a long walk in paris
As a solo traveler Paris was not really on my list but Im glad it crossed my path. I was heading back to Europe for another go and Paris had a great deal. So I went with it and spent a day to walk the city as a layover. And I really didnt do any planning intentionally, just to let the chips fall as they may for the day.
I just knew I wanted a good walk and a Café. So that started with a snug little apartment-like hotel in the Gros-Caillou area near the tower. Hôtel Amélie has tons of personality, affordable and comfortable. Perfect for solos or couples unpretentiously wandering. I chose this area as to begin my early, and very cold, walk around the city. Like many cities, a large oval circle to see as much as you can on foot and back.
The route taken from the hotel heads towards 6th ARR, more specifically I was on my way to the Café de Flore. Along the way you can pass along, or enter, several museums including the beautiful presentation of the Rodin. After your bucket list breakfast there's architecture all around to enjoy as you decide where to cross the Seine. This is a classic crossing area with all the architecture in view along the water. Once you've crossed over this is where you'll really need to decide wander or targets.
In the 3rd & 2nd ARR you'll wander around the neighborhoods, countless museums, landmarks etc.. and enjoy bread & bites all along the way. You'll eventuality need to start heading towards the Arc de Triomphe. So I suggest making your way to Rue de Rivoli and follow along from there. This is all a good days walk so plan a good flow, drink water (maybe some wine), eat bread and wear good shoes. Your leather slip ons of course.
After a classical walk through architecture, parks and the very contemporary touristy last stretch you've made it to the Arc de Triomphe. Your now on your final turn and back across the Seine again as you approach the Eiffel Tower. Another classic crossing area. This is really a great ending to the walk because you find angle after angle of different views of the tower making its presence. The goal is to be arriving into this area around sunset. And believe-you-me its easy to do with all seen.
As the grand finale of a sunset fades one might expect to go refresh for diner out. And I originally set out thinking I would. But after all this I was gratefully satisfied with the days experience. I could only find myself wanting to do one thing. Refresh and take one last stroll through my neighborhood to the market. My evening in Paris ended in my little hotel room, window open hearing the passersby's in French tone, with a charcuterie of bites and a bottle of wine. My day in Paris very, very well spent.
ProTip: As I suggested for Rome also, spend a full day doing your wander and packing in everything you can on foot. This route will give you a solid day experience in Paris without any planning. And if there is any city to just forget about the "best spot" this or that its Paris. Just wander for the day. Then spend a day more targeted.
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