Itinerary 1 Day In Paris – Must Do and Must See

For a quick trip to Paris, we have selected for you a journey which takes you through the most known and renowned attractions. If you only have one day to spend in Paris, this is what we recommend that you see first.

map itinerary 1 day in paris
Recommended 1-day itinerary in Paris (click to enlarge)

 

1) Breakfast at the Champs Elysées

Beginning of the tour: 9 AM

Time you should spend on the Champs-Elysées: 1 hour

Start your journey with one of the fanciest and most famous steps in the whole world: the Place du Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, at the Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau station (lines 1 and 9). First, begin the day softly with a breakfast on the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs-Elysées.

 Try these out :
La Table du 8 (8, rue Jean Goujon; 350 m from the metro) has a hearty breakfast starting from €24.
Ladurée (75, avenue des Champs-Élysées Avenue; 50 m from the metro) is the most famous macaroons maker!

Once you’ ve eaten, walk up the avenue to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s a 0,6 miles-long walk. Enjoy the luxury shops (Cartier, Louis Vuitton, etc..).

What we like: The animation! This is THE Parisian touristic place you must go to.

What we love: The wide range of brands: major shops, the finest restaurants,… but you can also find several much cheaper fast-foods and store chains.

 

2) The Iron Lady (Eiffel Tower)

tour eiffel

Distance between the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower: 30 minutes walk

Departure: 10 AM

Arrival: 10:30 AM

Time you should spend on the Eiffel Tower: 1h30

Then, go to the Eiffel Tower ! It is a 35-minute walk into the heart of Paris. To do this from the Place de l’étoile,  go along avenue Kleber up to the Place du Trocadero-et-11-novembre. Then, reach the Pont d’Iena; you’ll be right under the Eiffel Tower.

If you have time, we strongly recommend that you climb the Eiffel Tower, as the view is breathtaking! The first two floors are accessible by stairs or elevators and the third and last floor by elevator only.

What we like: The Human Rights Esplanade and the Trocadéro gardens, which gather hundreds of Parisians and tourists every day.

What we love: Seeing Paris from such a height! And don’t forget: on France’s national independence day (the 14th of July), this is where the fireworks are shot! You can admire the lights from the Pont de l’Alma.

Book a visit of the Eiffel Tower

 

3) Lunch at Place de l’Alma

Distance between the Eiffel Tower and the Place de l’Alma: 13 minutes walk

Departure: 12 AM

Arrival: 12:15 AM

Time you should spend at Place de l’Alma: 1h30

You will then go to Place de l’Alma, down the Quai Branly then cross the Pont de l’Alma for a quality lunch. You’ll definitely have many options: there are lots of restaurants there.

Our favorites :
Marius et Janette, for seafood. The rates can climb up to 70€ per plate; expect an expensive bill.

Chez Francis, is a chic brewery with various menus; 30€ per dish on average.

Bert’s, for a quick snack, both cheap and original, go at Bert’s for fine sandwiches, desserts and salads made with quality ingredients. 12€ per menu.

6 New York, for a contemporary, chic and traditional atmosphere. Plan on a high budget because the prices of the dishes can go from 24€ to 40€ and some dishes can even go up to 90€.

What we like: The surroundings. The Place de l’Alma is halfway between the very chic 8th and 16th districts.

What we love: Visit the Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo, which are 5 minutes away from the Place de l’Alma. If you’re not really into museums, the Palais de Tokyo has really nice gardens. And don’t even get me started on the sculptures which decorate the esplanade of the Museum!

 

4) A walk in the Tuileries Gardens

The Tuileries Garden
Credits : Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, flickrCC BY 2.0

Distance between Place de l’Alma and the Tuileries: 15 minutes by metro or 23 minutes by walk

Departure: 1:45 PM

Arrival: 2 PM

Time you should spend in the gardens: 1 hour

Aside from its historical monuments, there are several Gardens in Paris; perfect places to sunbathe during summer and to take a walk during springtime. The Tuileries Garden is one of them. You can sit by the fountain or in the trees’ shadows. You can also admire these Gardens’ perfect symmetry set up by gardener André Le Nôtre during the 17th century. But the Tuileries Garden is not only a change of scenery in the heart of the city, they are also a cultural place! Indeed, you’ll find the modern art museum The Musée de l’Orangerie, the contemporary art museum Le Jeu de Paume and most famous of all, the Louvre. The Louvre used to be a palace for the royal family. It was first built in 1190! Come and take a digestive walk in this historical Garden!

To reach the Jardins des Tuileries from the Place de l’Alma, you just have to take the subway at the Pont de l’Alma station (line 9). Change at the Franklin D. Roosevelt station on line 1. Then you can stop at the Tuileries metro station.

 

5) Visit the Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame de Paris

The Seine and Notre-Dame

Distance between the Tuileries and Ile de la Cité: 9 minutes by metro + 5-minute walk or 30-minute walk

Departure: 3 PM

Arrival: 3:20 PM

Time you should spend on the island: 1h30

After lunch, we suggest you visit the Ile de la Cité and admire Notre-Dame, the famous Parisian cathedral. The road from the Tuileries to the Île de la Cité is quite short: take the metro at the same station, then get off at Hôtel de Ville. There are only 4 stations and you stay on line 1 the whole time. Then, you’ll have to walk around 6 minutes to reach the island through the Pont d’Arcole.

Take this opportunity to visit the cathedral as it is free of charge to access all year round. Discover the incredible architecture, its stained glass windows and its sculptures, as well as its famous gargoyles. Also, take a look at the carved portals (Portal of the Virgin, Portal of Judgement, Portal Saint-Anne and the Red Gate) and don’t forget to explore the cathedral’s towers in order to admire the many bells. The largest one is known as the Bourdon.

After the visit is over, you can go to the Garnier Opera.

Update February 19, 2020: Due to it being rebuilt, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is currently closed to the public. You can still walk up to -and around- it in order to savor its still resplendent architecture which still qualifies it as one of Paris’ iconic monuments.

What we like: The beauty of the cathedral, the soul of Paris!

What we love: Shuffling to the Ile-Saint-Louis, on the Quai Bourbon, n°19, where French sculptor Camille Claudel had her studio.

 

6) Visit the Opéra Garnier Neighbourhood

The inside of the opera

Distance between Ile de la Cité and Opera Garnier: 20 minutes by metro

Departure: 4:50 PM

Arrival: 5:10 PM

Time you should spend in the neighbourhood: 1hour

To reach the Opera from Notre Dame, simply take the subway from Chatelet station (line 7) to Opéra station. As soon as you exit the metro, you can admire the marvelous forefront of the Opera Garnier. You can also go inside the Opera for a simple visit (with a tour guide or on your own) or to attend one of the numerous performances.

From there on, you can go to the department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann. That’s where all the Grands Magasins (department stores like the Galeries Lafayette and the Printemps Haussmann) are as well as a large choice of very French products. In those stores, you can find anything: clothes, bags, jewelry, food, home wear, perfumes, renowned French and international brands… Gourmet temporary stands will also welcome you inside these typical Parisians stores. On the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette, you can enjoy the wonderful panoramic view of the city.

What we like: The numerous cinemas you can find in the area.

What we love: The Galeries Lafayette Christmas window displays, which are delightful and enchanting for your children!

Book a private visit of the Opéra Garnier

 

7) Take a Stroll at Montmartre

Distance between Opera and Montmartre: 30 minutes by metro

Departure: 6:10 PM

Arrival: 6:40 PM

Time you should spend in Montmartre: 1 hour, or 2, or more

To go to Montmartre, take metro line 8 at Opera until the station Concorde, then change to line 12, and go straight to Abbesses . From there you can reach the heart of the district in less than 10-minute by foot. You can either choose to take the funicular railway up the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, for 1,80€ (the average price of a bus or metro ticket in Paris), or go and climb the 222 steps which will lead you to the top of the Montmartre Hill. Compared to climbing up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, it’s an easy walk!

Throughout the charming streets of this village, you will discover plenty of art galleries, original stores, and French traditional restaurants. More surprisingly, while walking towards the cemetery in which many famous writers and artists now rest in peace, you will also discover the vineyard of Montmartre. You will also come across the “I Love You” Wall, one of the most romantic Parisian monument. Take a good look at the atypical architecture of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the wonderful view of the city which you can admire from its front steps. On the Place du Tertre, many artists will offer to draw your souvenir-portrait; they settle around the very animated terraces of the charming restaurants. A unique memory of your trip!

What we like: The sight of Paris from the Basilica.

What we love: The atmosphere in Montmartre, which is peaceful, disconnected from the world, and at the same time, lively! This is the only place where you can find that kind of feeling in Paris.

Book a private visit of Montmartre with a guide

 

8) Dinner at Montmartre

Th view from Montmartre
Credits: Yann Caradec, flickrCC BY-SA 2.0

Then, once you’ve had enough of walking in this village, you can go to the restaurant! There are multiple choices for you. At the Miroir (in french), a restaurant located near the Station Abbesses on line 12, you’ll taste typically French dishes in a… typical Montmartre setting! There is also a Miroir wine cellar on the other side of the street. All the restaurant’s organic veggies will amaze you, the beef cooked with mushrooms and the homemade liégeois hot chocolate can only be described as a real feast! The dinner menu costs between 25 and 40 euros.

If you wish to discover cuisine from the other French regions, you should probably pick Corsica! The Casa Livia (in french), 99 bis rue Lamarck in the 18th district, accessible from the metro station Lamarck-Caulaincourt (line 12), serves typical Corsican dishes. It’s more of a grocery store where you can sit and eat than an actual restaurant. They sell chestnut terrine, Brocciu omelet, fiadone and much more… The average price goes from 9 to 16 euros per dish.

Last but not least, take a journey to Lebanon, with the Ehden restaurant! Close to the stations Gare du Nord (lines 4, 5 B & D), Anvers (line 2) and Barbès-Rochechouart (lines 2 & 4). You’ll pay around 20 euros per menu. A real festival of kelleges and falafels to conclude your stay; what is there not to like?

 

Warning: the prices above reflect the current situation and may be subject to changes.

 

If you would rather stay a little longer in Paris, check this article
And if you enjoy longer stays, consult our article on a one week itinerary !