Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Weekend in Paris

It's no secret that Paris is one of my favorite places in the world. I visit as often as possible - usually every few years - and always discover something new and exciting with every trip. If you have the opportunity to spend a long sejour in Paris and explore every corner of the city, that's great! But even if you only have a weekend or a quick stop on a longer Europe trip, you can still experience la vie parisienne with just a few days with my tips.
  1. Take one day to explore le rive droit - the Right Bank - and another day to explore le rive gauche - the Left Bank. This makes transit easier and allows you to see the different sides of Paris. For can't-miss lists for each bank, go here: Left Bank and Right Bank.
  2. Use a combination of metro and vos pieds - your feet - to get around efficiently while still seeing the sights of the city. For a weekend trip, don't bother with a Navigo pass: buy your metro tickets in the form of a carnet, which is a pack of single-use tickets. Keep your ticket on your person until you complete your ride and any transfers, as the police occasionally check to make sure there are no illegal riders.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a sensible bag so you don't have to return to your hotel during the day. I recommend ankle boots and a zip-up tote like a Longchamp. And bring a water bottle, jacket and umbrella!
  4. Plan to eat outside of major tourists zones. The food is better and tends to be better-priced. My favorite ways to enjoy food are cafes in the morning, picnicking in the park for lunch and settling into a brasserie for dinner.
  5. Prioritize your favorite two or three museums. For a weekend, it's hard to see more than a few museums while still enjoying all the streets of Paris have to offer. My personal can't-miss list includes: Musee d'Orsay, Musee de L'Orangerie and Musee Rodin. Les Invalides is perfect if you love the history of war more than art.
  6. Avoid going up in the Eiffel Tower. It's a major time suck and better views of Paris can be found from the Tour de Montparnasse, Montmartre, the Arc du Triomphe and the roof of the Galeries Lafayette.
  7. Pay attention to openings and closings. Many shops and restaurants close on Sunday, and most museums close on Monday or Tuesdays. Additionally, the famous Bastille Market is only open on Sundays and Thursdays, and the Champs Elysees closes to car traffic one Sunday per month.
For more on planning a Paris trip, check my Paris tag!


  1. great post! I'm planning a trip to Paris so this is so helpful!


  2. Glad I could help! Enjoy your trip!