The first thing to say is that 36 hours is just not enough time for Paris. The second is, if it’s all you’ve got, then make the most of it!
We found ourselves in Paris enroute to Germany to catch a river cruise.
Choose your hotel wisely
If you want to be in the centre of it all, it can be costly. Save a little and use the metro or Uber to get around and discover a new neighbourhood. Our hotel the Phileas was just slightly off the beaten track located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but we were able to get to where we wanted to go within 10-15 minutes using various modes of transportation.
Do a food tour.
We are both foodies and food tour owners so this is something we do every time we travel. It is a fantastic way to learn about a new destination and have some lunch while doing it. We chose Secret Food Tour’s , Paris Montmartre tour. Our guide Claire took us to places that we would not have seen or experienced if we were on our own. The group size was perfect and we covered a lot of ground.
Chocolates from a world class class chef, macarons without the ridiculous line ups, crepes from a tiny store front we would have missed and cheese well there was so much cheese…it made my knees weak. Of course there is the secret part but we can’t share that but it was delightful.
Go for a walk
Pick a neighbourhood or district and go for a walk. We chose the 6 th arrondissement of Paris, home to the beautiful Jardins du Luxembourg . As soon as we stepped out of the Uber we saw cafes, so many perfectly French sidewalk cafes that it was hard to choose. We chose based entirely on aesthetics and it did not disappoint. Our breakfast was exactly what we needed after a long day of travel the day before. A little protein, a little carbs and something healthy. The juice of the day that accompanied our French breakfast was spicy carrot juice. The orange carrot gave it a depth of colour and the flavours were of carrot, pepper and ginger. The cafe itself was picture perfect and the staff very helpful. It is a new cafe and does not have a website yet, so look for 13 Au Jardins on Rue de Medisis.
Sit and watch the world go by.
We kind of wish we had listened to this one. We found ourselves wanting to soak up every moment and managed to get in over 30,000 steps in 36 hours but we were pretty exhausted. The late Anthony Bourdain had the right idea when he said when in Paris, eat, drink, sit in a park and eat and drink some more. There are parks everywhere and it is easy to find a spot to perch and enjoy that pain au chocolat.
Avoid line ups
We just didn’t have time for line ups so we took our own advice on this one. Ironically, we had already made the decision that we wouldn’t go up the Eiffel Tower because it would take too much time but when we got there they were on strike so any temptation to do it anyway was taken away. There are other places in Paris that have views and they are less hectic. We chose the rooftop view from Printemps department store. We had a birds eye view of Paris and we stopped at their restaurant one floor down for a burger and frites. It was exactly how we wanted to end our trip to Paris. Our walk back to collect our bags gave us a chance to pick up that much desired pain au chocolate. We packed a lot in but we both agree we can’t wait to do it again. We are already thinking about our group river cruise in May 2019 and hoping we can pass through this beautiful city once again.
On this blog I make it my mission to share a tip that I have learned the hard way. Check your travel adaptors. Make sure they are current. Sometimes countries change and France is apparently one of them. Our fancy Coach adaptor just didn’t cut it so we had to rely on the kindness of front desk so we could charge our phones.
Photos and story by: Kimberley Gunning, Plan A Culinary Vacation
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