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Steph from Boston asked

Quick trip to Paris

Is two nights (2.5 days) enough time to see a decent number of places in Paris? What are some must-sees?

Paris (France)

4 Answers
answered by
Erika from Montreal

Hi. For a first time in Paris, I advise you the following must see.

I suggest you to wear good shoes and walk around the city, you'll make the most of it and will taste the atmosphere of this beautiful Capital.

For example, you can start from  Arc de Triomphe and walk down the  Avenue des Champs-Elyséeswhen you arrive at the  Le Grand Palais, which stands in front of  Le Petit Palais (you can enter and have a look at it, it's really nice) you can turn toward the river and see the beautiful  Pont Alexandre III and keep walking on the "quais" to see Musée d'Orsayor you go back to  Avenue des Champs-Elysées and you keep walking towards  Place de la Concorde, which is beautiful, then you just cross the street and you are at the Jardin des Tuileries which is the park of  Louvre Museum. You will arrive just in front of the Pyramid which also marks the entry of the museum.

If you still have feet and strength, you can have a look at the museum, but with just 2 days, I'd skip it. Take a break have a good "parisien", classic sandwich jambon beurre -which I love :) - and then walk on the side of the river, towards   Île de la Cité, it won't take long.Once you'll be at  Pont Neuf, you'll see  Notre Dame Cathedral, amazing and for free, you can visit it , even if you see a long queue outside, it goes quickly. You also might want to take a picture of the background from  Pont des Arts ,you cannot miss it is the bridge with all the lockers and where people go playing music.

Remember that Ile de la cite is the  heart of Lutece, the first Paris, you find yourself on the oldest part of the city, where everything began!

If you still have the time just cross the bridge and have a look at the  Hôtel de Ville

Second day start from  Montmartre (careful with bags, belongings and people stopping you to propose stuff and games) , you can go there walking from metro stop Abesses, the area is beautiful and you will find a different Paris than the elegant one you saw the previous day. Then you can walk down to Pigalle  for a quick look at the  Moulin Rouge .

Take the metro, you'll need to change once the line. G to  Bastille, walk towards  Place des Vosges, you'll enter  Le Marais, my favourite spot with Abesses. have a look at a map and walk towards  Centre Pompidou. Then take a metro to  Trocadero, and there,  Eiffel Tower stands.   Remember that from 6pm it shines for 5 minutes and it's breathtaking. You're not far from  Les Invalides maybe you can take the metro and have a look from the outiside.

Ok, it should be enough! The  third day, you'll be tired just take a metro and go admire the  Opéra de Paris GarnierGaleries Lafayette are just behind it and you can go shopping. Or leave the shopping and go to the Panthéon, it's worth a tour inside.Next to it you can see the Law Faculty of La Sorbonne.

Alternatives to this beautiful walk I detailed, are:

- take a "peniche", from Pont de l'Alma, it's a very good way to enjoy Paris with a little bit of history explained by the guide.

- Take one of those 2 floors buses, with the drop off, drop on option. It will guide you to the places I mentioned before, with a little explanation, and you will  preserve your feet. I think that for a 2 days tour it's the best option, you will miss a bit the Paris atmosphere but see a lot of things.

To drink go to the  Saint-Germain-des-Présarea,around metro Mabillon, it's  bobo (fusion of the worlds bohemien-bourgeois), obvious, but not to miss it. or Rue Montorgueil, very very nice.

To eat good French is difficult and you will find a lot of tourists menu,which simply don't taste good. 

To me, The only one worth mentioning and really good, and with reasonable prices ( you can have a good menu at 25 euros, drinks not included) is Autobus Imperial. It looks like very elegant but atmosphere is relaxed and people are young and nice. Good authentic French cuisine. they are near Place du Châtelet at Rue Mondetour, And one last thing, this restaurant is near my favourite church, Église Saint-Eustache.  Worth  a visit.

Have fun!


Comments (2)

Great answer, Erika!!! I've added the "@" symbol to the rest of your answers--you can keep going even after you've reached "Z". The system will just name the remaining locations "AA, BB, etc.".


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  2. Avenue des Champs-Elysées (attraction)
  3. Le Grand Palais (attraction)
  4. Le Petit Palais (attraction)
  5. Pont Alexandre III (attraction)
  6. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  7. Avenue des Champs-Elysées (attraction)
  8. Place de la Concorde (attraction)
  9. Jardin des Tuileries (attraction)
  10. Louvre Museum (attraction)
  11. Île de la Cité (attraction)
  12. Pont Neuf (attraction)
  13. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  14. Pont des Arts (attraction)
  15. Hôtel de Ville (attraction)
  16. Montmartre (attraction)
  17. Moulin Rouge (attraction)
  18. Bastille (attraction)
  19. Place des Vosges (attraction)
  20. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  21. Centre Pompidou (attraction)
  22. Trocadero (attraction)
  23. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  24. Les Invalides (attraction)
  25. Opéra de Paris Garnier (attraction)
  26. Galeries Lafayette (attraction)
  27. Panthéon (attraction)
  28. Pont de l'Alma (attraction)
  29. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (neighborhood)
  30. Rue Montorgueil (attraction)
  31. Place du Châtelet (attraction)
  32. Rue Mondetour (attraction)
  33. Église Saint-Eustache (attraction)
comments (2)
likes (8) thanks
answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

First off, 2.5 days in Paris will be fantastic (I would spend 1 day or 3 weeks in Paris)... while a lot of people will say its not enough and be correct, any time spent in Paris is worth it.  On previous answers, Courtney is absolutely correct about  Le Marais.  This is a neighborhood and a great place to spend time and my personal favorite part of Paris... You need to see the  Eiffel Tower and the  Arc de Triomphe, but if I had to choose between the big attractions and  The Louvre Le Marais, Le Marais would win, for sure.

If you are there during the day and want an inexpensive bight, there are a couple of great falafel places that are great value.  The famous place is L'as Du Fallafel, but I personally like a place a few doors down towards Rue Vielle du Temple.  At nightime, Le Marais is even better.  For dinner, I like Le Coude Fou , but there are a bunch of good cafes and bars:   Petit Fer à Cheval is a tiny place with big time character on one of my favorite streets in Paris, the aforementioned Rue Vieille du Temple, which is dotted with bars, cafes, and boutiques.  If Au Petit Fer a Cheval is too crowded, there are other good options all around, including La Belle Hortense, which is literally right across the street (30 and 31 Rue Vieille du Temple, respectively), and Les Philosophes which has a great location on a corner for sitting outside and people watching.


Comments (1)

L'As du Fallafel is an institution in Paris! The line for take away is always long but if you eat it there they can usually seat you right away.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  4. The Louvre (attraction)
  5. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  6. L'as Du Fallafel (restaurant)
  7. Rue Vielle du Temple (attraction)
  8. Le Coude Fou (restaurant)
  9. Petit Fer à Cheval (attraction)
  10. La Belle Hortense (attraction)
  11. Les Philosophes (restaurant)
comments (1)
likes (4) thanks
top answer by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Hi, Steph,

Personally, I would say no, it is absolutely not enough time but that's probably because it's my most favorite place on the planet. That said, here are a few of my favorite places there:

  • Le Maraisdistrict--lively, fun, and a great place to go at night, this is an absolute must-see area. If you're going to be in town on a Sunday, this is a good place to go as everything is open.
  • Place des Vosges - this is a town square that used to be a complete dump but is now an incredibly beautiful place with art galleries and restaurants and street performers. 
  • Palais Royal - Also another incredible square with stores and restaurants and one of my favorite parts of the city. Get a sandwich and sit in one of the green chairs by the fountain and watch the world go by. 
  • Luxembourg Garden - This is a stunning park that is beyond gorgeous. There's a lot to see here but one of my favorite spots is the  Fontaine Médicis on the eastern side.
  • Rue Mouffetard - I used to live around the corner from here--go here for dinner when all the neighborhood kids come out to eat and walk around. 
  • Jardin des Tuileries - Not to get too garden heavy, but you really shouldn't miss this!
  • Bateaux Mouches - usually I advise people to stay away from touristy stuff but this is worth it, I promise. These are the boats that go down the Seine and you'll see things you literally can't see any other way. 
  • Muséum national d'histoire naturelle - I'm not a nature person but I never miss coming here. One of the best things about it is that it's so tourist free. 
  • Jardin des Plantes - not sure when you're going, but if you're going in the spring, this is just outside the natural history museum so you should try to see it.
  • Berthillon -- best ice cream on the planet. 
  • Opera Garnier - it's a little over the top, but it's just so much fun that it's worth seeing. 
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery - I love this place and always go when I'm in town. Read up on all the superstitions about the graves before you go (like kissing Oscar Wilde's grave or rubbing certain statues for luck). It's a little out of the way, though, so I'd probably only go if you decide to go for more than 2.5 days. 
  • Musée d'Orsay - in my opinion a much more entertaining museum than the Louvre or the Pompidou and much more manageable if you don't have a lot of time. That said, with just over two days, I'm not sure I would spend much time inside at all.
  • Rue Montorgueil - Lovely, fun street with a ton of restaurants. 
  • Rue Saint-Honoré - one of my favorite streets in Paris. If you walk it east to west I think you'll find that it goes from bohemian to sophisticated in terms of stores, restaurants, etc. so you'll get a good mix. 
  • Marche Aux Puces De La Porte De Vanves - Paris has some great flea markets and this is one of my faves (and one of the few places you can get a really good deal). Just make sure you check their website before you go for days and hours. 
  • Ladurée - only this location, though--this is the original and the others just look like cookie cutters. Make sure you try their macarons!!! 

Hopefully you can find a few things on this list you'll be into--I don't want to overwhelm you with too much to do!!!

Comments (1)

Courtney is totally correct about La Marais. Great place to just stroll and spend time. Any time in Paris is worth it!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  2. Place des Vosges (attraction)
  3. Palais Royal (attraction)
  4. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  5. Fontaine Médicis (attraction)
  6. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  7. Jardin des Tuileries (attraction)
  8. Bateaux Mouches (attraction)
  9. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (attraction)
  10. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  11. Berthillon (attraction)
  12. Opera Garnier (attraction)
  13. Père Lachaise Cemetery (attraction)
  14. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  15. Rue Montorgueil (attraction)
  16. Rue Saint-Honoré (attraction)
  17. Marche Aux Puces De La Porte De Vanves (attraction)
  18. Ladurée (restaurant)
comments (1)
likes (13) thanks
answered by
frieso from Brussels

Hi Steph,

No, 2 days is definitely not enough, but you can still enjoy a 2-day trip in Paris. Courtney's tips are great, but you will have to choose what you like best. Paris is best enjoyed with a mix of culture and food, a glass of wine in hand and an eye on the beautiful and rich history of the city.

Comments (1)

I agree--one of the best things to do in Paris is just sit somewhere with a glass of wine and watch the world go by!!!
comments (1)

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