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itinerary help, leaving april 1st

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Miami, Florida
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itinerary help, leaving april 1st

my husband and I are leaving april 1st for a 5 night stay in paris.

we are arriving Wednesday april 2nd at 7:30am and will be staying at the golden tulip opera noailles hotel

we have some tours planned but i'm trying to plan out what to do on our free time.

so far the day we arrive we were thinking of using the hop on hop off bus to get oriented to paris. I'm looking at using either L'opentour or the les cars rogues companies.

thurs april 3rd we have a louvre tour from 9:30am to 12:30pm and then the rest of the day is free.

fri april 4th we have a notre dame tour from 9:30am to 11:45am and then a tour of versailles starting at 1:15pm. any advice for where to get a quick lunch this day would be appreciated (we will leave from our hotel for the versailles tour)

saturday april 5th we have the day free until our eiffel tower and seine cruise which starts at 7:15pm.

sunday the entire day is free

monday we fly to italy

the items on our must do list which aren't already part of our itinerary already are:

1. sainte chapelle

2. arc de triomphe

3. sacre coeur

4. latin quarter

5. montmartre

6. champs elysees

7. invalides

8. montparanasse tower

any advice on how to group these items into our itinerary during our free time would be greatly appreciated.

thank you!

New Hampshire
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1. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

L'Opentour has four extensive routes, whereas Les Cars Rouge has only one route. It's best not to purchase tickets ahead of time, especially date specific. Wait until you're in Paris and check the weather. If the weather is favorable for enjoying the panoramic views from seats on the open air upper deck, you'll see a LOT of scenery, monuments, etc. But, if it's raining or too chilly, the views from the lower level are not nearly as expansive and it's an expensive way to get around.

You can purchase tickets for either when boarding the bus at any of the stops.

The tickets are valid for two days. You could ride around again on Thursday after the Louvre (and you'll probably appreciate sitting for a long while).

But, you may want to consider Foxity. There's just one route. You can take a continuous 2-hour tour, or the hop on/hop off route for one day, for about half the cost of the other two.

Note that, after an overnight flight, you may find yourself dozing off on a bus.

Again, much depends on the weather.

Are you being picked up at the hotel for the Versailles tour? What time do you return?

My approach would be to fit your list of places in wherever you can. That's the disadvantage of scheduling things that cannot be moved around.

Here's hoping Rasteriasha, the itinerary maven, will respond with her genius for itinerary planning.

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

thanks for the tips.

yea I guess I need to figure what things are close to the places we'll already be at and fit them in,

New Hampshire
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3. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

Recommend you split your list into must-do, hope-to-do, and if-there's-time, and plan accordingly.

Save Montmartre, Tour Montparnasse, Champs Elysees, for late afternoon/evenings when other places have closed.

Plan to be at Saint-Chapelle one morning at opening time, as lines grow longer throughout the day.

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

thanks, i looked at the foxity bus option and it does seem better. yes we are being picked up at the hotel for the versailles tour. it is a 4 hour tour so should be done around 5:15pm.

Saint Louis...
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5. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

Your schedule for Friday seems VERY tight. Are you sure you can finish a tour at Notre Dame at 11:45am, eat lunch, return to your hotel, and get out to Versailles for the start of a tour at 1:15pm? Even if your Notre Dame tour ends at the precise time noted, it seems to be a huge rush to get out to Versailles on time. Is a private driver taking you there?

Edited: 27 March 2014, 20:46
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6. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

to really enjoy Paris you need to leave some of the "free" time...free time. You will see what I mean when you are there.

New Hampshire
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7. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

For lunch after Notre Dame and before Versailles, my recommendation would be to choose a place very close to your hotel ahead of time and book a table for 12:15. You may get there a little earlier. Once there, order something quick, like a wonderful composed salad, Croque Monsieur, tartine, etc. Request the check when the food is delivered, explaining that you have a tour to catch.

Agree that it will be tight, even for a "quick lunch". If you go somewhere near Notre Dame, you're likely to experience delays in service and/or paying and leaving (which can take a long time) for lunch in any of the very busy places in the area.

Saint Louis...
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8. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

I would estimate at least 15 minutes to walk to a place to eat. That means you arrive around noon (if the Notre Dame tour ends on time). It normally would take a minimum of 10 minutes to order a sandwich "a porter" at a walk-up counter. Then you need 15-20 minutes to get to your hotel, eating your sandwich on the way. It is now approximately 12:30, and it takes about 40 minutes by RER to get to Versaillles, maybe longer by car/coach depending on traffic. That gets you to Versailles around 1:10pm, with 5 minutes to spare, if everything goes as quickly as I have detailed in this scenario.

Miami, Florida
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9. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

we are being picked up from the hotel bw 1 and 1:15pm for the versailles tour.

Gainesville, Florida
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10. Re: itinerary help, leaving april 1st

I don't think you have time for a sit-down lunch that day. MarkinSTL has outlined what I would recommend, which is that you hit up a bakery for a sandwich/quiche/etc & a pastry for lunch & take it back to your hotel to eat while you wait for the Versailles tour pickup.

ETA: oooh wait! The "4-hour Versailles tour" INCLUDES transportation time?!? Yeah, you're barely going to have time to get through the chateau. That leaves ZERO time for the gardens or Marie Antoinette's hamlet. If you can still cancel the tour, I would do that, so I could visit on my own & stay until closing time.

Edited: 27 March 2014, 21:29