I’m glad you stopped by. We have a lot to talk about. You know, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Yep, that’s right – 19 days and counting. That’s right around the corner!
So, the whole Valentine’s Day thing got me thinking about romance, which, of course led to travel, because nothing is as romantic as exploring the world. Then I thought, “What do people consider the most romantic city to visit?” Well, that answer was easy. It’s Paris, of course.
Then I thought, “Paris sounds like a good Valentine’s Day trip idea.” But, why limit it to a holiday? According to Audrey Hepburn, “Paris is always a good idea.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Paris is a great destination. Whether you are travelling solo, with a spouse, or with the family, the city has something to offer every visitor. World-class art, architecture and historical sights abound. You can choose to see it all or spend your time leisurely strolling the Champ Elysee while munching on macaroons. Whichever type of getaway you desire, it’s possible in Paris.
I’ve taken the liberty of creating a weekend itinerary for you. Well, actually, I’ve created two – one for the “Let’s Go See the Sights” group and one for the “Let’s Take a Stroll” group. I hope you don’t mind. I thought it would help alleviate some of the guesswork and planning involved. You will me able to maximize your time and get the most out of your getaway to The City of Lights.
So, without further ado, let’s just jump right in. (Disclaimer**These itineraries are based on 48 hours of available touring time in Paris. Travel time is not calculated into the equation.)
Weekender’s Guide to Paris
Let’s Go See the Sights (The action-packed weekend)
Begin your first day in Paris at 8:00 a.m.
Grab a quick breakfast. coffee and a French pastry? After all, France is known for some of the finest dining in the world. Their pastries are no joke. Hop on the Metro or in a cab and head over to your first stop in Montmartre.
- 9:00 – Noon Sacre Coeur – a Basilica built on Montmartre ( Hill of Martyrs, pictured in blog post header). Someone has been in a constant state of prayer in this church for over 125 years. Have lunch in Montmartre.
- 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Notre Dame – This cathedral is world-renown, not only for it’s famous flying buttresses, but it’s 850 history.
- 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Musee D’Orsay – Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Manet are just a few of the artists whose works are displayed in this amazing museum.
- 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Arc de Triomphe – A beautiful monument to people who fought for the country of France, especially in the Napoleonic Wars. This piece of art/architecture is situated at the west end of the Champs Elysee. It offers a beautiful view of the city.
- 7:30 – until Champs Elysees – World famous for high-end shopping and dining, this beautiful avenue is sure to offer visitors a taste of Parisian culture. This a great location for a late dinner.
Begin your second day in Paris at 8:00 a.m.
Be sure to grab some coffee and a pastry as you head out for the day!
- 9:00 – Noon Versailles – This amazing palace was originally built to be a hunting lodge. Wow, did it get an upgrade! The architectural details are absolutely stunning. Even the window sills are gorgeous. Don’t forget to tour the gardens, especially if you visit in Spring when everything is in bloom.
- 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. Louvre – Five hours in a museum? Trust me, you won’t even begin to put a dent in the art this museum has to offer. You’ll be ready for lunch by the time you enter the Louvre. Plan for your first stop to be one of the cafes. Sit down and enjoy a meal of fine French cuisine before you wander the halls in awe of the art. Remember, there are four wings of the museum. Each offers something different. Consider choosing your favorite era or type of art to see first. Everything else will be a bonus.
- 7:00 – 8 :00 p.m. EiffelTower – I really do not feel that a description is necessary for this iconic piece of art/architecture. See the lights of the city from atop one of the most famous structures in the world. Consider grabbing a late dinner from one of the local food stands, in an Eiffel Tower restaurant, or at a cafe near your hotel.
Let’s Take a Stroll (The relaxed weekend)
Begin your day by grabbing a pastry and coffee as you set out to explore Paris.
- 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Montmartre – Spend some time exploring Montmartre. Browse the tiny shops, artist’s galleries, and bakeries. Yum! One entire square of Montmartre is dedicated solely to artists selling their work. And, might I add, their works are amazing . Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many more have painted in Montmartre. Stroll the area and enjoy the ambiance. Be sure to stop for lunch at one of the local cafes or restaurants.
- 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. River cruise on the Seine. Enjoy the sights of Paris from the water. This is a beautiful vantage point of Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. It’s relaxing too!
- 7:00 – until Find a local restaurant and have a relaxing dinner. If you really want to find a great place just ask a local for a recommendation.
Find a local bakery and start your day with a delicious French pastry and a cup of coffee.
- 9:00 – Noon Louvre – Spend a few hours strolling through one of the greatest collections of art n the world. Pick one wing of the museum on which you’d like to focus. This will make your time a lot more enjoyable. If you don’t have to worry about racing from one side of the building to the other, you will feel a lot more relaxed. No worries, you can see another wing on your next trip.
- Noon – 1:30 p.m. Dine– Enjoy a leisurely lunch. Paris is known for its wonderful food and sidewalk cafes. If the weather is pretty, take this opportunity to sit outside and people watch while you dine on fine French cuisine.
- 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eiffel Tower – You can’t visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, and I don’t mean from a distance. This impressive piece of art/architecture is a must do. If you’re not afraid of heights, climb to the top, or take an elevator, and enjoy one of the best views Paris has to offer. Spend some time snapping beautiful pictures of the city from a bird’s eye view, literally. ***Side note – Want some great architectural photos? Take some pictures from underneath the tower. Zoom in on the detailed metalwork. These make great shots for a collage. It’s also great for people who don’t like heights.
- 5:00 – until Champ Elysees – Spend your evening strolling one of the most beautiful and famous avenues in the world. Window shop, or step in for a visit, at some of the storefronts of fashion’s most notable brands. Paris has long been known for its sense of style. The city is a leader in the fashion industry. While you’re strolling and taking in the sights, be sure to pop into one of the bakeries. You simply can’t leave Paris without having a macaroon, any flavor will do. You choose! Some of the bakeries even offer sandwiches and light fare. This would be a great place to grab dinner.
There you have it, my Weekender’s Guide to Paris. Whether you want to spend your weekend taking in all Paris has to offer, or simply seeing a few sights at a more relaxed pace, you have everything you need to make planning your trip a breeze.
Have you visited Paris before, or are you planning to go? I would love to hear about your trip or your plans! Be sure to drop me a line in the comment section.
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