A few days in Paris

You’ll notice a few places in this Paris travel plan/vacation itinerary where activities can be added and you’ll notice that most meals you’re on your own. This gives you a chance to make some use of your guidebooks and do a little exploring. We’re just trying to give you some ideas for your Parisian vacation.

Paris, Day 1

Check into your hotel. One posible hotel in Paris: Holiday Inn Paris Saint Germain Des Pres (1-4954-8700) on 92, rue De Vaugirard (1 block from Montparnasse) is said to have good prices, be in a nice neighborhood, and have a central location.

Depending on what time you arrive, you should have time to go for a walk and get some dinner. Going for a walk when it’s still daylight will help you overcome jet lag.

Paris, Day 2

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Climbing the 387 steps to the top of this masterpiece is well worth the effort for the spectacular view. Construction of the first great Gothic cathedral began in 1163 and was largely completed by 1212. The rebuilding of the two transept gates in 1270 marked its completion. The west face is adorned with three richly decorated doorways and crowned with two 69m towers. The cathedral is busy at the best of times; especially on Sundays, when much of the building is closed to visitors. Admission: cathedral is free, towers around EUR6.

Notes: Beautiful cathedral, go early in the day to avoid crowds and see the sunrise.

Musee d’Orsay

Built in what was originally a train station, the building itself is unique and interesting. The museum has an impressive art collection, which dates back to the early 19th century. It is however primarily known for its magnificent impressionist and neo-impressionist collection. The museum also strives to promote art by organizing festivals, special shows, exhibitions, conferences and concerts on a regular basis.

Notes: Great impressionist collection, a little less “touristy” than the Louvre

Grand Colbert (Le), 4, rue Vivienne

Phone: +33 1 4286 8788

This renowned, classic brasserie is housed in the Galerie Colbert. Sporting repainted friezes, fabulous gilding and fine Cafe de Paris-style lamps, this wonderful 1830s brasserie, now a listed building, looks as good as new. One of this fashionable district’s most popular eateries, there’s a constant buzz about the place and classic fare features on the menu: beef or fish dishes and choucroute. The fabulous seafood platter costs around EUR32.

Notes: Featured in Something’s Gotta Give, recommended by Fodor’s

Paris, Day 3

Cafe de Flore

Phone: +33 1 45 48 55 26

172, bld St-Germain

An historical landmark in Paris since 1890, this cafe was a favourite of many great 19th-century writers and artists. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre always took his coffee and croissant on the terrace. These days you can drop in for a quick snack or glass of Champagne having shopped-till-you-dropped in the district’s luxurious boutiques. The smart set that revels in the cafe’s upmarket style ensure that its reputation lives on.

Notes: Fun cafe for cafe cremas and people watching, near the hotel.

Paris, Day 3

Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars

Paris just wouldn’t be Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Fair, at 300m it was then the world’s tallest building. Not everyone was happy when it was first built; many considered it an eyesore and wanted it pulled down, but today it is one of the world’s most visited monuments. The first and second floors can be reached using the stairs, and lifts take visitors to the magnificent view at the top. Admission (elevator to the top): EUR9.90 Adults; EUR5.30 Children under 12.

At night, after dinner, a cruise down the Seine will be a romantic choice.

Paris, Day 4

Musee du Louvre

Depending on when you leave, of course. The Musee du Louvre houses 35,000 works of art drawn from eight departments, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections.

Notes: Go early as the crowds get heavier and heavier.

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  1. Peter Mead says:

    A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Montmartre, Sacre Coure, shopping in Galeries Lafayette and the view from the observation deck of the La Samaritaine department store. What a wonderful city for a walk. I can’t wait to return.

  2. Edgar Morin says:

    The spring would be nice.

  3. Arlys Oelke says:

    Be sure to have lunch in the cafe at the Musee d’Orsay. It’s located on the top level and has views of Paris through the immense outside clock.

  4. Ed Hahn says:

    I cannot imagine three days in Paris without a visit to Napoleon’s Tomb and the Musee de Rodin at the Hotel Biron, within walking distance of one another.

  5. Cathy says:

    For more Paris ideas, read Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast. ” Then re-read it when you return home so you can begin dreaming of your next visit!

  6. Giant Brain says:

    Don’t forget the Museum of the Sewer. None of your snobby friends will have been there. Yes, it’s a real museum. And don’t forget to to buy a museum card — then you can go to the head of the line, tee-hee.

  7. DAVID says:


  8. Diane says:

    while in Paris, did you run into any problems with gang violence? My travel agent cautioned us not to visit due to unrest.

  9. Diane says:

    while in Paris, did you run into any problems with gang violence? My travel agent cautioned us not to visit due to unrest.

  10. Carolyn says:

    What a lovely idea James! Thank you so much, I was in Paris about five years ago, and all that you say is true, I wish someone would have thought of the idea then. Attn Ladies! the shopping is to die for!

    PS To the travel agent who said not to go do to unrest…………..shame on you!

  11. Pat Fries says:

    A trip to Paris is the most wonderful thing in the world. Spring, fall, xmas, when ever. Great walking city. Metro is fun, street venders fun. I wish it were closer so I could go more often.

  12. Mel says:

    Sounds great but there why waste you money and time on a Country that is so arrogant to its own people and the rest of the world. There are so many other places in the world the meet or exceed the historical value and food. London, Warsaw, Prague, Rome, or Dublin.

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