24 Hours in Paris, France
The city of Paris is an amazing, romantic city known for its culture, people, and food. Although you can easily spend days in Paris, sometimes you do not have the option to spend more than 1 day, or 24 hours, in the city. Maybe you are traveling through Europe and are trying to visit as many cities as possible, or maybe you scheduled a 24-hour layover and want to see as much as you can. Whatever the reason for your short stay, here are several things to do to consider while planning your 24 hours in Paris, France.
Start your morning off right with a delicious breakfast from Le Notre Dame café, which overlooks the Norte Dame Cathedral or any local bakery/boulangerie offering delicious croissants. Once you finish your breakfast, head out to explore the city. Walking around Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter are a great way to start exploring the city. Here are two nearby attractions to visit.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
You are already eating breakfast by the cathedral, so why not go enjoy it? This amazing Gothic-style cathedral is one of the most stunning and elaborate cathedrals in the world. Arriving earlier in the morning will ensure you avoid the crowds so you can truly experience the wonders of the cathedral from within. Even if you do not enter the Notre Dame Cathedral, walking around in the beautiful rear gardens provides an extraordinary view of the flying buttresses as well. The Norte Dame Cathedral is a perfect way to start your day.
With 15 towering stained glass windows and a kaleidoscopic rose window, the Sainte-Chapelle should be explored both inside and out. Described as the “jewel of the Rayonnant Gothic period”, the Saint-Chapelle was built in the 13th century and may have some of the most iconic stained glass windows in the world. From golden accents to a 19th-century spire, this chapel is a beautiful way to create a deeper appreciation for Paris architecture to start your day off right.
Now that you’ve spent several hours exploring, it’s time to eat lunch. Try a meal at Le Fumoir or Le Café Marly near the Louvre to enjoy an authentic French lunch at a café. Once you finish your lunch, it’s time to continue to explore Paris, starting in Louvre-Tuileries as well as walking along the Seine River. Here are two places you should visit in the area.
- Louvre Museum
Potentially the most well-known museum in the world, the Louvre Museum is the largest museum on Earth. Due to its size, there is no way you could see it all in 24 hours (as it would take 100 days to see everything on the grounds), but that leaves a unique experience for every visit. One of the most famous, must-see exhibits is the Mona Lisa. While exploring the Louvre, make sure to walk around the Tuileries Gardens which are gorgeous, meticulously manicured gardens.
- Arc de Triomphe
Taking 30 years to build, the Arc de Triomphe or the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of Paris’s most iconic monuments. The parade for National French Day/Bastille Day starts at the arch. The massive arch sits at 164 feet (50 meters) high and 148 feet (45 meters) wide. This iconic structure is a great photo opportunity. Additionally, the Arc de Triomphe has amazing details in the architecture. From beautifully sculptures to elegant accents, there is so much to see on the arch. The Arc de Triomphe is a perfect way to spend part of an afternoon.
When you are ready to grab dinner, Paris has plenty of delicious food options to choose from. In the Eiffel area, there is plenty of restaurants. One of the most famous restaurants is the Jules Verne, which is on top of the Eiffel Tower and offers a stunning view. Another place to eat is Divellec. With colorful décor and delicious seafood, it is a great place to eat dinner. After you are done, enjoy this area of Paris.
- Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is perhaps the most iconic landmark in Paris, standing at 984 feet (300 meters), the Eiffel Tower is the number one attraction you must visit. Whether you take pictures and admire from afar or climb the tower to see amazing views of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a great place to visit. From the top, you can watch the sunset and watch the city lights twinkle in the night sky. Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a great way to end your day.
- River Seine
The River Seine, or Seine River,cuts through Paris and sits behind the iconic Eiffel Tower. You can stroll along the river, take one of the many bridges across, or take a relaxing river cruise. You may even want to visit Pont Des Arts, which offers amazing views of the surrounding areas and is known for the padlocks couples would lock on the bridge before the key was thrown into the river below. A river cruise at night can also be spectacular as you view the city lights from the river’s level. Although maybe not the most visited, the River Seine is a great place to spend an evening.
After your night, you will probably need to head back to the hotel or wherever you are staying for a good night’s rest. If you still have the energy or are not leaving first thing in the morning, try some of the nightlife. Many of the cafés offer late-night drinks late into the night and early into the next morning. The nightlife of Paris is one of the most unique things about the city.
Paris, France has plenty to do and see. Although you could spend an entire week and still not do everything, sometimes you do not have the time. If you are spending only 24 hours in Paris, this plan will give you a taste of what the city has to offer. From morning until night, make sure to enjoy your stay in Paris!