48 hours in Paris

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Paris is the quintessential city that we all yearn to see, feel, and experience. It’s a city filled with romance, history, croissants, and stunning architecture. And it’s a city that’s hard to tackle – so much to do and usually so little time.

And that’s where I come in to help make your travels easier, more thoughtful, and less stressful. Also keep in mind, I’ve never been to Paris, I did, however get this information from my aunt who has been to Paris several times, but if you have been to Paris and if I missed anything, leave a comment. 


Where to Stay in Paris

While budget will of course play a large role in choosing where to stay in Paris, it’s important that you’re fairly close to the neighborhoods you’ll be visiting most often.

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind staying in a quieter neighborhood, the Bastille area is a great option. Although close to the Notre Dame Cathedral, this neighborhood is lesser known to tourists, which is partly why it’s a cheaper area to stay in. You can also take the metro from the Place de la Bastille to most of the major attractions in the city.

Another budget-friendly neighborhood to stay in is Le Marais. It’s an older area of the city that wasn’t included in Haussman’s renovations of Paris. Because of that, the streets in Le Marais are much smaller and cozier than most Parisian avenues.

For travelers with a larger budget, it’s recommend staying on the other side of the river in the area of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This area is a little more luxe and is within walking distance to the Louvre Museum and the Jardin du Luxembourg. If you’re taking a train from the airport into the city, this would be a great location to stay in as it’s right off the RER B line.

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TWO DAYS IN PARIS ITINERARY – THE PERFECT 48 HOURS

DAY 1

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is an international icon that motivates people to visit Paris year-round. It’s like a magnetic force that draws people to it… whether it’s for the dramatic lights, the romantic essence, the beautiful green lawn, or the sprawling views of Paris – people LOVE the Eiffel Tower.

And with popularity comes a shit load of people (like….duh). Below are tips & tricks to handle it:

  • Buy your tickets online – about $20 per person.
  • Schedule a time to visit.
  • Print the tickets & have them ready on your phone.
  • The 3rd floor is open but subject to current weather conditions.
  • Both the 1st and 2nd floors feature restaurants, souvenir shops, and more.
  • Restrooms are available while waiting and in the tower.
  • Refreshments are available while waiting too.

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

From the Eiffel Tower the natural next move is to head the second most famous monument in the capital.

Just 3 stops on the metro (or a 20 minute walk) you’ll arrive at Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, which is directly outside the Arc De Triomphe.

This post won’t go too much into its history but the Arc De Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.

And if you head there early enough there will be less traffic on the roundabout and hardly any tourists.

Champs-Élysées

Take a stroll down the famous 1.2 mile (1.9 km) long street of Champs-Élysées. From what I’m told is that you will love everything about this street…the architecture, the stores, the people bustling around…this street offers up so much! There is endless shopping, cafes and street entertainment at every turn. It’s also the finishing point for the Tour de France cycle race! You could spend an entire day exploring on this street alone! Also, you can get souvenirs here if you’re looking to grab something for someone back home (or yourself).

SACRE-COEUR

After your two iconic morning stops, I decided to focus day one of  two days in Paris itinerary to the northern area of Paris.

Head up to Sacre-Coeur, hopping again on the Metro to Anvers, and walk up the steps to the famous Roman Catholic Church.

The view from the top is know to be incredible, looking over the whole of Paris and the Sacre-Coeur itself is like no other religious building you’ve ever seen.

Take your time exploring the history of the Sacre-Couer before heading down for lunch.

SINKING HOUSE OF MONTMARTRE

Don’t leave too quickly though or you’ll miss a real life illusion.

The sinking house of Montmartre has become a bit of a trend on Instagram in recent years and this spot located right next door to the Sacre-Coeur makes for a great photo.

Within certain dates you are allowed to sit on the grass to the right of the Sacre-Coeur as you face it and you’ll see immediately why they call it the sinking house of Montmartre.

WALK THE STREETS OF MONTMARTRE

One of the quirkiest and most tourist friendly places in Paris are the streets of Montmartre.

Filled with famous cafes such as Le Consulat or La Mansion Rose you can spend all afternoon cruising around. Admiring the Parisian feel.

Spend a couple of hours trawling the narrow streets and picking up snacks and souvenirs, before heading for dinner with friends and turning in for the night.


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DAY 2

Take a Morning Stroll

I recommend leaving a tiny bit of time to do whatever your heart desires – shop, picnic on a lawn, rent a bicycle, or go for a stroll.

Chose to simply walk the streets of Paris.  Pop into a few shops, and quickly stop by the Luxembourg Gardens.

There’s almost something to always experience on the streets so get outside, savor your time there, and take loads of pictures!

The Louvre

And I saved the best for last…. The Louvre.

My aunt was an art history major so this final must-do was a bucket list achievement for her. I was equally as excited to hear about the internationally recognized museum, regardless of my lacking artistic knowledge.

Food

Paris, I heard is like New York City, the options are absolutely ENDLESS! The best advice  is to discover the area that you’re staying in and find some local hidden gems. Don’t go to all the posh spots that are #1 on TripAdvisor or the restaurants right next to the Eiffel Tower, because they’re more often than not, disappointing. These restaurants know you’re a tourist and they’re only going to see you once, so they don’t generally give a damn. That being said, the following foods should be on your MUST try list while visiting the city:

  • Creme Brûlée
  • Crepes
  • Macaroons

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  • Cheese Board
  • French Wine

 Things to Note:

  • The museum is massive and it will require at minimum 3 hours. We spent 5 hours there and still didn’t visit every floor.
  • You can pay for a guided tour or the independent recording – we chose the latter.
  • Students receive a discount so save your college ID’s people.
  • There are plenty of restrooms, souvenir shops, cafes, and a restaurant or two to refresh and refuel. You will need the refuel, this place is massive!
  • Photos are permitted – most of the time.

There you have it wanderlust babes, how to tackle Paris in 48 hours!

There’s plenty of must-dos still on my bucket list. 

If you have extra days to spend in Paris, check out these must-dos:

  • The Seine River
  • Versailles Palace & Gardens

Who’s been to Paris? What are your favorite must-dos when visiting?

As always – If you have questions about any of these tips or general travel love – shout it out down below!

Until next time – xoxo.

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