36 Hours in Paris: 9 Foodie Stops, 2 Classes, & 4 Iconic Sights!
My husband and I had 36 hours in Paris before heading over to the Champagne region to enjoy multiple days of wine tasting. Our goal was to see a few top sights, eat all the cheese we could find, learn how to make croissants, hit all the top foodie spots, and have some of the best cocktails in the world. Impossible? Almost, but we accomplished our mission.
Here’s how we did it.
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36 Hours in Paris Itinerary Map
Gorgeous Parisian chic boutique Hotel Fougère in Paris, France
7 AM: ARRIVE AT AIRPORT
We landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and hit the ground running.
After a 40-minute cab ride, we arrived at the gorgeous, Parisian chic boutique Hotel Fougère in the Saint Germain neighborhood.
We dropped off our bags and walked over to the Louvre for a few quick photos before all the crowds.
36 hours in Paris: Louvre Museum in the early morning hours before all the crowds
8:30 AM: BREAKFAST TIME + COFFEE
Enjoying a croissant at a park in Paris from Boulangerie Terroir d’Avenir
If you’re in Paris, a croissant for breakfast is a must!
Of course, we had to research who makes the best croissant, which led us to the incredible Boulangerie Terroir d’Avenir. The owners of this amazing bakery used to supply the top Parisian restaurants with goods from small producers. Now they have transitioned to running a top-notch butchery, bakery, fish shop, and grocery.
Order a fresh, hot croissant.
Perfectly crispy golden outside with a soft ever so slightly doughy center. Oh my goodness, so delicious!
We also ordered one of their mouthwatering quiches.
We were feeling pretty jet-lagged since we took a red-eye flight that morning, so we made the 12-minute walk over to the appropriately-named shop, The Coffee.
According to their website, they make the “best of Brazilian coffee combined with the purity of Japan.” We ordered two True Whites, their signature lattes, for a caffeine pick-me-up.
Now we were ready to conquer the day.
10:20 AM: SACRE-COEUR BASILICA + CREPE
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Sacred Heart of Montmartre) is a gorgeous Roman Catholic Church set high on a hill overlooking the city of Paris.
Make sure to walk around the church. There’s a little hidden park on the backside.
The neighborhood of Montmartre is incredibly charming. Enjoy getting lost walking around all its shops and cafes.
While you are sauntering around, do not miss La Creperie Mon Ami.
It’s a tiny (and I mean tiny!) shop run by one man. You may even miss it if you blink.
Egg, ham, cheese crepe at La Creperie Mon Ami in Paris, France
The owner makes the most delicious thing you’ll ever taste … oeuf, jambon, fromage crepe (egg, ham, and cheese).
We only got one to share because we knew we would be eating our way through Paris. I instantly regretted that decision when I took that first delicious bite.
I should have ordered 2!
He also makes sweet crepes like Nutella, raspberry jam, and honey. Ah, so good!
After your lovely 6.50 € snack, walk by the iconic red mill of Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret show in the world. We didn’t stay for a show, but quite a few tourists (almost 6,000+ on GetYourGuide) rave about it!
Moulin Rouge in Paris, France
Now it’s time to metro over to another quintessential experience in Paris, the Louvre.
By the way, the metro is very easy to use! Just plug your destination into Google, and it will give you all the metro lines to take.
12 PM: LOUVRE MUSEUM
Coronation of Napoleon at Louvre Museum in Paris, France
Just like eating a croissant, you cannot come to Paris without a visit to the most visited museum in the world.
Reserve tickets in advance! We scheduled for 12 pm.
SUPER IMPORTANT PRO TIP: Research what you want to see BEFORE you go. With over 480,000+ works, the Louvre experience can be overwhelming. According to Conde Nast Traveler, you would have to spend almost 200 days to see all of the displayed artwork at the Louvre.
Remember, you only have 36 hours.
Make it count.
I had a list of what I wanted to see and which wings these masterpieces were located in.
Girl on a mission.
In 1 hr 15 minutes, we saw the following: The Winged Victory, Mona Lisa (it’s smaller than you think!), Wedding Feast at Cana, Liberty Leading the People, Coronation of Napoleon, The French Crown Jewels (I will take one of each please!), and Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.
36 hours in Paris: French Crown Jewels at the Louvre Museum
That was enough to whet my appetite and gain an appreciation for the incredible skill of these famous artists. We listened to the provided audio about the history of these famous pieces.
If you are an art buff and want more in-depth insight, book a guided tour.
1:30 PM: HOTEL CHECK-IN + FRESHEN UP
Our hotel room was ready, so we headed back for a much-needed hot shower.
I was starting to smell like travel.
As we got ready, we enjoyed some of the complementary macaroons the hotel provided. With renewed energy, we were ready for more exploring.
4 PM: SECRET CELLAR CHEESE & WINE TASTING
Gorgeous cheese spread at cheese tasting in Paris
The Secret Cellar Cheese & Wine Tasting was hands down one of our favorite experiences in France!
I mean, who doesn’t love cheese and wine? If you don’t, France may not be for you.
During the course of 2 hours, we enjoyed 8 salivating, generous cheese samples all paired with 4 unique red and white wines in a 17th-century cellar. Talk about ambiance.
If this gets you excited, don’t miss my full cheese tasting review below and who runs the best tour!
7 PM: GOLDEN PROMISE WHISKY BAR
Ichi-Go Ichi-E cocktail made with Hakutsuru umeshu, hibiscus, citron jaune, sauge, and vinaigre a la Framboise
Feeling sleepy yet?
Come on, you got this. One more stop to go, and I promise it will be worth your while. Welcome to the Golden Promise Whisky Bar.
This super cool bar is located down a staircase below a whisky shop. It has an INCREDIBLE selection.
There are two “experiences” to choose from. In one room, you can enjoy all their creative whisky cocktails at the bar.
In the other room, you can enjoy a few tastings of more than 1,000+ bottles of super-rare whiskies.
We chose to sit at the bar because we love hanging out with the mixologists watching them work their skills to produce their magical concoctions. Our favorite drinks were the Penicillin and MilkPunch.
Our initial plan after a few cocktails was to metro over to the Eiffel Tower to see it all lit up at night and enjoy a What The Foc?! Focaccia sandwich (5.0 on Google!). What a fun name!
However, we met some really interesting fellow travelers and ended up not leaving until 10 pm. Off to bed we go!
8:30 AM: MERINGUE TREATS + COFFEE
Mini meringues from Aux Merveilleux de Fred in Paris, France
After an incredible night’s sleep, we were ready for another full day of exploring the streets of Paris.
The first stop was Aux Merveilleux de Fred, a pastry shop that makes delicious, super light, and delicate meringue treats.
Watch the intro video on their website if you need more convincing.
The shop’s decor with its hanging Parisian chandelier matches its pastries … refined and elegant.
We ordered three “minis:” praline, dark chocolate, and caramel. Hard to pick a favorite. Now on a sugar high, we walked over for our morning fuel and ordered a delicious flat white from Coffee Noir.
9:30 AM: CROISSANT CLASS
36 hours in Paris: croissant class in Paris, France
I’m not a morning person, but getting up to learn how to make a perfectly buttered, multi-layered, flaky croissant in the heart of Paris was worth every minute of lost sleep.
Plus, all we had to do was roll out of bed because the class was only a 4-minute walk from our hotel, Hotel Fougerie.
The croissant class was small and intimate (only 5 including my husband and me), which gave plenty of room for hands-on learning.
This is not a let-me-watch-the-chef-do-all-the-cooking-class.
Your hands are right in it, flour and all!
We learned all the secrets to making the best croissant and pain au chocolat. There’s nothing quite like taking the first bite of a freshly made croissant right out of the oven that you just made!
The instructor was engaging and very helpful, giving you all kinds of tips along the way. Do not miss booking this class.
12:15 PM: EIFFEL TOWER + ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Pont Alexandre III Bridge in Paris, France
Work off all that lovely Parisian food you just consumed and take a leisurely 25-minute walk towards the Eiffel Tower. The best, most scenic route is along the wide pedestrian path next to the Seine River.
Check out what I call the Fancy Bridge, Pont Alexandre III, with its stately bronze statues. Although we did not participate, many tourists offer gushing reviews about the Seine River cruise on my Paris Facebook group.
From here, you could just walk right up to the Eiffel Tower and join the crazy crowds.
Alternatively, you could do what we did and check out the not-as-well-known photo stops of the Eiffel Tower.
If you want to know where the photographers shoot, check out these two locations:
1) Intersection of Rue de Universite and Avenue de la Bourdonnais
2) Avenue de Camoens.
See the photos below.
Intersection of Rue de Universite & Avenue de la Bourdonnais Eiffel Tower Photo Shot
Avenue de Camoens (not so) secret photo stop for Eiffel Tower (unfortunately this couple beat us to this location)
I would argue though one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower is seen from the Arc de Triomphe if you can muster the energy to climb the 284 steps.
Remember, you just ate a few meringues and butter-laden croissants.
We didn’t pre-book tickets because we weren’t quite sure how long we would be checking out the hidden photo stops for the Eiffel Tower. The ticket line wasn’t too crazy, maybe 15-20 minutes.
The view at the top was just beautiful and worth the extra sweat. The much-needed breeze too was a welcome surprise.
36 hours in Paris: View from the top of Arc de Triomphe
4 PM: CHEZ MIAM MIAM
Pastrami Miam Miam sandwich at Chez Miam Miam in Paris
Enjoy a late lunch at one of the most famous sandwich shops, Chez Miam Miam (French for yum yum!).
Expect a line for this amazingness, but it moves quickly.
The super friendly staff, who is kind enough to converse with you in English, will take your order at the counter assembly line.
Order the Miam Miam sandwich. You choose your cheese, meat, and veggies.
We got a pastrami sandwich with everyone on it (cheese, grilled onions & mushrooms, lettuce, and avocados). Unfortunately, they were out of Comte AOP cheese, so we got Cantal cheese which was still delicious.
The sandwich was great, but I would hold the avocados and lettuce. They toast the sandwich, so that means warm avocados and lettuce.
Galette Garnie at Chez Miam Miam in Paris, France
Go crazy and also share a Galette Garnie with your partner, which is loaded with ham, onion, and cheese on a buckwheat crepe.
Dare I say we enjoyed this one more than the sandwich?
Roll out of the shop with full bellies and enjoy a walk through the neighboring Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest food market in Paris!
This is truly a foodie gem and is tucked away from the crazy crowds in the cool eclectic Marais neighborhood! We only had 36 hours in Paris, but next time we come back we are checking out the “meat and wine experience” at The Butcher of Paris.
Now, it’s happy hour time!
6 PM: LITTLE RED DOOR
36 hours in Paris: enjoying a raspberry cocktail at Little Red Door
PRO TIP: Come right at opening time to get a good seat at the bar, so you can chat with the mixologists.
The theme of Little Red Door is “Farm to Glass.”
They work directly with local producers to concoct some incredibly unique cocktails. Each cocktail showcases a certain ingredient like citrus, saffron, and chamomile.
The “Raspberry” cocktail was incredible, which was made of LRD Raspberry Vermouth, H. Theoria Electric Velvet Liqueur, and Gewurtztraminer Grappa.
The mixologists were super friendly and happy to engage in conversation.
9 PM: EIFFEL TOWER AT NIGHT
Sparkling light show from Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
The Eiffel Towel puts on its sparkling light show every evening starting at dusk until 11:45 pm.
It starts at the beginning of the hour and lasts 5 minutes. If you miss that 5-minute window, you have to wait for another hour.
Luckily, we made it just in time for the 9 pm show. Paris is truly a gorgeous, romantic city!
10 PM: AVANT COMPTOIR DE LA TERRE
Hanging menu for Avant Comptoir de la Terre in Paris
You can’t miss this no-frills French hors d’oeuvres bar, which prominently displays a welcoming painted-on pig on a plastic panel curtain.
The menu at Avant Comptoir de la Terre is creatively showcased on the ceiling with pictures of the current offerings. These “mini dishes for 2” (don’t call them tapas!) are very elevated and refined without the fluff.
Zucchini spaghetti with fig and onion at Avant Comptoir de la Terre in Paris
We arrived near closing time, so we just ordered a few cold dishes. All were excellent.
Standouts included the beef tartare and zucchini spaghetti with fig and onion. And don’t forget to try a little sliver from the huge ball of hand-churned Bordier butter on your fresh bread.
Of course, we had to wash this all down with a few glasses of Champagne.
After all, we are in Paris.
Final Thoughts on Our 36 Hours in Paris
9 FOODIE STOPS: Boulangerie Terroir d’Avenir, The Coffee, La Creperie Mon Ami, Golden Promise Whisky Bar, Aux Merveilleux de Fred, Coffee Noir, Chez Miam Miam, Little Red Door, Avant Comptoir de la Terre
2 CLASSES: Cheese & Wine Tasting Class, Croissant Baking Class
4 ICONIC SIGHTS: Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
If you are like my husband and I and want to do all the things, this ultimate itinerary is for you if you are up for the challenge.
According to my iPhone Health App, we walked a whopping 27.7 miles in 36 hours.
We loved Paris. You really need several days to enjoy all it has to offer. However, if you only have 36 hours in Paris, this will at least give you a taste of what it has to offer. Enjoy!
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