Paris is an alluring destination for a city break. From its chic shops and fashionable cafes, to its famous museums and iconic sights, there’s plenty to take you beyond a short weekend break. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or hoping to explore one of Europe's most popular destinations, Paris on a city break is the perfect destination.
Explore the city's maze of fascinating historical sights
After an evening stroll along the Seine, set your sights on Paris's Left Bank, where dining and entertainment options reach their peak.
A Paris city break wouldn’t be complete without a spot of shopping. While in town, take a walk up one of the world’s most famous streets, the Champs-Elysees. If you’ve saved on a cheap Paris hotel you might like to spend big in the flagship fashion shops here including renowned brands like Louis Vuitton. For a different shopping experience, head to the cobblestone streets in Le Marais, where you can rummage for vintage fashion and browse independent boutiques.
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (a flea market) will be a treat for all kinds of bargain hunters: its different markets offer antiques of the finest quality as well as second-hand clothing and records. Galeries Lafayette, even though it’s a total other genre, are also sure to dazzle and make you dream during your weekend in Paris.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to make shopping an experience why not soak up the atmosphere of Paris’ markets. Foodies will love the bountiful fresh food goodness on offer at Marché Bastille which takes place on the Boulevard Richard Lenoir twice a week. Slightly off the beaten track is Les Puces de Montreuil where you can rifle through stalls of vintage clothes, toys and antiques. You could even practise your French to help bag yourself a bargain.
For a big night out you’ll find classy nightclubs in the Champs Elysees area. Meanwhile, hipsters will feel at home in the trendy bars of Bastille including Le Motel where DJs pump out electro-pop-rock to a cocktail-sipping crowd. For a traditional Paris wine bar experience head to Le Baron Bouge, where you can sip quality wine and nibble delicious cheese and charcuterie. Choose from our great selection of luxury and cheap hotels throughout Paris to create your dream city break.
Go at night to the Eiffel Tower when it’s less-crowded, and you’ll see sweeping views of illuminated Paris. For something a bit more low key, wander streets around Place de la Bastille to discover the areas wonderful bakeries and cafés. We recommend Boulangerie Bazin with its award-winning breads and pastries.
Art lovers flock to The Louvre Museum for its huge art collection that includes the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Housed in the former historic palace it’s an impressive sight on the outside too. And, you can wander around gorgeous landscaped Tuileries Gardens, next door. There’s another opportunity to see great works of art within the gardens, as you’ll find Claude Monet's large water lily paintings in the Musée de l'Orangerie.
The best places to party in Paris
To experience Parisian nightlife on a weekend in Paris, you’ll be spoiled for choice! In the Bastille district on Thursday nights, young people are determined to prove that the conviviality and festive spirit of Parisian bars are still very much alive.
The nightclubs of the Marais constantly reinvent themselves. Here, parties are attended religiously every weekend. From the many bistros of the 10th arrondissement, to the countless concerts taking place all year round and the little bars of the highly confidential Butte aux Cailles in the 13th – everything in Paris encourages you to party. We bet that you will put all your nights during your weekend in Paris to good use.
We’re crazy about the Delacroix Museum in the 6th, located in a former artist’s residence and that, in addition to offering the public some of the painter’s lesser known and more intimate works, provides the opportunity of a deeper insight into such a passionate period of our history, which we refer to as romanticism. But a little further north of this neighbourhood, there are many galleries with a good mix of contemporary creations.
Although it is extremely touristy, remember that the sweeping views from the top of the Sacré-Cœur are breathtaking. But the north of the 20th arrondissement also has some stunning viewpoints over Paris. Finally, the two highest points of Paris are the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower, both offering a 360° panorama. For an unforgettable weekend in Paris.
Leave the Louvre and the Quai d’Orsay museum to one side. For a successful weekend in Paris, there’s no need to spend hours queuing to enter a museum that you won’t be able to appreciate after a tiring wait. Paris is such an ancient city, with a truly rich and diverse history, that it is often enough just to walk around to soak up its charm. Stroll around the narrow streets of the Marais or the Latin Quarter, heading up Rue de Rivoli or walking down the Grands Boulevards (Haussmann, Montmartre, Poissonnière).
You can also satisfy your thirst for culture without succumbing to nostalgia thanks to the many restaurants, boutiques and bars that you will come across along the way. Walk, wander and amble to your heart’s content: that’s the ultimate secret of a weekend in authentic Paris.
During a weekend in Paris, there’s little point having the burden of a car: the metro is very easy to use and will take you anywhere you want in the blink of an eye. For sportier types (or for the more reckless!), the Vélib’ bikes are also a great option.
French cuisine has not based its reputation on nothing, and Paris offers foodies a vast choice of restaurants that ardently defend the excellence of French gastronomy day after day. But for tight budgets, or quite simply for more adventurous types, the Indian restaurants in the 10th arrondissement are a must.
At Nation, Rue Chevreuil, a typical Korean restaurant serving delicious dishes, has won us over. Rue Rébéval in the 19th arrondissement is home to the Mukura, a fabulous Colombian restaurant. Or there is the Mirama, Rue Saint-Jaques in the 5th: a Chinese restaurant serving Peking duck to die for without breaking the bank.
A little Parisian secret? Le Potager du Père Thierry, a micro restaurant located on the Butte Montmartre. Truly French specialities that are delicious and affordable (expect to pay €20 for a full meal) can be enjoyed here. You can easily treat yourself on your weekend in Paris without being reduced to poverty.
For late-night munchies: All the snacks and restaurants on Rue des Rosiers offer falafel that is well worth the visit. But as they are all closed on a Friday night, swing over to Barbès for a kebab or a Pakistani sandwich: at any time, and for next to nothing. For a cheap weekend in Paris.