HOW TO SEE THE BEST OF PARIS IN 24 HOURS
How To Spend A Perfect Day In Paris
Published: 25 May 2020 by Debbie
Of course, we would all love to spend more time in the City of Lights, but sometimes that's just not possible. Whether this is your first time in Paris, or you have visited this beautiful city many times before, you'll want to make the most of your day here.
In this perfect day itinerary, we'll be hitting the most popular main attractions, exploring some of the more quieter corners of Paris, searching for Instagram-worthy photo spots and tasting some of the best (and budget friendly) food Paris has to offer. So let's get started.
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Start Your Day By Watching The Sun Rise At Trocadéro.
Where else would the perfect day in Paris begin, than watching the sun rise over this beautiful city? Trocadéro is an incredible spot to watch the sunrise and also provides one of the best views of the Eiffel tower, making this our favourite way to start the day.
Location: Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Trocadéro (Lines 6 & 9)
Grab A Delicious (and unique) Croissant From Pierre Hermé.
You simply cannot come to Paris without having a croissant for breakfast. And our top pick is the Ispahan, from Pierre Hermé. Only available at their store on Rue Bonaparte, the Ispahan is a rose and raspberry flavoured croissant and our favourite pastry in all of Paris.
If raspberry and rose doesn't sound like your thing, grab a delicious pain au pistachio, pain au chocolat or a classic croissant from here to satisfy that sweet breakfast craving.
Whilst you're here, we also recommend picking up some (or a lot of) macarons and a delicious dessert for later.
Location: Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris.
Nearest Metro: Saint Suplice (Line 4) & Mabillon (Line 10)
Have A Taste Of Angelina's Famous Hot Chocolate.
Yes, today is probably going to ruin your diet. But with only 1 day in Paris, we'd say it's totally worth it.
Angelina is famous for their L'African hot chocolate and is often described as the best in Paris. It is very thick and rich, making it very different to the sweet, thin drink we're used to in the UK. This is a completely indulgent, must have treat.
If tourists have more time to spend in Paris, most will visit Angelina's popular tea room on Rue Rivoli. But with only 24 hours in Paris, grabbing a cup to go from Rue de Vaugirard is the perfect way to try the famous hot chocolate and at this location, you don't have to wait in a long queue to get it.
Note: Angelina's is hidden away as it's connected to a museum. You'll need to go through security (where there is generally no queue) and Angelina's is immediately on the left.
Location: 19 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France
How To Get Here: Only a 5 minute walk from Pierre Hermé.
Take A Stroll Around The Luxembourg Gardens.
Next door to Angelina's, the Luxembourg gardens offer the perfect, peaceful setting to enjoy your breakfast. Take your time, watch the world go by and enjoy the peace and quiet for a while in one of Paris' most popular gardens.
Location: 15 Rue de Vaugirard, 75291 Paris, France
How To Get Here: Turn left out of Angelina's and the entrance to the gardens is about 10 meters away.
Get Lost Among The Books At Shakespeare & Company.
A book lovers' day in Paris would not be complete without a visit to this world famous bookstore. Take a trip back in time as you explore it's book lined passages and find it's hidden reading nooks. Take the time to write at the antique typewriter or play a song on it's beautiful piano.
Film lovers will also recognise it's yellow and green exterior from films such as Midnight in Paris and Before Sunrise.
Location: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (Line 4)
See The Notre Dame
Opposite Shakespeare & Co and located on the Île de la Cité, stands one of the world's most recognisable religious buildings, the Notre Dame. Before the fire that broke out in April 2019, visitors could go inside and admire it's grandeur up close. But as restorations are still on going to save this national monument, visitors will have to admire it's impressive exterior from a distance.
Location: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
How To Get Here: A short walk from Shakespeare & Co.
Buy Some Souvenirs From Les Bouquinistes de Paris.
As you made your way over from Shakespeare & Co, towards Notre Dame, you may have noticed a row of green, open air stalls. These are know as Les Bouquinistes de Paris (the booksellers of Paris) and they sell all kinds of souvenirs, from second hand books, postcards, pictures and records. We have picked up a number of prints from these stalls depicting some of our favourite spots in Paris and plan on doing so again next time we're there. Make sure to pick up a souvenir or 2 to remember your trip.
How To Get Here: Walk back towards Shakespeare & Co and you should spot them along the banks of the Seine.
Get Lost In The Louvre
The Musée du Louvre is one of the world's largest and most visited museums. It's home to some of the world's most famous works of art including, Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo. Before heading inside, take some time to admire the architecture of this beautiful former palace and take some pictures of it's famous glass pyramids.
Save yourself some time by buying your tickets in advance, especially if you're travelling during summer. Also, make a list of the pieces of art you'd like to see and plan a route to find them all.
Location: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
How To Get Here: About a 15-20 minute walk from Shakespeare & Co.
Nearest Metro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (Lines 1 & 6)
Or Visit The Beautiful Musée d'Orsay
If you have visited the Musée du Louvre before and would like to try something new, we would highly recommend the Musée d'Orsay. Set inside a former railway station, the Musée d'Orsay is home to well known works of art from artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir and Manet. The museum retains some stunning original features of the station, which make for some great photos.
Location: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Solferino (Line 12)
Once you have pulled yourself away from the beautiful art, take the metro up to the charming neighbourhood Montmartre and spend the afternoon exploring the artist's neighbourhood.
Have Some Lunch!
By now you should be ready to grab some lunch. Our favourite place for a quick lunch is Le Grenier à Pain, a bakery selling delicious breads, pastries, sandwiches and sweet treats. This is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike due to it's high quality food and reasonable prices. We recommend everything here!
If you're wanting to take the weight off your feet for a bit and spend a bit longer having lunch, Montmartre is home to popular cafes and restaurants such as Café des Deux Moulins (from the film Amelie), the Instagram-famous La Maison Rose and The Hardware Société.
Location: Le Grenier à Pain, 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Abbesses (Line 12)
Take Some Romantic Pictures at Le Mur des Je T'aime (The "I Love You" Wall)
After lunch, walk over to Le Mur des Je T'aime, a dark blue tiled wall within a small park. The wall has "I Love You" written in hundreds of languages, making it a perfect photo spot for romantics.
Location: Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France
How To Get Here: Behind the entrance to Abbesses Station there is a little gate entering into the park. Here is where you'll find the wall.
Take In The Views From The Sacré-Cœur
Standing proudly at the highest point in Montmartre, is the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The Sacré-Cœur is an impressive building and it's iconic domes and dazzling white facade are visible from across the city. It's crowning position at the highest point in Montmartre provides spectacular views across Paris and is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike. So take a seat on one of the steps and enjoy the view.
Location: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
How To Get Here: Less than a 10 minute walk from Le Mur des Je T'aime.
See The Sinking House Of Montmartre
This optical illusion is easily missed. With a turn of the camera, you can make a house appear as though it's sinking. Whilst sitting on the steps outside of the Sacré-Cœur, if you turn to your left, you'll notice a grass banking. Beyond that is a beautiful, classically Parisian house. If you tilt your camera and take the picture, the house will look as though it's sinking.
Location: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
How To Get Here: You can see this optical illusion on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur.
See The Artists Work At Place du Tertre
Just a stone's throw away from the Sacré-Cœur is the bustling Place du Tertre, a meeting place that's been popular with artists for decades. The square is bordered with pretty little shops, restaurants and art galleries, whilst in the middle of the square, dozens of artists are hard at work. Take some time to walk amongst the artists, stop for a portrait or pick up a couple of pieces to remind you of your trip.
Location: Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France
How To Get Here: Less than a 5 minute walk from the Sacré-Cœur.
Take Some Further Time To Enjoy Montmartre
We've hit some of the main sights in Montmartre, but this neighbourhood has a lot more to offer, so go and explore.
• Take a peek at the secret vineyard. The last vineyard in Paris is closed off to the public. But thanks to it's open wired fencing, visitors can still see the vineyard. A pretty spot if visiting in May, as the flowers in the vineyard are in bloom.
Location: Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris, France
• See the red windmill of the Moulin Rougue. You're so close, why not snap a couple of pictures outside this famous club of it's iconic red windmill.
Location: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
• Walk in the footsteps of famous artists.
See Van Gogh's house (Location: 54 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France), take a stroll around Renoir's garden (Location:12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France) and visit Picasso's studio (Location: 49 Rue Gabrielle, 75018 Paris, France)
• Go in search of famous statues such as Dalida (Location: Place Dalida, 75018 Paris, France) and The Man Who Walks Through Walls (Location: Place Marcel Aymé, 75018 Paris, France)
Before leaving Montmartre, we recommend visiting a boulangerie and fromagerie to buy some bits for picnic.
Take In A View Of Paris
As our day in Paris is coming to a close, now is the perfect time to get up high and take in the view of this beautiful city you've spent the day exploring. Thankfully, Paris has plenty of great viewing "spots" to choose from:
• The Arc de Triomphe. Our favourite view of Paris is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The climb up it's 200+ steps is worth it for the incredible view of the city below. Unlike when you climb the Eiffel Tower, the tower is part of the view and whilst you can see further from Montmartre or Montparnasse, Paris' landmarks can feel so far away. So our suggestion is to enjoy the view in the late afternoon sun from the Arc de Triomphe.
Location: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Charles de Gaulle–Étoile (Lines 1, 2 & 6)
• The Eiffel Tower. A trip up the Eiffel Tower is on most people's bucket lists. So if you have always wanted to go up Paris' most iconic monument, now is your chance to do it.
Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Trocadéro (Lines 6 & 9) or Bir-Hakeim (Line 6)
• Montmartre. Alternatively, you can stay in Montmartre (nobody would blame you) and take in the view from the steps of the Sacre Coeur. There is a great atmosphere on the steps, especially as the sun begins to set.
Location: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Abbesses (Line 12) or Anvers (Line 2)
• Montparnasse Tower. Take the lift (elevator) to the top of Montparnasse Tower for the highest viewpoint in Paris.
Location: 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France
Nearest Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (Lines 4, 6, 12 & 13)
Evening Picnic By The Eiffel Tower
Our absolute favourite way to end a day in Paris is sitting on the grass by the Eiffel tower (Champ de Mars) and watching the sun set behind the tower. There's a great atmosphere here as everyone waits for the tower to light up and is a great time to take out all the goodies you've picked up throughout the day and enjoy the last few moments of daylight.
It's the perfect place to rest your feet and reflect on the day you've had. Once the sun has set and the tower is lit up, the day will have been completely perfect.