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Suggestions for short itenerary?

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California
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Suggestions for short itenerary?

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year and thank you so much for being so helpful to all my questions!

Well, it turns out the day trip we were originally going to take from London turned into an overnight (flying in from the Dublin part of our vacation). We were going to fly in late in the evening, but your enthusiasm here for Paris rubbed off and after some research and fanangling with our schedule, we are now booked for an early flight which will get us to CDG before 10 am! Soooo... we'll have most of the day on a Monday, one overnight, (still haven't booked lodging, but I'm working on it) and then the latest Eurostar train back to London on a Tuesday evening!

While I know it's still a short trip, and we wont be able to see everything, we'll try to see what we can with some time for just walking around and soaking up the atmosphere, and people watching.

Here's what we'd like to do while we're there...

These are the attractions we'd like to see:

Eiffel Tower (ride to the top)

Notre Dame

Arch de Triomphe

Sacre-Coeur

These are a few things we'd like to experience:

Boat ride on the Sienne

Walk along the Sienne

Walk around some trendy Paris neighborhood (Marias?)

Find a good restaurant for dinner the first night where we can get

Escargot and frogs legs for my son.

See Eiffel Tower at night

In addition, if there's time...

(According to Frommers suggested day trip itenerary) a 2 hour visit to the Louve if only to see the Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo.

The Catacombs (15 yr. old son and hubby would like that one)

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for the best way to plan these things without too much backtracking...

Thanks in advance!

Cheers!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Hi Podo,

Just a few suggestions and not a complete answer by any means

The Marais is a great choice for a walk and then you can walk from it to Ile St Louis and across it to Notre Dame. Save time at lunch and buy one of the famous falafel rolls from L'As du Falafel in rue des Rosiers and take it to Place des Vosges to eat on one of the park benches.

On the Monday (Louvre is closed on Tuesdays) you could do what the much maligned Rick Steves calls the "Louvre Lite" which takes you to Denon Wing to see the Venus de Milo and lots of other scuptures and then stand behind a crowd of tourists in front of the Mona Lisa and then out after looking at the Winged Victory of Sarathrace on the staircase. That is what we did on our first visit and it was enough for me as I hate huge museums. Rick Steves says to avoid the worst lines by entering through the entrance that is accessed from the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall at 99 rue de Rivoli or from the metro at Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre.

You might consider taking a ride on the Batobus for your Seine ride. It is a hop on hop off affair that has stops near the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower plus other stops

batobus.com/english/boat-cruise-paris-seine.…

Given the small amount of time you have, I would consider going to Sacre Coeur which is open late and use it for an evening view of Paris. It is fun going up the funiculaire after the metro to Abbesses metro - the funiculaire uses one metro ticket each way so I would walk down to Abbesses.

Most people seem to recommend visiting the Eiffel Tower in the evening or early in the morning to reduce waiting times. You can see its lights (which sparkle for 5 minutes on the hour) at night from a number of locations on the Seine so you could combine that with a late evening walk on the Seine.

California
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2. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Thank you so much for the excellent suggestions! What a great idea going to Sacre-Coeur in the evening! Maybe dusk when the sun is setting would be very nice!

I'll be checking out the hop on and off boat as well...

So did you feel the short peek into the Louve was worth it?

Cheers!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Hi Podo, it was worth it if only to know I had seen the Venus de Milo (there are a lot of nice statues around it so it does not stand out as much as it could) and the Mona Lisa - so I can say "isnt it a lot smaller than I imagined" like everyone else. However, apart from when I felt obliged to take my young nephew there on another trip so he could see what it was like, the main purpose that trip served was to make me realise I did not want to spend time in the Louvre. But as I said, I just dont like big museums. I would rather just go to the Orangerie and look at the huge (like whole wall sized) Monet's Garden at Giverney paintings. That is a good place to stop for a while and relax looking at the beautiful paintings and not too much art that you risk getting early symptoms of Stendhal's syndrome.

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

If you can withstand everyone ridiculing you for skipping the Louvre - if even for a brief trip - I agree that the Musee de l'Orangerie is an excellent choice. The museum has just reopened after an extensive remodel. The Monet's are breathtaking and the main collection (Picasso, Modigliani, Cezanne, Renoir) is very respectable. We found the temporary exhibit - a recreation of a 1934 Paris Exhibition of fine art to be enjoyable. Especially the famous paintings by Georges de la Tour. Even if you don't recognize the name - you will once you see the paintings. The smaller size of this museum, located near the Lovre, will leave you with the sense of accomplishment - versus a whirlwind rush through the Louvre that will leave you exhausted and frustrated for not spending more time.

Wake up EARLY on Tuesday and go to the Eiffel Tower - the lines will be shorter and save you otherwise wasted waiting time. We also found early morning - the skies are often clearer even if rains roll into Paris. Many times we woke to blue skies and we walking in rain by 11 am.

California
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5. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

That's a very good idea going to the Musee de l'Orangerie as an alternative! It would be very interesting to see some Picasso and Monet! We could always take a picture of the outside of the Louve and title it, "the place we didn't go... so sue me!" ;-)

At first I was thinking of going straight to Notre Dame on Tuesday morning, but I've been hearing so much about the lines at the Tower! Perhaps we should go to Notre Dame in the afternoon, then I'm thinking we could see the Eiffel Tower in the evening to see the sparklies, then go for the ride to the top in the morning.

BTW, where would be a good place to be to see the Tower at night?

I would like to get a somewhat panoramic view rather than straight up from the base.

Thanks!

California
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6. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

To clarify, I meant to say go to Notre Dame in the afternoon on Monday...

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

The Trocadero gardens across the Seine from the tower will give you a clear view of the Tower.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Another suggestion - if you some reason you cannot get to the top of the Tower and see the sweeping views of Paris - go to the Pompidou Centre in Marias. Go to the top floor (6) where the restaurant Georges is located. You will be amazed at the views of Notre Dame, Eiffel, Opera and Sacre Coeur from this vantage point. A tip: just left of the main entrance is an elevator that expedites your trip to the restaurant and bypasses the line.

California
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9. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Is the George restaurant good? That's one thing we'll be needing to research... one good meal in Paris. I know the restaurants are quite pricey, so if we splurge on one, (preferably one with escargot and frog's legs) we'll be snacking it the rest of the time!

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Suggestions for short itenerary?

Podo, if you search this forum for "frogs legs" you will find recommendations for restaurants than make that sort of dish