J’aime Paris! I mean, REALLY love Paris, and Parisians, and French wine. So jumping on a Eurostar sale, meant that I was heading back to the French capital.
The city has been hit with a huge amount of devastation the past couple of years which has also meant that their tourism has been affected too. But the spirit and hospitality of Paris is second to none and I urge anyone to go to Paris and fall in love with the city themselves.
So what to do there in 48 hours and of course… on a budget!
12.30pm – Surely the Eurostar is the best way to travel? I love the excitement of getting the train, and you’re in the centre of Paris in a matter of hours. Jump on a train at St. Pancras Intl. and be in Paris by 4pm!
4pm – Take the relatively short walk from Gare du Nord train station to Hotel Axel in the heart of Opéra. A 3*, very simple hotel but a great price and in a fantastic location.
5pm – After checking in, grab a (very) late lunch at Frenchie to Go – the beef brisket Reuben’s sandwich is divine.
7pm – Drinks at the Experimental Cocktail club is a MUST, you can easily spend all night here (but it can start to get pricey.)
8.30pm – Walk off the cocktails by climbing up to the Sacre Coeur – avoid the cable car if you dare. A view over Paris once it’s dark is pretty spectacular.
10pm – If you’re us, hunger will have well and truly kicked in by now. Grab a late night bite at Le Tambour.
10am – A lie-in is crucial on a lazy Sunday is Paris as not a lot tends to go on. Head for brunch, or a pastry and coffee breakfast. Brasserie Thoumieux, Salon de Thé Sébastien Gaudard, Bioboa and Holybelly are all great choices.
11am – The queue will already have grown quite long at the Centre Pompidou, but it’s a fantastic place to wander around – with gorgeous views from the top. Of course, sightseeing all depends on whether you’ve been to Paris before (there’s SO much to see!)
TIP: If you’re under 26 and an EU citizen, you can get into plenty of museums and attractions for FREE. Carry your passport, and check the Paris Tourist Board website for more info.
1pm – Peckish yet? You can’t go to Paris without eating a crepe! It’s easy to get ripped off in a tourist trap, but head to Rue du Montparnasse for a selection of fab eateries. We opted for La Crêperie Bretonne and were not disappointed!
5pm – After some wandering around – and a drink stop or two, go to some authentic wine tasting for the full French experience. We opted for a 2 hour wine and Champagne tasting course at Ô Chateau (€55 per person).
10.30am – Now it’s really time to enjoy a lie in. Unless you’re new to Paris and have a million and one things to do, it’s quite nice to see the city at a leisurely pace.
11.30am – Check out (but leave bags behind) and grab a pastry from a local boulangerie. Take a long stroll from the hotel to the Arc di Triomphe, going via Place de la Concorde before walking up the Champs-Élysées. Don’t miss Village Royal, an adorable ‘village’ in the heart of the city.
2pm – Take the obvious selfie at the Arc di Triomphe and give yourself a well deserved break by grabbing the metro back to the Louvre. Go inside if you’ve never been (it’s a fantastic museum) – otherwise head to Angelina’s for hot chocolate and cake.
2.30pm – Angelina’s is probably the most famous hot chocolate place in Paris (Coco Chanel loved it here). The Africa hot chocolate is so thick you can eat it with a spoon!
4pm – Grab your bag and get the metro to Place de la Bastille (thoroughly underwhelming). However the walk from here to the Notre Dame along the Seine is beautiful. Especially if you make your route via the island of Île Saint-Louis.
7pm – Make your final stop the gorgeous surroundings of Notre Dame cathedral. If like us you have your suitcase with you – be warned, you can’t take these in. We ended up having to go inside one by one. Nonetheless, it’s worth it!
7.30pm – Get the metro to Gare du Nord and catch the late train back to London. The Business class lounge will be full of suits commuting to work, or going home, but enjoy the free WiFi and wine.