Paris is one of those cities that is beautiful all year round. While nothing beats summer in Europe, fall has its own charm as well. Besides, you beat the crowds and the cool breeze makes it much easier to wait in those endless entrance lines. I was in Paris recently, and here is my three-days in Paris travel guide.
Set the tone for the day with a delicious breakfast at Ladurée on Champs-Élysées. It is one of the few places that is open as early as 7:30 a.m. in the morning. Call it jetlag or overexcitement but that’s the time that I reached there. Best known for its macaroons, Ladurée has lots of other scrumptious delights on offer. I recommend you order the Eggs Benedict, Chocolate Croissant and Hot Chocolate.
Address: 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Ph: +33 1 40 75 08 75
Walk down the famous Avenues des Champs-Élysées and enjoy the bustling cafes and shops. A must-visit on this famous boulevard is the Louis Vuitton flagship store. This grand boutique is spread across several floors of an entire building housing everything the luxury brand has to offer. Don’t be surprised if you find a queue to get inside and don’t forget to ask for the VAT refund.
Address: 101, Avenue Des Champs-Elysees. Ph: +33 1 53 57 52 00
Continue on the Champs-Élysées until Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe offers panoramic views of the romantic city from its roof. You can purchase a ticket online in advance that needs to be collected from a shop near the monument. You have the option of taking a lift or climbing steps to reach the top and enjoy the spectacular views from the terrace.
Post your visit of the iconic arch, I suggest you can walk down Avenue George V, which ends at the Seine River with the Eiffel Tower sitting on the other side.
End the day with the landmark of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. This symbol of love needs no introduction. All I will say is purchase the tickets in advance, as the lines are endless. Also, stop on the 1st floor on the way down from the elevator, as that is where the glass floor is located (the elevator does not stop here on the way up, so a lot of visitors tend to miss it on the way down).
Begin the second day with breakfast at Café Angelina on Rue Rivoli. This historic tearoom has a selection of exquisite cakes, pastries, chocolates and hot drinks on offer.
Address: 226, Rue Rivoli. Ph: +33 1 42 60 82 00
Walk across the street to the Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful public garden. The park is usually my favorite part of exploring a city, be Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London or the Tuileries Garden in Paris, I try to walk through them each day I am in the city. Begin your walk from Place de la Concorde and walk until the other end of the park where you will arrive at the Louvre.
Not only is Musée du Louvre of the most famous museums in the world, the main building and the Glass Pyramid make monumental sights. I have been a history student and can spend days in here considering the Louvre Palace spans 652,000 sq ft. The museum can be overwhelming so the audio guide is worth spending, as you can shortlist the galleries you’d like to see and map out your visit with ease. This is another landmark, which has endless lines so I recommend you buy the tickets in advance. Note: Closed on Tuesday.
After the visit to the Louvre, I recommend you walk further along the Seine River, to arrive at the Notre-Dame. This cathedral is best known for its French Gothic Architecture. You can go inside from the front entrance but need to buy a ticket and use the side entrance to go to the top.
The current craze amongst travellers (I know you have seen Kourtney and Scott do this) is the Love Lock Bridge. A short walk from the Notre-Dame is the Pont de l’Archeveche where you can seal your love forever. Mind you while some consider this romantic, others call this as vandalism. I’ll let you be the judge for yourself.
I went back to Ladurée again and I wouldn’t be surprised if you did the same. I mean there are only those many kinds of macaroons; I could eat in one visit. You can try a different location this time; visit the one on Rue Royale so that you can hit the shops on rue Saint-Honoré after. Sorry, I prefer to just walk everywhere, so I have got some more walking in store for you on the last day as well.
Address: 16-18, Rue Royale. Ph: +33 1 42 60 21 79
For some chic shopping head over to rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré. The streets in this area are filled with upscale boutiques, cafes and galleries. Not to be missed on my list are the Goyard and Moynat stores. Note: All shops are closed on Sunday.
Address: Goyard, 233, Rue Saint Honoré. Ph: +33 1 42 60 57 04; Moynat, 348, Rue Saint Honoré. Ph: +33 (0)1 47 03 83 90
If you haven’t had your fill of shopping (I am never done), head over to Galeries Lafayette post lunch. Located on Boulevard Haussmann, the French department store houses everything you can think of. I liked it best for all the beauty buys. Note: For the VAT refund here they also require a copy of your visa and not just your passport.
A short cab-ride from the department store is the Sacre-Coeur. Plan to get here in time for the sunset, as this majestic Basilica, located on top of the Montmartre hill, offers some of the best views of Paris.
Paris truly lives up to all the hype (given the weather gods are on your side). I can’t wait to visit again.