The great thing about Paris for Londoners like me (or technically Greater London) is that Paris is so close. The Eurostar is so easy! Hop on, sit on the train then hop off. It’s much better than flying, as there’s no baggage reclaim, you don’t have to get to the airport hours and hours ahead of your flight and the seats are bigger and comfier.
So assuming you get an early train, you can see a good chunk of Paris in one day. Here’s a guide to where to go:
1. See the Sacre Coeur
The Sacre Coeur is only a couple of metro stops from the Gare du Nord, so if your train comes in there, get on the underground and climb the hill to the Sacre Coeur (it’s a shorter walk than it sounds). Not only is the basilica itself beautiful, but the views from the hill are amazing.
2. Visit the Arc de Triomphe
Conveniently, it’s a short train ride from the Sacre Coeur. The Arc de Triomphe is fantastic, and you can even go up to the top – if you have time. Check out the ornate stonework on the Arc. Then you can have lunch at an outside café down the Champs Elysees. This is a great place to get a feel for Paris, as there are so many shops, and restaurants. It’s really buzzy and cool! Also, I love it because it’s tree lined and so although you’re in the centre of the city, there is still nature to be found.
3. Head to the Eiffel Tower
This is obviously the main attraction. You may have to queue to go up it, or you can choose to just look at it from the ground Either way, it’s majestic! From the top, the views of Paris are brilliant, and it’s a great experience. When you stand at the base, look up – the height is dizzying!
3. River Cruise down the Seine
Sailing along the river is quicker than walking, and you’ll see the sights this way – the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame etc. A boat journey is also fun! Get off the boat at the Notre Dame and spend some time there to really take in the beautiful cathedral. There are usually queues to get in, but you might get lucky.
4. French dinner
There are loads of restaurants in Paris to eat at and try some traditional cuisine like coq au vin or croque monsieur’s (my favourite sandwich). Top off your day trip in style.