Paris is one of the most popular places for a whistle-stop tour, because it's possible to spend a day in the city and pack in many sights.
With so much to see and do, it’s impossible to see everything but if you plan carefully you might be surprised at just how much you can fit in.
Obviously, if you’re short on time, preparation is key so let us help you with a few suggestions for your itinerary that you won’t want to miss.
If you’re going to see as much as possible, you’ll need an early start and what better way to kick off your Parisian adventure than by watching the sun rise over the city? The Jardins du Trocadéro are the perfect place to start your journey, a beautiful expanse of green space that’s open 24 hours a day.
Located in the 16th arrondissement, the Jardins du Trocadéro back onto the Seine and you won’t find a more picturesque spot in the whole of Paris. With the Eiffel Tower on the other side of the river, you can watch the golden rays creep higher as the city starts to wake up. While you’re there, check out the Fountain of Warsaw, a series of basins, fountains and sprays which are nothing short of spectacular.
Once you’ve seen the full glory of the sunlight and walked around the Jardins du Trocadéro, you’ll no doubt have worked up a bit of an appetite. While in Paris, it would be a crime not to experience the dual delights of croissants and coffee so head over to one of the little cafes lining the streets for an early breakfast.
Order an almond croissant, a must-have for your French trip, plus an espresso - but don’t forget to drink it like a Parisian, no sugar or milk!
Although there’s lots of routes which provide a pleasant stroll across Paris, when time is of the essence hopping on the metro will save those precious minutes. Next on the list of places to visit today is the timeless Notre Dame via the early morning flower market.
The flowers are at their best and the market creates a fragrant setting for visitors to stroll through. However, the beauty of Notre Dame overshadows everything in its path, and you’ll need to set aside a couple of hours to explore the building from top to bottom.
Once you’ve seen everything the historic cathedral has to offer, the Saint Michel is the next stop-off, just a short walk away. This fountain was created by the architect that was responsible for the renovation of Paris, Haussman, and is one of his most memorable pieces. The enormous fountain represents good triumphing over evil, with the archangel Michael beating the devil, flanked by chimeras and is truly a memorable sight.
Moving past the fountain, continue on to the Latin Quarter where you can immerse yourself in the character of this part of Paris. Full of charming pavement cafes, bookshops and small winding streets, the Latin Quarter is the heartbeat of the old city. In this area you will find some famous sights including the Pantheon, the neoclassical mausoleum which looks out over the whole of Paris.
In the Notre Dame region, you will find some excellent creperies, and this makes the perfect place to stop off for lunch. You can either opt for a more filling savoury option such as cheese and ham or indulge yourself in a sweet and chocolatey crepe treat!
After lunch, it’s back to the Eiffel Tower and the 7th arrondissement, as it’s now your turn to climb up the iconic venue. Even on cloudy days the view from the top of the tower is stupendous and it’s an experience not to be missed.
Once you’ve finished with the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées is only a 10-minute walk away. As well as being the site of the famous Arc de Triomphe, you will also have the chance to treat yourself in the many high-end shops along the avenue.
It’s time to hop back on the metro or the bus and head to the 1st arrondissement and drink in the culture at the world-famous Louvre. Tuileries Gardens are just a short distance from Le Louvre and offer everything from intriguing statues to serene water features. Large and well spread out, you could spend a day visiting this place on its own!
Far more than simply a museum, the Centre Pompidou is open until late in the evening on selected days. As well as holding contemporary art exhibitions, it also has a collection of permanent displays, a library, a concert venue and an arena for shows.
Breakfast will undoubtedly seem a long way back and it’s time to find a place for dinner. If you’ve booked in advance you can glide to the top of the Centre Pompidou and enjoy their French-fusion cuisine in Georges, their restaurant. If you have booked there’s plenty of choice on the streets around from the quaintness of L’Estaminet to the bistro appeal of Le Hangar.
The night is still young and if you head to the Old Marais district you’ll find there’s no shortage of action. Rue des Lombards is only a few minutes away from the Centre Pompidou and is known as the jazz alley. There are many hangouts here but if you prefer something that’s a bit different, check out bars such as La Fusée.
It’s up to you how late you decide to party on into the night; you’ll find no shortage of places open. However, if you’re planning on staying in the city for a bit longer, or want to grab some sleep, there’s plenty of properties nearby.