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travel talk:
48 Hours in Paris

Matt Scott

In terms of visitor numbers, Paris is the world’s most popular city, but its unique charm remains; cafés dominate the tree-lined avenues, great architecture, both modern and ancient can be found on every street, the Seine cuts the city in half while world class fashion, style, art and cuisine meet with the unique character of the Parisians themselves. The French capital is undoubtedly one of the world’s great cities.

Day 1


Almost as much as a part of the Paris skyline as the Eiffel Tower is the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, overlooking the city. The area is jammed with tourists, souvenir stalls and artists working on the street. The views from the top of the church or the grounds that surround it, show Paris, and all its major sights, stretching into the distance and is a great introduction to the city. This is a great area to explore the small streets and tiny cafés without the traffic and crowds of ‘downtown’ Paris.

It also offers a great selection of restaurants from traditional French to international cuisine. A fine spot to indulge your taste buds.


Driving in Paris is a sight in itself (as is the parking at the weekend when every conceivable car-sized space is parked on regardless of traffic laws). From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, not only is there a great view, the madness of the roads and roundabout in Paris can be seen as motorists jostle for position on the world’s largest traffic circle. Once you have enjoyed the traffic and the small artefacts in the Arc, the tree-lined Champs Elysee stretches to the Grand Palais and the Place de la Concorde: site of executions during the revolution and now home of the Obelisque de Luxor – a gift from Egypt that is the oldest monument in Paris. The Louvre is also just a short walk away.


If you want another view over the city the largest office building in Paris offers one of the best. The monolith of Montparnasse Tower looms over an area of shops, cinemas and restaurants where dinner can be enjoyed after. The resting place of some rich and famous Parisians, including John-Paul Sartre, is also in this area at the Montparnasse Cemetery.

If you’re in Paris on a Friday night, have a lookout for the Paris-roller group; hundreds meet close to Montparnasse for a 25km route round the city on roller blades, skates or by bike. A beginners’ route is also held in Sunday mornings to give you the opportunity to see the city in a unique way.


Anonymous's picture

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