When people bring up Paris, France, most people have an image that immediately comes to mind. Lovers on the street, the Eiffel Tower, baguettes, quaint cafes, and maybe even fashion. While many people spend the entirety of their vacations in Paris, it’s also one of the most popular day trips in Europe. But what do you do when you only have a few hours to spend?
I was on a business trip in Brussels and and finished my meetings early in the morning and had all day until a dinner meeting. The weather was rainy and I had toured the city the day before, so my travel partner and I decided to check the train times and decided to hop on a train to Paris. Just about an hour by train from Brussels, I couldn’t think of one reason not to go.
On our way we had just 4 goals. To see the Eiffel Tower, have a glass of champagne, get my daughter some macarons, and have a croissant au chocolat. All in about 3 hours. What can you do in Paris for 3 hours?
Since it’s basically the classic Parisian icon, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Opened in 1889 for the World Fair, the Eiffel Tower quickly became one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. It’s better than I imagined. Just beautiful!
The first floor has a casual restaurant where you can have a simple meal before going to the observation deck that surrounds the 2nd floor. From the observation deck , you can experience panoramic views of most of the city. Make the trip all the way to the top and discover a champagne bar where you can have a glass of bubbly. From the Eiffel Tower, you can see many of the famous landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, and the Royal Palace. We didn’t go to the Eiffel Tower, but rather went to Trocadero. A perfect location to view the tower.
We decided to grab some lunch and a glass of champagne at the Cafe du Trocadero which is just across the street from Palais de Chaillot. You can sit on the patio and watch the Eiffel Tower across the traffic circle. Café du Trocadero is the only of the restaurants whose balcony has a direct view of the Eiffel Tower, and is a prime spot to watch the nightly lighting of the tower. Not only that, Café du Trocadero is consistently rated one of the best cafes in Paris. It’s easy to understand why Woody Allen chose to feature the café in Midnight in Paris.
The one thing my 13 year old said she wanted me to bring back for her were macarons from Paris. Why? I am not sure. Of course once there, you can’t miss out on some delicious pastries and cookies. One of the hottest trends right now is macarons. Why not stop at the master of macarons, Pierre Herme Paris. Macarons are very delicate sandwich cookies that are filled with jams, buttercream, or ganache. Since Vogue magazine called Peirre Herme the “Picasso of Pastry” you have to visit, right? With flavors like jasmine tea, apricot pistachio, and milk chocolate passionfruit, you have to pick up some of these delectable treats.
Being a classic French patisserie, Pierre Herme Paris has other tasty treats as well. Chocolates, truffles, and ice creams are all available as well. Or blend the best of both worlds and have a macaron ice cream sandwich. Have an ice cream while you’re there, and pick up some macarons to take on the return trip. Problem solved!
Once we got back to the train station we grabbed a croissant au chocolat and what do you know, made it in time to catch the train back! Amazing to say we did Paris in 3 hours.
*I was not compensated in any way for this trip to Paris. All opinions are my own and I just had a great experience and wanted to share it with my readers!
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I am so jealous. Paris is one of the top places I want to see. I have some of those images that come to mind, especially the Eiffel Tower.
Looks like a magical trip! That first picture is just awesome. I would love to visit Paris at some point!
Jealous here too! Paris is on my bucket list too!
OH my goodness! Only three hours?? We spent 12 hours in Paris and still didn’t get to see everything we wanted! lol. Notre Dome itself needs 5 hours! lol. We’ve been to the Eiffel tower and it is amazing. We dined, had amazing cuisine, shopped, toured, and finished off the night with a night boat ride and saw the tower sparkle. It was amazing!
looks like a fun few hours, Tara!
Oddly, I’ve met Rochelle! She was up here in Hartford and we had breakfast. She’s super nice and I’m guessing fun to travel with!
I’m so jealous! I would Love, Love, Love to go to Paris. Oh… I can totally imagine the croissant au chocolat!
You packed a lot of fun into a few hours! Beautiful photos. I would love to go to Paris.
Nice job!!! You did a great job with 3 hours in Paris!
Paris is one of my favorite cities! You can see so much in a short period of time, as you showed here. I also really enjoyed going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe – I don’t know about these days, but in 2005 it was extremely inexpensive and the view at the top is incredible.
And gorgeous photos, BTW!
Thank you! Paris is an easy place to get great photos! 🙂
I hope to make it to Paris someday! The Eiffel tower is so awesome looking!
You did a lot in 3 hours. I definitely would have visited the tower myself.
I haven’t been there in over 20 years and you are making me miss it so! You did great with the time you had!
You were only there for 3 hours? Sounds like you had an amazing time!!!
it looks so beautiful there! One day i hope to visit there 🙂
I have made a couple of trips to Paris in the last 2 years. I truly think Paris is the most beautiful place in the world. I could live there!
I totally want to go to Paris and you’ve made me want to go even more!!
Oh, I know EXACTLY what I would do. I would drive past the Eiffel Tower on my way to Chanel to buy a handbag. Done and done!
That is an amazing excursion, it is so great that you made good use of your time.Before the kid we used to run around Europe and we loved it, now because of you, I miss it!
That sounds amazing. I wish I had those kind of decisions to make…
I introduced my daughter to Paris last year, my fave city. i can say that for all the times I have been to Paris I have never eaten at the restaurants or had champagne, so touche. Our fave place for macarons is Laduree. Looks like fun.
I recently had about 30 hours in Paris, and we managed to squeeze in the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacre-Coeur, Champs Elysees, a few cafe meals, and a walk across a padlock covered bridge. We ate escargots and croissants…perfectly Paris in just a night and day!
How cool is that? What an amazing opportunity for you and your travel partner. It looks like you covered some really great things in such a short period of time! I hope to visit Paris one day. 🙂
That’s a really cool show. I watched anything equivalent being produced on top of this site:
I just saw something about this on television. It discussed the same things
you wrote about.
If you would like kids bed ideas then you could just go to ikea and additionally design.
Love how you travel. I took my 14 year old and did Paris in a day so we had a few more hours to take in a couple more sights. Note to self, 14 year olds don’t like all the nakedness in the Louvre 😉 You do make me want to go back for a macaron!
You ought to be in a position to rest and lean versus it with no it wobbling, plummeting off or
Our are really perfects most especially upon decks to safeguard the scene.
i’ll have roughly 2-3 hours in paris in february. this was really helpful in deciding what i’ll be trying to cram in before i get back on the train to london.