3 days in
The french capital, well known as the city of love, has many things to offer to the visitant. From world-class museums and impressive architecture to fine dining restaurants and luxury shopping; Paris has something for everyone and you will most definitely fall in love with the city!
In Paris the summers are short and comfortable, while the winters are cold, windy and mostly cloudy. From April to September there is more chance of sunny days, being July the hottest month.
I visited this city a couple of times and the last time that I went was in February. It was cold and it rained one of the nights, but the rest of the days were sunny.
I love the fact that from London, you can take the Eurostar train and be in Paris city centre in two and a half hours, or even less. We also got a really good deal and our return ticket was less than £60.
If you are arriving to Charles de Gaulle Airport there are different options to reach the city centre. The best way is to take a RER train which will take you to downtown Paris in around half-hour and will cost you 11.70€ (You can board the train from Terminal 1, 2 and 3 at the airport). You could also take a bus, but this will take you more time and it is also more costly (Journey time is around 70 minutes and a single fare costs 17€). Finally, the most expensive option is the taxi which will cost you around 50€-55€. For more detailed information about transport, check this link Transport from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city centre.
If you are flying to Orly Airport, you could take the Orlyval metro to the Anthony Train Station and then take a RER train. The journey will take 60 minutes and it costs 12.10€.
If your flight lands at Beuvais Airport you can take a shuttle bus to reach Paris. These buses operate depending on the flights and they depart 20 minutes after a plane has landed. You can buy your ticket at the airport (Single:17€/Return:34€) or online for a cheaper price (Single:15.90€/Return:29€). The journey is around 1 hour 15 minutes. To purchase your ticket check this link Tickets from Beuvais Airport to Paris.
Once you are in Paris, you could get a travel card (Paris Visite travel pass) for the amount of days that you are staying in the capital (up to 5 days). The card is valid for 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours from the time that you start using it. Check this link Paris Visite for information about prices and zones.
Note: While using the public transport or while sightseeing be extremely careful with pickpockets and keep your personal belongings safe.
PLACES TO SEE AND THINGS TO DO
Start your day by visiting the Louvre, the world's largest art museum where you can find Leonardo da Vinci most famous painting: The Mona Lisa. Bare in mind that the museum closes on Tuesdays.
Admire the sublime architecture of the Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier. If you wish to discover the palace's public areas, you could get a self-guided tour ticket. This ticket also includes access to the current exhibitions (14€). The tour is free the first Sunday of each month.
Head off to the the Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin), one of the most interesting, intellectual and young neighbourhoods in Paris. Many prominent universities (the Sorbonne,for instance) and schools are located in this area. This was one of my favourite places in the city and I will advise you to allow plenty of time to explore it. You could end up your visit to the area by having some happy hour drinks at one of its many bars.
Finish your day with a river cruise on the calm waters of the Seine, and enjoy this beautiful city from a different angle.
Pay a visit to the fascinating Eiffel Tower, the most emblematic building in Paris, and one of the world's most recognizable landmarks. On sunny days the views are just... WOW!!
Stroll around The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, one of the city's most iconic boulevards. This avenue runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where you will find the Arc de Triomphe. I recommend you to check Ladurée, an upscale Parisian bakery that specializes in French macaroons.
Are you up for some shopping? Even if you don't buy anything, spend some time at the Galeries Lafayette located on Boulevard Haussmann. This beautiful upmarket department store is worth a visit.
End up your day at the Marais. This district has become one of the most cosmopolitan and fashionable in Paris. Once the city's Jewish Quarter, this area it's now full of hip boutiques, galleries and bars.
Your french adventure is coming to an end. For your last day in the city you can pay a visit to the Pompidou Centre, a complex building located in the Beaubourg area. Even if you are not interested on the exhibitions, I would recommend to get a View of Paris ticket (5€) and enjoy a wonderful panorama of the french capital. Access to the view of Paris is free the first Sunday of each month.
Spend the rest of the day exploring Montmartre, with its cobbled streets, the stunning basilica of Sacré-Cœur, its artists and bistros, and, of course, its famous Moulin Rouge.
Note: I did not include the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the itinerary as it is temporarily closed due to the fire that took place on the 15th April. But you can still go and see the cathedral's facade.
FOOD AND DRINK
France is well known for its wines, so you need to try some while visiting Paris. If you prefer to drink beer, my favourite one is Kronenbourg.
Food wise everyone knows that French cuisine is one of the best in the world, so get ready to treat yourself during your trip. Here I mention some typical dishes that you can try in Paris.
Confit de Canard: Duck confit. This is one of my favourite dishes and I like it served with french fries.
Coq au vin: Dish where the chicken is braised with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic.
Beef bourguignon: Beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef stock, normally flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Crêpes: Very thin pancakes that could be savoury or sweet.
Tarte Tatin: It is a pastry in which the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.
Macaroons: A small biscuit or cookie, typically made from ground almonds with sugar and sometimes flavourings, food colouring, glace cherries, jam or a chocolate coating.
My personal recommendations:
Le plomb du Cantal, a restaurant located nearby the hotel were we stayed. I loved the duck confit and the french fries. Address: 3 Rue de la Gaité, 75014, Paris.
Les Crepes de Louis-Marie, savoury and sweet crepes in the Latin Quarter. Address: 1 rue de l Arbalete, 75005, Paris.
Ladurée, luxury bakery and sweets maker. Different locations. I suggest to go to the one based at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Address: 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008, Paris.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Hôtel Du Plat d'Etain, a three star establishment located in the heart of Paris. We had a triple room and I loved the fact that the rooms were spacious with a nice and large bathroom. This accommodation is in a perfect location (between the Marais and Beauburg districts) with bakeries, restaurants and shops at your door step. The hotel offers free WiFi and great transport links.
If you want to have a look at prices or to book a room check this link Hôtel Du Plat d'Etain.
Paris is an expensive city, so to cover transport, food, tickets and other expenses I will suggest to bring around 300€-350€ for 3 days (excluding flights and accommodation).