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First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

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Singapore, Singapore
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First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

Hi everyone!

My husband and I have already booked our air tickets to Paris and will be flying out of Rome 21 days later this Nov/Dec 2013. We are in our twenties, and come from a tropical climate where it's summer all round so we are a bit worried about the cold and possible rain for now. We don't really like museums very much but we know it's a must see/to-do when in Paris.

This is our tentative itinerary in Paris for now:

Day one (Sun): Arrive in Paris

Visit flea markets (any recommendations? It's the only weekend I have in Paris)

Day Two (Mon): Eiffel Tower & Champs-Elysees / Arc de Triomphe

Day Three (Tues): Sandeman day tour & Shakespeare and Company bookstore

Day Four (Wed): Versailles

Day Five (Thurs): Lourve Museum

Day Six (Fri): St Germain & Jardin du Luxembourg

Day Seven (Sat): Fly off to Venice, Italy - will also be posting my Italy plans in Italy's forum. If you want to offer advice for that too, please drop me a message! :)

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

you have left plenty of time here for a bit of wandering which is good.

I would try to sneak the Musee d'Orsay in there somewhere. and would try to get ahold of some Paris Walks type books or plans so you can do some structured walks in some of the neighborhoods.

Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore -- there isn't much 'there, there' and unless you have some very particular reason, I would not waste time with it. It is across the street from a pretty little square (Square Viviani) which has a nice view of Notre Dame -- if possible I would plan to climb Notre Dame (long wait in line but worth it if the weather is at all decent) I would also plan to visit Sainte Chapelle.

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

Hi Janettravels44,

Many thanks for your speedy reply! :)

Yes I realized that I could fit in Notre Dame on the third day. Have already checked opening hours and it looks doable.

As for Orsay, that will probably be on my second day.

This trip is actually during our second wedding anniversary and we were wondering if anyone might have a lovely place they can recommend for cosy, nice ambience with delicious food in Paris for our celebratory dinner? :)

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

If you are not into museums, I would do EITHER Louvre or Orsay, but not both on such a short visit - what's the point? They are both crowded and take up alot of time.

Louvre is gorgeous from the outside (well so is Orsay), you may want to consider just walking past them.

A good indoor activity is shopping. I would assume a fashionista would want to spend some time engaging in that pastime :-)

For Notre Dame, I would highly recommend the towers - the line for the entry is long, but the views are so cool.

What time are you coming to Paris on Sunday? Generally, it's best to visit the markets early in the day. Porte de Clignancourt is the biggest. It even has its own website: www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com/1.aspx

Where are you styaing by the way?

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

I don't know what your budget is but two restaurants that are not crazy expensive but that we like are

Cottage Marcadet in Montmartre near the Lamarck Caulaincourt metro and la Cordonnerie not far from the Tuilleries. Both are one chef, small, need reservations. They are both cozy -- the first a white tablecloth place -- the second more rustic. If you go to La Cordonnerie, be sure to get the grilled foie gras with cocoa if it is on the menu. They are in the neighborhood of 100 Euro each -- the second a bit less than the first.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

Regarding your proposed schedule, the Vanves Flea market starts shutting down around noon, is gone by mid-afternoon. The St. Ouen/Clignancourt flea market only gets rolling just before noon on Sunday so may be your best bet. Take the #4 metro to the Clignancourt stop. Follow the crowds past the tacky sidewalk sellers and under the freeway to the market streets.

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

Haha Rasteriasha, I figure this fashionista here can shop pretty much everywhere but when I'm in Paris for such a short time I'd like to soak in as much of Paris as I can. We might probably just walk past Orsay, you're right, and spend the day doing other things. We have already carved out pretty much the whole of our fifth day for the Lourve, anyway.

Have you got any recommendations for shopping? I'm not quite sure what to expect from Parisian shopping, as I have never been and I get such mixed opinions about it being too expensive or that it's affordable. I'm not that much into branded clothing to be honest - but I do like a branded bag now and then ;)

I'm coming into Paris' airport early Sunday morning around 7 am! I've booked an apartment off airbnb which is located near the Eiffel Tower (10 minutes walk away) and a few minutes walk from the Duplex metro station.

Thanks for the flea recommendation - I did come across that on various websites; sure looks like the place to go!

Janettravels44, THANK YOU so much for the dinner recommendations - we will be sure to look into them. Yes 100 euros sounds like the perfect price point that we were looking at :)

MPilgrim - great, thanks for letting me know about the opening hours! I was having difficulty finding that information out. Will probably go to the St. Ouen/Clignancourt flea markets!

los angeles
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7. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

"We don't really like museums very much but we know it's a must see/to-do when in Paris."

I disagree. It is not must-do at all. You can spend your time enjoying the living city. You will glimpse pieces of its history all around you.

malaysia
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8. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

As for shopping, I recommend Gallery Lafayette Mall because tourist can get 10% discount and then still can claim back tax. Gallery Lafayette Mall will handle all the tax documentation and you can get cash refund upfront or choose credit card refund.

For your information, I find french skincare products such as clarin, decleor, caudalie is cheaper compared to my home country. LV bag is also cheaper in France.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

A trip on a boat on the Seine is something I would recommend every one should do on their first trip to Paris.

Paris, France
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10. Re: First Paris trip - Itinerary advice appreciated! :)

I do have some tips for when you go to the Louvre! This is the world’s single most-visited fine arts museum which unfortunately means that it is crazy packed! Here are some of my strong suggestions for making your visit a pleasant, educational and memorable one:

#1. I suggest taking a look at the museum website ahead of your trip and deciding on one or two wings. Trying to conquer the entire museum is entirely too much! I think it will be more enjoyable if you just do 2 wings.

#2. Go for more than the obvious. I’m not saying Mona Lisa is not worth the time, just make sure to explore the Louvre’s more under-appreciated wings like the fabulous Islamic Arts collection, the Egyptian antiquities wing, the graphic design collection, and the palace-museum’s medieval foundations.

#3. Make sure to plan your time for The Louvre in the morning hours and avoiding weekend visits altogether.

Enjoy your time in Paris!