Known as the City Of Love and the City Of Lights, the French capital is like nowhere else in the world. From innovative chefs, artistic institutions and awe-inspiring sights, Paris is a dynamic cultural hub that offers something for every visitor. Then, add in oodles of historical sights, cafes to waste away the day and picture perfect views and you’re guaranteed an amazing 48 hours in Paris.
8AM BREAKFAST AT LADUREE ROYALE
For a truly Parisian experience, stop by the uber-chic Laduree Royale. The historic tea-house has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a mere bakery way back in 1862. All gilt and theatrical décor now, the environment is just as awe-inspiring as the food. Known for their macarons, you will be equally as impressed by their patisseries and raspberry pain perdu.
10AM NOTRE DAME AND THE SEINE
A quick wander through the backstreets of the Left Bank and you’ll reach the River Seine. Take in the beautiful views from the bridges, such as the Pont de l’Archevêché and visit the glorious Notre Dame cathedral, while getting lost amongst the booksellers that line the sidewalks.
12PM GALERIES LAFAYETTE MAISON & GOURMET
35 BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN PARIS, FRANCE 75009
Galeries Lafeyette Maison & Gourmet is a fine foods emporium and home goods shop that recently reopened after extensive renovations. What deserves attention is the 3,600 square meters of irresistible edibles, from savory stands to sweet outposts, most prominently the pastry juggernauts like Christophe Adam at L’éclair de Génie, Alain Ducasse (for his chocolates) and Benoit Castel at Liberté. It’s a terrific one-stop shop to grab a bite for lunch, while snagging some foodie souvenirs to bring back home.
2PM PALAIS ROYAL
Follow Avenue de l’Opéra toward the Louvre until you reach the Palais Royal gardens behind the Comédie Française, one of few state theaters in France. One of the only places to find peace and quiet in the city, belly up to Café Kitsuné, a specialty espresso bar beneath the prodigious arcades of the Palais Royal and cozy up on one of the iconic green park chairs. On your way out, stroll through the 17th century courtyard (the Cour d’Honneur) to check out Buren’s Columns by Daniel Buren.
4PM LE ROYAL MONCEAU
Take a break at the Royal Monceau’s Bar Long where ‘the Picasso of pastry’ Pierre Hermé inaugurated a special pop-up shop. The all-star dessert chef already oversees the offerings at the hotel and through March 31st, he’s paying homage to one of his favorite ingredients: chocolate. Choose from one of four original hot chocolate drinks (the ‘Whisky Chocolat’ has an extra kick), three Grand Cru desserts or a trio of chocolate shooters to really indulge. If you can't decide, the staff will be happy to offer recommendations based on a particular flavor profile
6PM ARC DE TRIOMPHE
For a soaring look at Paris as the sun descends, there's no better spot on Champs-Elysées than atop the Arc de Triomphe, one of France’s greatest monuments. Commemorating those who died during the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War, on a clear evening, you'll have unobstructed views of the Place de la Concorde (marked by the Luxor Obelisk) and the Louvre to the east and the Grande Arche at La Défense and the business district to the west.
Skip dinner and head straight to dessert at Dessance, the city’s first plated dessert bar. While you can order à la carte, the full experience only comes with the set menu - a decadent selection of courses that blend surprisingly savory flavors in the form of vegetables, herbs and grains with sweet fruits, chocolates and pastries. And of course, you don’t want to miss the wine or juice pairing.
8PM MISS KO
49 AVENUE GEORGE V PARIS, FRANCE 75001
If somehow you're still hungry, dinner and cocktails at Miss Ko off the Champs-Elysées is a full on sensory experience designed by world-reknowned arcitect Philippe Starck. 500 square meters of trippy Hong Kong chic sets the stage for Asian fusion at it's best -- plates of raw beef tataki and exotic sushi topped with lobster, mango, arugula, and honey.
10PM VEDETTES PONT NEUF
While a boat cruise down the river Seine may sound like a tourist activity, the secret is locals love it too. Unequivocally one of the most efficient and mesmerizing ways to see the city when faced with time limitations, a one-hour tour (14 euros for adults) will take you from the Louvre to Notre Dame, passing by the Eiffel Tower and other key landmarks along the way. Be on the lookout for the green-hued booksellers called bouquinistes along the riverbanks, which are important fixtures of the Parisian landscape.
Rub elbows with locals at the year-old breakfast stalwart, HolyBelly. The French couple behind the 10th arrondissement café-restaurant took inspiration from traditional ‘Brekkie’ joints they frequented in Australia as expats. Expect all seasonal produce and a rotating menu of specials and be sure not to miss the best sweet and savory pancakes in town along with top tier coffee brewed from Belleville Brûlerie beans, a local roaster.
10AM THE CHAMPS ELYSEES
Stroll up and down the iconic Champs Elysees, starting at the Place de la Concorde by the Tuileries Gardens and heading towards the Arc de Triomphe. The most iconic Parisian Avenue in the city, enjoy over a mile of walking, the first section full of beautiful greenery before you reach the shopping mecca of everyone’s favorite designer flagship stores. It’s perfect for people watching too!
12PM LE DIANE
For a chance to sample outstanding Michelin-starred cuisine on a budget, book a table at Le Diane at the Fouquet Barriere on the Champs Elysees. One of Paris’s best kept secrets, the plush, intimate affair offers a heavenly quick two-course menu so you won’t waste too much precious exploring time.
4PM THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
Heading down the Boulevard de l’Opera, you’ll find the Musee du Louvre on Rivoli, just before reaching the river Seine. One of the world's largest art hubs, the building is a landmark within itself; spread over 652,300 square feet with 35,000 pieces on display. If museums aren’t your thing, it’s worth a visit to the central courtyard where the famous glass pyramid stands. Arriving at the end of the day might just enable you to catch a few exhibits without the terrifying queues!
6PM HÔTEL DE VILLE
A stately city hall, in addition to housing the city’s municipal activities, the exterior plays host to a number of pop-up events and attractions throughout the year from ice-skating during the winter months to volleyball and tennis open to the public in the summer. The entrance at the backside of the building leads you to the art exhibit du moment, which ranges from photography to design (all free of charge) and rotates every few months.
7PM DINNER - LE JULES VERNE
CHAMP DE MARS, 5 AVENUE ANATOLE, FRANCE 75007
Why not catch the sunset from the city’s most iconic landmark? The Jules Verne restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower is one of the most romantic spots in the world, and with Alain Ducasse running the kitchen; it’s a gourmet treat too. As to be expected, the experience doesn’t come cheaply with menus starting at €185 but for that you’ll get five extraordinary courses and a once in a lifetime meal that’s completely splurge-worthy.
9PM LE GEORGES
For a quiet drink with more twinkling Parisian views, head to Le Georges at the top of the Pompidou Center. Open until 2 a.m., it’s the perfect place for a quiet nightcap with jaw-dropping skyline sights and sounds. It’s also a great place to stop for lunch or even just a coffee for daytime panoramas.
WHERE TO STAY: LE ROYAL MONCEAU
37 HOCHE AVE. PARIS, FRANCE 75008
Enter the Le Royal Monceau and you’ll feel as if you’ve arrived by magic into a world of warm woods, snug armchairs and intimate doubles. Reopened in 2010 after a major design overhaul by resident interior king Philippe Starck, everything from the concept to the tableware in both Michelin-starred restaurants has been revived. His signature whimsy – mirrors at every turn, surprising pops of color and contemporary art – lends a harmonious twist to the 1928 institution. Make sure to bring your bathing suit for laps in the stunning Clarins Spa My Blend 23-meter pool, the largest of any luxury hotel.