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Paris -- draft itinerary -- please advise!

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. 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

      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

        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

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: monchique

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

          2. 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

              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.

                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.

            2. 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!