The City of Lights, the City of Love, the Fashion Capital of the World – there’s no doubt about it, Paris – the French capital – has it all.
And while you can definitely spend an entire week (or more!) exploring everything this amazing city has to offer, the truth is that you can see everything you need to in just one day. From the world-famous Eiffel Tower to the iconic Louvre Museum to the charming cobbled streets of Montmartre, Paris has something for everyone – and this itinerary will help you make the most of your time in the city.
Paris is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. It’s no wonder that so many people want to visit it! However, if you’re only planning on being in Paris for a day, you may be wondering how you can fit everything in.
Don’t worry – with this Paris one day itinerary, you’ll be able to see all of the city’s best sights and attractions without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Trust me, it can be done!
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With this guide, you’ll get more than just Paris in a day – you’ll also get tips on how to get to Paris, travelling around the city, where to stay and even some extra sights to see if you have more than one day in Paris.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
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- Save money in Paris
- How to get to Paris
- Getting around Paris
- When to visit Paris
- Paris one day itinerary
- If you have more than one day in Paris
- Where to stay in Paris
- Tips for visiting Paris
- Conclusion: One day Paris itinerary
Save money in Paris
Because it’s one of the most popular cities in Europe, Paris can be quite expensive- but it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning, you can easily save money and still have an amazing time in the city.
Here are a few tips:
Research accommodation options before you book. There are plenty of great hotels in Paris, but they can vary greatly in price. More on where to stay in Paris for all budgets later on.
The Paris Pass is a great way to save money if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. For one price, you get access to over 60 attractions, museums, and monuments – including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Similar to the Paris Pass is the Paris Museum Pass, which gives you entry into over 50 museums and monuments at discounted rates. You can buy in advance here and save time waiting in line at attractions.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, consider buying a day or multi-day ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus. This is a great way to get around Paris without having to walk long distances
And for discounts on public transportation during your stay, consider buying a Paris Visite Travel Pass. This will give you unlimited travel on the metro, bus, and RER train network for a set period of time- usually 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.
When it comes to food, Paris has something for everyone – but it can be easy to overspend if you’re not careful. To save money, eat like a local by picking up some food from a market or bakery instead of dining out for every meal.
How to get to Paris
If you’re coming from another country, the best way to get to Paris is by flying into Charles de Gaulle Airport. This is the city’s main airport and it’s located about 34 kilometers north of central Paris – just about a 45 minute drive.
Once you’ve arrived at the airport, there are a few different ways to get into the city. The most popular (and probably the easiest) is to take the RER B train, which will take you directly from the airport to Gare du Nord in central Paris.
Charles de Gaulle isn’t the only airport in Paris, though. The city also has two smaller airports – Orly Airport and Beauvais Airport. Orly is located about 13 kilometers south of central Paris, while Beauvais is located about 80 kilometers north of the city
If you’re coming from within France, you can also take a high-speed TGV train or drive into the city. Just be aware that traffic can be pretty heavy, especially during rush hour!
Getting to Paris from London is simply an adventure . You can take the Chunnel (a.k.a. the Eurostar Train) from London to Paris in just over 2 hours, making it one of the quickest and most convenient ways to travel between these two cities.
Getting around Paris
Once you’re in Paris, you’ll probably want to use public transportation to get around. The city has an excellent metro system that can take you just about anywhere you want to go.
If you’re in the city for just a day, instead of buying separate metro tickets, I would recommend buying a one-day travel pass. This will cost you around $6 and it will give you unlimited travel on the metro, RER trains, buses and trams.
If you’re planning on bringing your walking shoes and doing a lot of strolling around the city (which I recommend!), Paris is actually a very walkable city. Many of the city’s main sights and attractions are located within walking distance of each other, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time on public transportation if you don’t want to.
Looking for an adventurous way of getting around the city? Book a segwey tour and zoom about the city streets in style!
When to visit Paris
The best time to see Paris is in the spring or autumn / fall. The weather is mild and there are fewer tourists than there are in the summertime. However, if you’re only planning on being in the city for one day, the summer is also a great time to visit.
While it can be quite crowded, there’s also a lot more to do and see in Paris during the summer months. Plus, it’s just so lovely to wander around the city when the weather is warm!
Paris one day itinerary
As I mentioned before, if you only have one day in Paris you can definitely see a lot of the city’s best sights. But there are a lot of incredible sights to see in Paris.
That’s why, for the purpose of this Paris itinerary, I’m going to jam pack as much as humanly possible so you don’t miss anything on your day trip.
Of course, if you want your one day Paris trip to be more leisurely, you can pick and choose which sights you want to see and spend a bit more time at each one.
But, if you’re up for an adventure and want to make the most of your time in the city, then follow this itinerary to a T so you can see all the major Paris attractions!
Let’s get going…
One Day in Paris: The morning
If you’re only able to visit Paris for one day, I would recommend getting an early start. This will allow you to make the most of your time in the city and avoid the crowds that tend to form later in the day.
Start your day by heading to the world-famous Eiffel Tower. I would recommend getting there early (before 9 am) to avoid the long lines that form later in the day.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Standing nearly 1,000 feet tall, the tower dominates the skyline of Paris and offers breathtaking views of the city.
Built in 1889 for the World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower has become an emblem of Paris and a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
Once at the tower, you can take one of the elevators to the top, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the stairs up to level 2 and take an elevator the rest of the way up.
Even if you’re not a fan of heights, the Eiffel Tower is worth a visit for its history and its status as a global icon. It’s just as beautiful a view from the ground, too!
Champ de Mars
Afterwards, make your way to the Champ de Mars, the large park in front of the Eiffel Tower. This is a great spot for people watching and grabbing a coffee before continuing on with your day.
If you’ve stayed the night before in a hotel, why not ask them to pack you a picnic breakfast so you can enjoy it al fresco in the park.
From the Champ de Mars, it’s a 30 minute walk to the Musee d’Orsay, situated on the left bank of the River Seine. If you’re not up for the walk, it’s on the metro line too. But if you stroll along the river Seine, it’s a very scenic stroll to enjoy.
This beautiful museum is housed in an old train station and it’s filled with impressionist paintings and sculptures. I would recommend giving yourself at least 2 hours to explore all this museum has to offer.
This museum is a favourite amongst local Parisians, so it can get quite crowded, especially later in the day.
One Day in Paris: The afternoon
With all the sightseeing, food may not be on your radar. But Paris is known for its food, so you’ll definitely want to make time to eat! This one day in Paris itinerary continues with lunch in a Parisian café.
I’ve visited Paris so many times and one of my favourite things to do is sit outside a restaurant or café in Montmartre for a lunch break and watch the people go by.
Head to the charming district of Montmartre, which is located on a hill in the north of Paris.
Wander around the narrow, winding streets, lined with quaint shops and cafés. And when you get hungry, stop for lunch at one of the many cafes with outdoor seating. This is the perfect spot to relax and take in the Parisian vibe.
I would recommend getting Bouillabaisse or a Croque Monsieur. These are both classic French dishes that can be found at most bakeries and cafes. And of course you’ll have to try a pain au chocolat or macaron (or two)!
After lunch, make your way to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This beautiful church is located at the top of the Montmartre hill and offers stunning views of Paris.
The Sacré Coeur Basilica is one of the most iconic buildings in Paris. Located atop the hill of Montmartre, the basilica offers magnificent views of the city below.
Even if you’re not religious, it’s worth a visit just to see the beautiful architecture and take in the stunning panorama. But be warned: the steps up to the basilica are quite steep! If you’re feeling lazy, there’s always the funicular railway which will take you to the top with minimal effort on your part.
Guided walking tour
Next up, join a guided walking tour of the Latin Quarter. This is another one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Paris and it’s the perfect place to learn about the history and culture of the city.
The Latin Quarter of Paris is one of the most vibrant and lively parts of the city. It’s home to a huge number of students, as well as a number of famous landmarks, including the Sorbonne and the Pantheon.
The quarter gets its name from the fact that it was once the center of learning in Europe, and it’s still possible to see this history in the abundance of bookstores and old-fashioned cafes.
Even if you’re not a history buff, it’s worth taking a stroll through the Latin Quarter to soak up the unique atmosphere. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a famous writer or artist sitting at one of the café tables!
One day in Paris: The evening
Evening and nighttime in Paris is magical. The City of Lights comes alive after dark, with its sparkling lights and romantic vibe.
There are a number of ways to spend your evening in Paris, but my favourite is to watch the sunset from the River Seine. And with all the walking you’ve done all day, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a boat that will take you leisurely cruising down the river!
Seine River Cruise
If you’re looking for a truly remarkable experience, I recommend taking a dinner cruise on the Seine River.
This is the perfect leisurely way to see the sights of Paris all lit up. You’ll float past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
And since the river is winding and narrow, you’ll get a much different perspective of the city than you would from land.
Best of all, you can enjoy a glass of wine or a leisurely meal while taking in the sights.
After your Seine cruise, make your way to Notre Dame Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, and is exquisite lit up at night. No Paris itinerary is complete without visiting this cathedral.
The imposing Gothic structure was built in the 12th century and has since been home to countless historical events. From the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte to the liberation of Paris during WWII, Notre Dame has witnessed some of the most significant moments in French history.
Today, the cathedral attracts millions of visitors each year, who come to marvel at its architecture and enjoy its stunning views of the City of Lights.
Despite a recent fire that caused significant damage to the roof and spire – meaning that you can no longer go inside – Notre Dame remains one of the most beloved symbols of the city, and a must-see for anyone visiting Paris.
Last up on our Paris in a day itinerary is to enjoy a drink at a rooftop bar with a view of the Eiffel Tower. There are plenty to choose from, but my personal favourite is the Rooftop Bar at the Peninsula Hotel.
Not only does this bar boast some of the best views in the city, but it’s also incredibly chic and stylish. Sip on a cocktail as you watch the City of Lights sparkle beneath you, and enjoy the company of the other guests.
It’s the perfect way to end a perfect day in Paris!
If you have more than one day in Paris
If you’re lucky enough to have more than one day in Paris, there are a number of other major attractions you should add to your itinerary.
The Louvre Museum
You might think that the Louvre Museum, being one of the most famous Paris attractions, should have been on our one day in Paris itinerary, but the truth is, there’s no way you can see everything this famous museum has to offer in just one day.
The iconic pyramid shaped museum – you remember the Da Vinci Code? – is home to some of the most famous art in the world, including the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Liberty Leading the People.
With over 35,000 works of art spread out over three wings, the Louvre can seem daunting. But don’t worry – there are a number of ways to make sure you see the best of the best.
If you’re short on time, I recommend taking a guided tour of the highlights, which will take you to all the must-see pieces in the Louvre.
Or, if you want to explore at your own pace, make sure to download a map of the museum beforehand, so you know where all the major works of art are located.
Day trip to Loire Valley
To get out of the city and see some of the beautiful French countryside, you can take a day trip to the Loire Valley. This region is home to a number of stunning castles, as well as picturesque villages and vineyards.
Just a few hours away by train, the Loire Valley is famous for its beautiful chateaux and gardens. And while it might not be quite as glamorous as Paris, it definitely has its own charm.
The Loire Valley is also a great place to sample some of France’s finest wines. After all, what’s a trip to France without a little wine tasting? So if you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Paris, the Loire Valley is definitely worth a visit.
Arc de Triomphe
Another must-see in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. This massive monument was built to honour those who fought and died during the French Revolution and Napoleon War.
The Arc de Triomphe is the most iconic monument in Paris and also one of the most iconic in the world, and it’s easy to see why. towering over the city at almost 50 meters tall, it’s an impressive sight. But what’s even more impressive is that it’s not just a pretty face – it’s actually functional too and it serves as the centerpiece of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
To get to the top of the Arc du Triomphe, you’ll need to either take the 284 steps or an elevator, as well as a further 46 steps to visit the terrace. The views offer a 360 degree panorama of the city, and on a clear day you can even see as far as the Eiffel Tower.
Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg gardens)
If you’re looking for a spot of relaxation in the middle of all the sightseeing, then head to the Jardin du Luxembourg. This beautiful park is situated in the heart of Paris and it’s the perfect place to take a break from all the hustle and bustle.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the largest parks in Paris, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. With its manicured gardens, peaceful lakes and abundance of flowers, it’s the perfect place to unwind.
I love to grab some goodies from a local bakery and head to the park for a picnic lunch. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Paris!
And if you’re visiting with kids, they’ll love the on-site playground and theatre.
Paris isn’t called the Fashion Capital of the World for nothing. If you’re looking to do some shopping, then you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Whether you’re looking for high-end designer labels or more affordable fashion, Paris has it all. For designer stores, head to the Avenue Montaigne or Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. For more affordable options, checkout the smaller boutiques in the Marais district or the vintage stores on Rue des Martyrs.
No matter what your budget is, you’re sure to find something to take home with you.
No, you won’t find Ewan Mcgregor or Nicole Kidman serenading each other on the roof of the Moulin Rouge, but it’s still worth a visit to this iconic Parisian landmark.
The Moulin Rouge is a world-famous cabaret, and it’s been entertaining audiences since 1889. Located in the bohemian district of Montmartre, it’s is known for its lavish stage shows, which feature a mix of music, dance and acrobatics.
If you want to see a show, then you’ll need to book tickets in advance. They can be a little pricey, but it’s possible to get some great deals and it’s definitely worth it if you want to experience the true glamour of the Moulin Rouge.
Place de la Concorde
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Place de la Concorde. This massive square is located in the heart of the city, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions.
The Place de la Concorde has a long and turbulent history. It was originally built to honour King Louis XV, but it later became a site of executions during the French Revolution. In more recent times, it’s been the scene of political rallies and protests.
But despite its turbulent past, the Place de la Concorde is now a popular spot for tourists to visit. And it’s easy to see why – with its beautiful fountains, impressive monuments and stunning views of the Tuileries Gardens, it’s definitely a sight to behold.
Where to stay in Paris
There are so many different places to stay in Paris, it can be hard to know where to start. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
If you’re looking for a luxury hotel, then the Shangri-La Hotel Paris is a great option. Located in the 16th arrondissement, it’s close to all the major sights and it has its own spa, pool and Michelin-starred restaurant.
For something a bit more affordable, try the Le Basile Hôtel. This 3-star hotel is located in the 9th arrondissement, just a short walk from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
And if you’re looking for a hostel, then the St. Christopher’s Inn Canal is a great option. It’s located in the trendy 10th arrondissement, and it has its own bar and nightclub.
Some other recommended places to stay in Paris are:
For a bit of luxury:
To save the pennies:
Tips for visiting Paris
Now that you know what to see and where to stay, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip to Paris.
1. Paris is a safe city. Of course, you should always take precautions when travelling to any new place, but you don’t need to be afraid of walking around Paris.
2. The best way to see the city is by walking. Paris is a very walkable city, and it’s the best way to experience all the different sights and sounds.
3. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes!
4. Beware of pickpockets. As safe as it is, Paris is still known for pickpocketing, so be sure to keep your belongings close to you at all times.
5. Don’t forget to pack a raincoat. Paris can be rainy, so it’s always good to be prepared!
6. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Paris is an amazing city with so much to see and do. So take your time, explore and most importantly, have fun!
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Conclusion: One day Paris itinerary
So there you have it – everything you need to know to experience the best of Paris in one day!
Paris is a city that will always be remembered for its beauty, history, and culture. A day spent exploring all that this magnificent city has to offer is time well spent.
I hope you found this one day in Paris itinerary helpful and that this provides you with a great starting point for exploring the city and enjoying all that it has to offer. Of course, no two visitors’ experiences in Paris will be exactly the same, so feel free to mix and match these recommendations as you see fit.
Have you been to Paris? What was your most memorable experience?
Au revoir et bon voyage!
Vourneen is a travel junkie and chronic illness warrior. Although she was late to game in terms of travelling, she has picked up numerous tips and tricks from the almost 30 countries she has visited in the past 5 years.