Bonjour, mon amis. Ca Va?
You can really tell that Dualingo French is paying off can’t you? I’ve just dropped back into London after a whirlwind 48 hours in Paris, and I can 100% say I had the BEST time. I would wholeheartedly recommend doing everything we did this weekend, and so I wanted to write a little guide on how to spend 48 hours in the city of Love/Lights.
This guide below is what to do if you want to see the big sights, and I am obviously no expert, so if you think I’ve left something important off the guide, let me know in the comments!
How To Get There: The Eurostar is an incredible way to travel to Paris (from London especially), and if you book far enough in advance tickets can be as low as £33 one way. It’s quicker and takes less faff than travelling via plane – as both London St Pancras and Paris Gare Du Nord are slap bang in the middle of their respective cities, unlike airports which usually add on extra travel time to-and-from.
Unlike with planes you don’t have to limit your luggage weight, or worry about taking more than 100ml of your favourite foundation, so it’s perfect if you’re an over-packer like myself. If you’re lucky enough to get access to The Business Lounge then even better, as you can stock up on free breakfast and G&Ts to pass the time before boarding.
Where To Stay: Everyone will say there are better places to stay in any city, but Montmarte really is a gorgeous area of Paris, as it’s not too far away from the centre, and it’s relatively cheaper than anywhere else you might find. Check out The Hotel Rendez-Vous if you’re after somewhere with gorgeous interiors, helpful staff, Clarins toiletries, velvet blue curtains and really good prices.
With the basics out the way, let’s do this, 48 hours in Paris!
Day 1 Daytime: After your 2 hour Eurostar journey, step off into Paris Gare Du Nord and pick yourself up a book of 10 Subway/Tram/Bus tickets (€14,90 for 10 – so saves money from one-off purchases) to help you around during your stay. Once you’ve dropped off your bags at your respective hotel, head out down to Trocadero station to see the big lady herself, The Eiffel Tower.
Stop for some lunch in one of the restaurants/cafes around the area (may be quite pricey, but it’s your first day so treat yourself). I saw a lot of recommendations for Carette, but we ate lunch at Le-Malakoff where we both enjoyed Croque Madame’s and a bottle of wine for a reasonable price, but MAKE SURE YOU SPECIFY TAP WATER OR YOU WILL BE ROBBED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.
Post-lunch, head over to The Eiffel Tower, to take a look at her in all her (hopefully sunny) glory. If you want to, buy your tickets and head up to either the first or second floor, depending how high you can take heights. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can buy a glass of champagne at the top, but if you don’t want to spend €14 , wait ‘til your back down and pop for a drink in any of the bars nearby. If you don’t go up the Eiffel Tower, still explore the streets around it as the view of the tower is really gorgeous when it’s among the Parisian streets.
Whether by tube or even by walking – head over to the Champs-Elysees to walk up the famous road and visit the Arc De Triomphe. Stop off along the walk for either a pop in a French pharmacy (my favourite shopping when in France) or to pick up some Parisian treats, such as Macarons or Eclairs. Take the subway walkway to the Arc De Triomphe and visit the site, and if you wish you can buy a ticket to visit the top, to get a view just in time for the sunset.
Day 1 Evening: Head back to your hotel for a freshen up, and head out into Montmarte for the evening. You can walk up to the Sacré-Cœur for a great view of the Eiffel Tower, which does a light show every hour for 5 minutes.
Stop by Milord bar – a gorgeous wine bar which served HAUUGE glasses of prosecco with complimentary charcuterie. There are lots of lovely little restaurants around this area – especially on the Rue des Trois Freres. I can recommend Le Jardin d’en Face for delicious homemade French cuisine – if you’re a meat eater try the Potatoes Gratin with Duck Bacon, it’s the actual definition for ‘melt in the mouth’.
If you’re hungry enough, try Le Refuge des Fondus, for either meat or cheese fondue, and wine serve in baby bottles (odd, but apparently to avoid glass tax). Service is a bit rushed and blunt, and you are quite squidged in with everyone else – they actually help you climb over the tables once you’re finished with your meal – so be prepared!
If you’re still in the mood for drinks, walk down the hill and stop by any of the bars with outdoor seating (and thankfully heating lamps) to watch the world go by. I would recommend Little Italy near Place-Des-Clichy for a carafe of wine, some jazzy music and a good spot for people watching.
Day 2 Morning: Shake off your cheese hangover and head out to see the Sacré-Cœur in the morning. Reward yourself for the climb up the hill with a croissant or two in the Place du Tertre Square – such as Chez Eugene – and people watch as people have their portraits drawn by the plethora of street artists who set up shop for the day. Walk down the Square Louise Michael and take in the view of Parisian rooftops in the daytime. If you don’t fancy a walk, use one of tube tickets as next stop is The Louvre!
Whether by tube or walking, head down to The Louvre (and enter if you wish) or walk down to the Tuileries Garden and take a walk around the park. Café Angelina is nearby if you fancy one of their famous hot chocolates, or just to pick up some macarons. If you’re just after some treats to take away for later I would recommend Pierre Herme as a great place to pick up a few treats for later. In the plan for today there’s plans for a late lunch, so nothing wrong with a few extra eclairs in between.
Next head to the River Seine to walk down the river towards the Notre Dame whilst taking in the view. Once you get to the Notre Dame, you can visit for free and tour around the inside – and even visit the top.
Day 2 Afternoon: For your late lunch, head back up in the centre of Paris to visit Le Boullion Chartier. They fit you in on tables next to other guests, and the layout is somewhat similar to a train carriage. The menu is very reasonable, and also entirely in French, so make sure you know your basics. The waiters are no-nonsense, and they write your orders on your table cloth. Try garlic snails, or foi grais, or tuck in to some steak frites and a glass of wine. If you still fancy some more to drink after (before catching your train home) then head next door to Le Brebant, for a bar with gorgeous interiors, and Aperol Spritz’s the size of your head.
If you fancy some shopping time there is the L’Appartement Sézane nearby, which is a French brand I really love, and their apartment store here is really gorgeous. There’s also a free photo booth in store if you haven’t managed to get a photo souvenir yet.
If you have even more time to spare, and it’s a particularly gorgeous day, you can head up to the free rooftop terrace at the Galeries Lafayette for a view of the Paris skyline. They have a bar up there if you fancy stopping for a coffee, or something.. fizzier.
With all the walking/exploring, you should be well enough exhausted enough to sleep on your Eurostar home. Head to Paris Gar Du Nord to catch the train back to London (with good time – as the queues can be quite long on Sunday evenings), or if you have entry to the business lounge, settle back with a complimentary drink and magazine!
After all that it’s a pretty big and busy weekend, but it’s definitely worth all of it if you only have 48 hours in Paris. To make things a bit easier I’ve embedded the Google Map I made before my trip with all the recommendations I was given.
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, or if you think I’ve missed anything out please let me know in the comments below! In the meantime I am on Instagram as Grundy Travels if you ever fancy daily travel pictures in your feed!
Until next time, Au Revoir!