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A week in Paris

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Suggestions for independent travellers in Paris

So you're travelling independently, planning your own trip to Paris, and wonder how best to pass the time while you're there? takes the difficulty out of deciding what visitor attractions to see, and when to do so, with this suggested programme for visitors spending a Week in Paris.
We presume that like most week visitors, you are arriving and departing on a Saturday; but if this is not the case, just adapt the days in function ofyour own holiday period. Take care with museum opening days. Details of this can be found on the Paris tourist attractions page.
Visit the Paris hotel guide for tips on where to stay in the French capital city.

How useful is a visitor pass ?

It certainly saves time as you can fast-track into most places, avoiding the queues: this is the main advantage of a visitor pass. But if you take a pass, use it sensibly, otherwise you may be wasting money rather than saving it. For the week plan below, you may want to take a full six-day pass  or you may prefer a two or three day pass, for Tuesday, Wednesday and maybe Thursday. (The best rates are with the  Paris city pass ).
The week plan below is for visitors arriving on Saturday.  Just adapt days of the week if you arrive on a different day...  but bear in mind that the Louvre and many other national museums are shut on Tuesdays.  And check out where everything is first, using our Paris tourist attractions map

A sample week plan for Paris 
Day 1 (Sunday)
Lazy morning: get your bearings, wander round the central area, enjoy a cup of coffee at a sidewalk café
Visit the Louvre; entrance is free of charge on the first Sunday of each month. You may need more than an afternoon to visit this very rich museum
Take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city, and get a guided tour of the city.  Or choose a more leisurely rickshaw tour or guided bicycle tour, or even a tour in a classic French "2CV"
Northern Paris: Visit the Marché aux Puces (world's largest flea market) at Porte de St Ouen, and/or visit Montmartre; here you can visit the Sacré Coeur basilica, and enjoy the views over the rooftops of Paris, then the narrow streeets of "Montmartre village", with its artists, little galleries and cafés and restaurants. Plenty of Parisian atmosphere here. Finally, wander down and see the Pigalle quarter, Paris's famous night-life area. Return to your hotel by metro, taking in at least part of the overhead metro line no. 2 (metro aérien) that passes through Pigalle
Western Paris: north of the Seine. Visit the Arc de Triomphe, wander down the Champs Elysées and enjoy a drink in a café. Admire the jardins des Tuileries.
Western Paris, south of the Seine. Visit the Eiffel tower and, if you then have time, visit the Musée d'Orsay nearby (see the great Impressionists collection), which is open on Tuesdays.
(If you want to visit more museums & monuments, take the Paris Museum Pass or the  Paris city pass  for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).
The City pass from Turbopass is the best value of the Paris visitor passes: just 119€ for 3 days, compared to 160€ for three days on the heavily advertised "Paris Pass".  With a pass, you'll avoid having to stand in lines or queues for each museum ; it is important to understand that the queues can – and in holiday periods will – be long for the best museums.
Note: you'll need to buy Eiffel tower tickets separately. None of the passes include the tower.
Eastern central Paris; Visit the free Musée Carnavalet, the museum of Paris, and discover the old quarters of the Marais.
Central Paris; After lunch, see Notre Dame cathedral, go up the tower. Also on the Ile de la Cité are the Conciergerie (a historic prison with museum of the French Revolution) and the Sainte Chapelle. If you don't have a  Paris city pass , visit the Conciergerie first and buy a double ticket Concièrgerie/Sainte Chapelle, as Concièrgerie queues tend to be shorter. Then either visit the Latin quarter close by, or wander along the banks of the Seine (upstream) and visit the Jardin de Plantes botanical gardens
Day out:
If you have a pass, note that it includes entry to several sites outside Paris, including Versailles and Fontainebleau. No need to buy a separate tour... though you'll need RER C train tickets for Versailles, and to buy regular train from Gare de Lyon for Fontainebleau. Passes include travel, but only within Paris.

If you haven't taken a pass, check out trips to  the Royal château at Versailles, or the older royal château at Fontainebleau. Either trip can be organised as an all inclusive guided trip, or for those who prefer to visit at their own pace can be done independently by taking the RER "C" suburban express train for Versailles, or a suburban train from Gare de Lyon for Fontainebleau (and bus from train station to the château).  Alternatively, jump on an RER A train in the middle of Paris, for the half-hour trip out to the little historic town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.  Here you can enjoy shopping in small shops and boutiques, visit the national museum of Archaeology in the renaissance chateau, or even take a walk in the forest, all within easy walking distance of the RER station
  Or check out other inclusive day-trip excursions from Paris
Take in another museum: either the Pompidou Center, or the Army Museum at Les Invalides, or the Paris Sewer Museum underground experience, or the Paris Catacombs
For your last afternoon, take a boat trip on the Seine ("Bateau Mouche"). Many trips depart from the Pont Neuf, which is the bridge in the photo at the top of this page, or from the Quai de Montebello, opposite Notre Dame. Finally, leave time for some shopping.
And to make a particularly memorable last day in Paris, choose from a range of   lunch or dinner cruises on the Seine or in the Eiffel tower.
Bid farewell to Paris.
If you plan to visit other parts of France or Europe by car, check out car hire options in France.

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Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. But there'smore to Paris than just the Louvre, a trip on the Seine, and a ride up the Eiffel Tower.... which are the stock of most package tours to Paris., the website for independent travellers, is packed with reliable and useful information about Paris, covering much more than just the top tourist sites. On this page we help you plan your own well-packed week's stay in the French capital..
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In an emergency
in Paris:

24 hr chemist / pharmacies:
a) 84, av des Champs-Elysées 75008, tel
0145 62 02 41
b) 6, place Clichy 75009, tel
0148 74 65 18 .

English-speaking pharmacies:
British Pharmacy
62, Avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris
0143 59 22 52

British-American pharmacy,
1 rue Auber, 75009
0142 65 88 29

English-language crisis line;
Daily 3 pm - 11pm
01 46 21 46 46

Call/phone: 15

Hertford British Hospital: 3, rue Barbès, 92300 Levallois-Perret
Tel 0146 39 22 22

American Hospital of Paris
63, Bd Victor Hugo
92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine
0146 41 25 25

Paris City Pass
"Time is money", as the saying goes, and unless you want to spend hours standing in a queue to get into the top Paris monuments, a skip-the-line pass is vital.

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