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Three Days in Paris – An Alternative Itinerary

Three Days in Paris – An Alternative Itinerary
May 17
08:00 2016

A short visit to Paris could be overwhelming, particularly because there is this invisible social pressure to see it all and enjoy it all. You can spend three whole days experiencing the collections of the Louvre and you’d still need time. However, many of us are still constrained by a budget and we are forced to improvise and take decisions that will help us to save both time and money.

12 Essential Parisian Experiences

Day 1: Chill Out!

Let’s say you arrive in the centre of Paris at 9 a.m. Why don’t you start your trip with a good breakfast? Paris is full of coffee shops with delicious pastries and exquisite cheese. Order a coffee or some mint tea and explore the street life. Every single street in Paris is a piece of hidden history. Instead of going to line up to climb the Eiffel Tower, and if the weather allows it, you should instead opt for the Parisian street life.

Explore your options according to your mood: take the metro to Sacré-Cœur and then walk down the hill until you find the Moulin Rouge. Or go to the new modern business district and explore the Grande Arche de la Défense with a great view of the Arc de Triomphe. A not-so-hidden secret of Paris is the fact that even cemeteries are great places to visit with graves celebrating everyone from Oscar Wilde to Jean Paul Sartre.

Three Days in Paris – An Alternative Itinerary

For a special lunch in Paris, visit the Grande Mosquée de Paris, where the couscous is the speciality. While it’s touristy, it’s still a unique destination in the city centre. You can also simply visit the Mosquée for tea and then walk along the Rue Mouffetard, where a lot of great international and French restaurants are located, especially around the Place de la Contraescarpe.

After lunch, go straight to the Centre Georges Pompidou and explore the amazing modern art or buy some books in the store downstairs. The Pompidou offers a great view of Paris and it would be worth it to watch the sunset from there. Go out for a walk around the Marais, or towards the Hotel de Ville and end your day right at the river Seine with a great selfie in front of Notre-Dame.

Three Days in Paris – An Alternative Itinerary

Day 2: Fight the Tourists!

Wake up as early as you can, have a quick breakfast – like a croissant or a baguette – and take control. If you want that great photo from the top of the Eiffel Tower, do it early. Explore the Jardins du Trocadéro or the Champ de Mars and then you can either jump onto the metro and visit the Arc de Triomphe, to then walk and shop around Champs-Élysées or walk along the river towards Tuileries.

If you’re still hungry for art and don’t want to spend the whole day visiting museums, you can spend the rest of the afternoon in the Louvre, or as a perfect alternative, the Musée d’Orsay. If you want something alternative to do, you can visit the Institut du Monde Arabe for another great view of Paris, and for their interesting exhibitions. Another option is to explore another of the beautiful parks around the city, like the Jardin des Plantes or Luxembourg.

Three Days in Paris – An Alternative Itinerary

For the nighttime, I suggest visiting the amazing Crêperie Josselin. You will need to find the right place because the whole street is crowded with restaurants with the same name. Go with a dinner reservation or prepare yourself for a long queue. Alternatively, if you have a little more money and you don’t mind French, you can visit the many theatres, the opera or the cabaret bars in town. And if you’re tired of eating crepes, take the metro to the Quartier Chinois, a magic place in the 13th Arrondissement that is more than a Chinatown because it includes the culinary flavours and secrets of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, too.

Day 3: Live the Parisian Dream!

Paris is a dream come true. As I mentioned before, the real life of Paris happens in the street, and I am not only talking about parks and coffee shops, but the architecture, back alleys and metro trains. For your last day in Paris, visit the tomb of Napoleon in Les Invalides, if you are a fan of history and well, of wars.

12 Essential Parisian Experiences

If you are still hungry for art, you can visit less-touristy and almost neglected museums like the Musée Rodin, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie or the small, cosy museums of Eugène Delacroix or Gustave Moreau. Walk along the Boulevard Saint Michel and take a selfie in front of the Fontaine Saint-Michel. You can explore the many bookshops around the area, like the famous Shakespeare & Company, and enjoy the rest of the evening with a long, romantic walk along the river Seine.

If you are feeling a bit blue about leaving all this beauty behind, just visit the closest restaurant and buy a huge bowl of mousse au chocolat. Take a deep breath and don’t say goodbye to Paris, say à bientôt! (or see you soon!)

About Author

Travels of Adam

Travels of Adam

In 2010 Adam quit his job as a graphic designer in Boston and traveled around the world for a year. Since 2012, Adam has been living in Europe and blogging about his travel adventures at Travels of Adam. Follow him on Twitter @travelsofadam for more travel stories and photos. Travels of Adam


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