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First Day in Paris

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fl
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First Day in Paris

Would like to walk around my first day in Paris. Which walk would you suggest. We will probably be jet lag so I want to have a leisurely day getting oriented. Any suggestions? Should we take in a museum? Will be arriving on a Thursday morning. Thank you. Will take a Seine River cruise in the evening and we are staying in the St. Germain area.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: First Day in Paris

I'd reconsider the cruise... many people find it a sure fire way to get lulled to sleep their first day! I have never been on one where I *didn't* see people sound asleep....

Pick up a Michelin Green Guide for Paris. They have excellent walk itineraries. We used a few of them our last trip. Try a walk around St Germain... I'd avoid large museums like the Louvre or Orsay day 1.... perhaps try something small like the Delacroix museum on Place Furstemburg or something a bit bjgger like the Cluny.... The Pantheon is lovely and not too taxing (unless you want to go to the top) and it's a peasant stroll down Rue Soufflot to the Luexembourg Gardens...

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: First Day in Paris

I wouldn't do a museum -- fresh air, exercise and natural light (as much as the weather will allow) is the best remedy for jet lag.

Walk around your neighborhood, have lunch outdoors (picnic or on the sidewalk), walk around a park, stroll along the Seine....but stay outdoors and active (even if it's grey, it's better than being indoors).

I'd schedule a cruise for another night -- you just won't feel up for it -- better to have a decent meal, then head for bed about 10pm Paris time...you'll get a ful night's sleep and be much better-adjusted the next day.

Paris, France
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3. Re: First Day in Paris

Yes, people do fall asleep on the cruise if they try it the first day. That's not necessarily tragic, because you wake up again sooner or later and feel pretty refreshed apparently -- then you'll be awake all night!

I would recommend a leisurely walk the entire length of boulevard Saint Germain going east, all the way to the Jardin des Plantes, which would be a great place to sit down and recover. Various buses can take you back to Saint Germain des Prés, or you can go back around the mosque and find rue Monge to take you back to your area.

Virginia
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4. Re: First Day in Paris

Don't assume you will have jet lag.

Many people never get it (myself included).

Just make sure you sleep on the plane, eat before you fly (eating on the plane can cause digestive issues for some who are nervous from flying or just excited about the trip), and wake up really early the day of your overnight flight from the US (this will help you to fall asleep on the plane - which is a must).

When you arrive, get lots of fresh air and stay active. most hotels don't let you in until 3PM, so drop your luggage off if you need to and then get some fresh air. No big museums.

Stay awake - don't nap when you check into your hotel (or apartment). You'll find plenty of people who report taking a 20 minute nap only to wake up 7 hours later when it's midnight and they are starving for dinner. then they can't fall asleep until 6AM which can cause more issues for your second day of your body not being set on the right time.

As for a first day - you could choose anywhere to walk. We chose to walk near our hotel and get acquainted to that area (the latin quarter/saint germaine). We did that to find restaurants/post office/cafes nearby and things we might be interested in seeing later on. We also walked by Notre Dame & St. Chappel and such and visited the Pantheon.

Most could probably stand something like the Pantheon which is small and won't take long if you aren't going up to the top. It was a very cool place to visit, and we did that on our first day in Paris when we arrived (a great place to pick up a museum pass - no big lines).

We did a cruise too (got tickets online for 5euro off discount per ticket with Pont Neuf) but waited until our second evening to do it. It can surprisingly be tiring especially after a long day.

Have fun on your trip.

Asuncion, Paraguay
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5. Re: First Day in Paris

my first day in Paris saw us arrive at 10am after leaving AZ at 9am the previous morning... we checked in, showered, and hit the Louvre immediately.

we were only there for 48 hours, and wanted to jump in feet first. coffee, adrenaline, and wonder (and later some red wine) made up for lack of sleep. At least that day.

although a Seine cruise is cheap and relaxing and might be a good way to ease yourself into Paris.

i guess it ultimately depends upon how much time you have in the city and how much you feel you MUST do.

and a short, 1hour nap in the afternoon (provided you have the alarm and discipline not to let it turn into a 7 hour coma) is a great way to keep yourself refreshed.

Edited: 08 August 2011, 21:45
Virginia
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6. Re: First Day in Paris

To each their own.

Kuala Lumpur
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7. Re: First Day in Paris

Jet lag effects vary from person to person so it all depends on the individual. During my last visit to Paris with my wife, we walked in the two islands on the first day (it was perfect since it was a Sunday) and took the Seine river cruise to rest after the walk. It was very relaxing and we did not fall asleep during the cruise. We had a very sound sleep after our dinner and probably all the walking contributed to that.

Ronald

http://paris-france-holiday.blogspot.com/

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: First Day in Paris

Your personal mileage may vary, of course, but I think we can all agree that there are far more people who feel the effects of jet lag than those who don't -- and the sheer fatigue of being up all day, then getting little to no sleep on a long transatlantic flight while stuffed into a corner of an airplane contributes heavily to the grogginess.

Asuncion, Paraguay
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9. Re: First Day in Paris

we were just too excited- couldn't sit still, had to explore.

we were definitely lagged out and a little fuzzy headed - we saw about 20% of the Louvre more than we wanted because we couldn't differentiate the emergency exits from the regular ones. the pic on the diagram just has a more urgent lean...

individual mileage will indeed vary from person to person, what works for some will not for all.

Boston
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10. Re: First Day in Paris

I might suggest doing a walking tour... maybe one with Paris Walks or any other company you find.... that is just the company I am familiar with. You don't have to sign up in advance (at least with Paris walks), so it still leaves you flexibility... you would be outside walking, but not have to worry about where you are going, let the guide handle that.

For instance.. our plan for hte first day is to get to the hotel to drop off our bags. Then head out for a quick pastry if we are hungry which we'll eat in the Luxembourg gardens. Then a walk around St Germain (perhaps stopping in Cluny or the Pantheon if we have time/feel like it). Lunch, and then tinally we are planning to do the Paris Walks Marais walk in the afternoon. After which we figure by the time we get back to the hotel we'll be able to check in, have a light dinner/snack.. and then crash.