What are the simple must-sees while we're there. Trying to be realistic.
Definitely want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Arch d'T, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and maybe the Rodin museum.
Is that too ambitious?
Any good tours in English that you could recommend? Should we book before we go or do it there?
The Louvre will take you most of one day, but you can easily do the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame in one day - and still have time for more. They're withing walking distance to each other. Personally, I'd recommend Pere Lachaise and the Catacombs for something unique and interesting, but with only 3 days stick to what you really want to see. You can also head out to Versailles for a day - it's breathtaking, too.
I would also think about montmartre and the view from nearby Sacre coeur. I see you are from the USA. Did you know that near the Eiffel Tower there is a small version of the Statue of Liberty? Don't forget that it was made in France.
take the metro out to St. Denis and visit the bascilica. in my estimation, it is one of the most under rated, but historically significant places to visit in the paris area. read up about it
also, just walk around the Bastille and the Marais districts. Not to be missed is the Place des Vosges
Here are my tips.
Take a boat through the Seine River. Not the fancy ones with dinner, but the cheaper ones (they have blue and yellow signs if I'm not wrong) and with daylight. You'll see most of the must-to-see places from the boat in an hour and with an english (and other languages) explanation.
I like D'Orsay better than Louvre.
Like the previous posts said, don't miss Place de Voges and Sacre-couer.
If you have the time and the weather is fine, buy a wine and a baguette and have a picnic on one of these sites:
Parc des Mars (in front of the eiffel tower)
Parc du Luxembourg
The seine bank
To save you some time, don't go up on every high monument with a view, specially if there are lines. On the stairs of sacre-cour you'll have a great view for free and withou waiting.
Eat a croque monsier at Les Deux Magots. It's not cheap, but it is not impossible. And it'll give you a sense of a parisien cafe. Jean Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway were clients. Seat outside and just look at the movement of one of the coolest neighborhoods: st. germain des pres.
In my opinion, the best thing in Paris is just get lost and walk around. The first time I went to the city, there was a stryke of all major monuments and touristic things. I came all the way from Brazil and I couldn't go inside the louvre or d'orsay and I couldn't go up on eiffel tower or arc du triumphe. But I love the city anyway. So relax and enjoy the things you are able to do in 3 days.
You'll have a wonderful time.
One more thing. Parisiens were nicer to me when I didn't approach speaking english. When I started with a poor "Bon jour. je ne parle pa français...", they were more helpful than when I started with a "Do you speak english?".
I hope I have helped.
In my opinion, the best thing in Paris is just get lost and walk around.
I second this. Paris is such a beautiful city to walk around in.
Definitely go to Musee D'Orsay over the Louvre. Other good museums are the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin. Pere Lachaise cemetery and the catacoombs are not to miss. I also like the Sacre Coeur and the Pompidou Centre....
From the top of Pompidou Centre you¡ll have nice views of Paris, like this one or this one.
Ok, it´s not the top of the Eiffel Tower but is free and you won´t spend hours waiting.
Aarantes is absolutely right. If you have only 3 days it is probably better to skip the monuments and museums and concentrate on walking around the streets of Paris and having coffee on sunny terrasses.
The "Bateaux Mouches" (tourist boats on the Seine river) will give you a good overview of the main sights in Paris. Take the boat at "Pont de l'Alma" metro station it is cheaper than in Notre Dame.
Here are a few ideas of walk in Paris:
- "Le Marais": Take the tube to Bastille then walk till "Hotel de Ville" via "place des Vosges" and "Beaubourg". This walk crosses the "Marais" area, one of the most beautiful areas of Paris with stunning palaces and renaissance mansions. It is also the gay area of Paris.
- "Le 5eme arrondissement" Take the tube to "Gobelin", walk to "rue Mouffetard" then Pantheon, and carry on until you reach the Seine river around "Notre Dame de Paris". Turn right following the Seine river till you reach the "Institut du Monde Arabe". Go to the rooftop of this building. (It's free and the viewpoint is great). Come back to "Gobelin" via "les arenes de Luteces" (Paris ancient Roman arenas) and "Jardin des Plantes". Don't forget to stop and have a mint tea at Paris Great Mosquee.
- "Les Champs" Take the tube to "Musee du Louvres". Walk in straight line from the Louvres till the Arc the triomphe via the Tuileries Garden, Concorde square and the Champs Elysees.
- "Saint Germain" Take the tube to Saint Michel and walk till "Invalides" crossing the posh "St Germain" area
- "Montmartre" Take the tube to "Pigalle" and walk to "Barbesse" via "Place des Abesses", "Place du Tertre" and "Sacre Coeur". It is very touristy but the view is great.
Have a nice trip
you guys sound like you know a little about france, could you tell me , is english well spoken there it is sounding like it isnt!! How can i learn basic french quick!!! Im going ther ein a few weeks