24 Hours in Paris
How do you spend a weekend in Paris? What about for a short layover in the City Of Love? If you only have 24-48 hours in Paris, how best to spend your time to make sure you see everything worth seeing?
Rachel to the Rescue!
First up, drop your bags somewhere safe, book a hotel, use a locker, leave them with a friend. You do not want to be lugging around more than you need, not on my watch! Pack a camera, your comfortable shoes, and some sunglass and hit the road. First stop? An Early Lunch!
Jump on the Paris Metro, it’s cheap and easy, but be wary it’s not overly safe nor clean. It’s a major City after all, so have your wits. You are heading for Montpanarsse Station- home of the aptly named Tour Montpanarsse (Montpanarsse Tower?) and otherwise average looking 210meter tall building overlooking the city. I’m sending you here first because, if you head up to level 56, you can choose between two fantastic spots to eat- the casual 360 cafe (for the budget conscious) and La Ciel De Paris (for those looking for a heartier meal). I ate at La Ciel, it was pricey, expect to spend at least 100euros per person for a full meal with wine. But why you are really eating lunch here, is for the view!
Instead of going up the Eiffel Tower and looking at this average building, you can now sit at your table in comfort, looking down over the Eiffel Tower. Its much, much nicer. And there’s next to no queues!
By now you must be ready to hit the streets running and join the throngs of other tourists? That’s fine, head down to the river and cross to Norte Dam! Sightsee as you go, taking snaps of lane ways and stopping now and then to marvel at the delightful bakeries. The colourful macaroons with be making you hungry again quickly.
Jump on one of the Paris public bikes called Velib, swipe your card and go. They are Blue, strange-looking and everywhere, you can’t miss them! be prepared, make sure you have your map out and ready, or an iphone app… Paris drivers are pretty forgiving to tourists on Velib bikes, but it helps to have a rough idea where your headed.
Riding a bike through Paris is a wonderful way to see the sights of the City- it’s much nicer to be above the ground than stuck in the trains below it, even it the weather isn’t so great!
Cycle up to Montmartre, in the 18th Arrondissement, for more great views over the city from the grounds of the gorgeous Basilica de Sacre Coeur. The area below oddly is also the entertainment district (make a note to come back here after dark for a cocktail and the Moulin Rouge show if you’re so inclined!)
There are many sites in Paris to check out, but no foodie should pass up on Pierre Herme’s fantastic pastries! Make sure you stop by and grab some macaroons and other creamy cakes. It will not be cheap, but it’s a splurge you should take… Which brings me to my next gastronomy delight: Cheese!
Find a good Fromagerie (you can’t go wrong really, even the supermarket aisle in Paris will give you better cheese than anything you have eaten before!) and grab a selection of local cheeses. A lovely bottle of Burgundy wine goes down nicely at this stage too…
I guess by now, your about to leave, and should really stop by the Eiffel Tower for the obligatory photo… ugh, if you must…