What can you see in Paris in just one day? Of course, you can’t see absolutely everything in just a day, though some people may tell you so. And don’t believe those who say two or three days is enough in Paris either. You can’t see everything in even a week, and anyone who says he has doesn’t know what he is missing.
However, if you do have just a day in Paris, you can see quite a few great places. Note that visits to sights or museums must be booked in advance (Paris is a very popular city). Here are tickets that will help you easily get to the most popular tourist sites.
About the route
We recommend this foot route of the city. You don’t have to stress about transport, and you’ll see the most important things. And we recommend downloading our audioguide app. It has prepared routes and interesting stories that you can listen to as you walk. It’s quick, cheap, comfortable and takes you through the best parts of Paris all in just one day.
The route that’s described here is an expected 6-7 km, but could be up to 10 if you wander a bit. Keep this in mind as you make plans, because it is a lot of walking. You can pick an easier route, like riding on a river boat on the Seine or a double-decker tour bus if you can’t or don’t want to walk the whole route. Look at City Pass offerings that include transport card, a boat tour and even entrance to the Louvre. It might be useful for a one-day trip.
Starting point – Notre-Dame, Hotel-de-Ville, Conciergerie
First you need to get to either the metro station Cite or St. Michele Notre-Dame. Either way you’ll be on the island where Paris started, in the center of the city. This is where the famous cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris stands. It’s currently under repairs after the tragic fire, so for now, you can’t visit Quasimodo’s home, but you can still see the exterior.
After you’ve taken enough pictures and jumped on the shiny circle in front of the entrance (kilometer 0), turn away from the cathedral and face the rest of Paris. Take a right turn, cross the bridge, and you’ll enter the square in front of the town hall — Hotel-de-Ville. It’s a wonderful building that often has various events out front like exhibitions, volleyball, an ice rink, tennis or even a christmas fair to look at. Walk around, go back to the Seine and again turn your back to the town hall and Notre-Dame and walk along the river.
To your left, you’ll see a castle, the Conciergerie. Many political prisoners, from Marie Antoinette to Robespierre, spent their last days here during the Great French Revolution.
Louvre, Tuileries garden, place de la Concorde
Soon you’ll reach the Louvre. It’ll be to your right. You won’t have time to get in, unless you have booked a ticket for that moment in advance. In any case, you can in the courtyard and take a picture by the pyramid. Walk around the beautiful Tuileries garden.
Go through the garden to get to the place de la Concorde. There’s an Egyptian trophy from Napoleon’s conquests here: the Obelisk. This is also where Marie Antoinette and Robespierre were decapitated.
The twin buildings opposite the river are also historical monuments. One is the five-star Hotel Crillon and the other is the Hôtel de la Marine. If you have 45 minutes for an audioguide tour, we recommend seeing the luxurious interiors of the 17th century.
Bridges and the Eiffel tower – Finish
Go back to the river and continue along it. The next bridge you’ll see is one of the most beautiful in Paris. It’s the bridge named after the Russian Emperor Alexander III. It’s a great place for a photo with the Eiffel Tower.
Continue along the river and your tour of Paris’s bridges. The bridge after the next is the Pont d’Alma. To your right you’ll see a monument like the eternal flame. No one remembers who it’s for. But this is where Princess Diana died, and now this monument is a pilgrimage destination for her admirers.
Continue along the river and you’ll see the Eiffel Tower! We recommend first walking around the base and then going to Trocadero square, which has the best view of the tower.
Extra points – Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées
We know you want to enjoy your walk, take lots of pictures, and stop to eat. At a slow pace and with museum visits, our route to the Eiffel Tower could take all day. However, if you still have time, go into the metro and take line 6 to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station. It’s not far, just 5-10 minutes by metro or 25 minutes on foot. You’ll find yourself at the Champs Elysees across from the Arc de Triomph. Climb up to the roof of the arch (better book your ticket in advance here). In our opinion, this is the best panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. After you can walk along the city’s most famous avenue.
Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge
If you aren’t interested in shopping and want to keep walking around Paris more, then you can continue on the second metro line to the station Anvers. Take the funicular up the hill to the foot of the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur. From this point it is very good to watch the sunset.
Or get off at the station Blanche. It’s next to the cabaret Moulin Rouge. It’s a great place to conclude your day in Paris! Tickets for tonight’s performance are always sold out, so book now while you’re getting ready to go.
Have a nice trip!
» See more – Paris in 2 days – route on the map