Do you only have a couple days to enjoy Paris? As a student in Spain, I didn’t have much time (or money) for longer quick weekends to enjoy Europe. During my cheap-o spring break week in Rome, however, I took a quick flight to Paris and made the most of my time there. Here’s my itinerary and how you can do it, too!
Leave early! I got on a 6:40AM flight with RyanAir direct from Rome to Paris Orly, getting there around 9AM. The bus from Orly can drop you off to the Denfert-Rochereau station, a bit southeast of the Eiffel Tower. If you get there as early as I did you’ll have time to walk around and explore the city by foot. My mistake was choosing a hostel on the other side of the city, so my exhausted/starving self walked around for hours getting to the hostel to drop stuff off, and then by the time I even got there the day was half over. I suggest choosing a hotel closer to the city center, such as the Kyriad Paris 13 – Italie Gobelins (which actually has an airport shuttle – score!) or even the Hotel Brighton if you’d like to splurge. While the rate I paid was fine, I wish I had planned better and had picked a more central hotel – lesson learned! You can also check Hipmunk for packages, even for as much as 60% off! Definitely worth checking out!
After dropping your stuff off at your hotel, I highly suggest taking a round on a tour bus. Not only will this get you the best information on the sites around the city, but you won’t need to worry about transportation anymore for the day until you head back to your hotel. You can get off at each stop, take your time, and then hop on the next bus. Perfect! I highly suggest checking out Excursiopedia for this – you can purchase your bus ticket in advance and not have to worry about it on the day of your arrival. It’s a great price for $34 – plus if you buy it now (assuming you’ll be using USD) you’ll probably save money versus using Euros when you’re actually in Paris because of the exchange rate. Spend time today at the Eiffel Tower (always get a skip-the-line ticket if you want to go up… it’s worth it!), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, and the Notre Dame cathedral.
Leave late! My flight back to Rome was at 8PM… plenty of time for a day at the Louvre! Always, always, always buy your Louvre ticket early! Budget about 4 hours here to battle the crowds (*cough Mona Lisa cough*) and see the major works. Definitely do an audio tour and prioritize the order of what you’d like to see, so you’re not too exhausted later for the major artwork. You might also consider a group tour!
Paris is amazing but you need to do it correctly – with just a short time, however, you can certainly see the major sites and still get a feel for this iconic city.