France: Paris 48 Hours
Situated along the Seine River in Northern France, Paris is a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses.
Upon arrival in Paris this morning, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel which is located in the heart of Paris. After check-in, take some time to settle in and relax before heading out into the city. Situated in a small 17th century building on a quiet street off of Saint Germain des Prés, your quaint hotel features guestrooms that are each uniquely decorated in keeping with the atmosphere of a private home.
Before lunch this afternoon, take a walk through the Louvre’s courtyard and the Tuileries gardens. Back towards your hotel we recommend lunch at a famous tea room which has a dessert menu longer than its wine list, and an array of uniquely-flavored macaroons for which the pastry shop is well known. Try the Scottish smoked salmon éclair, followed with a visit to the confectioners shop on the ground floor.
Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel for a two-hour walking tour of the city. Choose a walk through the city’s historic center, Ile de la Cité and Le Marais district, or tailor the walk to meet your personal interests. Whatever walk you choose, your tour will end at an impressive gallery, housed in a converted 17th century mansion, which exhibits cutting-edge contemporary art. Afterwards, wander in and out of the smaller galleries along nearby Rue St.-Claude.
The rest of the afternoon will be spent at your leisure. Visit the city’s oldest covered market, and grab a snack if you’re hungry. If you’d like to do some shopping, the chic boutiques that line the narrow streets of the Marais are a great place to start.
This evening, walk from your hotel to dinner at our suggested restaurant near Saint Germain des Pres that serves fresh, simple dishes.
If you’d like to continue your night out after dinner, head to a Moroccan bar where you can sample North African wines in a pop-art styled setting.
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, head to the Musee de Cluny, a museum of medieval artifacts which was built on the site of an ancient Roman thermal bath. Wander among the medieval tapestries and an impressive jewelry collection, making sure to see the secluded terrace gardens at the end of your visit.
For lunch, try a local brasserie which, since 1931, has served traditional French cuisine in a relaxed setting.
You’ll spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the city’s famous flea markets, with or without a guide. The history of Les Puces (The Fleas) dates back to 1880, when men known as “pickers” would scour through the trash in Paris at night in search of valuable junk that they would then resell in this same area. For a smaller, less chaotic scene, you may prefer the Marché aux Puces, just outside the city.
Next, take in fabulous views of the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous monuments in Paris, which was completed between 1833 and 1836 in honor of those who fought and died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
Stop at the Ritz for a drink at Bar Hemingway, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s, which serves an array of malt whiskies, beers from all over the world, and fabulous cocktails.
For dinner this evening we suggest a small restaurant where sophisticated cuisine meets eclectic décor.
To continue your night, hit the dance floor at a nearby club, where you can watch the action from the bar above on the mezzanine.
If you’re departing Paris on a Sunday, you may wish to start your day with brunch at a restaurant that has reinvented the Parisian brasserie by serving French cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. Otherwise, enjoy cappuccino and croissants at the hotel, or walk over to a nearby restaurant, where the menu revolves around eggs served in every imaginable way.
After brunch this afternoon, you’ll be transferred to the airport in time to meet your flight home, or to continue on to the next leg of your Willing Foot journey.
This is just the beginning.
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