This was the second time we have been to Paris together. Last time, three years ago, we had an extensive list of sights, and we saw them all. We had been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, inside the Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame, we admired the art exposed in the Louvre. For an hour, we rested in the Luxembourg Gardens, walked around La Défense and through Montmartre. Among other things have seen Moulin Rogue, Panthéon, and Sorbonne. Our three days in Paris were filled to the brim.
This time, we were striving for a more relaxed trip. Therefore, we had just a few things planned with a plenty of room for changes.
We wanted to walk along the Seine, go to the Galeries Lafayette and see the city from its rooftop, walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, visit Musée d’Orsay, eat under the Eiffel Tower. We did all these things and also enjoyed the sun, ate a lot of French pancakes, tried artisanal ice-cream, and dined at nice restaurants.
Day 1 – evening
We started our trip on Friday evening when we arrived in Paris and we had about 48 hours in front of us. From the train station, we went straight to our hotel to check-in. We left out bags there and went for dinner. We found a nice restaurant just a few minutes from our hotel and started our trip with a good French meal.
After dinner, we decided to walk to the Pont des Arts which was packed with tourist and locals watching the sunset. Many people had a picnic right on the bridge, enjoying French finest delicacies – baguettes, cheeses, and wine.
From the bridge, we walked to Le Marais district to finish our day with pancakes from La Droguerie.
Day 2 – morning
On our first morning in Paris, we walked to the Galeries Lafayette. On our way there, we stopped at a bakery to have a croissant and pain au chocolate. In Paris, there are bakeries on every corner, so it’s not difficult to get a typical French breakfast.
From the Galeries Lafayette, we continued around the Opera and down the Avenue de l’Opéra all the way to the Louvre. We have been to the museum before, so this time we decided to find a nice spot in the Tuileries Garden and enjoy the sun.
Day 2 – lunch
From the garden, we walked to the Place de la Concorde and through the Pont de la Concorde to the other side of the river. We crossed the park in front of the Army Museum and continued on the Rue de Grenelle which took us to the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower. We bought sandwiches and some sweet pastry in a bakery on the Rue de Grenelle.
This time we wanted to eat under the Eiffel Tower, but next time we might try one of the restaurants or cafés on the Rue de Grenelle or adjacent streets.
Day 2 – afternoon
Since we had already been on top of the Eiffel Tower, we decided to walk to the beautiful Pont de Bir-Hakeim instead. We then returned to the Jardins du Trocadéro across from the Eiffel Tower. The gardens are a perfect spot for a picnic, watching street performers and taking pictures with the Eiffel Tower.
Day 2 – evening
We took a metro from Trocadéro to the Île de la Cité. Once again we took many photos of the Notre Dame, had an Italian ice-cream in Amorino and a citron pancake in a café just a few minutes away from the Notre Dame.
From the Île de la Cité we walked through the small streets of the city and all the way to our hotel. We stopped at the brasserie Café Le Brebant where we had a delicious dinner.
Day 3 – morning
We started our day with a walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. We began near the iconic Arc de Triomphe, an incredible monument. Last time we were in Paris, we went to the top of the monument which provides a beautiful view. This time, we checked it out from the outside and slowly walked down the avenue to the Place de la Concorde. We continued on the Quai des Tuileries, crossed the river and arrived in the Musée d’Orsay.
Day 3 – lunch
Since we stopped at a café on our way down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, we had plenty of energy to explore the museum. The museum’s building was formerly a train station, and it’s now a home of the artwork of mainly French artists. You can find paintings, sculptures, and photographs here. I was especially enchanted by the Impressionists’ paintings.
Day 3 – afternoon
From the museum, we took a metro to Montmartre, where we found a small crêperie, a perfect place for a late lunch of pancakes. We tried salty and sweet pancakes, served with cider. It was delicious! After a short walk around the Sacre Coeur, we went to the train station to catch our train back to Brussels.
In just 48 hours we saw many things and ‘must-see’ places in Paris. At the same time, we enjoyed our time much more than last time, mostly because we had enough room to just wander around. It was much more relaxed and fun, not trying to see everything 😉