Paris is not a huge city but there is quite a lot of amazing things to see there. Seeing all of those landmarks and museum can take a lifetime of course, for those who surprisingly doesn’t have that much time to spend in our city, this article will help you out seeing the most of Paris in a day.
Of course you’ll have to get up early if you want to admire all the Parisian landmarks. Trust me; there are many. First of all, I would recommend starting with a typical Parisian breakfast. You can stop at a café to drink an orange juice, dip your croissant in a café au lait -milk coffee- and order some tartines, (baguette bread with jam), or find a nice bakery near your hotel and enjoy a French croissant while heading to your first stop.
One of Parisian’s most favourite café for breakfast is Angelina, a place famous for its delicious hot chocolate and its bakeries. The address is 226 Rue de Rivoli, next to the first stop, and it opens at 7.30 am.
I believe the best starting point would be the Place de la Concorde, on the Southern Bank of the Seine. It’s my favourite place in Paris. Infact, I think it defines “Paris in a nutshell”. From here, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of Paris’s most famous sights.
The views of the Eiffel Tower, the Seine and the Arc of Triumph at the end of the Champs-Elysées will let you feel the atmosphere and the beauty of Paris.
You can continue your visit by crossing the Concorde Bridge. Enjoy a walk along the Seine, on the Quai Anatole France. After a 20 minute walk, you will arrive at theOrsay Museum.
If you want to visit a museum but only have a day, you’ll have to choose between the two most famous museums; the Louvre and the Orsay. My advice is to visit the Orsay museum. It’s smaller and less crowded than the Louvre. Plus, it has a great number of impressionist paintings, and an art movement born in Paris in the neighbourhood of Montmartre. This museum is built in an ancient train station, so it’s easy to get around and is impressive to see. Buy a ticket online some time before so you can skip the line.
Cross the Royal Bridge to enter the Garden of the Tuileries, a typical French garden, and admire the Louvre, one of the world’s largest museums and the former residence of French kings. Enter through the Lion Gate if you chose to visit the Louvre and not Orsay, as the line is shorter than at the Pyramid.
Make your way over the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge of Paris, and cross it to come to the heart of Paris; l’île de la Cité – The Cité Island.
You arrived at the Ile de la Cité. That was quite a walk and you must be a little tired. On the island, you can find a small café where you can have your lunch.
After a break, you will be happy to pass by the Conciergerie, a former royal palace and prison in Paris, to reach the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. I think you should take the time to get in; you’ll not regret it and the line is never too long.
The discovery of Paris is not complete if you haven’t taken the Parisian subway at least once. Go to the station Cité, next to Notre-Dame, and take the metro to Saint-Germain-Des-Prés. It’s direct on Line 4, direction Porte d’Orléans. You are now on the Left Bank of Paris.
Just like legendary writers like Sartre, de Beauvoir, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein or Joyce, enjoy a drink in a historic café next to the Church of Saint-Germain. The Café de Flore is the most famous one but it’s also expensive! You can also stop at Pierre Hermé, on the Bonaparte Street, 5minutes from the metro station, to enjoy amacaron, a famous French pastry.
You can take the Line 4 again or walk to the Montparnasse Tower. It’s the only tower of Paris, and like most Parisians, I don’t like this big black building. It’s not really pretty. But the good thing is, if you go to the top of it, you’ll enjoy an amazing view of Paris, with the Eiffel Tower and without the Montparnasse Tower.
To end this amazing walk in Paris, you can have dinner next to the Opera Garnier at the Café Lumière. The Café Lumière is one of the best restaurants around and the inside is beautiful, with a roof made of glass. For a cheaper price, you can enjoy good food at the Bistro Volnay. Then have a last walk at night, strolling a typical Right Bank“haussmanien” avenue.