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what order to site see in Paris?

On day one in Paris we will be getting in on the eurostar from London around 10 am. I believe we get off at Gare du Nord. That day we would like to see the Louvre, Champs Elysees & Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and St. Chapelle. What order should we do this in? Our motel is the Kensington Hotel, right near the Eiffle tower, so it'd be nice to drop our bags off first, but not if it means going way out of our way. As you can see, we don't have a lot of time....any suggestions on our route for the day would be much appreciated. We don't want to waste time back tracking!

Posted by
12040 posts

Ummm, that's a little too steep for one day. I honestly don't think its possible to see all of these sites in one day, even if you leave your luggage at Gare du Nord and start sight-seeing immediately. Coming from Gare du Nord, the logical geographic order would be Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, Louvre, Champs Elysees then Arc de Triomphe last, then back-track to Gare du Nord to retrieve your baggage and arrive at your hotel late at night... reverse this order if you start from your hotel. Depending on what time of year you visit, you can expect a long wait to get into any of these sites. So honestly, I think you need to cut something out. Because the Louvre probably has the longest line and really requires at least several hours to make the wait worthwhile, I might consider cutting this, to start.

Posted by
163 posts

Thanks Tom, we will be there in mid-May. I thought it may be a bit much for one day - thanks for the feed back - maybe we can arrange for the Louvre another day....

Posted by
2016 posts

I don't usually recommend the hop-on-hop-off bus for Paris, since it's much more fun to walk and even take the metro -- but for one day, perhaps this is a good way to see a lot of sights in a short time. And then you can get off when you want. I suggest at least seeing the Arc de Triophe by driving around it. No real need to see the rest of the Champs Elysee. Stop at Notre Dame and go inside, go up to the towers if you have the time and stamina. Be sure to see the Eiffel Tower light show at night, and walk around the area. I would walk around the Ile de la Cite and St Louis, and the Seine a bit if you have a chance -- should be beautiful in May.

I would skip St. Chapelle and the Louvre for your next trip -do them justice. But if you can hang in the Louvre courtyard and see the pyramid, and possibly stroll through the Tulleries, that would be great also. Oh -- and find time to stop at a cafe, sit outside and at least have a cup of coffee!

Posted by
11466 posts

Lines are not a problem at every site. The one that will be a problem , always is, is the Eiffel Tower. Its lines are always long ( it seems) and there is no pass that allows line skipping. I think best bet for it is to go first thing before it opens,,

If only entering Notre Dame,( not the Towers) then regardless of line, it moves quickly, don't stess about it.
Towers do have long lines that move slowly , so skip them.

Lourve, I never encounter long lines, or lines at all sometimes when I enter through the underground shopping mall. You just enter under the awning on Rue Du Rivoli, go down the stairs, buy tickets from machine, and go in through security, never has been longer then 10-15 minutes total.. and I have done it at least 5 or 6 times this way.. always in summer.

I guess I have also been lucky regarding Arc De Triomphe, max wait 10-15 minutes. In summer.

St Chapelle had a long line last time I was there, but it ended up being only about 20-25 minutes, so I wasn't too upset about that.

Jodi, I think your worst issue is your luggage, you can't haul it around with you so you must dump it first.
If money is not too tight I would take a taxi from Gare Du Nord to hotel, dump stuff( room may not be ready but every hotel I have been to will hold luggage for you) .

What day of week are you going, the Lourve is open late a few nights a week , and that is a great time to go, quieter( note, I said "quieter" not " quiet" LOL .

Posted by
206 posts

We spent two days in Paris last summer, and probably did as much as you suggest in one day, although we got started at St. Chapelle first thing in the morning. If you are going to be in Paris two days and see other museums, you might consider the Paris Pass (there is a two day version), which would allow you to skip the lines at the Louvre, St Chapelle (although there may still be a security line), and I think also Arc de Triomphe. We probably spent 2-3 hours at the Louvre, which of course only scratches the surface. Our longest wait in our two week+ trip to Italy and Paris was to climb the tower at Notre Dame, so I agree if you are short on time, skip that. As an aside, we actually didn't go to the Eiffel Tower at all. We took the boat ride our first evening, and saw the tower lit up from the boat, and that was fine, even for my kids.

Posted by
6222 posts

Far too many things for one day. Cut your list in half, and if you get an early start and keep moving quickly, you might get to everything (that's half of everything).

Your list looks like it's got 3 days worth of stuff on it to me - and I tend to try to do too much.

Posted by
12 posts

We just returned from out first trip to Pairs. While we didn't plan to do the hop on hop off bus I arrived with a "wounded foot" so we opted for that- really no choice!
It was actually a pretty good way to get around and see a lot in a day.

We also booked lunch at Altitude 95 which is a way to skip the lines-you simply need to show your voucher and buy the elevator ticket there at separate kiosk for restaurant reservations- and you do bypass the line. It was wonderful- that is something you could consider if going up the Tower is a must for you. I believe the seatings were 12:30 and 2?

If you don't have the time for the Louvre- we actually preferred Musee D'Orsay- doesn't need quite as long to get a good tour there.
The only line we did have was at St Chapelle- security line on a Mon am- took about an hour but it was so worth it. Breath taking!

If you are able to get to your hotel- drop your bags- can pick up the hop on bus at Eiffel- ride it to Notre Dame- tour that- then St Chapelle- walk along Seine to D'Orsay- then pick up bus again and take the loop to Champs Elysees- get off walk up Champs to Arc, etc

I think if you want to cover this much ground in just one day- the bus is a good option.

Posted by
8746 posts

Jodi, I think the advice from "BG" is absolutely perfect, exactly what I would do. Have fun!!