Start a list of what you want to see and do. Get a few sheets of paper and begin making a list as you thumb through your guide books and magazines of anything that sounds tempting/interesting/can’t miss. Do it over the course of a few days or weeks. Its kind of brainstorm of wishes to see while in Paris, but as you look through books and search websites, you may find that some things are crossed off as you add others that you find more appealing.
Then, narrow it to what you REALLY want to see. Re-read about each of the items on your list and make sure the things you leave on your list are things that pull at your gut. If it doesn’t pull at your gut, then put it on a secondary list – the secondary list is see it if you happen to be in the area with a few minutes to spare and you want to take a look.
The list is important so that you can try to schedule your time wisely. When the list is refined and where you want it to be, then you can start checking open days and times and then begin making a calendar. To make a calendar, I get a legal sheet of paper and turn it sideways and draw seven columns, draw a line about 1/3 down where lunch would be and 2/3 down where dinner will be. Then, put one even in the morning space and one event in the afternoon space. [Put in a photo].
Two things a day is enough! You have to have time to soak up Paris by sitting and soaking up your surroundings. For example, a great way to see the Arc de Triomphe is to buy baguette sandwiches and bottled drinks, tuck them in your satchel and eat at one of the benches around the edge, in the shade in warm weather, in the sun in cool weather. It is fascinating to sit and see the cars, hear the sounds, look up at a monument that is know all over the world and just admire it.
If you don’t want to make your own list, then you can take a look at my parents’ itinerary – a week of incredible memories.