How to Spend a Long Weekend in Paris
Paris, the romantic and historic city dating back as early as the 3rd century, is one of the most widely visited cities in the world.
With endless things to see, it can be difficult to fit everything into one visit. However, if you decide to opt-in for a long weekend city break, here are our recommendations for the top things you should see and do during your stay.
Be warned, our itinerary requires comfy walking shoes!
Bienvenue à Paris! Your journey through the City of Light has officially begun. Your first day might be limited depending on when you arrive, but there are ways to make the most out of it without travelling too far.
The first thing to do once you arrive in the city is, of course, find your way to your hotel where you can drop your bags and freshen up before you set out sight-seeing.
As Paris is a large city with a population of around two million people, it is best if you find a central hotel to ensure you can easily access the city during your stay.
The Maison Albar Hotel Paris Champs Elysées is the ideal choice for a luxury weekend in Paris, as it is located just off of the world-famous Champs Elysées with access to many major Metro stations.
If you decide to stay at the Maison Albar Hotel, you can start touring right away by making your way over to the iconic Arc de Triomphe, only a two-minute walk from the hotel.
Once you’ve had a chance to take it all in (and maybe even climb the twisting staircase for views across the capital if you’re feeling brave), you can then start your journey along the Champs Elysées. If you enjoy shopping, be sure to check out some impressive flagship stores along the way.
After about half an hour of walking, you should find yourself near the Jardins de Champs Elysées where you can enjoy a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest streets in the city. If you are in need of a pick-me-up, head to Angelina for one of their world-famous hot chocolates, “L’Africain”, arguably one of the best in the city.
To end your day, check out the Louvre Museum (open late on Fridays) for a delightful dose of art, history, and incredible sculptures.
If you have only a limited time, head over to the Mona Lisa (not forgetting to turn around to see the enormous painting behind), Napoleons Apartments and the Egyptian quarters. These are some very impressive parts of the museum and will give you a nice mix of artefacts to look at.
The second day of a three-day getaway can be the most important, as you are not dependant on travel arrangements and can generally take your time. This is precisely why we have saved some of our favourites for this day.
After a tasty breakfast of French pastries and ‘jus d’orange’, you can start your day at the Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité. Although it is temporarily closed after the Cathedral suffered a tragic fire earlier this year, you are still able to walk around the outside of the structure and admire the French gothic architecture.
Next, if you are feeling up for a slight detour, pop over to Shakespeare & Company, found on the edge of the city’s Latin quarters. It is a charmingly cramped English-language bookstore with stacks of novels piling right up to the roof.
If you look hard enough, you might be able to find the small staircase leading you up to the second floor to another precious book collection. Unfortunately, the books on this floor are not for sale, but you are welcome to flip through them in a considerably quieter atmosphere.
Now it’s time to make your way back past the Notre Dame and across the Pont d’Arcole for a leisurely stroll through le Marais. This area is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, full of shops and restaurants to satisfy anyone and any budget, for that matter. This is an area to explore to the fullest, as it’s hidden corners are numerous and enchanting.
A not to miss attraction near Le Marais is le Centre Pompidou, arguably one of the most engaging and curious modern art museums in Europe. A standard entrance ticket is around 14 euros and caters to all ages.
Now it is time to loop back around to Île de la Cité by crossing the famous Pont Neuf. On your way, be sure to look for the path to access the Square du Verte-Galant for incredible views across the city and the River Seine. This is a small garden and is not known to many tourists, so you will be enjoying this experience with other Parisians and frequent visitors.
To finish your day, we recommend a cocktail at L’Hotel, the smallest five-star hotel in Paris. Nestled in the heart of the Left Bank, in the middle of the of St Germain-des-Prés, L’Hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy the art and culture of Paris.
If you still have energy, hop on line 10 in the Metro from Mabillon Station to La Motte-Picquet – Grenelle Station to bring you close to the Eiffel tower, a must-see attraction of Paris. If you do go during the evening, be sure to wait for the clock to strike a new hour for a magical surprise.
Your final day in Paris has arrived! Depending on your travel arrangements you will need to get up nice and early to make the most of this day.
A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic district of Montmartre. This area is part of the city’s 18th arrondissement and housed many of the capital’s artists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
To access this part of the city, be sure to arrive at Anvers station and make your way north to the Square Louise-Michel for an epic climb up to the world-famous Sacré-Cœur at the top of the hill.
The area surrounding the basilica can be very touristy, which can be somewhat overwhelming to many people. However, if you continue behind the Sacré-Cœur and make your way down towards the back of this historic hill, you will find calmer cobblestone streets to explore.
If you are a wine lover, be sure to locate the Clos Montmartre, one of the last remaining and oldest vineyards in the Paris borders.
The time has probably come for you to catch your plane or train, but if you are able to squeeze one last tour in, the Jardin du Luxembourg is within a half-hour journey from Montmartre on the Metro and offers lovely scenery to finish off your trip.
The garden dates back to 1612 and has over 25 hectares of land to explore. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some remote control boats in one of its numerous fountains, adding to the overall charm and serenity of the area.
Otherwise, it will be time to head back to your hotel, pack up your things and head back home with many new memories and possibly, a bag full or French treats. Bon voyage!