Our recent weekend in Paris was different from normal weekends away because we were there for EURO2016. Paris was a quick weekend stop before we headed to the football destination, but much of the weekend still revolved around football. This means that, instead of a normal broad itinerary-based weekend, we kind of just did what we felt like doing in the moment – so long as we could squeeze it in before the next football match!
Therefore, instead of an itinerary for this trip, we bring you highlights. These are the main things we did and our recommendations for anyone visiting Paris, whether for a day or a week!
The Eiffel Tower
This has to be first on everyone’s list, right? Oh, she is a beauty! We headed to the Eiffel Tower for the EURO2016 fan park; however, if you are not there for EURO2016 (and most of you won’t be), I find the Eiffel Tower to best be enjoyed from afar. Walking around Paris and finding the little alleyways or garden spaces that give you a stunning view of the tower can be a unique and rewarding experience for any traveler! We recommend the view from Tour Montparnasse (see below!).
Tour Montparnasse is a great alternative to going up the Eiffel Tower. The best part? You get a view OF the Eiffel Tower, instead of FROM it! We went up for a drink at their skybar on our first evening there, which was rainy and miserable – but still beautiful. With Sean’s family coming in to join us the next day, we decided to buy the panoramic tickets and go all the way up. You can see so much from up there! And as mentioned in our post on photos to take every time you travel, a view from above is a great one to have.
If you forget to book in advance, or are traveling with kids or someone who does not like crowds, we highly recommend Montparnasse Tower over the Eiffel Tower.
People watching at a cafe
This is probably my absolute favorite thing about Paris. The city is literally made for people watching. The cafes have stunning views, outward facing seats, and quality espressos or wine which can keep you there all day. One word of advice – don’t get too wrapped up in the people watching that you forget you’re actually sitting next to someone you know!
History. Beauty. It really just leaves you in awe. I’ll leave it to our post on Le Marais to give you more details, but a wander around this splendid neighborhood is a fantastic way to feel Parisian for a day.
Jardin des Tuileries
Jardin des Tuileries reminded me a lot of London’s St. James Park – probably because the view of Roue de Paris rivalled the view of the London Eye. However, as with most things Paris, this space was like a piece of art. In every direction you can see stunning statues, perfectly manicured greenery, and tons of (free) seating. Plus, the garden starts at the Louvre and ends at Place de la Concorde (with a view of Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower), so it’s a lovely place to spend a few hours and see it all!
Is a weekend in Paris enough?
I think you could spend a lifetime in Paris and still not see it all. I was a bit bummed that, due to our short time there, we did not have the chance to go to my favorite Parisian brassiere, Closerie des Lilas, or wander around Jardin du Luxembourg or pop into any museums. However, the above places definitely gave us a good understanding of Paris – and we definitely experienced the romance! Plus, now we have a great excuse to go back.
We loved staying in Le Marais during our trip and feel that it totally gave us the Parisian feeling we were looking for. We recommend you research where to stay in Paris during your weekend away in order to get the experience you want; there are so many great neighborhoods and they all offer something unique!
Is there anything we missed that we absolutely MUST do next time we are in Paris?
Let us know in the comments below!