48 Hours in Paris |Guide Hidden Gems

Are you dreaming of Paris and looking for the perfect 48 hour guide? Paris is a city that has SO much to entertain, that it can be hard to choose. And while 48 hours in Paris will never be enough time, I’m going to share all of my favorites with you.

You can always go back- and I recommend that you do! From the cafés, restaurants, and bars, to my favorite activities, read on to see how you can make the most of the beautiful culture and architecture that is the City of Lights.   

48 hours in paris

I have visited Paris 5 times, and normally spend 48-72 hours visiting the beautiful museums, exploring the different arrondissements (neighborhoods), and enjoying the amazing and ever-evolving food and beverage scene. However, my greatest joy in Paris comes from roaming the charming boulevards, gardens and The Seine River. While in Paris, my tote is always fully equipped with croissants, fruit and a beverage. You never know when you’ll be inspired to enjoy a picnic! Plus, some of my favorite Parisian moments weren’t planned- they happened while I was out for a stroll.  

» Tip:  Carry a tote, or bring a foldable bag. Find a bakery or market near your hotel in Paris to grab your daily delicious essentials.

48 Hours in Paris: Day 1- Classic Paris

Start your 48 hours in Paris off at Les Deux Magots – a Parisian Café in the 6th arr, a neighborhood that is Classic Paris. I love to enjoy my espresso and croissant while taking in the stunning Parisian Haussmanian architecture. Limestone facades with cascading Blue-Grey rooftops and ornate balconies. From there, I make my way to the Musee d’Orsay, a museum filled with gorgeous art from the Impressionistic era that has a dream-like feel to it. From Monet and Renoir, to Manet and Degas, this museum is a must-see in Paris.  

For lunch, grab a sandwich from a street vendor or shop and wander the grounds outside of the Louvre. Its gorgeous arch, fountains, Glass Pyramids and of course the romantic architecture, make this my favorite place in the world. Nearby, le Jardin de Tuileries will continue to feed your soul, with its statues and tree-lined walkways. Chairs are scattered throughout the gardens, just calling to you to sit and enjoy the beautiful landscape.  

Continue on towards the Place de la Concorde to see the Luxor Obelisk, stunning fountains and a brilliant view of the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Élysée. I encourage you to play the rest of the afternoon by ear.   This may include relaxing at your hotel, viewing Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie, shopping down the Champs-Élysée, or enjoying the café life.

» Tip: When you are not walking, I recommend using The Paris Metro to get around. To easily navigate the system, use Google Maps.  There is a bike share system and taxis throughout the city as well. 

The City of Lights and its Magnificent Cuisine

For dinner I recommend Les Cocottes, or any one of Christian Constant’s brilliant restaurants for a deliciously classic Parisian meal. My favorite French restaurants are the ones that focus on ingredients that are super fresh and seasoned to perfection to bring out their natural flavors…and it all pairs perfectly with the soft, yet crusty bread of France. 

After dinner, grab a bottle of wine from the local grocer, open up those pastries you purchased earlier and head over to the Champ de Mars, or the Jardin du Trocadéro. Here you can enjoy the show-stopping lights of the Eiffel Tower. I will never forget playing cards and enjoying a beautiful Bordeaux with my sister while we waited for the lights of the Eiffel Tower to light up the sky. Starting at sunset, The Iron Lady lights up the sky! She then sparkles for 5 minutes every hour to create an unforgettable ambiance. 

48 hours in paris

48 Hours in Paris: Day 2- Hidden Gems

On your second day, head up to Montmartre. It’s a part of Paris that is only a 30 minute metro ride away, yet it feels like a unique world all its own.  The Moulin Rouge is here, as is the remarkable Sacre Coeur. I always start by enjoying a cafe and croissant at the base of the stairs that lead you up to the Sacre Coeur. At the top of the stairs you will find a breathtaking panoramic view of Paris, along with small shops, cafes and a market where local artists showcase their pieces. This hidden gem has a quaint, artistic vibe all its own. When you are here and anywhere in Paris, don’t forget to look behind you every once in awhile. Some of the greatest views are right over your shoulder.

48 hours in paris

Exploring Marais & Strolling along The Seine

For lunch, make your way to The Marais District (4th arr). Marais has an old-world charm- with narrow cobblestone streets, gardens and markets around every turn. There is a certain romance about this area that just begs you to stroll. This way, you can take in the beautiful architecture as you try to decide where to enjoy your next meal. Whether you decide to grab a sandwich to go, or find a restaurant to take in the atmosphere, there are so many cafes and shops to choose from. If you blink, you will surely miss one.  

After lunch, make your way down to The Seine River. On a beautiful day, the river glistens in the sun as you look upon the Notre Dame. People are everywhere and there always seems to be a musician setting the mood with a song. This is Paris, after all! This would also be the perfect time to take a cruise on The Seine, whether it’s via the hop on hop off boat tour, or one of the many river cruise options. Seeing Paris from the water is a marvelous way to see the hotspots in the city!

Parisian Hot Spots for Dinner & Cocktails

For dinner, make a reservation ahead of time at Clown Bar. Their beautiful dishes are unforgettable! This past summer, I enjoyed their veal tartare with smoked eel, cherries and hazelnuts while marveling at the colorful tiled ceiling adorned with… well clowns of course. Poulette is another favorite, with a delightfully creative menu, classic cocktails with a twist, and an absolutely gorgeous space.

If cocktails strike your fancy, grab a post-dinner drink at Bisou. They make custom cocktails based off of your favorite ingredients. I asked for a variation on a French 75. Oh what fun it was to enjoy a cocktail made just for me!  The Little Red Door will also wow you, as their menu is a work of art. Each cocktail is represented by a design and a lyrical description. The scenes are created to set the mood for what your drink will taste like.   

In Paris, there are endless wonders around every corner- this 48 hour itinerary is just the beginning. For another article to help you discover all the art & culture hotspots in Paris, click here.

food & cocktail Paris

This blog is written by guest writer @adventuresofjulieanna and member of Dutchbloggeronthemove. This is her second blog and hopefully one of many. If you have any questions about this 48 hours in Paris guide, comment below. For her first article about Sardinia, read more here.

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