How to spend an afternoon in Paris
This was our third time in Paris and we wanted to stay close to “everything” as we only had an afternoon in this beautiful city… Defining “everything” – this time it was actually only two things 🙂
So, what exactly do you have time for if you only have half a day in one of the world’s greatest cities? Previously we have visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, had a boat trip with champagne on the Seine and just strolled the streets of Paris. BUT I haven’t seen Arc De Triumph for 10 years. This time I wanted to stay close to Champs Élysée for two reasons – The Arc de Triumph and Abercrombie and Fitch. You probably think:”What the hell? Are you crazy?” Yes, A&F, but not for me of course. When you go on a trip with kids or other adults you adjust, right? But have you seen the entrance to A&F? It looks like a private entrance to a mansion or something.
After a lot of research, I found a 3* Hotel Stella Etoile just next to Arc de Triumph. It is not easy to find a room with a view like that in Paris. Paris is expensive and popular. So I was so excited to have found this hotel as it had the perfect location. The view of the Arc was worth its money and we even got to see it at sunset. The room was small, but the bathroom was totally fine and personnel was really friendly and spoke English. The hotel was close to everything you need – bakeries, restaurants, Champs Élysée and side streets with shops. Although the room was very pricey, this time the view and location beat the crap out of the price. You can read a deeper review of the hotel HERE.
The room wasn’t ready so we literally walked 50m to get some late lunch and Cremant. The funny thing about Cremant is that I could only get it in Paris and Beaune. Cremant is a French sparkling wine so I assumed I could get it anywhere in France. I might now think that I was screwed by the restaurants that wanted to sell me Champagne instead of Cremant, which is of course much dearer, but I don’t know 🙂
What to do in Paris in one afternoon
Arriving Paris sometime in the early summer afternoon from Norway and straight into +33C wasn’t a walk in the park – it was hot… Wandering around in a big city on a hot summer day is exhausting. But I am not complaining – I love Paris any time of the year!
Although I wanted to see Arc de Triumph I didn’t want to spend precious hours to stand in line to get in. I just wanted to stroll around, watch people, take pictures, eat escargots and drink champagne. And that is exactly what we did. In my opinion, you don’t ever need to book a table while anywhere in France – just walk off the main street and you will find plenty of place for the above. France is so proud of its culinary skills and its champagne that it’s almost impossible to have a bad culinary experience.
I got to see and take many shots of this iconic landmark. But you can only imagine how many times I had to cross the street to get a decent shot of it. My husband and our son were so annoyed with me at first, but after I managed to not get hit by a car they were happy.
If you have little time in Paris, choose one thing/landmark you want to do/see and find accommodation close by. Parisian Metro works just fine and is easy to use. If you stay “far” away from your attraction it is really not a problem, although more time-consuming. Use the rest of the time to stroll around and just enjoy the food, drinks, and atmosphere. Paris is so huge so you wouldn’t want to stress around this beautiful city and you certainly wouldn’t be able to see everything it has to offer in one trip. Just sink into Paris and enjoy its sophisticated, laid backed and romantic atmosphere! You can also check Sharon’s blog post on things to do in Paris if you need any tips.
We walked up and down Champs Élysée along with thousands of other tourists. We had champagne (and Cremant) and frog’s legs, macaroons and ice cream. I took many pretty (not for me to judge of course, but I hope so) shots of Arc de Triumph. Sometimes the simplest plans can be the best.
There is an amazingly large amount of things to see and do in Paris, so get your tickets ONLINE and save some time on skipping the longest lines.
And since Paris is always a good idea I have already plans for my next visit. I want to see Eiffel Tower by night with all its lights on. I want to experience Latin Quarter and I would love to see Sacre-Coeur. But I will probably have to choose only two of those as we never go to big cities for more than 2-3 days.