Often dubbed ‘The City of Love’, Paris is a melting pot of food, fashion, luxury and, of course, romance. When my boyfriend and I took a short trip there, we were not surprised to learn that the city has long attracted artists, poets and writers alike. Steeped in history and grandeur, it’s important to plan your time well so you get a flavor of the city. This is how we spent 48 hours in Paris.
Day 1- Falling in Love with Montmartre
We set off on the Eurostar to Paris at 8 am. Our ‘Standard Premier’ fare meant we had comfy seats, breakfast, tea, coffee and juice during the journey which set us up for the busy day ahead.
We arrived in Paris around midday and headed straight to Hotel Basss, a lovely 3* hotel in the heart of Montmartre that offered us a room and breakfast for a very reasonable price. It was on this journey from the train station where we learned our first lesson as naïve tourists; all taxi journeys from the main Parisian airports and train stations cost 36 euros, no matter how far you are going. Ubers, do not have to follow this rule and charge depending on the distance.
We arrived at the hotel, unpacked our bags and went to the bakery next door to refuel. Opting to explore the area of Montmartre, we completed a self- guided walking tour (https://www.solosophie.com/montmartre-walking-tour/). The tour included highlights
such as the Sacre Cour Cathedral, Musee de Montmartre and Picasso’s Paris Studio. Conscious that we were still in Paris to relax and not just see the sights we stopped at La Maison Rose, a bistro that found fame on Instagram, to sample their famous lemonade and local red wine. As we bumbled through the cobbled backstreets of Montmartre back to our hotel, we fell in love with its traditional French village feel. We finished the walking tour at Le Mur des Je T’amie (The Wall of Love) as it was a stones-throw from our hotel. The wall has ‘I love you’ in over 250 languages and is the perfect spot for that perfect insta post.
After a quick stop in the hotel, we headed for dinner at Le Sancerre, a traditional French bistro that provides a throwback to the Belle Époque era. We wined and dined al fresco and enjoyed classic French dishes such as escargot, salmon pavé, and crème brûlée. We finished the evening with a drink in a local bar at around midnight to ring in my birthday with a glass of the local bubbly, before going back to the hotel for the night… you only turn twenty once, right?
Day 2- A Whistle Stop Tour of Paris
We woke up the following morning with slightly foggy heads, but excited as it was my birthday. We had breakfast in the hotel as I opened my cards and we planned the day. We decided to go on the city sightseeing bus in the morning and then have another leisurely evening meal in Montmarte.
After using my very limited French language skills which were undoubtedly hampered by my strong welsh accent, we eventually found the bus stop around midday. The open-top bus took us to the iconic Louvre museum, where we hopped off the bus and treated ourselves to a drink in a lovely bar that was way too posh for us opposite the Louvre. We then took a short walk to the Pont des Arts where we indulged in a bit of cheesiness and old school romance and bought a lock to put on the bridge. We got back on to the city sightseeing bus seeing all the iconic sights including the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel tower, where we stopped off for some lunch.
After lunch, we hopped back on the bus and made our way back to the hotel. That evening we went out for a lovely meal in Montmartre for my birthday. We ate al fresco in Vrai Paris, a beautiful bistro embellished with hanging flowers. We shared a lovely tomato and mozzarella salad before I enjoyed a seafood risotto, which I devoured with a gorgeous cocktail. As it was my birthday, we decided I should finish off the evening with my favourite French delicacy… a Nutella crepe.
Day 3- Hometime
We spent the morning packing our cases before having a quick last-minute wander around Montmartre, stopping for lunch in a local bakery before heading back to the station to get our Eurostar home. All in all, it was a lovely trip and my boyfriend and I now hold a special place in our hearts for Montmartre and its amazing restaurant, bistro and Café culture.