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Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Sydney, Australia
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Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Hello everyone. My mother and I are going to be spending two full days in Paris in November before a tour. I was hoping to get some feedback on my itinerary, I have two opinions so any advice would be great!

Thurs Nov 6: arrive in Paris from London via Eurostar. I'm not too sure what time just yet, so I'm keeping this day free in case we arrive quite late. We're staying at the Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel, so we'll have a walk around the area regardless of arrival time.

Fri Nov 7: Notre Dame early, either the Conciergerie or Sainte Chapelle or hopefully both! Also is it easy to get to Shakespeare and Co. Bookshop from here? Then walk to the Louve for remainder of the afternoon.

Sat Nov 8: Marche aux Puce de la Porte de Vanves in the morning. Take Metro to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur, cemetery, Moulin Rouge and Dali museum. We have to be back to the hotel by 6pm to meet for the tour, is it possible to fit all of this in?

OR is this option better?:

Fri Nov 7: Notre Dame, see Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle from outside. Go to Montmartre for the afternoon, then go to the Louve after 6pm as it is free for students under 25 I believe?

Sat Nov 8: Vanves in the morning, then spend the afternoon in the Latin Quarter.

The Notre Dame, Louve and flea market are must do's, and we would really like to see Montmartre but we are willing to drop it if it seems too much. I chose Vanves because I heard that it was cheaper, smaller and more friendlier than Saint-Ouen, would you guys agree? I am interested in the Lost Generation of writers, is it easy to locate their hang outs in Latin Quarter, and see Gertrude Stein's house?

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Boston...
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1. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

First of all, I'd drop the Conciergerie. It's a tacky tourist trap. Enjoy it from the outside.

I might only visit Sainte Chapelle if it's sunny. Though the stained glass is still beautiful on a cloudy day, I'm trying to maximize your short time in the city. If it's not sunny, you could consider doing something else.

Shakespeare & Co. is directly across the river from Notre Dame, so I can't imagine any problem finding it. Look for the green (painted) exterior.

Either of your two options would work, it just depends on what you want to see more, Montmartre or the Latin Quarter. If you do the Montmartre one, you may have to cut the Dali museum shorter than you might like, but that's no big deal.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Thanks for the reply HappyGoin! We'll probably cut the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle then to free up time. I was thinking of moving the Louve to day 3 after the markets to make more room for Montmartre on day 2. I guess it depends on how much time we spend in each place.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

St. Chapelle can't be enjoyed from the outside as it is buried within a police station and you have to pass through security to get to it and that might be time consuming. It is very worthwhile if it is a sunny day -- I'd sure privilege that over Shakespeare and company which while a nice bookstore, is just a bookstore. (it is easy to find, next door to a little park called Square Viviani across from Notre Dame on the left bank.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

If you cannot fit the Sainte-Chapelle in during the day, you could see if there is a night concert while you are there. My daughter and I went twice during our trip in March: in the morning after our visit to Notre Dame and our climb up the towers (but before the Conciergerie which my daughter wanted to see), and then again at night to see a concert of Vivaldi's Four Seasons which absolutely was fantastic. The Sainte-Chapelle is a beautiful jewel box and worth a stop if you can fit it in. I would skip the Conciergerie with the time you have. I don't think it is necessarily a tourist trap if you look past the hokey set up regarding Marie Antoinette - the structure itself is quite impressive and worth it as part of the Paris Museum Pass, but with all the other things to see in Paris during your short timeframe, I would scratch it. I enjoyed Montmartre, but it only took us about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to do our walking tour and then we were done. It does take a good 15 to 20 minutes to get there using the Metro, though. As for the Shakespeare bookstore, turn left out of Notre Dame, walk over the bridge to the left bank, cross the street at the cross walk, then turn right and cross rue Lagrange. There will be a park to your left with an ancient church. Walk past the park, cross the cobbled street rue Saint-Julien le Pauvre, and Shakespeare & Co will be just a bit further down the quai on your left behind a grassy (or not so grassy in November) median. It will take you about 4-5 minutes to get there factoring in waiting for the cross walk signals. It is REALLY close.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Thanks everyone again for your advice. Roughly how much time would Sainte Chapelle take do you think?

Boston...
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6. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Once inside, probably an hour or a little less. It's the line to get in that you can't factor. And there's no skipping it; it's a security line.

Edited: 30 June 2014, 11:45
Auckland Central...
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7. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

We went to the Montmatre museum which was well worth it and doesn't take long. Quick walk to Sacre Coeur from there.

Auckland Central...
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8. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

We went to Saint Chapelle - great but not sure if I would prioritise it if time were an issue.

Auckland Central...
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9. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

I think that the Louvre is late night on Friday, so a good use of this time if you are in Paris early enough.

I would perhaps listen to Rick Steve's Paris History Walk podcast as he fits in a lot around the Notre Dame area, and might help you make some choices.

Auckland Central...
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10. Re: Two days in Paris in November, advice please

Getting in after queuing could take you longer than the visit itself. If you read all the info provided there, you could still easily be out in 30-45 mins.