Monday, March 23, 2015

Paris - itinerary in focus

Since I'll be jetting off to Paris in about 70 days, I think it appropriate to begin thinking of my itinerary. In the six weeks I'm there, I want to see the entire city and do what I can to live as much like a local as possible. (Albeit a local who doesn't have to go to work...haha!) I'd love to hear your input on some itinerary issues I'm facing right now.

Issue #1
I'm beginning to plan my approach and are sort of overwhelmed. Do I explore by arrondissement (basically, neighborhood)? With 20 arrondissements, that's a doable approach. The problem arises in that neighborhoods often have blurred boundaries. I can't really explore the 4th, for example, without also venturing over into the 3rd. Do I explore by major site/destination and just pick up the surrounding neighborhood as I go? There's a good chance I'd still see all of the arrondissements that way. Do I explore by theme - museums or churches or markets - and focus on one theme each week I'm there? That would likely encompass both the arrondissements and the major attractions. What approach would you try and why?

Issue #2
How would you organize your days in Paris? I should preface this by saying I don't want to plan my whole trip out in advance. What I do want is a framework for how I'll organize my days. I'm not a morning person, per se, but I'll prob be out and about by 9:30 or so each day. Would you aim for 3 specific 'goals' each day - morning, afternoon, evening - or do you think that's too much? Would you plan only 1 definite destination each day and spend the rest of the time wandering? Would you schedule some days heavily and leave other entire days open for whatev? Which approach would you take and why?

Issue #3
When would you take time for going back to the apartment for a rest? I can't imagine that I'll want to spend 16 hours a day out of the apartment, but I plan to be out late into the evening fairly often. When I have groceries or packages, of course I'll bring them home.   If I'm not feeling my best, of course I'll head back to the apartment. I guess I'm just wondering if you'd head back after lunch in a siesta type schedule or maybe around tea time in late afternoon or right before dinner later in the evening?  Why would that time of day be when you'd make a pit stop at home?

I'm excited to hear your opinions and suggestions! Stay tuned this week for some layouts I made this weekend. Happy Monday!


  1. If it were me I'd probably make a giant list of all of the things I want to do and see, maybe dividing them by "absolute musts" and "would like to's". I would then start every day with an "absolute must" and then just see where it leads. And a big YES on the naps! It will rejuvenate you so you can better enjoy some of the nightlife.

  2. I agree with Jules on making the list of things you absolutely want to do. Make sure you note when then are open as everything is not open every day. That will help you plan. Save some time for wondering around. Some of the best things are unplanned events. You will definitely want some rest time. You could build it in by picking up lunch at a take away and bring it back to your apartment for some down time. You can also relax in any of the gardens or parks while enjoying a picnic lunch.
    I think I would explore by major site and then surrounding neighborhood. That would cut down on traveling time. Don't forget to frequent the neighborhood open markets that are there several days a week. Can't wait to hear what you have planned.

  3. Going by arrondissements could be difficult as they are basically concentric circles, so the farther you go out, the longer it will take to go around each one. What about going to metro stops? I would plan a "go out" day and then a "putter" day. So one day you explore all day and the next you get groceries, walk to the bakery, art journal etc. Where is your appt? How many times have you been to Paris before?