On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best things to see and best things to do in Paris, Day 2.
We woke up early and had breakfast at my friend’s. Just after breakfast we left to explore another day.
Our first visit of the day was to the Carnavalet Museum, located in the Marais district of Paris.
This museum is dedicated to the history of Paris and exposing items dating from the prehistory to the present. It includes paintings, sculptures, shop signs, drawings, historical objects, photos, furniture and much more to illustrate the unique story of Paris. All is displayed in wide galleries with information next to each item. We started in the underground area looking at the collections from the Mesolithic Era to mid-16th century. We moved on to the other levels retracing the history to the present date on the top floor. We spent at least three hours in the museum, and we learned a lot about Paris from it. We enjoyed the visit very much and recommend it to anyone interested in history in general.
After the visit it was lunch time and we decided to have lunch at the museum restaurant — “Fabula” — at the courtyard. It is an inviting place with tables, parasols and sofas scattered around the courtyard. The kitchen commanded by the famous chef from “Top Chef,” Thibaut Spiwack, received a green star from Michelin Guide. At lunch time it was an informal atmosphere and there were plenty of light dishes and sandwiches on the menu that were more adequate for that time of day (and weather). We sat at a table outside and ordered our food inside. They gave us a buzzer to let us know when our order was ready for collection. I ordered a courgette quiche and my husband a courgette salad. Both dishes were delicious and plenty enough to fill us up until dinner time as we don’t like to eat a lot during the day.
After lunch we walked around Le Marais and entered the “Marché des Enfants Rouges”. This market is full of little restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. It was packed with people and if we hadn’t had our lunch at the museum restaurant, we would probably have chosen somewhere to eat in this market, as it looked very good.
We continued our walks in the Marais District and headed in the direction of Place des Voges, where the House of Victor Hugo, author of “Les Miserables”, is located. Entrance to the house is free and it opens from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10 am and 6 pm.
Place des Voges is one of the oldest in Paris and one of the most beautiful ones too. It is surrounded with mansions of the 17th and 18th centuries in red brick façades and shop-filled arcades. Located on this square is the five-star hotel “Le Pavillion de la Reine”, as well as gourmet restaurants such as “La Place Royale” and “Carette”. Chic shops and art galleries also mark presence on these arcades.
The house of Victor Hugo was recreated as it was during his life-time with the help of preserved documents and testimonials collected from visitors at the time. They did a good job of decorating and furnishing the house and it looks incredibly authentic. One of the rooms I liked most was the Chinese room. I also liked the dining room with its gothic style furniture. The whole house is beautiful and worth visiting.
We walked Le Marais independently, because we were not in a hurry. If you are restricted with time, I advise you to book a guided walking tour such as this one HERE. I’m a fan of guided tours, we get lots of information that not necessarily we will get if we do it alone. Also, you don’t waste time getting lost and will be guided to the right places in a certain time, which suits well when you don’t have much time to spare. Or you can book this Le Marais Food Tour that will include gourmet specialities and introduce you to the French culture and cuisine.
Following the visit to Victor Hugo’s house, we took the tube to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a famous road full of shops, restaurants, and cafés to the south of the river. We walked all the way to the end of Boulevard Saint-Germain until it met Rue de L’Université. We followed Rue de l’université to the end, where you can get beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower for photos. It was a long walk, but we enjoyed it and, in the end, seeing all those views, paid off.
An option would be to take this tour HERE that will take you around the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood with the guide showing you historic sites as well as the best-kept secrets of the area.
Continuing, we followed the river until we got to the bridge Pont de L’Alma, where there is the tunnel where Princess Diana died in the fatal car accident in 1997. There is a little square in there with a memorial to the Princess and the square is now named Place Diana. It was a warm afternoon and from the bridge we could see the Bateau Mouches cruising the river and the Eiffel Tower in the background. There is no better French view in Paris than this one, for sure. For an upmarket tour in a Bateau Mouche follow this link for a Paris Seine River Lunch and for a special dinner date at night try this Seine River Cruise with dinner and live music.
Carrying on, we followed Avenue George V and joined Avenue Des Champs-Élysées reaching the Arc de Thriomphe. It is possible to go up the top of Arc de Thriomphe for beautiful views of Paris, but as we have already been there in a previous trip, we skipped going up this time. After admiring the grandiosity of the Arc and taking some photos we decided to take the tube back to Châtillon. We were really tired; we walked a lot on that day and I could not feel my legs anymore!
After a bit of a rest at my friend’s house, we went for dinner in a nearby Italian restaurant for some comforting pasta dishes to recover our energy.
We slept soundly and woke up refreshed next day to continue with our last day of this incredible trip to France.
Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in Paris, Day 2. I classified each place as follows:
BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended
NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews
*** – Excellent
** – Good
* – OK
£££ – Expensive
££ – Fair and affordable
£ – Cheap
WHAT TO SEE IN PARIS – DAY 2
1 – Carnavalet Museum – ***
2 – Les Maris – ***
3 – Marché des Enfants Rouges – ***
4 – Place des Voges – ***
5 – House of Victor Hugo – ***
6 – Saint-Germain-des-Prés – ***
7 – Boulevard Saint-Germain – ***
8 – Rue de L’Université – ***
9 – Pont de L’Alma – ***
10 – Bateau Mouches
11 – Avenue Des Champs-Elysées – ***
12 – Arc de Thriomphe – ***
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS DAY 2
1 – Splendid Etoile – Paris – 4* – ££
2 – Apart Hotel Louvre Centre de Paris – 4* – ££
3 – Alberte Hôtel – Paris – 4* – ££
4 – Hôtel De L’Arcade – Paris – 3* – ££
WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS DAY 2
1 – Fabula – Carnavalet Museum – *** – ££
2 – Choose a restaurant at the “Marché aux Enfants Rouge” – ££
3 – Sphere – Paris – £££
4 – Passionné – Paris – £££
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