On a recent trip, a friend and I had a connection through Paris. We only planned to spend a couple of hours in the Paris airport before flying back to the states. Our travels back home had kept us up the previous night, and we chose comfort over style for our travel attire as we would be in the air for several hours. As soon as we landed in Paris, we regretted this choice as sweatshirts and leggings were not up to French fashion. However, we spent the next couple of hours going through the French shops and getting true macaroons. Our fashion wouldn't matter, and we would be on our way.
Surprise, after two hours in the air, our plane would have to turn around, and we would find ourselves back in Paris without our luggage for the next 12ish hours. Honestly, all we could do was laugh. The airline found us a hotel, and after a few beers and pizza, we finally got some sleep.
As we enjoyed the hotel's breakfast of baguettes and croissants the following day, we decided to book an Uber to downtown Paris and explore. So here is what you can do with 6 hours and no luggage in Paris. And by the way, it does get cold there. It was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but sunny blue skies.
Eiffel Tower. We choose the most famous landmark as our starting point for Uber to drop us off. There was no planning after this, just exploring. We didn't have time to book tickets to go into the tower but just walking around it to grasp its size was breathtaking.
Cappuccinos and Crepes. After exploring the grounds of the Eiffel Tower, we stopped in a quintessential local café next door, Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel, to warm up. We were given a cute window seat where we could watch Paris go by and enjoy delicious cappuccinos and chocolate crepes.
Walked. Why Uber when you can soak in the beauty of the city. There were bridges, statues, fountains, and history everywhere. It was worth the cold.
Louvre Museum. Our walk took us to the famous pyramid and glass entry of the Louvre. Going exploring inside sounded incredible to get out of the cold, but you had to book your time in advance, and there were no tickets left at that time.
Notre-Dame. Since exploring the Louvre wasn't an option, we continued walking along the Seine to the famous cathedral known as the heart of Paris.
Parisian Café. After all this exploring, we had about an hour left before we needed to be back at the airport. We started walking again and found a corner café to warm up and get some lunch. Le Sarah Bernhardt was gem of a café and brasserie to discover. The décor was very Parisian with local patrons, and the waiter was very charming and thankfully spoke English. I had to order the French onion soup and quiche, which came with the most buttery, delicious potatoes. It was the perfect way to end our Paris 6-hour adventure.
The next time you get stuck or have a long layover, explore. Get out of the airport or hotel. We were fortunate to be stranded in one of the most beautiful cities globally, but anywhere can be an adventure if you make it one. Happy Exploring!