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Paris | © Jez Timms/Unsplash
Paris | © Jez Timms/Unsplash
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12 Hours To Discover The Best Of Paris

Picture of Amina Sutter
Updated: 9 February 2017
If you don’t want to waste your precious 12 hours among a sea of tourists in Galleries Lafayette or going to the usual places such as the Eiffel Tower, we’ve gathered a list of alternative ideas of how to spend your day in Paris like a true Parisian!

Getting Into The City And Storing Your Luggage

Paris is a super accessible city, and transportation options are plentiful. If you’re coming in by train, logistics won’t be an issue since all of Paris’ train stations are within the city! However, if you’re starting point is an airport, then there are several choices. If you’re more of an adventurous type and want to dive straight in like a local, the RER train is the best and cheapest option. The RER is the regional rail system linking the suburbs to the Paris Metro, and trains run every 15 minutes. Two other easier, but slightly pricier alternatives, are the AirFrance Buses or the RATP Airport Shuttles.

View of the Sacré Coeur | © Tyler O’Banion

Brunch In Le Marais

Le Marais is located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement and is known to Parisians as the Bobo (bourgeois bohemians) area. It is the perfect neighborhood to wander around and get lost in, with its pretty streets and typical Haussmann architecture. There are also many stylish boutiques in this area, so it is a great place to have a lesson in French fashion style. For brunch, many cute cafés offer delicious options. La Favorite is very popular among stylish people for its hipster décor and a place where you can spot fashion bloggers taking Instagram pictures of their food. Another good option is the Café Pinson, a healthy restaurant where you can enjoy a nice raspberry granola parfait with a delicious almond milk cappuccino.

Brunch in Le Marais, 75003 & 75004 Paris, France

Le Marais, Paris|© Flikr/Pierre Bourru
Le Marais, Paris | © Flikr/Pierre Bourru

Shop in Le Marais

Stroll through one of the city’s most upscale and trendy neighborhoods. Not only is Le Marais full of history, it is nowadays an open-air shopping center that showcases international and local brands, all in the heart of the city. Le Marais is filled with small and intriguing concepts stores. Stock up here for a selection of trendy wardrobe basics or if you’re looking to add that Parisian-chic to your home décor. Our personal favorites are the famous concept store Merci, where you can find a huge array of gorgeous souvenirs to take back home, and the newly opened Première Pression Provence, a provençal épicerie specializing in fine olive oil. With over 12 different options, we highly recommend the award-winning Domaine Les Bastidettes.

Shop in Le Marais, 75003 Paris, France

Inside the concept store Merci, Le Marais |© Flikr/Paris Sharing
Inside the concept store Merci, Le Marais | © Flikr/Paris Sharing
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A Nice Promenade In The Tuileries Garden

After a good meal in Le Marais, it’s time for a long digestive walk in the Jardin des Tuileries. Designed by André Le Notre, the gardener of King Louis XIV, in 1664, the garden is a typical jardin à la française, symmetrical and well kept with plenty of sculptures by Maillol, Rodin, Caïn, and even Giacometti. So, whether you come to the Tuileries to walk around or to sit next to a fountain in one of the recognizable green chairs, this park is the perfect place to relax and feel the timeless mood. Plus, it’s located between the Louvre museum and the Place de Concorde, so you can also check out the famous Pyramid or the Luxor Obelisk if you’d like.

Tuileries Garden, 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

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A Glass Of Wine In Montmartre

Montmartre is like a small village inside the big metropolis of Paris. From the lovely old cafés and bars to the tiny streets, everything in Montmartre makes you feel like you’re in another era. Watching the sunset on the steps of the Sacré Coeur will definitely end your short trip in the best way ever. At the famous Place du Tertre, you’ll find plenty of cute and classic Parisian bars in which to have a glass of wine and relax before leaving this beautiful and surprising city.

Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France