paris air view

Four hours in Paris: tips for time-starved travellers ??

The trip is almost over but you still have four hours left in Paris before heading home. Maybe you’re waiting for a connecting flight or train, or you’re there on a business meeting and want to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing. With so much to do in the city, how can you get the most out of that precious time?

The French capital has so much to offer, but here are just a few suggestions for travellers on a tight schedule who want to do more than potter around the airport or their hotel waiting for the next part of their trip.

First, eat

We put a shoutout on our Facebook page to see what our followers would do with four hours in Paris, and the answer was clear: take advantage of the French cuisine.

See it all from one place

If you’re in Paris on business you may well find yourself in Paris’s La Défense business district (if you’re not there on business check it out anyway!). Sortiraparis.com recommends a visit to La Grande Arche de la Défense for an unobstructed view over the city. It says: “110 meters above the ground, La Défense Grande Arche rooftop features a unique and breathtaking show for those daring the climb.” If you make it to the top, there is a 360° panoramic view over Paris, a promenade deck, a hanging garden, an exhibition area and a bistronomic (aka casual fine dining) restaurant.

Take a stroll

Avoid the claustrophobic airport or train station and enjoy some fresh air. Bruno Calzaverini, manager at ShuttleDirect, says: “I recommend just putting on your most comfortable shoes and strolling along the magnificent Haussmann boulevards of the 9th, through the parks and green spaces like Parc Monceau, Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg, and around the charming, cobbled streets of Montmartre – stopping for regular coffees along the way, of course.”

Another park and some snaps

You may also want to head to the Gardens of Albert Kahn, which comes recommended by Ten Lifestyle Group, a lifestyle and travel platform. It suggests: “You can take time to enjoy wandering through the wonderfully cared for gardens and then enjoy the museum. The photography collection is an incredible collection of early colour photographs that Albert Kahn commissioned, sending photographers out throughout the world to capture unique and interesting pictures. It is just south of Parc de Bagatelle, another great place for a stroll.”

Europe’s largest coworking café

All is not lost if you’re in travel limbo because of a business trip and you must spend those last few hours firing off some emails. If you are in the La Défense business district, you can at least mix with locals while you work. To do so, head to Anticafé La Défense. Billed as Europe’s largest coworking café, for €5 per hour you’ll get unlimited drinks and snacks, high speed Wi-Fi and more.

A little-known gem

The Mineralogy Museum is one of Paris’s best kept secrets, according to Eurostar. The Eurostar Twitter feed is a good resource if you want to know about upcoming events and lesser known attractions in Paris.

Indulge in art

There are masses of ways art-lovers could spend that precious four-hour window. Ten Lifestyle Group recommends a visit to the Marais. It says this hip part of the city is “packed with modish hotels, vintage boutiques, restaurants and bars. But it’s also prime territory for art lovers, with a vast concentration of art galleries (both small and important) and museums, more often than not set in aristocratic 18th-century mansions. And for a coffee and to do what Parisians do best, people watch, a great cafe is L’Ebouillanté.”

So much more

We’ve just scratched the surface with these tips. If you have your own suggestions on things to do in Paris with just a few hours to spare, we’d love to hear from you.

 

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Mariette Ferreira

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette heads up marketing at FairFX. She loves travelling, scuba diving and South Africa, but she's yet to combine all three in one.

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