There are so many attractions in Paris, it is hard to choose what to see in 48 hours. However, with a little planning you can maximise your time and still get value for money. One great way to fit in the best Paris has to offer is to follow the course of the River Seine.
Starting at the western end of the city, the Eiffel Tower is the first destination. It is worth arriving early before the crowds. From the top of the tower, there are stunning views across the city.
From here, make your way north across the Seine to the Arc de Triomphe. There is a lift to take you up the monument, but to reach the pinnacle, you need to climb some stairs.
Back on the ground, you can stroll along the Champs Elysees. Parisians tend to avoid this boulevard of shops, but there are some nice cafes here. Turn right into the Place de la Concorde to see L’obélisque de Louxor, an authentic 3000-year-old Egyptian obelisk.
Walking east along the river bank, you can see other attractions like the Louvre and Notre Dame. As there is a range of places to eat in and around the Louvre, you can visit Notre Dame Cathedral and then walk a short distance back to the gallery. As the Louvre is so vast, it takes a couple of hours to get around even a fraction of its many galleries.
Just to the north of the Louvre is the Palais Garnier, Paris’ famous opera house. The outside is decorated with statues from Greek mythology, while the opulent interior is baroque in style. The opera house is best seen after sunset when the entire building is illuminated, making it a perfect start to an evening at the opera or ballet.
With all this to see, it is worth trying to get accommodation in the city centre. Paris is jam packed with affordable hotels and you should be able to find one to suit you. However, getting around the rest of the city is easy, with excellent public transport in the form of the city’s famous Metro. There is enough to fill a second day with ease.
North-east of the city centre is the Cité des Sciences in Parc de la Villette. This is Europe’s largest science museum, housing a planetarium, greenhouses and an aquarium. Outside, there is a full-size submarine to explore. La Géode, a huge mirrored globe, is also worth seeing. This monolith houses an IMAX theatre.
Paris has a number of festivals throughout the year. For something a little different, why not check out the Paris Banlieues Tango Festival. In October and November, this celebration of tango dancing features shows, concerts, films and workshops. The festival takes place at a variety of venues all around Paris.
The city has a fantastic variety of attractions and nightlife, and all within just an hour and a half from London. You can travel quickly and on a budget with the Eurostar, or fly into Charles De Gaulle airport. The latter is over 25 kilometres north-east of Paris, but there are trains and buses to the city centre, so you don’t have to miss a moment in this fantastic city.
Catherine Halsey is a keen traveller and has visited most places in mainland Europe. Paris has always held a special place in her heart and she can’t wait to return.