If you only have two days to explore “The City of Love” you will want to come up with a plan a head of time.
Most things in Paris are within a reasonable distance from each other. Get familiar with the train system to use your time wisely when things are not with in walking distance.
Make sure you are comfortable while you are walking the city, but to fit in wear your best clothes. This is a city where its common to see men biking in suits.
When you arrive to a restaurant or store make sure you greet them. We did not know any French and would greet everyone by saying hello. That was helpful because then they knew we spoke English right away.
If you like city parks and flowers the Luxembourg Gardens are for you. The amount of petunias during the summer is incredible. I could have easily stayed there all day strolling through the beautiful landscaping and studying the sculptures throughout the park.
There are great free public bathrooms so do not pass the opportunity on your way to your next destination.
You can see the Eiffel from miles away because it is the tallest building in the Paris region. If you are close to the Seine River you can walk/bike on the path along the river to get to it. Their are many sights you will see along the way including the Louvre and Notre Dame.
We recommend to go right before sunset if like to enjoy a glass of wine. Pick up a bottle at a local liquor store and lay in the grass to enjoy hourly light show.
Although Notre Dam is under construction it is still a beautiful building to admire from a distance. It has many barricades around the building, but you can still get stunning pictures like this one.
Full disclosure… we are not huge on museums. If we had more than two days we absolutely would have made exploring the inside a priority.
For a quick Paris trip we were more than content to see all of the ‘free’ things from the outside. The Palace is incredibly large, and the fountain is mesmerizing. There was a bubble man by the arch, and there was a carnival in full swing just outside of it. They have ample green space for you to enjoy the scenery. Maybe you will even see someone famous.
Bridge of Locks (Pont des Arts)
People from all around the world would signify their unbreakable love by attaching locks with their initials engraved to this bridge and throw the key in to the river.
In 2015 they removed over 700,000 locks which weighed about 45 tons to insure the bridge will not collapse. Today you will find clusters of locks like the one below, but they recommend you just take a selfie instead.
Not to be confused by the Parthenon in Greece. This building was built in the 1700’s as the church of Sainte Genevieve. The dome makes this building unique, and for a fee you can tour the inside.
Walking through this open grass park was a great surprise on our way to our destination. It was a home of retired soldiers and now is a military museum.
Hotel De Ville
We stayed in a wonderful Air Bnb close to this hotel in the center of the city. When we go back, this is the first place I would want to stay. The intricate architecture, its massive size, and great location makes this place very desirable.
The Seine River has a wonderful boardwalk for bikes and walkers alike. Most of the common destinations are right off the boardwalk, and some of the views can not be beat. There are many places (mini cafes that face the river) to stop, grab a drink, and sit to rest.
Arc de Triomphe
This monument was much taller than I imagined it to be. Later I found out that it is the tallest arch in the world. Climb 280 stairs to get to the top for views of the city.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
While we were walking around we saw signs to the Jardin d’ Acclimatation which is a great destination to look in to if you are traveling with kids.
Just outside of it we found this museum and large water feature. Inside, is an art museum and cultural center.
Things we did not see
The Catacombs unfortunately had a line around the block, and during peak seasons that is common so arrive early to see the underground cemetery.
The Palace of Versailles is right outside of Paris and easily accessible by train. Get skip the line tickets to insure that you are maximizing your two days. If you want to see everything there it can be up to a ten hour day so do your research before you go.
Place de la Concorde and Sacre-Coeur were also places that we did not make a priority.