It’s true that there is enough to do in and around Paris to create days' worth of itineraries, with museums, cathedrals, palaces, landmarks and more to discover. But if you just have one day to explore the city you’ll still have plenty of time to visit some of its top attractions to give you a taste of all it has to offer.
Having been voted one of the most walkable cities in the world, it’s easy to get from one place to another, and with the Metro and cruises down the Seine as well, you’ll get to where you need to be in no time.
Here’s how you can make the most of Paris in just one day…
Start at The Louvre
A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Louvre Museum, home to the iconic Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. The museum opens at 9am so we’d recommend starting your day early and getting here for opening to make the most of your time. Or, if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, take a guided tour with skip the line access, starting at 9:30am.
Being right in the centre of Paris, the Louvre is surrounded by incredible bakeries and cafés so why not get there early and grab yourself a crêpe, croissant or pain au chocolat from a classic French boulangerie. We love Café Le Nemours and Boulangerie Eric Kayser, both just a couple of minutes’ walk from the museum.
Walk through the Jardin des Tuileries and down the Champs-Élysées
When you exit The Louvre you’ll be right at the top of the Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful 17th century garden with gorgeous flower beds, statues and fountains. This is also where you can find the Musée de l’Orangerie, where you can see artwork by Monet, Cezanne and Picasso to name just a few. If the weather’s good, the Jardin des Tuileries is the perfect place to sit and people watch on one of the many deck chairs and benches, but we think it’s still stunning in the winter too.
After making your way through the gardens, continue walking down the Champs-Élysées. This is one of the biggest shopping streets in Paris, with familiar stores like Zara, Adidas, The Disney Store, Louis Vuitton and The Apple Store. There are plenty of independent restaurants and brasseries along the way too for you to stop for some lunch - how about a Croque Monsieur or some mussels and fries?
Visit the Arc de Triomphe
At the end of the Champs-Élysées is the Arc de Triomphe, a commemorative arch that was built in honour of Napoleon’s victories in the 1800s. At the top of this monument is an observation deck, giving you incredible views of Paris in every direction, from the Eiffel Tower to Sacré Coeur. While the Eiffel Tower is the most obvious choice for seeing the city from up high, the Arc de Triomphe gives you an incredible view of the tower itself!
Take the Metro to Trocadéro Square
If you want to have a truly authentic Parisian experience, taking the Metro needs to be on your to-do list. You can get the Metro from the Arc de Triomphe to Trocadéro in less than 10 minutes, and this is where you’ll get some unrivalled views of the Eiffel Tower. Take some time to explore this open space and its public gardens though, as they are pretty spectacular themselves!
Visit the Eiffel Tower
At this point in the day, you’ll have seen the Eiffel Tower from all angles, so it’s about time you climbed it! Depending on the time of year, visiting the Eiffel Tower at the end of the day will give you a stunning view of Paris as the sun is setting, giving you a different perspective as the city is lit with a golden glow. And with one of our skip-the-line tickets, you won’t have to waste any time waiting to get your tickets, plus you’ll get an audio commentary too!
A ticket for the Eiffel Tower is also the only way to see this landmark from directly underneath, and you’ll be able to wander through the surrounding gardens as well.
Take a boat down the Seine
After a day of walking and exploring, take the weight off of your feet with a river cruise down the Seine, one of the most relaxing ways to see some more of Paris. There are so many different options depending on your budget and how much time you have. If you’re just in the city for one day we’d recommend a one day pass for a hop-on hop-off cruise, as you can use this as many times as you want during the day, with 9 stops along the way.
If you do have a bit more time to spend in Paris, especially if you’re there for a special occasion, then we love doing a lunch cruise or dinner cruise, where you can have a full three-course meal while seeing all the sights!
See Notre Dame at night
If you make use of the hop-on hop-off cruise, stop off at Notre Dame to see this famous cathedral lit up at night. Since the fire in 2019, the inside of the cathedral has been closed to visitors, but the exterior architecture of this historic building is spectacular enough for it to still be worth a visit.
From here you can spend the rest of the evening exploring the streets of Paris, discovering the architecture and stopping by a restaurant or bistro for some dinner.
Spending more than one day in Paris? Consider the Paris Pass®
There are so many things to see and do in Paris that buying tickets for every attraction can end up being a bit pricey. If you’re planning to spend more than one day in the city, the Paris Pass® will give you 2, 3 or 4 days’ access to more than 75 attractions, including all of the above, plus Montmartre, Paris Aquarium, Panthéon, the Palace of Versailles and so much more. If you’re combining your trip with a visit to Disneyland® Paris, you can even use the Paris Pass to ride the PanoraMagique in Disney Village®!
Ready to book your trip to Paris? Buying your tickets in advance is the best way to save time and money - browse our full range of Paris attractions and book yours today.