Paris is one of the most well-known cities in Europe, and for that reason I never really expressed any desire to travel there..says the girl who now answers “Paris” when asked what her favorite city was
I was granted a long weekend in Paris when I ended up with work meetings in Europe following a conference. With a city the size of Paris, most people wouldn’t schedule only 3 days there, but this is the hand I was dealt.
So what can you experience during a long weekend in Paris?
(Other than some of the world’s best cuisine and the sorest feet you’ve had this year)
1. You’ll Have Time to see the EIFFEL TOWER…Twice.
In a long weekend in Paris, plan to visit the Eiffel Tower twice. Go once during the day for the sightseeing and the 360 degree view, and once at night for the romance. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting Paris with your significant other, your friends, or your family – you will still feel the sentimentalism of sitting along the lit up lawn with a bottle of champagne.
2. You’ll Have Time to see the LOUVRE and the ORSAY.
Yes, I fit the Louvre and the Orsay into one weekend. No, I did not manage to see the whole entire Louvre. Personally, I preferred the art and the layout of the Orsay, but the Louvre is the Louvre and you have to experience once right?
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can use our quiz “Should You Visit the Louvre or the Orsay?” to decide which one is best for you.
5. You’ll Have Time to Stroll through the TUILERIES and the CARROUSEL GARDENS.
The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens are part of a beautiful stretch of land that connects the Louvre to the Arc de Triumph. This is one area where the Parisians like to relax and spend their afternoon, complete with restaurants, fountains, and lounge chairs to relax on. You can also find many aspiring artists in this area, drawing or painting the Louvre Palace.
4. You’ll Have Time to Climb to the Top of the ARC DE TRIUMPH.
The Arc was my favorite look-out point over Paris so make sure to bring your camera. Don’t worry about working out the day you’re visiting the Arc de Triumph, because the climb to the top is no joke. It’s a lot bigger in person.
3. You’ll Have Time to Scarf Down FRENCH FOOD.
I never even knew I liked duck until I ate it in Paris. Now I might say it’s my favorite meal. But it doesn’t stop at the duck.. what about the tartar, the macaroons, the crème brulee, the cheese and wine and those little weird open faced sandwiches with the egg on top? The Parisian? Is that what they call it? All amazing.
**Make sure to get dinner at La Cordonnerie. You can thank me later.
5. You’ll Have Time to Walk along the SEINE RIVER. (including some of its most famous bridges)
Although it’s an enormous city, it is still amazing to see by foot, especially when your walking along the Seine River. Near the Eiffel Tower, there is a pedestrian path along the Seine that stretches for miles with flower gardens, trees, and benches. Visit one of the restaurants or cafes, or take the cheaper route and people watch with your own wine and cheese from a local grocery store.
There are several bridges worth seeing along the Seine River, my top favorites were the Passerelle Debilly, Pont des Invalides and the Pont Des Arts.
6. You’ll Have Time to Fight Your Way up the CHAMPS-ÉLYSEES.
I say “fight” because that’s exactly what it felt like. Champ Elysse is one of the most popular streets in Paris for upscale shopping and for those en route to the Arc de Triumph. Be prepared for a chaos of people walking in every which direction, comparable to the hustle and bustle of walking around Times Square.
7. You’ll Have Time to Admire NOTRE DAM.
Notre Dam is one of the few free attractions in Paris – you only have to pay if you want to climb the towers. I think the real treasure is the back of Notre Dame where you can find an excellent viewing point from the Pont de l’Archeveche.
8. You’ll Have Time to Eat a Baguette in LUXEMBOURG GARDENS.
I saved this for the last day since I figured I would need some relaxation time. I soon regretted this when I actually SAW the gardens. I could easily spend a whole day picnicking, reading, and drinking wine in the Luxembourg Gardens. The fact that something like the Luxembourg Gardens exists in the middle of a city makes Paris race to the top of my list of favorite European Cities.
If you’re looking for a similar itinerary, here’s how it all panned out:
Thursday Night: Landed in Paris, drank champagne on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Friday: Visited the Eiffel Tower in the morning. Walked along the Seine River to the Louvre. Took some shots of the sunset over the Louvre, went to dinner at La Cordonnerie.
Saturday: Went to the Louvre for the day. Walked through the Tuileries and the Carrousel Gardens (grabbed lunch) and onto the Champs-Elysees and then the Arc de Triumph. Walked along the river and over the Passerelle Debilly back to the Eiffel.
Sunday: Notre Dam and the Luxembourg Gardens
What would you visit during a long weekend in Paris?