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Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

USA
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Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

So, after revising the trip in mid-May for my husband and myself, we've decided to take some helpful advice, and make Paris a day trip from London via the Eurostar.

We would likely be arriving at Paris Gare du Nord at 09:17, and departing either at 20:13 or 21:13.

I would like to use the Batobus to get around to the major attractions, mainly for the river perspective, and for photos.

Of course we'd want to see the Eiffel Tower (but *possibly* not go up, depending on time). If possible, I'd like to walk around the base twice.. once in the morning, and once in the evening, to have different lighting for pictures.

Also want to see Notre Dame quickly, the Flame of Liberty, Arc de Triomphe, and walk down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. I want to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, but not for full admission pricing, so maybe just take pics of the Louvre exterior.

Would love to wonder Montmartre up to the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur, but realize we likely won't have time.

Questions I have:

Does this sound like a relaxed enough schedule?

Any suggestions of authentic, cheap restaurants as good stops for lunch and supper? Also good pastry shops?

Perhaps most importantly, as I can't seem to find a concrete answer online: how early should we arrive at the train station before our departure back to London? I am terrified that we'll miss the train, yet want to have as much time as possible in the city.

Also, would it be smart to walk from the train station to the 7th arr.? We are in our 20's and don't mind walking, but I'm worried we might be worn out a bit from touring London.

If we don't walk, what is the fastest way to get from the train station to the 7th arr.?

Thanks for your help!!!

Victoria, Canada
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1. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

I wouldn't walk from Gare du Nord( which is station Eurostar arrives at in Paris ) to ET since it would take up an hour or more of your time , and why waste time when the metro will get you there in 10-15 minutes!!

For ET if you want to go up and not waste time in lines you can prepurchase a timed entry ticket online, same price as regular admission, but you must purchase well in advance to get the time slot you want. You could also consider taking the stairs up, its cheaper and never had a long line for stairs( you can't prepurchase for stairs, but as I said, lines not so long there).

Skip a few places, Montmarte is a bit out of the way..

You could also consider taking a HOHO bus instead of batobus. Its not cheap but you can circle all the routes, see many landmarks and sights, jump on and off at will, ( you will have to wait 20-30) minutes for next bus but that gives you time to poke around and take a few photos. L"Open Tour has HOHOs that stop right outside the Gare Du Nord.

To go back to London be at Gare du Nord about 45 minutes ahead of time, you will already have your return ticket so no need to exchange vouchers or pick up tickets( like when you are leaving london).

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

You need to check in 30 minutes before Eurostar departure (on both sides)

New Hampshire
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3. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

<<Does this sound like a relaxed enough schedule?>>

No, it does not.

Seems like you want to get in as many photo ops as possible, rather than enjoy those sights? Why?

Sure, you could walk from the 7th to Gare du Nord, but would be much quicker to take bus 42 or the metro, or a taxi. Why would you want to walk if you are so fearful of missing your train?

<<Also want to see Notre Dame quickly, the Flame of Liberty, Arc de Triomphe, and walk down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. I want to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, but not for full admission pricing, so maybe just take pics of the Louvre exterior.>>

Well, you would have to pay admission for entrance to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. Personally, I'd advise it looks no different than what you see in books or the postcards. You will not likely achieve a better photo now that the painting is encased in plexiglass and views will be obstructed by other viewers.

Same goes for the Eiffel Tower. Much depends on the weather the day you happen to be there...

Agree with Joan re: Batobus. Not an efficient way, at all, to get around, and "convenient" only for places near the docks, which involve a long walk and lots of stairs.

And, you're really not going to find "authentic" and also "cheap" good stops for lunch and dinner in the "touristy" areas.

Saratoga Springs, NY
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4. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

I would get to Gare du Nord at least 45 minutes ahead of time. Passport control and check-in can take a while. And don't forget if you're an American, you have to take the time to fill out those landing cards for UK immigration.

I personally think you will regret making Paris only a day trip. I know my family regretted making Paris only two nights out of our last vacation.

With only 1 day, I don't recommend the Mona Lisa. You can't get near it and there are lots of pickpockets trying to take advantage of all of those people who are holding their cameras above their heads to try to take a photo of the painting.

I also recommend finding a nice cafe and having a leisurely lunch to soak in the ambiance of Paris. Or, if E90 is not a problem and you are going on a weekday, you could always have lunch on the Eiffel Tower at Le Jules Verne. The views are amazing and the food is great. It's a really unforgettable meal.

Lords Valley...
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5. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

I have never considered Batobus a viable means of transport in Paris. HOHO bus may work for you for a one day trip. Go on line and check their routes before you go. Plan in advance so you can cover as much ground as possible

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

Hi Euro-UK! Glad to see your trip planning is progressing!

- From Gare du Nord, I would take the RER/metro to the Eiffel Tower.

- I would then cross the river and walk down Champs Elysees through the Tuileries (where you can stop for lunch, and eat some crepes - very French ;-) You may see some stands selling crepes, with fillings like ham and cheese, as a fast food - these are really good! I love those for lunch!)

- I would take some pictures of the exterior of the Louvre, then walk towards Notre Dame. Maybe even go inside the cathedral.

- From there, you could cross the river to any direction to find food: Ile St. Louis, Marais, or Latin Quarter. Or, if you have time and energy by then - go to Montmartre! Good pastry shops are in all of these neighborhoods, just pick one!

- Another option would be to walk over to rue Montorguiel after visiting Notre Dame - it's a very pretty pedestrian market street, lots of cafes with outdoor seating, bakeries (Eric Kayser is delicious!) and food shops. If you go there, I would pick up some snacks (like a couple croissants and some chocolate!) for the train ride back to London (I would also get some stuff in London to eat on the train so that you maximize your sightseeing time in Paris instead of worrying about food)

- After that, take the metro back to Gare du Nord. I personally enjoy walking,and Paris is much more compact and walkable than London, so I would try to walk.

Chicago
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7. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

A suggested route:

*When you arrive in Paris, jump onto RER B from Gare du Nord towards Cité Universitaire and get off at Saint Michel. Walk a couple blocks over to Notre Dame to get your quick look and pictures there. 25 minutes travel time

*After that, head over to Pont Nuef and jump on Vedettes du Pont-Neuf for an hour long boat ride along the river.

*After the river cruise pick up RER C at Saint Michel towards Versailles and get off at Champ de Mars and you'll be about a block from the Tower. 30 minute travel

*Enjoy some lovely views, cross the Pont d'elna to see the Tower from the Trocadero, then walk along Ave. New York towards the Pont de l'Alma to see the Flame of Liberty. 10 minute walk

*From there, Ave Montaigne will lead you straight to the Champs Elysees, which you can walk along to the Arc de Triomphe. 20 minute walk

*From here you could get jump on Metro line 1 (towards Chateau Vincennes), get off at Palais Royal - Musee de Louvre for your pictures of the Louvre, and if you decide to fight the hoards for a picture of Mona. 15 Minute travel

If you spend an hour at each of Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and the river cruise, plus 30 minutes at the Arc, then add in another hour or so to grab some food and see sights along the way and you're at about 7 hours in. Probably better to call it to 8 hours just to be safe. That puts you around 5 or 6 in the afternoon. You could have dinner at one of the countless cafes or bistros in the area of the Louvre, or head up to Montmartre for dinner there.

From the Louvre, it's about another 30 minutes by Metro up to Sacre Coeur. If you plan on climbing to the top, the lines could be long, and if you have no real interest in seeing Sacre Coeur, I'd skip it.

Chicago
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8. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

^^This will be an EXTREMELY busy day, not leaving any time to stop and see things, or enjoy the beauty of walking through Paris.

USA
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9. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

Thank you for the helpful replies!! You've given us a good idea of what to expect and plan for. We are still working out our route plan, and appreciate having this thread to come back to when needed!

10. Re: Need help tweaking Paris day trip please!!

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