I traveled to Paris in the summer of 2013 with my mom, aunt, and cousin after visiting family in Croatia. Paris was a bit of a last minute idea so we only had a couple days to spend there, but traveling within Europe is so easy and inexpensive so we said why not! It didn’t take much for me to fall in love with the City of Light, and I can’t wait to go back one day to experience all that I missed on my short trip. For now, here is a quick list of all the spots I hit in my 48 hours in Paris!
Crowne Plaza Paris République – We stayed at this hotel located near the center of the city and had a great experience. The building itself is quite old, but the hotel was very beautiful and clean. The rooms were a great size in comparison to typical European hotel rooms, and the location was fantastic. We were within walking distance to tons of great restaurants, cafes, major sites, and public transportation. The convenience alone is enough reason to stay here. Not to mention, the hotel’s restaurant has one of the best Croque Monsieurs I’ve ever had!
Rèves De Paris République – We never had a bad meal while in Paris (obviously), but the only place I remember the name of is Rèves De Paris République, a cafe around the corner from our hotel. We came here for coffee and pastries every morning, which was my favorite part of every day because their croissants are TO.DIE.FOR. Five years later and I’m still dreaming about those beautiful, flaky, buttery vessels of love and tastiness. I’m sure you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the best croissant of your life in Paris, but I promise this cafe will give all other Parisian pastries a run for their money.
Sites – I am very much one of those travelers that is adamant about seeing the major sites in the cities I visit. I am a huge history nerd and for that reason I absolutely had to spend my short time in Paris dragging my family around from monument to monument. Here are some of my favorites:
–Eiffel Tower: I mean, do I even have to mention this? The Eiffel Tower is literally why people go to Paris in the first place. It truly is just as spectacular in person, and serves as an amazing backdrop for a picnic consisting of champagne, cheese, and a baguette at the park behind it. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a beautiful summer day.
–Louvre: The most iconic museum of art in the world. You don’t have to have ever taken an Art History class to appreciate this magical place. Some of the most famous pieces of art in history are housed here…making it an absolute must on anyone’s trip to Paris.
Notre Dame: The famous French Gothic cathedral is another must see. The architecture is stunning and if you feel up to climbing the 387 steps of the tower, the views of the city at the top are even better. One of my favorite parts of Notre Dame was lighting a candle inside the church.
Arc de Triomphe: The “most monumental of all triumphal arches.” If you’re like me, you may or may not have a running count of all the arches you’ve been to in the world (I think I’m at 5?), but the Arc de Triomphe truly is the most beautiful and impressive. Afterwards you can take the two second stroll to the famous Champs-Élysées.
Champs-Élysées: The famous avenue is located in the 8th arrondissement and is often referred to as “the world’s most beautiful avenue.” This is where you’ll find some of the city’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment. If you’re a shopper, remember to bring your credit card with the biggest limit because the flagship stores of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and other well known luxury brands are located on Champs-Élysées.
There’s so much to see and do in Paris that I barely even made a dent on my trip in 2013. I made the best of the time I had and I truly would not have changed a thing. I cannot wait for the day I get to go back and this time it will definitely be longer than 48 hours! If you have any questions, or better yet – tips for my next trip – please send them my way!