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3 Days in Paris - Versailles too much!

We will arrive in Paris on a Sunday afternoon and leave on a Thursday morning.

Is a trip to Versailles a "must do" or too much to try to pack into the days in Paris?

We are 60, in good shape and like to venture out on our own. We like music, food and wine, people, and not being with a lot of tourists.

Any hints for a non-touristy thing to do to celebrate our 60 birthdays?

Posted by
1286 posts

Debbie - I would rather spend three days in Paris and skip Versailles but there are others who would tell you that you should not miss it.

You could visit the many parks in Paris and take a picnic. Visit a local jazz club (France Magazine has an article about Paris jazz this month). Do a wine tasting at the Musee du Vin. If you want to avoid tourists, choose a neighborhood that does not have one of the major tourist attractions and explore.

Posted by
124 posts

We spent 3 days in Paris back in August.We did Versailles on that trip,and it worked well.
We also went up into the Eiffel Tower and up into the Arc De Triomph,and the Louvre. We moved right along,but it wasn't difficult to do.

Posted by
124 posts

We spent 3 days in Paris back in August.We did Versailles on that trip,and it worked well.
We also went up into the Eiffel Tower and up into the Arc De Triomph,and the Louvre. We moved right along,but it wasn't difficult to do.

Posted by
2000 posts

The fabulous things to do in Paris are quite 'touristy" because everyone wants to see them, but don't miss going up the Eiffel Tower (go at around 5pm -- then stay to see the first light show when it gets dark).
I love Versailles, (and it must be seen) but with only 3 days would skip it. Plan it for your next trip.
If you like food wine and people -- all you have to do is walk down the street to find many great options. Perhaps research some special cafes you might want to check out. Every Paris guidebook, including Rick's are full of suggestions.

Angelina's tea room is great for hot chocolate, I also like Laudree tea room. You could toast your 60th with a fabulous cocktail at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz, if money is no object.

The Canal St. Martin cruise was interesting, funky and is not very touristy...

Posted by
239 posts

It's not non-touristy, but my favorite memory from Paris was bringing a bottle of wine, cheese and baguette and sitting on a bench near the Eiffel Tower at sunset with my husband. It truly was magical as the sunset and the lights came on!! As for Versailles, they say it's a must do, we did it and it was ok. We are going back with our kids in May and I am not taking them...too many better things to do in Paris in my book!

Posted by
71 posts

Versailles is good (but not my favorite) - there's so much to do in Paris that I'd stay in the city if I were only going for 3 days.

There are tourists everywhere in Paris! You can't really avoid touristy areas but there are plenty of locals around all the time as well.

Posted by
9 posts

I agree with others that Versailles is probably not worth it if you only have 3 days in Paris. I'd also skip Eiffel tower since it's so crowded, but if you must go there, don't go all the way to the top. Most of the time there is a huge line to go up from the second to the third level (top), and also when going back down from the top. It's just not worth it in my opinion as the view is pretty much the same from the second level.

Posted by
313 posts

Debbie, you don't mention when you'll be there, but that would factor into my decision. We went either the last week or August or the first week of September, when it was MORE than crawling with tourists. I mean, you walked through the rooms in a herd. I eventually got to the point I didn't care if we finished seeing it or not, I wanted out of there. If it was a slightly slower time, I think it would have made it easier for me. If we visit during the shoulder season again, we've thought about going back, but it left such a sour taste, I'm not sure.

And, no, I'm not the kind of person that minds crowds -- I've been to most of the major sites in London, Paris, and Rome, and you don't get to those without other tourists. No problem. Versailles was over the top.

Posted by
71 posts

I'd skip Champs Elysee - that was the only thing in Paris that did not live up to the hype! It wasn't much more special than your typical high-end mall with a McDonalds, a Gap and a ton of people. If you're really into shopping you may feel differently.

Posted by
11 posts

Like everyone else,it depends on how much you want to see it.I was in Paris for 6 days in September,and the day that we went to versailles we spent a good 5 hours there,did the castle tour and walked through part of the gardens(didnt make it out to Marie Antoinettes private homes)and went back and squeezed in Sacre Coeur and dinner.So it can be done but doing the minimum will still eat up half a day.

Posted by
36 posts

If I had only three days in Paris, I wouldn't even think about trying to go to Versailles. Paris in and of itself is a destination--walk the streets, hit the big sites, and after three days you will be wondering when you will be coming back with some more time. Versailles is terrific, especially when the fountains in the gardens are on, but with only three days in Paris, spend it in Paris.

Posted by
115 posts

I too, am going to Paris for only 3 days, as an add on to a family trip to Germany. I may never get back to even Europe the way things stand, so do people think Versailles SHOULD be seen enough to go on such a short trip. I have 3 "kids" in 20's that really want to see Versailles, so I feel I must. What parts of Versailles do others feel are the must sees?

Posted by
116 posts

As Paris is the most visited city in the world; indeed there will be tourists aplenty. That's o.k. make the best of it and see as much as you can. Save Versailles for another time. Altho it's a great walking around city as geographically it's quite small - due to your time limitations, I'd get the Metro pass and buzz around seeing as much as possible. Actually, it's all pretty much "academic" - you're going to have a great time!!!

Posted by
448 posts

Versailles is only a must see if you feel you must and won't go home with "rats!! regrets"..We've taken visitors there many times in all seasons, with the highlights being very hot weather causing a friend to throw up while waiting to get thru the crowd to the Hall of Mirrors, and most recently a flat tire on a frozen day in the parking lot. I best like the idea of going to the Champs de Mars with the picnic supper for the Tour Eiffel light show...yes there will be tourists from all around the world (almost..), but it's fun to share the oohh and aahh.....And PS to Susan regarding her 20 year old kids...Im sure they can handle taking an early morning train, all by themselves, to Versailles and you can do what you want in the city