Paris, France is easily one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Some come for the culture, some come for the scenery, and some come for the fine cuisine. Whatever the reason, millions of people travel to the “City of Lights” each and every year!
We’re not exaggerating either — 66.89 million tourists visited Paris in 2017 alone. That number sounds crazy, right? But no two trips to Paris are exactly the same; if you somehow asked all of those people who visited the city in 2017 to describe their experiences, you’d get 66.89 million different answers!
A trip to Paris is truly a special occasion. Even a short trip will make for an unforgettable experience. Today, we’ll show you how to make the most out of a weekend trip through Paris. We’ll hop from one famous Parisian landmark to the next, stopping by popular restaurants, parks, and museums along the way. We’ll be doing tons of walking, biking, and even driving on this journey, so you might want to store your extra parcels and bags someplace safe before we hit the road.
Yep, you read that correctly. The first stop on our weekend trip through Paris is the Eiffel Tower. This 324-meter tower is easily the most recognizable monument in all of France, let alone Paris. A literal army of engineers, architects, and construction workers joined forces to build the tower in 1889. The tower opened on March 31st of that year and the rest is history.
The Eiffel Tower has two restaurants, and a breathtaking view at the top of the structure. From up here, you can essentially see all of Paris — including most, if not all, of the other landmarks we’ll be visiting.
Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars is the parkland located right next to the Eiffel Tower. This place is huge with a capital “H”. Champ de Mars has hosted numerous festivals and events over the years, like the “Exposition Universelle” — France’s legendary World Fair.
Sprawling doesn’t even begin to describe this park. Its most famous features are its grassy fields, tall trees, and the École Militaire — a military complex designed by the late Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1765. That’s kind of fitting, considering that this park is named after the Roman God of War.
All this walking and sightseeing can work up a mean appetite. That’s why the next stop on our weekend trip through Paris is Auberge Bressane. This establishment serves traditional French cuisine and has a vibe straight from the 19th century. Some of their most popular dishes include Poached Eggs, Coq Au Vin, and Soufflés.
Auberge Bressane is just a few blocks away from Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. This cozy restaurant is the perfect place to rest and recharge before heading to our next destination. You can view their full menu by visiting their website.
Alright, it’s time to walk off some of that Coq Au Vin. The Grand Palais is just 15 minutes away from Auberge Bressane. The Grand Palais is an exhibition hall, a historic site, and a museum rolled into one massive complex.
The Grand Palais was built between 1897 and 1900, to coincide with the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Four renowned architects joined forces to design and build the hall. Actually building the Grand Palais proved to be very difficult, but the end result still speaks for itself more than a century later. We encourage you to visit the Grand Palais’ website to learn more about this venerated venue.
Long ago, Pharaoh Ramesses II ruled Ancient Egypt with compassion and wisdom. Ramesses II loved building all kinds of magnificent structures. At his behest, two Obelisks were erected at Luxor Temple. In 1833, one of those Obelisks was shipped to France.
The Luxor Obelisk near Place de la Concorde was a gift from Muhammad Ali Pasha to King Louise-Phillipe. This structure is a marvel of ancient Egyptian architecture and has to be seen up close to be fully appreciated.
By the time you reach the Luxor Obelisk, you might have noticed a large glass pyramid in the distance. This pyramid belongs to the Louvre, the most well-renowned art museum in the world. That’s not an exaggeration or an overstatement — pound for pound, brick for brick, the Louvre is the world’s largest art museum. It’s also the most popular, receiving millions of visitors per year.
The Louvre’s popularity stems from the pieces of art that it houses, and it houses more than 30,000 works of art within its walls. We could spend hours discussing each and every object in the Louvre. Or, we could end our little speech with this — the Mona Lisa is housed in the Louvre. Yes, that Mona Lisa.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Paris actually houses several Arcs, and each one celebrates a pivotal event in France’s history. This particular Arc is located next to Place du Carrousel and celebrates Napoleon Bonaparte’s esteemed career.
The entire Arc is covered in bas-reliefs that chronicle Napoleon’s battles and victories. Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine were the Architects who designed the Arc. However, numerous Artists and Sculptors like Charles Meynier and Auguste Marie Taunay created the reliefs and statues that decorate the Arc.
We’ve reached our final destination — the Saint-Jacques Tower. Our 48 hours in Paris have brought us face to face with all kinds of monuments and museums. Each is special and significant in their own way. The Saint-Jacques Tower is no exception to this trend. This structure is all that’s left of the Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie.
The original building was constructed all the way back in the 16th Century. Masons Jean de Felin, Jean de Revier, and Julien Ménart built the earliest version of the church. Over the centuries, the church was gradually renovated and improved. All of that changed when the French Revolution broke out. Most of the church was destroyed in 1793, save for the tower. Now, it’s a national landmark that represents French resistance and resilience. That’s why we chose Saint-Jacques Tower as our final destination.