Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paris - The 14-day itinerary

Considering 14 days is quite a long time in Paris (although nowhere close to long enough), we decided it's better we have a rough idea of what we want to do during this time. While I do believe it's exciting to not plan everything out and let the city surprise you, I think it's essential to do a bit of homework before you leave. So while we made a rough itinerary for our trip, we were open to the idea of throwing away something that's planned if we discover something else to do on any particular day.

It's important that you orient yourself to a city before you decide to explore it. And that's just what we did (there's more on that over here). Besides helping you getting around easily, it's also important you do this before creating your itinerary because it helps you club visits to places that are close to each other. Most museums or monuments are also closed on particular days, so it's also important to get as much information before you set down an itinerary. [A brief list is at the bottom of this post, along with links to most places.] We discovered that buying the Museum Pass for 6 days (the Pass is also available for 2 and 4 days) is a great option because of two primary reasons - it's much more economical and it also helps you beat long queues. Invariably, there's one long line to the ticket counter and another one that you get into to enter. With the Museum Pass, you will only need to stand in line for entry. If you're planning on visiting quite a few museums and monuments, I strongly recommend the Museum Pass, which gives you access to over 60 museums and monuments multiple times. The only hitch with the Pass is that you need to use it for consecutive days following your first use. So to make best use of the Museum Pass, we had to club as many museums together on our itinerary.

The Museum Pass comes as a handy booklet. On the reverse, you add the date you first use it along with your name.

Open the booklet to find a listing of places you can use it along with a short description.

After a little planning and shifting around, here's the schedule we finally settled on:

4th Dec, SUNDAY:
Musée du Louvre (This was the first Sunday of the month, so entry was free at Musée du Louvre. Which meant we didn't have to use the Museum Pass on this day.)

5th Dec, MONDAY:
Musée de l’Orangerie
Champs Elysees
Arc de Triomphe

6th Dec, TUESDAY:
Musée d’Orsay
Musée Rodin

Notre Dame
Left Bank booksellers
Shakespeare & Co.
St. Severin
Place St. Andre-des-Arts
Place St. Michel

8th Dec, THURSDAY:
Musée Cluny

9th Dec, FRIDAY:
Versailles (Since we were only buying Navigo Passes for Zone 1 & 2, we'd need to buy tickets to get to Versailles.)

10th Dec SATURDAY:
Catacombes de Paris

11th Dec, SUNDAY
Les Puces de St. Ouen (The flea market is also active largely on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so it had to be fit into the only proper weekend we have.)
Canal Saint Martin

12th Dec, MONDAY:
Free day, ride the Batobus, hop on-hop off

13th Dec, TUESDAY:
Musée Marmottan
Champ De Mars
Eiffel Tower
Jardins du Trocadero

14th Dec, WEDNESDAY:
Jardins du Luxembourg
St. Sulpice

15th Dec, THURSDAY:
La Cemetiere Pere LaChaise
Centre Pompidou

16th Dec, FRIDAY
A free day to catch up on anything we might've heard of or missed during the previous days.

17th Dec, SATURDAY
Flight back home

Over the next few posts, I'm going to try and recap some of the big highlights of the trip. Of course, I will never be able to capture the magic that was Paris but hopefully, while trying to do so, I might just be able to re-live some of those moments.

1. Museum Pass: Vital if you plan on visiting major museums and monuments/landmarks.

2. Holidays (it's best to also check on the site directly for additional information and other National holidays when they might be shut):


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