From Groombug , May 2007
Five Perfect Days in Paris
Day 1: Walk, and fall in love with Paris!
Start your morning with espresso and croissants from a nearby boulangerie, then head to the Luxembourg Gardens where youll feel right at home next to all the other couples in love. Take your time strolling through the Latin Quarter, down Rue St Michel and across the bridge to the cathedrals of Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle. Youll want to catch the evening concert at Sainte Chapelle, so call ahead for details. Finish off your first day in Paris with a cruise down the River Seine, an ultra romantic way to see the city of lights, or head to the oh so Parisian jazz bar La Bilboquet. First drink prices at no cover jazz clubs are stunningly priced, so be ready to splurge.
Day 2: The Louvre
Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of the Louvre. Even if youre not that into museums youll be absolutely blown away. With so much to see it can be overwhelming, so choose just a few things you would both like to see before going to lunch. We suggest the sculptures in the Richlieu wing and the large wall sized paintings in the Denon Wing as good places to start. Take an afternoon break and pick up a fabulous picnic at Les Délices de Verneuil, 42 rue de Verneuil, 01/42-61-24-12, to eat on the nearby pedestrian bridge, Pont des Artes. Return to the Louvre to see the next few things on your list. Dont try to see it all, just savor every moment. If you still have energy, go for dinner at the trendy Restaurant Georges in the Pompidou Center
Do be aware that the art of the pickpocket is also thriving in European tourist centers.
Day 3: Versailles
Take the RER-C train to Versailles Rive Gauche, not Versailles C.H. to this utterly decadent, luxurious, and grand palace. Versailles was the envy of kings when it was built and remains the epitome of royal indulgence to this day. Only 45 minutes from Paris, it is well worth the excursion. Do visit on a weekday, take your museum pass and be sure to see the Hall of Mirrors. Dont forget to get outside the palace to enjoy the magnificent gardens, which are as impressive as the lavish interiors.
Day 4: Musee d’Orsay, Montmartre and Sacré Coeur
After a light breakfast head to the Orsay Museum, this is truly one of the most memorable museums in the world. Housed in a beautifully restored train station, the architecture alone is worth the trip, but its the stunning collection of impressionist art that makes the Orsay world-renowned. Leave the Orsay around 2pm, (14:00) for the Montmartre area and Sacré Coeur cathedral. Youll want to go up into the dome of the cathedral before it closes to see a view of the city, unrivaled even by the Eiffel Tower. For dinner, youre off to nearby Le Basilic Montmartre where youll dine on delicious French country fare. End your evening sipping wine at an open-air café on the square at Place du Tertre. Here youll find a vibrant art scene that has been a cornerstone of Parisian life for centuries.
Day 5: The Marais
Begin at Hotel deVille and make your way on foot to one of the most picturesque squares in Europe, the Place des Vosges. On the way youll find yourself surrounded by stunning medieval architecture and a million irresistible places to shop. It is easy to spend the whole day and night in the Marais, and we suggest that you do. For a beautiful musical treat youll want to stop in at St. Gervais Cathedral, just kiddy corner from the Hotel de Ville and find out when their music program begins. When day turns into evening, get a table for dinner at Ma Bourgogne, très romantique!
Junebug Loves these places to stay:
$$$ The Grand and Apartment Rooms at LHotel
$$ Hotel de la Bretonnerie near the Marais
$ Rue Nobel Montmartre just minutes from Sacré Coeur
Special thanks to our friend, French translator, and Parisian insider, Michelle Bailat – Jones for her support with this article and our 15 french phrases. Check out her website at http://www.bailatjones.com/.