24 Hours in Paris
Being home now for a few weeks, I still get the question “What was your favorite part of your trip?” How do you choose a favorite? With such different cities come different experiences. It is too hard to compare and choose only one! Anything new and different heightened my senses and was so exhilarating.
Instead of choosing just one activity that I loved, I decided the next best thing would be to share what I would recommend doing in each city if you only had 24 hours! This is going to be VERY difficult, but at least I don’t have to pick JUST ONE!
My first stop on my 3.5 week Europe trip was Paris, so it only seems right to start with it. To only spend 24 hours in this magnificent city would be crazy, but here goes nothing…
First, I would wake up and head to one of the many markets. My friend Natalie loved the Bastille market that was only a mile or so from our apartment. Here you can buy anything from different cheeses and meats to clothing and bags. I would recommend getting a nutella banana crepe and then heading to the Seine River to take in it’s beauty while gobbling down the decadent goodness of your French style breakfast.
Next would of course be none other than shopping. Walking down any of the streets of Paris you will find stores to your liking. As I mentioned, we were staying close to the Bastille and found multiple shops that I quickly fell in love with. Here are two of my favorites to get you started, but there are little gems all over the city so you can’t go wrong. (Be sure to walk down the Champs Elysees just for the experience. I wouldn’t recommend shopping on the street because of the inflated prices, but it is a must see).
– L’ Equipee Anglaise
After dropping off your purchases back at home, around noon I would stop by a fabulous little bistro and grab some lunch. Remember it is cheaper to take it to go or eat inside vs. sitting outside. If you’re only going to be there for 24 hours though live it up by grabbing a seat outside to soak up the beautiful scenery.
After lunch swing by the nearest Laduree and pick up one of their famous macaroons. I prefer gelato, but while in Paris this is a must try and I’m told there is none that can compare. (This was my first time trying a macaroon, so I’m spoiled now)!
Although you are probably about ready for a nap with all of the food you have been consuming, you need to stay awake and active since your stay is so short. So the next stop is going to be one or two of my favorite museums I visited…your choice.
– If you want to be free to roam and love modern art, Pompidou is the place for you. We spent hours here, but were in no hurry and loved all of the different concepts and inspiration.
– If you prefer to see more than one museum and love stain glass windows, Saint Chapelle is breathtaking and can be done in under an hour.
– If you must see the famous Louvre, I suggest taking the Masters guided tour. This allows you to see the most famous statues and paintings the Louvre has to offer while learning the history behind each in just 1.5 hours.
If your trips timing is right, you will be able to enjoy one of my favorite moments throughout my entire trip, the Tour de France!!! The crowd’s energy is infectious even for non-cyclist fans like myself. You find yourself cheering on the athletes (even if you don’t know who they are) and are smiling from ear to ear by just being a part of such a magnificent event. It is also a great way to meet people since you are in crowds and have breaks to chat during the cyclist’s laps.
Once this is complete your feet are going to need a break, so grab some dinner. Rick Steves has SOOOO many good recommendations. Depending on what area you are in, look through his choices and see what is close by.
End your night with a quick tour of the Notre Dame and head up to the top for breathtaking views. Although you have to hike up approximately 400 stairs I promise it is worth it. Time it just right and not only will you get to see the sunset over Paris, but you will also be able to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle for 5 minutes at 10 o’clock. This was one of the most amazing moments of my entire trip.
After all of this I’m sure all you will want to do is take the metro home and climb into bed, but if you have even an ounce of energy left stop by a restaurant on your way home and cheers to your short stay in Paris with some delicious French wine. There is no better ending to the night. Cheers!