What to see on a weekend in Paris?
Even a short trip to the French capital will make a big impression. Monuments, museums, cultural events and the opportunity to follow in the hallowed footsteps of some of the greatest artists the world has seen. Paris sleeps very briefly and is open to tourists almost around the clock. So what is there to see in Paris for two days? The city’s enduring symbol is the Eiffel Tower, from which there is a beautiful view of the surrounding area. However, if you’re short on time then we recommend skipping the queues to the top and instead making the tower a beautiful backdrop for your photos – especially by night.
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When visiting Paris, be sure to visit the Champs Élysées, which has not only witnessed many historical events, but is also the most popular shopping street in Paris. There are numerous restaurants and iconic boutiques here, although the prices in both cases are high. The Champs Élysées stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde giving you plenty of opportunity to take in sights along the way.
A must-visit on your weekend in Paris is the historic district of Montmartre, home to le Sacré-Coeur cathedral. It is worth adding that standing on the stairs in front of the cathedral offers one of the best viewpoints in Paris for free. While in Montmartre, head to the Moulin Rouge area. The famous cabaret attracts crowds of tourists from all over the world and tickets for the live shows must be booked well in advance. The iconic red windmill sign outside the building is in itself an attraction for many people. So, how many days does it take to truly explore Paris? Even a week’s stay would seem too short in this captivating city. If you plan to visit the Louvre, you will need to factor in a few hours’ wait just to enter the museum. An easy sightseeing hack is to see Paris by boat – you’ll not only spot many of the iconic attractions from the water, but you can also enjoy a romantic cruise on the Seine.
Where to eat in Paris?
French cuisine is famous worldwide for its many delicious dishes and desserts. Key menu items in every self-respecting local restaurant include foie gras, French onion soup, beef tartare and seafood. Popular sweets include crêpes, buttery croissants and crème brûlée – a sweet and delicious custard of cream, eggs and sugar with a burnt-sugar top. If you fancy a quick snack on-the-go, head to the oldest pastry shop in the city, Stohrer at 51 rue Montorgueil. This pâtisserie will delight you with specialties such as their famous macarons, all of which look like works of art and all of which taste simply delightful!
Where to eat breakfast in Paris? The French capital cannot complain about a lack of restaurants or cafés, whose menus include not only hot drinks and cakes, but also breakfasts, lunches and dinner dishes. Parisian coffee shops open in the morning to serve their guests coffee and a croissant or buttered toast and stay open until late in the evening.
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A cup of coffee can start from around €2.50 and be as high as €10, meaning that choosing a café can make you dizzy! Here are a few of our favourite spots to get your caffeine hit alongside some delicious local specialities:
Top 5 Parisian Cafes
1. Le Procope – 13 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie Le Procope advertises itself as the oldest café in Paris. The historic building was built in 1686e and has an important place in the history of Paris. It was a meeting place for f artists, the intelligentsia, and politicians such as Napoleon, Diderot, and Rousseau. Le Procope has two storeys and its fabulous 18th century-style interior is full of antiques and memorabilia from its famous guests. Unlike many of Paris’ cafés, Le Procope does not have any pavement tables outside. Instead, there is a hidden outside terrace, providing guests with a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city. The menu here is full of local delicacies including seafood, onion soup, braised beef cheeks and tiramisu.
2. Les Deux Magots – 6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés This literary café was often frequented by Ernest Hemingway and has plenty of outdoor seating. Enjoy the aroma of coffee as you people-watch over a delicious dinner of oysters and tarte tatin. There are also excellent sandwiches for a lighter lunch. The café is quite popular, so you may not find a free table during lunch hours, however if that is the case, our next café is right across the street.
3. Café de Flore – 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Pres This venue has been competing with Les Deux Magots for many years for the title of Paris’ best café. This property also has a rich literary history as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir used to meet here – visitors often request a seat at their favourite table. Art lovers will love its traditional art deco interior, occasional open-mic theatrical readings, and the distinctive floral display that gives it its name hanging above the sign. If you’re wondering where to eat breakfast in Paris, be sure to check Café de Flore out as its menu includes specialties such as croissants, sandwiches and delicious hot chocolate.
4. La Rotonde – 105 Boulevard du Montparnasse This easily-recognisable café has striking red-and-gold accents throughout both the interior and exterior of the building. This place became famous thanks to its famous guests, such as Pablo Picasso. According to legend, the original owner of the café would regularly allow less wealthy artists to pay their bill with drawings on napkins, enabling them to create their work for the price of a single coffee. It remains a popular spot for .writers, musicians and painters to this day and has an appealing menu that features snails, Scottish salmon tartare, oysters and delicious breakfasts.
5. Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, 19 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques “Emily in Paris” fans should visit Café de la Nouvelle Mairie. It was here that Emily met her friend, eating a breakfast of croissants or sipping a glass of wine. Thanks to the show, this place is quite popular, but it is still worth visiting for a quick coffee. The café is quite small but has a number of pavement tables.
French cafés are not only a place to grab a bite to eat but are a meeting point for s conversations ora quiet glass of wine. Outside tables allow for plenty of people-watching as you soak up the atmosphere of the city . Quick meetings often extend into the late evening hours, and strangers meeting for breakfast will often arrange dinner in the same café. For a salice of Parisian life, give French café culture a try.