I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime to meet my childhood friend for two nights in Paris. We were the romantic, history loving girls growing up. We full-on spent weekends at historical re-enactments and old fashioned soda shops, just for fun! When we didn’t have our noses in books we were at Neiman Marcus with our grandmothers. Suffice it to say, between the lifestyle, history and fashion, Paris is the place for us. The only trouble was the length of our trip and deciding what to do in Paris in two days!
My friend was bringing her family along for the quintessential Eurotrip. I was traveling to meet them solo and wanted to do the big ticket items with their cute family while also getting some adventure in. In the end, we did it all. As my train was pulling out of Paris to head towards home, I reclined back in my seat heart full from a picture-perfect two days in Paris.
If you’re traveling through the City of Light soon, I can’t recommend any of these items from our itinerary enough!
Room for One at Hotel du Champs de Mars
For this trip, my friend was staying near the Tour Eiffel with her family. I knew I wanted to be close by so it would be easy for us to linger at dinner or enjoy the day without facing a long commute back to my room.
Hotel du Champs de Mars was the perfect hotel for staying solo in Paris. The rooms are quiet and private while the hotel is intimate in size, helping me feel very cared for.
It was a huge advantage to be able to stay in the 7th arrondisement (one of 20 numbered, neighborhood-like areas in Paris) for such a reasonable price and in cute quarters to boot. It was lovely to step out alone, dressed up to meet my best friend from the fourth grade in Paris, and walk straight into a lively but easy going avenue with cafes, market shops and even an Aldi for late night snacks.
They have Eiffel view rooms available if you decide to go for it!
Authentic French Restaurant Au Pied de Fouet
Once my train got into Paris, my friend and I decided to meet for lunch. Wanting something easy and authentic, we tried Au Pied de Fouet. It’s so nice to have hearty fresh French food after spending the morning on the train! It’s simple, cheap, warm and authentic.
The owner greeted me when I walked in and immediately handed me a glass of wine. As I waited for my friend to arrive and the clock hit Noon, I saw the owner pour at least 20 more glasses of welcome wine for guests, most of whom he knew by name. It’s that kind of place. You’ll leave full and feeling like a local.
The Tour Eiffel
Hear me out! I hadn’t done this since high school and was excited to follow my friend’s junior high and high school aged kids up for the first time. With that said, I thought I may be too cool for this.
I have to say, there is nothing more iconic than taking in Paris from the top of the Tour Eiffel! The size of it from the ground below, the iron work, the views of the city from the top – you just don’t get that experience from the ground.
For a ticketed attraction, it’s a short queue to get to the top until you’re free to take it all in at your own pace and preference. The gardens at the bottom make it a pretty experience door to door. Stay for 15 minutes or the whole afternoon. It’s not too touristy – it’s your trip to Paris!
Paris’ cityscape and Lutetain limestone buildings makes it a really unique view. Without seeing all of the city on this short trip, it’s beautiful to take in what a massive and thoughtfully designed place it is.
Dinner Cruise on the Seine
My friend booked the whole family and I a table on a Seine dinner cruise! The cruise was both beautiful and romantically long – well over three hours – creating one of those nights where there’s time for lots of meaningful conversations that are interrupted to gasp over another breathtaking view of Paris.
We got dressed up, ate snails and sipped champagne. It was worth it just to have a reason to be fancy!
When we pulled back up to the Tour Eiffel to park our boat below, it was sparkling to welcome us! The city had come alive for evening during our dinner and we were in the perfect place to take it all in.
I was so fortunate to be the guest and didn’t have to research this part of our plan at all. So I don’t have much else to share! If you’re interested in booking one for yourself you can see different options here.
Yves Saint Laurent Musee
I had the morning to myself the next day, and decided to check out Yves Saint Laurent Musee, the museum dedicated to the work of Yves Saint Laurent in the designer’s former atelier in Paris.
This was such a perfect way to start the morning, with a beautiful walk through the home of the best shops in Paris, ending in a peek inside the mind and space of one of the world’s most note-worthy designers.
It’s a small space, filled with inspiration, making it easy to add to even a full day of French fun. I left inspired!
The Louvre Museum
This was one that I initially hesitated on. Wasn’t this too mainstream for an off-the-path style traveler like myself? My friend more than made up for me in terms of enthusiasm. Before long, we were all wearing matching audio tour headsets and headed down one of the wings of this massive museum.
There’s so much to see here, it becomes relaxing to accept there is no way I’ll see it all. From there, it’s about taking in what’s in front of me deeply. Just like when we were kids who loved history growing up, my friend and I spent hours “lost” inside the Louvre, peering into glass cases with jewels or ceramics made hundreds of years ago. You can go see the Mona Lisa, just for kicks, and have a sandwich at Tuileries Garden when you feel done. That’s where I found the next thing I want to do in Paris.
Hammams in Paris
Shortly before I left for Paris, I learned about the ritual of hammam from Morocco. It all sounded amazing – from the warm baths, steam, sauna, scrubbing and oils.
And right after, I discovered the hammam scene of Paris. All those things I listed above sounded like the perfect way to close out two days on my feet, walking around the city and eating cheese with my friend. Learning more about how much Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by Morocco, I felt like I had to end the day that begun in his office at a hammam!
I would say, thanks to the excitement of a new experience and a massive language barrier, I had one of the most memorable times of my life at Hammam Pacha. While it was a great experience and I would go back in a heartbeat, the more I read about hammams in Paris, the more I want to try more.
I loved this article that broke down different Paris hammam locations with their aesthetics, style and services. It has me excited for my next trip to Paris!
What to Pack for Two Nights in Paris
Limited space, no time to change, lots to see and lots of walking – plus all the style! – makes Paris a fun packing challenge! Here’s everything I packed for two nights in Paris.
Leather Backpack – It is no big news at this point that I love a leather travel backpack. This style is classic and chic.
Silk Scarf – So easy to pack, with such a big impact! I love to tie one around my neck to add a pop of color or print to my travel basics.
Camera Bag Style Purse -If I don’t need a full backpack, I love this style purse for walking around. It’s chic and easy to keep everything zipped, close and in front of me for the metro or busy areas.
Beige Chelsea Boot – Perfect and sophisticated for rain or shine.
Kitten Slingback Heel – These are the exact pair I wore in Paris. They’re easy to wear and style for anything at the best price.
Black Faux Fur Jacket – The perfect item to throw on for cool night air. I loved it with my dress but it looks great with jeans and a heel too.
Triangle Swim Suit – I had mine in my backpack in case I could make it to a hammam, which turned out perfectly. Most people at my hammam had swim bottoms on.
Oversized White Shirt – It is comfy, forgiving and sartorially oversized. I like a little collar or cuff popping out from under my trench, especially with a scarf.
Ribbed Black Leggings – Long live my train leggings! They’re just the right compression and I love how thick they are. The ribbed detail really steps them up where I feel comfortable on the train and confident wearing them around town.
Trench Jacket – I love a tan trench for spring. Just like Audrey!
Retro Square Sunnies – This Jackie O style really gets me through long travel days.
Beret – Truth be told, I like to go into the souvenir shops in Paris to find the perfect color beret. It never hurts to have one ready in your suitcase, though!
Yves Saint Laurent Book – Featuring some of the most beautiful and iconic photographs of YSL’s work from 1968-1988, this book is everything to celebrate about Paris and its style. I sent one to my friend as a thank you for traveling with me.
Polka Dot Dress – As Marc Jacobs said, “I don’t think there is ever a wrong time for a polka dot.” This cute dress is Paris perfect, and I feel like I could wear it for night or day.
Tulle Skirt -My favorite thing I bought for Paris! Tulle can feel so outrageous, making it just right for Paris. I can’t believe the quality for the price. I feel like we’re just getting started.
What would you do with two days in Paris? Share it all below!