What attractions are good to see after sunset? With limited winter daylight hours I want to maximize our sightseeing so what are your suggestions?
An evening journey on a Bateau Mouche will give you a magical view of Paris.
A concert at Sainte Chapelle or at La Madeleine is always a special experience.
The view from the top of the Tour Eiffel at night is spectacular.
Some museums have evening hours at least one night a week. Google for info.
And the cafes, bars, restaurants of Paris don't get really going until after dark... lots of options to visit historic, trendy, famous places. They are the premier attractions of Paris, in my opinion.
Paris is the City of Light. With a few exceptions that close at nightfall, most tourist sites take on a new, different ambience at night. If you have a clear night, consider saving one of your aerial views (Eifel Tower, Arch de Triomphe or Sacre Coeur) for after dark. To maximize time, you may want to research your intinerary closely and make sure you fit your "daylight only" sites in the proper times.
BTW- the short days of winter can make it more difficult to explore the countryside, but it shouldn't be a problem in the cities.
Here is my plan thus far:
10:35am Land, customs, train to Paris
13:00 Check in hotel and explore immediate area (Latin Quarter): Notre Dame, Sorrbone, Shakespeare & Company ect...
Rue Cler Market morning
Eiffel Tower 9:30am-22:30pm
Arc de Triumph 10am-22:30pm
Napoleon's Tomb 10am-17:00pm
Sacre Coeur 6am-23:00pm-Basilica Crypt 9am-18:00pm
Pere Lachaise 8am-17:30pm
12/21 SUNDAY: Leave at 15:30pm to Münich
Revisit favorite sights
Hang out around EST
Optional Sights: Palace of Versailles, Catacombs, Pere Lachaise, Napoleon's Tomb
What do you think....should I add anything or is one sight better than another???
Make sure to leave time to climb the dome at Sacre Coeur. The view is fantastic! I liked walking around the cemetery that is near there too. It was all so different.
Hi, I'm studying in Paris this year so I've had a lot of time to "do" Paris.
PLEASE avoid Pigalle and the "windmill", there is nothing to see there unless you are shopping for sex toys or are going to go to the Moulin Rouge show (which is apparently overpriced but whatever floats your boat....)
Question: Are you avoiding the museums on purpose? There are a TON of good ones in Paris, if you are interested.
Maura, Yes I do avoid museums.
For your Friday itinerary, you may want to go to either the Eifel tower or Napoleon's tomb first, as Rue Cler lies in between both. The tomb doesn't take long to see, and you shouldn't experience any wait to get in. Depending on the time of day, you may experience a long line at the tower.
I disagree. Food is the main reason we go to Paris each year and I like the food shops along Rue Cler as well or better than any other street in Paris. And while there are definitely lots of blue book toting tourists there, the shops don't cater to tourists that way some other market streets seem to (ie Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter). There are also excellent bakeries (Patisserie Millet at 103) and restaurants (Cafe Constant is my favorite) and at least one fantastic chocolate shop (Gregory Renard at 120--very good value/excellent quality) on Rue St Dominique, which intersects Rue Cler.
I agree night is good for the boat ride (if you want to do that--I don't consider it a must do) or the Eiffel Tower. I prefer a lower view, like from the top of Notre Dame, for my Paris day view, but the Eiffel Tower is great at night. Be there near the top of the hour so you can see it sparkle from the ground. St Chapelle might be a good night attraction, too.
How late does Rue Cler stay open?
Gotta say....taking the time to visit Rue Cler is a waste of time. If you're staying in the nieghbourhood, fine. Otherwise, contrary to what RS would lead you to believe, its just one of a squillion streets like that in Paris...except its filled with people carrying the blue book in a death grip.
"except its filled with people carrying the blue book in a death grip."
Well stated. I agree, nice area to stay, but the market area isn't that unique in a city such as Paris. Except that it's filled with Rickniks ("Oh, how did you know I was American?"). However, it may be worth a visit at this time of year to see the Christmas market.
To actually answer your question, most of the market stalls close by early afternoon. The restaurants and cafes, obviously, stay open later. The Christmas market stalls tend to stay open until the evening.
Rue Cler is a definate for me. I love food and food shopping/looking....I travel an hour to the local market in Cincinnati on Saturdays. My husband is like many people he doesn't understand why I would go to a market when I could get similar things at Kroger, some people just don't understand. Food markets excite all of my senses and no way in hell am I going to Paris and not going to Rue Cler!
Laura K., if it's food markets you are after rue Cler will disappoint. Rather, on a Saturday morning take the metro to Place de la Nation and walk down Cour de Vincennes a little way and you will see a market that extends for almost a kilometer. It's an authentic Parisian market, no tourists carrying guide books there, just Parisian men & women and their doggies stocking the larder for the weekend, and more kinds of cheese than you can shake a Ritz cracker at. Across the broad avenue there is a branch of Printemps, the department store, for a different experience.
At Place de la Bastille there is a similar weekly market and I THINK it is on Sundays. There is a wonderful book called "Paris in a Basket" which tells you the location and days for all the markets in the city. I gave my copy away but I expect the same information is available on the internet.
There aren't really that many food stalls at Rue Cler anyway. If memory serves me correct (which it may not...) there's one or two bakeries, one fromagerie, one patisserie, a few boucheries, maybe a green grocer and a few poissoneries. It's nice to have all that available if you live there or are staying in the area. But hardly food nirvana otherwise.
Oh, and Laura, if you like to just gawk at wonderful food, luxurious food items displayed like precious jewels, then you must go to Fauchon's at Place de la Madeleine. You will be gob smacked.
Well then I will have to change my plans, thanks!
One area I really enjoyed when I was in Paris was the Marais district around the Pompidou center. I actually went there because I wanted to see the sculptures that are featured on the opening shots of the old language-teaching course "French in Action", and ended up spending about 2 hours just wandering around because the area was so interesting! I was there on a Sat, and the streets right around the center were closed to traffic. I was told they are blocked off every weekend; maybe someone familiar with Paris can confirm this. there were all kinds of shops along the street, plenty of cafes, and street performers (jugglers, etc) in the plaza in front of the Pompidou.
Bateau Mouche, Moulin Rouge, Champs-Elysees, across the Tower Eifel there is an area were you can stay and look at the tower. It looks amazing lit.
I don't believe Moulin Rouge is overpriced.It's the best show in the world in my opinion, so unique.
"I actually went there because I wanted to see the sculptures that are featured on the opening shots of the old language-teaching course "French in Action""
Ah-ha! Someone else who remembered the water-sculptures in "French in Action"! I can now show my wife proof that I'm not the only one...
I would also take bateaux mouche along the Seine, it is beautiful. Gaze at the foot of the Eiffel tower and watch the people and light and then just stroll. ahhh! slow down and enjoy the beauty and sernety of nightime Paris.