Before you leave for your trip to Paris I studied my guide book and tried online itineraries of five days from which to take inspiration.
Unfortunately all routes of this time included a day at Versailles and one in Disneyland Paris. I do not doubt that they are two interesting places, but we wanted our five days trascorrerli everyone in town, so I went back to my riding and with a little ‘planning and a bit’ of improvisation I arranged our stay.
I share it with you along with a map showing the most important points that we touched, I hope it can be helpful to you to organize your trip in Paris
We arrive around midday in Paris, and after a baguette eaten on the fly we head to see the symbol of the city: the Eiffel Tower. We do not go down as suggested by the guide to the Metro station Bir-Hakeim, but in Passy, on the other side of the Seine, to go so suddenly walk enjoying the view of the tower from a distance that is getting closer.
We spend most of the afternoon on the tower (between the tail to make the ticket, one to go up the elevator leading to the 2nd floor and the elevator leading up to the 3rd level we lose a little ‘time).
Back with your feet on the ground we walk along the banks of the Seine Rive Gauche and reach the Quai Branly museum that displays a collection of primitive art from Africa, America and Oceania. The museum is a structure covered with panels of colored shades from red to orange designed by the architect Jean Nouvel and surrounded by a park / garden that I remember much forest Avatar. A very quiet place to take a break between the chirping of birds, away from the crush of the Eiffel Tower.
We have dinner in Montmartre in a brasserie overlooking the Rue de Abbesses and finish the evening at the Pigalle along the attractive streets and neon signs of the local red light district of Paris.
Our first morning in Paris we can not have breakfast with cappuccino and croissant buttery! We choose a nearby boulangerie two de Rivoli, Eric Kayser: a pain au chocolat for me, a pain au chocolat with almonds for him.
So we reach the nearby Louvre Museum and spend the morning in the halls of the Denon and Sully. We choose to visit only certain sections like the curtains of the sculptures Italian, Greek and Roman, paintings of Italian painters … And fortunately, because without realizing it is already past 13. If we were to see everything would take a week, so better get priority and visit only a few rooms.
With sandwiches bought in the morning we take the backpack bike rental (Velib) and following the line that connects the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde. Then we enter the Jardin des Tuileries (you can not access by bicycle) to have a picnic in the park.
Continue on foot along the Champs Elysées by re-use of Velib bicycles when we are tired though after the first stretch of the boulevard equipped with bike path riding a bike on the Champs Elysées starts to get difficult. So we leave the bikes to stroll around the shops and reach the Arc de Triomphe on foot.
From here we take the subway and arrive at the north west of the Bois de Boulogne to visit the new Fondation Louis Vuitton situated inside the park. Here for families there is the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a park for a fee (€ 3) with games and entertainment for children.
We end the evening in the streets of Montmartre and its bistro biting into a crepe on the fly.
We reach the metro station of Les Halles and enter the Church of Saint Eustache is located just off. Free visit its Gothic interior between towering columns and stained glass. It feels small little here.
So we go through the streets dell’arrondissement between vintage shops that are still open view forward, and bistros that serve breakfast. Our goal is the Pompidou Museum that leaves us partly disappointed because the two exhibition floors one is closed for redevelopment: the one with the works of the surrealists, Andy Warhol and Kandinsky. We console ourselves with the temporary exhibition of Jeff Koons and a vision – even if a bit ‘tarnished – on roofs and chimneys of Paris.
Next stop Notre Dame: keeping in mind the memory of Quasimodo, Esmeralda and a Paris of yesteryear visit the interior overcrowded with tourists (also with free entrance). Beautiful rose windows and stained-glass windows that make me stay for a while ‘with the nose and mouth wide open. We avoid rather than climb the towers even though a peek from near Gargoyles Stone would have gladly given.
With the church on the left and the Seine right we cross a small park and reach the Pont de Archevêché whose balustrades are weighed down by many locks of love: an impressive sight, impossible not to photograph it.
We continue on the Pont Saint-Louis, who leads into exploration of the second island.
We take the metro to Bastille, where we walk on the Promenade Plantée, an old railway restored and turned into a pedestrian walkway. When we tired of walking and cycling inforchiamo a Velib cross the Bercy Park and reach the impressive system of buildings that make up the National Library.
We rest in front of a coffee and conclude the evening between the chaotic and tourist streets of the Latin Quarter and a night walk from Notre Dame to the Louvre illuminated.
We spend the morning exploring Montmartre which until now had seen only partially in its night. We climb by funicular up to the Butte, the hill on which stands the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur and there we visit the interior (free admission).
Again wander through the streets at random from the souvenir shops and artists of Place du Tertre to get lost in the quieter streets where there are only houses and palaces and tourists are much less. Near Metro Abbesses we click the obligatory photo in front of Murs de Je t’aime and have lunch with omelette by Coquelicot. Before you take the metro to the Marais pass by the Café Deux Mulins, made famous by the movie “Amélie”.
To follow in the footsteps of the film we stroll along the Canal St. Martin where Amélie was bouncing stones on the water and then wander aimlessly special between the small streets of the Marais bistros and fashion studios.
Given the bad weather we decided to shelter the department stores La Fayette, but the excessive crowd scares us a little later to find shelter in the comfortable armchairs of a Starbucks. Encouraged by timid rays of sun we decide to take the metro to the Ecole Militaire and stroll through the gardens that divide this important system of palaces from the Eiffel Tower.
We wait for the sunset stroll on Île aux Cygnes, a pedestrian path located on an artificial island in the middle of the Seine accessible from the bridge Bir-Hakeim.
In the evening after a dinner on the fly on the Champs Elysées Night photo session in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
We spend a morning a little ‘out of the usual canons between the statuesque tombstones of Pere Lachaise cemetery civil: a very special place where the rest of the graves are so many important people, by Molière, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf to Jim Morrison. The tour takes us away a long time because the cemetery is very big: it’s time for lunch, we reach again the Marais for lunch at the Marché des Enfants Rouges, a market where more than a few stalls of fish, fruits and vegetables There are various stand of street food: from cracks in French to Moroccan to Lebanese. Here food prices are good as well as the quality and choice.
We dispose of one of our best meals here in Paris again in the streets of the Marais, a neighborhood very nice in its simplicity, to reach the island of Notre Dame where we breathe the last moments of this trip in Paris between the scents of the Marché aux fleurs .