Paris

48 hours in Paris: What you simply must not miss under any circumstances

Paris is a city that deserves to be visited several times in your life. I’d actually go as far as saying that it needs to be visited regularly because it will always surprise you with new areas, exhibitions, events and venues.

If you are someone who likes to take advantage of last-minute deals and are also lucky enough to find a cheap flight to Paris for a weekend, here’s our recommendation for what you simply must not miss. And with precisely this in mind, we have created these walking tours of the city to be used in conjunction with the PLAYandTOUR Paris audio guide so that you can explore the city at your own pace. Remember that the audio guide has full recordings for more than 100 points of interest in the city, which will not only serve you for this 48-hour visit, but also for when you return.

And if you go without an audio guide, at least download the free PDF map of Paris to guide you through the city and ensure that you do not miss a thing. And it’s free.

As I’m sure you know, Paris has an overwhelming variety of museums. Depending on the time you have, I also recommend that you at least visit the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Georges Pompidou. I don’t know how much you are interested in art, but one of the most popular activities when travelling to these cities is to spend a couple of hours a day visiting museums. It is of course you who decides on what you want to do. For example, if it’s raining, a museum is a good idea; if it’s a nice day, strolling through Montmartre is ideal.

Anyway, enough of that. Let’s start with your Paris itinerary. You took a flight and arrived last night in the City of Love. You went out for a quick dinner and did you go to bed early so that you could get up early? That was a good idea because you have a lot to do.

Day one, we start big. Take the metro to Trocadéro station and walk to the Eiffel Tower, the undisputed symbol of the city and all of France.

Typically, you need to queue up for at least half an hour if you want to go up to the top of the tower. Perhaps more. It is worth it though – if you don’t do it, you’ll regret it. When you come down, walk along Champ de Mars to Mur de la Paix and, from there, head to the Dôme des Invalides to see Napoleon’s tomb. By now, it will probably be near lunchtime. A non-expensive restaurant serving homemade food in the area: Bistrot du 7ème.

But don’t eat too much, you have a lot of walking to do. We begin at Napoleon’s tomb, go along Les Invalides to the banks of the Seine and reach Musée d’Orsay.

How are you doing for time? Is there time to see the museum? If not, continue. There is still a lot to see. Walk along Boulevard Saint-Germain, Boulevard Raspail, Rue de Grenelle and Rue du Vieux Colombier to get to the Church of Saint-Sulpice, made famous by the film The Da Vinci Code.

After visiting it, go down to Luxembourg Gardens, take a look at the original model of the Statue of Liberty – the good one, yes – and then head to the Pantheon.

From there, go up to the River Seine again, pass by La Sorbonne and visit the beautiful Church of Saint-Séverin. Tired? All that remains now is to explore the treasures of the Île de la Cité. Start at the Palace of Justice, then Sainte Chapelle and end your day at Notre-Dame Cathedral.

It must have been an exhausting day, I know. But do you know how much history and art you’ve seen in one day? Now it’s time for some dinner and rest. The Latin Quarter, south of Notre-Dame Cathedral, is a good place to find a restaurant. There are numerous to choose from. If you prefer though, you could find one closer to your hotel.

By the morning of day 2, you probably won’t have had time yet to take in everything you saw yesterday. But let’s carry on anyway, the fantastic photos that you took will help you remember everything. Have breakfast at the hotel and head to the Louvre. Admire the building, the pyramid and perhaps pop in to at least see the Mona Lisa.

From the Louvre, look up the Champs Elysées. Far away in the distance, you’ll see the Arc de Triomphe. That’s where we’re going next.

The walking tour begins at the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden, but we’re going to take a slight detour to visit the Place Vendôme and Madeleine Church. We then return to admire the pretty Place de la Concorde and start a walk of luxury and glamour. As typical and topical as essential.

In the gardens of the Champs Elysées, don’t miss the Petit Palais and Le Grand Palais and, between Place Franklin Roosevelt and the Arc de Triomphe, take a look at the highly-exclusive restaurants and shops, as well as the odd fast-food outlet.

The restaurants here are obviously expensive, so if you don’t want to end up in McDonalds, have a look in the side streets off the Champs Elysées to find good reasonably-priced restaurants. A recommendation? Les Enfants Terribles, for example. It’s not one of the cheapest but it is exquisite.

If you spent some time at the Louvre earlier, you may be finishing your walking tour in time for dinner. If you didn’t see any works of art, you will probably have had lunch in this area, so the question now is what to do for your last afternoon in Paris. A walking tour through Montmartre. Either a bohemian themed one or the one preferred by moviegoers, inspired by the film Amélie.

Do you still have a few minutes left in Paris? Take the metro to Trocadéro to see the Eiffel Tower illuminated at night… A lovely sight!

Now, go back to the hotel and rest. You deserve it.

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