36 Hours in Paris: 9 Foodie Stops, 2 Classes, & 4 Iconic Sights! 

by | Last updated May 3, 2024 | Europe Itinerary, France

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

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Day 1

Gorgeous Parisian chic boutique Hotel Fougère in Paris. France

Gorgeous Parisian chic boutique Hotel Fougère in Paris, France

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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.

Louvre Museum in the early morning

36 hours in Paris: Louvre Museum in the early morning hours before all the crowds

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8:30 AM: BREAKFAST TIME + COFFEE

Enjoying a croissant at a park in Paris from Boulangerie Terroir d’Avenir

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.

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10:20 AM: SACRE-COEUR BASILICA + CREPE

Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris France

Sacré-Cœur Basilica

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

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 had 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 travelers (over 9,000+) rave about this highly-rated show. Of course, because you are in France, Champagne is included!

Moulin Rouge in Paris France

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.

Purchase the Navigo Easy Pass if you will be taking the metro multiple times. Jay Swanson on YouTube has some great content on how to do this and just Paris in general. Check him out.

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12 PM: LOUVRE MUSEUM

Coronation of Napoleon at Louvre Museum in Paris France

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.

The sheer size and quantity of famous artwork are dizzying. It’s actually housed in the Louvre Palace if that tells you anything.

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.

French Crown Jewels at the Louvre in Paris France

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 highly-rated guided Louvre tour.

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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.

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4 PM: SECRET CELLAR CHEESE & WINE TASTING

Gorgeous cheese spread at cheese tasting in Paris

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!

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7 PM: GOLDEN PROMISE WHISKY BAR

Golden Promise Whisky Bar in Paris_ Ichi-Go Ichi-E cocktail made with Hakutsuru umeshu, hibiscus, citron jaune, sauge, and vinaigre a la Framboise

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 (4.9/5 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!

Day 2

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8:30 AM: MERINGUE TREATS + COFFEE

Mini meringues from Aux Merveilleux de Fred in Paris France

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.

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9:30 AM: CROISSANT CLASS

Croissant class in Paris France

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.

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12:15 PM: EIFFEL TOWER + ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Pont Alexandre III Bridge in Paris France

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 share 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 and Avenue de la Bourdonnais Eiffel Tower Photo Shot

Intersection of Rue de Universite & Avenue de la Bourdonnais Eiffel Tower Photo Shot

Avenue de Camoens (not so) secret photo stop for Eiffel Tower

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.

View of Paris France from the top of Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

36 hours in Paris: View from the top of Arc de Triomphe

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4 PM: CHEZ MIAM MIAM

Pastrami Miam Miam sandwich at Chez Miam Miam in Paris

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

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!

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6 PM: LITTLE RED DOOR

Raspberry Cocktail at Little Red Door in Paris

36 hours in Paris: enjoying a raspberry cocktail at Little Red Door

We always seek out the best cocktail bars when we travel.

Some of our favorites include the Mori Bar in Tokyo, The Old Man Bar in Hong Kong, Hanky Panky in Mexico City, and surprisingly the Apotek Bar in Iceland.

Little Red Door in Paris is rated #6 in the World’s 50 Best Bars 2023!

Expectations were high.

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.

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9 PM: EIFFEL TOWER AT NIGHT

Sparkling light show from Eiffel Tower in Paris. France

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!

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10 PM: AVANT COMPTOIR DE LA TERRE

Hanging menu for Avant Comptoir de la Terre in Paris

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.

No reservations.

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

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 

Summary:

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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2 Comments
  1. Jana T

    well done guys, you did a LOT in 36 hours 🙂 I am impressed, I have been over 6 times in Paris for long weekends and there is always something to discover. Big plus point to you for trying the galette, my favourite thing from Bretagne (my husband is French and he makes those once a week on Sunday home). I definitely would recommend Montmartre for your next visit and its cute streets, cafes& boutiques 🙂 keep exploring and lots of love from the lowlands

    Reply
    • Nichole

      Thank you for reaching out! I would love to explore Montmartre more. We only briefly visited Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmartre, but that area looked incredibly charming. Our purpose of this vacation was to visit the Burgundy and Champagne wine regions, so we unfortunately only had a very short time in Paris. You could easily spend weeks in the city, so we’ll definitely be back to explore more. Wow, lucky you, to have a French husband 🙂 to make all those delicious foods. We learned how to make croissants but haven’t tried it out yet back home. French food is the best! Thank you again for the kind comments. 💕

      Reply

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