Paris, the City of Light, possesses an enchanting aura that mesmerizes all who venture within its borders. It effortlessly enchants visitors with its graceful architectural wonders, internationally renowned museums that house priceless treasures, delightful cafés brimming with charm, and an array of culinary delights that leave taste buds in a state of pure bliss. For those fortunate enough to have a mere 48 hours to explore this vibrant city, fret not! Allow me to present to you a meticulously crafted itinerary that will ensure you extract every drop of enchantment from your brief sojourn in the French capital.
Start at the Eiffel Tower
Start your inaugural morning in Paris with a captivating experience of the legendary sight of the majestic Eiffel Tower. Snap some photos of the "Iron Lady" from the Champ de Mars park. Then take the elevator up to the second floor for sweeping views of the city.
Stroll the Champs-Élysées
Afterward, embark on a relaxed stroll along the breathtaking Avenue des Champs-Élysées, celebrated as the most prestigious avenue in all of Paris. Window shop at the high-end boutiques, stop for a café crème at a sidewalk café and snap a photo in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
Lunch at Les Deux Magots
Have lunch at Les Deux Magots café in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This historic café has been frequented by literary greats like Hemingway, Picasso, and Sartre. Enjoy a croque-monsieur sandwich and café au lait.
Visit the Louvre
As the day transitions into the afternoon, set forth on a captivating journey towards the renowned Louvre Museum. Prepare to be enveloped in a realm of unparalleled marvels, where the masterpieces of art from across the globe await to mesmerize you with their splendor. Allow yourself to become fully immersed in the awe-inspiring creations that grace the walls of this hallowed institution, for within its hallowed halls lies a treasure trove of beauty and fascination that knows no bounds. Prioritize the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory. If you're short on time, book a guided skip-the-line tour to maximize your time.
Dinner in the Latin Quarter
For dinner, head to the charming Latin Quarter. Enjoy a meal of French classics at a traditional bistro like Le Comptoir du Relais or Café de Flore.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Start your second day in Paris at Notre Dame Cathedral. Admire the Gothic architecture and climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.
The Jardin du Luxembourg
Next, stroll through the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris's largest park. Rent a rowboat and paddle around the fountain, then relax on the lawn.
Lunch at Café Marly
Have lunch on the terrace of Café Marly, located under the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a classic croque-monsieur sandwich and take in the views of the Champs-Élysées.
The Pompidou Center
In the afternoon, visit the Centre Pompidou, Paris's modern art museum. The building itself is a work of art, with its colorful pipes and escalators on the outside. See works by Matisse, Picasso, and more.
Dinner on Montmartre
For your final dinner in Paris, head to the charming Montmartre neighborhood. Enjoy a meal at a cozy bistro-like Café des Deux Moulins, made famous by Amélie. Take a stroll around the picturesque Place du Tertre square.
Watch the sunset from Sacré-Cœur
Climb the hill to the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica to watch the sunset over the rooftops of Paris. The views of the city at dusk from the basilica's steps are truly magical.
An evening stroll along the Seine
As it gets dark, stroll along the banks of the Seine River. Take in the sight of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance as you cross the Pont Alexandre III bridge.
Tips for experiencing Paris on a budget during a 2-day trip:
Here are some tips for visiting Paris on a budget for 2 days:
- Buy a Paris Visite travel pass to ride the metro, buses, and trams. It will save you money and time waiting in ticket lines. A 2-day pass is around €25.
- Visit museums on their free admission days like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Centre Pompidou. Many museums are free on the first Sunday of the month.
- Skip expensive tours and explore the city on your own. Walking around Paris is the best way to discover its beauty. Pick up a free map at your hotel or a tourism office.
- Have picnics in the city's beautiful parks and gardens like the Luxembourg Gardens, Tuileries Garden, or Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower. Buy supplies at a market or grocery store instead of expensive cafés.
- Dine on a budget at casual bistros, cafés, and creperies. Or grab sandwiches, kebabs, and crêpes from street vendors. A meal should cost €15-20 per person or less.
- Stay at a budget hotel or hostel in a central location so you can walk to major sights. Aim for €80-120 a night for a double room. Certain hostels provide affordable options with private rooms and dormitories.
- Opting for a walking tour presents an excellent opportunity to explore the city's landmarks and gain insights into its rich history, all while keeping your expenses in check. Many tours are free or donation-based.
- Shop at local markets: Paris has many outdoor markets where you can find fresh produce, cheese, and other local specialties at a lower cost than in restaurants.
This 2 day Paris itinerary hits many of the city's top attractions while balancing must-see sights with relaxing activities.