48 hours in Paris: A Guide

Moulin Rouge
December 23, 2014

, ,

“Paris is always a good idea,” said Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina, and I, like many who visit France’s capital, certainly have to agree. The romantic city remains a popular short break destination for most Brits and is full of beauty and surprises.

Squeezing everything into a weekend can be difficult, which is why we’ve created the perfect itinerary for experiencing Paris in two days

Day One:

9am – See the real Paris

Get a feel for the real Paris by starting your morning at the Champs du Mars. You’ll find the famous market street Rue Cler, which has lots of lovely shops, restaurants (great for a chilled out breakfast!) and neighbourhood avenues to explore, giving you a real authentic look at the city.

12pm – Lunch on the Seine

River Seine Cruise

Views from the River Seine (on a slightly grey day!)

Enjoy lunch as you cruise along the River Seine. The Bateaux Parisiens Lunch Cruise that boards just by the Eiffel Tower is a great way to get to grips with the city and see what’s in store for the weekend ahead.

2.30pm – Time for shopping!

Paris Shopping & Champs Elysees

A snapshot of Parisian shopping / The Champs Elysees

Take a short stroll (about 20 minutes) or a taxi to the Champs Elysees. Here you’ll be able to shop to your heart’s content and soak up the vibrant city atmosphere. At the western end boulevard, you’ll find Arc de Triomphe, which you can admire from below, or climb to the top for breathtaking views of the city.

7pm – Parisian Cuisine

Head to Montemarte early evening and amble along to the beautiful Sacre Coeur before enjoying dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area – my favourites being La Maison Rose and Bistror du 9eme, or if you really fancy splashing out, Le Moulin de la Galette.

The world-famous Moulin Rouge is just on the outskirts of Montemarte and well worth passing on your walk back from dinner.

Moulin Rouge & dinner

Day Two:

9am – The Louvre

A visit to the Louvre is a must on any visit to Paris. Even if you’re not an arty person, it’s impossible not to be impressed by some of the beautiful sculptures and paintings. To make sure you don’t miss any of the main attractions, consider taking a guided tour of the museum.

12pm – Lunch at a boulangerie

Laduree Bakery Paris

Fabulous macaron creations at Laduree bakery

After your cultural morning, stop off at the most famous bakery in the city, Laderee, and enjoy a light lunch and a delicious macaron or two.

2pm –See the “Love Locks” at Pont des Arts

Continue to explore Paris by walking the numerous bridges over the Seine. Don’t forget to make your mark at Pont des Arts, perhaps the most romantic bridges in the city, with your very own “love lock”.

The beautiful Notre Dame is just 15 minutes’ walk from this bridge and well worth a visit. The shopping around the cathedral area is also fantastic for any shopaholics who want to make some final purchases!

The thousands of "Love Locks" at Pont Des Arts bridge

Love Locks at Pont des Arts

7pm – Dinner by Notre Dame

Head to Brasserie de ‘Isle Saint Louis or Le Porte-Pot for dinner, they both have great menus and are conveniently situated around the cathedral and shopping district.

10pm – It’s not goodbye, just “Au Revoir”….

Say farewell to the city by getting up-close to its most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower at night

The brilliant lights of the Eiffel Tower at night

Watching the evening light show is a magical and romantic experience. The tower is illuminated from sunset and the bright lights flash every hour, on the hour, for around five minutes – so make sure you time it right!

Do you have any tips for spending a perfect weekend in Paris? 

About the author

Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in the beautiful Cotswolds. When she's not writing, she loves to travel; just a few of her favourite hot spots are Florida, New York, Rome and Florence. You can see more of her work at Sophielouwrites.co.uk.