What to do in Paris with just 24 hours? It’s so hard to choose between the museums, art, shopping, the Eiffel tower, buttery croissants and a whole lot more. Luckily I’ve been to this beautiful city a few times, so I had a game plan on all the things I wanted to Eat, Play & Stay.
With the limited time I had, I took the Eurostar train to Paris from London, about a two hour journey. It was a very pleasant ride, enough time to catch up on emails and a quick nap. I loved that it took me straight to the city, saving one hour if I were to take the plane (includes having to arrive two hours prior to boarding, immigration and a car ride from/to the airport). It was the most convenient way to get there. FYI, Paris is one hour ahead of London, silly me! I had no idea.
2:30 PM – 5:45 PM Travel from London St. Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nurd
6:15 PM Checked into Hotel Duo at Le Marais, my favorite neighborhood in Paris. Every time I travel here, I visit this area, because it still feels like old Paris. The locals hanging outside of bars, sitting on basket weave chairs smoking a cigarette and sipping wine. It feels a bit gritty and hip at the same time.
6:30 PM I was trying to do some last minute shopping before all the stores close. Le Marais has some of the best shops with vintage boutiques mixed with contemporary stores. I managed to pick up a coat and a pair of pants from COS (see below photos).
8:00 PM Dinner: I had wanted to go to Comptoir de la Gastronomie, to try their infamous foie gras and other popular duck dishes. However, the naive person that I am thought I could just roll right in for dinner. They were completely booked. So I had to figure out a plan B.
Lucky me (thanks to yelp), I stumbled upon L’Escargot Montorgueil. I’m not in favor of dining alone, but I ended up talking to a couple next to me from New York City celebrating their first anniversary together. It reminded me the last time Peter and I visited Paris. So romantic! That was the highlight of my evening. Good company and escargots!
9:30 AM I was in the mood for a light easy breakfast and Kozy Paris did just that. They had endless options of morning treats: quiches, pancakes and crepes, but all I wanted was a buttery croissant and a cup of cappuccino. There’s just something about the butter and flour the French use that make you wanting for more.
10:15 AM – Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a must! You cannot come to Paris without seeing this iconic attraction. My trip would not be complete without a photo-op in front of this gargantuan steel structure.
11:30 AM The shopping in Paris is endless. But if I had to choose one store to satisfy my thirst for fashion, Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche is THE department store that has the best selection of products from designer to mainstream. Their collections were refreshing and exciting. Labels I’ve never heard of were represented from Japan to Italy. I was very impressed with the store and wind up spending more time there than I originally planned.
1:30 PM On my way to lunch, I walked across the Seine River. I couldn’t believe how picturesque it was and had to stop for a photo. I stood there for 10 minutes staring at this view. Sometimes you have to take the time to appreciate the beautiful things in life.
2:00 PM I had lunch at Cafe Marly conveniently next to the Louvre. The weather was gorgeous and I requested to sit outside by their patio with a view of the pyramid, designed by the famous architect I.M. Pei. By that time I was tired of walking and this was the perfect resting place, along with delicious food and people watching.
3:15 PM THE MAIN EVENT. I solely came to see the exhibit of Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve at Le Arts Decoratifs, celebrating 70 years of Monsieur Dior’s legacy. When I saw the long line of anxious visitors, it discouraged me. But I talked myself into it. Luckily I had purchase a ticket ahead of time and only waited for 15 minutes. TIP: Get a ticket ahead of time!
I have to say, this was the best curated fashion exhibit I’ve ever visited. From the presentation of Monsieur Dior’s early work to the most recent designs of Maria Grazia Chiuri (first woman ever to become the couture house’s creative director). My jaws dropped as I went from one room to another. It reminded me of why I became a fashion designer; to one day have a piece of my work in the museum just like these amazing designers.
5:30 PM Since 1862, Laduree has been creating the most delectable macaroons and one of the best patisserie in the city. I made sure to take a little bit of Paris with me back for Kinsley and Peter. They love these delicious colorful pastries and never seem to disappoint.
7:00 PM -10:30 PM I took the Eurostar back to London for my last few days in Europe. Going back was just as easy and comfortable. I highly recommend it!
TADA! In total I walked about 6 miles that day. Make sure to wear cute sensible shoes walking around this city. There’s just too much to see with so little time!