2015 Paris Itinerary

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ARCHIVE (2015)

Wednesday, December 23rd 2015
Depart for Paris
Depending on your flight, you might leave late morning or afternoon
We prefer to arrive in Paris Christmas Eve, in the early morning

Thursday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)
Arrive in Paris (CDG)
Conduct Airport Business (Museum Pass, Postage Stamps, Metro Tickets)
Avoid the long line at the CDG Train Station 2 (Aérogare2)
Use the ticket machine, if you have a European-style Credit Card with a “Chip”
(Otherwise you need to stand in the long line for customer service)
Buy an RER ticket into Paris and a stack of 10 Metro Tickets “a Carnet” for travel through Paris
Be Careful: It’s Jet-Lag-Day – your nerves with be frayed and your patience has been spent,
it’s time to engage your “sangfroid
Check-in to Montmartre Hotel
Don’t take a Nap. Take a hot bath and change clothes
Discover Montmartre, the Artists District
Shop for Groceries and Supplies in some stores which will be closed on Christmas Day
Purchase Advance Ticket for a Christmas Day Movie
Our best way to adjust your body-clock to Paris time is to go to bed early and get up and get out of bed early the next morning.

Friday, December 25th (Christmas)
A Sunrise Church Service at Notre Dame is a good plan
(we missed it the last two years, and slept-in)
If your alarm is set and you stand-up, you’ll always remember Christmas morning at Notre Dame
Afterwards, the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter are uncharacteristically desolate, so are the iconic (overpriced and touristy) cafes which we have yet to visit
Then it’s back to Montmartre and up to Sacre Couer
A great and storied area to explore along with the Montmartre Cemetery
Sometimes there is a first run movie worth seeing, Christmas Evening

Saturday, December 26th
Moving Day (from Montmartre to “downtown” Paris)
Up and Out, Early and in-line when the Museums Open
Le Louvre
Or, Run with Let’s Run Paris! (Meet Up Group) Le Cercle Luxembourg
Back to Montmartre for Check-out
Travel downtown into Paris
Check-in to Hotel
And Explore Paris
It’s the weekend, so major museums are mobbed
But Center Pompidou is open late (until 8:00)
Other secondary attractions might be worth a visit:
Such as the Pantheon, Invalides, Pere LaChaise Cemetery or the Promenade Plantée Parkway (Highline)
Cruise-by l’Orangerie on a Velib’ to see if the line is manageable
(admission until 5:15 – closes at 6:00)
And it’s Saturday night in Paris, a great time to throw-away the guide books and just walk

Sunday, December 27th
Walk to an early Sunday morning church service before the Museums Open
Saint Sulpice is a perfect option
Le Louvre
Markets (Marchés), Street Food, Wine Bars and Falafels
Last year we went to Opera Comique – a little expensive but a solid crowd of Parisians (few tourists)
It’s exciting to follow the swarm of patrons for Sunday opera in Paris
Or Church Concerts, with open seating and long-crazy lines of tourists
Saint-Chapelle is a good option, it is very small, so all seats are good

Monday, December 28th
Moving Day (From Paris out to Versailles)
Up and Out Early and in-line when the Museums Open
Le Louvre
Back to Hotel for Check-out
Travel to Versailles on RER train
Check-in to Versailles Hotel
Explore Versailles
Tour the Chateau (if the line is manageable)
Otherwise tour the grounds and outlying buildings

Tuesday, December 29th
Up and Out Early into Paris and In-Line when Musee D’Orsay Opens
(it is the only major museum open today – and very crowded)
Lunch: It’s a weekday in Paris, you might find someplace for lunch
You could travel to Basillica St. Denis afterwards
Back to Versailles on RER
Tour the Chateau or the Grounds of Versailles

Wednesday, December 30th
Moving Day (from Versailles to La Defense)
This is a day to enjoy the morning, sleep-in, jog the grounds of Versailles and buy something for breakfast at the outdoor Marché
The hotel has an excellent breakfast (last year, it is curiously provided for free)
It’s one of the few Paris Hotel Breakfasts worth paying for. Like a breakfast we had at the Ritz (in Chicago)
Check-out of Versailles
Ride RER into Paris
Check-in to La Defense
(The room will probably not be ready)
Climb up into Arc de Triomphe or Visit the Opera House
Lunch: It’s a weekday in Paris, you might find someplace for lunch
Grocery Shopping downtown (we haven’t found any grocery stores in La Defense)
Evening Meal at Chartier

Thursday, December 31st (New Years Eve)
Final Day in Paris
It’s guaranteed to be a wacked-out crowded, crazy day in Paris
Up and Out Early and in-line when the Museums Open
Le Louvre
Tie Up Loose Ends
Do some final shopping
Finish your correspondence and write Postcards
(Best Selection of Postcards on ground floor of le Louvre)
Buy some groceries and New Years Eve goodies, maybe some Champagne
Relax and enjoy your last afternoon in Paris
Cats at Théâtre Mogador on New Years Eve
There have been no fireworks in Paris on New Years Eve
Last year there was an impressive light-show at the Arc de Triomphe
Although we are seldom up for midnight, La Defense has an spectacular plaza overlooking the City Lights of Paris

Friday, January 1st 2016 (New Years Day)
Up Early and Out for a Jog, with several paths about La Defense
Mail your postcards (or leave them at the Front Desk – to amuse the staff)
Check-out then ride Metro into Paris and RER train to Airport
(All trains are free from late New Years Eve through New Years Day)
Departure from Paris (CDG)

* A good traveler has no fixed plan and is not intent upon arriving” – Lao Tzu

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