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.