Paris is such an iconic European city that it is known by not one, but two nicknames: the City of Lights and the City of Love. How can you possibly begin to plan a trip to this incredible destination for less than 24 hours?
With so much to do and see in Paris, it is hard to decide which attractions are the most important. Obviously, there are the main landmarks, like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph. Then, there are lesser-known gems, including the Palais Royal, the Galerie Vivienne and the Place des Victoires. To help you develop a one-day itinerary, we at Parclick will share some tips and tricks on getting the most out of your short visit to the beautiful city of Paris.
As soon as you arrive, start the day of on the right foot by stopping into Du Pain et des Idees for pastries and coffee. Even if you aren’t hungry, you cannot resist the mouth-watering delicacies with a cup of piping hot joe. The famed café is easily accessible, being only a five-minute walk from the République metro station. The most difficult part of this excursion will be deciding what to order – do you choose the pain des amis, a thick and nutty flatbread; the mini-pavés, or bread filled with anything from veggies to cheese or fruit and chocolate; the escargot chocolat-pistache, which is a chocolate pistachio roll; or the mouna, an African recipe for buttery brioche with orange blossoms? There are combinations here that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Now that you’ve begun your day like a local Parisian, it’s time to see the sights. Where to begin? You can always reserve a spot on one of the free walking tours to visit various landmarks in the city and to learn about the history behind the attractions. There are a few options to choose from. At Parclick, we recommend that if this is your first time in Paris, stick with one of the tours that takes you on a whirlwind adventure to some of the popular tourist spots, like the Notre Dame, the Champs Elysées and the Montmartre. However, if you are not a newcomer to this stunning city, you should look for one of the tours that shows off the hidden gems of Paris so you can get to know every inch of the French capital.
Now you must be thinking, Paris has so much to do that surely there are more tours than just walking around the city? Well, you are so right! There are many places that specialize in food tours. If you consider yourself a foodie and are looking forward to trying all the tastes of Paris, these excursions are practically made for you. Sample classic Parisian cuisine from sweets to bread and cheeses to savory ham and sausage. Of course, you will need to wash all of this deliciousness down with a nice glass of French wine. These types of tours generally last longer than the walking tours, so make sure to plan accordingly.
If you prefer exploring the sights on your own, you need to invest in the hop-on hop-off bus ticket. This way, you can travel throughout Paris, taking in everything the city has to offer, and you won’t have to pay each time you need to take the bus to get to the next destination. But if you are tired of travelling on land, look into the hop-on hop-off cruise and float down the Seine River to explore Paris.
To have even more control of your route, rent a Vélib bike, which is available every 300 meters. The city of Paris makes it easy for visitors and residents alike to go through the streets and explore every nook and cranny of the beautiful city.
During your trip, don’t miss out on some of the lesser-known spots. You can feel like you went from Paris to New York City in a heartbeat by heading into the Quartier Chinois, or the Paris version of Chinatown. Stop in at some of the most exclusive hotels in the world – even though you aren’t staying there, you can go in and admire the stunning architecture and lobbies of luxury establishments such as the Crillon, the Meurice, the Ritz and the Mandarin Oriental. For those brave souls who don’t believe in ghosts, a must-see attraction in Paris is the Catacombs, where over six million people have been laid to rest. This spooky haunt underneath the City of Lights was started in 1774 to combat the overflow in the city cemeteries and is now among the 13 other City of Paris Museums that are managed by Paris Musées.
We completely understand if the Catacombs are too much for you and, instead, you choose to spend your Friday night as part of the Pari-Roller crowd. Each Friday night, Parisians and tourists roller-blade throughout the city. It is a great adventure to understand why Paris is named the City of Lights.
Now, we are sure that after a day packed with going from place to place in Paris, you are feeling a little empty. To appease your growling stomach during the day, grab a sandwich at Gustave Claps. These insta-worthy wraps and subs are easy to find by getting off at the Saint-Georges station. If you are in the middle of exploring Paris and are suddenly struck with how hungry you are, don’t hesitate and buy a crepe sold from a street stand. Trust us, you will not be sorry as soon as you sink your teeth into the delicious sweet treat. If you are near the Louve, find the close-by Angelina restaurant and order one of their specialties, a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Continue making your sweet tooth happy by picking up a few caramels and chocolates from the world-renowned Jacques Genin.
You can’t sustain a full day of exploring Paris by only eating sweets, so check out the Bistro Paul Bert for a hearty and satisfying lunch or dinner. For those more adventurous folk, you can always go to Roger la Grenouille and try any of their unique dishes. Why would you need to be slightly brave to go to this place? Well, the main ingredient in much of the cuisine is frogs!
Now you know that you know the best places to visit and eat in Paris, all that you need to do is wait, maybe impatiently, for your trip to to the City of Love. With everything to see and do, you will surely entertain yourself and fall in love with this amazing European destination.