France: Paris

While I generally believe in planning a European vacation with the optimistic assumption that I will return, there’s also a logic in ensuring that a first trip to Europe covers at least a few of the “greatest hits”.  Which is why, our upcoming family adventure will include three days in Paris, even though (gasp!) it isn’t one of my favorite cities.

Getting to Paris

We’ll arrive in Paris, via train from Normandy after two days on the coast.


Option 1: For an early evening in Paris
4:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
6:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3124
Option 2: Enjoy an afternoon in Rouen
5:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
7:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3128
Option 3: Enjoy a long day on the coast with a stop in Hornfleur/Giverny
6:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
8:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3130


Paris Hotel Details


Courtesy Atelier Chaplin, AirBnB

Passage du Ponceau, Paris
Second Arrondissement,
Île-de-France 75002

— located near hotel le 123 Sebastapol

Contact the apartment host once all travel details are finalized in order to coordinate arrival and departure time from the apartment.



Eiffel Tower


Eiffel Tower, Courtesy House Beautiful

    • Metro: Line no.6 Bir-Hakeim station or Line no.9, Trocadéro station
    • 9:00 AM TO 11:45 PM (10:30 PM to visit the top)
    • Stairs and elevators begin at 9:30 am
    • Estimated wait time 30 – 120 minutes
    • Cost:€17.00
    • Not Included with Paris City Pass
    • Save time, buy tickets online in advance

Paris City Pass


Paris Pass, Courtesy

The Paris Pass is a complete sightseeing package which provides skip-the-line entry to more than 55 museums and monuments, transportation, and city  tours.

  • Purchase online for shipment to the USA or pickup the pass in Paris
  • Pass provides access to all public transportation within the city
  • One, two, and multiple day options are available
  • Includes access to Versailles, Hop-on, Hop-off tours; and the Bateaux Boat



Louvre Museum, Courtesy Paris Bus Lady

The Musée du Louvre is 650,000 square feet featuring 35,000 objects and nine million visitors per day, so this requires planning. Use the Porte des Lions entrance for the shortest lines, or via the underground mall immediately adjacent to the Louvre museum via Passage Richelieu.

  • Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris – France
  • Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)
  • +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
  • Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:45 PM
  • Cost: €12.00 (adults), €9.00 (under 26) – Free with Paris City Pass

Notre Damefrance-paris-notre-dame-cathedral

Located on the Île de la Cité Notre Dame Cathedral is considered one of the best (and largest) examples of French Gothic architecture in the world – with detailed gargoyles and stained glass windows added over time, the Cathedral is one of the most recognized churches in the world.

  • Metro Stop: Les Halles, Cité (metro 4), Saint Michel-Notre Dame (RER B & C)
  • Vespers daily at 5:45 pm
  • Open daily: 7:45 am – 6:45 pm (7:15 pm Saturday & Sunday)
  • Cost: Cathedral is free, towers €10.00 (Free under 26) – Free with Paris City Pass

Bateaux Parisiensdb-diner-croisiere-seine

A one hour Seine River cruise on a Bateaux Parisiens, exploring the city’s secrets and history combined with an audio guide in 13 languages.

  • Metro: Trocadero; Bir-Hakeim, Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel (RER C) 5
  • Hop on or Off the River Tour at the following stops: Pier 3 near the Eiffel Tower is the main starting point for Seine River Cruise
  • +33 (0)1 44 11 33 36
  • Tours depart every 30 minutes, 10:00 am – 22:30 (April – September)
  • Cost: €14.00 (Free under 26) – Free with Paris City Pass

Arc De Triomphetumblr_static_arc_de_triomphe_1a1

The iconic Arc de Triomphe was built between 1806 and 1836, and provides a spectacular views of the Parisian city plot from the roof of it’s iconic nineteenth century arch.

  • Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
  • +33 1 55 37 73 77
  • Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 23:00 (April – September), Last admission 22:30
  • Cost: €12.00 (Adult) – Free with Paris City Pass

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