The Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and bakeries filled with the scent of pastry, bread and delicate tarts… what could be more exciting than a trip to Paris? If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the French capital for a weekend, it’s worth noting that there’s far too much to experience in two days – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make the most of your weekend in Paris.
To start with, here’s how to pack in all the must-see sights for your brief escapade!
Weekend in Paris
First, make a list of all the major tourist destinations you want to visit. The Louvre, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and the Sacré-Cœur are popular with visitors (as well as the iconic Eiffel Tower), but as a result, they can occasionally be a little busy.
So make your way to these attractions first thing in the morning or near closing time if you want to see them without going through the trouble of queuing for too long. For instance, arrive at the Louvre when the doors open and see the Eiffel Tower after nightfall to really take in its splendour — but if you’d prefer to do it the other way round, bear in mind that the Louvre is open late (until 10pm) on Wednesdays and Fridays, and closed all day on Tuesdays. Plus, you can buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower in advance if you don’t fancy queuing for long.
Meanwhike, you’ll get the most out of Paris if you break away from the streets and take to the water, just as 2004’s ‘Before Sunset’ lovebirds did. As Travel Republic’s film guide suggests, you can “…follow in the footsteps of Before Sunset’s Jesse and Celine and take a river cruise past the Louvre, the iconic Pont des Arts and the Notre Dame Cathedral. [Visit the] indie bookshop -Shakespeare and Company and stroll past La Sorbonne, finishing with the famous chocolat chaud at Café de Flore in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.”
You bet that a boat trip finished with a gentle leg-stretch through Paris’ Latin Quarter is a wonderful way to see a different side of the city, and you’ll be grateful for the breeze on the river if the weather is particularly warm.
But what should you do after the sun’s gone down…? Well, as is the case in many major European cities, you’ll find that Paris is alive well after nightfall, with numerous cafés and restaurants spilling out onto the streets with diners eating and drinking well into the night. That being said, tuck into some of the finest cuisine in the world with options ranging from fine-dining (and very exclusive) establishments such as Le Cinq and Le Jules Verne, to cheap and cheerful (but utterly delicious) eateries such as La Petite Rose des Sables or Midi 12.
If you’re not ready to retire to your hotel room, you’ll see an atmospheric and (even more) fashionable side to Paris in its numerous nightclubs and bars. Dance the night away at Batofar on the quay, or Rex Club in the centre of the city, but if nightclubs aren’t your kind of thing, you’ll find atmospheric ‘speakeasy bars’ hidden across the city
Whether it’s La Mezcaleria (a bar tucked away behind the kitchen of Hotel 1K’s Peruvian restaurant) or Blaine (reminiscent of 1920s Chicago, where jazz musicians and velvet chairs will have you feel as though you’ve time-travelled to a different time completely), you’ll be able to squeeze out every drop of Paris before catching your flight home.
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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel too (no matter the odds), and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, adventures, resources, tips, and MORE!
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