Paris is always a good idea – oh, how right Audrey Hepburn was when speaking these words. There’s a reason why we call Paris the city of love and it’s simply beautiful, no matter at what time of the year you’re going to visit. We’ve been to Paris several times and it looks different every time because it changes with the seasons, but its beauty always remains the same. Since the city is so huge and has so many great things to offer, we decided to create a little “24 hours in Paris guide” to show you the hotspots and main walking routes you can take to get the most out of your stay.
And, we’ve prepared something extra for you this time: click here to download the complete cityguide and bring it with you to your next Paris trip!
9:00 AM – it’s breakfast time
If you have a hotel with a great breakfast buffet, good for you! If not, the Parisian cafés are prepared for hungry stomaches and offer the most delicious Pain au Chocolat, Cappucino and orange juice. We say, there’s no better way to start a day in Paris than to sit down in a cute café and watch the city come to life. Or, you can go and buy yourself a Croissant in a Boulangerie (bakery) – there are a lot of those around town and trust us, we’ve never been to any place where they make better pastries than in Paris! One of our favorite places is Le Pain Quotidien, near Rue St. Honoré, where you can enjoy a typical parisian breakfast for under 10€ and they also offer free WiFi, incase you need to look up some last minute sightseeing information.
10:00 AM – start with sightseeing
Take the subway to Île de la Cité, which is one of the two river islands on the Seine (the other, smaller one is Île Saint-Louis) and at the same time the oldest part of Paris. It is a good starting point for further excursions and the famous cathedral Notre-Dame is worth the visit. If you decide on going inside the cathedral, try to get tickets in advance – like in all main attractions, you have to pay for entrance these days and waiting lines are pretty long.
From Notre-Dame, proceed to the Marché aux Fleurs (flower market), which turns into a bird market on Sunday’s, that’s located right behind the church. If you’re a flower lover, you’re going to love this place – it’s simply magical!
11:00 AM – off to the river side
After visiting the romantic Île de la Cité, you can take a slow walk along the left river bank, the Rive Gauche, and take a look at all the small stands that sell antique paintings, books and records. You can also take a turn to the left and stroll through the Quartier Latin and St. Germain-des-Prés, which are basically known as the artists’ and cerebral quarters of Paris. If you visit Paris with your boyfriend or girlfriend, bring a lock and fix it onto the bridge “Pont des Arts” – the legend says that if you hang a lock there, you will return to Paris with your beloved one someday.
12:00 AM – take a seat
Now you have many different choices for lunch, either you sit down in one of the many bistros in the area, or (which we would highly recommend) you get yourself a nice, fresh baguette in a Boulangerie and sit down somewhere by the Seine, or on Île Saint-Louis, where it’s a little less crowded, just like the Parisians do. It’s very calming to have your lunch next to the river beneath a weeping willow. One of our favorite spots in Paul, which they have all over the city. You’ll come across these quite a bit and the baguettes are definitely amazing!
13:00 PM – head into the city
We know it’s relaxing to sit a little, but we still got a lot to do and see in Paris, so on we go with our program. From Île Saint-Louis to the Louvre it’s only a 20 minutes walk by foot on the river bank and you can watch all the boats passing by on the Seine while you go.
13:30 PM – Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries
Finally, you’ve arrived at the Louvre, one of the most important museums and art collections worldwide. The impressing connection of modern architecture, art and historical flaire attracts thousands of people each day. Visit the museum and take a look at the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.
After visiting the Louvre museum, take a walk through the Jardin des Tuileries, a park that’s located right next to the Louvre – maybe you’ll need a little time to rest your feet on a bench after all the immense impact of art.
17:00 PM – Montmartre
After a little relaxation time back at the hotel, you should definitely pay a visit to Montmartre, a hill in the middle of Paris, which was the red-light district for a long time and the famous Moulin Rouge, a typical Parisian Varieté, is still located at the foot of the hill. At the „top“, you can visit Sacré-Cœur, a beautiful basilica made of white stone. Proceed to the little square „Place du Tertre“, where douzens of artists wait to paint your picture and a lot of bistros and cafes offer small snacks. We recommend to just take a look around but not to eat and drink, because there are more charming and less expensive restaurants in the area if you decide to leave the tourists paths.
20:00 PM – time for dinner
If there is one restaurant in Paris that really transports the french lifestyle and cozy, Parisian atmosphere, it has to be „Chez Paul“ in the 11th district, 13, Rue de Charonne. Make sure you reserve a table, it’s really popular and they make the best Steak Tartare at Chez Paul’s. In the same street, there are some other restaurants we can recommend as well, like the “Le Mouton Noir” (black sheep) – try the cheese as dessert, it’s delicious.
09:00 AM – Eiffeltower
We’d recommend not spend too much time with breakfast if you don’t want to wait in line the whole day in front of the Eiffeltower. It’s a definite must-do when you’re in Paris for the first time, the view is phenomenal. If the lines are already too long, don’t be scared of walking up by foot – entrance will only cost 5 € and it’s really not that long if you’re going up to platform 2. If you want to take the elevator to the top, you’ll have to wait two times – first to get your tickets on the ground and then on platform 2 to change for the elevator to the top.
10:30 AM – boat tour on the Seine
On the river bank in front of the Eiffeltower there is the boat station for the touristic boat tours on the Seine. It’s beautiful to see the city from another view and the explanations and stories you’ll get to hear about Paris via headphones are really interesting. Also, this is something you can do in every weather.
12:30 PM – Lunch time at Avenue des Champs-Élysées
By now, you’re probably really hungry, so why not take the subway to Ladurée on Avenue des Champs-Élysées. They have really good snacks there, even though they’re most well known for the amazing, colorful macarons – but you can buy some of those as presents for the ones that had to stay at home!
Ladurée is just a short walk away from the Louis Vuitton main store on Champs-Élysées, so if you’re a fan of LV, you should definitely pay this flagshipstore a visit. From there, proceed to the Arc de Triomphe, a monument which honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.
Other than that, don’t spend too much time on the Champs-Élysées – it’s good to see it once, but there are no individual shops there anymore, just the same fashion chains you’ll find at home as well.
15:00 PM – Rue Saint-Honoré
On the Rue Saint-Honoré you’ll find the most expensive designer shops, so unless your last name is Trump, window shopping it’ll be. But there is one shop on this little street that’s worth the visit – Colette (213, Rue Saint-Honoré), a concept store that sells exclusive designer clothes and shoes, has a whole department for funny but stylish tech gadgets, a beauty department and a mens store. If you can’t decide on what to get, because most of the stuff is pretty amazing there, go for a surprise package – it’s „only“ 20 € but we love the excitement of unpacking all the little treasures.
20:00 PM – Dinner in St. Germain des Pres
You’ve most probably spent the rest of your day strolling through the city, maybe took a side trip to Galeries Lafayette and now you’re more than ready for a good dinner. What’s typical in Paris is to sit down in a bistro or cafe that has most of the tables and chairs located on the sidewalk, facing the street – perfect for watching all the fancy people walking by while having your Croque Madame (toast with) or Croque Monsieur. St. Germain des Pres is one of the nicest areas in Paris with a lot of bistros in this style, the most famous ones are „Les Deux Magots“ and „Café des Flore“.
7 thoughts on “Paris City Guide: 24 Hours In The City Of Love”
This sounds great, I will definitely try this plan when I’m in Paris next time. Thanks a lot for the amazing travel guide.
I just have one thing to add: You have to visit Montmartre for sure, the Sacré-Coer is beautiful when it gets darker and all the lights are on and people are singing etc. but it is a dangerous area for women in the evening hours, so do not stay too late there and return to a nicer area before 11 or 12. There are a lot of men in this district who seem to take every woman passing for a prostitute at night.
Great article! I agree with Carolin about some of the Montmartre area, though. It’s definitely worth noting that despite the fact that Moulin Rouge is cool to see, the rest of the street is filled with sex shops and strip clubs. It’s really tacky and surprisingly in-your-face and it can be embarrassing if you are with family. On the flip side, Sacre Couer is one hill-climb away and is absolutely wonderful!
Kann das Restaurant Table D’Anvers auch sehr empfehlen. http://www.latabledanvers.com/
Besonders praktisch wenn man auf den Stufen bei Montmartre sitzen bleibt, den Sonnenuntergang genießt und dann die paar Meter runtergeht und etwas essen will ;)
Gehobene Küche und typisches Pariser Flair
sounds great!! in 2 weeks i go to paris for the first time and i am thankful for every tips i can get :-)
Ach, das ist aber jetzt ein wenig enttäuschend. Ich war so gespannt auf ein paar nette Insidertipps abseits der ausgetretenen Touristenpfade und natürlich auch auf interessante Shoppinglocations, die ich noch nicht kenne.
Thanks for the tips. But “Le Pain Quotidien” and “Paul” are not the places that I would recommend. They are very industrialised and in fact are chain restaurants operated like MacDonal’s (franchise).
If I go to Paris for 24 hours, I will go only one single place: the department store – Le Bon Marché. It’s a place where you can find all the quintessentials of the city: food, fashion, souvenir, books, interior decorations….. Don’t go to tourists packed Gallerie Lafayette or Le Printemps…..
As far as I know, entrance to Notre Dame is still free (or at least was in June). You only have to pay if you want to climb to the top!