When I lived in Paris, I never used to go to Montmartre, unless someone was visiting and I wanted to show them the Sacré Coeur cathedral. Every time I went up there, I remembered how blessed I was to live in such a stunning city. On the second day of visiting Paris, I would start it at the Sacré Coeur. There are two ways to get there. If you want to keep your legs moving and burn off that delicious pain au chocolat you had for breakfast, then follow me and walk up to the cathedral. Otherwise, there is a funiculaire that can be taken all the way to the top. It accepts metro tickets. At the top, you get one of the nicest views of Paris and I personally love going there around sunset. There is plenty of space to sit on the grass and absorb the site but don’t forget to make time to visit the inside of the cathedral, it’s absolutely breathtaking. From there, walk to the back of the cathedral, towards the Montmartre quarter and enjoy the artist-filled square and Parisian cafés.
With a packed day of sightseeing, I would recommend making a move to the next spot: La Tour Eiffel. Paris wouldn’t be Paris if it weren’t for the Eiffel Tower. I’ve never been to the top of it so I can’t comment on the view from up there but if you have time to queue and want to go up quite a few steps then I’m sure you won’t be disappointed once you’re up there. Otherwise, I know that you can easily grab a drink in a bar on the top floor of Tour Montparnasse and get a great view of the city. Back to the Tour Eiffel, I love the walk from Trocadéro because you get a stunning view of the tower from there and then cross over at Pont Iéna. A leisurely stroll through Champs de Mars all the way to Place des Invalides is always a great to absorb some French history from the time of Louis XIV.
From there, I would cross over to Pont Alexandre III because it’s worth seeing, as it’s one of the most impressive bridges in Paris. Things should look familiar by then since you should find yourself not too far from the Champs Elysées and the Jardin des Tuileries. The centre of Paris isn’t as big as you might think and you’ll quickly realise how quick and easy it is to get from there to most places.
The next stop isn’t actually on that side of town but in order to continue with the French history class, I’d head over to Place de La Bastille, which is the most symbolic square for the French revolution. This is where it all started, on the 14th of July 1789. What’s great about that square is that it’s right next to Le Marais, one of the areas I spent a lot of time in when I lived in Paris. It has great lunch spots, the best falafel sandwiches in town due to the big Jewish community there and lots of lovely boutiques for the fashion lovers. I would go there hungry because it has lots of delicious options, which I would grab and go sit in Place Des Vosges, one of the most expensive squares in Europe (in terms of price per square meter if you’re interested in buying a property). I’m fairly sure Coco Chanel lived there.
After a nice wander around Le Marais, I would finish the day with a gentle walk to the Canal St Martin, to see another side of the Parisian life. It’s mostly known for it’s night life with lots of bars and places to go out for drinks but it is equally as charming during the day, with cute terraces to stop in for drinks too.