One trip is never enough to explore all of Paris, but if you have a time-crunch (like most of us do) these are the 10 must-dos in a 2 day trip. In no specific order:
1. Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur: Wander through the narrow alleys in Montmatre, admire the work of the street artists and finally ascend to the top and visit the basilica.
2. Louvre: Two days are barely enough to explore the entire museum, but even if you can only spare a morning, this museum cannot be missed. With only a few hours, carefully choose the areas of the museum that are most interesting to you, otherwise you can get caught up somewhere else, and before you know it, it’ll be time to leave.
3. Eiffel Tower: Opinions of the Eiffel tour seem to vary, with some people love it others think its a monstrosity. When in Paris though, it is impossible to miss it, you can see the tower from almost everywhere in the city. We really enjoyed our visit, including the ascent to the top and would recommend visiting it, by day and night!
4. Notre dame: Another iconic structure in Paris, this Gothic cathedral is awe inspiring! Take the time to admire the work on the doors, the gargoyles all around the structure and the magnificent insides.
5. Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées: While there is a similar looking arc in most French cities, this one is special and warrants a visit. Also getting to it could mean walking down the Champs-Élysées, giving you a chance to ogle at all the fancy designer stores in the city of fashion!
6. Moulin Rouge: Made more famous after the musical and film, it is still a Paris landmark. Not just the windmill theater, in which, if you are lucky enough, you should try and watch a show; but also the metro station outside! A replica of the station can be found in Montreal, Canada!
Since this is a list of must-dos, and sampling the local food and drink feature prominently on our list of things to do, here are some food recommendations!
7. Desserts at a local patisserie/boulangerie: While French desserts look beautiful, they might seem small and insubstantial to the untrained eye (like us). However, once eaten, they are just the right size to leave you satisfied and yet craving for a little more!
8. Eat Escargot: Not for the squeamish, but in butter and garlic, with basil pesto, they are actually quite tasty!
10. Walk along the Seine and ice cream at Île Saint-Louis: Following the lead of a local friend, we found that this was a really fun experience. Berthillon is quite famous and though the line was long, it was totally worth it!
If you have had enough of the big city, take a day trip to Versailles. Read more about it here
And at the end of it all, come back, with a little more time, to soak in more of the vibe in the city that styles itself as a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture!