This is probably the shortest amount of time I spent somewhere and then wanted to write a blog post about it. But we are talking about Paris after all, and I took way too many photos during those 3 hours. So after a short road trip with Grégory in the North of France, I spent the night alone in Arras. I wanted to take the very first train to the French capital the following morning.

beautiful street in paris france
beautiful door and chic café in paris

I had a train reservation for Angers, the beginning of another work trip with Vanessa. And I made sure to have a short layover between those two trains. Because who would skip out on such an opportunity? Wandering through the enchanting streets of Paris. Marveling at the dazzling architecture.

It seemed like the right thing to do because the trains were at different train stations. Starting from Paris Nord, I sauntered down to Montparnasse train station. I could have easily taken the metro but it was a sunny day and I was so curious about Paris. This meant dragging my suitcase with me but I didn’t mind one bit.

chic café in paris

As the biggest fan of the movie Before Sunset, stopping by the Shakespeare and Company bookstore was inevitable. Even though it meant it would be closed because it opens at 10 AM. I had to see it in person after seeing it in that film 13 times. Yes, that’s how many times I’ve rewatched it! So I sat down opposite the bookstore and had breakfast. I eat croissants all the time in Belgium so it was only fitting to do the same in Paris too. As if that wasn’t enough of a perfect breakfast, a corgi walked right past me at that moment! My favorite dog breed that I see so rarely in Belgium and there he was. In front of the most iconic bookstore in all of Paris!

shakespeare and company bookstore in paris

I quickly worked out an itinerary that mostly consisted of pretty buildings I had pinned on Google Maps years ago. Luckily for me, that included some stunning Art Nouveau gems. But also, a lot of pretty doors and typical Parisian architecture. The quintessential Haussmann architecture that Paris is famous for. An absolute feast for my eyes. Paris is so popular that it’s become a cliché but I still found it beautiful. And I couldn’t stop wondering about how much more there was to see.

art nouveau building in paris
spring flowers in beautiful paris

Seeing as I was walking from Paris Nord to Montparnasse, this meant I only saw a small part of Paris. I didn’t even see a glimpse of the Eiffel tower on the other side of the city. However, I did walk past the Louvre and its endless lines of people. If you’re thinking of ever doing a short layover in Paris, you should know that it’s doable. Maybe crazy and exhausting, but definitely possible. You just need to focus on what you really want to see during those few hours!

belle epoque facade in paris

The night before this busy morning, I only had about four hours of sleep. And I chose to spend the following morning walking through the pretty streets of Paris for 3 hours straight. If I could go back, I would do it all over again! In total, I strolled through four different arrondissements. Not too bad considering the alternative was the metro and waiting at a train station. I know a proper visit to Paris is in order after this chaotic whirlwind walk. See you next time, city of lights!

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