Please sign in to post.

Suggestion for Paris Day 1 Itinerary

Hi,

Need some suggestion from fellow travelers on our Day 1 plan ( I like to plan in detail, but then be flexible depending on the situation on the ground)

We arrive in Paris on a Sunday ( 8:15 AM) and we leave for Nice on Wednesday, so our time is relatively limited.

Assume we reach our hotel by 11 AM - and our hotel is right by Tuileries Metro station ( Hotel Brighton) - I was wondering what's the best way to spend the rest of the day?

We have Eiffel tower tickets booked for Sunday 8pm - so we realistically have between 2 pm to 6 pm to 'do something'

I was thinking of 2 options:

1) Visit Orsay - its a 15 min walk from our hotel, and a 'must do'

2) Then walk along the Seine to the Eiffel tower area - visit Rue Cler neighborhood

3) Rest of the evening around the Eiffel tower area

Other option: would be to replace #1 above with Rick's Old City Walk and then take the metro to Eiffel tower area.

If this is too hectic, I am perfectly fine just doing Eiffel tower on Day 1.

TIA!!

Posted by
7364 posts

Hi Steve, if Sunday is your first day arrival from the US, I would plan to visit the D’Orsay museum on Tuesday (closed Mondays) and go with the RS city walk for your first day. I struggle with jet lag if I don’t stay out in the daylight, so museums make it difficult for me.

Posted by
895 posts

First off keep in mind that you likely won't be able to check into your room so be prepared to store your luggage and just take what you need for site seeing. I've had frantic times with my luggage open in a hotel lobby trying to figure out what I need and putting it in a day bag. Now I have my daybag all ready before I leave the airplane. You might consider leaving valuables in the hotel safe.

The D'orsay is large, takes a fair amount of time to see it all and has limited lunch options within the museum. Our first visit there we got to the museum fairly near lunch time. Walked around for awhile then were hungry. The snack bar line didn't seem to move and the sit down dining even worse. We finally gave up, went outside and found a ham sandwich from a vendor. Guide of a waste of our ticket. Also, make sure you have an audio guide to the museum. It's signage was limited beyond painting title and artist. So much more to know.

I would say walking along the Seine, Rue Cler, etc a better option. Gives you the chance appreciate being in Paris, to find lunch, an ATM if you need it, etc.

Posted by
8115 posts

I would look at some Paris walks books and routes and plan a leisurely afternoon stroll and plan to get crepes or something for dinner before your Eiffel Tower visit. There are lots of crepe restaurants on Rue Montparnasse; we walked there after our EiffelTower visit in April so you could walk through that area on your way to the Tower. Or chose a cafe for a quick meal closer to the Tower. After the Tower walk across the bridge to Trocadero -- the views from there of the Tower are the best especially when it sparkles. And you can buy your personal sparkling Tower from the immigrants trying to make a living in a cruel world there. Don't bargain; they need the additional 2 or 3 Euro more than you do. They are a gift that really delights grandkids or kids you are close to.

So stroll -- sit in a cafe and half a coffee, or a creme, or a diablo or a coke (probably not a beer or wine because jet lag). Then stroll some more.

I would not do a museum on jet lag day and I love museums. I'd reserve that for in case it rains that day, then why not. The Tower by the way is not terrible in the rain; it rained one day in October when we did this 6 years ago and it was the day we had ET reservations. It was fine: https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-eiffel-tower-in-the-rain/

Posted by
11288 posts

When we arrive in Paris, we take a Seine boat cruise. outdoors, wind bowing in our faces and watching the major monuments of Paris as we sail by.

Posted by
133 posts

thanks all for the suggestions. I think I will do Orsay on Tuesday, as Jean suggests and on Sunday focus on outdoor/walk around.

Maybe do the old city walk after checking in, etc, then take the cruise or stroll to Eiffel tower area?

Posted by
3186 posts

The shops on Rue Cler are open Sunday mornings and some are closed Mondays. Plan accordingly if you want 5o see the market in action.

Posted by
1729 posts

Sounds like you will have a lot of time on your hands from arrival to your 8pm Eiffel reservation. It is hard to suggest something because you will have to gauge your stamina from your flight. You are staying in a nice location close to many sights. Your walk to the Eiffel is only about 45 minutes, which I would suggest along the Seine.

If you are a real art aficionado I would save the Orsay until Tuesday. If not, I would see no reason why you shouldn't visit it on Sunday. You have a lot of time to fill and you'll want to see as much as you can Monday and Tuesday at other sites. I personally find the Rue Cler underwhelming, but if it is on your checklist, by all means have at it. Enjoy Paris.

Posted by
917 posts

The Rodin Museum Gardens isn't a far walk (<15 minutes walk) beyond the Orsay and is open on Sundays. You don't even have to go inside, although it is a small, bright, open museum where Rodin lived. It's the grounds that attract me even more. There is also a nice little cafe on the grounds.

COMBINED TICKET RODIN MUSEUM - ORSAY MUSEUM
The combined ticket gives access to the permanent collections and current exhibitions at the Musée
Rodin and the Musée d'Orsay. These tickets are valid for entry to each site within 3 months of the
date of purchase and do not require you to choose a specific visit day when purchasing them.
Access to the Musée d'Orsay is free every first Sunday of the month. (https://www.musee-
rodin.fr/en/museum/musee-rodin/sculpture-garden).

Posted by
8115 posts

Yes Be aware that Monday is the day that market streets close and there are not street markets on Monday. Rue Cler and Rue Montorgueil will have some shops open, but many streets are totally closed and these will not be at their best. I use such places to shop not to 'see' and their are plenty of other places to shop, but if seeing a market street or a market is important do that then Tuesday morning is your shot. Markets and market streets close around 1 on Sundays and all day Monday.

Posted by
133 posts

@treadwear - thats what I am thinking too. We do have a bit of time and since we are flying in Business Class ( miles accrued over the past 2 years!!) hopefully, we will be able to make the most of the day, with a good sleep on the way.

If we get early check in, then I think we will def go to Orsay , then walk to Eiffel tower.

Thanks to others also for calling out about the days the markets are closed.

Posted by
133 posts

@lindy - thanks for ur suggestion about Rodin Museum Gardens - I looked it up on google maps and as u mentioned, the gardens look amazing. will add a bookmark!

Posted by
8115 posts

The Rodin Museum used to sell garden access for a couple of Euros -- it was lovely and for me anyway the sculptures in the garden were plenty of Rodin. Now you have to buy a ticket for the museum to use the gardens which is sad. I personally don't think the gardens are worth the price (unless obviously you want to see the whole Rodin Museum). There are plenty of lovely free gardens in Paris to hang out in.

Posted by
133 posts

Quick update here:

We arrived at 7:45 am ( 30 min early!) and were at our hotel by 9:30 am!

Alas, they said no rooms till 3 pm!

So we decided to do the old City walk - And then jet lag hit us.

Miserable day.

Lessons learnt: Next time, I would book the earlier night just so that we have a room to step into, take. shower after a flight and rest. Seems pretty obvious, in hindsight

Posted by
363 posts

Steve, did you still do the Eiffel tower at 8pm? I thought that might be a bit late on your first day. When we visited there was a LOT of waiting in line, to go up, and then to come down.

Posted by
133 posts

We did. Kids slept 4-6 and then we took a cab to the Eiffel tower.

But honestly if was a waste. No one enjoyed it. We were tired and the crowds were way too much to handle. Eiffel tower on day 1 was a mistake. I was hoping to show my kids the names of scientists on the tower etc .. but that didnt happen.

But then next day, we got up at 11 am, relaxed had a late brunch at Angelina’s which was right next to the hotel. That reset everything.

Posted by
363 posts

Steve, I'm glad the rest of the trip was good. We did the Eiffel Tower on about day 4, and it was rough then, with long waits in line to go up and then to come down. I've done it once, and now I'll be content just to look at it from the ground!

Posted by
6583 posts

Steve, thanks so much for the update with your actual experience. I wish every poster who asks about arrival-day strategy would provide that kind of feedback to the rest of us armchair experts. I hope the rest of your trip goes well!

Posted by
14580 posts

If one arrives in morning on a trans-Atlantic flight, I would suggest making Day 1 a light day depending on how you feel., walking around, get to one of the famous gardens, etc. I've done too after the 11 hour flight getting in ca 10 AM or so. It all depends.

Still on other flights to Paris from SFO arriving at the same time, after leaving CDG by the RER (no taxi here), I get to the hotel at Paris Nord, which obviously won't have the room ready at 1 PM, only if it was not used the night before, in which case I can access it.

Regardless of the readiness of the room, my hotel allows me to check in anytime, whether you can go to the room is another story. If not, I check in, leave my luggage, and go have a hot lunch. Following that I take the Metro to the museum, or I go to have the lunch at the museum cafe. Day 1 in any case is spent at the museum.