Our ideal Weekend in
Should we meet in Paris?
A romantic rendez-vous halfway between London and Madrid!
Paris is undoubtedly a perfect destination to spend a long weekend if you live nearby, or to include in an itinerary when travellin across Europe.
Any time of the year is great for a trip to Paris, althoug be aware that temperatures can get quite low in winter, and the chance of rain or snow increases. But that can make it even more attractive!
Besides, Paris is such an emblematic and well known city by virute of thousands of movies and ads, that you can find yourself transported to those idyllic moments in your imagination.
We decided to spend three days of December, which makes for a pretty magical time, since the Christmas lights and decoration are already set up. Alex was still living in London, so he took the Eurostar train. You’ll find a return trip for around 100€ easily on eurostar.com. I flew in direct from Madrid to Orly for just 80€. Pretty cheap given the proximity to Christmas. The benefits of using Skyscanner. They are both short trips and as you can see, not expensive at all!
We met in the «City of Love» already at night on a Thursday, so we went straight to our apartment in Le Marais booked on Airbnb, and after checking-in we walked to Rue Saint-Antoine, a lively street in the same neighbourhood with plenty of bars and restaurants. (Dont’ forget to check our post on our favourite restaurants in Paris). *soon in English too!
NOTE: Wether you are interested in architecture or not, the newly built Louis Vuitton Foundation makes for a pretty interesting visit. Alex had the chance to see it on a guided tour before I arrived, and he left pretty impressed!
Our first full day in Paris started in one of the many lovely coffee shops near our apartment, half way to Notre Dame. Walk around it and across the beautiful Ile de la Cité, but if you want to visit the inside of the cathedral try to go early to avoid crowds and queues!
We walked along the Seine River edge towards Pont Neuf, and crossed the river to enter the Latin Quarter. Wander around its streets and don´t forget to visit the churches of St. Germain des Pres and St. Sulpice. We spent the afternoon enjoying Le Jardin du Luxembourg, a lively park with plenty of activities.
ACCOMODATION. «Paris can be a really expensive city, but we believe it’s worth trying to find an appartment near the center, from where you can wander around its streets and alleys.
That way you avoid long subway rides to get to the main attractions!.»
Crossed the river back to walk around the Chatelet area, on the north side of the Ile de la Cité and walked up and down Rue Montorgueil, where we took a breath and a coffee while we rested our already tired legs.
We then visited the Louvre Museum already at night to photograph the famous pyramid built by I.M. Pei. We had already visited the museum in previous trips, so we spared it this time, but it’s a must at least once in your lifetime, so plan well ahead as it will take up several hours of your day.
After an intense day all we could do was to find a place for dinner in our neighbourhood (Le Marais). We had a recommendation from a French friend, who promised we’d love the dessert: an amazing chocolate mousse like no other! (Find out where). We walked it off with a stroll to Rue de Bretagne afterwards, a perfect place find a cool bar and have a glass of wine with friends!
The morning of our second full day in Paris we decided to visit the Centre Pompidou, where you’ll always find interesting new temporary exhibitions, along with the stunning permanent collection of modern art. It is also a pioneering piece of architecture which contrasts greatly with its surroundings. Controversial in 1977 when it was built, for us it’s become one of the highlights of this city.
After the visit, we took the subway towards Saint-Germain-des-Pres station, and walked along the Saint Germain Boulevard until Rue Pontoise, where we stopped for lunch in a very nice french cuisine resaturant called «Le Petit Pontoise».
The rest of the afternoon we walked around enjoying Christmas markets and lights. For that, we took the subway towards Tuileries, and from there we saw the Opera, La Madeleine, the Lafayette Galeries… and the vibrant Champs-Élysées (full of life and christmas themed amenities).
We ended our walk under the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero, but since the weather started getting worst and it had been a long day, we decided to take the subway to our apartment and rest a little bit before heading out for dinner in Le Marais (I know, I know, we fell in love with this neighbourhood!).
Our last morning started with some shopping around our neighbourhood. You’ll find plenty of pretty little stores in streets like Rue Rosiers, Rue de Francs Burgois y Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie.
And after a box of classic macarons from Damyel, and some clothes, we took the subway to the Gare du Nord. There are left-luggage places in most stations in Paris, and you can rent a small locker for the full day for just 5,50€. That way we could enjoy the rest of the day without carrying our bags. We chose gare du Nord because I had to take the train to Orly from here, and Alex’s Eurostar train to St. Pancras Station in London also departed from here.
Once the luggage issue was sorted out, we took the subway towards Anvers to enjoy the area of Montmartre, and walk up to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur and enjoy fantastic views of the city from up there. This is also a must when visiting Paris.
After this, we just had time for lunch in the area, and back to Gare du Nord, where our paths separated again, ending a weekend of love in the «City of Lights».
We hope you enjoyed it, and it helped spark the desire to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
And even if you already know it, there are always new corners and places to discover!