Explore the city of Paris while visiting Disneyland Paris | International Travel | PassPorter.com

Disneyland Paris Easy Day Trips

A Disneyland Paris Planning Article

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 02-25-2016

Continuing in our series of articles, looking at day trips you can take when you’re visiting Disney parks around the world, this time, we turn our attention to Europe, and Disneyland Paris.

Explore the city of Paris while visiting Disneyland Paris | PassPorter.com
Paris - Arc de Triomphe

The stunning Arc de Triomphe, built to commemorate Napoleon’s greatest victory.

If you’re heading “over the pond” to visit the parks from the States, there’s every chance that you do want to see more than just Disney. After all, Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason. It’s beautiful, with so much to see and do. We’re fortunate to live close enough to it that we can literally just pop over there for a day trip from our home, so I’ve made numerous visits there over the years.

First things first, how do you get into Paris itself? Well, it couldn’t be easier. You simply make your way to the Marne-La-Vallee station at Disneyland Paris from wherever you’re staying in the resort, and hop on the next train out. It’s a terminus station, so there’s no danger of going the wrong way.

To me, there are some not-to-be missed sights for any first time visitor to Paris, although of course everyone’s views will differ. The first of those is the Notre Dame cathedral, located on an island in the middle of the River Seine that runs straight through the middle of the city. The first stone of this magnificent building was laid almost 1,000 years ago, and it was completed in the 14th century. Best of all, and something of a rarity today, this is somewhere you can visit free of charge, although of course donations are always welcome. There’s a huge amount to see in here, and it’s not unusual for me to just sit inside and wonder at the stunning stained glass windows.

From here, if you’re an art lover, a visit to the Louvre is probably on your agenda. Despite my many forays into the city, I’ve never been inside, although I have admired the architecture from outside. In truth, galleries are just not my thing, and I’m also acutely aware this one is overwhelmingly big, so I know I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. It’s a pleasant 20 minute stroll from the Notre Dame, or you can catch the Metro system to get there. In a new move for the museum, you can finally purchase advance tickets from their website, meaning you can avoid the lines. Be sure to avoid the Louvre on a Tuesday, as it’s closed then. There is free access to the collections on the first Sunday of each month between October and March, which may sound like a wonderful offering, but everyone else will be thinking the same, and unless you plan on being there on or before the opening time, you could be in for a long wait to get into the museum.

If you’re in the mood for walking, and let’s face it, if you’re on a Disney vacation, no doubt you will be, you can stroll through the beautiful Tuileries gardens towards Place de la Concorde, where you’ll find the 3,200 year old Luxor obelisk in the centre. From here, you can head along the famous Champs Elysees, pausing to enjoy the various shops, and restaurants dotted around. Be warned though, while you may think of this as a romantic street, the romance is taken away somewhat by the various lanes of seemingly non-stop traffic.

If you have the stamina to make it the whole way along the Champs Elysees, you’ll eventually arrive at the Arc de Triomphe. It’s accessed by a pedestrian subway, and that’s just as well, given this is home to some of the craziest traffic you’ll see anywhere in the world. You can just walk this monument, which was built to commemorate Napoleon’s greatest victory, or you can climb the 40 steps to the top, and the views from here are pretty spectacular, as you admire the various streets that radiate from here. If you can’t get up the Eiffel Tower, it gives you a different perspective of Paris from above.

Of course, the Eiffel Tower is probably the first thing people think of when someone mentions Paris, and for good reason. It’s an icon, and it’s also extremely popular. It’s not unusual to see long lines radiating from the ticket office at ground level, and just like the Louvre, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets up to three months in advance from their official website. Whatever you do, don’t leave this until the last minute. On a day trip to Paris with a friend, I asked her a few weeks beforehand whether she fancied going up the Eiffel Tower. She thought that was a good plan, so I had a look at the website, only to be disappointed, as there was nothing left for the day we were visiting, which was in the middle of the week in October, so hardly peak season!

Explore the city of Paris while visiting Disneyland Paris |PassPorter.com
Paris - Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, as seen down one of the side streets near it.

Something else that’s well worth experiencing in Paris is the view from the River Seine. There’s a stunning array of landmarks to be seen from a boat ride, either during the day or at night, and you can also book lunch or dinner cruises. We’ve done a dinner cruise, and enjoyed it, although be prepared to pay some seriously big bucks, as it doesn’t come cheap, particularly if you want to be guaranteed a waterfront table by the glass windows of your boat, rather than being further back.

There are so many more things to do and places to see in Paris and I’ve only barely scratched the surface here. In truth, if you are going to Disneyland Paris, and want to make a day trip into the city, I’d implore you to extend that day trip into at least two, and possibly three, so you can truly get an idea of the beauty of Paris and everything it has to offer.

About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

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Updated 02-25-2016 - Article #1267 

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