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How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

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How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

Hi all,

I will be visiting Paris with a friend for the first time from 5th May 2014, but cannot decide on how many days to stay and even which part of Paris is the best location to stay - HELP!! :)

I was thinking 4 nights/5 days, but want to ensure we get to see the major attractions without being too rushed. I also dont want to spend too many days there as I will be moving on and travelling to parts of Spain, Nice and Italy for the remaining of my already crammed Europe trip. So I wanteds to get an idea of what is enough but not too much or too little.

How many days would you recommend? 4 nights/5 days or 5 nights/6 days? I think this is the max days I can afford to spend in Paris.

Also, which part of Paris would be the best area to stay? Somewhere that is close to the major attractions, safe, and not too expensive. Any recommendations for hotels we could look at?

Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

So far, I have spent a total of almost 2 months in Paris, and I have still not seen everything. Spend as much time there as you can, balancing your interest in Paris against your interest in other places. It is your decision.

It is almost 5 km from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, so there is nowhere that is close to all the major sights. Any part of Paris likely to be visited by tourists is safe.

"Not too expensive" is very vague. How much are you intending to spend per night, in euros?

San Diego...
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2. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

I would do the maximum that you can. So I'd do the 6 days 5 ni option.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

My longest stay in Paris has been 4 nights. But this does not mean you have 5 full days. If you stay 4 nights, it means you have 3 full days, and 2 part days depending on what time you arrive and leave on those first and last days. As long as you stay somewhere reasonably central, a combination of walking and using the Metro will get you to all the major sites.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

I would say a week would be nice for first time visit, but actually any time. You will come back anyway.

Single digit arrondissements are considered city centre. My favourite are 6th, 5th and 4th and close to the river. That gets you within walking distance to many tourist attractions.

Houston
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5. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

For my first trip to Paris, I spent days/weeks AGONIZING (think Drama Queen) over the perfect area and hotel. Wasted time. Pick a hotel with consistently good reviews that is near any metro and you've got it made. First timers will often pick the 5th or 6th ARR and it is a great place to start.

Paris metro is easy to use and will get you to within a few blocks of the tourist sights. Enjoy!

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

I think longer is better then shorter for a first visit,,, I think shorter visits can get a bit frantic and you can miss some of the charm of being able to wander and linger..

I agree with Tesa.. 4th, ( Marais) 5th ( Latin Quarter) and 6th( St Germain) would be my first timers picks.

Paris, France
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7. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

I agree with what MeMe said… a lot of short visit people get too carried away with things like the precise location they want to stay in, forgetting that they will probably not actually spend that much time at all in that area anyway, as they'll be visiting lots of other areas, and probably not realising that Paris within the peripherique, is large, but not enormous, and the metro/RER/bus systems are incredibly efficient. (walking between many of the famous sites is also dead easy, and highly recommended).

It seems that, for most visitors to Paris, however many days you stay, you'll wish you had more. Of course the same can be said for many cities around the world.

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8. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

Thank you guys so much for the suggestions and responses!! This is great. I think I have just made up my mind to stay the 5 nights/6 days in Paris as suggested and make the most of it. I think with major cities, especially somewhere such as Paris, it is best to stay as long as you can. Awesome! That is one part of my trip set lol

We probably dont want to spend more then 150 Euros per night, and I think Tesa, Meme and Joan have just made it so much easier to decide which area to stay in. We will look in to the 4th, 5th and 6th area's for our first time. I did a quick research on the area's and they sound great! Thank you, you have all made it so much easier to decide! :)

In regards to getting around Paris, The Metro's are reliable and easy to get to and around the attractions? I have been told that if you do not know French, it is sometimes hard to get help in Paris. Is this true? Or is this just an over exageration?

If i will be travelling from Paris to Barcelona, what is the best way to do this? Would you suggest a train or flying there?

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9. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

70,000 days! (Ooops, I just read your full post; okay, obviously, the more days the better - so 5 nights and my sympathies, because you are going to wish you had more).

You will have no trouble speaking English in France - no worries. We worried too, before our first trip, but there was never even the vaguest moment of language problem - we stayed in the 5th, we went from Charles deGaulle to our hotel in the 5th, taxi driver spoke English (and could read, as we had our address on a card), from there on out, we were mostly doing tourist things and were amazed at how well everyone spoke English - in gift shops, museums, metro, everywhere. Even random people to whom we said, "Je suis desolée, pardonnez-moi, parlez-vous anglais?"

Of course, everyone should know a few basic words in the local language, where ever they travel.

Fly to Barcelona and use the extra time in Paris.

Metro tickets (bought in packets of ten called carnets - kar-nays - or purchased individually - work on underground trains (métro) and on the bus system.

The French in general are very helpful and courteous and...most of them can render basic aid in English, for sure.

New Jersey
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10. Re: How many days is enough for a first timer in Paris?

Paris is amazing, you will love it. I think the 6d/5n option is a great choice. I agree with the others about the areas to stay in. I would add in the 1st to the list but that may not work for your budget options. Any of those areas are great. I think the 5th or 6th may work out the best. Great areas for food, shopping and sight locations. Paris is a big city but it is very easy to get around. I walk everywhere. Its a fun way to find all the cool hidden treasures a city like Paris has to offer. Study a map of the city ahead of time just to get a basic idea of the central city. I am one of those people who does not get jet lagged. I don't sleep on the plane much, but I am so excited to be there I dont want to waste any time napping. It is also a good way to get you body on Paris time. Paris metro system is very good. Just be careful for pickpockets. Keep you purse close and always keep you zipper closed. Read up about pickpockets on this forum, theres lots of very good advice. Enjoy, sounds like an amazing trip. You are hitting many of my favorite places :)