Louvre, Montmartre, Marais and Versailles

Hey all, I'm trying to solidify the last couple of days in Paris and was wondering what your thoughts might be for visiting the following places: Louvre, Marais area, Versailles, and Montmartre. We're planning to visit the Louvre on Wednesday and I know they're open later hours too. Would it be nice visiting the Louvre later in the afternoon-evening if we had the option? I've heard it's not as busy, and I think it might be cool to do that. I was also interested in doing Rick's Marais and Montmartre walks. I was thinking of maybe doing the Marais Walk & Louvre on Wednesday, and then on Thursday doing a half-day Versailles trip and Montmartre in the afternoon/early evening. Any suggestions on the order or pairings for these? Thanks!

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

Jeremy, while you are in Montmartre go to the Musée de Montmartre. It is small & interesting and best of all, hardly anyone was there when we went late last month.

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

if you haven't seen louvre and versailles and maybe not getting there any time soon, then you should see these 2 for sure. Marais walk is ok, but not comparable to louvre or versailles. montmartre is pretty fun, save it for a late afternoon. louvre has so much to see so if you're not tired of it you can skip marais walk.

Posted by Jeremy
Irvine, CA, United States
107 posts

Thanks David! We actually have been to the Louvre but it was such a long time ago. Do you think it's best then just to visit the Louvre in the morning? Are we actually allowed to re-enter if we want (i.e. visit in the morning and then come back later in the evening)? As far as Versailles, can that be seen in half a day? Or should we really dedicate the entire morning/afternoon/evening to that?

Posted by Linda
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
281 posts

Visiting the Louvre in the eveneing is quite nice and much less crowded. My only word of caution is that they may close some areas in the evening. When I went in the evening, Napolean's Apartment and The Crown Jewels were closed. I don't know if this is typical, or if was just when I was there.

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

i buy the museum pass so i can re-enter louvre. i don't know if the single ticket allows you to re-enter or not.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
969 posts

Yes, the individual Louvre ticket is for the whole day, you can leave and come back using the same ticket. If you've not been to Versailles before it will take you the better part of the day to see both the palace and the gardens and/or outlying areas. Even if you don't spend the whole day there, you may be too tired out to do a long walk that evening. However, that depends on you. Will you be there in the summer so it stays light later in the day? Then, a late evening walk in Montmartre is nice, especially around Sacre Coeur.

Posted by Jeremy
Irvine, CA, United States
107 posts

Thanks for the tips!! We'll be heading to Europe in mid-March. I'm thinking we may check out the Louvre at least in the morning, take a break for a bit, and then head back again in the evening. I guess it depends on my wife as well though. As far as Versailles, I guess we'll play it by ear and see how we feel in that case. Maybe Montmartre can be saved for another trip :) Either that, or we'll do Montmartre on the same day as the Louvre...

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2386 posts

Versailles can take as long or short as you need. But plan for at least 4 hours, including transit to/from Paris. Even if you don't wander all the way out to the Trianons and the Hamlet, just seeing the formal gardens is well worth it. The formal gardens can be casually seen in an hour. Figure about 1-2 hours to tour the palace. It's a 30-40 ride to-from Paris. If you go out to the Trianons and Hamlet, figure another 2-3 hours. Two tips on the train ride out to Versailles (RER C): while you can board the RER downtown with a metro pass or basic ticket, Versailles is well outside the central fare zone so be sure to buy a ticket all the way to Versailles. And the RER C branches off so be sure to board trains marked Versailles Rive Gauche/Chateau. If tired or crunched for time, the Marais is the walk I'd skip.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3205 posts

My 2 cents is if you do go to Versailles (love it) please don't miss seeing the Hamlet and the Petit Trianon... they're wonderful. To go all that way, be so close, and miss them would be a shame. We've been to the Louvre many times and we found going in the evening the most enjoyable. Far less people which makes a big difference for me.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

Jeremy I love Versailles ( been at least 8-9 times now) but I will add this, if its a miserable rainy day,, skip it. The reason I say this is if you only have so much time in Paris , Versailles is a minimum of a 1/2 day ,, and for most of us the gardens, grounds, formal gardens, Petit and Grand Trianons and Marie Antoinettes Hamlet( which are far from the palace) are the highlights , and they are all "outside " type sites..
You could hit lovely clear weather in March , but just as likely to be cool and rainy. As for Louvre I think doing it in a broken visit ( an hour or two in am and an hour or two in late afternoon or evening ) is a great idea( and yes , the one day ticket allows re-entry ) ,, many people complain about Louvre being "too big, or too overwhelming" but thats usaully because they force themselves into the Bataan Death March, rushing from a check list of "must sees" like the Mona and Venus and getting stressed out about not seeing it all. I think its a good idea to peruse the website a bit and choose a few areas that may interst YOU and then just enjoy them,, ( and btw there are ALWAYS some quiet areas in the Louvre, you don't all have to rush to the Italian paintings section and then wonder why half the world is there, lol )

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1970 posts

Louvre is wonderful in the evening. Be sure to exit up through the Pyramid. The view of the lit buildings through the glass is memorable.

Posted by Jean-Paul
indianapolis
159 posts

jeremy, our trip to Montmartre was perhaps one of our favorite Parisian memories, so definately go there! Go to the Sacre Coure cathedral... beautiful... and pay to go up onto the roof. Make sure everyone can climb steep, narrow, stairs both up and down. Fantastic views from there... you never knew how enormous Paris really is until you get up there. Also, for a great view, go to the top of the Arc de Triompth at night!
The Marais and the Latin Quarter are fun fun fun... with the Latin Quarter being the best of the two... be sure to go there at sunset... great and fun! Versailles is beautiful, but inside (which is only a part of the experience) is so unbelievably crowded... just like the Eiffel Tower... sardines. But the gardens, and Marie Antoinettes corner... ahhh. Have a great time!

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

When I was last at the Louvre (in 2011) I toured all morning, then had lunch across from the book store at a very nice restaurant on the entrance level. After a relaxing lunch I walked over to the book store to figure out what else I wanted to see and spent a couple more hours. Breaking it up like that really worked for me.

Posted by Pamela
Niagara Falls, New York, United States
31 posts

Hi Jeremy -we were at Versailles in early spring 2010. Fabulous day (Sunday)and absolutely enjoyed the gardens and fountains. Apparently you can rent bikes which would be a great way to get around the expansive grounds. We did the gardens early in the day and the palace in the afternoon when it wasn't nearly as crowded. I would agree with Pat in terms of the weather being an important consideration. As far as the Louvre, we did a Paris Walks tour later in the afternoon on a Friday and it was great to go with someone who could navigate the vast museum without wasting loads of time. It was a very small group, not at all crowded and focused more intensely on one or two works in each wing rather than trying to see it all. Love Paris Walks for a fun, inexpensive, easy way to check out the various neighborhoods. We always stay in the Marais (and enjoyed the tour) but would agree that Montmartre would probably be the way to go (anytime). Basically Rick and Paris Walks cover the same ground but it is easier wandering around and soaking up the sites without having your nose stuck in a book. Enjoy my favorite city!