With its irresistible charm, rich culture, and treasure trove of iconic sights, if you're planning a European getaway, a weekend in Paris should be top of your list. In this complete guide, we'll unravel the secrets to making the most of a weekend in Paris. From travel tips, must-do activities, Paris hidden gems and culinary picks, let's pack our bags and dive into the enchantment of this magnificent city. We'll kick things off with the practical information for your weekend break in Paris before diving into our jam-packed itinerary.

Why Spend a Weekend in Paris for Your Next European Getaway

the sacre coeur in paris montmartre
A weekend away in Paris gives you the best chance to have a change of scene and sample a whole new culture without disrupting your routine. Within less than an hour, you can fly from many of the top UK airports and land slap bang in the city of love. Famous for the Moulin Rouge, iconic museums and delicious boulangeries on every corner, Paris is a world away from the atmosphere of the UK.

How to Get to Paris from the UK

Getting to Paris from the UK is a breeze, with major airports like Glasgow, Edinburgh, London Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester offering direct flights that usually take about an hour. These convenient connections ensure that your journey to the "City of Love" is both accessible and hassle-free. Upon landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport or Orly Airport, a short 30-minute ride on the RER B train will whisk you away to the heart of the city, setting the stage for your Paris weekend break.

Where to Stay During Your Weekend in Paris

Of course, if you're planning a weekend in Paris you're going to need to book accommodation. Hotels in Paris can be quite hit-and-miss and are usually pricey due to the sheer popularity of the city. Luckily, with some research, you can find the perfect Paris hotel to suit your travel purposes. And if you've been given a Hotelgift voucher, even better! You can redeem it on thousands of Paris hotels meaning you'll get your accommodation free of charge. Nonetheless, here are our recommendations of the best areas to stay in Paris depending on your reason for travel:

  • Families: Le Marais is a great choice, known for its family-friendly atmosphere and proximity to attractions like Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Centre Pompidou.
  • Couples: Stay in the romantic Montmartre district, where you can explore the charming streets, visit the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and enjoy stunning city views.
  • Friends: Opt for the trendy Le Canal Saint-Martin area, filled with cool bars and cafes, ideal for socializing and experiencing Parisian nightlife.
  • Business: If you're in Paris for work, consider staying in La Défense, the city's modern business district, which offers easy access to corporate hubs.

Our Guide to the Perfect Weekend in Paris

le marais park in paris

Day 1

Morning: A Quintessentially Parisian Breakfast
Stop by the Medici Fountain during your weekend in Paris
Start your day with a quintessential Parisian breakfast at Café de Flore in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Enjoy delicious, freshly-baked croissants, café au lait, and freshly squeezed orange juice at this iconic café that has hosted many famous intellectuals and artists over the years. After your Parisian breakfast, take a leisurely stroll to the nearby Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) to enjoy the serene atmosphere and the beautiful Medici Fountain.

Lunch: Sampling Traditional French Food
Next up for your weekend away in Paris, enjoy a memorable lunch at Le Procope, one of Paris' oldest restaurants, founded in 1686. Located in the Latin Quarter, it offers a historic ambiance and serves classic French dishes. Try their escargot or coq au vin for an authentic taste of French cuisine.

Afternoon: Getting Closer to the Culture
the louvre museum in paris
In the afternoon, explore the Louvre Museum, home to a vast collection of art and historical artifacts. Allow plenty of time to appreciate the highlights, such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Afterward, take a pleasant walk along the Seine River, crossing the Pont des Arts bridge with its famous "love locks."

Evening: Strolls Through Montmartre
a restaurant in the latin quarter during a weekend in paris at night
As the sun sets, head to the Montmartre district for a magical evening. Start with drinks and dinner at Le Lapin Agile, a historic cabaret and restaurant. Enjoy a traditional French meal while soaking in the bohemian atmosphere. After dinner, make your way to the dazzling Moulin Rouge for an unforgettable cabaret show. Be sure to book your tickets in advance.

Nightlife: Living it up in Pigalle
moulin rouge at night during a weekend in paris
After the show, explore the nightlife in Montmartre. The lively Pigalle area offers a variety of bars and clubs to suit your preferences. Check out Le Trianon, a concert venue hosting various music genres, or Le Carmen, a stylish bar with a chic ambience. For a quieter end to the evening, sip cocktails at Le Baron Rouge, a charming wine bar.

Day 2

Morning: Breakfast with a View
notre dame cathedral in paris
Your second day of your weekend in Paris begins with another sumptuous breakfast at a local café, all while soaking in the mesmerising view of the Eiffel Tower. Whether you choose the refined ambiance of Le Café de l'Homme or the timeless charm of Café Francoeur, rest assured it's the perfect way to kick-start your day.

As the morning unfolds, immerse yourself in the rich history of Paris by visiting the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral. Marvel at its Gothic grandeur, climb to the top for breathtaking city views, and explore the intricate details of this architectural masterpiece.

Afternoon: Parisian Gastronomy at Its Best
Île Saint-Louis in Paris
Once you've taken in the history of Notre-Dame, enjoy a traditional French lunch at Le Saint Régis, a charming bistro on Île Saint-Louis. Here, you'll indulge in the authentic flavours of Parisian cuisine, a culinary delight that perfectly embodies the essence of France.

After your delectable lunch, embark on a leisurely stroll through the historic streets of Le Marais. This picturesque district invites you to explore its boutique shops, art galleries, and timeless architecture, revealing a side of Paris away from the bustling tourist crowds.

Following your leisurely stroll through the serene Marais, delve into the eerie catacombs beneath the city. The Catacombs of Paris offer a unique experience as you descend into a subterranean labyrinth of bones and tunnels, providing a glimpse into the macabre history of the city.

Dinner at the Summit: A Culinary Ascent
eiffel tower paris
For the penultimate evening for your weekend in Paris, prepare for indulgence as you secure a reservation at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Le Jules Verne, ensconced within the Eiffel Tower, offers not only exquisite cuisine but also awe-inspiring panoramic views of Paris – a truly bucket-list moment come to life.

Nighttime Charm: A Seine River Serenade
seine river cruise
As your weekend in Paris draws to a close, embark on a leisurely late-night walk along the Seine River. Absorb the enchanting ambiance of the city, with the soft glow of streetlights reflecting on the water, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

And that's a wrap for our ultimate guide to the perfect Paris weekend break. We hope we've inspired you with our list of food recommendations and Paris activity picks. Whether you stick to it or not, Paris is an incredible travel destination with limitless things to see and do. So, no matter if you've scheduled your weekend in Paris hour-by-hour or are just winging it, you're guaranteed a phenomenal European escape.

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