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We’ll Always Have Paris: A Unique Weekend Getaway

30 March 2016 France 1 comment


Visiting Paris is not typically a weekend activity. When one thinks of the City of Lights, it is unimaginable to not stay for a week, two weeks or a month. While certainly not a hidden European city, Paris is rich in culture and history, so planning a mere two or three days in la Ville des Lumieres can seem overwhelming.

Once you’ve researched and planned how you are getting to Paris, it’s now time to get your itinerary together. There are two rules to becoming an expert weekend traveler. First, make the agreement with yourself to come again. That way, you can let yourself off the hook for not wasting hours in line going to the top of the Eiffel Tower or spending days traveling through the vastness of the Louvre.  Second, choose a theme for your weekend and plan everything around it. Don’t rely just on suggestions – what the best weekend theme is for you relies on a lot of things, including your age.. Will you follow famous author Victor Hugo through the Notre Dame, in search of Quasimodo and a good glass of cabernet? Or will you celebrate your bawdiness sipping champagne at Moulin Rouge? Will you tour the catacombs, visit Jim Morrison’s grave and famous Paris haunts?


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If it’s your first time, keep it simple. Eat, drink and be merry – with a view. Unlike many cities such as New York or Rome, the most famous sights of Paris aren’t hidden behind tall buildings or cityscapes. Of course, every destination has its hidden treasures, but in Paris, you can wake up each morning to the sight of the Eiffel Tower and dine next to the Arc de Triumph.


You Can’t Eat the View


Or can you? For the romantic at heart, the simple fare of rich coffee and croissants or a cheese plate and a glass of Dom Perignon will satisfy the palette and the soul. However, if you only have 48 hours, do spend some money on the view. Several choices fit the bill.


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Les Ombres, on the top floor of the Musee du Quai Branly, offers the best view in town of the Eiffel Tower, and menu selections to match. Rosa Bonheur, in the Port de Solferino, gives you more reasonable prices and a more down to earth view of Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palais and the Seine river boats. If you want to be a little closer to God, Zyriab, on the top floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe allows for the angelic view of Notre Dame. If you need to cut the corners a little, choose lunchtime as your large meal.  All three offer a reasonable price fixed lunch. Also, order house wine, knowing it will be delicious. You are in France, after all.


Oh, What To Do?


Once again, with only two or three days to plan, it’s difficult to narrow down what’s essential to see or do in Paris. The list of museums is endless, each containing the unique treasures of well-known artists. To get an excellent overview, start with a boat tour on the Seine.


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The Bateaux Mouches boat tour offer everything from sightseeing with a glass of wine or champagne to full gourmet brunches, lunches and dinners. Some even offer cabaret shows in the evening. Regardless of which you choose, the river boat offers you 2 to 4 hours of photo opportunities while relaxing to up close views of the city’s most famous landmarks. Once you start walking, the city offers famous gardens, palace grounds and cathedrals, not to mention a few off the beaten path oddities such as a world-famous taxidermist!


Life is a Cabaret, Ole Chum!

Fill your evenings with lights and music, as you cannot escape Paris without taking in a cabaret show. Of course the legendary Moulin Rouge and its trademark red windmill is by far the most famous, featuring French Cancan dancing with breathtaking feathered and sequined costumes.

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Image source: telex.com

If you are looking for a smaller-scale, more intimate setting, Crazy Horse offers an intimate burlesque show or visit Au Lapin Agile, where performers sit right in the thick of the audience and often expect you to join in. After that, consider visiting some of the city’s oldest and most historical casinos to take a spin on the roulette wheel. After all, Paris is the city where the roulette was born and the name itself is even French: it simply means “little wheel”. Cercle Anglais, for example, is a Parisian landmark located in the heart of Paris by Charles de Gaulle Airport, making it a conveniently fun stop on your way out.


Another City That Never Sleeps

Not yet ready for bed? Whether you are looking for a nightcap or a nightclub, Paris’ late night districts provide some of the best people watching around. Trendy Parisians still enjoy the Oberkampf district, full of lively late night bars and supper clubs. Café Charbon and Au Chat Noir both feature a lively crowd and a great atmosphere to enjoy wine or cocktails. The nearby Menilmontant and Gambetta districts offer lively bar packed streets with lower prices, toe tapping music and less tourists. Visit La Fleche d’Or Bar or L’International to enjoy some of the best live music in town. If you want to dance until dawn, try Wanderlust on the Left Bank with its open terraces, allowing you to dance under the stars and lights of the city.


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Another favorite, only open on Saturday nights, is the White Room. This is hands down the classiest night club in Paris, located on top of the Theatre de Champs-Elysee, with an open terrace featuring stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.


When your whirlwind weekend is coming to an end, consider calling in for a mental health holiday and stay one more day. Paris offers you so much more. Vive la France, Oui?


Front image source: 7-themes.com

All images provided by the guest writer






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  1. […] has quietly become one of Europe’s hippest travel destinations, joining the ranks of renowned European hotspots such as Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.  Where else can you order some of the best beer in the world simply by […]

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