Ahh Paris, there is no where else like it in the world. It’s no secret if you’ve been following this blog for long that Paris to me, is like a second home. I feel so in-sync with the city when I visit and whether I’m just stopping over en route to somewhere else or I’m staying for several days, I’ve found my “spots” over the years that are must-see’s in the city. And while there are a ton of touristy spots in Paris, my favorites are the ones that are a little bit more off the beaten path or in more local areas so you can really get the feel of one of the most famous cities in the world. So if you only have 1 day (or you want to break this itinerary into multiple days), here’s how to spend 1 day in Paris and everything to see and do in a short timeframe.
Jardin du Luxembourg for Breakfast
My favorite park in Paris is my favorite spot to start the day. Grab a croissant and an Orangina at a nearby bakery (don’t worry, there are lots!) and take it into this park on the Left Bank. Grab a chair and just sit for a while, enjoying your croissant and watching the people walking their dogs and starting their day. It’s the most peaceful and totally Parisian way to start your day in Paris.
Notre Dame and Île St. Louis
After your peaceful start, wander through the Left Bank down to the Seine and over to the Île St. Louis and Notre Dame. This is one of the oldest areas of Paris and best early in the day before the flood of tourists. Stop for a coffee, and maybe another croissant, and just wander. The tiny cobblestone streets of the Île St. Louis are one of my favorite parts of Paris.
Hôtel De Ville
As you head through the Île St. Louis and cross to the Right Bank, make a stop in front of the Hôtel de Ville. This beautiful building has a lovely big square in front of it and it’s a landmark that most tourists don’t generally stop for but it’s worth a short trip to see it.
Right Bank Wander by the Seine
From the Hôtel de Ville, head West down the banks of the Seine on the Right Bank. You’ll get breathtaking views of Paris from here, even a little view of the Eiffel Tower on your walk. The architecture along the Seine is gorgeous and you’ll get a real feel for the city on this wander.
Eventually along your Right Bank wander by the Seine, you’ll hit the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens. While everyone should go in and see the Louvre at some point in Paris, I usually skip the lines for the museum and head straight to the Tuileries. These beautiful gardens have chairs all throughout that you can grab and sit for a while and just take in the Parisian views around you.
Long Lunch at a Brasserie
After your lovely slow morning, find a small brasserie off the main roads and have a long lunch with some steak frites. Lingering over long meals is one of my favorite European past times and it’s a must-do while in Paris.
Wander St. Germain
After lunch, head over the Seine again, back to the Left Bank and wander through the St. Germain neighborhood. This is my favorite neighborhood in all of Paris and there is so much to take in, from famous places like Café de Flore to beautiful Parisian architecture. You could wander through this area for hours, but I’d say to head West towards the Eiffel Tower and just enjoy the sights along the way.
Eiffel Tower + Macarons
Eventually, you’ll hit the Eiffel Tower as you wander through St. Germain and on your way to the famous monument, stop to buy some French macarons (my favorite are the chocolate macarons from Ladurée). Hold on to them until you get to your destination though! Once you get to the Eiffel Tower, head over the Seine again towards the Trocadéro. Once on the other side of the bridge from the tower, walk down the stairs to the banks of the Seine and find a spot to sit and enjoy the view with macarons in hand.
Dinner at Café St. Regis
Finally, to end your perfect day in Paris, head to my very favorite spot in the city for dinner – Café St. Regis on the Île St. Louis. This cute little Parisian restaurant has been our go-to spot for over a decade now and it’s frequented by locals and tourists alike. Order the Chicken Paillard and a glass of rosé and just enjoy your evening in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Headed to Paris?