Whether you’re doing a compressed tour of western Europe or just have a long layover that you want to make the most of, Paris has so many things to do and see that you want to be sure you have a solid itinerary so that you don’t miss the highlights. If you only have a single day to experience Paris, this schedule should get you to some iconic sights while beating the crowds and being sensible about time. Before you set out on your jam-packed 24 hours in Parris, the city of light you want to make sure you’re moving around unencumbered, so the first thing you should do before setting out is to avail yourself of the many options for luggage storage Paris has.
Trocadéro Sunrise- 24 Hours in Paris
To start your day off right, you should get up early and make sure that you can get to the Trocadéro early enough to catch the sunrise. Not only will you be able to see a beautiful Parisian sunrise, but you’ll be watching that sunrise with a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic sights in the entire city and is arguably the most recognizable symbol of France. The best part about seeing the sunrise is that you get all of the beauty, with only the smallest dose of other tourists. Most people don’t make it to the tower until well into the morning, so you can enjoy the rising sun and the tranquility of the Trocadéro.
1st Arrondissement Espresso- 24 Hours in Paris
Once you’ve got the Eiffel Tower under your belt, you can head to one of the countless cafes in the 1st arrondissement area for a delicious hot coffee and a light breakfast. Be sure you don’t fill up too much, or you’ll find that you may have a drop in energy just when you’ll need it the most.
The 1st arrondissement has beautiful, wide boulevards and outdoor cafes and bistros lining them. A little time spent enjoying a tasty espresso or two while watching the city wake up with you is an experience you’ll never forget. The 1st arrondissement is also the best place to continue your journey due to its placement in the city.
Île de la Cité Sights
Now that you’ve gotten some caffeine in your system, the city is your oyster, hop on the metro rail and head to the Île de la Cité where you can experience a host of Paris gems. Not only is this the location of the famed historical cathedral, Notre Dame, but there is also an incredibly famous flower market.
If you’re interested in the Notre Dame tours, don’t let the long lines scare you away, it usually only takes about 20-30 minutes to get in since the lines move so quickly. Tours have also become much more accessible since the fire of 2019. Also located nearby are the Gravestone Courtyard and the Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole.
Lunch In Le Marais
With only a ten-minute walk from Île de la Cité, you can reach one of the hippest and chic arrondissements in Paris, which is host to a long list of attractions and experiences. You can find the Place des Vosges, which is the oldest public square in the entire city. You’ll also see the Paris town hall and a spectacular museum of medieval Paris.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure you eat before you leave, since Le Marais has some of the best dining around. You can grab a full meal at one of the many cafes, or if you just want something on the go, there are places to get quick transportable treats like falafel.
Afternoon & Evening In Montmartre
Montmartre is the home of some really fun cultural and trendy sights, such as the massive Sacre Coeur. Don’t forget to fire up your camera app to take a picture of the famous Sinking House of Paris, which isn’t actually sinking, but is a great optical illusion photo op.
The Place du Tertre is the home of many Montmartre artists, as well as the Love wall. Make sure you check out the former residence and current museum of Renoir. A bonus is that since Montmartre is on one of the highest hills in the city, you can enjoy an afternoon coffee or dinner with one of the most breathtaking views in the whole city.
Even though you’re only in Paris for a day, make sure you don’t press too hard on your schedule. Leave yourself time to enjoy the sights and experiences, rather than running around checking off a list. You’ll enjoy a lower-stress day, and have a much more positive day overall.
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