11 min read
After our Travel Expert Roxana spending 48 hours in Gothenburg and bringing you some amazing travel recommendations, our Founder Greg takes you on a journey to Paris, the capital of love.
Paris? More like Paris-dise! France’s capital city is one of the most celebrated destinations in the world and it definitely lives up to the hype. Whether it’s known as ‘The City of Lights’ or ‘The City of Love’, one thing is for certain, Paris is a city that everyone should see.
Located in northern, central France on the banks of the Seine River, Paris has been a centre of European arts, commerce and diplomacy since the 17th century. Packed full of iconic landmarks, historical architecture and cosmopolitan cafes, Paris has everything you could desire in a city break and more. That’s not to mention the amazing French cuisine that is servedup on every corner, and the first-class museums that are brimming with cultural treasures.
There’s so much to see and do in this wonderful city that planning a weekend trip can seem like an overwhelming task. That’s why I’m here to handle it for you! The following itinerary allows you to see most of the main sites but also allows for some detox time to relax and just soak up the atmosphere. Does that sound like a plan?
After a 1 hour and 15 minutes flight from London Gatwick, I land at Charles de Gaulle Airport (the busiest airport in Europe). I want to make the most of my time in the city so I jump in a taxi and head straight to the 3* Hotel Magenta 38 by HappyCulture to drop off my bag.
Nestled in a Haussmann-style building located between the Gare de l'Est train station and Place de la République, the Hotel Magenta38 is a remarkable 3-star nugget. Blending calm, modernity and comfort in a pure Scandinavian design, it was designed by architects Didier and Fabrice Knoll in 2014.
With an average rating of 4/5, I'm sure it's going to be a great stay!
Begin your holiday by launching straight into Paris’ world-leading art scene. Whether you chose to visit the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay, it’s worth getting an early start to beat the crowds that flock daily to these illustrious art museums. With limited time in Paris, you definitely don’t have time to waste standing in queues! The Louvre is not only the biggest but also the most visited art museum in the world. Over 38,000 pieces of art line the 13 kilometres of corridors. Oh, and did I mention that number includes Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa?
Photo Credit: @tatyana.peony
In terms of outstanding museums, The Louvre is pretty impossible to beat but the Musée d’Orsay is a worthy rival. Housed in a renovated former Beaux-Arts train station and overlooking the River Seine, this museum is as notable for its stunning architecture as it is for its art. The Musée d’Orsay has a primary focus on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and its stellar collection features works by Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Choosing between these two fantastic galleries is a very hard task, but hey, there are worse problems to have!
Photo Credit: @museeorsay
Wrap up your morning by making your way to the Marché des Enfants Rouges. At this deluxe food market, you can find stallsoffering everything from artisanal produce to classic French street food and even Lebanese, African and Japanese dishes. Let your nose lead the way and pick up some bits for a delicious picnic at the Canal Saint-Martin. Join the locals who gather on the water’s edge with baguettes, cheese andwine for a relaxing al fresco lunch.
Photo Credit: @whoraise
It’s important to make sure your energy levels are fully replenished because next up is a whirlwind tour of Paris’ top sites. The best way to seeas much as possible, is to borrow a bike from the city’s bicycle service, Vélib' Metropole. Start your DIY bike tour at the Place de la Bastille. This isthe former location of the Bastille prison, the storming of which marked the start of theFrench Revolutionin 1789.
Photo Credit: @jmlpyt
At the square’s centre is the impressive Génie de la Liberté (Spirit of Freedom), which commemorates the July Revolution of 1830. From here, cycle to the Panthéon, a stately mausoleum for the great women and men of French history. The high dome and Corinthian columns make this neoclassical church truly spectacular to look at.
Photo Credit: @pantheon.paris
Next up is the Notre Dame Cathedral. One of the most iconic symbols of Paris, the Notre Dame was tragically damaged by afire in 2019. Despite this, most of the exterior survived and what is left of the ornate gothic facade is well worth seeing.
Photo Credit: @marcellopez_
Nearby are the beautiful Sainte Chapelle and the Concierge. The Sainte Chapelle is a resplendent 12th-century chapel built by Louis IX. Pop your head in and have a peak atthe incredible stain glass windows which give the impression that you are standing inside a jewellery box. The Concierge is a medieval royal palace and is where Marie Antoinette was held prisoner before she was guillotined. Cycle on to reach the former military hospital commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 called Les Invalides. A stunning domed building topped with a gold spire, Les Invalides is another must see.
Photo Credit: @apasionarte3.0
As evening draws in, keep the cycle tour going with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. I mean what even is the point of visiting Paris if you don’t check out the Eiffel Tower? Completed in 1889, Gustave Eiffel’s wrought-iron tower is a staggering 324m tall. From sundown to 1am, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated with sparkling lights for the first five minutes of every hour. Catching this magical lightshow should be on everyone’s bucket list, it is one of those moments where the whole world seems to stand still.
Photo Credit: @enfntdeprime
Finish your tour by cycling down the mesmerising Champs-Elysees. This avenue has got to be one of the most beautiful in the world and it is only improved by the twinkling evening lights. When you reach the end of the Champs-Elysees, you will be standing at the foot of the amazing Arc de Triomphe, another of Paris’ most famous landmarks. Originally conceived by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 to commemorate his army’s victory at theBattle of Austerlitz, the Arc de Triomphe is the largest triumphal arch in the world and took 30 years to complete.
Photo Credit: @gogojungle
Reward yourself for all that cycling with a delicious dinner at the authentic and elegant restaurant La Régalade Conservatoire.
In Paris, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. If you need to rest those weary legs, opt for a nightcap at Bisou. There’s no menu at this quirky bar, you tell them what flavours you like, and they create a new drink especially for you. If your legs aren’t too tired to dance, try La Gare, an abandoned train station turned edgy and buzzing nightclub.
Photo Credit: @bar_bisou
After a fresh pastry and a coffee to perk up you, set off for the Palace of Versailles. The 30-minute train ride out from the city centre is well worth itwhen you reach this truly sensational palace. The royal residence was built in the 17th century for King Louis XIV and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Lavish, grand and opulent are the words that come to mind when snooping around these royal apartments. Perhaps the most-famous room in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors.
Photo Credit: @flourishmentary
The 70m long gallery features 17 large mirrors which reflect the view of the gardens through 17 opposite windows. Glass chandeliers adorn the ornately painted ceiling, upon whichLe Brun depicted 30 scenes glorifying the early years of the reign of Louis XIV. Many architects across Europe have tried to recreate the magnificence of this room and it would be a mistake to miss it. Back in thecity centre, hit up another extravagant building the Palais Garnier. The city’s most famous opera house, the Palais Garnier was built between 1861 and 1875 and it had a team of 14 painters and mosaicists and 73 sculptors working on the ornamentation of the south facade alone.
Photo Credit: @magicineverydaylife
For a satisfying lunch, try the gourmet galettes at the Breton crepe house Breizh Café.
Photo Credit: @romain_photographe
After that, it’s time to get your hands dirty and try baking some French food yourself at La Cuisine Paris. Here, you can learn how to make macarons from a professional French pastry chef. The best bit aboutthis experience is it means you’re prepped to recreate a slice of Paris life once you’re back in your own home.
Photo Credit: @lacuisineparis
Spend the rest of your afternoon strolling around the Montmartre district. This gorgeous cobblestoned area is home to beautiful bohemian architecture and is an aspiring artists’ hub with Van Gogh’s House and Picasso’s Studio both in the vicinity. The majestic Sacre-Coeur Basilica can also be found here. Not only is the cathedral a crowning jewel in Paris’ skyline but it also offers one of the best views over the city.
Photo Credit: @saaggo
As the sun begins to set over Paris, make sure you are watching it from the rooftop bar at Le Louxor. The dreamy vistas pair expertly with a glass of champagne. Just a short walk from here is Les Tantes Jeanne, a quaint and friendly restaurant which serves the French classics you know and love but prepared with a creative twist. The dessert of fruit sorbet with champagne is the perfect way to end your meal.
Photo Credit: @lestantesjeanne
I have one last trick up my sleeve to make your holiday go out with a bang– the Moulin Rouge! Founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller, the Moulin Rougewas the place to party during France’s Belle Époque. Its cabaret show featuring the famous French cancan is performed here every night of the week. Catch a performance at this legendary venue to round off the holiday of a lifetime!
Photo Credit: @tudoemfrances
If like me you love taking short weekend breaks across Europe and spending 48 hours in cities like Barcelona, Prague, Porto, Split, Bologna, Stockholm or Venice, but if like me you hate wasting hours trawling travel sites to plan and research your next weekend break, only to be hit by increased flight prices just before booking, then BeRightBack is for you!
The team at BeRightBack believes that the mission of a travel company should be to save you both time and money.
With BeRightBack, you get three trips a year to three surprise European destinations, all for the monthly cost of £49.99, which includes your return flights and your hotel.
With BeRightBack, creating a trip takes 60 seconds. Simply tell us how you like to travel when you create your account, and our concierge service does everything else for you. You won't have to lift a finger.
Best of all, you always pay the same price for your trips, no matter when you go away and we help you spread the cost of your travel, thanks to our monthly subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my 48 hours city guide to Paris and do not hesitate to use our website chat or to email us if you have any questions!
Gregory Geny (Founder of BeRightBack)
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