"Paris isn't for changing planes!" Audrey Hepburn's character in the titular 1954 film Sabrina insists. "It's for changing your outlook! For throwing open the windows and letting in la vie en rose."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Few cities could conjure up equally romantic, quintessential images in a single word. Striped Breton shirts, black coffee and puddles shimmering in midnight gaslight. Paris is the city of love, topping all other European cities when it comes to romance and culture. No matter how long you’re staying in this cultural hub, you’ll have no problem filling each moment. The streets of Paris are filled with enough corners for travellers to walk for hours and still discover endless spots to sit, eat and drink. But we like to believe Paris is the ideal spot for a whirlwind weekend, and we've combed through the endless options of places to see and things to do in order to share with you the very best of what the city of lights has to offer. For those visiting Paris for a special occasion (honeymoon, anniversary, proposal...) with only a few days to soak it all in, here is our Well Travelled 36 Hour Guide to Paris.
Well Travelled Bride
If you’re wanting romance, a little glamour and the ultimate Parisian experience - this is your spot. L’Oiseau Blanc, located on the sixth floor of the building and featuring spectacular 360 views, is decorated in reference to 1927 flying aces Charles Nungesser and François Coli - creating that Well Travelled touch we just couldn't resist. The cuisine is certainly among the best France has to offer, with Chef Sidney Redel creating new menus each week based on the current seasonal market. We recommend booking in advance for sunset and watch the city transform from day to night. Coming here on the first night of your trip is a fabulous way to start a visit to Paris, and there is nothing like that magic feeling of seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at the top of each hour. Visit Website
Musee de l'Organgeire
It should be considered a crime to visit Paris for a weekend and not visit at least one of the city's numerous art museums and galleries. Paris was the adopted home of a number of famous artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Monet, Renoire, Matisse and Picasso. The Musee d L'Orangerie is among the city's finest museums, and the panoramic Water Lilies by Claude Monet on the top level makes it a necessary destination for art lovers.
La Cour Jardin
The cheerful red umbrellas and outdoor cafe seating make this one of the most fabulous lunch spots in the city. Surrounded by an incredible Parisian courtyard, the service, food and wine selection in this restaurant are all impeccable. We recommend holding off a booking until you’ve checked the weather - you'll want to savor the food at this Plaza Athénée restaurant on a sunny day when the outdoor atmosphere is at its very best. Save room for dessert because the raspberries are parfait. Visit Website
Sunrise at Montmartre
While you won't find many Parisians up in time to catch the sunrise, or even eat breakfast, the view from the top of this neighborhood is too dreamy to miss. Once the playground of the Belle Epoque, Montmartre is now the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee and croissant early in the day before it fills with tourists. Take an Uber rather than waiting for the train, and walk the winding streets in the district as you watch Paris wake up!
While we love splurging on the perfect glass of champagne or a night out at the opera, we also can't pass up a free museum ticket for a rainy or chilly afternoon! The Petit Palais offers free entry and is comfortably situated in the heart of the downtown area. For a wide variety of art from many different areas without the crowds of the Louvre, try dropping by this small but lovely museum for a few hours. It's closed on Mondays, but open every other day from 10 am - 6 pm. Visit Website
This Parisian church, built in 1248, is perhaps one of the best and most beautifully preserved example of Gothic architecture in the country. In the evenings, world class musicians fill its halls with gorgeous classical pieces. Order a ticket online for one of the evening shows and sit in stunned silence as the glory of the stained glass windows and beauty of the music transport you to another time and place. While visiting Paris, we attended a moving six-piece performance featuring work by Vivaldi and Mozart for only 25 Euro per person. Visit Website
One of the three amazing Alain Ducasse restaurants in Paris, Allard is the perfect spot to visit if you're seeking traditional French dining complimented by really, really good food. It's no wonder Allard showcases such excellent cuisine and warm hospitality, considering they are operated by a kitchen of women chefs. The space is warm and cozy, and if you stay late you’ll find yourself enjoying conversation with the remaining diners. We hesitate to tell you our picks when everything on the menu is flawless (although you absolutely have to try the roasted duckling). Make sure you ask for a tour of the cellar, as it is an experience you won’t forget. As a team who enjoys eating our way around a city, we found ourselves truly mesmerized by Allard. Visit Website
Picnics are for lovers
We found although Paris is home to some of the greatest restaurants in the world, sometime the simple recipe of a garden picnic is really all you need. Head to a local supermarket and source yourself some Burgundy wine, baguette, cheese and pate… these are of course what the French do best. Our favourite picnic spot is Place des Vosges, a spot always full of locals and with gorgeous surroundings. Make sure you pack a bottle of rosé and, if you’re in need of a macaroon or pastry to complete your picnic, pop across the square to Cassette.
Perfume is perhaps the perfect souvenir to take home with you to encapsulate your memories in Paris. No one else in the world does perfume quite like Paris, and no Parisians do perfume quite like Guerlain. Maison Guerlain has created an exquisite scent experience for its guests, helping clients discover what the perfect perfume might be. Sift through visual and organic components until your perfume consultant is able to provide you with a tight selection of samples that can settle on your wrists and develop into a scent that is entirely your own. It is a decadent experience that is not to be missed, and may result in a signature fragrance you can wear for the rest of your lifetime. Visit Website