Paris, the City of Lights, is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. With its iconic landmarks, world-class museums, and delectable food scene, the French capital offers plenty of attractions for British travellers to explore. This comprehensive weekend in Paris itinerary will guide you through the best sights and experiences, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this enchanting city.
Getting to Paris from the UK
For British travellers, getting to Paris is relatively quick and easy. There are several options available, including flights, trains, and ferries. The most convenient and popular choice is the Eurostar train service, which connects London to Paris in just over two hours. Alternatively, you can also fly from various UK airports to one of Paris’s three main airports: Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Orly (ORY), and Beauvais (BVA). No matter which option you choose, there’s a convenient and affordable way for British travellers to reach Paris for an unforgettable weekend.
Where to Stay in Paris
1.1 Budget Accommodation
Generator Hostel: Located in the trendy 10th arrondissement, the Generator Hostel offers modern and affordable accommodation for budget travellers. With its rooftop terrace boasting incredible city views, it’s an excellent choice for those looking to save money without compromising on quality.
City Inn Paris: Situated in the 19th arrondissement, the City Inn Paris is another budget-friendly option. Offering clean and comfortable rooms, this hotel is ideally located for easy access to the city’s major attractions.
1.2 Mid-Range Accommodation
Hotel Paris La Fayette: Centrally located in the 10th arrondissement, the Hotel Paris La Fayette is just a few minutes from the Metro, making it an ideal base for exploring Paris over the weekend. With its welcoming staff and clean, comfortable rooms, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking a mid-range hotel.
Hotel Eiffel Turenne: Nestled in the 7th arrondissement, the Hotel Eiffel Turenne is just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Eiffel Tower. With its close proximity to the Metro, this hotel guarantees easy access to all the major attractions on this weekend in Paris itinerary.
1.3 Luxury Accommodation
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris: The 5-star Shangri-La Hotel is located in the prestigious 16th arrondissement, offering stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. With its luxurious rooms and impeccable service, it’s the perfect choice for those looking for a truly indulgent weekend in Paris.
Hotel Raphael: Just a two-minute walk from the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, Hotel Raphael is an elegant, luxury hotel that offers impressive views of the Eiffel Tower. With its prime location, it’s an ideal choice for travellers looking for a high-end stay in the heart of the city.
How to Get Around Paris During Your Weekend Trip
2.1 By Metro
The Paris Metro is the most convenient and economical way to explore the city during your weekend stay. With its extensive network and frequent services, you can easily reach all the major attractions on this weekend in Paris itinerary. To save money, consider purchasing a carnet of 10 train tickets or a two-day Paris Visite travel pass.
2.2 By Bus
Although buses are a slower option, they offer a more scenic way to explore Paris. The city’s bus network is comprehensive, and you can use the same tickets and passes as for the Metro. For a unique sightseeing experience, consider taking one of the many hop-on-hop-off bus tours available.
2.3 By Bike
For the more active travellers, Paris offers a fantastic bike-sharing system called Vélib’. With thousands of bikes available across the city, it’s an eco-friendly and enjoyable way to explore the city at your own pace.
Day One – Iconic Landmarks and Cultural Highlights
3.1 Morning: Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro
Begin your weekend in Paris with a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Ascend to the top for breathtaking views of the city or simply admire its architectural beauty from the ground. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll across the Seine to the Trocadéro Gardens, where you can capture stunning photos of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
3.2 Mid-Morning: Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
Next, head to the majestic Arc de Triomphe and climb to its viewing platform for panoramic views of Paris. Then, take a leisurely walk along the famous Champs-Élysées, one of the world’s most renowned shopping streets, where you can find luxury boutiques, charming cafes, and iconic landmarks.
3.3 Afternoon: Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens
No weekend in Paris would be complete without a visit to the Louvre Museum, home to thousands of priceless art pieces, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. After exploring the museum, take a break and enjoy a leisurely walk through the nearby Tuileries Gardens, a beautiful green oasis in the heart of the city.
3.4 Evening: Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur
As the sun begins to set, make your way to the charming neighbourhood of Montmartre, famous for its artistic heritage and bohemian atmosphere. Wander its cobbled streets, browse the local boutiques, and visit the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica for stunning views over Paris. To complete your evening, enjoy a delicious meal in one of Montmartre’s many authentic French bistros.
Day Two – Art, History, and Natural Beauty
4.1 Morning: Musée d’Orsay and Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Start your second day in Paris with a visit to the Musée d’Orsay, an impressive art museum housed in a former railway station. Home to an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, the museum is a must-see for art lovers. Afterwards, explore the picturesque neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with its charming cafes, art galleries, and historic sites.
4.2 Mid-Morning: Notre-Dame Cathedral and Île de la Cité
Next, head to the Île de la Cité to visit the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral. Take in its stunning architecture and, if you’re feeling energetic, climb the towers for incredible views of Paris. While on the Île de la Cité, also explore the nearby Sainte-Chapelle, a Gothic masterpiece known for its breathtaking stained glass windows.
4.3 Afternoon: Le Marais and Centre Pompidou
Spend your afternoon exploring the historic Le Marais district, known for its beautiful architecture, trendy boutiques, and vibrant atmosphere. While in the area, visit the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum with a unique architectural design. The museum boasts an impressive collection of contemporary artwork, as well as temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
4.4 Evening: Seine River Cruise and Dinner
Complete your weekend in Paris with a relaxing cruise along the Seine River. As you glide past the city’s most iconic landmarks, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Paris illuminated at night. To make the evening even more special, indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the many riverside restaurants or onboard the cruise itself.
How much does a weekend trip to Paris cost?
The cost of a weekend trip to Paris from the UK can vary based on factors such as the mode of transportation, accommodation, activities, and personal preferences. Here’s a general estimate of the expenses involved:
The cost of round-trip flights from the UK to Paris can vary depending on the airline, time of booking, and whether it’s a peak travel season. On average, you can expect to pay around £100 to £300 per person for a return flight.
Another popular option is taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris. The fares can vary, but a round-trip ticket typically costs between £100 and £300 per person, depending on the travel class and the booking time. Keep in mind that prices may be higher during peak travel times.
The accommodation cost in Paris will depend on the type of hotel, location, and the time of year you visit. On average, a mid-range hotel in a central location could cost around £100 to £200 per night. You may find cheaper options or deals if you book in advance or opt for budget accommodations like hostels or Airbnb rentals.
Public transportation is an affordable and convenient option in Paris. A single metro ticket costs around €1.90, and a 1-day unlimited travel pass (Navigo Découverte) costs €7.50. Taxis and services like Uber are also available but can be more expensive.
Paris offers a wide range of dining options to suit different budgets. On average, a dinner at a mid-range restaurant can cost between €15 and €30 per person, excluding drinks. You can also find cheaper options by exploring local cafes, bakeries, or markets.
Paris has numerous attractions and activities that may have entrance fees. For example, the Eiffel Tower costs around €25 for adults, while the Louvre Museum charges €15 for general admission. Other attractions and tours may have varying costs, so checking prices and planning accordingly is advisable.
Remember to factor in additional expenses such as travel insurance, souvenirs, and any personal shopping or entertainment you plan to indulge in.
Considering these factors, a rough estimate for a weekend trip to Paris from the UK could range from £400 to £1000 or more per person. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the choices you make. Prices may also fluctuate depending on the time of year and availability. Researching and comparing prices for your specific travel dates and preferences is recommended to get a more accurate estimate.
Extra Tips for British Travellers in Paris
- Be sure to pack an EU-compatible power adapter for charging your devices during your weekend in Paris.
- Consider purchasing a 48-hour Paris City Pass, which includes access to many attractions and public transportation, to save both time and money.
- Most Parisians speak English, but learning a few basic French phrases can make your trip more enjoyable and immersive.
With this comprehensive weekend in Paris itinerary, you’ll be able to explore the best that the City of Lights has to offer, from iconic landmarks and world-class art to delicious French cuisine and picturesque neighbourhoods. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable weekend in the enchanting city of Paris.