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Visit Paris in 5 Days
What to see in Paris in 5 days? As King François I says, Paris is a world, and so there is plenty to fill your time during a Paris 5-day itinerary. With 5 days in Paris, you’ve got plenty of time to see all the very best attractions, get lost exploring the quaint Parisian streets, enjoy delicious French cuisine, and even take a day trip or two further afield.
If you’re in the midst of planning your five days in Paris, this guide is a great starting point. Use this 5 days in Paris guide step by step or simply use it as inspiration for your own Paris trip planner. Whatever you decide to do, you’re going to have a wonderful 5 day trip to Paris.
‘Paris is not a city, it’s a World’ – King François I
Paris Itinerary 5 Days – Our Proposal for Five Days in Paris
What to do in Paris in 5 days? Here’s an overview of the perfect Paris itinerary 5 days.
- Day 1 in Paris – Ile de la Cité and Right Bank
- Day 2 in Paris – Le Marais and Montmartre
- Day 3 in Paris – The Latin Quarter and Saint Germain des Prés
- Day 4 in Paris – Day trip to Versailles
- Day 5 in Paris – Paris 7 and Paris 8
As you can see from the above, this 5-day Paris itinerary is made up of 4 days exploring the sites in Paris and a 1 day trip to Versailles. To really maximize your 5 day trip to Paris, each day of this itinerary is based on exploring a particular area of Paris. This minimizes your walking time between attractions as well as transportation costs.
Our 5 days in Paris itinerary comes with 4 different maps, one for each day spent in Paris and with our suggested points of interest.
Unless clearly state, this 5-day itinerary Paris below assumes you’ll make your own arrangements for lunch between the morning and afternoon sections. However, as you will note below, usually for dinner specific suggestions are made.
5 Days in Paris, Day 1: Ile de La Cité + Right Bank
Notre Dame | Ile de la Cité | Louvre Museum | Tuileries Garden | Place Vendôme | Galeries Lafayette | Moulin Rouge
The river Seine flows through Paris, cutting the city in two. You’ll hear the locals refer to one side of the river as Paris’ Left Bank (Paris Rive Gauche) and the other side as Paris’ Right Bank (Paris Rive Droite).
In the center of the river is a small island called Ile-de-la-Cité, which was once the heart of Medieval Paris. It is here that the first Royal Palace stood as well as the city’s main religious and institutional buildings. As such it is not surprising that some of the best places to visit in Paris in 5 days are located on Ile-de-la-Cité.
1. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL (FROM OUTSIDE)
To kick off your 5 days in Paris itinerary, get off at metro Cité, grab yourself a cuppa, and head to Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris). The construction of this jewel of Gothic Architecture began in the 12th century and was finally completed in the 14th century.
As you would no doubt be aware, Notre Dame was severely damaged during a fire in April 2019 and is currently closed to the public. During the fire parts of the roof and the spire was destroyed forever, however, the main façade and its twin towers were saved as were the Cathedral’s treasures.
Despite Notre Dame currently being closed, you can still admire its main façade. Look out for the huge rose window which is a dedication to Our Lady of Paris and the 28 sculptures below which represent the kings of Judah and Israel, the ancestors of Christ. These sculptures lost their heads during the French Revolution and what you see today are replicas.
Before leaving Notre Dame, be sure to find the plaque on the ground which indicates France’s km 0 point. From here all French roads (including French roads overseas) are measured from this point.
USEFUL INFO & TIPS
» Notre Dame opening hours: closed to the public until further notice
» Notre Dame Towers opening hours: closed to the public until further notice
» France’s km 0 point cannot be seen at the moment due to Notre Dame’s reconstruction works.
2. EXPLORE OTHER SIGHTS ON ILE DE LA CITÉ
Before leaving Ile-de-la-Cité, consider visiting one or two of the other historical sights located there. Places of interest include the Archaeological Crypt, the Sainte Chapelle, the Conciergerie, and the Pont Neuf.
» The Archaeological Crypt: Just in front of Notre Dame, at this underground museum you will find a range of ancient remains which were discovered during excavations between 1965 and 1972. The museum was built around the Roman remains of former Lutetia, including some streets, part of Lutetia’s walls, and Roman baths.
» The Sainte Chapelle: This Gothic-style, royal chapel was built in just 7 years from 1238 to 1248. Today this building has one of the most extensive 13th century stained glass collections anywhere in the world.
» The Conciergerie: This 14th-century Gothic building was formerly the King of France’s palace and then used as a prison. Visitors can explore the dungeons and the chapel where Marie Antionette was held prisoner during the last days before dying under the guillotine.
» The Pont Neuf: the oldest bridge in Paris.
Now leave the Ile-de-la-Cité and wander along the Quai François Mitterrand, which stretches alongside the River Seine, and after around 20 minutes walking along here, you will arrive at the Louvre.
USEFUL INFO & TIPS
» Save money and time! This combo ticket Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie gives you skip-the-line access to these unique sites at a discounted price.
» The Sainte Chapelle opens every day, from 9 am to 5 pm in the winter and from 9 am to 7 pm during the summer. To get the full effect of its windows, try to visit on a sunny day.
» The Conciergerie opens every day, from 9.30 am to 6 pm
» The Crypte Archéologique opens daily from 10 am until 6 pm (closed on Mondays).
3. THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
Initially, the Louvre was the Louvre Palace, home to the Kings of France. This former palace is today the Louvre Museum, one of the world’s most visited museums and certainly one of the things to do in Paris in five days. While this Paris in 5 days itinerary only allows you to explore the Louvre for a few hours, you could quite literally spend days exploring this popular Paris tourist attraction.
While you visit Paris in 5 days, it is recommended that you spend around 2 hours here at the Louvre seeing the museum’s main artworks.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: the famous tea-house Angelina has an establishment inside the Louvre Museum, not far from Napoleon iii apartments. Enjoy Angelina’s famous hot chocolate or taste the incredible Mont Blanc dessert without the crowds!
USEFUL INFO & TIPS
» The Louvre Museum opens from Wednesday to Monday from 9 am to 6 am. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre opens until 10 pm.
» The Louvre Museum sees long lines all year round. You can buy your Louvre skip-the-line ticket now or have a look at our Louvre skip-the-line tips.
4. THE TUILERIES GARDEN
From the Louvre take a short walk to the Tuileries Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris. The Tuileries Garden was built in 1564 as the garden of the Tuileries Palace and became a public garden in 1667. The name of the gardens comes from the tile factory which once stood where the gardens are now.
There is no particular path to follow to explore the gardens, just wander wherever you please. There are several ponds that you can relax by or grab a quick eat from one of the guinguettes in the park.
If the weather is rainy, then instead of exploring the Tuileries Garden, take a stroll through the Covered Passages of Paris.
5. PLACE VENDÔME
From the Tuileries Gardens, leave through rue de Rivoli in the north and walk around 300m along rue Castiglione. Here you fill find Place Vendôme, considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Paris.
The Place Vendôme features the Vendôme Column, which was initially erected by Napoleon I to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz. The column was torn down in 1871 but has since been re-elected to what you see today. Also in the square, you will find some exclusive jewelry stores and first-class historic hotels such as the Hotel Ritz.
6. OPÉRA GARNIER
This 5-day Paris itinerary takes you now to the Grands Boulevards. From Place Vendôme it’s a 700m walk to Opéra Garnier, located at the end of Avenue de l’Opéra.
Also known as Palais Garnier or Opéra de Paris, this stunning building was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III for the Paris Opera and built between 1861 to 1875. The building was designed by the architect Charles Garnier, and it is considered a masterpiece of Neo-Baroque Architecture.
An interesting fact about the Opéra Garnier is that this is the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera.
Depending on what you did before, you may have time to visit the Opéra Garnier inside. If so, we recommend the Opéra Guided Night tour, starting at 5.30 pm, the only tour which includes the legends and visit to the Phantom’s box seat.
If rather than exploring the Opéra de Garnier you’d prefer to go shopping, head to one of the shopping malls of Grand Boulevards. As well as shopping you can admire the beautiful architecture and interiors of the buildings.
7. GALERIES LAFAYETTE ROOFTOP TERRACE
These five days in Paris is not only about sightseeing. Now it’s time to have a drink or two at Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace, just 300m from the Opéra Garnier. From here you can get some fantastic views of the Opéra Garnier as well as the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Cœur, Notre Dame, and more. The 7th-floor rooftop terrace is free to visit and is open daily from 9.30 am to 8 pm.
8. MOULIN ROUGE CABARET SHOW
The best 5 days in Paris itinerary, of course, includes a cabaret show and dinner and there are plenty to choose from in Paris. Read our best cabarets of Paris guide to choose the perfect one for you.
Many visitors to Paris decide to see the Moulin Rouge, perhaps the most famous Parisian cabaret. If you do decide to go to the Moulin Rouge, you must book your tickets well in advance, as it is always full – Click here to buy your tickets to the Moulin Rouge.
5 Days in Paris, Day 2: Le Marais + Montmartre
Le Marais | Montmartre
Day 2 of this Paris 5 days itinerary is all about exploring the areas of Le Marais and Montmartre. Both these areas of Paris are perfect for simply wandering the streets, admiring the gorgeous buildings you pass, and stopping in at various museums or art galleries you find along the way.
1. LE MARAIS
Located in both the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, Le Marais is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Paris. Le Marais is well known for its elegant mansions, gorgeous hotels, art galleries, and quaint little cafes – this is one of the best places for coffee and so the perfect spot to start your second day.
Start day two off in front of Hôtel de Ville, which is home to the city’s local administration. Find a great little café for breakfast before you begin exploring Le Marais.
Next, why not visit one of the museums in the area, there are a few to choose from such as:
- Centre Georges Pompidou: This is the museum about contemporary art, with a library and music center. Open daily from 11 am until late (closed Tuesdays).
- Picasso Museum: Located in a beautiful private mansion, this museum holds 5,000 artworks by Picasso. Open daily from 9.30 am until 6 pm (closed Mondays).
- Carnavalet Museum: Also located in a private mansion of Le Marais, this museum showcases the art and history of Paris with a focus on the 16th and 17th and French Revolution. Opn daily from 10 am until 6 pm (closed Mondays).
After you explore a museum of your choice, just get lost in Le Marais. Wander up and down the streets admiring the beautiful private mansions, stop in one of the cute cafes, explore the small museums, art, and photo galleries you stumble across.
During your morning, make sure you check out Place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris. This square has stunning architecture and a beautiful central garden and is a must-see in Le Marais.
Now it’s time to leave Le Marais and explore the nearby neighborhood of Montmartre. From Le Marais, take the metro to the Anvers station (line 12).
We suggest following this Stories of Old Montmartre walking tour, starting from Place du Tertre, which explores the top sights of Montmartre such as the Sacré Coeur, the Moulin de la Galette, or the Wall of Love.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Montmartre is the Sacré Coeur (3). Officially called the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacré Coeur is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacré Coeur sits on top of a hill and from here there are great views across Paris. Sacré Coeur is open daily from 6 am to 10.30 pm and entry is free.
Do keep in mind that Montmartre is a hilly neighborhood with many steps. Also unfortunately there does appear to be a lot of pickpockets around Montmartre, particularly around Sacré Coeur, so please be extra vigilant.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: climb up to Sacré Coeur’s dome for amazing panoramic views of Paris! The access to the dome is from outside the basilica, on the left side.
4. TERRASS HOTEL, RESTAURANT & ROOFTOP BAR
As the sun sets, head to Terrass Hotel (12 Rue Joseph de Maistre, open also for non-guests), one of our favorite rooftop bars in Paris. This bar has some great views of the Paris skyline and is the perfect place for dinner and cocktails.
During the summer, Montmartre is very lively in the evening so you can just walk around and revisit some sights under the moonlight.
5 Days in Paris, Day 3: The Latin Quarter & Saint-Germain-des-Prés
The Latin Quarter | Panthéon | Luxembourg Gardens | Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Day 3 of this Paris 5-day itinerary will see you exploring the Latin Quarter, in Paris 5.
While this area is known as the center of university life in Paris, it’s also where the Roman Paris – Lutetia (IC AD) was born. It is believed that Lutetia’s Roman Forum, the center of religious and civil life during the Roman times, was located at current rue Soufflot while today’s rue Saint Jacques was the former Cardo Maximus and one of the two main streets in Roman times.
As well as exploring some of the historical buildings and sights in the area, day 3 also sees you visiting a few of the beautiful gardens located in the area.
1. THE LATIN QUARTER
Start the day exploring the Latin Quarter, and more precisely at Jardin des Plantes. This is a 400-year-old garden is the main botanical garden in France, with over 2.5 hectares of French Gardens to explore. Depending on the weather, stroll around the park admiring the flowers, remarkable trees, or visit the 18-century greenhouses with plants from all over the world.
While you’re here, you may also like to visit one of the museums inside the park like the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution or the Paleontology Museum.
After you visit Jarden des Plantes, walk 700m to Les Arènes de Lutèce. Les Arènes de Lutèce is a theatre which was constructed in the 1st century AD and was where people came to watch gladiatorial combats. You can visit Les Arènes de Lutèce for free and see where the actors once stood, the stage platform and lapidary parts.
Now continue to Rue Mouffetard which is approximately 550m from the Arènes de Lutèce. Rue Mouffetard is in one of the oldest and liveliest neighborhoods of Paris and is a great place for lunch. We recommend you lunch at Place de la Contrescarpe a square along Rue Mouffetard. Choose your favorite terrace for lunch and watch the people go by.
USEFUL INFO & TIPS
»The Jardin des Plantes is open daily from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm.
» Les Arènes de Lutèce is located at 49 Rue Monge. It is open from 8 am or 9 am to 6 pm /7.30 pm or 8.30 pm depending on the season. Free entry.
2. THE PANTHÉON
After lunch, take a 650m walk to the Panthéon in Paris which sits high on the hill of Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. The Panthéon was once a church dedicated to the patron saint of Paris and is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris – Click here to buy your tickets.
Today this neoclassical style structure is a mausoleum dedicated to the most notable citizens of France where you can see the tombs of people like Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille, or Soufflot, its architect. Marie Curie was the first woman interred in the Panthéon on her own merits.
The Panthéon was also the place where Foucault demonstrated in 1851 the rotation of the Earth by hanging a 67-meter long pendulum from the central dome. Today, visitors can see a replica of this famous pendulum still hanging from the dome to commemorate this achievement.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: From April to October, visitors to the Panthéon can climb the stairs to the dome for some fantastic 360-degree views across Pairs. Many say this is the ‘Balcony of Paris.’
USEFUL INFO & TIPS
» The Panthéon of Paris is open every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm. Entrance ticket costs 9€
» The access to the Panthéon’s dome is open from April to October. Ticket to the dome is the Panthéon ticket + 2€
3. THE LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
Once you’ve finished exploring the Panthéon, take a short walk (550m) to the Luxembourg Gardens.
The Luxembourg Gardens were built upon the initiative of Queen Marie de Medici (the widow of King Henri IV) in 1612 and were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The gardens which cover 25 hectares of land are split into French and English gardens, with a geometric forest and a large octagonal pond diving the two.
Other things to see at Luxembourg Gardens include the Médicis Fountain (considered one of the most romantic places in all of Paris), an orchard of old apple variety, an apiary where you can learn about beekeeping, a rose garden, and greenhouses with an orchid collection. Families may want to try this self-guided treasure hunt in the Luxembourg Gardens.
After exploring the Luxembourg Gardens take a 700m walk to Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church. Completed in 558, Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church is the only remaining Romanesque building in Paris.
Now it’s time to have drinks and dinner in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, one of the fanciest neighborhoods in all of Paris.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés started out as a rural village in the 12th century that grew around the former Saint-Germain Abbey. After the second world war, this area changed with the cafes in Saint-Germain-des-Prés becoming a common meeting place for intellectuals, writers, and artists. Soon the area had serval small printers, cafes, and bookstores.
These days Saint-Germain-des-Prés has been transformed due to the tourism industry. Instead of the small bookstores and cafes, now the area is filled with first-class hotels, luxury boutiques, and modern art galleries. Nevertheless, the area is still a gorgeous spot to explore and an excellent place for dinner and some drinks.
5 Days in Paris, Day 4: Day Trip to Versailles
Today it’s time to leave the city of Paris for a day trip to Versailles, home to Château de Versailles – one of the world’s most famous palaces. Built in the 17th century as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, Château de Versailles is a jewel of French architecture.
VERSAILLES PALACE & GARDENS
The State of Versailles is spread out across more than 800 hectares, including the Palace of Versailles, the magnificent Versailles Gardens with 200,000 trees, 50 foundations, and the Grand Canal, making it well worth a visit during your 5-day itinerary Paris – Click here to buy your tickets.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: From June to October, the gardens offer stunning baroque shows of water and music around the fountains of Versailles and Grand Canal!
5 Days in Paris, Day 5: Paris 8 and Paris 7
Arc de Triomphe | Champs Elysées | Orsay Museum | Eiffel Tower | Seine River Cruise
On your 5th and final day in Paris, you’ll take a closer look at some of the famous landmarks in the city, as well as spend some time admiring the brilliant architecture of the city’s buildings.
1. ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Start your day by climbing the Arc de Triomphe and enjoying the views of Paris from the top – Click here to buy your tickets.
The Arc de Triomphe, which stands at the western end of the Champs Elysées, is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. Built between 1806 and 1836, the arch is in honor of those who fought for France, and in particular those that did so during the Napoleonic wars.
From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll be rewarded with some brilliant views across Paris as well as the Eiffel Tower.
2. CHAMPS ELYSÉES
After you visit Arc de Triomphe, walk down to the world-famous Champs Elysées. This lovely 1.9km avenue is the perfect place for some shopping or just to admire the gorgeous buildings that line “the world’s most beautiful avenue”. We highly recommend stopping in at Guerlain (68, Champs Elysées) to admire this stunning historic building and perhaps buy some perfumes.
3. GRAND PALAIS AND PETIT PALAIS
From Champs Elysées, continue onto Grand Palais to admire this historic building. The Grand Palais is a large site that houses an exhibition hall and museum. The building constructed for the World’s Fair of 1900 from stone, steel, and glass, is recognizable by its large glass dome. Just in front of the Grand Palais is the Petit Palais, housing the City of Paris Museum of Fine Art.
4. ALEXANDER III BRIDGE
Just by Petit Palais is the Alexander iii Bridge, said to be the most romantic bridge in all of Paris. The bridge which was built between 1896 and 1900, features Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs, and winged horses at either end.
This bridge connects the Champs Elysées quarter with the Eiffel Tower District, and as you stroll across it, you’ll have brilliant views of the Eiffel Tower.
5. ORSAY MUSEUM
For a cultural afternoon, you can continue along to the left bank and visit the Orsay Museum. The Orsay Museum is in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station that was built between 1898 and 1900 – Click here to buy your tickets.
The Orsay Museum holds mainly French art from the period 1848 to 1914 and includes artworks of Van Gogh, Gauguin, and the Impressionists. Even if you’re not into art galleries, a visit here is well worth it, just to see the train station which looks like a palace!
6. THE EIFFEL TOWER
We have kept the Eiffel Tower for the last moment of this 5 days in Paris itinerary. Before sunset, head to Champ de Mars for a close look at the Eiffel Tower, the most iconic monument of Paris. Is it worth going up to the Eiffel Tower? You can read our thoughts in this post.
Seeing the Eiffel Tower while lit up at night is truly magical. Did you know that while the Eiffel Tower is lit up, for the first five minutes of every hour, it sparkles?
If you decide to climb up, book your Eiffel Tower tickets well in advance! With only 5 days in Paris, it’s important to secure the date and time slot asap.
7. SEINE RIVER DINNER CRUISE
After your Eiffel Tower experience, what better way to finish off your Paris itinerary 5 days than taking a dinner cruise down the River Seine. During this Seine cruise, you will see many of the most famous Paris landmarks, magically illuminated, including the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, and more.
How to Get from and to the Airports of Paris
Train Paris CDG Airport
Gare du Nord or Châtelet
4.50 am – 11.50 pm
Taxi CDG Airport
Orly Bus Paris ORY Airport
6 am – 0.30 am
Taxi ORY Airport
Our personal recommendation is to pre-book with Welcome Pickups, a reliable and top-rated private transfer service. Your driver will wait for you outside of the arrivals hall with a sign bearing your name plus a bottle of water and a map of the city. Welcome Pickups have introduced strict safety protocols to protect drivers and guests.
Paris 5-day Itinerary: Where to Sleep
Haven’t decided where to stay during your Paris 5-day trip yet? Check out our hotel suggestions perfect for your Paris five-day itinerary.
We recommend Booking.com for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.
SLEEP WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS
If you have the budget, why not treat yourself to the pleasure of waking up with an amazing Eiffel Tower balcony view?
Some of the best hotels in Paris also come with awesome views of the Eiffel Tower, especially beautiful during its night show!
The good news is that a cozy room with Eiffel Tower views is not exclusive to the best hotels in Paris. If you are looking for a more local experience, there are also beautiful, fully equipped apartments to rent with amazing Eiffel Tower views
HOTELS AT LE MARAIS IN PARIS 3
Le Marais in the Right Bank is a beautiful and central neighborhood perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options.
LE PAVILLON DE LA REINE & SPA, Paris 3, $$$$
Le Pavillon de la Reine is a luxury hotel & spa located at Place des Vosges in the Marais. The rooms are individually decorated and very spacious. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and hammam. Its beautiful secluded garden is perfect to end your day with a drink.
HOTEL DU PETIT MOULIN, Paris 3, $$$
Located at the heart of Marais and entirely designed by Christian Lacroix, this hotel offers the best combination of history + design. Guests can use complimentary bicycles and enjoy free access to the spa at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, a 10-min walk away.
HOTELS IN THE LATIN QUARTER
If you prefer to stay in the Left Bank, the Latin Quarter is also a good option, usually with less expensive options. Stay close to the Luxembourg Gardens or the Jardin des Plantes but also to lively areas like rue du Mouffetard or the Sorbonne with many bars and restaurants nearby.
XHOTEL LA LANTERNE; Paris 5, $$$$
Hotel La Lanterne has an excellent location (between Notre Dame and Luxembourg Gardens), attractive rooms, and some great facilities like a spa, pool, or a private garden. Perfect to finish your exploring days in a more relaxing way.
OBSERVATOIRE LUXEMBOURG: Paris 5, $$$
Located close to Luxembourg Gardens, we find its design pretty cool. But of course, it is not all about decoration: the hotel’s comfortable rooms, French Brasserie, modern facilities, and cool staff are the perfect combination for a great stay in Paris.
And there you have it a comprehensive Paris 5-days itinerary for your trip to Paris. Follow this 5 days in Paris guide step by step or change it up to suit your own individual preferences.
Have a look at our other Paris Itineraries
- 1 day in Paris Itinerary
- 2 days in Paris Itinerary
- 3 days in Paris Itinerary
- 4 days in Paris Itinerary
- 6 days in Paris Itinerary
- 7 days in Paris Itinerary
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