Eating out, France, Travel
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10+ things to do on a weekend in Paris

Paris - Eiffel Tower and carousel (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Paris sera toujours Paris. Paris will always be Paris. And despite the fact I had been 3 times previously in the past, I still wanted to go back after a long time, and this time with Carlo. The occasion was a small family reunion after living 3 years in Australia and a Xmas gift for Carlo’s parents on behalf of Carlo’s sister and her husband.

Inside the Louvre Museum, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Inside the Louvre Museum, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Here are at least 12 tips of things to do in Paris on a weekend:

1.Pay a visit to the Louvre, even if you’ve been there before. By the way they built a shopping centre underneath it which is just fabulous and already beautiful decorated for Xmas.  Very good we booked the tickets in advance, so no queue for the museum. And, by the way, if you don’t want to die inside the Louvre, just plan to see just a part of it right at the start. We focussed on the Italian section (maybe biased?😉 and spent a bit more than 2 hours inside, of course without missing the well renowned “Gioconda” by Leonardo and also the “Nike of Samotracia” and the “Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss” by Canova. Great to visit again!

"Nike" of Samothrace, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

“Nike” of Samothrace, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

2. Stop for lunch at a brasserie, where you can enjoy a frugal lunch, or in our case a bit too many types of cheese and glasses of wine. We went to “l’Affineur affine’“, which is a “Fromagerie” (i.e. a cheese shop) and I highly recommend. Also good as starting point to a nice walk towards the Sacre Couer, very much needed after our lunch!

3. Visit le Sacre Couer and walk around Monte Martre. The view from up there is absolutely amazing and you’ll savour it even more if you walk and climb the stairs up there instead of taking the funicular🙂 the little lanes, the shops, etc… on the way up and down are absolutely amazing.

Le Sacre Coeur, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Le Sacre Coeur, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

4. Stop for a coffee or an aperitif (at one of these cafes, for example, Chez Camille, Relais de la Butt, Café du Commerce) and do “people’s watching”. I was told it’s a typical “parisienne” attitude / habit. We were too full, but we decided to pass by and have a look anyway. These tips are courtesy of Xavier, a dear French/Aussie, but very much French, friend we met in Australia

La Maison rose, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

La Maison rose, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Patisserie & Boulangerie "Pain Pain", Paris (photo vredit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Patisserie & Boulangerie “Pain Pain”, Paris (photo vredit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

5. Have a typical French dining experience, even if it’s a bit touristy, just choose well or ask for a good tip to a local. We went to Polidor for dinner and we definitely weren’t disappointed, actually very satisfied! Go for the “Beef Bourguignonne”, the “Tartare” or curry pork, none of these choices will leave you unhappy. Also the “mousse au chocolat”, the “creme caramel” will be a delight for your palate. But don’t choose the “Tarte Tatin”, actually one of my favourite, because it is a gigantic portion and not as good as I thought. Everything else is delicious, including the wine. We went for a Chateau Meric.

6. Walk around the Saint Germain and the Latin quarters at night as they are bustling with life or just romantic little lanes and views of Paris.

Institute de France, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Institute de France, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

7. Walk along the “Seine” at night, just to be impressed by “La Ville lumiere” and if you can also during the day to see the life of the locals. Depending on where you are, you’ll see the Eiffel tower lit up or one of the beautiful buildings along the river.

La Seine by night, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

La Seine by night, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

All these 7 points are feasible in one day without even running or stressing too much. If you want to go for a drink, try “Le Candelaria“, if you mange to get inside, the “Little Red Door” or the “Andy Wahloo” . Thanks Xavier and Maya for the suggestions!🙂

8. Take the bateau mouche and go for a cruise along the Seine. I know it sounds very touristy, but it really is worthy at least once in a lifetime. You get to see things from a different perspective. You may choose the 40-50 mins cruise or the “Bateau bus” just to go from one side to the other of the city. You’ll see people going for a picnic along the river banks and do all sort of things.

Happy self on the bateau, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Happy self on the bateau, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

9. Stop fo a quick visit at the Quai Brainley museum. We actually saw a Photo exhibition from Quai Brainley but along the river.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

The Eiffel Tower, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

10. Take the yellow line to Notre Dame. There’s always some queue outside, but it’s usually pretty quick. Wear something appropriate, no hats, no shorts or skirts too short to enter the church.

Majestic Notre Dame window, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Majestic Notre Dame window, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

11. Take a walk around le Marais, which I absolutely love, till Place de la Bastille and stop at any little cafe, brasserie or shop that you like, but for sure at Place des Vosges, a square of artists, the first modern square and the biggest at the time where the French monarchs used to live. Now it’s a cute square with a little park in the middle and art galleries all around and you’ll also find Victor Hugo’s house. While going through the Marais, if you feel like visiting another museum, you could choose between the “Centre Pompidou“, better book first, or the “Musee Carnevalet” dedicated to the history of the city.

Place des Vosges, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Place des Vosges, Paris (Photo credit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

12. Have a taxi take you by Place Vendome, la Madeleine, Champs Elysee’, l’Arc de Triomphe, etc… and see what’s around, if you don’t feel like walking anymore and as a way to save some time.

Sunset at Monte Martre, Paris (photo vredit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

Sunset at Monte Martre, Paris (photo vredit: http://www.lavaleandherworld.wordpress.com)

By this time you’ll probably be starving or having lunch already. Depending on your flight back, you might already be on your way to the airport shortly. After such a weekend you might either extend your lunch, wander a bit around at a leisurely pace or stop at another Parisian cafe’. Otherwise here are few other spots to see before heading home: “Musee D’Orsay” (better book ahead to avoid queueing), le “Grand Palais“, … although you might not feel like another museum🙂

Of course, there was so much more I wanted to see, but Paris is huge, I tend to forget it each time. We shall be back.

This entry was posted in: Eating out, France, Travel

by

Milan born, I lived in the US although very briefly, Spain (Madrid), Australia (Melbourne) and now Zurich for an exciting new adventure! I'm a curious person, a traveller, a lover of languages and cultures, food, art & design, a marketer and about to become a jewellery designer. I also love traveling and sharing. Travelling is a Life Experience, and it also means new recipes, new styles, culture and so on... you'll find all my love for traveling and what it entails in this blog! I'll share my own real experiences with you so that you can get tips on Australia and more first hand! This blog is in English and Italian, and occasionally in Spanish. Sharing is caring!

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