Paris, the enigmatic and romanticised French capital appears on most travellers' “must-see” destination wishlists. With its rich history, diverse and influential arts and architecture, gourmet food and award-winning French wines - the city still sparks the imagination and remains a vibrant city.
Famous architectural landmarks attract visitors globally, and its eclectic mix of chic, luxury and exciting cultural melting pot offers an unparalleled ambience.
From 5-star hotels, Michelin award-winning restaurants, luxury shopping and some of the most visited and iconic sites in the world, here are some top tips on how to enjoy a fantastic 48 hours in Paris!
Day 1: Morning
There are 20 arrondissements or neighbourhoods (administrative districts) in Paris and you are unlikely to visit all of them over the course of 48 hours. Each area offers something different but one of the most visited is the first arrondissement which is located on the banks of the River Seine and is home to some of the most visited tourist sites.
Paris is a cultural hub but the Louvre and the Palais-Royal - which are also close to the Paris business district - are excellent to explore.
The Louvre is one of many famous landmarks in Paris and is known to be the home of the Mona Lisa but the museum is one of Europe’s largest and also has an extensive and fascinating collection of art and sculptures. Among the many guided tour options, The Musée du Louvre also offers a personalised welcome and priority access to prestigious guests and can organise a tour for a high-profile tour on request.
The grounds of The Louvre and Tuileries Estate include the Tuileries Garden, which is the oldest and biggest public garden in Paris and was created during the Renaissance by Catherine de’ Medici. “A prestigious and attractive setting, both steeped in history and used as outdoor exhibition space for contemporary art, the Tuileries Garden is the ideal spot for your events: trade show, evening gala, awards ceremony, etc.”
Day 1: Afternoon
If you plan to explore some of the historical sights around the city, some options include:
- Musée d’Orsay: This museum, which is set in a former railway station, has a fantastic collection of art, including famous impressionist paintings.
- Palace of Versailles: Tour the entire Versailles estate (and stick around for the musical fountain show) to see how French royalty lived in the 17th and 18th
- Palais Garnier: Home to the Paris National Opera, you can see a performance at the Palais Garnier or simply take a tour of the interior.
- Catacombs: Tour the tunnels underneath the city, which hold the remains of more than 6 million people. You can also book a VIP tour to access parts of the catacombs that are usually closed off.
A number of Parisian museums employ top French and Parisian chefs and offer excellent food and some of the dining options include Michelin star-awarded cuisine.
It's also possible to pamper yourself at one of the excellent spas in Paris. The Villa Thalgo, provides a seawater treatment while Biologique Recherche offers a custom skin consultation & treatment that’s perfectly tailored to your skin. There are options for men at Bonhomme for skin treatments and hair services.
Day 1: Evening
The city’s fourth arrondissement - The Le Marais part of Paris - is home to vibrant art galleries and some of the city’s best luxury hotels as well as exciting nightlife.
Some of the more famous performances to see in Paris include a comedy show or concert at Théâtre des Variétés - the iconic landmark has been operating since 1807 - and is one of the oldest theatres in Paris (as well as a designated historical monument).
Another option is to watch a show at the famous Moulin Rouge which also offers VIP dinner and show packages for some performances that include privileged seating, a personalised menu, priority access, and a Champagne Rosé Prestige on arrival.
Of course, Notre Dame, perhaps the most iconic cathedral in Paris (and a UNESCO world heritage site) is one of the capital's “shining examples of French Gothic architecture” dating back to 1345. The famous cathedral suffered damage in a fire on April 15, 2019, and has been undergoing renovations and repairs. The forecourt at Notre Dame opened on April 12, 2022, which allows visitors to see the progress.
The aim is to have the cathedral’s restoration completed before the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The country also hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and Paris will be the home to the opening and final matches of the iconic sporting tournament.
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Day 2: Morning
Start off the second day by taking in some of the most iconic sights of Paris. Located in the eighth arrondissement are the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées as well as some of the best boutique and luxury shopping Paris offers.
The Arc de Triomphe is now a postcard famous monument built in the early 1800s and it has been a symbol for those who fought in France during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Champs-Élysées (made famous by film and music) is a busy, tree-lined promenade that leads towards the Arc de Triomphe but also offers excellent shopping and dining.
(Don't forget about the Paris Fashion Week which takes place a few times a year in the French capital)
For more luxury shopping experiences in Paris, stop by Alexander McQueen and Chanel on the Rue Saint-Honoré or venture to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen for rare antiques and secondhand items such as artwork, furniture and other unique collectable items. Galerie Vivienne offers various pristine boutiques, as well as wine shops and the flagship Jean-Paul Gaultier store.
It's also possible to attend a masterclass to craft your very own scent or perfume in Paris. The private workshops are run by a perfumer from Maison Molinard to help you craft your unique perfume while understanding the scents and being treated to champagne and nibbling delectable cakes and treats.
Day 2: Afternoon
The seventh arrondissement is close to the Eiffel Tower, making it for most - an essential visit. The area also is very chic and is fantastic for sightseeing in the French capital.
Eiffel Tower was famously built for the World Fair in 1889 and the iron-made tower is 324 metres tall. There are viewing towers with fantastic panoramic views of the city and there are dining options on the tower - Le Jules Verne is considered the most exclusive.
The restaurant is an ideal place to savour Paris and for celebrating any special occasion, from birthdays to marriage proposals! The venue offers unobstructed and spectacular views of Paris and is located 410 feet above the ground on the second floor. For the cuisine, the kitchen is run by chef Frédéric Anton, a triple Michelin-starred chef, who offers excellent interpretations of French food.
It's also possible to charter private helicopter trips to Vaux-le-Vicomte for an afternoon or evening tour and customised dinner, or head out of the city for a castle visit or explore a luxury private day tour to Champagne!
The Paris Air Show also takes place in June 2022, while the Qatar Prix De L'arc De Triomphe is set for October 2022.
Some of the most luxurious hotels in Paris include:
- Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome – Offering classic luxury, a relaxing spa and a Michelin Star restaurant all in the heart of the city and is renowned for being one of the most visually stunning luxury hotels in Paris.
- Four Seasons Hotel George V – Five-star luxury and located close to Champs-Elysees, with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. There is a selection of three restaurants, which boast Michelin stars - the hotel offers some of the best food in France. There is also a decadent spa, swimming pool and a stunning courtyard. The luxury hotel sits in an original 1928 landmark Art Deco building and has a sublime art collection.
- Mandarin Oriental – One of the finest luxury hotels in Paris offering splendid gourmet on-site dining, and it is close to one of the most fashionable streets in Paris (Saint-Honoré). The 138 rooms and 39 suites are among the most stylish and spacious in the city and the Mandarin Oriental’s bar and restaurants are among the best in Paris.
- Royal Monceau – The luxurious Parisian hotel boasts a private cinema, contemporary exhibition gallery, and an art bookshop, as well as a 23-metre swimming pool. Located close to the Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe, Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris features 149 spacious rooms and suites, excellent Japanese cuisine of Matsuhisa and Italian regional food in the Michelin-star restaurant Il Carpaccio.
- Hôtel Ritz Paris – The Ritz is synonymous with Parisian glamour and luxury. Among its accolades are the two Michelin-star restaurant L’Espadon, 71 rooms and 71 suites with a view of the hotel’s magnificent French-style gardens. The 15 prestige suites have housed A-list celebs, politicians and other VIPs (from Princess Diana to Coco Chanel, and Ernest Hemingway) which means that privacy is guaranteed at the Ritz Paris (there is even a discreet underground tunnel providing unseen arrivals and departures from the hotel for guests!).
- Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace - With stunning and beautiful architecture, the luxury hotel features 184 guest rooms and 15 suites. On-site, you can enjoy Michelin-starred dining (French cuisine at Gordon Ramsay au Trianon, continental dishes on the terrace of La Véranda, or cocktail at Bar Galerie), or indulge at the prestigious Guerlain Spa.
Day 2: Evening
End off your Parisian trip in the eleventh arrondissement to experience some of the city’s best nightlife and excellent dining in award-winning restaurants.
For some of the best restaurants in Paris, you are spoiled for choice with Michelin star options. In total, 41 restaurants from around France were awarded one Michelin Star, six were promoted to two-star establishments and two joined the exclusive club of Michelin three-star restaurants in 2022.
Of the 627 restaurants featured in Michelin’s 2022 guide, more than 100 are in the Paris region, and in total, 12 restaurants in the Paris area were awarded one Michelin Star (new one-star restaurants).
- Granite, Paris (first arrondissement)
- Auberge Nicolas Flamel, Paris (third arrondissement)
- Ogata, Paris (third arrondissement)
- AT, Paris (fifth arrondissement)
- Contraste, Paris (eighth arrondissement)
- Il Carpaccio, Paris (eighth arrondissement)
- Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée, Paris (eighth arrondissement)
- FIEF, Paris (11th arrondissement)
- Bellefeuille - Saint James Paris, Paris (16th arrondissement)
- Don Juan II, Paris (16th arrondissement)
- Substance, Paris (16th arrondissement)
- Sushi Shunei, Paris (18th arrondissement)
The two-star Michelin star restaurants in Paris include:
- L'Oiseau Blanc - Paris
- Le Restaurant du Palais Royal - Paris
- Restaurant Table - Paris
You can also try 21-time Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse's new vegan burger kiosk in the Bastille region of Paris called Burgal. The chef is known for promoting plant-based dishes.
Head to some of the famous Parisian clubs on the final night such as L’Arc which is located underneath the Arc de Triomphe, and is considered one of the most sought-after clubs in Paris. The luxurious club also features a garden terrace with a view of the city and a marble dance floor. Another option is Le Marta, located among the Parisian glitz and glamour, this is a luxurious speakeasy-turned club located on Avenue George V in the 8th arrondissement.
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