I see London, I see France…

With only 48 hours in Paris, France, the Eiffel Tower was a must see
With my daughter at the Eiffel Tower

It wasn’t until I pulled out a map that I realized just how close England is to France. (Side note: Watching the movie DUNKIRK also reinforced how close they are to each other.) It seemed kind of silly to travel that far and not cross the channel for some really good croissants! We’d only have 48 hours in France, but we figured it would be time well spent.

So we booked some tickets on the Eurostar (hands down the nicest train I’ve ever been on) and spent a whirlwind weekend in Paris.

Taking the Eurostar from London to Paris
Riding the Eurostar with my son.

I don’t actually recommend spending just 48 hours in Paris. According to my Fitbit, we ended up logging more than 15 miles traipsing around the city. But the fact is, it IS doable and totally worth it. Because if a two-day trip to Paris is all you can manage, it’s still better than not going at all, right?

Like London, Paris is jam-packed with a stunning mix of historic monuments and beautiful modern buildings. You can go into sensory overload from the sheer volume of all there is to see. I imagine that people who live there take for granted walking by la Place Louis Lépine every day, but we were in awe of the architectural detail, the feeling that this place has been here for so long, seen so much history.

Visiting the Louvre topped our list of things to see with only 48 hours in Paris

So what can you see in Paris in two days? A lot!

Places to Visit in Paris in Two Days

  • Day One — Arrived at Gare du Nord around noon.
    Dropped off our backpacks at the hotel.
    Ate crepes at a nearby café for lunch.
    Walked to Opera Garnier, the Louvre and Notre-Dame.
    Ate dinner and sorbet near Notre-Dame.
    Returned to our hotel.
  • Day Two — Got day passes for bus at Gare du Nord.
    Took bus to Musée d’Orsay, Bastille monument and Champs de Mars.


Visiting the Arc de Triomphe during our 48 hours in Paris
The Arc de Triomphe

Stopped at a bakery and fruit stand for food.
After our picnic near the Eiffel Tower, walked to Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elyées.
Ate dinner in a café.
Passed Moulin Rouge on our walk to Sacré Cœur.
Returned to our hotel.

Obviously, we could have seen and done more if we’d stayed for longer. But our impromptu trip was still a lot of fun and I was amazed by how many landmarks we could see with only 48 hours in Paris. Like London, the buses are accessible and easy to ride with a day pass. Food and drinks are expensive in restaurants, but you can find good prices in little bakeries and fruit stands off the main touristy streets.

Crossing the Seine during 48 hours in Paris
A view across the Seine

As for the croissants, you can take my word for it, they were much better in Paris than any I’ve ever had in the US! Same goes for the fruit sorbets – incredibly delicious real fruit flavor.

And a word to the wise: even though Paris is known as the city of love, you might not want to fall in love there. According to the French channel BFMTV, the city of love is more like the capital of infidelity, divorce and single people. C’est la vie!

Accessibility: 3 out of 5. Buses are 90 percent accessible, as was the Eurostar train, but many businesses still don’t have accessible bathrooms and the RER/metro system has only 50 accessible stations. Be sure to plan ahead.

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