If you’re a traveler of any sort, chances are that Paris is on your bucket list. It’s one of those cities that most people dream of as it has everything- romance, shopping, art, culture, and great food, and even if there are countless things not to do. The iconic Eiffel tower picture is something that everyone wants to take.
24 hours in Paris can be a very different experience depending on who you visit with- a girls’ trip will have a completely different vibe compared to a romantic trip. A work trip will have a different vibe than visiting with your family. But the beauty of Paris is that there is something for everyone.
Regardless of whether you take the Thalys into Paris for the day or have a flight layover, you have to use that time wisely!
So, what happens when you finally get to Paris, but only have 24 hours in the city? Fret not- while it’s true that Paris is a huge city, it’s also a city where, if you manage your expectations and time right, you can hit all the major landmarks and get some great food (or gelato) in you!
Your options are going to be different depending on the day of the week you’re there- a Tuesday and Sunday in Paris will not yield the same results. You’ll need to hit the ground running as soon as you get in, but here’s how we suggest getting the most out of your 24 hours in Paris.
Be sure to grab a metro pass right before or after checking in your hotel. This is going to cut down on your transportation time between landmarks.
While Paris is an extremely walkable city, for the most part, not everything is super close together like in London for example so jumping on the metro will save you some time. That said, walking in the Tuileries Gardens to the Musee D’Orsay is totally worth it.
Let’s be real for a minute- 24 hours in Paris actually means 16 hours when you take the time to sleep out of the equation.
WHAT TO SEE IN PARIS IN 24 HOURS (PARIS ITINERARY 1 DAY)
- Find the Mona Lisa at the Louvre- We’ll be honest here- the Mona Lisa is pretty tiny, and it takes forever to find it in the Louvre. We would suggest keeping the museum tour for a longer trip, and head to the Louvre at night when it’s not so packed with tourists, and you can get some great shots, but most importantly, you get to take in the beauty of the glass and lights.
- Take Instagram-worthy pics on Rue Cremuiex: Yes, it’s worth the detour to Gare de Lyon to get down to this cute little hidden gem, and while they don’t match the beauty of Aix en Provence, these pastel-colored homes are the perfect backdrop to uncommon Paris pictures. Trust us.
- Walk down Champs Elysees: Take the metro to the Arc de Triomf exit and walk down to the Eiffel Tower. The 30-minute walk down is filled with shopping, gelato places (priority!). Champs Elysees is a 5-minute walk away from the metro stop.
- Visit the Eiffel Tower: Absolute must. You’re in Paris- you need to see the tower. Going up the tower is a different story. It’s a time-consuming activity, and depending on the lines can take hours. Plan on a few hours here if you really want to go up. Be sure to check Eiffel Tour light hours.
- Leave a love lock by Notre Dame- or don’t. I hear they are cutting them all down because of the extra weight on the bridges.
- Indulge on Parian pastries– The easiest thing to find in Paris is pastries. Seriously. We like to them of them as a fuel stop.
- Enjoy the nightlife- If you’re looking to see what the nightlife vibe is like, then we suggest heading to the tenth and eleventh arrondissements to explore the nightlife along the Canal St. Martin. The area gets busy and is full of fun bars, and cool bistros.
WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS:
Here are 3 of our favourite places in Paris:
- The perfect l’Éclair | l’Éclair de Génie: 14 rue Pavée 75004 Paris | Métro Stop: Saint Paul
- The delicious ice cream | Berthillon : 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris | Métro Stop: Pont-Marie
- The hot chocolate that tastes like heaven | Jean Paul Hévin :231 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris | Métro Stop Tuileries.
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS:
Hilton Paris Opera– steps from the metro, and absolutely stunning decor. We loved the service, the location, and the really quaint rooms. Most importantly, we loved how comfy the beds were!
WHAT TO DO IN PARIS IN 2 DAYS (PARIS ITINERARY 2 DAYS)
The beauty of Paris is that you can see as much or as little as you in a day. And while you rush around and see everything that we have listed above in one day, you can also take your time and get to see the city a bit slower.
If you are able to cross everything off your list in 24 hours in Paris, then we suggest tackling the list below for your second day in Paris.
- Get clocked at Musee d’Orsay- The perfect place to grab a picture of the infamous clock, and see what all the fuss is about. While we recommend the Louvre if you’re short on time, Musee d’Orsay is just as great if you’re into Impressionist art. You’ll find works by Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
- Have a picnic in the Tuileries Gardens- Perfect place to take a little break before museum hopping or shopping or whatever you wanted. The gardens are beautiful and extremely photogenic. Be sure to pop into Jean-Paul Hévin and grab a hot chocolate before your walk.
- Climb the hills at Montmartre- Located north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, Montmartre is a hilly area that has a wide variety of almost everything: kitsch boutiques, charming bars and cafés, offbeat museums, sex shops, and everything else you can imagine. While here, we recommend getting some cardio in and making your way up to the large white Basilica of Sacré-Coeur to see some of the best views in Paris. We promise the climb is so worth it- plus this way you can have more dessert since you burned off a ton of calories.
- Get familiar with the Seine- Probably the place to find some of the best views of the city. Take a walk by the Seine to see why Paris is considered one of the most magical cities on the planet. Honestly, we definitely recommend this if you have 2 days in Paris- heck we totally recommend it if you only have a day. Make your way to the Eiffel Tower to see how it shines at night. While most tourists visit during the day, nighttime is when the locals gather under the twinkling lights, sharing a bottle of wine.
You can visit it every year, and still find new things to experience. But if you only have 24 hours in Paris spend it wisely. Figure out what’s most important to you, and set a plan to go see those things- and don’t worry- you can always come back.