How to spend two days in Paris

All I can say is that I absolutely fell in love with Paris. The winding streets, the cafes, the amazing architecture. All of it was beautiful and I loved every second of being in this city. My only regret is not budgeting enough time.

Public Transportation:

I stayed at Le Village Hostel in the Montmartre district. It was a 2 minute walk from the Anvers metro stop and this made a world of difference. I was able to easily get anywhere in the city I wanted and I ended up buying the day pass for the metro everyday I was there (8 euros per day), so I felt no guilt in taking it to see all of the sights. Paris is quite a large city, so I would definitely plan on taking the Metro to get around. I didn’t find the system confusing at all and since it was so cold outside in December I used the metro to warm up before braving the cold again.
If you choose to buy individual tickets instead of the day pass they will each cost 1.90 euros. I knew that I would be using the metro a lot, so the convenience of not having to buy a ticket every time and the relatively cheap price made it worth it. I added up the cost of all of my trips on the metro and it would have been 3 euros cheaper for me to buy individual tickets instead of day passes. However, I was still happy I used the day pass. If you are planning on taking the Metro a lot, the convenience of not having to stop and by a ticket each time is definitely worth it.

Accommodation:

Le Village Hostel in the Montmartre district which was a lovely little hostel at the base of the Sacre Coeur. It was fairly cheap at 20USD/night. Most hostels will cost around 25USD/night, so I was very happy with the price. The Montmartre district is not directly in the city center, but since the hostel was a 2 minute walk to the Anvers Metro stop it didn’t even matter.
The hostel has a kitchen and common area to hang out in. The first two nights I stayed there it had a great environment in the common room for meeting people, but the last night it was completely empty. Since it is a bit of a smaller hostel it really depends on the people that are there, but I had a really great time with the people I met. The staff were lovely and extremely helpful. You can ask them just about anything about Paris and they can point you in the right direction. There is also free soup every night, which was delicious!

The first night:

I arrived in Paris around 6 in the evening and got to my hostel by 7pm. I stayed at Le Village Hostel in the Montmartre district.
This district is amazing to wander around and even if you don’t stay in the area I would recommend taking the Metro here. Just use M2 and get off at Anvers. Take a right when you exit and walk up the street and you will be right at the base of the Sacre Coeur. It’s a beautiful church at the top of a hill with amazing views of Paris. When I was there it was foggy, but on a clear day you can see all the way to the Eiffel Tower.
Sacre Coeur
Caution: Avoid the groups of young men at the base of the stairs of the Sacre Coeur. They will try to tie a string around your wrist or put a scarf around your neck and try to make you buy it. If you refuse they can get quite aggressive. Just avoid making eye contact and say ‘non merci’ and keep walking. I didn’t have any problems with them, but I saw other groups having problems. The police are all around so they will step in if it gets to be too much but it’s better to just avoid them all together.
After you’ve gotten all the pictures you want and taken in the view, turn left (if your facing the Sacre Coeur) and you will be heading towards the Montmartre district. With winding streets and cute shops, restaurants, bars and cafes it is easy to get lost wandering around. There are plenty of small galleries that are free to go in so be sure to check those out as well. This is the area where Van Gogh lived while he was in Paris so it is a very artistic area of the city with a lot of history. The ‘Wall of Love’ is in this area which is a wall with the ‘I Love You’ written in 250 languages and is definitely worth a stop if your in the area. Moulin Rouge is just a quick 10 minute walk from this area and is also surrounded by the red light district of Paris.
Montmartre District

Day 1:

I began the day with a metro ride to the Cite stop to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is free to go inside, but the line is long so be sure to factor in the extra time when you are planning your day. In this area there is also the Ile Saint-Louis which is a beautiful catholic church built in the late 1600s. Both of these are churches with impressive architecture and are on two islands in the middle of the Seine. The bridges connecting them to the rest of Paris give beautiful views and the area is very nice to walk around.
The back of the Notre Dame Cathedral
I then headed towards Le Pantheon which was built in the 1700s. The crypt inside holds the graves of many famous French men and women including Voltaire, Emile Zola, Jean Moulin, and Marie Curie. It is free to go inside for EU residents age 18 to 25. Otherwise it costs 9 euros to get in.
The Pantheon
The Pantheon is at the top of a large hill, so once I was done I headed down the hill towards Luxembourg Park. I picked up a sandwich from one of the many shops along the way and ate lunch inside this beautiful park. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way to choose from, so you can either sit down at a restaurant with a nice view of the park or you can grab something to go and eat in the park.
Luxembourg Park
After that I took the metro to the Eiffel Tower. There are two parks on either side of the Eiffel Tower that have amazing views. The Champ de Mars is a large public greenspace with tree lined paths that are beautiful to wander through, especially during the summer time.. During December there is also a Christmas Market in the park where you can buy mulled wine and crepes (along with lots of other food and small trinkets).
The Jardins du Trocadero are on the other side of the Eiffel Tower across the Seine. There is a beautiful fountain with the Eiffel Tower in the background that will give you gorgeous photos.
The Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars
After that I headed to the Arc de Triumph where I only took photos and decided to not take the winding staircase up to the top. The Arc de Triumph is at the top of the Champs Elysees which is the main street in Paris that has massive sidewalks lined with expensive shops. Even if you aren’t a big shopper it is worth it to walk along this street purely for the people watching. The Louis Vuittan even has a line outside the door to get inside!
I ended the day by walking through the massive Christmas Market at the end of the Champs Elysees where I got mulled wine and crepes!

Day 2:

Denys Puech
Gavernac 1854-Rodez 1942
Museum d’Orsay

I started off the day early with a trip to the Musee d’Orsay. The doors open at 9:30AM and I got there around 10AM and the line was already long. Get there as early as possible since when I left around 1pm it was quite crowded. Free for EU residents 18 to 25 and discount 9€ from 12 € if you are under 25. Otherwise it just costs 12. Stunning museum in an old train station. The architecture alone makes it worth the admission price, but the impressionist paintings on the 5th floor and the sculptures on the first and second floor make it even better. It is definitely a museum to see in Paris if you have already been to the Louvre. I spent about 2 hours there looking through the impressionist paintings and the sculptures and maybe spent about 30 minutes on the rest of the museum.

After that I walked along the Seine to the Louvre. I did not go inside since I’d been there on a previous visit to Paris, but if you have never been before definitely budget at least 3 hours if not more for the Louvre. The outside alone is worth a visit to take photos (which is all I did) and I spent around 30 mins walking around the park taking photos.
Shakespeare and Company Book Store
After that I continued walking along the Seine headed towards the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore and cafe! I got a cappuccino and the soup of the day for 11€ (a little pricey for me. I prefer to spend 5€ on lunch if possible, but I have always wanted to visit this cafe so I budgeted more for today. The cafe itself has gorgeous views of the Notre Dame Cathedral, so if I had planned this out a bit better I would have done this the day before when I had visited the Notre Dame Cathedral. The cafe has a very cute decor and the atmosphere is great if not a bit touristy. They also have lots of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options!
View from the Shakespeare and Comp. cafe
If you are looking for a cheap lunch head to the Latin Quarter which is right by the Notre Dame Cathedral for an inexpensive lunch in a cool atmosphere. This entire area has a lot of shops and cafes that are fun to walk around in. Head into one of the many vintage shops in this area to see Parisian style throughout the years.
After wandering in and out of vintage shops all afternoon, I ended the day with a walk along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower to see it all lit up.
The Eiffel Tower at night
What are your must sees in Paris? Did I miss anything?
 

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