In dire need of macarons and Camembert, Louise and I took an emergency detour to Paris last week after spending Christmas in London. We only had two days, so staying in Central Paris was the only option; with only two days, we needed to maximise our time and not spend too much time travelling.
We’d already planned to spend one of our two days at glorious Disneyland Paris (read more here), so that really only left us with about 8 hours to do a whistle-stop tour of all things Parisian.
Here’s how to get the most out of 8 hours in Paris:
- Wake up early to see the Eiffel Tower. Get an uber or take the train to the Trocadero Train station. Dodge the hawkers and wedding photographers and catch the ultimate Eiffel Tower Sunrise shot.
2. Head back up the stairs and grab some macarons/pastry from Carette. They are INCREDIBLE.. also not as expensive as you might think (approx 2 Euros per macaron).
3. Uber/cab/train to the Louvre. Take your photos in front of the pyramid, and perhaps go inside if the line isn’t insane (it usually is by about 9-10am). If you still haven’t had enough breakfast, head to Angelina (right next to the Louvre) for literally the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life.
4. Walk along the Seine towards Notre Dame Cathedral, stop at the new location for the love locks. Watch and laugh as the local con artists try to trick you into betting on their games.. We seriously saw one guy lose 50 Euros to the most obvious scam in history.
5. Continue walking along to the Notre Dame Cathedral and learn about the cathedral that took nine centuries to complete!
The rain literally killed my camera at this point, so no more photos 🙁
6. Cut back into the city and check out the Centre Pompidou, and iconic avant-garde building that houses the National Museum of Modern Art.
7. Grab a cab and go for a lap of the Arc de Triomphe
8. Finally, stop in at Galeries Lafayette for some high end Parisian shopping.
Hotel Adèle et Jules
In order to get the best out of your Paris experience, you’re going to need to stay somewhere central. We stayed at a fantastic boutique hotel called Hotel Adèle et Jules, which was perfect for everything we needed to do.
In typical Parisian fashion, the hotel is tucked away in a quiet little side road with quaint little rooms that face out onto the narrow streets below. If you’re looking for something straight off the set of Amelie and aren’t looking for something too grandiose, the little boutique hotel is perfect for a short city break. It’s super convenient and getting to any of the famous sites by Uber (Louvres, Eiffel Tower) cost less than 10 Euros.
At night, if you’re looking for food you barely have to walk ten steps before you come face to face with your first restaurant. Keep on walking another couple of minutes to Boulevard Poissonnière and you’ll find dozens of great restaurants and bars, many of which have long lines out the doors.
You’re also nestled deep in the theatre district, and there are plenty of different performances within a few blocks.
In terms of food at the hotel, the breakfast at Hotel Adèle et Jules is the quintessential Continental breakfast, and Louise and I stuffed ourselves with nutella filled croissants before we dove into our Paris tours each day.
Honestly, we’ve stayed in Paris before and there have been times where we’ve been reluctant to go outside once it gets dark. The atmosphere in the 2nd and 9th arrondissement of Paris (the area) is so vibrant and bustling at night that not once did I ever feel uneasy. We’ll 100% be staying in this area next time we visit and would happily visit Hotel Adèle et Jules again.
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