Can a city as big and beautiful as Paris be explored in a day?
Certainly! If you know where you are going, that is.
If you have little time in the city of lights, we have the perfect itinerary for you explore the best of Paris in a day! From visiting the top Paris landmarks to imprinting some distinctive Parisian experiences into your day.
Paris in a day itinerary
When we say you can explore Paris in a day, we mean to visit the most popular landmarks in the city. Many of them are within easy commuting distance and can be visited within a few hours — you just need to know in what order to visit them!
First, start your day early by taking a morning stroll along the city streets and looking for a cute French cafe for breakfast. A typical French breakfast is light and fairly simple — and usually something sweet! To make the most of your day in Paris, opt for a coffee / tea and a delicious pastry of your choice.
Check out our guide on Paris for beginners: where and what to eat, see or do
After breakfast it’s time to head out for a Paris on a day tour. Here are the top landmarks and tourist sites to check out on your day trip through Paris:
Start your Paris on a day trip to Montmarte, a large hill in the 18ste arrondissement (here is our guide to the Paris arrondissements). This charming neighborhood (near Abbesses metro station) is known for being a square of artists and for the Sacré-Coeur church.
You will find many open-air art galleries and museums featuring works by Renoir, Picasso, Dalí and Toulouse Lautrec.
2. See the Opéra Garnier and Place Vendôme
Opéra Garnier and the Place Vendôme are about a 10-minute walk away. Opéra Garnier is a 19stecentury theater art architecture. You can visit the opera house with 1,979 seats for a guided tour inside to see the beautiful masterpiece.
Place Vendôme is one of the city’s most famous squares. It currently houses well-known luxury stores, such as Dior, Chanel or Cartier.
3. The Louvre
The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world and one of the most popular and iconic landmarks in the city. It is home to some of the most famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
If you have the time, you can join a tour of The Louvre, but waiting times are often long. So, if you’re just exploring Paris for a day, you might just have time to walk outside and take some classic photos.
Notre Dame Cathedral
While the Notre-Dame Cathedral is still being renovated after the fire in 2019, you can still see the iconic cathedral from the outside.
5. The Invalides
Another popular landmark, Les Invalides, was built in 1670 to 1676 as a place of retirement for French war veterans. Today it contains museums and monuments related to the military history of France.
6. Pont Alexandre III and the Grand Palais
The Pont Alexandre III is an arch bridge over the Seine of Paris. It connects the Invalides with the Champs-Elysées and is one of the most ornate, extravagant bridges in the city.
The bridge leads to Grand Palais on the right bank. Grand Palais is a historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located on the Champs-Élysées.
7. The Champs-Elysée Avenue
The Champs-Elysée Avenue is a 1.9-kilometer-long avenue that runs between the Place de la Concorde in the east and the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. This famous street is known for its cafes and luxury shops. A walk along the Champs-Elysées is a must for everyone first time visitors to Paris.
8. Eiffel Tower
What better way to end your day than by visiting the Eiffel Tower? Whether you just see the lower area to see the large tower up close or choose to go up, you can not leave the city without a classic selfie with the Eiffel Tower.
Do not forget to eat
While taking your Paris on a day trip, look out for a classic Parisian restaurant to stop by for lunch. Or look for a cute bakery to pick up some goodies for a picnic if the weather is good. Check out our guide on food in Paris for some inspiration.
After your day of exploring, you will be hungry. Fashionable restaurants in the city often require reservations weeks, if not months in advance. So, unless you’re planning to travel in advance, it might be better to walk through the city streets looking for restaurants with an open table (hopefully a good one!)
Save the hassle of getting around on your own and book a car tour
Tour Guide Paris has partnered with a driver named Sam to deliver high-end car tours in the city of lights. The four-hour tour is in a Mercedes car (Class V: 6 seats / Class E or Class S: 2 seats) and includes the driver and a tour guide to take you to all the above landmarks and attractions.
Traveling by car through the city is not easy with the eco-friendly laws in the city, and many roads are closed and only accessible to taxis and delivery vehicles. Fortunately, Sam has a special Taxi + VTC license that allows you to navigate the streets of historic Paris and see the Louvre and other historic sites.
Book you Paris car tour with Sam.