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Paris -- draft itinerary -- please advise!

b
betterbeheaven Oct 11, 2010 11:50 PM

I’m traveling to Paris Oct 23 (Sat. evening) through Oct 26 (Tues. mid-day), and then I’ll be there again on Oct 30 (Sat. evening). It’s my first time and I’ve done a fair amount of research on Chowhound, David Lebovitz’s website, Tripadvisor, etc. I want to make the most of fairly limited time, while bearing in mind a tight budget. For example, to me, a 30E dinner would be a small “splurge” even though I know it’s considered “budget” to others.

This is a rather long post, but I would really appreciate any and all advice.

This my first stab at an itinerary:

Saturday, October 23:
Dinner at Boulangerie Julien
See Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees

Sunday, October 24
Breakfast at Mauclerc Veronique
Visit a farmer’s market (which one?)
See Musee d’Orsay and Musee Rodin
Have picnic lunch at Jardin du Luxembourg (pick up food from Le Bon Marche)
Dinner at Breizh Café
Monet exhibition at Grand Palais

Monday, October 25:
Breakfast: ?
See Pompidou Center
See Saint Chapelle
See Notre Dame
Lunch at Chez Dumonet (geographically doesn’t make much sense given the daytime itinerary; is it cheaper at lunch than at dinner? if not I’ll do dinner instead)
Dinner: ?

Tuesday, October 26:
Breakfast at Pierre Herme
See Palais Garnier and Sacre Couer
L’etoile d’or
Lunch at Delmontel Arnaud (needs to be early so we can go back to hotel and depart for ORY)

Saturday, October 30:
Dinner: ?
Seine boat ride

These are some of the restaurants/cafes/etc on my list that could fill in my “?”:
--Le Gaigne
--La Rotisserie du Beaujolais
--Les Papilles
--L’As du Fallafel
--Chez Marianne
--Restaurant de La Cordonnerie
--Pain de Sucre
--Le Reminet
--Eric Kayser

From Oct 23-26, we’ll be staying at the Etap Hotel Paris La Villette (19eme). On Oct 30, we’ll be staying at Hotel Agenor in Montparnasse.

I’d love to know:
--Which places I need to make a reservation at and when
--How much to expect to pay at the places I’ve listed above
--Any good places to eat near the Etap Hotel/in the 19eme…I didn’t find many recs for that area but it would be convenient to eat lunch closer to there before going to the airport on the 26th
--Best bakery near Hotel Agenor (22 rue Cels) so I can try to pick up some early morning pastries/bread/anything to take home.
--Best food “souvenirs” to bring back

In case it helps, this is my google map that I've been using to plan: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF...

Thank you!

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  1. Parigi Oct 12, 2010 02:55 AM

    First, maybe you should research the distances between locations on google map or RATP (metro/bus) map and the travel time it takes. The destiantions that you want to cover seem excessively ambitious. Or can you beam yourself from one place to the next? :-)

    "Dinner at Boulangerie Julien
    See Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees"

    Dinner at a boulangerie? Most boulangerie close before dinner time. Could you explain more this concept?

    "Sunday, October 24
    Breakfast at Mauclerc Veronique
    Visit a farmer’s market (which one?)
    See Musee d’Orsay and Musee Rodin
    Have picnic lunch at Jardin du Luxembourg (pick up food from Le Bon Marche)"

    Mauclerc Véronique is in the northeastern corner of Paris.
    Then you want to go to a market
    Then you go to two major museums in the western part of Paris.
    Then you want to finish all this before lunch time and shop at Le Bon Marché and go to Jardin de Luxembourg.
    I don't even know how to advise on this half-day itinerary that covers much of Paris, except to point out that it won't work. It won't even work even if you do half of your plans. You need to replan your itinerary. And oh Bld Raspail has an excellent market, but since you won't have time for most of the destinations on your itinerary, this becomes useless.

    "Dinner at Breizh Café
    Monet exhibition at Grand Palais"
    Dinner time in Paris usually starts at 8pm. Let's say you can eat at 7:30pm. You swallow without chewing and are out of there in an hour. 8:30pm. A metro has been held at the station for you and whisks you to the museum. You will have reserved on line a 9pm visit. Yes it's doable.

    "Monday, October 25:
    Breakfast: ?
    See Pompidou Center
    See Saint Chapelle
    See Notre Dame
    Lunch at Chez Dumonet (geographically doesn’t make much sense given the daytime itinerary"

    So far none does so it's probably ok.

    "is it cheaper at lunch than at dinner?"

    I did not notice great diff, unlike, say Spring.

    "Dinner: ?"
    La Régalade St Honoré, near the places you want to visit and is open Monday.

    "Tuesday, October 26:
    Breakfast at Pierre Herme
    See Palais Garnier and Sacre Couer
    L’etoile d’or
    Lunch at Delmontel Arnaud (needs to be early so we can go back to hotel and depart for ORY)"

    Another morning with multiple visits ending in a lunch at a crowded boulangerie. Please do yourself a favor and review your concept.
    Btw, when you say "Palais Garnier" do you mean you pass in front and snap a pic? Or do you go in to see the interior architecture and look at Mozart's manuscripts and Léon Bakst's stage sets for the Ballet Russes in the library-museum? If it's just for a photo of the outside, then you may be able to cover everything while spending most of your time in a betterbehell kind of metro commute.

    "These are some of the restaurants/cafes/etc on my list that could fill in my “?”:
    --Le Gaigne
    --La Rotisserie du Beaujolais
    --Les Papilles
    --L’As du Fallafel
    --Chez Marianne
    --Restaurant de La Cordonnerie
    --Pain de Sucre
    --Le Reminet
    --Eric Kayser "

    Good list, but…
    You really need to separate the bakeries from restaurants. If the weather is good, you could possibly buy some things and picnic in a park nearby. Paris weather will turn cool in late October. Bakery dinners probably will not work
    Also, all the restaurants (which means not counting the bakeries and falafel) that you listed are good but will fall under your "splurge" definition.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi
      b
      betterbeheaven Oct 12, 2010 10:02 AM

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I know that one of my biggest challenges is wanting to fit into so much without really understanding the geography!

      The thought behind eating dinners at boulangeries was to save money. Given your thoughts and the ones of other commenters below, it seems that it is not as feasible as I had hoped. In that case, what is really the cheapest way to eat dinner?

      I'm doing Mauclerc Veronique because I am actually staying in the 19eme, so I'll already be in the northeast. I also lumped together what I wanted to sightsee; I don't actually intend to visit a market and do two museums in the morning...I was actually thinking of breakfast, market, one museum, lunch, other museum, dinner. Maybe I'll skip the market.

      The Tuesday morning does seem a bit absurd...I am just at a loss on how to fill it. I was hoping to actually see the Palais Garnier inside. I'll be starting from my hotel in the 19eme and I'll need to stop back there again to pick up my luggage before heading to the airport. My flight departs ORY at 14.55

      1. re: betterbeheaven
        Parigi Oct 12, 2010 10:23 AM

        You'll be staying in the 19th! Why didn't you say so? Rue Rébéval has several inexpensive and nice bistros, starting with Le Baratin.
        The Kurdish sandwich place in rue Faubourg St Denis is a good fun lunch place and is not all the way cross town for you. You can research its address on this board. It makes the bread fresh only after you order.
        The Enfants Rouges market, again, not all the way cross town for you, has inexpensive eatery stalls.
        On the colder days, you can go to a traiteur (delicatessens that sell cooked dishes), choose whatever that looks good to you and ask the store to heat it ("réchauffé s'il vous plaît"), then take it back to eat in your hotel room.
        But you indeed should eat out at least once or twice in a nice Paris bistro; it's such a nice Paris experience.
        And slow down. Enjoy the life. You'll be back, you know, and will have all the time to see everything on the next trip and the next…
        Bon voyage.

        1. re: betterbeheaven
          f
          formerbarista Oct 24, 2010 11:17 AM

          Betterbeheaven--I hope you're having a wonderful trip and am looking forward to your actual itinerary....But heavens, I just noticed your return flight and hoping you just had breakfast and headed to the airport without any sightseeing. I would leave the hotel at 10 am for that flight.
          Anyone else agree?

      2. souphie Oct 12, 2010 03:32 AM

        Joséphine is not cheaper for lunch than dinner and has no prix fixe. I can't think of a way to eat there for 30€. 50 seems like a minimum.

        If you do 6 o'clock dinner, boulangeries are a possibility, but most of them won't have sandwiches left, as they make them for lunch.

        1. monchique Oct 12, 2010 04:30 AM

          As far as I know, Le Bon Marché closes on Sundays...

          1 Reply
          1. re: monchique
            Parigi Oct 12, 2010 04:42 AM

            Indeed, both the department store side and the Grande Epicerie…

          2. hychka Oct 12, 2010 06:34 AM

            Let's concentrate on Sunday.

            Musee d'Orsay opens at 9:30am and you should be there a little early as the Sunday lines can be very long. Go to the Rodin second as it is not as popular and you can always opt for just the gardens tour if pressed.

            Buy some food at Monoprix 35-37 Rue du Bac , 75007 PARIS and walk on over to the Jardin du Luxembourg or the Rodin as the Rodin gardens are great for a picnic, too. Carry a wine opener, some plastic utensils, small glasses, etc, just in case. I carry plastic water bottles and use them as the glasses once they are empty.

            Can't comment on your dinner choice as I've never been there; but, if it was me, I'd head over from either the Palais or the Rodin to Au Dernier Metro for dinner. Either way you could get your look at the Eiffel Tower.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hychka
              n
              Nancy S. Oct 12, 2010 09:28 AM

              Is that Monoprix open. I know that the one in the 6th on rue de Rennes is closed on Sundays, as are many larger food stores, I believe.

              1. re: Nancy S.
                hychka Oct 12, 2010 03:50 PM

                Nancy S is so right. Can't find any Monoprix open on Sunday. So! Plan B. Get that market in by walking from d'Orsay to Blvd Raspail and south to the RASPAIL outdoor organic market
                Boulevard Raspail, between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris.
                Rennes (line 12).
                Sun., 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
                And, then walk west to the Jardin with your prizes.

                1. re: hychka
                  b
                  betterbeheaven Oct 12, 2010 08:45 PM

                  thank you for the suggestion!

            2. u
              unpolire Oct 12, 2010 07:22 AM

              When last in Paris, my local resident friends took me out to a variety of brasseries, excellent elegant and wholesome food, at reasonable prices, well under your 30 Euro limit. These establishments were more like "locals" in the U.K., or upscale "pubs" of sorts. When I tried dining alone in Paris, I found it shockingly difficult to find a restaurant for lunch under 35 Euros, much less dinner, often considerably more, yet the places were all packed with diners. Between boulangeries and brasseries, you should be fine, at least food-wise!

              1. PBSF Oct 12, 2010 03:29 PM

                I got dizzy reading your itinerary. If you are a high energy person and only give each sight/museum a casual glance, it is doable. To make it work, you'll have to do rework your sightseeing with your food destinations. Your present itinerary has you jumping from one end of Paris to the other: ie half day Tues, Oct 26 consists of you going from your hotel on the 19e at La Villette down to the 6e for breakfast at Pierre Herme, than over to the Palais Garnier, then up to Sacre Coer in the 18e with a stop for chocolate at L'Etoile d'Or and back to your hotel before noon for your 14.55 flight at CDG. To me almost impossible. Also Sunday with all the museums plus an open market is difficult. Keep in mind that Paris is not all museums and famous monuments. One would be missing a big part if one does not stroll the various neighborhoods, full of charm, history and architecture.
                Just one general point: most bakeries and patisserie such as Pierre Herme, Eric Kayser and Pain du Sucre are strictly to go only. They do not offer coffee or any beverages; plan on buying pastries/bread, going to a nearby cafe for a coffee. I don't feel comfortable taking coffee at a cafe and eating a pastry from another shop, but others have no problem.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PBSF
                  b
                  betterbeheaven Oct 12, 2010 08:49 PM

                  Thanks for the info re: bakeries and patisseries. How do most people enjoy their baked goods and pastries? Take home?

                  I was actually planning to go to the Pierre Herme that's near the Palais Garnier at 40 Boulevard Haussmann. Hopefully that would make the Tuesday itinerary less absurd, though I realize it needs some retooling regardless.

                  1. re: betterbeheaven
                    PBSF Oct 13, 2010 12:00 AM

                    Yes, most people take pastries home to eat. For breakfast, many munch a croissant on the go or take to their office. When we are in Paris, we do an early morning breakfast run to our corner bakery for breakfast in the apartment. Or else we drop by the neighborhood cafe for a standup coffee and their breakfast pastry. Seldom do we ever go to a "destination" pastry shop such as Pierre Herme for croissants. There are good bakeries that will serve coffee, etc: beside Veronique Mauclerc, Gerard Mulot in the 6e has a few stools, some branches Paul (a good chain of bakeries) have table service for breakfast/lunch, all three branches of Laduree have sit down but expect to pay a good sum. The Pierre Herme on Blvd Haussmann must be in the food hall of Galeries Lafayette and not a stand alone shop. Also Kayser and Sadaharu Oaki have kiosks in the Galeries.

                2. n
                  Nancy S. Oct 12, 2010 05:04 PM

                  I took a tour of Veronique Mauclerc's boulangerie in September. The baker is masterful. There is a little room for breakfast, with a nice menu. We were give a still- warm loaf of the pain levain during the visit, and I must say that it was the best (and, of course, freshest) bread I had in Paris.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nancy S.
                    b
                    betterbeheaven Oct 12, 2010 08:50 PM

                    Good to hear! I was excited to find a well-reviewed place that's near my rather far away budget hotel :)

                  2. juliemarie8 Oct 12, 2010 07:15 PM

                    You have to be willing to say "I'll be back". If you don't tell yourself that, then you'll try to fit everything in during one visit, rush around non-stop, barely enjoy anything, end up exhausted and cranky with aching feet and wonder what the big deal is about Paris. Schedule in half a day of strolling winding streets in the 6th or along the banks of the Seine followed by sitting at a cafe people-watching. You want to get to that point where you're just accidentally sighing all the time. Be willing to just scratch the itinerary and stroll, wander, or hang out.

                    Unless you are an art freak and find the most joy in museums, I would suggest picking one or two, those with your favorite types of art. I've been to Paris 12 times and still never seen the art in Pompidou (been to the top for the view)...and I'm still in love with Paris and still saying "I'll be back."

                    If you're going to eat at a bakery, go for lunch, maybe you can find a quiche or a sandwich to go, but not really dinner. If you want cheap food for dinner, get a kebab in the 6th (this would be great after Notre Dame, just cross the bridge over to Left Bank and find the winding narrow streets off Place St Michel) - look for the big spits of rotating meat and pick the one that looks the best. They shave it in a pita and top it w/ fries...so good! Or L'As du Falafel, as you've mentioned. Or a creperie off St Michel. All great cheap options if you're trying to stick to a budget. The other fun cheap experience is going to an open air market (like you want to do anyway) and collect the makings of a picnic along the way. Cheaper than Bon Marche (but Bon Marche is fun and makes for a great picnic!).

                    Les Papilles is great and worth your splurge. 31e for 4 courses at lunch: starter, main, cheese, dessert. A steal in general, but especially considering how fresh and delicious it is!! You don't get to choose, though, it's a set menu. So you have to be okay with duck, lamb, whatever it is they want to serve that day. And it will be awesome. And you won't need a big dinner because you'll still be full.

                    All in all...yes, see the major sites. But spend a ton of time wandering, relaxing, sitting, sipping, sighing, strolling, looking. That's the best part!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: juliemarie8
                      b
                      betterbeheaven Oct 12, 2010 08:44 PM

                      Yes...I am just having such an impossible time choosing what to do! I actually already left the Louvre off my itinerary in a small acknowledgment of time limitations, but clearly I need to do more paring. As much as I am an overplanner, I know that once I'm there, my schedule will change. Thanks for your advice!

                    2. b
                      betterbeheaven Oct 17, 2010 03:42 PM

                      Thank you for everyone's feedback! I've refined my itinerary a little bit and have a couple last questions:

                      (1) Do I need a reservation at Breizh Cafe on a Sunday night? I've read everything online from "they don't take reservations" to "people without reservations got turned away".

                      (2) Does the cafeteria at the Galeries Lafayette serve breakfast? I'm not looking for anything fancy or substantial, just something. And when do they open? I tried to find this information on their website but could not...

                      (3) What is a good bakery/cafe near Hotel Agenor (22 rue Cels in 14e) to stop by on an early Sunday morning before departing for my flight home?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: betterbeheaven
                        n
                        Nancy S. Oct 17, 2010 04:24 PM

                        1) I have seen many people turned away at Briezh Cafe on a Sunday night, during prime time hours (i.e., 8:00pm to 10:00pm). So, I would reserve, since it's easy to do by phone.

                        (3) It may be a little walk, but Dominique Saibron, a boulangerie, on 77 ave. General Leclerc, should be open, and is a great place to buy baguettes, etc.

                        1. re: betterbeheaven
                          PBSF Oct 17, 2010 11:44 PM

                          2. Galeries Lafayette on Haussmann opens 9:30 (closed Sundays). The gourmet hall has several bakery kiosks and counter seating at Cafe Malongo. There is a cafe on the 6em etage that serves breakfast; also an Illy.
                          3. There are numerous bakeries on r. Daguerre. Some are opened on Sunday mornings but the best, Le Moulin de la Vierge is not. Le Pain au Naturel on first block of General LeClerc has very good breads, etc. A branch of Paul is on nearby Pl Denfort-Rochereau but no seatings. The pedestrian end of r Daguerre is a daily market, including Sundays. Le Cafe Daguerre on the corner of Daguerre/Gen. Leclerc is one of the few cafes that is opened early Sunday mornings for breakfast. Le Cafe Tournesol on r. de la Gaite is also open on Sundays but not before 9;30 (am guessing the app time). There are also bakeries on Gaite (a very lively street on Saturdays and evenings) and Ave du Maine. If you are not too tight for time, there are the famous cafes such as Select, Coupole. Dome on Blvd Montparnssse.
                          The best idea is probably the above mentioned Dominique Saibron. If it was me, I would take the time for the extra few blocks walk (actually about 15 minutes from Daguerre/Gen LeClerc and a little shorter down Ave du Maine) and enjoy a coffee/pastry/tartine there. There should still be outside seating later October.

                          1. re: PBSF
                            m
                            mr_gimlet Oct 22, 2010 04:55 AM

                            what time does the market (and associated bakeries) start during the week? is it early enough to raid the market for a picnic to take on a day trip to Versailles?

                            1. re: mr_gimlet
                              Parigi Oct 22, 2010 05:11 AM

                              Charcuteries should be opened by 9:30. Bakeries open even earlier.

                              1. re: mr_gimlet
                                PBSF Oct 22, 2010 07:57 PM

                                As Parigi stated, charcuteries and fromageries open around 9:30am. The boulangeries in my neighborhood on r. Daguerre open by 7am. The daily market on r. Daguerre as well as the other two open markets that I shop at: Edgar Quinet (Wed/Sat) and Montrouge (Tue/Fri) open at around 9am though some vendors might set up a little earlier.. All closed on Mondays. You will find all charcuteries, cheeses, fruit, bread, etc at these markets.

                                1. re: PBSF
                                  m
                                  mr_gimlet Oct 23, 2010 11:51 PM

                                  sorry, I did mean r. daguerre as it is near our hotel and the station for the train

                                  1. re: PBSF
                                    hychka Oct 24, 2010 09:10 AM

                                    Did you say, "Markets?"

                                    http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/...

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