48 hours in paris.

48 hours in Paris.

This December, we made it back to my all-time favorite city: Paris. We managed to pack in a LOT of the sights in the 48 hours we spent in the city of lights. In the last four years, we have visited Paris three times, so this post will be home to the places which we loved the most. If you have only two days in Paris, you can maximize them using our learnings from the past few years. {I'm not the slightest bit sorry for the picture and information overload below. Paris is the best.}

48 hours in Paris.
48 hours in Paris.
48 hours in Paris.

VISIT:
-Paris is chock full of museums, so we generally choose one to visit when on a shorter trip. The Louvre is a must-see for a first-time visitor to Paris, but then again, I would say the same thing about the Musée d'Orsay. We also loved our visit to the Rodin Museum, which is slightly off the beaten track but in a lovely corner of Paris. Wherever you choose, you can't really go wrong.
-Strolling through Montmartre and seeing the city from Sacré Coeur make for an excellent afternoon. You can take the Metro there and get in a little exercise while climbing up to visit ;)
-Notre Dame is near the top of the list of "cliché" tourist stops in Paris. The crowds are bananas, but the amazing rose windows and the overall beauty of the cathedral are incredibly powerful.
-If you have two mornings in Paris, save one to stroll the market on rue Cler. {It's close to the Eiffel Tower.} My best friend who studied in Paris clued us into this gem. If you want a real taste of Parisian daily life, this is it. 
-I will always and forever love the Eiffel Tower. Whenever I see it for the first time, it literally makes me stop in my tracks. Be sure to pre-book your tickets for this one! If you can only swing tickets to the second level, you CAN get tickets to the top when you get off the elevator. {We were able to swing that on our last visit; it felt a little like the Amazing Race.} If you don't love heights, don't worry. Whether you go up the tower or not, I would recommend taking a picnic at sunset to watch the Eiffel Tower start to sparkle. We grabbed a few things from a market nearby and made a little evening of it. {It also makes for a cost-effective dinner option!}

48 hours in Paris.
48 hours in Paris.
48 hours in Paris.

EAT + DRINK:
-If you're down for a good drink, Harry's New York Bar is the birthplace of so many drinks {the Bloody Mary, the French 75, just to name a few}. It's an experience for sure--and is a real "American" outpost in Paris. {Here is a little video I snapped on our trip this December of the 15-second Bloody Mary production...unreal!}
-You must have the hot chocolate at Angelina on rue Rivoli. Though by sharing that I may be forever cursing our future visits, we found that the best time to go is first thing in the morning around 8am. If the line is too long for a seat, you can still get the hot chocolate in a take-away cup in the macaron line. {While you're in the take-away line, grab a few macarons while you're at it. We did a direct taste test with the same flavor from Angelina, Ladurée, and Pierre Hermé--and we liked Angelina the best.} One other tip: If you're planning on a visit to the Louvre, Angelina would be an ideal stop before you go.
-Buvette is a one of my favorite stops in NYC and they just opened an outpost in Paris. In addition to being perfectly quaint and cozy, the food is super tasty.
-We found Willi's Wine Bar on our honeymoon, thanks to a sweet little guidebook my mom gave us. It was closed on our visit in 2012, but we were happy to find it open again this winter. With a killer wine list and wonderful atmosphere, {cv} and I definitely plan to go back on future trips to Paris.
-Another great friend is lucky enough to call Paris home for the next few years. She recommended we stop at Candelaria for a few tacos {yes, you read that right}. They were AMAZING. The seating is tiny, but worth the wait. Though we didn't time it right for their hidden bar {literally through a nondescript door in the back of the restaurant}, she tells us phenomenal tales of their drink selection.

48 hours in Paris.
48 hours in Paris.

EXTRA TIPS:
-Always book tickets ahead. Always. For the Eiffel Tower, I would hop on to book your ticket the same day you book your flights. When time is at a premium, 30 minutes here and there spent in line add up. You'll be glad you took a few minutes on the front end to pre-book. 
-Leave your giant purse, tote, or backpack at home. I carried a small Longchamp and never had to check a bag at a museum. It helped me look slightly less touristy, as many French women also carry these bags. You can also keep a better handle on access to your bag when in crowds. I may sound like a crazy person, but I always keep the zipper in my hands on whatever side I carry it. Knock on wood: I've never been pickpocketed.
-I know Paris is a fashionable city and you want to look chic, but you must bring a comfortable pair of shoes. One day, we tallied up our walking to discover that we walked more than 13 miles {equivalent to a half marathon!}. Doing that kind of distance in heels or strappy sandals just isn't a good plan if you want to be mobile for your entire visit.
-While we're on the topic of fashion, I maybe one of the few women who would prefer sightseeing over shopping. If I only have two days, I don't need to be doing it inside a boutique. It is my preference, though it may not be yours. We can agree to disagree ;) 
-Plan some unplanned time. Some of our best memories from Paris are from strolling through different corners of the city and just taking it all in...

Do you have one city which will always rank as your favorite? Paris is, without a doubt, mine. The city holds so many incredible memories for us--and I'm already dreaming of our next visit. If you're planning a visit soon, bookmark this post for later consumption and report back on your favorites. xoxo {av}


10 comments:

  1. Perfect timing, as I leave for a vacation to London and Paris exactly two weeks from today!! Someone pinch me!! ;) Thanks AV!

    xo ~
    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  2. LOVE it! one of my favorite cities :) :) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  3. Stunning photos and this is now bookmarked in my travel folder. Ahhh, someday we will go back to Paris... I am really interested in the market you mentioned and your food recs. I never know where to eat when I am there (we have definitely experienced some tourists traps in Paris), but picnic are always great! Another rec I have for sights is Sainte-Chapelle... have you been? If I only had 2 days in Paris, I would actually skip going inside Notre Dame and check out the stained glass windows at that perfect little chapel instead.

    And to answer your question -- FLORENCE! That city is hands down my favorite. I would travel there again and again if I could. :)

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  4. i loved this post! so many great photographs and tips. i will make it to paris someday! :)

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  5. This post makes me want to book a trip to Paris ASAP!! I went there once for about 48 hours to visit an old friend and see some sights. We packed in a lot but this post makes me want to go back and stay longer. I agree that the Eiffel tower was truly special.

    My favorite city... is Marseille! I loved everything about it there.. The Mediterranean, the concentration of cultures in one place and all the benefits of an urban city.

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  6. Gorgeous photos and fantastic tips! I really do hope to go to Paris sometime.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

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  7. Hi Alison! I am loving the posts about Europe and your travels. I am taking your advice for all things Paris. My husband and I are making our first trip in May. I am so excited!! Currently booking the Eiffel Tower tickets now. One question for you, what comfy shoes did you wear? As much as I love a good jack roger sandal, pretty sure my feet would have me at the end of a day.

    xo
    Moe

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  8. I'm going to Paris on Easter so this is perfect! Thanks for sharing :)

    http://notuntilcoffee.com

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