Hopefully you didn’t party too hard the night before because mythical day 2 in Paris is jam packed 🙂
Take the metro over to le Marais after grabbing a croque monsieur and café crème from your local café. Hint: espresso is the key to making it though Paris [and life].
Le Marais is strikingly different than the Paris you saw yesterday. Say goodbye to the wide straight streets. Cobblestones take the place of concrete. No two buildings look alike. It’s medieval Paris, pre-Napoleon’s autocratic take-over. It’s also my favorite.
This is where you will find excellent little cafés and pâtisseries along with great shopping. It is expensive, but if you plan right and go in July- the entire city is having a sale. I’m not joking. Literally every store has stuff ON SALE in July. Don’t ask questions, just embrace it and spend too much money.
A recommended walking route would be to start at the Bastille metro stop [another traffic circle!], and head west to Place des Vosges. If you feel like snooping around a little bit, peek into some of the courtyards of the houses on the square- especailly the one in the southwest corner. They are spectacular- I dream about living in one. A girl can dream.
Next, keep walking west to Musée Carnavalet if you’re interested in Parisian history. Go farther west and up north a bit to the Picasso Museum to see some less famous pieces by the master himself. After, take a look at the National Archives southwest of the museum [why? because it’s an old building and cool to look at silly!] wander a little further west to the Pompidou Center. The museum is massive with a great selection of modern art so hopefully you took the long way, wandered around, and found a spot for lunch and more espresso. You will need fuel!
After you’ve seen all the art you can manage, relax in the courtyard out front of the museum to rest your legs. Sike! No resting! Hop on the metro and head to the Luxembourg area. This is another ‘must see’ on your visit to Paris. Concievably, you could spend the whole day in the Marais area wandering and getting lost, but if you’re short on time- make sure you head over to the St. Germain area.
If you do decide to stay near the Marais area of Paris- go to Père Lachaise Cemetary. Yes, I’m being totally real right now. It’s cool and creepy, and sure you can’t kiss Oscar Wilde’s tombstone anymore, but it’s still worth the trip. Another totally worth it place to go? Parc Buttes-Chaumont. Relax, take the short hike up to the folly for a nice view of the area.
If you decide to head on out of the Marais, take the metro over to the Pantheon. No not THE Pantheon, a different one. The Parisian one is a mausoleum, and it offers great views from the city on top. Just go in and appreciate the work that went into the structure. You will be in awe- it’s magnificient. There’s also a cool crypt if you’re into that sort of thing [Voltaire, Marie Curie, and Victor Hugo are buried there!…among others…]
After the Pantheon wander down the street to the Luxembourg palace and gardens. If you care to, Amorino is on Rue Soufflot 🙂 I think I bought gelato at one of their many Parisian shops at least 3 times a week. There is also great sushi in this area near the Luxembourg metro as well if you like the raw side of fish. Just relax and enjoy the gardens. Soak up the sun, and take a nap. You had a great day.
If you have any extra energy left- I would recommend wandering around this area as well. There are a lot of schools here with beautiful courtyards and gardens to walk through. Also– there is an old amphitheater. Go there. It’s called Place Emile Mâle according to googlemaps, and its a bit east of the Pantheon. When I was there people were playing a pick-up game of soccer. It’s a fun place.
Back in the States- let’s enjoy a day of sitting on the couch, eating wings, and watching football 🙂