Minimal lining up, limited subway use and strictly no tour company involved. After my 5th visit to Paris I have finally got it right. Get it right the first time and be able to make the most of every moment.
What would you do if you only had 1 Day (and 1 night) in Paris? Let’s do hope you do have longer!
See below for my personal recommendation for the most indulgent, glamorous quick trip where time is more valuable than normal.
The Itinerary would start early (say 7am)with a visit to a morning market. My personal favourite is the open air market on Rue De Levis (Parc Monceau). A mixture of patisseries, open air stalls selling clothing items, fruit, veg, meats, cheeses.
Fresh Baked baguette, croissant or an indulgent pastry is the best way to start the day. This market is full of locals & has a great vibe. (Closest Metro: Villiers / open till 1pm everyday except Monday). One of my fav Paris bloggers (Chocolate & Zucchini) has a guide (click here) for further food market options
WALK OFF BREAKFAST & VISIT THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Walk to the Arc de Triomphe through the quiet streets of Parc Monceau (approx 25 minutes). Along the way there is Park Monceau itself and a pretty cheese shop at 79 Rue de Courcelles (shop named Fromages et Detail).
If time is precious you can also catch the metro from Villers 3 stops to Charles De Gaulle – Etoile (at the Arc De triomphe)
Time permitting climb up the Arc de Triomphe for a great view of the city (access is available from the CDG Etoile metro station underground). View is pictured below RHS
Once you reach the Arc De Triomphe start a downhill walk of the Champs Elysee (pictured below LHS) Walk right down the lively strip until you reach the Louvre (approx 50 mins). People watch, window shop, actually shop,stop for a coffee (or champagne?) and take in the atmosphere; including Place De La Concorde intersection (pictured below RHS)
EXPRESS LOUVRE VISIT
A fast visit to the Louvre is possible. Of course you will not be able to explore everything. I spent just 1 hour here once and got to see the beautiful Spanish art section AND the Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo. Prioritise what you would like to see before going (click here for ideas)and check out this map for an interactive floor layout so you are not completely lost once inside
Next make your way onto Rue Rivoli & Explore the many nice shops. Finish off by checking out the area surrounding Centre Pompidou including some market stalls & shops. The Louvre to Centre Pompidou is only a 20 minute and plenty to look at (shops!) along the way
After this venture across the other side of the river to the Notre Dame (15 min walk from Centre Pompidou). The Notre Dame is of of the few sites in Paris that doesn’t require hours to line up . It is also reasonably quick to explore (a quick 5 min walk through is so worth it) and will always impress no matter how many times you have been in (4 and counting…)
LUNCH ON A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
From here cross the small bridge to Ile St Louis (5 mins) and stroll the main strip and its many interesting shops. Stop here for lunch.
There are many nice choices including some overlooking the river. Your alternative is to explore the Latin Quarter (8 mins south of the Notre Dame) however even though the atmosphere is good the food “tourist menus” is not so great . Quality appears better on Ile st Louis in my opinion
From here catch a metro /taxi (or walk approx 1 hour, time dependent) to Montmatre at approx 4pm, wandering the hilly streets & exploring shops until happy hour which would be right at the top of the hill at the Sacre Couer Overlooking the City at sunset. Sit on the steps and buy a 2 euro Heineken from the many beer sellers. Even if it is not the most glamorous place in Paris you will definitely feel on top of the world and ready for some night time fun.
There are also some really good buskers including singers & a talented basketball guy who has some amazing tricks including climbing the lamp posts whilst balancing & bouncing his ball (below RHS). You can also walk past the Moulin Rouge whilst in the area.
EIFFEL TOWER DINNER
With a quick stop at a bar for a cocktail I would then catch a taxi to the Eiffell Tower for a dinner at 58 degress on the first leg. With a beautiful view of the city and fantastic food. The restaurant has sittings at 630 or 830 (book here) direct with the venue.
After dinner leisurely stroll across the bridge to St George Street (about 15 mins) and have a ticket to the Crazy Horse Booked (show starts at either 8:15 or 10:45 therefore either a 6:30 dinner or 8:30 booking works well both ways). Champagne, red velvet, burlesque dance. A glamorous way to end the day. Book here direct with the venue and check out some of the other time options as they can change on certain nights . In my opinion the Crazy Horse is a far better option than the Moulin Rouge which is a tad on the touristy side (but definitely walk past whilst you are in Montmatre earlier the day)