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3 days in Paris--what to do?

My girlfriend and I will be vacationing in Europe this July and I was wondering about the best use of time with 3 days in Paris. We would both like to see any famous areas really in and around the city or really anything that would provide a nice and possibly romantic experience. Most of the guides are for much longer stays in the city so we were curious about a good agenda for this relatively abbreviated stay. Thanks in advance for any input.

Posted by
5669 posts

Hmm, what are your interests? You can literally spend days in the Louvre, but you can see a "highlights" in a few hours...see the Rick Steve's book. I would also recommend the Musee D'Orsay, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower. I did a boat trip on the Seine and enjoyed it. Also, you might enjoy just walking in the Marais. But those are my favorites. There are others who will have different choices. Pam

Posted by
10344 posts

"Most of the guides are for much longer stays in the city."Actually, Rick's book, Paris 2009, is useful for a 3-day visit and will be worth the price, think of it as a $20 instruction manual for how to get the most out of your time in Paris. He tells you much more than we can in the small space available here.

Posted by
13 posts

I agree with Kent. The 2009 Rick Steves' guidebook for Paris offers a great itinerary. In fact, it's listed on this website as well (although you'll want the book for his recommended walks).

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/france/parisitin.htm

As far as romance, you don't have to look far. I was just there on my honeymoon, and I think an evening picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower or strolling around Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis were two of my favorites. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
158 posts

Hi Matt- My boyfriend and I are going to Paris in...well, 6 hours! We only have 3 days too. I've never been there but through the helpline I got some great suggestions on how to spend the time.

Anyway-our first day we are doing a 4 hour bike tour with Fat Tire (recommended by RS). Then we will check out the Rue Cler area and possibly Montmarte and finish out the day with the Eiffel Tower.

We are getting a museum pass for the next two days. We are hoping to see the Louvre, Orsay, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe (sp), Orangerie, and Pompidou. I'm more into museums then my partner who has already been to Paris so he might go do something else for a few hours.

Among all these things we hope to take part in a little romantic picnic, some cafe sipping and sitting, and riverside moonlight strolls. Ooh lala!

I'll let you know how this packed 3 days works when I get back. Au revoir!

Posted by
23 posts

Melissa and Matt, I would love to hear how your three day trips work out, I am also planning to spend threee days in Paris in Sept.

Posted by
521 posts

Paris is probably my favorite place I have been in Europe. I am jealous! IMHO...

Day 1: start the day right with a crossiant and cappucino at a proper bakery. Mmmmm. Then Museum D'Orsey. Then gather some picnic items and hit the Eiffel tower lawn. Don't be scared of the stinky cheese. Ask for a recommendation for all cheese and wine - you will find some great people will help you. Then Eiffel tour. Make sure someone takes your pic in front. Then Arc de Triomphe. Stroll Champs Elessye. Find a nice place for dinner.

Day 2: More baked goods for breakfast! Notre Dame. St. Chappelle church. There are two really great places for lunch very nearby I can recommend. Mid-afternoon tour Napoleans tomb. This was amazing. I have a longer story about that I can share some other time. Dinner in the Latin Quarter.

Day 3: Need I say...bakery! Start at Louvre. Tour briefly - hit the highlights. Find a nice place for lunch. Then get a bottle of wine and sit along the Seine River for an afternoon break. Do some window shopping or sidewalk shopping. That evening, end it right with a River Cruise.

If it were me, I would skip Montmare. I put it lower on the priorities. Sorry for all my bad spelling.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks everyone for the great help. I think everyone is right on, I decided to get the Rick Steves Paris guide.

Posted by
26 posts

Matt - we were in Paris for three days in 2007 (first time) and it was amazing how much we were able to see in a short period of time. We saw what we would consider all of the "major" sites including a trip to Versailles. One thing that helped was to visit the popular attractions early (like Louvre and Versailles) when the crowds are small. The Metro/RER is amazing and makes it easy to get from place to place. Have a great time in Paris!