Ticking off the classic Paris weekend checklist

Notre Dame at night
I am taking a couple of days off work to visit a friend in Paris for a long weekend. I have not been to Paris since I was a teenager. With so much to fit into a few days, what are the key things I should see and do? I would be really grateful if you could also recommend some places to stay. Many thanks.

I am taking a couple of days off work to visit a friend in Paris for a long weekend. I have not been to Paris since I was a teenager. With so much to fit into a few days, what are the key things I should see and do? I would be really grateful if you could also recommend some places to stay. Many thanks.

As one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris is the ideal destination for a long weekend away to relax and unwind.

The Champs Élysées is a wonderful starting point to take in your surroundings and get your bearings in the French capital. Taking the trip to the top of the world-famous Eiffel Tower offers panoramic views and will allow you to reacquaint yourself with the city. Standing at 324m tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris and is a must-see during your stay.

Notre Dame Cathedral on the Île de la Cité is another of the city’s most popular attractions. The long history of the church dates back to is construction in 1163 and it is a beautiful example of French Gothic architecture.

Once home to French royalty, The Louvre is now one of the best-known museums in the world and is a must during your few days. The Louvre houses an incredible collection of art from around the world including the infamous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. The museum is closed on Tuesdays so be sure to plan your visit to make it on an alternative day.

If you have a few hours to spare, take a trip outside of the city to Versailles for a wonderful afternoon. The historic royal château is a true symbol of France and transports visitors back to a time of indulgence and excess. The gardens at Versailles are another beautiful part of the trip, as is Marie Antoinette’s estate and the Grand Trianon.

If you are looking to hit the shops, the Rue de Rivoli is one of the city’s best shopping destinations. Stores including Zara and H&M can be found here as well as a number of souvenir shops where you can pick up some mementos of your trip. Whether purchasing or merely window shopping, the Champs Élysées is lined with exclusive designer brands such as Dior, Gucci and Valentino and Cartier. The Galeries Lafayette is another of the great shopping sites in the city and the building in which it is situated alone makes it worth a visit.

With something to suit all tastes, you will not be short of dining options while in Paris. Hidden in the heart of Saint Germain des Pres, Huitrerie Regis is one of the best places in Paris for fresh sea food and serves up an impeccable plate of oysters.

Run by Chicago-born chef Daniel Rose, Spring on rue Bailleul serves up contemporary takes on classic dishes and is a great dinner destination. Charbon Rouge is another of the city’s great restaurants and serves up sumptuous steaks in a relaxing atmosphere.

Where to Stay

Hotel Bel Ami (*****)

Prices start from €231 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This luxury hotel is situated in the heart of the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés area and is within a short distance on numerous art galleries and boutiques. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast or Sunday brunch at the B.A. Café with resident chef, Christophe Hay. The hotel also features a full-service spa and fitness centre. Guestrooms are equipped with complimentary wireless internet access, iPhone docking stations and flat screen TV’s.

Terrass Hotel (****)

Prices start from €140 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This Art Deco style hotel is set above the city in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and is situated only four blocks from Blanche Metro Station giving easy access to the heart of the city. The hotel bar is beautiful and offers a cosy base to relax in during your stay. Full of character, guestrooms are decorated with a range of designs. The hotel is a short stroll from the Boulevard de Clichy which has a range of restaurants and shops. The Moulin Rouge theatre is also nearby.

Hotel Le Marcel (****)

Prices start from €133 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Located in the heart of the city centre, the Hotel Le Marcel is within walking distance of many of the city’s most loved attractions including the Louvre and Notre Dame. Complimentary wireless internet access is available throughout. All guestrooms are fully air-conditioned and include mini bars and safes. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TV’s with digital channels.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!