Arriving in Paris on Sunday morning. Joining RS tour Heart of France on Tuesday. Need recommendations on things to do. Already have seen Versailles and have gone up the Eiffel tower. Suggestions, anyone?
Pere Lachaise cemetary.
Musee de Montmartre
Arc de Triomphe
Nissim de Camondo museum
Chateau de Malmaison
What are you interested in? There are tons of museums in Paris that you won't get to on this tour - the Cluny, with medieval and Roman artifacts, the Rodin, the Jacquemart-Andre ... take a look at the Paris section in the RS France book, or get the Paris book, and I'm sure there will be many suggestions for Paris and environs. You could also look into Paris Walks or Paris Greeters on Sunday afternoon, to keep you outside in fresh air and moving around, which will help with jet lag. On Monday, you could spend a day in Chartres; if Malcolm Miller is still offering tours of the Cathedral I would highly recommend joining one.
Tell us more about your specific interests, and we'll be able to provide more suggestions.
Do that what the French do on Sunday, enjoying the day and Relax. Find a nice restaurant for lunch. Make a walk on the Saine. Sit in a cafe and watch the people passing by. For Monday you already get enough tips.
Keep in mind it's a vacation and not a business trip. ;-))
Hi Jackie. I suggest visiting an open air market on Sunday; there are several on Sunday (sorry, I cannot copy the link on the parisianlocal.com site). I especially like the Monge ( metro Monge), Grenelle (metro la motte-Piquet-Grenelle), both markets are within site of the metro stop. The Grenelle market runs under the elevated metro, you can follow that to the Seine and walk along the Seine toward the Eiffel tower. I bought some take away food and picniced on a bench overlooking the Seine, so heavenly.
On Monday you could visit the Notre-Dame cathedral. There are several services to attend or just roam around. On my last trip in November, I was awake very early after my first night after arriving from Canada and was the 4th person in the door on Monday morning just before 8 am, official opening time is 8. Just a 2 other tourists at first and parishioners coming for mass. It is one of the highlights of my trip. If the weather is nice, make sure to wander around the back of the church, it is park-like.
If you feel like shopping like a local, most Monoprix stores are open on Monday; they are like a small Target, in case you want to get some local toiletries if you packed carryon only.
If you like beauty products and are not claustrophobic, visit City Pharma, 26 rue du Four, 75006 (6th Arr), neat the St. Germaine du Pres Metro, their website has a map with busses too. Open 0830-8 pm Monday. I suggest you try Nuxe products; when I visited they had a small sampler pack in a clear zippered bag. Best stuff ever. The Nuxe reve de miel creme mains et ongles (honey cream for hands and nails) which was available in 1 ounce containers and their lip conditioning stick is fabulous. The small hand cream, maybe with the lip stuff might ne packed together in big bafrels on the floor near the check out. The store is tiny and packed with people. Upstairs at that location are OTC meds, many herbal remedies. There may be other locations.
The Luxembourg Gardens are a favorite of mine. It will be good to walk after a long flight.
Enjoy your trip.
ParisWalks has a great Village Montmartre tour (90-min) that meets every Sunday at 10:30 @ Metro Abbesses station. May be tight to make this itinerary, depending on your flight's arrival time and getting thru Customs. But if possible, would be a great way to mitigate jet lag and see where the Impressionist movement called home. Finishes up right near La Maison Rose, perfect for a midday crepe and people watching.
I don't know if the Basilica of Saint-Denis is on your tour, if not, you should see it.
On Sunday, I would plan anything that keeps out outside which will help you acclimate to the time zone change. Some possibilities are: strolling through the Luxembourg Garden (stop @ 4 rue Vavin 75006 Paris, for some Amorino gelato before entering the park!), walk around the Montmartre area w/ Sacre Coeur & views, stop into the gorgeous Opera House (you can walk through yourself - don't need to go w/ a tour) and have lunch in that area, walk the Champs-Élysées, jump on the Metro #1 & ride it to La Défense, or wander through the two islands.
Monday, have breakfast at someplace that's fun for you ~Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain and explore any of the neighborhoods you haven't seen previously. You could purchase a 1-day Museum Pass and check out the Orangerie, Rodin, Napoleon's Tomb, etc.
If your tour is not taking one of the evening cruises, I would recommend it, also.
On Sundays, Paris closes the road on the northern side of the Seine to car traffic and for 2.5 miles you can walk along the Seine. Watch out for bicycles and in-line skaters.
What a lot of people here seem to have forgotten is that many Paris museums and other sites close on Monday (but are open on Sunday). The Louvre is open on Monday, but tends to be very crowded because other museums are closed. I would visit one or two of the museums on Sunday and use Monday for parks/shopping/Pere Lachaise.
My top choices:
l'arc de triomphe: climb up to the top.. never too crowded and never long wait to go up.. covered by museum pass, fitness required
Pere Lachaise: the world's most beautiful cemetery... a must do on a sunny day. may be a little eerie for cloudy/rainy days.. but why not for the unique experience. I've spent hours wandering in the park admiring the beautiful/intricate graves.
Basilica St Dennis: reachable by Metro.. I'm very glad I did that last visit. However, locals told me that it's not a safe area to travel to (after my trip). I'm not sure if I would've still made the trip had I read more about the neighborhood. I'd recommend against if you're a solo female traveler. There's a lot of royal graves to see.. be sure to get the audio guide.
le Marais: some shops in the Marais stay open on Sundays.. best bet for Sunday shopping.
Bastille market, adjacent to the Bastille memorial is open on Sunday. Nearby is the Marche d Aligre market, some inside the building and vendors outside as well. World's best chocolate chip cookies are inside. Lots of antiques, clothes, foodstuffs there and Bastille is mostly foods but some purses, costume jewelry, and stuff to buy. Don't overlook the horse meat delicacies -- tastes like chicken..... sorry Mr. Ed.... We stay adjacent to Notre Dame and like to spend time in the courtyard with a crepe, just watching the people line up to enter. Around the corner a block over is St. Chapelle, if you want to get concert tickets check out www.classictic.com.
As well as Sunday, Monday, you have most of Tuesday (tour meets at 5pm on Day 1), and then a free afternoon on Day 3.
Here are a few suggestions (from the RS Tour Notes) for sightseeing in Paris that you do not do as a group:
Walk the Champs-Elysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe
Tour Montmartre and visit Sacré-Coeur Basilica
Opera House (Palais Garnier)
Visit these museums: Invalides (military); Cluny (medieval art); Rodin (sculpture); Pompidou (modern art); Orangerie (Impressionist and post-Impressionist art) and Marmottan (Impressionist art).
My own suggestions:
Sunday Madeleine - Opera - Palais Royal - Tuileries Gardens - Orangerie - Place de la Concorde - (metro to) Champs Elysees - Arc de Triomphe
Monday St Michel - Musee Cluny - Sorbonne - Pantheon - Jardin de Luxembourg - St Sulpice - Delacroix Museum - St Germain de Pres - (metro to) Rodin Museum - Invalides
Day 1 Tuesday Ile St Louis - Place des Vosges - Carnavalet Museum - Marais - Picasso Museum - Pompidou - Hotel de Ville - Conciergerie - Pont Neuf
Day 3 Afternoon Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur Basilica
Cultural sites closed on Monday in Paris
Musée du quai Branly
Cultural sites closed on Tuesday in Paris
Musée Eugène Delacroix
Musée du Moyen-Age (Cluny)
Musée de l’Orangerie
Musée du Louvre
Thank you, everyone, for all of your suggestions. Just over a month until we go. I am still trying to narrow things down a bit. Arrive Paris Sunday June 14 from Vancouver.
Sunday-- transfer from airport to hotel, dump bags, cafe, walk to river, afternoon for Paris Greeters if I can connect with someone to maybe walk to Marmottan for Monet (my favourite). Maybe market to buy picnic stuff along the way for lunch and eat dinner somewhere close to hotel Duquesne Eiffel.(need lots of walking to combat jet lag)
Monday, maybe St Sulpice (opens early and I am always awake early dealing with jet lag), Cluny, Pantheon, shop for picnic, Luxembourg Gardens, afternoon at Invalides/Napoleon's Tomb.I want to see garden at Rodin Museum. See how tired we are before planning evening outing (i.e. lights, river cruise) eat near hotel.
Tuesday, ride Batobus from Eiffel Tower to Hotel de ville, Carnivalet Museum. Trying to schedule time online to go to Picasso museum. Cruise back. Meet with RS group at hotel in late afternoon.
Maybe Trocadero for lights in evening?
Wed. free afternoon/evening not decided yet. Maybe Orangerie
Thursday free afternoon/evening. Last night in Paris. Maybe river cruise? Illumination tour? Should have met other folks also wanting to do something special for last night in Paris.
Sounds pretty good, but can I make a recommendation? The Marmottan is so far away in the 16th. If you love Monet, an easier visit for your day arrival would be the Orangerie right there at the Tuileries. Also sticks with your theme of walking/being outside and staying in your general neighborhood. I.e. just across the river.
You might want to take a look at the pre tour suggestions either in the pre tour info you were sent or on the RS site specific to your tour. I've always found those helpful as they list some places you won't be visiting on the tour. Have a wonderful trip!
The last entry - the time they start kicking people out is 5:30 - allow an hour to commune with the dots, dashes and splashes! I love the Marmottan and go every trip. The park through which you can walk from Métro La Muette has two excellent playgrounds, a hand turned carousel and pony rides on occasion so my daughter insists. Once there was a neighbourhood vide-grenier (bric a brac sale) in the park. Très cool!
Your hotel is handy for walking through the Champs de Mars, crossing the river, enjoying the view from Trocadero and then getting a bus or Métro to La Muette. You could also walk the Rue de Passy. I did it with my daughter. There are lots of stores and a small shopping centre but it would be nice and quiet on a Sunday.
You asked on another topic about advanced tickets. I wouldn't bother. It is a small out of the way museum and not on the Museum pass. While lovely for fans of Monet and other Impressionists, its location keeps it from being swamped. I've never noticed long lines like at the l'Orangerie which is also high on my list but easy to duck into before or after visiting the Louvre, d'Orsay or Tuileries - with the Museum Pass, mind!
Check if there is a special exhibition which may impact crowds. We saw a Berthe Morissot show 2 (?) years ago and it was eye opening. I then noticed Morrisot paintings in Philadelphia, New York and D.C.
Enjoy! Looking forward to hearing about the trip.
Lots of great suggestions. Top of my Do Not Miss list is the Luxembourg Gardens (as Jackie mentioned). One of my favorite places on the planet.
Lots of great suggestions. Top of my Do Not Miss list is the Luxembourg Gardens (as Jackie mentioned). One of my favorite places on the planet.
Hi Jackie. you wrote Arrive Paris Sunday June 14 from Vancouver. ...afternoon for Paris Greeters... Marmottan for Monet (my favourite). Monday, maybe St Sulpice, Cluny, Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens, Invalides/Napoleon's Tomb...garden at Rodin Museum. See how tired we are before planning evening outing (i.e. lights, river cruise) eat near hotel. Tuesday, ride Batobus from Eiffel Tower to Hotel de ville, Carnivalet Museum. ... Picasso museum. Cruise back. Meet with RS group at hotel in late afternoon. Maybe Trocadero for lights in evening? Wed. free afternoon/evening . ..Maybe Orangerie Thursday free afternoon/evening. Last night in Paris. Maybe river cruise? Illumination tour?
First off, sunset on the day of your arrival is at 9.55 p.m. The lights on the Eiffel Tower will just begin to go on about 5-10 minutes later. It'll be 1/2 hour or more from sunset until it's lit up and fairly dark out. And the days are still getting longer then. You'll have to stay up quite late to enjoy Paris after dark, so do take that into account.
The Batobus is slow and not so frequent. If you want to maximize your time - and you have a lot planned - use the metro and/or the bus. By using the metro/bus, you can go directly to the Picasso Museum with an early entrance, then take your time going to the Carnavalet and still have time for other things that day. For the Seine cruise experience, choose one of the other companies. My preference is Vedettes du Pont Neuf, but that may not be the most convenient to your hotel location. My favorite time to do that is right around sunset, so you see the city as the lights on the buildings and bridges start to go on, ending after dark.
Even if the Orsay is on your tour itinerary, you may want to visit on your own, to enjoy the Monets (and others of course) at leisure.
Jackie, I just learned that much of the Carnvalet is closed for renovation. I visited there on my last trip and really enjoyed it; was looking forward to going back (especially for the Art Nouveau). I would suggest checking their web site / calling before going as they did not specify a date to reopen. Not all of the exhibits are closed but it's not clear if it's still worth the trip.
I was at the Carnavalet in March and at that point the nineteenth and twentieth century rooms were open. It was the pre-17th century rooms that were largely closed.
Thanks for all the info. Good point on time of sunset. I had not thought of that. I just found out that on the RS tour we get a two day PMP, so am reorganizing a couple of days. The batobus is more for some relaxing and cruising the river by day on the way to Marais for Picasso on Tuesday. I have the picasso tickets. We may just do part of the Marais walk and lunch if carnivalet is closed. I wanted mostly to see the room on the French Revolution.We meet with the RS tour late that afternoon for walk and dinner.
Quite a challenge to juggle museums, sites, hours, closed days, museum pass, and not duplicate places we will visit on group tour.
If you get in early enough on Sunday morning, how about a church service? St. Suplice or Notre Dame? I've done both and it is a wonderful experience. Much better than just being in a huge tourist crowd walking around Notre Dame. And St. Suplice has a very famous organ (and organist). Don't have to be religious to enjoy this quiet and spiritual activity! Or maybe visit a smaller "ordinary" church!
Jackie, just a heads up, Musee Rodin is closed on Mondays. Also, you live in a nice area, my Aunt lives in Comox.
Enjoy you trip.
Jackie, I was glad you asked on your other thread about the Museum pass as I had totally missed that until I looked at it. You are right, it is requiring some juggling! I've moved the Marmottan to a pre-tour day and replaced Les Invalides on a MP day. Interesting about part of the Carnavalet being closed. I was going to work that in so I could eat falafel in the neighborhood for lunch, lol. I did a Marais walking tour last Fall on my Best of Paris tour and really enjoyed it so if you have a chance to work that in, do!
I looked at the Carnavalet website. It appears that rooms are closed and opened in rotation. It's a short walk through the Marais from the Picasso Museum. Stop by, some of it will be open and since it's free, you might as well.
Our tour info just arrived by email. Now I am really excited to go! Still arriving Sunday morning around 830. After getting to hotel and leaving bags behind, I am now thinking of cafe, then walk to St Sulpice to catch the organ playing around 1130 ish. Lunch somewhere. Walk toward Seine, maybe buy picnic stuff and munch down by the river. I don't know how much energy we will have by afternoon after our red eye flight.