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Three full days in Paris

I might be a little late but here goes. We will be in Paris towards the end of September. We have a four night stay at the Hilton Arc de Triumphe, giving us three dads for sights. This is the middle part of a 40th anniversary trip that starts in Istanbul, Rome and Athens. Any itinerary suggestions to keep the sights within grouped areas. We like museums, cathedrals as well as general sights and sounds of the city. We also enjoy nice restaurants but not necessarily expensive ones. One tour we did book was a Siene dinner cruise with friends who will be meeting us in Paris. They are actually planned their own trip and will be there the same long weekend as we are.
All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
920 posts

I just returned form Paris and stayed at this hotel. If you have access to the executive lounge, you can have access to food and drinks and a nice place to plan your day. The hotel is about a 15 minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe, so bring comfortable shoes for walking. We utilized the hop on / hop off bus while there and got a good overview of the city early on and then used the bus to get to some of the sights. There is a stop near the Arc de Triomphe. We went to the Louvre and D'Orsay museums as well as the Arc de Triomphe. We also went to Versailles and the Army museum/Napoleon's tomb. We had the Paris museum pass which paid for itself. If you have time, Rue Cler is a nice area near the Eiffel Tower with open air markets and decent restaurants. Have a great trip!

Posted by
595 posts

A tip from RS book - go online and book entry to the D'Orsay museum in advance. You then can access a pre reservation entrance and skip the lines. It saved us waiting for about an hour. Same holds true for the entrance to the Louvre. If you do not have the RS Paris book it will be invaluable.

Posted by
40 posts

I like Ralph's ideas, however please note that the Ritz is closing for two years this summer, so dropping in won't be an option.

Posted by
9110 posts

Her's the gist of something I wrote a while back on how to get the most out of a day and a half. Areas are grouped and sequenced by opening/uncroweded times. Flesh it out by area and it should work fairly well. I don't go in stores much, so no help there. It's base on what others seem to want to see rather than the stuff that rings my bell. It's lifted from here a few years back, so the context might be a bit off. I start people on the steps of Sacre Couer. They eat a picnic while I do the speil on the history and point out the major sights. After that, they get an hour to wander back to Place du Tetre and see the tourist stuff and the crappy artwork. Next it's down to the islands for Notre Dame, the bird market, and the archaeological crypt. By then, their feet hurt, so we do one loop of the batobus, hop off and wander up through Montorguell, then cut over to the Pompidou Center so they can eyeball the street entertainers. Hopefully, it's now within an hour or two of closing time of the Louvre, so I can sprint them through the 'big three' and be back out in thirty minutes. What follows is an evening tour of the Latin Quarter about as far south as the Pantheon with supper somewhere along the Mouf. Then we double back through Lux Gardens if the gates are still open, or we will have caught it on the way up, depending on the time. The night ends with a stroll through Pigalle for everybody's amusement........

Posted by
9110 posts

The full day starts at Ste Chapelle when it opens and a march through the Marais. Lunch happens somewhere along there or on Ile St Louis enroute to the d'Orsay. They have an hour to look around while I have a beer. Then I turn them loose on their own for a couple of hours with instructions to meet me in front of Invalides while I sneak over to either then natural history museum or the maritime museum. Next, it's back across the river for the dreaded obligatory march up the Champs Elysees to the Arc so they can wander around under it for a bit, before hiking down the hill..........and back across the river to the Eiffel Tower when it's really good and dark and the lines are shorter and the air clearer. A late supper follows, and once again I've done my good deed for humanity - - despite a sore throat from yaking all the time. Amen. Not included were the catacombs since I can never guess how long the lines will be and it's a lot of hiking to look at stacks of bones. I'd swap the d'Orsay for the Sewer Museum in a heartbeat. My best advice is to walk, walk, walk, and stay out of buildings as much as possible.

Posted by
9110 posts

I guess I muffed Pigalle at night. It's really dangerous. The most dangerous thing I can think of, however, is getting a pair of britches ruined by some little kid (walking along with his qawking mom and dad) sticking a wet lollipod on my leg. Look up above the store fronts. It's just regular apartments lived in by regular people, just like the rest of the city. Actually, it's getting not so regular - - the younger up-and-comers are flocking up there and making it some of the more expensive real estate in the city. If somebody says they would not go somewhere, how can they know what it's like?

Posted by
2994 posts

I walked through the Pigalle at night. It's slightly seedy but far from dangerous. Ed your tour makes me exhausted just thinking about it, but logistically it all makes sense. Ralph, St. Chappelle in the afternoon? I've never walked past it after noon without the line being at least an hour - which is far longer than I'd want to wait for any attraction in Paris if I only had a couple of days.

Posted by
8852 posts

St. Chapelle is definitely better in the morning. It is much less crowded then.

Posted by
4585 posts

Congratulations on your 40th anniversary! First, go on-line and reserve your tickets for the Eiffel Tower to save yourselves a 2-hour wait. We reserved 9:30pm for June 24 and stayed up to capture pictures with both evening and night lights - very beautiful! My husband recommends Napoleon's Tomb & Rodin Museum together. Sights & sounds of the city: Champs d'Elysees, Latin Quarter & St. Louis Isle.

Posted by
15 posts

Just a note to Ralph's ideas, when going to Printemps be sure to take the escalator all the way to the top floor where you will find a cafe/ outdoor patio with great views of the city. Have a bottle of wine & enjoy the sights. Wayne
Virginia

Posted by
19 posts

have been to paris many times, enjoy! and congratulations on the anniversary! notre dame and ste chappelle are quite close so can be done one after the other. also, there are evening concerts in ste chappelle, usually vivaldi. not the best vivaldi you will ever hear, but the setting can't be beat. try for the deportation memorial just behind notre dame, marking the point where jews were taken from paris during WWII. very moving, closed noon to 2pm. bertillon ice cream is very close to notre dame, with lots of interesting shops and cafes on isle st louis. be sure to make a reservation to go up the eiffel tower, and try very hard to get to the trocadero in the evening to see it lit up. metro is close. luxembourg gardens is lovely for a breather and a sit-down to people watch. pick up a sandwich and maccaroon and picnic. very close to the cluny if you are into that. after the louvre, consider heading across rue rivoli to angelina's for a hot chocolate or ice cream treat and a rest for your feet. i recommend after one or two real good long wanders from site to site that you head for the metro to get where you want to be, then explore the neighborhood. saves time and you'll be less exhausted. head for a cafe and order a coffee and sit for as long as you like. should be beautiful in september!

Posted by
263 posts

First off, Ed I wish this post had been done before I went in June!
Bill, don't know if you are interested in history, but we did find the Memorial de la Shoa, a holocaust memorial, located in Marais....very moving. I have yet to see the deportation memorial by Notre Dame....for some reason I keep missing it. Walking is tiring, but a treat. Have a great time and happy anniversary.

Posted by
8852 posts

If you do go to the Shoah (Holocaust) Museum, which I recommend if you have time, check to see if they are giving an English tour. The first time we went we were on our own. The last time we hit it right for the tour. It was fascinating and I got so much more information that way.

Posted by
1157 posts

We met friends last May who stayed at the same hotel as you mentioned. Ask at the desk for a restaurant recommendation. Our friends did and we met them in St. Germain, can't recall the name of the little restaurant, but the desk will call and make dinner reservations for you. It was marvelous and not very expensive. As mentioned, if you can access the executive lounge at the Hilton, it too is wonderful. The metro station is only 2-3 blocks from the Hilton and you can whiz to any part of Paris in just a few minutes.

Posted by
45 posts

Ths is all great information. It sounds like we will have plenty to do in our time in Paris.

Posted by
1157 posts

The little restaurant I mentioned was the Allard at 41 Rue Saint-Andre des Arts in the 6th, not far from Ile de la Cite. Reservations required and the food was among the best we've enjoyed in the years we've been traveling to Paris. Have the front desk make the reservation for you.

Posted by
40 posts

Bill: I'm sure you'll be in the vicinity of the Louvre; walk over to the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge, and symbolize Love for eternity, by attaching your padlock to the bridge with the thousands of others left by those deeply in Love.
Or in our case, entwine two locks, each with both of our names and our signature heart. We picked out medium-sized locks, shiny and smooth, brass in color. Before decorating, or whatever you decide to write, rub the surfaces with a vinegar-soaked paper towel. Dry it well, and use a permanent marker, perhaps two coats. What a surprise!! During the whole trip she'll be wondering what the locks are for. Or, I suppose you could both be in on the surprise...You might see our locks on the bridge--then again, maybe not.