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10 day Paris Itinerary

Hello all! My husband and I will be in Paris for 10 days this September and are just starting to scratch out an itinerary. I am hoping that some of you more seasoned travelers will be able to offer suggestions on how this outline can be improved and honed so that we make the most of our time AND are able to relax.

Day 1 (Friday) - arrival at CDG about to apartment in the 10th district, get acquainted with the neighborhood, take the #69 bus tour to orient to the city and make a twilight climb up the Eiffel Tower to celebrate our first night in Paris.

Day 2 - (Saturday) AM - Historic Paris Walk from Rick's book...PM - Latin Quarter and Cluny Museum

Day 3 - (Sunday) Monmarte Walk (ideally we would like to be at Sacre Coeur by sunrise then have breakfast in the area and wandering around the area for most of the day.

Day 4 - (Monday) Marais Walk, afternoon Seine cruise

Day 5 - (Tuesday) Chartres Cathedral trip in the morning, Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe in the afternoon/early evening

Day 6 - (Wednesday) Louvre, Pere Lachaise and perhaps Catacombs?

Day 7 - (Thursday) Orsay, Rodin and Napoleon tomb/museum

Day 8 - (Friday) free morning then off to Versailles in the afternoon...start with the gardens per Rick's suggestion

Day 9 - (Saturday) La Madeline church, soccer stadium (per hubby request), sewer tour, Place de la Concorde. Musee de l'Orangerie

Day 10 - (Sunday) mass at St Suplice, left bank walk, Pantheon

Day 11 - (Monday) train to London

Posted by
2030 posts

this schedule looks pretty good to me, it's a goal, you might not be able to do everything, but probably most --- except I don't think you can do the Louvre and Pere Lachaise in one day, even if you only do part of the Louvre -- the walking involved in both of them is a lot.

Posted by
300 posts

Be prepared to wait half an hour or more to enter the Catacombs. Once in you probably need 45 minutes or an hour. Pay attention to the operating hours and last entry time.

I think your itinerary is doable, but some of your activites in a given day seem to be spread around the city a bit - notably Pere Lachiase followed by the Catacombs. Metro is no problem, but I might try to arrange by locale a bit more

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you BG and Peter for that feedback and advice. We will be fine tuning as we get closer to the time to leave. I appreciate you taking the time to assist!


Posted by
1525 posts

I would do the Eiffel tower on a different day, preferably at the end to cap off your stay. You will see it from several vantage points during your stay. Let that be your teaser, then do the whole thing at the end. You will be tired on your arrival day and doing the tower to the top can be a 3-4 hour affair, all of it on your feet.

Posted by
104 posts

Ooo I am in the process of planning my 8 day itinerary for Paris. I really like yours! Are you planning on taking advantage of the late Wed and Thurs. museum openings with the Louvre and Orsay? I think this will give you more time during the day to enjoy shopping and maybe even a picnic!

Posted by
9110 posts

Sharon, with all the tact I can muster…………….your plan is absolutely goofey. :) If you found my opening statement offensive, delete what you wish and add “needs slight refinement”. You might want to consider doing it like this:

Day 1 -- During your “getting acquainted” walk ease south less than a mile to the pedestrian area around the LesHalles metro station, wander around there looking for a place for supper later, then go over to the Pompidou Center, go in if you want, but spend some time in the square watching the street entertainers. Go have supper, walk some more and call it a night. Skip the bus ride; save the Eiffel Tower for the last day.

Day 2 -- Do the Historic Walk, but stay on the islands (leave the stuff on the west bank off for now). When you’re done, go back to the front of Notre Dame and hook a right across the Pont au Double bridge (right behind the Charlemagne statue). Crossing the bridge, turn left down the steps to the quay, walk upstream a few yards and catch the batobus (hop on/off affair, tickets are good all day, no narration, but with a map on your lap you can get a better orientation than you would have from the bus you skipped on Day 1). Ride the full loop and hop off where you got on. Save the ticket. Now pick up on the stuff you skipped on the earlier walk, go to the Cluny, and walk the Latin Quarter (catch the Pantheon now, since it’s right there). If you have time left over, wander around Lux Gardens and then go have supper and one of the spots you’ve seen in the last few hours. If you need an area to look for grub, try the slew of places between St Germain and Quay Montebello east of St Jaques. When you’re done, go ride the batobus again for the river and lights at night. You’ve now had to Seine cruises for the price of one.

Posted by
9110 posts

Day 3 -- Excellent plan. You might want to check sunrise times. Metro doesn’t get into full swing until around six and it’s close to a mile and a half walk -- no issues with doing it in the dark, however. You might get done earlier than you think; if so, walk down the west side of the hill and circle around the southern base to Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge just for grins. If a cabaret show is on your list, go back up to the top (use the funicular to save energy) and go to the Lapin Agile (across from St Vincents cemetery, no grub but plenty of places to eat nearyby).

Day 4 – After the Marais and the Jewish Quarter is the time to go out to the Lachaise cemetery. Cruise has already been tossed, so you may well have time to get to the Catacombs while you’re hitting the scattered places.

Day 5 – If you missed the catacombs, do them first then head for Chartres, you’ve got plenty of time. When you get back, start at the Arc, then the Champs Elysees, then the Place de la Concorde -- they all line up. You can do this pretty late since they look better in the dark. You’ll scurry right along the Cnamps since it’s become a bunch of junk (cheap clothes, record shops, etc -- the 50’s and 60’s are over).

Posted by
9110 posts

Day 6 -- Louvre first (be there when it opens), take a break and do the d’Orsay since they’re right across the river from each other. My bet for lunch would be one of the places around the southwest corner of the d’Orsay. This will probably go faster than you think, too. If so, go see the Invalides/Napoleon. Alternatively, if you just want to see the “big three” at the Louvre, restructure the day so you arrive an hour and a half prior to closing and you can be in and out in forty-five minutes.

Day 7 -- Rodin and Orangerie, plus anything you might have missed so far, plus there’s time for the sewer museum and Madeline (which you can scoot by on the way home),

Day 8 -- I think most folks suggest getting to Versailles early in the morning. I don’t like the place and haven’t been there since way before crowds were invented, so have no great ideas.

Day 9 -- Wide open except for soccer stadium (which I don’t know where is).

Day 10 – Nothing left except mass and ………………………………the Eiffel
Tower. Randy jumped in while I was typing, but this has to be the last thing and it has to be done at night. Lines are shorter, smog has burned off, and it caps the whole trip since you can spot all the things you’ve been looking at for a week and a half.

You can see that, with a little reorganization you have room to chunk in a lot more stuff. Just try to clump it area by area instead of a shotgun approach. What I did not do, and you should, is check museum closing days, which vary.

Have fun..

Posted by
71 posts

That sounds busy but great. I agree that Day 6 is too much for one day. We were at the Catacombs last week, we arrived around 3 and couldn't get in because the line was over an hour. And that's February (some of our party went back and said it seemed definitely worth it). Pere Lachaise is a lot of wandering trying to find specific tombs and Rick's map is completely useless so it's not a short visit. I highly recommend Cemeterie Montmartre unless you really need to see Jim Morisson. It's beautiful and there are many famous people there, too, including Emile Zola, Degas, etc.

Our day 1 was much like yours (with a nap between getting acquainted with the neighborhood and the Eiffel Tower). It was a great way to begin the trip! It was a Saturday night and the lines were long.

Posted by
299 posts


Paris is wonderful. I have been there four times with my husband and this last trip we took our three kids. I would say these all look great, but I would take out one or two museums...unless you are a total art groupie it's a lot. I would put in some down time just walking the Parks - Luxemberg, Tuilleries. Favs of ours for just talking and hanging out with a coffee. Tres Paris. The only time I was there in Sept. it was rainy tho so perhaps the museums would be good!

Posted by
9429 posts

All great stuff but my three favorites aren't on your list: Notre Dame, Ile Saint Louis and the Luxembourg Gardens. If there's any way you can fit these in, they'd be a great addition.

Posted by
13 posts

WOW!! SO much help...we are overwhelmed with all of the help!

Susan - those things are on one of the many Rick Steves walk that we plan to take...but thank you for the reminder! =)

Sharon and Kip

Posted by
196 posts

You have an ambitious schedule, and I would agree with Marie to take more time to just wander and savor Paris.

Posted by
9429 posts

Oh, I'm so glad Sharon! Then I think you're itinerary is great. Sure, you may not get to everything, but that's ok, there's always next time. Sounds like a great trip to me!

Posted by
96 posts

Your itinerary sounds great and ambitious. I would only suggest keeping it as a list of things that you want to do and see, realizing that you may have to change or omit things. The weather may be a reason, but you may also find yourselves just wandering around and wanting to do something else on the fly. Paris is such a fantastic place, that you may find you throw your itinerary out the window!

Also, I adore the Eiffel Tower, at any time of day, and I highly recommend a picnic on the Champ de Mars one evening. You can pick up all the food you need on Rue Cler, and have a wonderful evening.

Posted by
15644 posts

Day 3 - Notre Dame usually has free organ recitals on Sundays at 4 pm.

Day 4 - Marais walk. Pop in at the Carnavalet. It's a free museum and wonderful. I took a one-hour Seine cruise, timing it to begin a little before sunset - the best time, I think.

Day 5 - I think the Arc de Triomphe is best around sunset, enjoying both the daylight and nighttime views. Don't expect a lot from the Champs Elysees and don't go to a cafe there - way too overpriced and touristy!

I didn't see the Sainte-Chapelle on your list. Don't miss it. They often have evening concerts, which is a nice way to see it - if you go, get there early so you have time to admire the stained glass windows before the music begins.

Posted by
59 posts

What you want to see is great and I like Eds suggestions on organizng it a little better to make sure you see it all. My only suggestions are that I would do Versailles the earliest in the morning possible on a sunny day and do the gardens first. That was a wow experience and it is less crowded I think in the morning. I would take the Seine cruise right before going up the tower. We did it right after an early dinner. On the way up the river we could see all the bridges and buildings by evening light and on the way back it was by twilight with all the bridges, buildings and the tower just lighting up (very romantic for us). We then jumped off the cruise, walked right over to the tower and went up. That was an evening we will never forget and we still talk about it often a few years later. Make sure you take a real quality digital camera for night shots of Paris. All of my screensavers are those photos or those of my kids.