Please sign in to post.

2 Day Paris itinerary - what say you?

Day 1 - A Thursday in mid-August

7:40 - Arrive Orly (business class lie flat bed); RER/Metro to Rue Cler; drop bags;

10:30 - Grab picnic supplies and eat on the Champs du Mars gazing at the Tower;

12:30 - Tour the Musee d'Orsay; have a snack in the cafe afterwards; maybe tour Rodin museum afterwards

4:00 - check in hotel; freshen up

6:30 - dinner at a brasserrie

8:30 - ride up the Eiffel Tower (tix secured; sunset @ 9pm)

11:00 - sleep (hotel in Rue Cler)

Day 2 - a Friday in mid-August

10:00 - Arch de Triomphe

11:00 - walk the Champs Elysees

12:30 - Tour Orangerie Museum

1:30 - lunch in Tuileries Gardens outdoors

2:30 - Tour the Louvre

6:00 - return to hotel in Rue Cler to freshen up

7:30 - dinner at Le Bosquet

9:30 - sunset cruise on the Siene

11:00 - sleep

We were there on our honeymoon briefly 2 years ago and saw Montmartre/Sacre-Cour, Notre Dame/Ile de Cite, and the Tracadero.

We'll do Versailles when we circle back to Paris at the end of our 37 day trip (will dedicate the last day of our trip to it).

Posted by
263 posts

The times are just there as ballparks. I'm certainly not going to be watching my watch as I walk down the Champs Elysees.

Only taking a carry-on bag, so no need to wait at the carousel, but will have to go through customs/immigration obviously.
As far as returning to the hotel, we'll have dinner in the Rue Cler again probably (near the hotel) and then walk to the river to get on the sunset cruise.

Oh- and sunset is at 9:00 pm the days we're there (nautical twilight @ 10:15).

Posted by
9110 posts

You might not spend three hours in the Louvre -- maybe plan a time-filler (street entertainers at the Pompidou Center).

Where's the fun stuff like the Sewer Museum?

I'd presume you've checked musemum closing days.

Posted by
263 posts

Good idea Ed. If we come out of the Louvre early, I can see us taking a stroll along the Siene on the north side (I still never know if that's right bank or left bank - how do you get left and right from north south?)

Posted by
4555 posts

Marshall...it comes from the direction of the river's flow. Look down the river in the direction it's flowing....left bank to your left....right bank to your right.

Posted by
263 posts

Well it makes perfect sense when you put it that way. Thanks!!

Posted by
8700 posts

Since you'll be walking down the Champs-Elysées, it would be nearly a tragedy if you didn't stop at Ladurée for coffee and a macaroon (or some other equally sinful pastry). The address is 75 Avenue des Champs Elysées.

Posted by
263 posts

I've added that to the plan, Tim. My wife will thank you.

Posted by
9110 posts

Argh!! Pay close attention. Gather round. Take notes.

Bank side is designated from looking forward moving down river. North, south, east, west have no bearing.

The Seine flows from east to west through Paris. Moving downstream looking forward, the south bank is on your left side -- hence the left bank.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Posted by
263 posts

Ed. Norm beat you to it. By the way, I was joking to begin with, as I knew there was a truly logical explanation that I was simply ignorant of.

Posted by
1701 posts

Hello Marshall,

My response above doesn't say that we actually visited the D'Orsay this trip. We were there in 2008 and the focus of our recent Parisian visit was neighborhoods and parks, not revisiting the 2008 sites. My information about renovations and artworks out on loan is gleaned from many different websites researched for our recent trip. Lots of the D'Orsay collection is currently at our nearby museum, the DeYoung in San Francisco. Checking the DeYOung's website might let you figure out what is not at the D'Orsay.

If you are interested in substituting another museum, the Cluny is fascinating and the Rodin's gardens are very pleasant. The Marmottan (not in the central tourist area) supposedly has the largest collection of Monets.

I would also recommend the museum we did visit, the Jacquemart Andre. It is only a few blocks from Le Printemps which has a free 8th floor observation deck with superb views of Paris.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
1701 posts

We just did part of your itinerary. You might want to have your dinner a bit later---at 6:00 you may be dining alone. From Rue Cler to Le Bosquet is about four blocks. From Le Bosquet to Champ du Mars is another four blocks, then maybe another thousand feet to the elevator---not more than a fifteen minute stroll. Your dinner shouldn't take more than an hour unless you want to linger. (Remember the waiter will not bring the bill until you ask for it.) That restaurant is pleasant and reasonably priced, but not much different from several other restaurants in the area.

You are aware that much of the D'Orsay collection is out on tour while the 5th floor is being renovated?

Posted by
263 posts

Cynthia

I was aware that the Musee d'Orsay was being partially renovated, but was not aware that much of the collection was out on tour. Rick's Paris guide updates has the following:

"Level 5 of the Orsay Museum, which normally houses the Impressionist collection, is closed for renovation through March 2011. A good share of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections are on display on the side-alleys of the ground level and first floor (the only two levels currently open); many pieces are not on display. Be sure to pick up an updated museum floor plan as you enter."

Given you were there recently, would you say that the "good share of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections" were actually out of the museum, as opposed to "on display on the side alleys of [the open levels]?

Posted by
1878 posts

Looks pretty good to me. You might also consider evening hours at the Louvre on Friday for fewer crowds. I don't know if they have shipped more stuff out due to renovation since then, but we were at the Orsay in May and there is still plenty to see that is not on tour.

Posted by
355 posts

I just returned from visiting the De Young this morning. Awesome! The collection is probably about 100 or so pieces - Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Pissarro...

And this is only one of two collections that the Orsay has out on loan. The second one will be at the De Young beginning in Sept (I'm not sure where it is right now)and is "Van Gough, Gaugin and Beyond.

I think it would be rather disappointing to visit the Orsay right now. You should make plans to return to Paris again, in another 2 years, and see it then!

Posted by
1035 posts

Ok, where are cafe stops in this?

I was to d'Orsay in June and I can say it that there is a lot to see even with some of the collection on loan. The interior alone is a work of art.

Posted by
263 posts

You're right Micheal. I also forgot to list breaks for the WC :)

Posted by
25 posts

Le Bosquet was our least favorite place the whole week. Try the "Constant" block on Rue Ste. Dominique (just one block closer to ET from Le Fontaine). We ate at Cafe Constant (very small) and it was really good. We tried Le Fontaine too on spur of moment, did not get a table w/o reservation; most people we talked to in the neighborhood said it was "just okay" so glad we missed it. Loved getting picnic gear around Rue Cler & Ste. Dominique and making our own little lunches.

We were disappointed with Orsay. Wish we would have gone to Marmottan instead. Or just spend more time at Louvre. If you like history try Invalides and War museums just across the street from Rodin; I'm a world history teacher that does a lot of art history with my students. Thus, my disappointment with Orsay, and my appreciation for the war rooms (plus my 13 year old boys agreed with me).

Have fun!

Posted by
1701 posts

ET sparkles were only for five minutes both nights we visited. I guess Paris is trying to cut down on their electricity bill?

Posted by
15326 posts

I found the Orsay to be so crowded that I didn't very much enjoy it. I second the vote for the Rodin and/or the Marmottan instead.

I took a look at Le Bosquet's website http://www.bosquetparis.com/w/restaurant/home.php
Dinner reservations are from 7 pm. I do recall going into a restaurant in Paris years ago at 6 pm and the maitre d' was aghast at the sheer idea that someone would care to dine before 7 (or horrified by the barbarian tourists). Since you are locked into the Eiffel Tower, switch Le Bosquet to the second evening and look for a bistro for dinner instead on Day 1.

The Champs Elysees is not particularly attractive. Save your feet and take the metro to Place de la Concorde.

I was going to suggest that you visit the Louvre in the evening hours on Friday, when it isn't crowded, but you won't be able to do that and dine at Le Bosquet as well.

Too many wonderful things to do, too little time. Sigh.

Posted by
263 posts

No problem. We'll eat at Le Bosquet the second night when the time is more appropriate and eat as a brasserie that is open earlier.

Thanks for all the suggestions re: museums.

Posted by
1294 posts

Hi Marshall, if you do go to the Orsay and/or the Rodin museums, I would skip the cafes in both museums. Neither are special in any way (the Rodin experience was downright disgusting) and I would find a cafe outside where you can do some serious people watching. Enjoy!

Posted by
263 posts

I had a drink in the Cafe upstairs in the Orsay five years ago and thought it was very nice (fairly opulent). I'll have my spouse with me and figured she'd think it was chic. Yes, it is indoors, as you mention, so maybe we would be better off outside where we can people-watch. It might not even be open now, with the renovation.

I'm definitely not adhering to the plan strictly - just trying to devise a loose itinerary with ideas that we can either follow or not.

Posted by
263 posts

Should I try to push on VERY late on the first day and have dinner AFTER the ascent on the Eiffel Tower? We'd be eating around 10:30 pm.

With the time change, our bodies will still feel like it's early, although we're likely to be very tired from not having slept much on the plane (4-5 hrs at MOST).

??

Posted by
1701 posts

If you eat at 10:30, you will miss the 10:00 sparkles on the tower, much more memorable than a dinner at most restaurants. How about a lovely lunch somewhere and a gourmet picnic on Champ du Mars?

Another bit of info for your consideration: We wanted to eat at Le Fontaine de Mars, also near the ET, but forgot to make reservations. They offered us a 10:30 for the next night (we declined, a little late for us)---it is supposed to be an excellent restaurant that is not terribly expensive. They have a website, if that interests you.

A restaurant we have enjoyed five times now is Le Montebello in the 5th. It faces the side of Notre Dame--lovely view, very reasonable prices, and friendly waiters.

Posted by
355 posts

First, there are two places to eat in the Orsay. The cafe, if I recall, is a generic "lunch counter" museum cafe. There is also a restaurant that is beautiful, indeed fairly opulent and palatial. I've eaten in the restaurant a couple of times and thought the food was quite good - a very nice experience. But if I am remembering correctly, they seat people for lunch in the early afternoon and for high tea in the late afternoon. I don't think you can just pop in for a snack, but I could be wrong.

Second, if I were arriving in Paris at 7:40, there is no way I would make it to dinner at 10:30. Everyone is different and you may have more stamina than me. Plus, I travel from CA, so I have a couple of more hours of travel time. But I think that it is a pretty ambitious plan!

Posted by
263 posts

We go up the Eiffel tower at 8:30, therefor we will be coming off a little before 10:00 and should see the sparkles from the Champs du Mars.

We'll probably eat before we go up, but if we do eat at 10:30, we should be able to catch the first round of sparkles (don't they occur every ten minutes or something like that?).

Posted by
263 posts

I should see it sparkle some from the boat on night #2, depending on the time and where we are on the river.