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Slow Down and Experience Paris

In the past few months I’ve visited Paris on three occasions with three very diverse groups.  With each visit, we stayed for three nights and packed in all the sights into two and a half days. Although it is possible to see Paris’ major sights in that short timeframe, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not sufficient enough to “experience” the city.

Paris can be grueling even on the best of days. Walking to see the sights, climbing up and down subway stairs, standing in museums, fighting the crowds, and trying to pack two or three major activities into a ten hour day will wear out even the most avid traveler. Believe me, I’ve done it this summer with folks ranging from 13 to 80 years of age and all of them wanted to slow it down.

When in Paris, there is quite a list of “must-see/do” activities.  A visit would not be complete without including: an ascent up the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Louvre Museum, a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral and Latin Quarter, relaxing in a park such as the Tullieries or Luxembourg, cruising on the Seine River, going up to the Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, doing some shopping on the Champs-Élysées, experiencing a picnic on the Champs du Mars, and enjoying a couple of traditional fine dining experiences.  That’s what I include on my tours, but there is so much more!

Consequently, on many of my 2014 tours I am going to extend the stay in Paris to four nights, provide more transportation options (such as the Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus) and limit the number of “must see/do” sights per day.  Hopefully, this will allow individual time to slow down and experience Paris.  I’d like to know what you think.  If you want to make a comment, please leave your reply below.

About the Author

David McGuffin established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.

  1. Andrea R Reply

    Extending the Paris stay to 4 nights sounds like an excellent idea, although I would not have wanted to shorten our stay in any of the previous locations…Munich, Freiburg, Reutte, Salzburg, Lauterbrunnen, Beaune…I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any of those stops. We had exceptionally high temps while we were in Paris, and I think that added to the problem. An extra day certainly would help!

  2. Ramona McGee Reply

    Increasing Paris to 4 nights is a great plan! Would suggest increasing the length of trip to more than 10 days. Hop-on-hop-off buses is a good plan – gives the traveler a better overview of the city verses subway travel. Might be difficult with a larger group. If it works for destinations, the train is much more relaxed. Avoid travel to Paris in July & August, if it works for ones schedule.

  3. David Reply

    Thank you Ramona and Andrea for you comments. I do plan to devote more days to the city.

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