Updated: Aug 6, 2019
A dreamy city where boulangeries and romance bloom.
The French capital, Paris, is imprinted in every one's mind as a top go-to destination. And why not? Apart from its history, Paris has been depicted in films and novels for centuries as a monumental city of art, elegance, and style.
Paris is an extensive and diverse city, and of course, 2 days isn't enough to cover even an eighth of it. But if you only have a limited time, and you want to break free from the tourist-traps, we've got you covered.
Don't be in a mad rush. Let your senses guide you. Stop wherever it is inviting. Eat wherever the aroma is leading. Do Paris the local way. ;)
Best time to visit: Mid April-June for pleasant weather. Avoid August as it is the most expensive and a number of local sh
.ops are closed.
If you don't mind the weather, Winter is the cheapest time to go.
Currency: Euro (€)
Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) also called Roissy, is the primary international hub of Paris which is conveniently connected to the city by rail. The RER B train operates a direct service from Terminal 2 and 3 to Gare du Nord, in about 35min. Fare: One way €10.30
There is also a FREE airport shuttle (CDGVAL) that takes passengers from Terminal 1 to 3.
Tip: You may use your airport RER ticket for making (unlimited) Metro and different RER transfers as long as:
it’s under 90 minutes since ticket validation;
you haven’t exited the Metro/RER system;
your final destination is within Metro/RER Paris Zone 1-2.
Getting around: The metro is the most efficient way to see the city, plus a bit of walking.
Fare: Buy the NAVIGO DÉCOUVERTE Day Pass for €7.50 (Paris Zone 1 & 2 only)
Thank you : merci
Good day : bonjour
Hello : salut
Yes : oui
Do: Wander off the beaten path; Keep an eye on your belongings
Don’t: Speak French—stick with merci and bonjour
Go on, use this 2 day guide to see Paris outside its City of Love image.
For an Incredible View of Paris
Begin your day by heading over to the highest point in the city.
Montmartre, known for being the homebase of many famous artists, both alive and resting (the likes of Van Gogh and Picasso), is a place of clashing styles. On one side you'll see Sacré Couer, immaculately sitting on top of the hill with its beaming white finish and smooth lines. And behind it, you'll find the streets full of Bohemians suffusing the area with their flair.
The summit of Montmartre is always full of tourists, but don’t be disappointed, you can escape the mob by walking towards a clump of trees north of the cathedral.
Take line 12,
Alight at ABBESSES station,
Follow RUE LA VIEUVILLE,
Then RUE DREVET,
Turn left on RUE GABRIELLE,
Then up RUE DU CALVAIRE
Tip: This route will take you to the heart of Montmartre, so take your time and enjoy your walk towards the hilltop.
1PM SAINT PIERRE
Slowly walk down the steps of Sacré Couer until you reach Place Saint-Pierre street, find a convenience store to buy some snacks and a can of beer, then loiter around the carousel.
After your refreshments, head over to Marche Saint-Pierre where you’ll find the biggest collection of fabric stores in Paris. Go inside Dreyfus first, an immense building with 5 floors dedicated to every type of textile your DIY projects need. If you’d like to see other stores around the neighborhood, you’d discover many more displaying a wide variety of colours and textures.
3PM MONTMARTRE CEMETERY
To Visit Dalida
Paris is home to several necropolis and Cimetière de Montmartre is the 3rd largest in the city. Take a stroll through this peaceful garden cemetery and take a peek at the final resting place of many famous artists who lived and worked in the area.
5PM RUE CRÉMIEUX
For Colorful Houses
A charming cobbled pedestrian street tucked away in the 12th arrondissement. Developed in 1857 to provide housing for workers, the jellybean-hued terraced houses has now become a sought after selfie background—much to the anguish of the residents.
Tip: Remember that people live here, be courteous and respectful of their privacy and property.
7PM CHEZ GLADINES
Delicious Duck Confit
Surely you’ve worked up an appetite after a long day of walking and sightseeing, and the only place to stave off a ‘hangry’ you is Chez Gladines.
Located in the neighborhood of Butte aux Cailles which literally means the quails’ hillock; this restaurant is famous for their Basque cuisine—order one and you’ll be serve a dish fit for a king’s banquet.
Tip: Avoid looooooooong queues by arriving at least 30min before opening hours.
Business hours: 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11:45pm. Open Daily.
Skeletons and More Skeletons
Unbeknownst to many Paris visitors, the city offers a variety of macabre experiences.
And if you're the type who squeals in excitement when it comes to human remains, then you're in for a treat.
The Catacombs of Paris was created in the 18th century to solve the city's problem of overflowing cemeteries. Given that the city was built from the stones quarried underneath it. The citizens need not look far for a new resting place for its dearly departeds.
The underground tunnels snake through the entirety of Paris. But most of it is closed of. And the only area open to public is a 45min walk through the renovated sites.
Do take your time. It's a place full of history and the bones of more than 6 million Parisians.
Take line 4 or 6;
Alight at PLACE DENFERT-ROCHEREAU
Entrance fee: €12
Open Tuesdays-Sundays 10am-8.30pm
Tip: Purchase your ticket online https://catacombes-paris.com to avoid long queues.
12PM BOUILLON CHARTIER
Lunch at a Typical French Bistro
When you've had enough of the eery and the grimy, head on to Bouillon Chartier to eat at one of Parisians’ beloved places.
Taking their own words:
“In fact, no matter what you’re seeking at Chartier, you probably won’t find it anywhere else… because there’s only one Paris, only one 9th arrondissement and only one Bouillon Chartier.”
That says a lot doesn't it? You'll definitely have one of your best dining experiences in this century-old restaurant.
2.30PM TOUR DE L’HORLOGE
To See the Oldest Parisian Clock
Now for a bit of sightseeing. Take the metro towards the 1st arrondissement a.k.a. central Paris. Look for the corner where Boulevard du Palais and Quai de l'Horloge meet.
You'll see Conciergerie, where the first Royal Palace was built, and where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution.
Gaze upwards, then you'll see a clock that was installed in the mid 1300’s—a remarkable piece of art and engineering you'll surely appreciate.
From Bouillon Chartier, Take line 4 SAINT-PLACIDE station,
Get off at CITÉ station
3.15PM SQUARE RENÉ VIVIANI
Site of the Oldest Parisian Tree
Walk southwards and cross Pont Des Coeurs to reach this quaint park. One of its distinct features is an ancient tree believed to be planted in 1601.
Sit down and chill. This square is a great place to people watch.
Best Ice Cream. Period.
There's really not much to say, except you're crazy if you don't go out of your way to buy one scoop from Berthillon.
Order their in-season fruit and salted caramel for a ridiculously flavourful ice cream.
Make your scoop last. Savour it as you meander along the Seine River. Find a corner where you can admire the city and its people. Then wait for the sunset.
Tip: There are a number of open markets nestled in smaller streets, you'll bump into one if you aimlessly wander about.