Paris is and always will be an incredibly rich and diverse city, full of history, and one that is likely to be on most travelers’ must-see list. If you happen to be in the City of Lights for only one day, you ought to make it a memorable one.
1. One day trip in Paris: how to combine architecture, art, amazing food and effortless chic within 24 hours !
Whether for its iconic neighborhoods, world famous landmarks, outstanding gastronomy or the fact that it’s undeniably the city of chic, Paris inspires, Paris fascinates. It may seem unrealistic to fully experience all of Paris in one day, but with a lot of walking and a bit of prioritization, you won’t be disappointed!
The choice of places to visit in Paris is seemingly endless so we recommend stocking up on energy and starting the day with a generous French breakfast !
The Seine River
The Seine River cuts through Paris so at one point or another, you will be walking along or across it. The Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) and Saint Germain (the 6th arrondissement) follow the line of the river and are considered among the most iconic Parisian neighborhoods with their picturesque buildings adorned with wrought-iron balconies. Along the left bank you will most certainly encounter the established “Bouquinistes of Paris”, the famous book sellers in their green painted boxes. Cruising the Seine is also a great way to get the best views of the city’s monuments. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre… History will unfold before your eyes while you’re comfortably sat relaxing. Many boat services offer cruises along the Seine.
Île de la Cité and Notre Dame
Île de la Cité is the heart of Paris. This is where the original city started before growing out of the borders of the island and expanding to become the Paris we know. The Notre-Dame church, the Conciergerie, the Sainte Chapelle are among the many treasures you will discover while walking through Île de la Cité. Sadly, Notre Dame’s profile has now changed following the recent fire of April 2019. This is one of the many tragedies this masterpiece of Gothic architecture has been through and survived. Interestingly, to this day, all road distances in France are measured from the “Point Zero” mark, located on the “Place du Parvis” of Notre-Dame.
The art lovers’ pick: Louvre Museum – Orsay Museum
If art is your thing, you might want to spare two hours of your day to make a quick visit to one of these incredible museums. Located on either side of the “Jardin des Tuileries” the oldest garden of Paris and a brilliant example of “Jardin à la Française” both museums are overwhelming so two hours will barely scratch the surface but it’s worth the visit.
Walking through the Tuileries Garden will naturally take you to the grand Place de la Concorde with its Egyptian Obelisk proudly overlooking the square and the avenue of the Champs Elysées. A few minutes away is the Place Vendôme, a marvel of urban design and once a symbol of political power, which is now home to most of the prestigious luxury jewelers. Continuing north will lead you to the beautiful Opera Garnier – a remarkable blend of different architecture styles – built by Charles Garnier during the 19th century. The Palais Garnier, as it is called, hosts mainly ballets nowadays.
Enjoying the sunset and a delightful dinner at Montmartre
There is more to Montmartre than its backdrop for the movie Amélie Poulain. The hill of Montmartre is a little out of the way depending on how you organize your day, but it is worth the detour. Winding cobblestone streets, a mill, a vineyard, the art-filled Place du Tertre, and the beautiful Sacré Coeur church sitting on top: these are just a few of the enchanting sights you will stumble upon while roaming though this village-within-the-city. It is the ideal place to enjoy the sunset and take in the breathtaking panorama from the highest peak of the city before making your way to one of the numerous restaurants for some tasty French cuisine.
2. Galeries Lafayette, the best place shopping, fooding, chilling and … sightseeing!
Make sure to drop by the Galeries Lafayette as your day in Paris would not be complete without some dedicated shopping time. As one of the biggest department stores, it will definitely fulfill your shopping appetite… and then some. While you shop, look up and around: the building is an architectural gem with its spectacular Art Nouveau dome. The store itself holds many secrets which can be discovered by signing up at one of the “Store’s history guided tours” or by reading more about Galeries Lafayette’s history.
Most brands have settled here and regularly offer guest experiences. It is the opportunity to get pampered at one of the make-up or nail bars and enjoy one of the pop-up events of the moment, taking place inside the store. Some of these include the amazing glass-walk or the incredible huge rainbow net hanging from the dome. If you happen to be there for Christmas, you will enter a world of wonder as the store transforms and displays its festive magic with the giant Christmas tree and window displays.
Gastronomy lovers who wish to enjoy some French delicacies will be offered a large choice of fine restaurants as some of the most renowned chefs have settled at Galeries Lafayette. Treat yourself to a delicious meal or a snack! For instance, this might be an excellent opportunity to taste a few of Pierre Hermé’s selection of macarons and pastries.
If after indulging your sweet tooth, you decide to take home the “macaron” expertise, you can sign up to the “French macaron bakery class”. Galeries Lafayette’s sensory experiences are here to offer the visitor an immersive French session: wine tasting, fashion shows, guided tours of the shop’s unique story and architecture, bakery classes, it will add something special to your day. Check them out as you might want to extend your stay!
Last but not least, Galeries Lafayette happens to have one of the most exquisite rooftop terraces with stunning views of some of Paris’s stately monuments. What better way to end your 24 hours trip in Paris than sipping a drink with the city at your feet?
Walk in confidently and start discovering, there is always something happening at the Galeries Lafayette!