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My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

HK
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My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

Hi fellow travelers,

My wife and I will be visiting Paris from 26 - 31 Dec (that's in a few weeks' time!). We've come up with this plan and would very much appreciate your advice and feedback.

26 Dec (Wed)- We're arriving at 6 a.m. at CDG airport. Take the train to our hotel. Check in. Freshen up. Visit Champs-Elysées, Eiffel Tower, Louvre (serious appreciation of all the pieces there would take days, we'll just have to time ourselves to not spend more than 3 hours), Notre Dame Cathedral and possibly take a boat cruise along Seine River.

27 Dec (Thu) - Visit Versailles. Some shopping in the city for my wife during the afternoon. I've come across a "La Vallee Village" that's suppose to be for outlet shopping. Anyone been there? Is it worth visiting? It's in the outskirt I suppose.

28 Dec (Fri) - Take a day trip to Normandy & Mont Saint Michel. Will most likely join a local tour from Paris. I haven't found a tour company that does both places during a day trip. Is it not practical? Anyone has any suggestion?

29 Dec (Sat) - During the morning walk around the city and visiting places that we might have missed out from the previous few days. Check out noon time. Take the train to Loire Valley. I've read on this forum that Tours seem to be the best place as a base. Might stay there. I've also read that Chateau des Ormeaux at Amboise is a great place to stay. Anyone been there?

30 Dec (Sun) - A full day of visiting chateaus. Will probably join local minibus tour.

31 Dec (Mon) - Check out morning. Our flight is 13:30 so we'll catch a train to CDG airport in the morning.

All advice and suggestions are very much appreciated! Thanks!

JS

Arlington, Virginia
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for Washington DC
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1. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

Wow. That's so much to fit in during such a short trip! Is it very important for you to take the day trip to Normandy? There are so many things to see and do in Paris. I would recommend cutting that out and spending more time in Paris. Keep in mind that you probably won't be able to check into your hotel room that early in the morning on your first day. They will hold your bags for you, but you will probably have to come back later in the day to rest and freshen up.

Florida
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2. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

Um, have you been to Paris before? If not, you won't have seen much of it at all with this itinerary.

Are you flying overseas, or coming from closer by? I would not recommend the Louvre following an overnight flight.

"During the morning walk around the city and visiting places that we might have missed out from the previous few days"

- - this statement defies logic. at that point you saw Paris for one jet-lagged day.

HK
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3. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

mopsydog: Good point. We would probably not be able to check in so early.

travelnutty: Yes, visiting Louvre on our first day would probably not be very enjoyable after the overnight flight.

I've been to Paris once (visited Louvre, Versailles, etc) but it's my wife's first visit. I'll need to rethink our plan. Thanks! All other suggestions are very much welcomed!

Williamsport...
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4. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

What you have planned for your first day should be spread across three days (minimum).

Florida
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5. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

On your first day, walking outdoors, getting exercise and some air, is the best thing to do... so the Champs d'Elysses, the Eiffel and maybe Notre Dame would be a good first day. It will take you maybe 4 hour to do that, including getting from one to the next...The Seine cruise might put you to sleep, too!

Versailles is possible for a long 'half-day'... The shopping mall you mentioned is a designer mall but not in Paris; you can take an excursion bus to go there if you must (Paris Vision, I think). If you, or even better, your wife starts a new thread about the shopping part, she can tell what she's interested in and others can tell some nice places to go in within Paris.. much more pleasant. You might be able to close out this day with an evening cruise on the Seine...

Since you've already made the overnight plans for the Loire, I think you should forego the Normandy and MSM thing. You still have the Louvre to go see...and isn't there anything else in Paris that interests you to fill that day and your morning?

For a 1:30pm flight out of CDG, you need to be in your terminal by 10:30-10:45 latest. It really does take that long to check in and go thru the security checks. So make sure you can get a train with plenty of wiggle room to keep that schedule.

You'll get there - keep tweakin' it.

Florida
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6. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

dang it - that's "Champs Elysees" (sp).

Oregon
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7. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

I want to second the advice people are giving you. If you really want to visit all the places around Paris, and very little in Paris, then it makes no sense to stay in Paris because Paris is so expensive. If you are interested in seeing Paris, your itinery, as it was originally written, doesn't include more than a pinky's thumbnail of "areas of interest" in Paris.

I encourage you to settle your thoughts and decide where you really want to be since, in just a few days, you can't be everywhere. Most people who go to Paris for their first time can only convince themselves to leave by planning when their second trip will take place. So my best advice to you is to settle on an area and spend your time there. Then, on your second trip branch out.

Have a wonderful time. I'm sure you will.

Plymouth...
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8. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

Yikes! I'm tempted to say that your first day can't be done, but if you are super-efficient and rush like mad you probably could. The Loire also seems like a stretch.

Where is your hotel?

HK
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9. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

Thanks for all your suggestions! I guess initially I was over-ambitious in planning all the places to visit. It would be great if we could actually do it but given the time we have in Paris it makes no sense (we were hoping to stay until 2 or 3 Jan but couldn't get the return flight so 31 Dec was the best we could do). We enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of the places we visit, watching the locals and try to experience some resemblance of a local lifestyle. If we were really into seeing as much as possible in a short timespan we would be better off joining a tour group! :-)

france-maniac: I get you!

travelnutty: Good suggestion. I'll ask my wife to post a new thread on shopping in Paris so that she can get in touch with like-minded female shoppers!

In_Love_With_Paris: Thanks! I guess my initial mindset was - "when am I going to visit France next? no idea. still plenty of other countries and cities to visit. better cram in as much as possible!"

Aldo_Nola: We are efficient and walk fast but re-examining our first day I think we'll only be able to do it if we could fly! We're staying at the Radisson SAS, Boulogne-Paris. Reviews of the hotel here on tripadvisor is pretty good.

I initially planned to visit Loire Valley because I wasn't thinking of staying all 5 nights in Paris. Now come to think of it, perhaps I should skip Loire Valley, stay in Paris for 5 nights and take day trips to Normandy and Mont Saint Michel. My wife heard from a friend that Mont Saint Michel is gorgeous and wants to visit that place. travelnutty and all, what do you think? If I stay in Paris one added positive is that I don't need to worry about getting to the airport on 31 Dec.

Thanks all and welcome further suggestions!

Oregon
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10. Re: My 6D/5N Travel Itinery - Appreciate your advice

I say skip Normandy too. Go to Mount Saint Michel. It isn't even that the Loire Valley is that far away. But you will spend the entire day and see that much less of Paris. Also, if you go to the Loire Valley there are a number of beautiful chateaus and it doesn't make sense to drive all the way there to just see one chateau--unless you have seen others previously.

It is true that there is a whole world out there to see. All I am recommending is that, if you go to Paris, you actually see as much as you can or you are likely to be heartsick when it is time to go home. Plus, traveling on the road to see these other places takes time away from actually seeing things. (Yes, the French countryside is beautiful but the focus is on "getting to" and "leaving from" as opposed to seeing things.) My belief is that you just don't have a long enough trip to do all of that road travel.

There are many places around Paris which are spectacular to visit. Giverny is one of the best, as well as the ones you mention and more. Paris and its surroundings will beckon you back. Didn't you say this is YOUR second trip.......and counting.