Are you all rested after your first 24 hours in the French capital? Yesterday’s itinerary took us through the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain and across the Seine to either the Louvre or to the Île de la Cité before wrapping up with a night in Montmartre.
Well, that’s exactly where we’re going to begin our second (and last) day in Paris.
Parisians aren’t breakfasters, by nature. But who can argue the idea of a buttery croissant served alongside a big cup of coffee? But at Coquelicot on the rue des Abbesses, you’ll be able to have a delicious petit dejeuner that includes eggs, omelets, brioche, bacon, fruits and oversize cups of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Don’t worry about your waistline, because you’ll be walking it off soon enough. And take your time. Linger. That’s what Paris is all about.
Once you’re ready to move on, head down to the Pigalle métro (you can see the famed Moulin Rouge from there). Take the #2 line to Père Lachaise, and head into the cemetery of the same name. It’s the largest one in the city of Paris, spreading out over nearly 119 acres. If you’re put off by the idea of strolling through cemetery, don’t be. Père Lachaise is a beautiful place, a sprawling park that just happens to be filled with stunning crypts, graves and mausoleums. As you stroll through winding cobbled pathways, you’ll be struck by the artistry of the crypts, with stained glass windows and elaborate etchings in their painted wooden or steel doors. Of course, many visitors come to find the graves of the famous people interred here, including Honoré de Balzac, Sarah Bernhardt, Bizet, Maria Callas, Chopin, Max Ernst, Marcel Marceau, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Proust, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, and, perhaps most sought-after of all, Jim Morrison. You can buy a map of the cemetery from a vendor on the street, or visit the website before you go.
By now, you’re probably ready for lunch, so head back to the Pere Lachaise metro and take the #3 train to République, where you’ll transfer to the #8 train to École Militaire. Stroll over to the rue Cler, one of Paris’ wonderful market streets, where you can eat at the Café du Marché or Tribeca. Afterwards, stroll down the rue de Grenelle, where you’ll cross in front of the Hôtel des Invalides (where Napoleon is buried). If you look to the north, you’ll also see the beautiful Pont Alexandre III to the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.
At the Boulevard des Invalides, turn right and continue to the rue de Varenne, where you’ll find the Musée Rodin. This incredible museum is one of the most beautiful in Paris, with extraordinary architectural features, paintings and sculptures. The artist’s most famous sculpture, The Thinker, sits in the bucolic garden. Before you leave, sip a glass of wine in the museum’s café.
After a little nap back at the hotel or apartment, you’re ready for your last night in Paris. It begins with dinner at Pomze, a restaurant on the Boulevard Haussmann in the 8th arrondissement with a menu that centers around apples. Yes, apples. You’ll find dishes like Beef filet with a Normandy pommeau sauce, and monkfish medallions served with quinoa and apples, followed by apple-stuffed crêpes or apple and chocolate fondant.
Then it’s time to conclude your stay with a night at the Crazy Horse. This famed French cabaret celebrates women and art with a show that is exquisitely choreographed, designed and scored. Yes, there is nudity, but there is nothing obscene about the artistry displayed here.
Now that you’ve had two days in Paris, you should have a sense of the city beyond the tourist sights. You’ve experienced life on both sides of the Seine (the Rive Gauche and the Rive Droit), dined at restaurants known largely by the locals, and followed in the footsteps of some of the city’s most famous residents.
All the same, next time, make sure you take more time to visit Paris.