An Art Overload week in Paris

Paris in March sounds perfect 🙂

Searching for the flights are the easy part - hahaha - I love the little grid search that's below, makes it so easy to see the best time to go.
For me - it showed that March had the best fare deals to a week or two in Paris. But let's consider some more things about choosing our flights - things like overnight flights, or the number of stopovers and just exactly how long they are and where they are stopping.
I am really quite lazy and I will choose the convenience of non-stop over a less expensive flight. I also love overnight flights, especially long flights like the flight from Los Angeles to Paris would be. I can sleep anywhere, it's a learned behaviour. You just have to train yourself.
Or you can just try all the tricks - keep yourself awake as long as possible - no catnaps - try changing your sleep times before you go (so hard to do - I haven't found anyone who has been successful with that one!) - but to me the most crucial one to do is to get up in the morning on that first morning in your new location. Go out and do something that day - a good walk around, a museum tour, a city tour is a great thing to do your first day, remember to eat but do it at the times of your new location, even if you're not hungry. The idea here is to tell your body that this is the new time zone, and not give in when your body says no! Then have a bit of an early night on your first day. You don't want to be too hard on yourself. The next day will be easier.
But if cost is a concern for you - check very carefully on those layovers and stops. If you have long layovers or lots of stops - it feels like forever to get where you're going. Then the jet lag really gets to you, because you feel like you are flying hours and hours extra to get there. This extra time to reach your destination also pulls the time away from your holiday. Long stops, when strung together, can take as much as a day or even two away from your holiday. And nobody wants that. Share your tips to beat jet lag in the comments...

Are we sleeping?

Yes yes - in Saint Germain area so close to the river, with a view of Notre Dame - umm perfect! When I'm looking for hotels - I'm looking for that perfect combination of location, amenities, price, and quirkiness! huh what? quirkiness? Yeap that's right. I love staying in a hotel that has character and charm. Where there is something different and distinct about it. The something that sets it apart. Now don't confuse quirky or character with weird or dumpy. I refuse to stay in dumpy. Life's too short for crappy hotels. But the other criteria shouldn't be foreign to you. One of the things I always wonder when hotel shopping - is what is considered 'city center'? If you know the destination city at all, then you might have a bit of an idea. But it's easy to be wrong, or just have no idea. So, the map location is really a great tool when hotel shopping. Look for the landmarks and some of the attractions close by. Is it walkable? Are there lots of choices for eating? What about transit choices? bus, metro, taxi, bikes? le batobus?
Don’t forget to book your transfer from the airport to the hotel, taxi scams are real – so book with a service you trust. Banner 2 EN - 728x90

Day 1 - let's go walkabout

Let's get out in the city and walk off any possible jet lag. No sleeping in - Paris is waiting! Seeing as we are in such a great little neighbourhood - let's take an audio guided walking tour - I've pulled three great looking ones below. Notre Dame, a Seine River walk and a street art and food tour! Notre Dame just across the street, let's start there, check out how the rebuilding is going after that huge fire. Such beautiful cathedral - let's hope it's not too busy in the morning. Then let's opt for the street art and food tour, it'll be lunch time and some authentic Paris food cart cuisine sounds like the best thing to get acclimatized! After that we can leisurely walk back to our hotel along the river walk. We'll get back in time for dinner, a long hot shower and turning in early - I'm sure we'll be tired. 🙂

Day 2 - Musée d'Orsay

Again, today we may be sticking close to our home base, but we are going to have a jam-packed day. This little tour gives us entrance to Sainte-Chapelle, a stunning stained glass, 13th century small chapel. Let's go early, as it's right across the street, and see the morning sun streaming thru the colored glass. Then a quick bite at a cafe and on to the Musée d'Orsay. The building is the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900, with numerous amazing clocks! Gotta be on time for those trains 🙂 Musée d'Orsay exhibits mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Famous for its vast collection of Impressionist paintings, Musée d'Orsay holds the largest number of famous paintings in the world by artists such as — Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Gauguin, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Renoir.
If you're anything like me, this will be a whole day affair!
But we will head out for the last sailing of our little river cruise. We'll relax on the boat, sipping champagne, and watch the beautiful city at twilight. A great way to recover from the art overload and get ready for dinner. Where shall we go to eat?

Day 3 - Louvre

Did I call yesterday an art overload? Hahaha - here's another one for today! Louvre. It's so famous it has one name!
We will be spending the greater part of the day here today. Why? Because the Louvre is enormous and has the most extensive art collection ever. The Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight departments. If you wanted to spend one minute in front of every Louvre artwork, it could take up to 65 days to see everything! I wish we had that much time, but alas today will have to do. Our tour today is guided and includes the top ten must sees in the museum. This includes the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and hopefully my favourite Cupid's Kiss. You will be shocked at how small the Mona Lisa is IRL.
After this day I think it's a great night for a hot bath, room service and a good bottle of wine!

Day 4 - something tall and something small

I'm sure you've guessed what our something tall is - but have you guessed what our something small is?
Today's adventure is not so close to our hotel - so we are going to get there riding around on the batobus. I just love the batobus and could ride around all day - it's a great hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour from the river view.
I hope you're not afraid of heights, because our trip up the Eiffel Tower is going all the way to the top! This amazing iconic structure provides a spectacular view of the surrounding city. The tower is always crowded with people and our ticket gets us past the line-ups, but we do have to book this tour way in advance, it's hard to get as it sells out quickly. After we can have a leisurely walk in the park surrounding the tower and find our way to a great restaurant that's close by, there's so many choices. Then after dinner we can see the Eiffel lit up and twinkling before we batobus it back to the hotel.
Did you figure out the something small? As we ride around on the batobus loop, just past the Eiffel Tower, we will circle around a little island and on the end of the island is the mini Statue of Liberty!

Day 5 - the art of shopping

We start today at the beautiful Arc de Triomphe. Our ticket gets up on the rooftop, where we can see another spectacular view of the city. From up here we can also more clearly see why it's location, at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, was named Place de l'Étoile—the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The roundabout that surrounds the Arc de Triomphe is a crazed mass of automobiles with seemingly no road rules! So don't even try to j-walk to the Arc - there's a tunnel for pedestrians to get across under the roundabout!
The rooftop also gives us a view down an iconic street - the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Famously known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops. Maybe we can scout out our lunch cafe from here? hahaha probably not, I know my eyesight isn't that good! We can stroll the almost 2 kilometer long avenue, checking out the shops and cafes - once we've gone down and back - we'll pick our lunch cafe and relax while doing some people watching.

The other thing we need to do today is book our transfer to the airport from the hotel as we won't have time for it tomorrow!

Don’t forget to book your transfer to the airport from the hotel, taxi scams are real – so book with a service you trust.

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Day 6 - garden art

That's right a nice day trip to the countryside! Versailles
We've signed ourselves up for this great bike riding tour of the grounds at Versailles. Don't worry it includes entrance to the Palace too! We get to ride the Metro out and back - don't forget to keep your ticket as you need it to get out of the Metro stations. Pack a lunch if you want to, eat picnic style on the great lawn. Or while you are rowing your boat about leisurely on the lake.

Definitely take the time to view the gardens - they are the best part about Versailles (IMO that is). The Palace is beautiful but it can be a really long line and take a long time to get thru. There's tons of pictures on the internet of the rooms. So, if you are worried about time - spend it in the garden, they are best seen in person. Also, if the fountain shows are on when you're there - book a fountain show ticket! The fountains are simply amazing.

Day 7 - before we go...

One more walkabout before we go - this one to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica and Montmartre neighbourhood. If you are feeling particularly energetic you can try tackling the 300 or so stairs to get to the basilica - or you can just take the funicular!
Beautiful city views from the highest point in the city. Beautiful chapel and an interesting neighbourhood with an artistic history. So do we roam around as much as we can before we have to get to the airport? Or do we find a cute cafe and drink espresso or cafe latte and do our final round of people watching?

Before we leave the hotel, we need to see about storing our luggage - if the hotel isn't able to look after it - check out a space at Radical Storage.

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