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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Three Days in Paris


IMGP4717What to do in the city of love and lights with only three days and three nights? With such an incredible array of options—where does one begin? Luckily, this was my fourth time to Paris, so I’ve been able to visit many different neighborhoods and attractions, but for my new husband it was his first trip, so I wanted him to get a good feel for it in our short time and gear it towards what he likes best – primarily art, history, and food. Though it was tough to choose, this was our lineup for a fabulous stopover on our honeymoon.


What to do:

Walk the lovely streets until you get tired, and then find a sidewalk café with a view of a small square and people-watch. This is the quintessential Parisian experience and what I would choose to do above everything else if I only had one day.

 

Two self-guided walking tours that I’d recommend:

1) [Leave 3-5 hours, depending on how many times you stop – we began around 2pm and that gave us a good amount of time] Begin at the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs IMGP4682Elysees, stopping to take some photos at the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. Once you reach the Obelisque, where the road stops, continue on through the Jardin des Tuileries toward the Louvre (but don’t go in now as you’ll want to spend 3-6 hours).

 

 

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Head back toward Place de la Concorde and walk alongside the Seine on Cours de la Reine to Pont des Invalides. Cross over on this elegant bridge and continue up the other side of the river until you reach the Eiffel Tower. If you like you can wait in line to take the elevator up for the view. Cross over the bridge to the Palais de Chaillot and the square beyond it, then up Avenue Kleber back to where you started. If you’re staying at Residence Foch you could head up Ave Raymond Poincare instead and go to Restaurant DAB for dinner.



2) [Full day] Begin at Musee D’Orsey, Paris’s impressionist extravaganza, and spend several IMGP4756hours there. Walk east along the Seine until you reach Ile de la Cite. You’ll see Notre Dame and cross over the bridge. Wait in the long line for entrance (it’s worth it) and when you’ve had your fill, walk around to the back where you’ll see a small bridge across to Ile St. Louis, famous for its ice cream. Wait in another long line for your late afternoon treat and walk around the quaint streets. There are a lot of gourmet shops to stop into if you’re so inclined. Then head across Pont de Sully to the Latin Quarter and walk down Boulevard Saint-Germain to Rue St Jacques past the Sorbonne until you see the Pantheon on your left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP4780After your photo head away from the Pantheon down rue Soufflot and cross Blvd. St-Michel into the Jardin du Luxembourg. Grab a bench near the fountain and relax – this is a great place for people-watching on a summer evening. Wander the Latin Quarter’s bustling streets until you find your perfect place for dinner and afterwards head back up St-Michel toward the ferry docks across from Notre Dame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP4801Take a late-night boat tour through the gloriously lit city and under its famous bridges. If the weather is good, you’ll see people having picnics, parties, and dances along its banks. Rest your feet and take the Metro home.

 

 


IMGP4822On day three, go to the Louvre and follow the hordes to the Mona Lisa, or meditate in the French sculpture area – either way leave at least 4 hours for this; there is an incredible amount to see – don’t plan on doing it all. Walk across to the left bank and grab a pastry and a coffee at a café before exploring some of the shops. Take the metro to Montmartre, see the view over the city and Sacre Coeur lit up at night and have dinner in this lively district.

 

On your departure day, after packing up and storing your luggage in your hotel, head to one of Paris’s best restaurants for a gastronomic experience.  We went to lunch at Guy Savoy, which turned out to be our favorite event in Paris. After, we were giddy with happiness and stuffed with food and wine. In late afternoon, unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Paris and head to the airport for our flight.



Which museums to go to:

Musee D’Orsay: If you’re a fan of Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, etc. this is the museum for you.

Louvre: with 35,000 of the best works of art from all over this is a history of the world and an art museum rolled into one.


Where to stay:

We chose Hotel Residence Foch because of its great reviews on Trip Advisor and were not disappointed. The staff was very friendly, the rooms clean, the breakfast adequate, and most of all the location excellent, in an area of embassies and expensive apartments only about a ten minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees. The best part of our room is that we were on the top floor with a small terrace where we could see the very top of the Eiffel tower and its dancing lights.


Where to eat:

Guy Savoy: the Best Restaurant in Paris (click link to read review and get more information). Gastronomic heaven.

L’Auberge DAB, 161 Ave Malakoff, Paris 16th (Porte Maillot). Very fresh seafood, classic French dishes, nice atmosphere, filled with Parisians rather than tourists, the menu is only 39 euros each including aperitif, four courses, and a half bottle of wine.



©Christina Kay Bolton

Published in indulge
Monday, 01 May 2006

in love (with Paris)

 

On our first vacation together, we spent a romantic six days in Paris. Even if you are not in love, you can easily fall in love in Paris, if not with your partner, then with the city itself. Known as both, “The City of Lights” and “The City of Love,” the city is filled with beauty, history, and countless opportunities to awaken your every sense.

 

Published in in love

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