Please sign in to post.

4 Days in Paris trip report

This is the first trip report I have posted on the forum. Hopefully, it will be of use to others and interesting to read as well.

We flew out of Atlanta on Delta on 4/18 nonstop to Paris CDG and arrived at 6 am on the 19th. I did all the planning and arrangements and learned so much. In June, 2017, I had been tracking the airfares to Europe and found a terrific price on Delta $537 to Paris and home from Amsterdam, nonstop both ways! My friend and I promptly bought our tickets. Then the planning began. We divided our time this way: 4 nights in Paris and 6 in Amsterdam. I found our Paris hotel through recommendations on the forum and made our reservation via email. Twin room at lovely Hotel de Lutece on the Isle Saint-Louis en Ille, very reasonable at 250 Euros. The island is connected to the Ille de la Cite where Notre Dame is. A wonderful location, quiet with many small shops and cafes and restaurants. When you are tired from a long day of sightseeing, having a restaurant next door is a welcome sight. Delicious meals, too. We ate at Sorza twice, good food and service.
Day 1, Thursday, 4/19. Hotel sent a private car service to meet us at the airport, 65 Euros, worth every penny. Our room was ready and we checked in. I promptly took a 2 hour nap, I find this helps me when I first arrive in Europe. Then we went out to find a café for food. Also, stopped in a Tabac and each bought a carnet of Metro tickets. A note: Paris was having a heat wave the whole time we were there – 83, 85 degrees and sunny! Lovely for photographs but very hard on my friend, a decade older than I. Anyway, we walked over the bridge to the Marais district, along rue Saint Antoine, toward the Place de la Bastille. And walked around the Place de Vosges, the first square in Paris and a beautiful park. Eventually, made our way to the Musee Picasso. Very good exhibit on about Guernica, the making of it and the hoopla surrounding the public reception. Took a taxi back to the hotel to give my friend a break. We rest and then go out to dinner. Back around 9 pm.
Day 2, Friday, 4/20. Paris Walks, Hemingway’s Paris walk, 15 Euros. We walked to the Metro stop, Cardinal Lemoine, to meet our guide, Chris. He was informative, funny and engaging, there were about 15 people in the group. After 2 hours, my friend was almost done in, she was a trooper! Chris brought us to an area with cafes where we had lunch, near the Jardin des Plantes in the Latin Quarter.

Feeling replenished, I used the map to navigate our way to the Musee Marmottan Monet on the west side of Paris. Near Metro la Muette. Finally, broke down and took a taxi! So hot! The Museum is a former home of Paul Marmottan who collected Monet paintings and other Impressionists, Berthe Morisot is featured. Monet’s paintings are downstairs in a wonderfully air-conditioned gallery. Sorry for the emphasis on the heat! We then walked to the Metro la Muette and enjoyed the park filled with children and their nannies/mothers. Took the Metro to Trocadero Square. Great people watching in front of the magnificent Eiffel Tower! I purchased our tickets online for approx. 18 Euros each, for 8 pm. We made our way to rue Cler and stopped at Café Roussillon for supper, about 6 pm. Delicious food. Rick Steves recommends rue Cler and it is enjoyable to stroll the length of the street. Then we hopped a taxi to the Eiffel Tower. It is under extensive renovation in preparation for the Olympics in 2024. Long walk to the entry point for security and then a second security check. Went up to the 2nd level, enjoyed it very much. Took some nice photos. Taxi back to the hotel about 9:30. Great day!

Posted by
1571 posts

Day 3, Saturday, 4/21. Breakfast then 1st task: visit the SNCF railway office near the hotel across the bridge on rue Turenne off rue St. Antoine. Railway strike on our travel day to Amsterdam, 4/23; we had advance tickets on Thalys. I took a number and we sat down to wait. A nice French woman speaking excellent English asked me if I had a booking and I said yes, we have advance tickets. She said a booking meant an appointment with the railway representative. She then proceeded to ask the rep if our train would be cancelled and he said no, it will run as scheduled. So lovely of her to help us without being asked! A case of we didn’t know what we didn’t know! Our errand done, we then hopped on the Bus #69 to the stop near the Centre Pompidou, our destination. While we enjoyed the art at Pompidou, the building left us cold. I can see why the Parisians are not fond of it. Beverly said she wanted to walk the Champs Elysees, a very beautiful walk! A taxi after that and back to the hotel. We asked the hotel to schedule a tour to Giverny for us on Sunday! Dinner at Sorza again and then another stroll around the island and walk along the Quai and people watching. Fun!
Day 4, Sunday, 4/22. Went on a Seine river cruise with Vedettes Pont Neuf, 15 Euros, I think. Delightful morning with sunny skies. Very enjoyable time. Had lunch at a café behind the Louvre and then walked to the tour office for the bus to Giverny. I think 65 – 70 Euros. Air conditioning on the bus, Beverly was very happy. We arrived at Giverny among masses of people, after all, it was Sunday afternoon. It did not matter a heap, the flowers were in full bloom, so many vibrant colors and varieties of flowers, I was in Heaven! I tried using the garden map but the signage was very confusing. Finally made it to Monet’s house, my favorite in all the world. I could live there, no problem. Went through the gift shop, very tasteful and extensive for all things Monet. Back to the bus, hit traffic. Went to dinner again at Sorza, strolled around, had an ice cream. Back to hotel to pack and be ready in the morning for our taxi to Gare du Nord for our 8:19 am Thalys train to Amsterdam.
To sum up: We read Rick’s guidebook and learned a few simple French words and phrases which stood us in good stead with everyone we encountered. The hotel staff were so kind and helpful and restaurant staff and shop staff were too. I think especially because we tried to speak their language.

Posted by
1455 posts

Thank you for taking the time and energy to do this report. You've included great details and I love reliving memories.

Posted by
7640 posts

Thank you for sharing your experiences. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Would you return to Paris? I find it's the one city that keeps calling me back. I will be going for the 6th time next month. I still haven't seen all I want to see after a cumulative 5 weeks in Paris. This next trip I'm fortunate to have 12 days. It still won't be enough.

Posted by
7146 posts

Judy B, enjoyed reading your wonderful report. So glad you had such a nice time. We love Hotel de Lutèce and Ile St Louis. You picked the best location. I also say I could move right into Monet’s house and be very happy. Minus the tourists of course!

Posted by
679 posts

So glad that the Paris end of your trip went so well. We went one year in July when it was sooooo hot and our hotel did not have AC. Lesson learned. So last year we went again in the summer, the room had AC and this time the weather was perfect. We didn't need any AC - oh well. Paris is always fun.

Posted by
7685 posts

Judy!! You did SO many of my favorite things!

Last Fall I did that Hemingway walk with Chris - found that so enjoyable and interesting! Also during the winter found the e-book of Moveable Feast free for my Kindle app. I've never really been able to read Hemingway but I could read that...and think, oh yes, we walked there. Uh huh...yep we walked there too. Oh yeah...that was in Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson (no I don't get all my history from Owen Wilson!!)

Also love Marmottan and Giverny....isn't it cool to see the gardens after you've see the paintings?

Yum on Cafe Roussillon!

I completely understand about Paris in the heat....yuck. Just. Can't. Do. It!!

Thanks so much for taking time to write and post...now what about Amsterdam? Hahaha!!

Posted by
1956 posts

Judy, thank you sharing your Paris trip. I especially liked that you mentioned your experience at Musee Picasso. Love everything Picasso. We have been watching the Genius: Picasso series On Demand. Guernica history was featured. After seeing Guernica in Madrid, we could understand Picasso's life struggles. Merci.

Posted by
1571 posts

Andrea, yes, I’m in love with Paris and want to find another time to go. I have at least two more trips I’m planning so Paris will have to wait. I bought my friend’s remaining Metro tickets so now I have 16 rides for my next trip! Paris is magical. I’m glad you will have 12 days!
Pam, yes, I loved Marmottan and Giverny and seeing the gardens in his paintings and the water lilies, so romantic an environment. Amsterdam/Haarlem report will come in a few days. Definitely will post my experiences.
Jlschandler, I have recorded the Genius series on Picasso but have not had a chance to watch them yet. I have not been to Madrid yet, someday.
Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments. This was my first report and I enjoyed sharing my experiences.

Posted by
1571 posts

Susan,
I would choose Hotel de Lutece again, I really loved the island!

Posted by
7685 posts

Judy - just a tip on the Metro tickets. Try to keep them away from magnets - like in a purse or wallet clasp. They may de-magnitize BUT if they don't work when you are in Paris you can just take it to a manned booth and they will swap it out for you.

Posted by
1571 posts

Pam,
Thanks. I have stored them in a plastic bag in a drawer for future use, away from magnets.

Posted by
7146 posts

SO glad you liked the hotel and the island. I always have a hard time leaving...💕

Posted by
36 posts

I'm jealous of your heat wave. We went the last week of April and got lots of rain and wind. The highs were in the 40s! US Arizonans would have loved an 80 degree day. On the other hand, there were no lines when we went to the Eiffel Tower. I was worried about the wait since I wasn't able to get tickets ahead of time, but we were able to walk right up to the check points and ticket counter.

Posted by
1083 posts

Thank you for sharing your trip with us. I love Paris too!

Posted by
955 posts

Wonderful trip report! I’m in the I love Paris club, too. Going to London for almost 2 weeks and wish I had made time for a quick overnighter in Paris just so I get my Paris fix!

Posted by
1571 posts

Claudette,
I love London too! And you’re going for almost 2 weeks, wonderful.

Posted by
925 posts

Judy, I love reading all of the things that you did while in Paris. So glad you and your companion had such a nice trip and splurged for taxis when you knew it would benefit you. Everything sounds just perfect!

Posted by
2504 posts

Great trip report, Judy B. It was nice to meet you in Haarlem and follow after you in Paris. Thanks again for the Pariswalks recommendation!