Paris Itinerary 2020 (CANCELLED)

Posted on Updated on

2020 Paris Itinerary


Our annual trips to Paris present hardships, whether it be the transit strikes, the yellow vest protest, the COVID-19 closures and relentless over-tourism of the city, ever the realistic environmental concerns of transatlantic flights.

However, we love this city, the prospect of missing a year is scarey. We enjoy the challenges, learn from our mistakes, every year presents changes but also opportunities.

This year we might visit Paris before the Holidays to avoid the congestion and closures during the holiday.

10 Nights
5 Hotels

Perhaps, the year of the Hammam
This year we may finally visit a Hammam
The ultimate spa day (Sundays and Tuesdays for Men)
Women on remaining days

Find a New Church
Take a tour and explore Churches and their Organs during rebuilding of Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Run in Paris
We are in training for the Barcelona Marathon, so our training must continue
Let’s Run Paris has runs Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings
(we never participate in tours, but these runs with “locals” are the next-best-thing to a guided tour)
Versailles offers it’s garden and canal
La Defense has runs through plazas and parks

Wednesday, December 9th 2020
Depart for Paris
If you can, shop for a reasonable Non-Stop Flight
which arrives in Paris early in the day
Things will be so much easier
-You will have most of the day to become situated
-Even If there are delays, they will not be a problem

Thursday, December 10th 2020
In a change of Strategy, we start in Versailles this year
This meshes with our respect for weekdays, which are precious and few
The Chateau of Versailles will be closed Monday and Christmas
The Gardens of Versailles are open every day of the year
Be Careful: It’s Jet-Lag-Day – your nerves with be frayed and your patience has been spent,
So it’s time to engage your “sangfroid
Conduct Airport Business (Museum Pass, Postage Stamps)
Buy an RER ticket into Paris and a stack of 10 Metro Tickets “a Carnet” for travel through Paris
Travel through Paris Center briefly to see Paris
Maybe have breakfast at Pied de Corchon
Check-in to the Versailles Hotel (Breakfast Included)
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.
Don’t do too much the first day, other than a bath
Versailles is always Closed on Mondays and Wednesday (Christmas)
(Although the garden is open 365)

Friday, December 11th, 2020 (Christmas Eve)
Tête de veau (a traditional Christmas food)
A Day with So-Many-Possibilities
Breakfast in Versailles
Musee D’Orsay is the only Major Museum open on Tuesdays
Museum Pass Day #1
Week Day #1
It is a Weekday, it is before Christmas – treasure it
Over the Holidays everyday seems to be either the weekend or Holiday
So Weekdays are precious
Have a Special Lunch (Chez Denise?)
Hammam Opportunity (drop off bags) #1
Tour of Bridges, Fountains or Cemeteries
Get in line early after visiting Eric Kaiser for a Pain au chocolat or Pain aux raisins and our daily Baguette aux céréales
Back to Versailles on RER
Tour the Chateau (if the line is manageable)
Otherwise tour the grounds and outlying buildings
Discover Versailles, located in the western suburbs of Paris
Maybe find a church for Christmas, or Christmas Eve Services
There are a variety of bakeries and groceries in historic Versailles, we avoid the other touristy side of town
Shop for Groceries and Supplies in some stores which will be closed on Christmas Day
A Late Christmas Eve Service

Saturday, December 12th, 2020 (Christmas)
Christmas Morning Versailles Run
Check-out of Versailles Hotel
Christmas Service
Move to Montmartre
One of Our Favorite Days:
This is a day to enjoy the morning, sleep-in, RUN the grounds of Versailles
The hotel has an excellent breakfast, it’s one of the few Paris Hotel Breakfasts worth paying for
Montmarte on Christmas Day (Sacre Couer)
Maybe a good day for a Movie
Museum Pass Day #2 (Pomdidou)
(Notre-Dame de Paris)

Sunday, December 13th, 2020
Da Vinci Day
Up and Out, Early and in-line when the Museums Open
Museum Pass Day #3
Week Day #2
Le Louvre (Special De Vinci Exhibit)
Thursday Night Run (7:30)
Day #1 of Velib 7 Day Pass (Thursday, December 26 – Wednesday, January 1st)

Monday, December 14th, 2020
Early Move to clear the “Weekday”
Museum, Falaffel back to Bercy
Check-out of Montmartre Hotel (Sans Breakfast)
Move to Bercy (early move)
Hammam Opportunity (drop off bags)
Museum Pass Day #4
Week Day #3
If you Move Early – Not required to leave museums early
(and spent multiple hours shuttling between hotels)
Able to have lunch, visit a second museum and utilize a precious weekday)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Saturday Run
Breakfast in Bercy
Maybe bike into an early Church Service
Saturday Morning Run 9:00
Up and Out for a Saturday morning RUN (Lets Run Paris)
No Museum Pass
Visit venues not covered by the Museum Pass
Velib to Naturalia
Picpus Cemetery

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020
Hamman Day #2 (Great after long-run)
Check-out of Bercy Hotel
Or Early Breakfast, Bike into Church, a Service before La Louvre
Move to La Defense (early move)
Perhaps an early Church Service before the Museums
or Early Move to La Defense (Breakfast Included)
Hammam Opportunity (drop off bags)
Breakfast in Bercy
Bike to Church
Museum Pass Day #1

Thursday, December 17th 2020
Morning Run La Defense
Monday Night Run 8:00 (Let’s Run Paris)
Museum Pass Day #2
Week Day #4
Up and Out Early into Paris for Church Service then in-line when the Le Louvre Opens
Lunch at Wine Shop or Falafel

Friday, December 18th, 2020 (New Years Eve)
Hammam Day #3
Check-out of La Defense Hotel
Move to Bagnolet (early move)
We call this our final day in Paris (although it is not)
Visit a Museum, transact our final business
Musee D’Orsay is the only Major Museum open on Tuesdays
Discover Père-Lachaise/Gambetta Neighborhood

Museum Pass Day #3
Week Day #5
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
Then Tie Up Loose Ends
Do some final shopping

Buy some groceries and New Years Eve goodies, maybe some Champagne
The last two (3) years we purchased theater tickets, but it is not the best night to be out in the Metro returning to our hotel at 11p while people rush through the subway on the way to midnight celebrations. So celebrate early and visit churches and theaters the night before (you can be practical in Paris or you can succumb to the tourist experience)
There have been no fireworks in Paris on New Years Eve for several years
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

Saturday, December 19th 2020 (New Years Day)
Initially, New Years Day was the day to fly home
Now we arrive one day earlier, stay one day later
New Years Morning is like Christmas Morning
-Go to Church
-Go to Breakfast
-Walk some empty street (perhaps the Left Bank)
Final Day in Paris (But almost everything will be closed)
Museum Pass Day #4 Pompidou and D’Orsay
Finish your correspondence and write Postcards
(Best Selection of Postcards on ground floor of le Louvre and a post office to buy French stamps)
Relax and enjoy your last afternoon in Paris
Lunch in Bagnolet
Ride the Velib

Sunday, December 20th 2020
RUN Bangolet
Breakfast in Bagolet
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
Departure from Paris (CDG)

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

Les Cinq Hôtels provides further information on the Five Hotels where we stay

Learn More
Contact Us

Subscribe to Paris Memos (our email list)

Waiting List
Why should I join the Waiting List?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s