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Revised Paris Itinerary

OK I've tweeked our one week Paris itinerary a bit. Let me know if you think this is more doable? TIA.

Day 1 – Monday - Arrive via Eurostar from London approx. 2pm (Gare du Nord), purchase Navigo Pass & Museum Pass at train terminal then travel to apartment (RER Luxembourg then walk), unpack, find a store to get a few groceries then an take an evening boat cruise & see La Tour Eiffel at night.

Day 2 – Tuesday –La Tour Eiffel, shop Rue Cler then have a picnic lunch at Champs de Mars, visit Musee de Orsay (3 hours) & Rodin Museum (2 hours)

Day 3 –Versailles (all day with lunch on the grounds) Evening – Notre Dame or Saint Chappelle

Day 4 – Morning - Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame Cathedral or La Saint Chappelle, Conciergerie, see the Flower Market, lunch at Square du Vert-Galant) Afternoon – Jardin des Tulleries, Place de la Concorde, Musee Orangerie, Louvre (should be open late that evening – allow 3 hours)

Day 5 – Morning - Pompidou Centre, see the Bastille, Pere Lachaise Cemetery Afternoon - Arc de Triomphe, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Lauderee, see Petite & Grand Palais, have dinner near Champs Elysees so we can see it at night.

Day 6 – Morning - Sacre Cour Basilica & Montmartre, walk to see Moulin Rouge, Afternoon - Invalides & Dome Church, lunch then Parfum Fragonard (Rue Scribe near Opera), Galleries Lafayette

Day 7 – Morning – Catacombs then St Surplice, Afternoon – picnic lunch at Luxembourg Gardens, walk to the Pantheon and in the Latin Quarter, Finally in the evening - Tour Montparnasse

What isn’t fitting - Tracadero, Place des Vosges, Musee Carnavalet. The only one I really want to fit somewhere is Musee Carnavalet. Any suggestions as to where it might fit? Thanks so much.

Diana

Posted by
8770 posts

What time of year is your trip?

St. Chapelle is all about the stained glass windows, so be sure to go there in daylight.

You have a very busy itinerary, so I wouldn't add anything else. If anything I would leave some time to just enjoy being in Paris. On day one you can see the Eiffel Tower at night from the Trocadero for a great view.

Posted by
262 posts

I still think you have way to much on your plate. As Rick says, assume that you will return to someday!

Happy Travels!

Posted by
2081 posts

Diana,

whatever you choose/do, it would be interesting to know after you get back how things turned out with respect to your itinerary and what you actually did.

happy trails.

Posted by
27733 posts

Day 5. You do know that the Bastille is conspicuous by absences? On the day that you wander over to the empty Bastille you can walk right right through the Place des Vosges.

Posted by
76 posts

It’s all doable, as was your 1st iteration but you are not a contestant on “The Amazing Race”. I’m the last person to tell you to scale back your itinerary since I overload too. One day in Paris last summer we visited St. Chapelle, Notre Dame, Archeological Crypt, Deportation Museum, Concierge, Arc de Triomphe, Quay du Branly, and the Eiffel Tower. How was this possible or enjoyable ? Easy, we didn’t linger too long at any one place and finished the day at the ET. The only place that didn’t get enough time was Quay du Branly. But doing this every day will wear you down.

Not all of our days in Paris were like this or what you have on your itinerary. We also spent one day browsing through a flea market and then the gardens at Versailles while another was spent at Sacre Coeur, Dali Museum and shopping in the Opera area. Slow pace and relaxing. You need decompression days.

So be flexible and willing to let go of some of the places on your daily list so you can enjoy other sights longer as the opportunity arises. Also, don’t be afraid to linger at a sidewalk café or spend an afternoon in a park or relax by the Seine. You’re in Paris, slow down or you’ll miss it.

Posted by
8291 posts

I think it's doable. I've done Paris like this in the distant past, but now and for the last many trips I prefer a much slower pace. But I go often, so for someone that's never been, I understand this schedule.

Bob's exactly right when he wrote "It's Paris, slow down or you'll miss it." Yes, you'll get to "see" all these places but you will be missing the true essence of Paris which requires a slow pace to savor and truly experience it. I think Paris is best when lots of "free" time is scheduled in... spending hours at the Luxembourg Gardens (LG has so much to offer, watching the neighborhood guys play bocce ball, watching the kids play at the playground, etc while surrounded by other Parisians enjoying themselves), slowly walking around Ile St. Louis (stopping at the elementary school to watch them play, sing songs, for example), Ile de la Cite and along the river and back, and hours sitting outside at a cafe (not next to a tourist site) relaxing and people watching. Hopefully you'll make time to enjoy Paris slowly, or you'll be back soon so you can.

My only specific feedback is I think you'll run out of time for Galleries Lafayette on Day 6 and I would take Tour Montparnasse off the list, you just don't have enough time as it is.

And this is totally subjective and personal, but I am not a fan of Sacre Coeur, Montmartre or that area, so skipping it altogether would be easy for me.

Posted by
381 posts

I would leave time just to walk around Paris without a set agenda. Take some time to just take in some of the neighborhoods and just pop into street cafe's along the way. If you keep your the schedule you have posted you will need a vacation to rest when you get home.

Posted by
670 posts

Hi Diana,

On Day 5, if you're walking between the Pompidou Centre and the Bastille monument, the Carnavalet museum and Place de Vosges are right along your route.

Enjoy Paris!

Posted by
31471 posts

Diana,

Your proposed Itinerary is fairly "busy" but should be possible. It's probably not going to allow much time at some locations though. What time of year will this trip be taking place?

On Day 3 at Versailles, I assume you mean lunch in the gardens? There's a small take-out joint about half way down to the lake on the right side (it's inside a small courtyard). They offer sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks, Potato Chips, etc. and have a few tables for patrons to sit. I thought the food was quite good. If you continue all the way down to the lake (where the rowboats are), there's a more posh place that offers both indoor seating and outdoor seating overlooking the lake.

On Day 5, you may find that your visit to the Pompidou Centre takes more time than anticipated. It covers about six floors and the various exhibits are somewhat like a "maze". I've found that I kept discovering new rooms so the visit took longer than I thought. It's not hard to spend four hours or more at the Pompidou (although YMMV).

Happy travels!

Posted by
8404 posts

Day 6: Montmartre/ Sacre Coeur/ Moulin Rouge are close to Fragonard and the Galleries Lafayette. Invalides is further away.

If you are going to try to visit two museums in one day, you should start one first thing in the morning, break up the day with your walks and outside activities, and then return to a museum a few hours later.

For the Pompidou, the Petite Palais, and the Grande Palais, are you walking by to see the interesting buildings, or going to the museums inside? The Pompidou has the National Museum of Modern Art, a 2-3 hour visit. It picks up where the Musee d'Orsay leaves off.

Day 7: it's a straight shot and only 10 minutes on the #38 bus from the Catacombs to the Pantheon. Or take RER B and get off at Luxembourg. You could then have your picnic and go to St. Sulpice. The Latin Quarter, Pantheon, and St. Sulpice are pretty fast to visit. You'll have a little time here to catch up on other things you might not have been able to do on other days. Agree with others to skip the Tour Montparnasse. You'll already have had good views from Montmartre, the top of the Pompidou, the Tour Eiffle. Printemps department store, next to Galleries Lafayettes, has a view from its rooftop cafeteria, too.

Posted by
4684 posts

Day 5 is a bit too busy if you intend to visit the collections at the Pompidou Centre and the Grande and Petite Palais. The Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Centre can take up a half day if not a whole one if you are interesting in post-WWI art. The Grande Palais is used for temporary exhibitions and conferences only, but the Petite Palais has a very interesting and much under-rated permanent art exhibition that is free to enter. It's particularly good for late-19th-early-20th century art.

Posted by
3683 posts

To amplify Nigel's comment on the Bastille, the prison was demolished by unhappy citizens, which is part of its fame but doesn't leave many photo-opps for tourists. Instead a frantic mesh of streets pours into the plaza roundabout, showing Parisian traffic at its most breathless. In the centre stands a towering monument; to the east the massive opera house crouches in gloomy vastness. The adjacent Arsenal boat basin is always picturesque while to the other side one of the best farm markets convenes two mornings a week. It is also a favourite spot for weekend festivals, and to a lesser extent political rallies. In other words, its modern presence is at least as exciting as its unseen past significance.

Posted by
1286 posts

The Musee Carnavalet is worth a couple of hours. I would substitute it for the Catacombs on Day 7, then walk through Place des Vosges, then head over to the Latin Quarter and Luxembourg Gardens etc. I know you don't need another destination but have you considered the Cluny Museum? Small and interesting.

Posted by
2349 posts

You should prioritize somewhat, so you know in advance what you can drop if you get too overwhelmed.

I would add one thing-across from the Pantheon is the church of St. Etienne-du-Mont. It's beautiful, worth a quick peek in. The steps around the left side of the church are the ones from "Midnight in Paris."

Posted by
106 posts

I really like the set of activities Diana's put together, and would like to use this as a base for trip my girlfriend will make next year.

Concensus seems to be that this is a bit much for one week. Would 10 days be enough to cover this without sprinting? Could we do this staying in one apartment - pensione - hotel the entire time? I'm really drawn to Montmartre, but could base elsewhere in Paris if it makes this easier.

Thanks!

Posted by
8770 posts

Montmartre is not central, so extra time would need to be allowed for transportation getting to where you are going.