Paris 1 Day Itinerary | Exploring The City of Lights

Paris 1 Day Itinerary. Exploring The City of Love

One of the most stunning cities you will ever visit is without a doubt is Paris, The city of love.

It truly has it all, some of the most stunning architecture, the Seine, delicious food, museums, Catacombs, Disney Land, Arc the Triumph, The Lovre museum… and some sort of weird building that is called the Eiffel Tower? I don’t know, you might have heard of it…

I have been to this amazing city on many occasions and I have loved it every single time. I have spent hours on end writing an encompassing guide for you because there are some things you MUST do when you go.

Get a cappuccino and a French banquette and get comfortable cause this is a long one.

Paris 1 Day Itinerary Exploring The City of Love The Lovre Museum. Paris, FranceCatedral de Notre Dame Paris

PARIS 1 DAY ITINERARY | AMAZING THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Underneath are just a couple of things you can see and do in Paris. Further below you will find a handy 1-day itinerary. I have not added these attractions to my itinerary, as there is simply not enough time. But that doesn’t mean that that are not interesting to check out.

So if you have a bit more time, check out these attractions below.

Firstly is Le Marais, this is the closest you will get to the feel of medieval Paris has more pre-revolutionary buildings and streets left intact than any other area in the city.  A network of historic and narrow streets, filled with individual boutiques, bars, restaurants, and historic buildings, including Place des Vosges, the Picasso museum and many more.

Musee d’Orsay is a beautiful museum, once a railroad station, now houses a staggering collection of Impressionist art, as well as other items created between 1848 and 1914.  Always book your tickets in advance. The lines can take ages if you haven’t pre-purchased tickets. Allow a few hours to see it all. This museum is actually ranked number 1 of 2,225 things to do in Paris on TripAdvisor.

Sainte-Chapelle is known as the finest royal chapel to be built in France and features a truly exceptional collection of stained-glass windows. It was built in the mid 13th century by Louis IX, at the heart of the royal residence, the Palais de la Cité.  It truly is a jewel of the most fabulous stained glass you will ever see. The church consists of two floors. The second floor is a beautiful gothic style church with over 2ft high of beautiful stained glass all over the church. Best to visit in the afternoon when the sun is shining and the whole place is lit up.

Some stunning gardens to check out are the Luxembourg Gardens. These formal gardens, open to only royalty before the French Revolution, now serve as one of Paris’s most popular destinations for relaxation.

Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine. Ile de Cité is the heart of Paris. It is where the city was first founded by the Parisi over 2000 years ago, where the Romans built a settlement and is now home to so many iconic sights.

Allocate a few hours to visit Notre Dame, the Roman ruins in the Crypt of Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, the Flower Market; take a Seine cruise, walk through Place Dauphin, enjoy the cafés and then within minutes, cross to the Left Bank and St. Michel or visit the ornate Hotel de Ville on the ‘Right Bank.’ Just don’t miss it.

In mid-spring, Île de la Cité (and specifically Square Jean XXIII) is an incredible place to see some of the best cherry blossoms in Paris.

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Currently closed due to fire damage) a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and no long line at the entrance door, which is surprising. You can also climb up the tower for a better view. Nice pieces of stained glass, gothic architectural style.

For a fun and interesting night out check out famous Moulin Rouge. This risqué world-famous cabaret, performed in a 19th-century windmill, has been exciting audiences since 1900. For more information or to book a show click here.

The Grande Mosquée de Paris

The Grande Mosquée de Paris is one of the oldest in Western Europe and its architecture is pre-dominantly North of African and Moorish (Spanish Muslims) style. The architecture bears a lot of resemblance with the architectural design of The Alhambra in Granada, revealing a clear Moorsih architectural influence. Whereas, the patterns created using colourful tiles shows a North African influence.

PARIS 1 DAY ITINERARY | HOW TO SPEND 24 HOURS IN PARIS

You’ll be surprised how much of Paris you can see in just 24 hours. So arm yourself with comfortable shoes, a good map, and a good plan. Here is an example of a 1 day Paris Itinerary that you could use if you only have 24 hours in the city.

1 | EIFFEL TOWER

If you are in Paris you have to go, don’t you? It’s classic Paris and the morning is the best time to go for great views without as much of a crowd.

It can get brutally busy, especially on weekends. But it is a great view of the city and it is certainly one of the preeminent landmarks in the world.

Paris 1 day itinerary. The Eiffel Tower is a must-see

TICKET PRICES

Underneath the ticket prices. Please check before you go if they are still current.  Also, check for opening times and whether they are on or not.

Adult Rate Youth Rate
(aged 12-24)
Child Rate
(aged 4-11)
/ Disabled(1)
Child under 4 Rate(2)
(under 4)
/ RSA(3)
Ticket with access lift
Second floor
€ 16,60 € 8,30 € 4,10 Free
Ticket with access lift
The top
€ 25,90 € 13,00 € 6,50 Free
Ticket with access stairs
Second floor
€ 10,40 € 5,20 € 2,60 Free
Ticket with access stairs 2nd-floor +lift  The top € 19,70 € 9,80 € 5,00 Free

From the Trocadéro is one of the best places for seeing the Iron Lady, or you can get up close and personal with her as well. I also suggest grabbing a bottle of wine and some French pastry nearby. There will be people selling them for very reasonable pricing. You can walk here or take the subway (I recommend public transportation as we’ll be walking a lot). Once there, you can pay to go up to the tower for a spectacular view.

BEST INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS FOR THE EIFFEL TOWER

For a great picture opportunity, walk from Trocadero (metro line 9) towards the tower and you’ll be greeted with a stunning water mirror shot of the Eiffel Tower.

One of the best places to snap photos of the Eiffel Tower is Passerelle Debilly, a small passenger footbridge that was first opened for the World’s fair in 1900. Ever since then, it’s accommodated millions of pedestrians, all eager to get a better view over the Eiffel Tower and Seine river.

2 | THE LOUVRE

When you think of the Louvre, your first thoughts are probably of elbowing your way through selfie sticks to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. Honestly, she isn’t that impressive! I was super disappointed when I say the painting for the first time.

The Louvre in Paris. A stuuning must-see museum

However, the Louvre museum offers so much more than a smiling muse. Home to medieval ruins and plenty of priceless artifacts from around the world, the Louvre also happens to be the largest museum in the world. Highlights of the Louvre that aren’t the Mona Lisa include the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the rather sumptuous Napoleon III Apartments.

3 | ARC DE TRIOMPHE 

The Arc was begun in 1806, on the orders of Napoleon I to honour the victories of his Grande Armée. Inspired by the great arches of antiquity, the monument combines the commemorative with the symbolic and it has always played a major role in the National Republican Consciousness. Beautiful architecture, and worth seeing and hearing its history.

arc de triomphe in Paris

The Arc de Triomphe stands alongside the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as a must-visit location in Paris. You can admire it from the outside for free, but my suggestion would be to pay the entry fee and to check out to the top. From there you get to see some imposing views of the city.

You can purchase tickets at the arc, although there is a possibility that you may have to queue. I advise you to buy the tickets online, as with this you can skip the line. And when a small discount for pre-paying your ticket as an additional bonus.

4 | THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network.

Lastly, really try to get the skip the line tickets. This turns a 3-4 hours wait into a 5-minute queue. There aren’t a lot of tickets so book well ahead. The audio guide is pretty good (and you won’t get much out of the visit without it) but it’s not always easy to know where each part of the guide starts (the signs are not always easy to see).

If you (like me) find cemeteries interesting, then here are some more interesting options:

  • Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) – This famous cemetery is the burial site of numerous French luminaries – authors, writers, musicians and more.
  • Montmartre Cemetery – This cemetery is the final resting place of Émile Zola, Edgar Degas, Alexandre Dumas as well as other artistic luminaries.
  • Pictus Cemetery – Behind 2 large portal doors on a narrow, nondescript street lies the only private cemetery in Paris. The sign at 35, rue de Picpus, says: Here, in two mass graves, are buried the bodies of more than 1300 people guillotined on the Place du Trône from June 13 to July 28, 1794.

5 | BASILIQUE DU SACRE-COUER DE MONTMARTRE 

Montmartre is a 30-minute metro ride away from the centre of Paris. The suburb is primarily known for its artistic history and a white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit. With its cobbled streets, artists, bistros and amazing restaurant, Montmartre is simply full of Parisian charm.

The Sacré-Cœur basilica is free to explore and most of the times does not have a queue to entre. It was built at the end of the 19th century in the Romano-Byzantine style. It is home to the largest mosaic in France, measuring no less than 480 m²!

BASILIQUE DU SACRE-COUER DE MONTMARTRE 

The dome of the basilica is unfortunately not free, it will cost you € 6,00 to enter. But the lines are in general not too bust and the 300 steps to the top of the dome are most certainly worth your troubles. It offers an unobstructed view over Paris! Simply stunning.

Wander around Montmartre and check out the beautiful art market at Place du Terte.

WHERE TO SHOP? 

Ahhh shopping in Paris, how can you not? Home to the worlds biggest Sephora store – say what now? I know amazing! But the city is best known for its fashion. I haven’t’ added it to the 1-day itinerary, as most people will want to skip shopping if they only have 24 hours in Paris. I, however, thought it was handy toads for my fashionista’s anyway, just so you know where to go.

Underneath are some of the best shopping areas:

  • Le triangle d’or (The Golden Triangle)  –  Probably Paris is the most famous and most beautiful avenue, the Champs Elysee. Together with the Avenue Montaigne and the Avene George V, it forms the golden triangle. It home to lots of glamorous and post shops like Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Calvin Klein.
  • Montmartre – Home to many fashion boutiques have settled in Montmartre, especially near Abbesses where you will find brands such as Kookai or Sandro, or around the Goutte d’Or.
  • Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann – Every designer label you can think of and a few more besides all under one amazing roof. Well worth a visit for the building alone and go all the way to the very top for a roof terrace and views across Paris
  • Passage des Panoramas – The precursor to Parisian shopping malls, the Passage des Panoramas is Paris’ first covered walkway. With its mix of artisan shops and old-school eateries, it’s a great spot to soak in French culture.
  • Passage Jouffroy – One of the most popular shopping arcades in Paris, Passage Jouffroy features unique shops specializing in paper and antique books.
  • Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves – The only flea market in the centre of Paris. Nearly 400 merchants display wares that vary from 18th-century furniture to vintage jewellery and cameras.

LOCAL TREATS YOU SHOULD TRY

Paris 1 day itinerary. What to eat when in Paris

FOOD

The French love their food. So underneath are some popular French dishes that you could try. 

  • Escargots – Escargot is a general term referring to cooked, edible snails and the various preparations of these shelled creatures. Escargot is often served with a butter and garlic sauce, yet other sauces, typically ones with alcohol bases including wine or brandy, are also commonly used.
  • Pot-au-Feu – Pot-au-feu is a French beef stew. According to chef Raymond Blanc, pot-au-feu is “the quintessence of French family cuisine, it is the most celebrated dish in France. It honours the tables of the rich and poor alike
  • Les Moules-Frites – A meal you’ll also see plastered on the menus of brasseries everywhere but particularly in the north and north-west of the country.
  • Le bœuf bourguignon  –  Also called beef Burgundy, and bœuf à la Bourguignonne, is a beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef broth, generally flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon. This is one of the most classic French dishes and usually ranks as France’s favourite food.
  • La raclette Raclette is melted cheese, often scraped off the side of the cheese wheel. More modern variants see meat and cheese grilled on an electric hot plate. Although the Swiss will claim Raclet is from their side of the Alps, there’s no doubt it’s popular in France.

SHOPS AND FARMERS MARKETS

La Maison du Chocolat – This is the place for chocoholics, where you buy chocolate by the weight and really savour the taste and take your time eating it, this is not Cadbury’s, this chocolate is special, so enjoy. Also, the original chocolate shop of Robert Linxe, whose popular chocolate stores have spread throughout the United States.

Marche Belleville-Menilmontant (Farmer’s market) – Shop with the Locals and experience the rich diversity of Paris

Marche d’Aligre – Foodies flock to Marché d’Aligre, a lively and authentic outdoor Parisian market housed in the city’s authentic-feeling 12th arrondissement, or district, and located near the Bastille. Here you’ll find everything from fresh cheeses, spices and flowers to vintage apparel.

des gâteaux et du pain – according to Time Out they have the best croissants in the city and score a 20 out of 20. You can’t leave France without at least eating a glistering, flakey croissant.

RESTAURANTS

Petit Boutary – Excellent contemporary cuisine with seasonal ingredients. Dishes are perfectly executed and express the chef’s creativity.
Cuisines: French, Pub, Gastropub
Price: $$$$

Hebe – Amazing Mediterranean food at a reasonable price.
Cuisines: French, Mediterranean
Price: $$ – $$$

Le Cinq – A gourmet restaurant in Paris, France, part of the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Le Cinq opened in 2001 to much fanfare and rapidly achieved 1, 2, then 3 Michelin Red Guide stars under the direction of chef Philippe Legendre before being demoted to 2 stars.
Cuisines: French, European, Vegetarian-Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten-Free Options
Price: $$$$

Kei – It’s one of those places that serve good food in small portions at a very high price.
Cuisines: French, Vegetarian-Friendly, Gluten-Free Options
Price: $$$$

This is the end of my Paris 1 day itinerary. Of course, there is much more to see and do, but these are in my opinion the things you should check out.

IS 1 DAYS IN PARIS ENOUGH?

There is lots to see and do in this incredible city. I would say that the minimum time you should spend in the city is 2 days. 1 day is definitely not enough to see even the basics. And if you have never been to Paris, then I suggest adding a couple more days.

Of course, it depends on what you would like to see, but if you are just flying into Paris to check out the city, I would say 2-3 days is the minimum of days that you require.

BASIC INFORMATION PARIS | PARIS 1 DAY ITINERARY

Paris 1 day Travel Itinerary. Everything you want to see and do

LANGUAGE French
TIME ZONE GMT/UTC +1
ELECTRICITY Type C two-prong plug. Electrical outlets in France usually deliver power at 220-240 volts.
CURRENCY Euro (€).
TIPPING Think of it as a gesture, not an obligation. Once again, it’s not necessary but is appreciated for good service. There are no rules about tipping in France. In nicer restaurants, such as 3-start tables, where the service is exemplary, a tip of €20 is fine to leave.
NICKNAME  The City of Lights

MONEY

The Paris (France) uses the Euro (€) as it is part of the EU. In pretty much all places will accept credit card. Some art stalls at the markets do not though, so I do advise to carry some Euro’s with you just in case. There might also be a couple of smaller stores that do not have an EFTPOS machine.

As stated above, tipping is not expected, though it’s customary to round up your restaurant bill to the nearest euro. At more expensive restaurants, it’s normal to leave a 5-10% tip.

LANGUAGE

French is the official language of in France. The French are notorious for refusing to speak any other language than their own. So underneath you can find some handy French phrases as well as some handy travel phrases that might come in handy during your time in the country.

FRENCH PHRASES & USEFUL TRAVEL PHRASES

English  French  
Hello / Good morning Bonjour
Good afternoon Bonne après-midi
Good evening Bonsoir
Thank you Merci
Please S’il vous plaît
Thank you very much Merci beaucoup
Yes Oui
No Non
Excuse me Excusez-moi
My name is… Je m’appelle…
Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais?

BEST TIME TO VISIT PARIS?

The best time to visit Paris is from April to June and October to early November when the weather is mild and enjoyable and the tourist crowds are smaller in the summer.

The cheapest time to visit Paris is early December, January, and February.  June is my favourite month to travel to Paris, as you pretty much have guaranteed nice weather. Do keep in mind that June is peak season in Europe, so it will be pretty busy and expensive.

BEST WAY OF GETTING AROUND IN PARIS?

I highly recommend taking the Paris Metro. This is easier (and less expensive and traffic-y) than a cab. The city is LARGE so walking, while okay in some parts, is just not as feasible if you want to see it all. There are 16 lines and it’s easy once you get the hang of it, promise.

The metro runs from 5 am to 12:30 am and for the price of a ticket you can ride around all day long if you like. (as long as you don’t leave the system). Tickets can be bought at the ticket booth in the station one at a time, by ten or by 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 5-day, Le Paris Viste tickets for tourists. There are also weekly and monthly tickets called the Carte Orange. It’s a travel pass good for unlimited travel on the Paris metro and bus network.

WHERE TO GO AFTER YOUR 1 DAY TRIP TO PARIS? 

Europe is such an amazing place to travel from and to. So many incredible cities in close proximity. Underneath are just a couple of amazing cities that you can check out after Paris:

  • Amsterdam | The capital city of the Netherlands and home to beautiful historic buildings, cool canals and so much more.
  • Rotterdam | Rotterdam located 1 hour away from Amsterdam. Home to incredible architecture, amazing food and harming neighbourhoods, you’ll want at least 1 day in Rotterdam.
  • Brussels, Belgium  | Although it’s possible to do a day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels, you’ll want at least 48 hours in Brussels to see the highlights. This city is ridiculously stunning and a must-see in my opinion.
  • London, UK |  Spend 4 days in London exploring this stunning and imposing city.

If you have any questions about this Paris 1 day itinerary, let me know in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. May 6, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    This is seriously such a useful guide and these photos are stunning! Paris will always be one of my favorites, I can’t wait to make it back someday 😁

    • bonditobasic
      Author
      May 6, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you so much Jen! I am glad you like my guide 🙂 Hope to go back someday as well! Such a pretty city xx

  2. May 6, 2020 / 4:36 pm

    Ah I miss Paris! I’ve only ever been in winter and I’d love to go when it’s warmer! Never made it to the catacombs so I’ll add that to my list for next time. Stunning photos!

    • bonditobasic
      Author
      May 6, 2020 / 4:44 pm

      I miss it as well! Such a beautiful city! I can’t wait to make it back someday 🙂 xx

  3. May 6, 2020 / 6:56 pm

    This is such a beautiful post, you have really confirmed my dreams to visit Paris! I just wanted to let you know that I found you through pinterest and had a look through your site and read your about me page. I feel like we are very similar, I to have moved to Sydney (but from NZ), I’m also hoping to build my blog to gain some passive income and have more freedom in life! I am still a newbie blogger – I put all my focus into it and my pinterest while being at home during these times. I’m excited to follow your journey as your blog & pinterest is so inspiring 🙂 Thanks Sarah xx

    • bonditobasic
      Author
      May 7, 2020 / 9:19 am

      Thank you so much Sarah! A comment like this means the world to me!
      I will check out your blog in the next couple of days as well (sorry busy at work atm) and make sure to leave you a comment as well. Good luck with your blogging journey! Pinterest and SEO are the way to go! xx Manon

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