How To Experience Paris In One Day
Paris is a beautiful place, with such a romantic and magical atmosphere. I would recommend everyone to visit at least once in their life.
We have been to Paris twice now. We visited back in 2017 for two nights. We had one full day to experience Paris, but we didn’t plan very well and came away feeling like we hadn’t truly experienced Paris. So we decided to visit again this year. This time we planned everything out a lot more, and studied the map to plan out what places were near to each other. This time we came away feeling satisfied that we had seen everything. We took a selfie with the Mona Lisa, hired electric scooters to ride around the Eiffel Towel, sprinted across the hectic road surrounding the Arc De Triomphe avoiding becoming road kill then later realising there was an underground passage to pass under the road, ate a crépe on a boat ride along the River Sein, ate escargots whilst wearing a beret, and had breakfast next to the Eiffel Tower. It was an amazing time. It got me thinking how if we had planned like this the first year we came, we would have seen so much more. We finally got into the discussion that it would definitely be possible to see everything you needed to see in one day.
I’ve written up a brief itinerary on the ideas we came up with for anyone interested in visiting Paris.
HOW TO SEE PARIS IN ONE DAY
Go get breakfast. The best thing to do is find a cart that is selling crêpes/baguettes etc. You can find these all over the place in Paris, especially near the Eiffel Tower, and I would definitely recommend staying in a hotel close to the Eiffel Tower. A lot of the food carts sell crêpes where you can have chicken, cheese and egg, or ham and cheese. Which are quite nice for breakfast! If that’s not to your taste they sell plenty of other items which would be breakfast appropriate, a croissant and a coffee maybe? Once you’ve picked up your breakfast, go and find somewhere to sit along the front of the Eiffel Tower. There’s so many benches and walls for you to sit on, or if the weather is nice you could even sit on the grass.
This was so much nicer than sitting down at a restaurant and having breakfast because they charge so much for breakfast, especially with the view of the Eiffel Towel, plus the view is nowhere near as good. It’s so much cheaper this way! You can get breakfast for under 10€. Of course – if you’d prefer to eat in a café then do that. However it can be quite pricey in Paris and breakfast seems more expensive than the dinner time menus! And it would also take up more of your time.
Next, make your way down to the river and purchase a hop on hop off boat ticket for the day. The ticket should only cost around 15€. Now, me and my fiancé walk everywhere when we go away, we love walking around and exploring so we barely use public transport. However we did go on one of the boat rides, just to say we had done it and just see the views of the River Sein. These hop on hop off boat rides are so convenient and take you to all the important destinations and sights quickly. You also get to see the stunning views of Paris, including the Pont Alexandre III. Your first hop off destination will be the Louvre museum. (You could also purchase a hop on hop off bus ticket, however I enjoyed the boat ride)
The Louvre –
The Louvre museum is huge! You could spend a whole day in there and still not see everything. So it’s important to do your research beforehand. Research what you would like to see, make sure you look at a map, as it can get very confusing and you can get lost! We got to the Louvre at 9am and by 1pm we were finished and had seen everything we wanted to see. We’re not too fussed on listening to audio guides, as we’re typical Brits – we like to look at something and then move on. Now if you are the type of person who needs to soak up every part of history, I would recommend not trying to do Paris in a day! As I said, the Louvre can take up a whole day alone. If you are on a time scale, this itinerary is ideal.
It was important for us to see the Mona Lisa and The Winged Victory of Samothrace.
My fiancé wanted to see the preserved mummies, however we got completely lost and time was getting on so he said he was happy to move on to more sight seeing.
My biggest recommendation for the Louvre is to pre-purchase the tickets online beforehand and then print them off. This saved us a lot of time waiting around in the queues and the reason I recommend visiting the Louvre museum quite early on in the day is because it can get extremely busy, so if you go for a 9am slot, the queues won’t be too long at this point. I would also recommend going to view The Mona Lisa first as there can be a big queue for this and we did end up waiting around for about an hour to see her.
Notre Dame / Lunch time –
At this point you should aim for the time to be around 1pm. Head back to the hop on hop off boat and make your way up to the Norte Dame – The boat should drop you off there. Or if you are just happy to see it from the boat you will get a good view. However I would recommend visiting – it’s beautiful.
At this point you could also grab some lunch, and I would highly recommend a French baguette! There are so many little cafés and shops that sell a variety of sandwiches and baguettes. Which are cheap, extremely delicious and filling! Me and my fiancé picked up a baguette on the walk to the Notre Dame and it was heavenly. There are plenty of shops and cafés to choose from – and if you pick up something you can walk along with, it can save you time as you don’t have to sit down for a meal. Don’t worry.. you will get a sit down meal at some point today! Plan this for the evening time.
You shouldn’t have to spend too long at the Notre Dame but you can spend more time in the surrounding areas if you have the time.
After this we headed to the Arc De Triumph – we walked and it took us roughly around an hour. And honestly, I really would recommend the walk because you truly get to take in Paris and see the sights. We stopped for a drink along the river – I would highly recommend taking a moment to sit down and rehydrate yourself with a hot drink, or even an alcoholic beverage if you’re in true holiday spirit! If walking is not an option for you, you can head back to the hop on boat and get off at Grand Pailas and make your way up to the Arc De Triomphe this way.
Arc De Triomphe –
The walk to the Arc De Triomphe was long.. and not only did the Lime electric scooters we hired help with our tiresome legs, but the shops made the experience even better! Leading up to the Arc De Triomphe is a large stretch of shops, I believe this is called Champs-Elysees – There’s all kind of shops, including highstreet fashion stores, fast food places, restaurants, jewellery shops and high end designed fashion shops. This is your opportunity to have a mooch around some of the shops and treat yourself. Just buy the bag!
Honestly, I would take that extra bit of time to treat yourself to some retail therapy, do some window shopping, and drool at the pair of shoes you really shouldn’t buy.. and eventually you will make your way to the incredible Arc De Triumph. Or as I’d like to call it.. the best game of chicken that you will ever partake in, as you try to run across the busiest road ever!
I wouldn’t recommend you run across the road, although it was a thrilling experience and we got told off by the police.. but hey, we like to live on the edge. There is an underground passage that allows you to make your way across the Arc De Triomphe safely under the road. I suggest you make your way to this underground passage. Now.. it’s up to you if you want to go to the top of the Arc De Triomphe.. we personally didn’t. I think the view from the Eiffel Tower is breath taking enough, and since this is the next destination we will be heading to, I would recommend just enjoying the Arc De Triomphe from the bottom.
Depending on the time, you could go to to the top if you really wanted to. I would recommend purchasing your tickets beforehand to skip the lines and save you time. However if my plan works out correctly, you should still have plenty of time left in your day so feel free to go to the top if you really wanted.
Eiffel Tower –
You’ve all been waiting for it – The Eiffel Tower. My personal favourite. Every time I look at the Eiffel Tower I gaze in awe. It’s one of my favourite things to look at.
The Eiffel Tower should only be a 15 minute walk from the Arc De Triumph so make your way back there.
I would definitely recommend going up to the top floor of the tower, the views are astonishing! Again, my biggest tip would be to pre-purchase your tickets to avoid the queues.
I would recommend timing it so that you catch the Eiffel Tower just before the sun sets. I’ve seen the views during the day – But I would love to see the views during at night time too. I imagine the lights across the city look incredible. If you time it perfectly, you should get the best of both worlds. The beauty of the Eiffel Tower, is that you can spend as long as you want at the top. If it’s still quite early (if you have timed the day right, you shouldn’t be too far off sunset) you could go and grab a coffee beforehand, and take time to sit down and relax. As I said though, you can take as long as you want and there’s even a café on the second floor so you could take time to enjoy the views and wait until the sun sets to capture the moment.
So there you have it – you have seen all the main sights of Paris. There is so much more that this beautiful city has to offer, but these are the main attractions and now I have experienced all of this I feel I have truly seen Paris.
Even after this, you still have the whole evening to continue enjoying Paris. I would recommend heading back to your hotel to freshen up, and catch a moment to relax. If you have taken my advice and are staying in a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, your hotel shouldn’t be too far away.
So during the evening, this is when you head to the restaurants to try the Paris cuisines. I would personally recommend Escargots. They are surprisingly nice, despite the appearance and the fact that you are eating an actual snail! I really wanted to try frog’s legs, but unfortunately I couldn’t find these on any menus that I looked at when deciding where to eat. You could even head to Moulin Rouge! (You may need a reservation for this) This is another famous attraction in Paris. It’s somewhere I wish I had gone on our last trip to Paris, unfortunately it never crossed my mind until we returned home. There’s always next time though.
So those are my itinerary ideas – As I said, I’m sure this beautiful city has so much more to offer, but this covers all the basics. Of course there’s Disneyland Paris, but that is a whole other day!
If you found my tips useful, be sure to like this post and share any tips you have in the comments below! I would love to hear from you.
See you on the next post,