As I stumbled off the train, exhausted from my 7 hour trek from Barcelona, the cool Parisian wind hit me in the face like a bucket of water, but I didn’t mind one single bit. Because as I sprung open my eyes and clutched my scarf tighter around my neck, I realised in one cool sweep, I was in Paris!
This city has been my favourite destination in the world long before I had even left my small country Australian town… from the Parisian posters adorning my old bedroom walls, to the Eiffel tower keychains and pencil cases still stacked somewhere in my parent’s attic, there was no denying my adoration of this beautiful city. But before I could lose myself in thought any longer, the cold wind hit again and woke me from my daydream: I had only 48 hours in Paris, and I wasn’t going to waste one more second of it on this train platform!
48 hours in my favourite city ain’t a long time at all, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Whether you’re planning a trip or just want a snoop into what I got up to, here it is, my quick guide to Paris!
FIRST THINGS FIRST, LET’S EAT
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a vegan, which means I don’t eat animal products. This is a great way to live and eat because not only am I not partaking in the slaughter of animals, but I’m also improving my carbon footprint and drastically improving my personal health! If you want to read more about it, I wrote a lil’ piece explaining why I eat this way, and you can check that out here!
In the land of macaroons and croissants, being vegan may not be a piece of cake (pun intended), but I’ve got a little trick up my sleeve that I’m excited to spill with you all!
Gentle Gourmet Cafe
Without trying to exaggerate too much, this restaurant is maybe possibly my FAVOURITE restaurant in the world, no biggie though. A completely vegan restaurant, and the first of it’s kind in Paris, the food, philosophy and execution of this place is unbelievable. Whether vegan or not, I definitely recommend stopping by, if for lunch or only a sneaky croissant, you won’t be disappointed! If you’re intrigued and want to know a little more, check out my official review right here!
It would be a crying shame to visit Paris without indulging in wayyyy to many sweets… but don’t worry, I got ‘cho back! Vegan Folie’s is going to be your food bible during your stay; serving sweet treat like cupcakes, biscuits, cakes and brownies, across to the more traditional baguettes, it’s a must see during your stay! Best of all, they cater for both, vegan, raw vegan and gluten free diets. Isn’t that sweet?
If you’re in need of a serious mid holiday detox day because you’ve over-indulged in too many sweet treats (is there such thing as overdulging here?), head on over to 42 Degres! A completely raw vegan restaurant, this place is perfect for that lighter lunch or dinner meal. Whilst raw food isn’t for everyone, I’m confident that even the more fussy eater will find something they like here!
CAN’T MISS SIGHTS
48 hours isn’t nearly enough time to cover everything in Paris, but it’s certainly enough time to cover the main ones! These guys are all relatively close to each other, so grab a map and make a plan before you head out for the day!
Obviously snagging top spot, there’s no excuse for not seeing + climbing the tower on your trip to Paris! Scared of heights? So am I! But did that stop me getting to the top? Hell no, and you shouldn’t let it stop you either. The view from the top is surreal, and the wait is beyond worth it! However the line can get ridiculously long (I’m talking over 4 hours wait in the peak of summer), so head there as early as you can to ensure you clinch first spot in the line, because you’re gonna need those 4 hours later on!
Arc de Triumph
While it may seem a bit weird putting an arc on a sightseeing list, you’ll understand when you see it. It took them 30 years to build this thing, but my god was it worth it. One of the most incredible man made structures I’ve seen – the detail up the top it incredible! You can actually climb her too, which is a great alternative if you want to see the skyline of Paris without tackling the lines at the Eiffel. Located at the top of the Champs Elysee, it’s bound to give you an incredible view too.
For those of you unaware, the Champs Elysee is basically the richest shopping strip in the world; every luxury designer worth knowing will have a spot on this strip, and in the summer this place really comes alive. Take a stroll down here, and make sure to duck into a side alley or too and check out some of the great bakeries hiding down the alleyways if you’re up for a quick lunch stop, or pull up a seat at one of the many restaurants if you’re after more of a rest.
It’s said to take about 2 days to fully appreciate all the Lourve has to offer, but if you don’t have enough time do soak it all up, a sneaky quick visit to visit the Mona Lisa won’t go unappreciated! Even if you don’t choose to go inside, at least check out he pyramid structure in the courtyard – another iconic Parisian landmark!
Whilst you’re at the Lourve, and if weather permits, don’t miss taking a stroll through the Tuileries Gardens. Initially serving as the Royal Gardens before opening to the public in the 17th century, the manicured Gardens are the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch!
Pont Alexandre III
From Tuileries Gardens, meander on down to Pont Alexandre III, which is Paris’ most beautiful and recognisable bridges crossing the Seine. Adorned with gold statues, its actually really beautiful, and with the Eiffel Tower visible in the background, its a perfect photo spot!
Ever since Satine and Christian stole our hearts in the classic film, the Moulin Rouge has been a world-wide recognisable icon of Paris. Whether you’re up to seeing a show, or just want to check it out for yourself, the Moulin Rouge is not to be missed! Wonderstruck Fawns recommends going at dusk which is when the bright lights look best!
Whether a fan of the Disney classic, or not, a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is well worth the detour! With incredible interior typical of European architecture, it’s the perfect way to round of your Paris stay.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re looking to splurge (and let’s face it, it’s Paris: you should be), here are our top picks for the ultimate Parisian getaway!
Situated stunningly close to the Eiffel Tower and a short walk from Champs Elysee, the Shangri-La is the perfect location for your stay. With Eiffel Tower view rooms available (which are absolutely stunning), and decor reminiscent of a Royal palace, the Shangri-La has perfected ultimate Parisian luxury.
Grand Hotel du Palais Royal
If the Royal touch is what your searching for, why not spend the night like a King or Queen and be treated to a night of luxury at the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal. Situated opposite the Royal Palace and a short walk from the Lourve, this hotel is certainly bound to impress! Simpler decor and stunning views provide for a relaxing suite to rest up after a long day of exploring.
Four Seasons Hotel George V
Speaking of Royalty, why not consider booking a room at a hotel named after one of Britain’s most successful Kings? With indulgent decor fit for a palace, (I’m seeing a little theme here, Paris!), and a stunning location in the heart of everywhere you’ll need to go, the Four Seasons quickly became a personal favourite of mine!
If that heading confused you, then you need to pay attention here because I’m about to drop some important information that’s going to save your soul when you’re just trying to buy lunch but the server is confused at you and you’ve got 20 hungry Parisians behind you waiting for you to be done. Not that this has ever happened to me, I’m just vibing here (it tots happened and it was horrible). Alas, let’s ensure it never happens to you! Save it, print screen it, memorise it… this list is your bible!
Hello (formal): Bonjour
Hi (informal): Salut
Do you speak english?: Parlez-vous Anglais?
My French is not very good: Mon français n’est pas très bon
Please: S’il vous plaît
Thank you very much (formal): Merci beaucoup
Thank you (informal): Merci
Excuse me: Pardon, or, excusez-moi
Can I please have: pourrais-je avoir
Do you have any Vegan food?: Avez-vous une nourriture végétalienne
You guys gotta tell me, what’s your favourite thing to do or see in Paris? Or what are you most excited to do when you visit one day? Let me know in the comments below!!