Overview: Paris in 48 Hours
Highlights of Paris (The Good)
- All food experiences were amazing in Paris (except the cheese platter I chose to try, which wasn’t quite my taste
- Our tour of The Louvre was the best tour of our entire honeymoon
- We almost did not make it to Paris, as we forgot to buy train tickets from London
- A lot of time was wasted on a Hop On, Hop Off tour bus of the city
- Two days is not enough time to explore Paris!
After getting to a rocky start by forgetting to book our train tickets from London, we somehow made it to Paris on time. Our Airbnb was a centrally located apartment, and we were very pleased with this after our experience in London. We started off the first day struggling to find transportation to take us to Place du Trocadero, as it was the day of Tour de France and streets were closed. We made it in time, and headed to the Palace of Versailles. The halls and rooms of Versailles left us in awe, as did the elaborately planned gardens. After we returned back to the city, we found a spot of our town to take pictures with The Eiffel Tower. We then waited in an hour long line, and climbed to the second level of the world’s most famous building. Food was amazing, but our hop on hop off bus tour was not. We went nowhere fast, and finally got off to explore on our own.
Our second day started with a stroll to Pont Neuf, where we bought a love lock to put on the bridge. We climbed the bell tower of Notre Dame, and hung out with gargoyles and grotesques. In the afternoon it started to rain, but cleared just in time for our tour of The Louvre. With four other people, we explored the museum for 2 hours with the best guide on our entire honeymoon. We spent the evening eating desserts, drinking wine, and wishing we had more time to spend in The City of Light!!!
Truthful Traveling Style
Our itinerary was created, like London, to see the most in two days. We chose tours that matched most closely what we wanted to see, but also left a lot more room to wander ourselves around the city. We walked more steps in the two days we were there than I think I have ever walked in my life, and my feet were paying for it by the end of our time there. One thing that was left out, which I wish we had had time for, was Sacre Coeur. It was located far away from the other sights, which left it impossible to do.
Our Airbnb within Paris was in a perfect location. It was in the 3eme arrondissement, and close to restaurants, stores, a laundromat, and even Notre Dame & The Louvre. We could not have picked a better Airbnb for our three nights there, for the price it was.
Again, we chose not to have a car in the city. We wanted to walk everywhere, and avoid having to drive on Paris’ narrow streets.
The food experience was much different in Paris than it was in London. Every restaurant we stopped at had great food, and we actually had the time to sit and eat proper meals. We indulged in many sweets from bakeries we found around the city, and even bought fresh fruit from a market stall to have for snacks. There is no comparison to French cuisine!
*One important thing to note is that I speak French. According to many people we spoke to throughout our honeymoon, that makes a world of a difference. We noticed this right away, on our first morning when my husband tried to speak English to someone. They were not impressed. Even if you cannot speak and understand French, the locals really appreciate you trying!
DAY ONE: Versailles, Eiffel Tower
Palace of Versailles: We had an early morning tour of Versailles that we booked through Viator. We were transported to Versailles (about 30 minutes outside of the city) in a coach bus, and got to catch some more sleep before getting there. Once there, we skipped the lines and were led through the grand apartments and The Hall of Mirrors by our City Wonders Guide. Everything about the palace is opulent, from the outside of the building to the details inside. After our tour we had a chance to stroll through the gardens on our own, and I particularly liked watching the Musical Fountains Show.
Place du Trocadero: This was our meeting point for the tour in the morning, and this is where we were dropped off after the tour was finished. We had scheduled an Eiffel Tour sunset tour, but it was cancelled. We decided to use our free time to roam around Paris, eventually leading to the Eiffel Tower. The Place du Trocadero has many beautiful views of The Eiffel Tower, and we decided to take pictures there. The pictures turned out really nice, and it was not a crowded experience.
Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is always busy, no matter what time of day. We decided to walk up the tower, because that was the shorter line. The line to get through security and to the ticket booth was about an hour long, and from there we got to climb right away. This was a great option, as it was not overly crowded and we got to stop on each level to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, due to the wind, the uppermost level was closed.
Price: 10€/PP (this is the price for walking to the 2nd level)
Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour: * This bus tour was not one of our best highlights, but worth mentioning. After visiting Versailles and the Eiffel Tower we decided to take a break and tour the city on a bus. Unfortunately the bus went nowhere fast, and had a very strange commentary.
Price: 32.40 € for a 1 day ticket
Food & Drink
We had our first croissants in France at this bakery, and my pain au chocolate was the perfect start to a busy day.
This was our introduction to French cuisine (pictured above). The seating was unique to us (outside with both of us facing the street) and the food was amazing! Although what I had resembled Canadian Swiss Chalet, it was leaps and bounds better. If you are visiting the Eiffel Tower the area has many restaurants in the neighboring arroindisememts, such as this one!
We took a cab to Place du Trocadero, but spend the rest of the day walking around. Paris is a very walkable city, and we had a pretty easy time navigating from place to place.
Step Count:19,400 steps/ 8 km/ 5 miles
DAY TWO: Notre Dame, The Louvre
Pont Neuf: This was the meeting place of our tour on the second day. We realized when we got there that it was the famous Love Locks bridge, and of course we had to buy our own lock to add to the bridge.
Cathédrale du Notre Dame: What a beautiful cathedral! Our tour here was amazing, we started inside the actual cathedral admiring the stained glass windows, and then got to climb up into the bell towers. It was so amazing watching the bells toll while looking out onto the city. Note: It is a tight squeeze getting up the stairs to the bell tower, and there can be little room to move around while at the viewpoint.
Le Louvre: This was probably the best tour we’ve ever taken. Again, it was through City Wonders, and it was a semi private tour. We started in the Crypts where we saw remains of the original palace, in their original location. Our guide was great at navigating through the crowds and making sure we got a front and center view to each piece of art. The ceilings were amazing to look up at, and the Mona Lisa was as disappointing, small and as busy we had heard.
Food & Drink
We were rushed in the morning to make it to our tour on time, and stopped in quickly for a breakfast sandwich. Starbucks in Paris is highly similar to Starbucks in North America.
This riverside restaurant was between Notre Dame and The Louvre, and made sense as we were walking from one to the other. While Adrian had a great French onion soup I chose to try a cheese platter. All the cheese was so strong that I could not stomach much of it.
Burger Bonne Nouvelle
We returned to the same burger joint on our second evening, and had the exact same food except that we chose a different wine. Great place if you’re looking for awesome burgers and wine.
The pastries pictured above are from Casse Noisette. It had awesome pastries and a cool upstairs seating area to enjoy the pastries in. The millefeuille was not as amazing as the ones from Stohrer but it had some pastries we had not yet tried.
We spent the entire day walking on our tour, and our feet were actually tired at the end of the day. Paris is such an easy city to walk in that you can walk all day long and only when your feet remind you will you remember just how much you have walked.
Step Count: 20,287 steps/ 13 km/ 8 miles
Our time in Paris was short, but filled with amazing sights and food. I cannot wait to go back and explore some more of The City of Light.