market in the city center. Senlis' market is Tu and Fri while Chantilly is Wed and Sat. I always travel to out of town places on market days which make it really fun.

Posted by
8223 posts

I didn't say it wasn't close; I said it wasn't convenient. It is very inconvenient by public transport e.g. no train station, so you have to patch together trip by train to Chantilly and then bus to Senlis. When we were there the return bus didn't show and we stood an extra hour and a half in the cold to get back to the train. Maybe cab and uber services are better than when we were there. I would look into the possibility of reserving a cab well ahead and see how feasible it is. If you can get reliable transport then it is worth doing that way.

Posted by
7067 posts

I would be very surprised if Uber were available in Senlis.
However, taxis are definitely available. They would need to be booked in advance; something your hotel in Senlis can help with!

Posted by
9436 posts

Senlis is absolutely worth it, it is awesome and we were wowed by it.
Your itinerary looks good and you will love Senlis.

I’ve been in Paris for 3 wks now, yesterday we took friends from England here visiting us up the Eiffel Tower. It was wonderful and they loved it (as did we, although we’ve done it many times over the years). No lines now in January on a weekday, but it will be packed when you’re here. Be sure to get tickets online asap.

Posted by
69 posts

Have you seen King of hearts? It was filmed in Senlis so you get a sense of the architecture including the church interior.

One of the things we pay attention to in France is how the traditional architecture changes from region to region, depending on the local stone.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all. It sounds like we should be able to stick to original plan and stay in Senils for 2 nights at the end of our trip.

Posted by
3 posts

My family stayed in Senlis for 3 nights last August. We had a rental car and it was very easy to drive to CDG, drop the rental car and get our flight home. I know you may not have a rental car, so your experience might be different if you want to go outside of Senlis.

We just loved walking around Senlis. It is a beautiful old town, and it felt off the beaten path. A nice change from Paris. There was so much in Senlis that we didn't see! BUT, we spent time at Chateau de Chantilly, Chateau de Pierrefonds and the Gallo-Roman amphitheater (Arênes de Senlis) and a few other places. It was an easy and low-key way to end our vacation. I can't wait to go back to this area!

A note about lunch at the Chateau de Chantilly. When we tried to get lunch, there was no space and the wait was incredibly long. We ended up at the cafe in the stables and they were sold out of sandwiches. We were out of luck.

Someone posted a film, King of Hearts, and I also enjoyed the 2008 film, Séraphine. You can see art by Séraphine Louis at the Museum of Art and Archaeology in Senlis.

I had posted in this forum before we left and the community had very helpful posts: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/chantilly-senlis-pierrefonds-compiegne-reasonable-itinerary-for-3-days-4-nights

Posted by
495 posts

Your brunch/picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower may be unlikely. The area is closed for the Olympics and I would assume the Paralympics through Sept 8. So it may be under deconstruction. Of course there are many lovely places for a picnic,

I know you weren’t asking about it but wanted to mention.

Also, download the G7 taxi app. Similar to the Uber app in how it works but very professional and reliable. They are authorized to use bus lanes so quicker for getting around. Have heard Uber is unreliable.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the addtional info. Yeah, didn't realize the area might still be under some restrictions post Olympics, so maybe we end up for lunch at Rue Cler some place, and skip the picnic if area is still busy.

Also thanks for additional Senils info. Super excited about the trip. Our schedule is a bit packed now, we got the tickets for the Serenade and Night show at Versailles and decided to just stay there for the night. Schedule is looking a bit busy now so probably won't do it all, but at least we have an outline ;-)