A Few Hours in Paris

posted by Sharon September 8, 2019 28 Comments
Paris Louvre

You can enjoy Paris, even if you have only a few hours to spend in this grand city. Recently, we flew into Paris from the U.S. and spent just a late afternoon and evening before heading to Normandy the next morning. Dealing with jet lag, we still wanted to make the most of our time. It helps to stay outdoors as much as possible, rather than going in darkened museums or churches when you are sleep-deprived. I was pleased with our plan, so I’ll share it in hopes that, if you have just a short time in this rich place, you can get some ideas of how you can best tour the sights. Here’s what we did.

First Stop: The Palais Royal

Somehow I missed this unique courtyard on previous trips. This was around the corner from our hotel, so we headed here first. You’ll find 260 short columns of black and white in the court of honor of the Palais Royal. I hear that this art is controversial, but I find it fun. It’s worth a look. Paris Palais Royal

Paris Palais RoyalMaking our way toward the Louvre, we ran into a talented group of musicians entertaining passersby. Paris Palais Royal

On to the Louvre

Paris LouvreOne of my favorite places in Paris is Pyramid Place, which is the front entrance of the Louvre. The famous glass pyramid gives this area its name. We happened to arrive on a Tuesday, when the museum is closed, so crowds were not as big as usual. I love the buildings and the sculptures here. Paris LouvreParis LouvreParis Louvre

Paris LouvreThe Place du Carrousel

Crossing the street, we came to the small Arch de Triomphe (the larger one is straight down the Champs Elysees). Military shows put on for royalty were called “carrousels” or “little wars.” The arch here was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, modeled after a famous arch in Rome. Paris Arch de Triomphe du CarrouselParis Arch de Triomphe du CarrouselParis Arch de Triomphe du Carrousel

 

The Tuileries

The long stretch of gardens and fountains between the Louvre and the Place de Concord is always a welcome place to relax. Created by Catherine de Medici as the “front yard” of the palace in the 1500s, the Tuileries became a public park after the French Revolution. For hundreds of years now, it’s been a place where Parisians meet and enjoy the outdoors. Tuileries Paris

Tuileries ParisTuileries ParisTuileries ParisTuileries ParisTuileries ParisTuileries ParisTuileries ParisAnd from the Tuileries, we glimpsed the iconic Eiffel Tower. Paris Eiffel Tower

The Seine and Notre Dame

I was anxious to see what Notre Dame looks like after the tragic fire earlier this year. A quick glance shows the twin towers of the front looking no different. Notre Dame Paris

Then you notice the scaffolding behind the facade. You can’t get near Notre Dame, as it’s blocked off and guarded. Notre Dame Paris

The grand old church still stands, and it will be repaired. As the sun shone on the front of Notre Dame, the beauty of this symbol of Paris is undiminished. Notre Dame Paris

 

We stopped at a sidewalk cafe for cold drinks, then made our way back to our hotel. After a yummy Italian dinner, lack of sleep caught up with us and we had to call it a day. But I felt like I had experienced some of my favorites in Paris in the few hours we were able to wander here. And I certainly hope to return!

Our Hotel

We stayed at the Hotel Moliere, just a few blocks from the Louvre. The central location of this hotel allowed us to drop our luggage off, freshen up, and head out for sightseeing on foot. Hotel Moliere Paris

I did spend quite a bit of time researching hotels in the area where we wanted to explore. Hotels of all levels of expense can be found here, including some extremely pricey ones adjacent to the Louvre. I was happy with this mid-price hotel. I actually booked two different hotels earlier, but they were both a long ways from central Paris and would have called for metro rides or taxis. Hotel Moliere turned out to be the perfect location.

We opted for a taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the hotel. We have taken the train (RER B) but found it so time consuming with stops along the way. Having such a limited time to see Paris, we splurged on the taxi. If you land at Charles de Gaulle and want to hire a taxi, be sure to line up at the official taxi area. “Unofficial” taxis will try to get your attention and your business, and they do charge more than the going rate.

If you have an overnight stop in Paris, be sure to sample the flavor of the city, even if your time is limited. As they say, Paris is always a good idea!

Linking up with Image-in-ing, The Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, My Corner of the World, Monday Escapes, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

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28 Comments

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Val September 8, 2019 at 9:24 am

I like how a “palace garden” was taken by the people after the revolution. So fascinating! I have walked the Tuileries but didnt know this historical “detail”! As always great photos too!

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William Kendall September 8, 2019 at 11:54 am

Beautiful shots!

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Karletta September 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm

I loved Paris the first-time I visited and there are a number of places on your list that I did not get to visit. I definately plan to go back … time and time again.

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Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin September 8, 2019 at 2:43 pm

What a beautiful city!

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Knycx Journeying September 8, 2019 at 7:08 pm

There are so much to see and do and a day in Paris is definitely not enough; but glad that you managed to visit some of the highlights. le Louvre is definitely one of the must sees and I love it! Thanks for sharing ~ @knycx.journeying

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Junieper/Jesh September 8, 2019 at 8:42 pm

My comment didn’t come through so here it is again Happy to see that enough of the Nortre Dame is left! Hope you also saw some of the inside of the Louvre. I think we were there in August, and the lines were 2 hrs. long, before we could get in. We were in there for 4 hrs., and were too tired to see the rest, because he still had not seen everything. Many thanks for sharing these beautiful details with All Seasons, and enjoy September!

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CARMEN | Wellington World Travels September 8, 2019 at 10:53 pm

I went to Paris one time for an overnight trip. I also arrived in the afternoon, and left in the morning. But we got to fight jetlag and see Paris. So I know that feeling. I did manage to see some sights – the Eiffel tower, Notre dame and Louvre museum. I didn’t get to see the Palais Royal though.

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Lady Fi September 9, 2019 at 10:18 am

Perfect Paris shots!

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Photo Cache September 9, 2019 at 10:22 am

I dream of spending a week in Paris, not only to discover all the attractions, but to explore its quiet alleys and nooks.

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Eileen September 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

Hello, Paris is a beautiful city. Your photos are beautiful. What a great visit. Happy Monday, wishing you a great day and happy new week!

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup September 9, 2019 at 10:47 am

Amazing photos!
Thanks so much for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-visitor.html

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Fun60 September 9, 2019 at 10:55 am

You did so well with your planning and sleep deprivation. Excellent photos.

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Mother of 3 September 9, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Such beautiful photos! That sounds like a perfect way to spend a few hours in Paris.

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Carol September 9, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Paris is such a dream destination – lovely photos!

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Su-sieee! Mac September 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm

Where ever you are when I come visiting, I want to go there. 😉

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Judee September 11, 2019 at 5:20 am

Beautiful photos! You certainly saw a lot in your short time- but that’s what we do on vacation!!

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betty - NZ September 11, 2019 at 2:53 pm

What a grand place with so much to see! I’m glad you shared these shots with us.

Thanks for your link on ‘My Corner of the World’! It’s lovely to see you this week!

My Corner of the World

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Rhonda Albom September 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm

There is so much to see and do in Paris. I am amazed at how much you were able to do in such a short time. I was there for several days and skipped the Louvre as the queue was so long.

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Lauren September 13, 2019 at 11:39 am

I love Paris!! Even a few hours is better than none, and you really made good use of your time.

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Alison September 14, 2019 at 7:14 am

“Paris is always a good idea” … even just for a few hours! You squeezed a lot in! I love Daniel Buren’s art installation at the Palais Royale! Lovely photos. Need to go get a croissant right now!

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Garth September 14, 2019 at 10:55 am

Looks like you made good use of your time! We love Paris, we’ve been loads of times and it never gets boring. Good to see the facia of Notre Dam is still intact.

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Maya September 14, 2019 at 8:02 pm

It’s been such a long time since I visited Paris and you’ve definitely reminded me why I love Paris so much! The history, the charming streets, the art, the groomed gardens and the croissants! How come you haven’t mentioned the food? 🙂 Beautiful pictures and it looks like you had wonderful weather as well!

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Bree September 15, 2019 at 1:32 am

OhParis..my love my heart. Thank you so much for sharing xx

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Lisa | Handmade in Israel September 15, 2019 at 3:49 am

Beautiful photos – as always! I remember my boys sailing boats on the little lake at the Tuileries when they were young. It was a delightful experience and felt so “old school”. #FeetDoTravel

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Ann September 15, 2019 at 4:41 am

Oh what Beautiful photos of Paris 🙂
I know how hard it is to make such a post, the work you have to put into it, so great job!

Cheers from Stockholm Sweden 🙂

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Usha Sitaaraam is September 15, 2019 at 10:02 am

What beautiful photos of the city I love. I am heading back there in a few days time. Thanks for this wonderful inspiration.

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BonBOn September 15, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Thank you for sharing! WOW… beautiful photos and seems like you did great with your itinerary:)

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Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) September 16, 2019 at 5:30 am

It’s definitely a good idea to book a central hotel if you’re only planning on being in Paris for such a short amount of time – looks like you were right in the heart of the city and able to enjoy walking around, one of my favourite things to do in Paris. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

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