48 Hours in the City of Lights

Paris. The world capital of fashion, art, food and literature, home to wide tree lined
boulevards, quaint crêpe stands, chic boutiques, classy art galleries and of course,
iconic sights. The idea of covering the city in just two days seems impossible. But it
isn’t. With a little thought and planning, you can make the most of your time in the
City of Lights.

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Arrive.
It is best to arrive in Paris is by evening. That way you enough time to get
familiar with the city, catch a good night’s sleep and be ready for action.

Day 1.
8:00 AM
1. Begin your journey from Ile-de-la-Cité, the tiny island where Paris was
born. Spend some quiet time inside the Notre dame, or climb up its
winding staircase for a bird’s eye view of Paris. Stop by the bridge to
listen to the accordion player before hopping over to the Latin Quarters.
Catch some bohemian vibe, a breakfast of crêpes, and souvenirs. Spend
time at Shakespeare & Company, one of Paris’s oldest bookstores; pet
their resident cat and marvel the collection of books. Read some too.

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11:00 AM
2. Hop on to metro no. 7 from Châtelet or walk fifteen minutes to reach the
Louvre. Make friends with the world’s most famous painting – Leonardo
da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and say hello to coveted Greek sculptures like Venus
Di Milo and The Perfect Man. Admire the opulence of the grand gallery
that once hosted Louis IV, peep into halls that house exhibits from all over
the world, and feel smug about being in a place very few can reach. Keep a
tab on time though; it is easy to get lost in the mammoth collection.

4:00 PM
3. Sashay down Champs Elysees all the way up to Arc De Triumph. Reward
yourself with coffee at the elite cafés along the world’s most fashionable
street, or, if you can afford, to some diamonds from Tiffany’s. If not, write
post cards, compose a poem, or indulge in flanerie, the Parisian art of
people watching, while sipping espresso from tiny cups. In the rare event
of getting bored, stroll into some of the world’s most expensive boutique
stores and treat your senses to the quintessential Parisian shopping
experience.

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7:00 PM

4. Spend the evening exploring the Montmartre district, home to artists,
musicians and traders. Saunter on streets with shops spilling onto the
pavements; chat with the butcher at the charcuteries that still do brisk
business and sample fresh home-made cheese at fromageries. At the
patisserie, jostle with a discerning and salivating clientele for the
delectable French eats. End your day with the most (in)famous cabaret in
Town, the Moulin Rouge, or, if you are a puritan, watch the city sparkle
from the Sacré-Cœur hill.

 

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Day II

9:00 AM
1. Begin your day at the Eiffel Tower and marvel at Gustav Eiffel’s genius.
Explore the sprawling parks; click pictures and selfies. Climb the tower if
you must, but be sure to book the tickets well in advance.
From the same spot, take an open deck hop-on, hop-off tour. Soak in the
panoramic views of Napoleon’s dream city with imposing palaces, grand
avenues and gothic bridges. Use the hop-off option to make quick
discoveries along the way, or stay put until you have reached the Orsay
Museum.

12:00 Noon
2. Hop off at Musse d’Orsay on the right bank of the Seine. The museum set
in a Railway Station is a work of art itself and displays paintings from the
late 19 th century. Experience Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Courbet’s
risqué L’Origine du monde and Vincent Van Gogh’s self Portrait.
Walk over to Musee l’Orangerie, a few minutes away, to the expansive
Water Lily by Monet, displayed across two rooms, and Picasso’s Embrace
housed on the first floor. Hop on the bus again and get to Avenue de
l’Opera.

3:00 PM
3. Boulevard Haussmann, adjacent to Avenue de l’Opera, is home to some of
the biggest stores in Paris including Galleries Lafayette. Binge on
signature fragrances, jewellery, and apparel at the ostentatious store.
Don’t forget to look up at the ornate dome and decorative balconies and
views of the city from the rooftop.

Walk over to Palais Garnier, the gilded Opera House, to rub shoulders
with who’s who of Paris, or just take a tour of the place to see how the
rich and famous partied back in time.

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6:00 PM
4. Hop on to the last bus back to Jardin des Tuileries. Breathe in the clean air
and witness the changing hues of the sky. Rest your tired back on the
grass and observe the locals playing with their dogs, having a picnic,
hanging out with a friend or just catching a nap. Use the energy acquired
to walk over to the Eiffel Tower along the Seine and witness some of the
world’s most beautiful bridges, homes, hotels, and parks along the way.

8:00 PM
5. Experiencing the City of Light by night is great way to end any day in
Paris. Cruise along the Seine as the sun sets over the most romantic city in
the world. Watch the city glitter and gleam while enjoying a glass of wine
on the open deck and bring your trip to an enchanting closure with the
twinkling lights along the river and the sparkling Eiffel Tower at the
horizon.

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