My husband and I will arrive in Paris on Saturday morning August 31. I have booked several private tours so we can see as much as we can in the 7 short days we have there. I'm not sure what is best to do from around 900 Saturday until 1430 on Sunday afternoon (we have scheduled a walking tour of Marais and tickets for the 1700 concert at Saint-Chapelle) or on Monday. Here is the itinerary for the rest of the weekdays: Tuesday - all day tour of Giverny & Versaille; Wednesday - a.m. 900-1200 Chocolate Tour; p.m. nothing definite (perhaps the 2 islands?) and 2100 dinner reservations at 58 Eiffel; Thursday - a.m. private tour of the Louvre and p.m. private tour of Musee d'Orsay and evening ? ; Friday - 1100 - 1400 private Eiffel Tower Area Food Tour and evening dinner cruise on the Seine. We fly home on Saturday. My list of other things I want to see include the Rodin Museum and Montmartre/Sacre Coeur. Any suggestions for Saturday, Sunday morning and Monday and the gaps throughout the week would be appreciated.
I totally agree with Jane, and I highly, highly recommend you spend a couple of hours in the Luxembourg Gardens. It's my favorite place. You get to be around local Parisians relaxing and enjoying themselves. For me, it's fun to sit in a comfy chair and people watch, fun to sit and watch neighborhood guys play bocce ball, watch the children play at the playground, watch the old guys playing chess... it's just a wonderful atmosphere. There are two cafes, my favorite is by the bandstand where they often have music on the weekends. They also have many restrooms. Try it and see if you like it. I also love exploring Ile St. Louis, Ile de la Cite and the 5th and 6th arrondissement, and walking along the river. And as Jane said, sitting outside at a cafe (but not close to a tourist site)... so enjoyable. And Norma's suggestion of the Nissim de Camondo... well worth your time.
Several things come to mind for the weekend...but they are fairly early in the morning.The outdoor food markets are wonderful and an important part of French life. The Saturday and Sunday markets are bigger usually because it is the weekend. I would recommend the markets of Rue Mouffetard on Saturday and Sunday morning,Saxe Breteuil on Saturday, President Wilson on Saturday.Most of these markets are from about 8-1 more or less.They are fascinating and you can get lunch there and pick up some scarves, market baskets, and little kitchen items.Send me a PM and I can give you the metro information, etc. Also, we love the flea markets....Porte de Vanves is our favorite...again open about 8-1 on Saturday and Sunday. Metro is Porte Des Vanves. You will need euros for both the food markets and the flea markets...no credit cards.Porte DES Vanves has everything you would like. I collect hand-tinted old French postcards and my husband collects photographica and we love to go there.
Another few thoughts...I notice that you have many good things scheduled...but part of the experience of being in Paris is relaxing and just sitting in a cafe or park and people watching. Try to take some time for the Luxemburg gardens or the Jardin de Tuileries or find a nice cafe..sit outside and people watch.Other thoughts include Pere Lachaise Cemetery....get a map and find different people, Walk the 2 islands and have some ice cream, take the Ho ho bus around when your feet get tired, and investigate the passages...start at the Bourse, and...last, but not least find a lot of chocolate and pastries to eat and take home.
Saturday get settled, situated and orientated near your hotel. You'll probably need to bed down early to get adjusted and ready to roll on Sunday. Sunday am go up Montmartre walking up rue Lepic at metro Blanche. The rest of your "gaps" just enjoy as Jane suggested. You'll find a minute to squeeze in the Rodin sometime. BTW if it's the Paris Walks chocolate tour created by Iris Amice, you are in for a treat. Iris is a certified guide who has passed rigorous French government exams, the best around.
Saturday morning: Street market on Cours de Vincennes at Place de la Nation. Sunday morning: Street morning on rue Richard-Lenoir at Pace de la Bastille When you are up at Sacre Coeur, you can also visit the small but interesting Musee de Montmartre, where Renoir et les autres lived and worked. The small pretty garden even has a black cat, like the one in the famous poster, who poses nicely for your camera. Musee Nissim Camondo. Stunning mansion now a museum. Love the kitchen!
Oh my goodness! These suggestions are more than I could have ever hoped for! Thank you! I've located most of these on the map and will try to incorporate as many as possible...and still follow Jane's advice to enjoy watching Paris! As for the Chocolate Tour, I found this tour on www.localers.com and the guide's name is Chloe. The reviews on Trip Advisor are fabulous so I booked four tours with them. I didn't seriously consider the markets until your posts, but now they are a must! Thank you again!
If you have plans to see Giverny then you owe it to yourself to vist Musee L'Orangerie (at the end of the Tuileries, near tha Place de la Concorde (look for the egyptian obelisk in the traffic circle)- if you see it before going to Monet's home, you will instantly understand. The same can be said if you see L'Orangerie after Giverny - but, don't miss it! Also, downstairs is an AMAZING collection of Impressionist masterpieces - and more! - that you can literally stand inches from (you can even take non-flash photos or video). You will not regret your visit! And...you will return.
What Rob said - totally spot on. Giverny is Monet's crowning achievement, when he merged his art with life and made it possible for millions of future people to actually enter into and experience Impressionism in three dimensions. IMO, one should try to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie first, but I did it in reverse and it still worked. Also, the Musée Marmottan Monet, which is off the beaten path, near the Bois de Boulogne. It contains a substantial collection of paintings by Monet. Especially important is the opportunity to see first-hand 'Impression Sunrise', the painting which gave Impressionism its name. The museum is at 2, rue Louis-Boilly (Métro Ligne 9 Direction Pont de Sèvres: La Muette stop, then short walk).
Rob & Rose, Thank you! Duly noted and adding to the itinerary!