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Paris in 3 Days

Hello,

We are four people travelling this month, arriving on the eurostar in the evening and planning to spend 3 days in Paris. We usually see sites pretty quickly and are fast moving (btw, two of us do not like museums as much, but we'd still like to stick together). Thanks so much guys, I'm just trying to figure out what I can fit in, as I feel 3 days is not enough.

Posted by
2619 posts

It might help if you gave us an idea of places you think you want to see and things you want to do, then one of the itinerary gurus will no doubt come up with a plan for you.

Posted by
14 posts

We were thinking of seeing the major sites, such as the Louvre, Arc De Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre-Coeur, and maybe Versailles. At the same time, I'm thinking of exploring Paris beyond the major things, such as seeing the neighbourhoods and the local atmosphere. Lesser known museums like the Cluny and Rondin seem interesting, but i do not know if some people in my group will find it worthwhile.

Posted by
14 posts

This is also our first trip. Two adults, one 17 year old teen (basically an adult), and a 12 year old.

Posted by
5046 posts

If you are going to be in Paris (and from your other thread, London) in less than a month and still don't have an itinerary, then I can't overstress the importance of getting a couple of decent guide books. Rick Steve's London and Paris books are very good. As well as descriptions of all the sites, the books go into detail about how to get around the cities, how to put together an itinerary to suit your preferences. Plus food and lodging suggestions and some excellent walks through some of the most interesting neighbourhoods. And lots of tips to avoid some of the pitfalls that can befall the unaware.

If you'd had a guidebook, you'd already know that you need to book Arc de Triomphe tickets well in advance to avoid hours long waits at the base. Or that the Louvre takes days, not hours to see comprehensively. Or that waits to enter Versailles can be extremely long if you don't know the tricks.

Posted by
8293 posts

To the OP

Your list of sites and museums you want to see in 3 days, 2 if you go to Versailles, is quite impossible. Surely you see that yourself. And as someone else has noted, most require pre-booking which you haven't yet done. If you have not already paid for the Eurostar, why not stay in the U.K. and see a bit more of .England. Or ..... go to Paris and just wing it, see what you can, take the no. 42 and 69 buses to sightsee, go to Sacre Coeur, go to Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Take a Seine cruise, go to a street market (google for where and when) see and photo the Tour Eiffel from the Trocadero, etc, etc., spend a half hour in the very posh grocery store, Fauchon, have a holy lunch at the Madeleine nearby. Take the metro to St. Denis and visit the basilica there where all the French kings are buried. Bon visite.

Posted by
4999 posts

A trip to Versailles will consume almost all day. That only leaves two days for Paris itself. I think a family meeting might be in order to determine what everyone really wants to see, and then prioritize those things and see how they will fit into two days (or three if you forego Versailles). The same thinking applies to your time in London.

Posted by
14 posts

The train tickets are booked. If that is the case (two many sites in not enough time), what should I cut back on?

Posted by
796 posts

I would cut Versailles as another poster suggested, as it is a good half day.

Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Tuileries gardens then either walk to Eiffel Tower or metro or bus. The Notre Dame is walking distance from the Cluny. I suggest walking along the Seine when you can as it is spectacular.

Enjoy my favourite city.

Posted by
94 posts

We just went last week and spent 8 days in Paris. Based on our experiences here's what I would suggest:

Day 1: Notre Dame, San Chappelle (it's right by Notre Dame. It's almost entirely made of stained glass and amazing), Cluny Museum (also in the same area). We did all three in one day. Stroll along the Seine.

Day 2: Louvre (either know what you want to see ahead of time- this place is HUGE or book a guided tour. We used Art Journeys Paris and thought it was money well spent), Arc de Triumph, Eiffel Tower. We prebooked our tickets. Stayed for the sunset and then walked over to Trocador for an awesome nighttime view of the Tower. Had ice cream and enjoyed tower sparkling at the top of the hour.

Day 3: Paris Walks has some very affordable and interesting walking tours (I think it was 15euro each). We did one that took us around Montmarte and then ended at Sacre-Coeur. You could head over to the Rodin museum afterwards. Orsay museum is also close to Rodin.

Posted by
94 posts

I meant to add that I would also cut Versailles. Paris has so much to offer and with only three days, I wouldn't take the time away from the city itself. Some people will say you can do Versailles in a half day, but I'm not sure how that's possible. We went, and walked at power walk speeds:) And it still took up a full day.

Posted by
117 posts

3 days to see 6 or seven things is very doable. The key is visit the Louvre at night open til 9 on Wed and Friday, same with the Arch de Triomphe open til 11 every night. If you don't want to get Museum Pass then get tickets on line in advance and have on cell phone or print in advance. 12 year old is free many locations. Plan on 2 locations a day, and plan on getting there early in the morning for Notre Dame tower tour. My suggestion is early visit to Versailles and you'll have time to visit one of the night sights.
If you cannot get tickets for Eiffel Tower. It is beautiful to walk around especially lit up at night. If you can't get up in the Eiffel Tower, the Arch has an excellent view.
If it is not hot, I would recommend the Batobus. (hop on hop off boat trip that stops at many of the sites you mentioned). It might be a good way to get around and be able to see sites from the river that are on a future trip. I would recommend Rick Steve's Guide for the Louvre as it helps you make sense and can to the most popular with out a lot of backtracking. I understand these will not be "comprehensive" visits but two sites a day will give you time to meander the neighborhoods, try some gelato or glacé, feel the vibe, enjoy a Park. Luxembourg Garden is beautiful and a great place for kids and adults.

Posted by
2 posts

Buy the visite pass for the metro-- will save time for jumping on and off the Metro.
We enjoyed Les Invalides, and walking through Pere Lachaise cemetery, appreciating the architecture, and finding the famous buried there.
And, If you are partial to Impressionist art, visit Musse D'Orsay.
Visiting Louvre requires a plan of action - target specific things you want to see on a particular wing.
Notre Dame is a must see, and if you are there, the archaeologically crypt of notre dame & catecombs of Paris are right there.
Always good food. Treat yourself to atleast one butter and sugar crepe from a street vendor, and have fun!
Bon Voyage

Posted by
2733 posts

Of course you cannot see everything in three days, but you'll get a nice taste of Paris in that time. My two favorite sights in Paris are Sainte-Chapelle and the Cluny. See Sainte-Chapelle first thing in the morning because the line gets very long and is slow moving and you cannot bypass it even with a museum pass. The lines for Notre Dame gets very long too, but it moves quickly.

Try to spend some time in Luxembourg Gardens. It's especially nice on Sundays with kids sailing toy sail boats in the pond and free (small) concerts. But it's always beautiful.

Posted by
14 posts

Yes, we have one day dedicated to the Luxembourg Gardens, Rodin, Pantheon, Notre-Dame, and Saint-Chappelle. I am thinking of cutting out one of the museums though, as I fear for time. The Cluny is closer to the other sites, but it seems as though the Rodin is a better experience (in our eyes). Which one do you guys think we should pass on?

Posted by
8293 posts

I would choose the Rodin. There is a nice rose garden , too, where you can have a cooling drink after you have visited the museum. Les Invalides is close by if you have time to stop off there.

Posted by
14 posts

Alright then we shall visit the Rodin. We will stop by the Invalides for Napoleon's tomb before we go to the Rodin, but we probably will not have enough time to see the whole museum. But thanks!

Posted by
8293 posts

The Rodin is quite small. You will probably be able to enjoy it in about an hour and a half, or less.