When the Englishman and I first started planning our European adventure, we knew we wanted to visit places we hadn’t been before like Burgundy and Epernay. But we also wanted to at least pop into Paris, because well, Paris. We ended up spending about six hours total in the city of light, and here’s how I think you should spend an afternoon in Paris.
Since we were flying out to London the next morning, we decided to stay out near the Charles de Gaulle airport and not in the heart of the city. So once we arrived in Paris from Epernay we dropped off our rental car (because driving in Paris = no), checked into our hotel and then hopped on a train and found ourselves standing outside Notre Dame. I should mention that both of us had been to Paris before, so the urgency to SEE ALL THE THINGS wasn’t as high on our end.
We started our afternoon as any good traveler would do and found a delicious creperie called Le Moliere to have lunch. If you have a limited amount of time in Paris, I recommend popping into one of their many cafes rather than sitting down to a more formal meal that will take longer.
One of the things I had been dying to try during our trip was a galette, which is made with buckwheat flour instead of wheat, and is gluten-free. This creperie did not disappoint and I got a delicious galette filled with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top.
When it was first placed in front of me I declared there was no way I would be able to finish it, and then I proceeded to eat the entire thing. And it was delicious.The Englishman had croque madame on the brain and was presented with a lovely grilled ham and cheese sandwich also topped with a fried egg. He had a disappointing croque madame experience a few weeks prior in California, so this sandwich was definitely redemption.
So if you are like us and only have a few hours to spare in Paris and want to hit up one of the famous landmarks, I recommend you choose wisely. The Louvre is an obvious choice but it’s so large and there’s no way you could do it justice in a short amount of time. If you’ve never seen the Eiffel Tower, definitely stop there, but if you are like the two of us and have seen most of the “big monuments,” then I recommend spending sometime at the Musee d’Orsay.
The Musee d’Orsay is the impressionist art museum located along the Seine river. It has many of the impressionist greats such as Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Manet and Degas; and it’s not SO big that you feel overwhelmed in the galleries. Plus, the view of the river is pretty hard to beat.
After exploring the Orsay a bit, we ended our quick Paris jaunt with a walk along the Seine before popping on a train back to the airport. Again, if you only have a short time in Paris, skip the Champs-Elysees and spend some time along the river and enjoy a glass of wine and macaron or two. There is definitely some magic in the air when you visit Paris and you don’t need to spend it in luxury shops you can likely find at home.
So now I gotta ask. If you only had 6 hours to spend in Paris, what would you do? Or more importantly, what would you EAT?