Grab your beret and your best boat-neck sweater, it’s time to explore Paris in just 48 hours. The hustle and bustle of the French capital makes it the perfect destination for a weekend away, with the concept of “something for everyone” never more fitting. With this in mind, let’s hit the streets and discover the city of lights.
First things first: we’ve got a lot of sights to see and even more local delicacies to sample. Let’s start with le petit dej (or breakfast) at a local café. Along with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, try a croissant or pain au chocolat for an authentic (and tasty) experience. Then, make sure you have your sturdy walking shoes on. It’s time to head out to our first stop: the Louvre.
Brave the crowds and skip the line around the iconic glass pyramid for a guided tour through one of the world’s most famous museums. Once you’ve glided past the grumpy people waiting in line, come face-to-face (well, with a few layers of protective glass between) with the Mona Lisa herself. Aside from Da Vinci’s masterpiece, this gallery is also home to works from Ancient Egypt and Greece, as well as a few comparably young classics from the Renaissance.
Once you’ve seen enough seminal art for one day, head over to the river and enjoy a quick rest on the waterfront. Better yet, take a seat on the scenic river cruises that meander day and night along the Seine. From a comfortable spot on deck, you can map out any must-see spots you might have missed, as well as grab some one-of-a-kind shots of the Paris skyline.
Back on land, head to the subway and make your way across town to the Sacre Coeur. If you’re not sure whether you’re heading in the right direction, just look up. The gorgeous landmark sits on a raised hillside and is very difficult to miss. Take a walking tour through this historic landmark and then enjoy a moment or two to relax on the sunny lawns in front of the church’s main entrance. If you’d rather nibble as you walk, this food tour of the district is sure to impress.
It’s your first day — why not enjoy dinner and a show in the most Parisian way possible? Discover why the Moulin Rouge has stood the test of time and grab a seat at this world-famous theater. With lively performances and delicious food, all senses are sure to be satisfied here.
Depending on how you’re feeling after a big night at the theater, there are a few different options for your second day in Paris. If rides and fun parks sound tempting, then head to Disneyland for a day of candy and classic characters. If you’re jonesing for a day trip, but rides might be a bit optimistic, then catch a train out to Versailles and take an in-depth, guided tour. The former home of the royal family is renowned for the Hall of Mirrors and the next-level landscaping of the gardens. Or, of course, you can stay within city limits where there is still plenty to do.
Staying in the inner city will let you discover a side of the capital you’ve never seen before: the underside. Head down winding steps into the Paris Catacombs, where over 6 million skeletons reside in a subterranean labyrinth. Sound a bit spooky? Don’t worry, you’ll have a guide and they can share some of the truly wacky biographies of the underground tenants.
After resurfacing to enjoy lunch, make your way to the d’Orsay Museum where you can enjoy a Sunday afternoon with the French masters. If you have enough time, you can even head over to the Orangerie, where the modern classics are housed in the former Tuileries Palace.
Now it’s time for an art form of another kind: shopping on the Champs-Élysees. For those on a budget, window shopping will more than suffice. With so many avant-garde boutiques (as well as the usual well-known names), this shopping strip is the perfect spot to grab some souvenirs on the way to our next destination.
As we approach the winding staircase of the Eiffel Tower, here is where you’ll really appreciate your choice in footwear. The 674 steps to the second platform might not feel like a breeze, but the views from the top are definitely worth it! Of course, for those planning on preserving some energy, there is also an elevator available that will take you all the way to the third platform. As you gaze across the cityscape, say adieu (but only for a little while). After all, you’ll be back!
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