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First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

Austin, Texas
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First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

I have learned a lot by reading this forum- though I am sure I have much more to learn! I appreciate all the information everyone has shared and look forward to continuing to learn.

My husband and I will be in Paris the last week of November 2014. We will be staying in an apartment at Saint-Augustin metro stop. We arrive on a Saturday and leave on a Saturday. We will probably buy Navigo Decouverte passes (effective Monday, so a carnet to last us until then) and a 6-day Museum pass. I appreciate any thoughts and guidance on this "rough draft" itinerary. My husband has been to Paris several times, but in his early 20s (25 years ago!). I have never been to Paris. Days can be interchanged as needed for weather or other reasons, though I have tried to make sure I am cognizant of days sites are closed.

Arrival day: Arrive at Orly at 13:30. Settle in apartment by 4:00. If needed, do a bit of shopping for necessities at nearby Fanprix. If weather is nice, hop on Metro line 9 to Trocadero, walk grounds, enjoy view and light meal in cafe in Musee d'Architecture. The sunsets early, so if weather is good, we will have our first night view of the ET.

Sunday:

* Notre Dame (get in line for bell tower climb- looks like it opens at 10:00 a.m.), listen to organ music after morning mass (did I make this up?) while exploring inside.

* St. Chapelle

* Ile de la Cite (lunch, people watch, explore)

* L'Orangerie

Monday

* Montmartre

* Sacre Coeur

after lunch

* Place Vendome

* Opera Garnier

* Eglise Madeleine (quick stop to peak in)

evening: view Christmas displays at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, view of city from one of rooftops

Tuesday

* Versailles

* Evening- possibly attend concert at Notre Dame (20:30)

Wednesday

* Arc de Triomphe

* Champs Elysees

* Grand and Petit Palais (not for exhibits- just walking through area)

* Place de la Concorde

* Tuilleries

* Louvre for late afternoon and into evening hours

Thursday

* Musee D'Orsay

* Explore St. Germain area

* Cluny (not for long- but want to see Unicorn tapestry)

* Luxembourg Gardens

* Pantheon

* St. Sulpice very briefly

* spend evening exploring Latin Quarter, visit Shakespeare's

Friday

*Eiffel Tower if we had not done already on first day

* Batobus or Seine boat tour

* Musee de l'Armee (husband's request)

* Musee de Rodin

Saturday

Depart (flight at 11 a.m. out of CDG- yes, different airport than arrival)

One thing- my husband had all these things on his list, plus Catacombs (but he hates lines, so this will not likely happen). He also had hoped to make a trip to Normandy D-Day beaches and Mont St. Michel, but we would have to cut out two full days of the above itinerary, plus leave our apartment unused and pay for other lodging for the overnight. We do not think there will be a "next time" in the next 5 years. Since he has been to Paris, he would really like to add in the two-day trip (deleting 2 of our days from Paris), though we would have to either more heavily load other days in Paris with sites/attractions, or forgo some of our plans.

Edited: 05 September 2014, 19:14
Saint Louis...
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1. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

Very well-thought out itinerary. It groups sites geographically, making the logistics much easier.

One thought... the Orangerie is on the western end of the Tuileries, so you could include that with your visit of the Tuileries and Place de la Concorde, although you are also visiting the Louvre that day. The Orangerie is also very close to the Orsay Museum, so it could be included then.

I don't see any mention of the Marais. It is full of beautiful buildings and winding streets, and Place des Vosges is a must-see on my list.

I also enjoyed visiting the ancient church of St. Julien le Pauvre, very close to Shakespeare and Company. While in the area I would also drop by the church of St. Severin.

Also, don't forget to visit the Alexandre III bridge when visiting the Grand and Petit Palais.

North Caroiina
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2. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

The trip to Normandy would really cut up your visit, especially as you are also thinking Versailles. As a first timer, I would recommend staying in Paris with the part day trip to Versailles. Like your husband, I went to Paris after a 25 year hiatus and enjoyed the process of rediscovering it. And besides, there are always new things to find.

My own bias is that the Catacombs are a second or third tier attraction. Interesting, but you can eat up several hours once you take the lines into consideration.

You have created a great itinerary.

New Hampshire
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3. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

If visiting the Catacombs is a priority, just get there 15-30 minutes ahead of opening time.

Given the weather in November, it's not really the best time for an excursion to Normandy and Mont St-Michel, but if my husband really wanted to go, we'd do that and not worry about paying for the lodging for one night. (We almost always do an overnight or two while staying in an apartment. The apartment rate is so reasonable and precludes having to check out of a place and haul all your things...).

Definitely plan to shop on Saturday and stock the apartment for everything you'll need until Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I would recommend not walking all those places ahead of a visit to the Louvre. If you do, you may have little energy and enthusiasm left for exploring the Louvre, which is positively gigantic. Actually, it would be more efficient to ride around on a bus, such as Foxity, which would free up a lot of your time. It's a fairly long walk from the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs Elysees, past Grand and Petit Palais, to Place de la Concorde, etc., whereas the bus goes by all that - and much, much more. And, given the weather, you'll need plenty of outerwear for being comfortable while out and about and, still, you never know about rain.

With so many places you want to get to every day, it might be best to prioritize as you may run out of time before you run out of places on the agenda for the day.

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

Thank you for your input MarkinSTL. Excellent points. I will move L'Orangerie to Wednesday. Would Sunday afternoon be a good time to visit le Marais and Place des Vosges? St. Sulpice is definitely on the list when we are in that area- even though it will likely be a brief visit.

There are so many other things I hope to squeeze in between these major "must-sees." We hope to have plenty of time to enjoy people watching and exploring. I am gathering names of restaurants/cafes as I see them mentioned in other posts and will group possibilities within the areas we we will be. I thought it would be nice to do something like the Calife Dinner Cruise on the Seine for a special meal, or perhaps lunch at Le Ciel.

With this itinerary, does it seem to leave enough time to not feel like we are rushing from one thing to the next?

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

djkbooks- I had initially placed the Louvre on my list for first thing in the morning and then was going to do that trek in reverse to the Arc de Triomphe. But- I thought- why not take advantage of the late closing, we could have rooms to ourselves (in my fantasy, no one will be at the Louvre in November on a Wednesday night)? Regarding Champs Elysees, I agree. We are not shoppers, so once we get through the Palais Gardens, there is no reason to walk. Maybe we can keep the a.m. and p.m., but make sure to stop by the apartment for a couple hour rest and still enjoy the Louvre with refreshed energy in the evening?

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

FrankMcB- I doubt the catacombs will happen- unless we walk by and there is no line. Lines are a huge turnoff for my husband, so there is no way we will spend three hours in line for anything we do (good thing we are going in November!)

I will just present the itinerary with the option of crossing off two days if he really wants to go to Mont St. Michel and Normandy beaches- but I think once he is in Paris, we will end up staying there the whole time.

I am relieved that my itinerary seems to be on the right track!

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

Oops- in post 4 I meant St. Severin where I typed St. Sulpice. Darned edit button vanished very quickly on that post!

New Hampshire
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8. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

<<There are so many other things I hope to squeeze in between these major "must-sees." >>

Again, I would urge you to prioritize. You have to consider the time it takes to get from one place to the next and know that cold and/or rainy weather may slow you down considerably.

There will be nothing blooming in the gardens in November...so, other than some statuary and a lot of green space, they may not be worth setting aside time.

We've always found the Louvre to be relatively peaceful after lunch on Wednesdays. I would guess those who arrived at opening time have headed to lunch and others plan to take advantage of the later hours.

Austin, Texas
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9. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

<<Again, I would urge you to prioritize>>

There are things we can live without seeing on our list. If we wake up one morning and feel like taking it easy, we are definitely not the types to push through an itinerary just to "get it all in." Typically, I don't even make an itinerary (though I always spend a lot of time researching the destination, finding good lodging, and obsessively checking for less expensive air fare). But- with Paris, I think having some idea of the groupings of sites and keeping abreast of closings is important. Better to have an itinerary and throw it (or parts of it) out, then wander inefficiently and miss a lot due to inefficiency.

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: First attempt at a 6-day itinerary for Paris

I wonder how you plan on using your 6 days Museum Pass, your Monday doesn't require it at all.

Perhaps 4 days would work better if you shift your museum visits.