AM: A very limited trip schedule, with just three weeks in England,
Sweden and Denmark, made my partner and me decide to fly out of Paris on our homeward journey. Two days were completely insufficient to do justice to the City of Light, but we were determined to give it a go!
After dropping our bags at the lovely Hôtel Étoile Trocadéro in Rue Saint-Didier, we set off on foot to explore. First stop was the Arc de Triomphe and it was a pleasant surprise to discover that our cosy 23-room hotel, which oozed Parisian charm, was less than a 15-minute walk from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, and about the same distance to the Eiffel Tower.
We knew we didn’t have enough time to join the very long queues for the Eiffel Tower, so we had already elected to settle for a view of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. What a view: the long straight lines of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Avenue Victor Hugo and many others radiating away are something special to behold. From there we strolled along the Champs-Élysées, taking in the sights and sounds, before choosing a café for lunch and a drink.
PM: It was then onto an open-topped hop-on-hop-off bus for a guided tour of Paris. We marvelled at the wonders of the Louvre, the Place de La Concorde, the Élysée Palace (the official residence of the President of France), the truly magnificent La Madeleine church, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Musée d’Orsay, the Opera House, the Pont Neuf bridge, and on and on… It was more than enough to whet the appetite for a much longer visit.
EVENING: That evening we enjoyed a truly Parisian café, sitting at a table on the pavement facing the street watching the locals pass by. After dinner, we joined a tour of Paris at night which was capped off with the magnificent five-minute light show at the Eiffel Tower (every hour on the hour). Unfortunately, just as we admired the light show the camera batteries decided to die!
AM: We opted for a more leisurely pace, walking to the Eiffel Tower and congratulating ourselves that we had made the right decision not to waste our precious moments in Paris standing in its queue for hours!
We walked the length of the Champ de Mars park and gardens and back, once again passing the growing crowd queuing in the bright sunshine for the tower. Back on the Champs-Élysées we wandered past the shops, marvelling at some of the prices anddreaming of winning Lotto!
PM: After lunch at another café, it was, sadly, time to head back to the hotel to pack our bags and transfer to Charles de Gaulle airport. Were two days and one night in Paris enough? Absolutely not! Was it worth it? Absolutely! We loved it and we’ll be back, that’s for certain!
What would you recommend doing in Paris? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.