Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from any qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you.
This article lists the 10 best things to do within one day in Paris,
in addition to helpful travel tips and other information!
What’s not to love about Paris? The architecture, food, fashion, bridges and the Seine are one of the many reasons to pay a visit to the city of lights. So what if you have just one day in Paris? Even 1 day is sufficient to see the highlights of Paris, take a look at the great works of architecture, walk along the Seine and sample some of that famous French cuisine. As great as it would be to have a few extra days, 1 day in Paris is totally do-able and no one should pass over a chance to see the most beautiful city in the world, even if it’s just for a day.
Table of Contents
Need More Travel Inspiration?
If you’re heading to Paris or are doing a tour of western Europe then I’m sure you’re looking for travel guides. Take a look at my Europe travel guides which open in a new tab.
Pin This for Later!
One Day in Paris – Itinerary and Travel Guide
With this Paris 1 day itinerary and travel guide, not only will you get a Paris itinerary for 1 day but also some helpful travel tips in order to get the most out of the one day that you have in Paris. Unfortunately though, since you have just one day, you will only get to see all attractions from the outside, except for the Eiffel tower. That being said, if climbing the Eiffel tower is not on your list for this visit, then you can skip that and enter one of the other monuments or not. This 1 day itinerary for Paris is only an outline and you should go ahead and tweak it to suit your needs and preferences.If there’s anything that you think I missed covering in this post or if you have questions, then don’t be afraid to drop a comment below or send me a personal message on my instagram handle @thespicyjourney.
Is 1 Day in Paris Enough?
Although it’s exciting to think about spending even just 1 day in Paris, I’m sure the practical aspects are still gnawing at your brain. Is it worth spending just 1 day in Paris? Whether you’re on a tight budget, a short business trip, a fast-paced backpacking trip, there are numerous reasons why someone would spend just a day in this beautiful city but trust me when I say that even 1 day is sufficient to fall in love with Paris!
Not only can you visit a number of popular sightseeing spots in Paris within a day but you could also experience Paris, eat croissants and croque madames, drape a scarf like a local and shop for souvenirs.
How Much Does a One Day Trip to Paris Cost?
Since you’re going to be spending only 1 day in Paris, that is not enough time to visit all the Paris attractions. This means that you’ll be saving money on entrance fees and saving time by not having to wait in long queues outside museums and other famous attractions in Paris, France.
All that being said, I urge you to try all the food in Paris that you can – crepes, croissants, hot chocolate, croque monsieur, french onion soup and anything else that your stomach can handle in one day. Expect to spend over €150 on food, although this price may vary depending on how much more (or less) you eat.
Coming to miscellaneous expenditures, souvenirs like fridge magnets, postcards or small paintings cost around €5 – €10 each, depending on the individual item. Although you might not have sufficient time to go on a boat cruise in Paris, you can find tours that are as cheap as €16 for a 1 hour cruise down the Seine.
All the places to visit in this Paris 1 day itinerary are absolutely free of cost and save you both time and money.
Where to Stay during a Weekend in Paris
Here is a list of some budget-friendly accommodation to book if you’re spending only 1 day in Paris.
- Hotel Victor Massé
- Waldorf Montparnasse
- Hôtel De La Porte Dorée
- Hotel Inn Design Paris Place d’Italie
For mid-range options of where to stay during one day in Paris, checkout the options below:
- Hôtel Aiglon
- Grand Hôtel Amelot
- Le Temple De Jeanne
- Hôtel Lucien & Marinette
- Hôtel des Arts Montmartre
Paris 1 Day Itinerary – 10 Places to See in One Day in Paris
1. Sunrise at Trocadero
Given that you are spending just 1 day in Paris, I strongly suggest waking up super early in order to give yourself enough time to see the city of lights. Your first stop will be the Trocadero – which is a large monument directly facing the Eiffel tower. Even though it gets super crowded at sunset, it is fairly empty in the morning and gives one of the best views of the Eiffel tower, making it the best place to start your 1 day Paris itinerary! What’s more exciting is that this is an open public space with no entry fee and the metro can get you right to the monument.
2. Eiffel Tower
After you’re taken a gazillion pictures at the Trocadero, walk straight across the Seine, though the bridge, to reach the footsteps of the Eiffel Tower. Now, I don’t recommend going up the Eiffel Tower if you’re spending just one day in Paris, since the queues for the lift can be quite long and time-consuming. That being said, if this is a bucket list experience that you don’t want to miss out on then by all means, go ahead. But please book a skip-the-line ticket for the Eiffel tower in advance. That can save you a lot more time than you can imagine.
3. Arc de Triomphe
From the Eiffel tower, either take the metro or walk towards the Arc de Triomphe, which is a monument in honor of the war heroes who fought in the Napoleonic wars as well as in the French revolution. Now, even though it might take a good 15 minutes to walk here from the Eiffel tower, you will get to see the brilliant Hausmann buildings with the Eiffel tower peeing behind them. It’s a fabulous feeling to walk through the streets of Paris and something that you should experience in this Paris 1 day itinerary.
4. Place de la Concorde
After admiring and photographing the Arc de Triomphe, walk through the famous Champs Elysees – a lane lined with the stores of luxury brands and flagship stores. If you keep continuing down the lane, you’ll come across the largest square in Paris – the Place de la Concorde. Not only does this 18th century square have an ancient Egyptian obelisk, a classical fountain and a good view of the Arc de Triomphe, but also a distant view of the Eiffel tower.
5. Tuileries Garden
Located right behind the Place de la Concorde is the Tuileries garden. Here, you’ll find plenty of scenic spaces to walk around, benches under the trees, chairs to sit around the fountain, food carts and an outdoor restaurant, a drinking water fountain, well-manicured trees and lots of statues. What’s more, from here, you’ll get a fabulous view of the famous Louvre museum.
6. Louvre Museum
The Louvre is the most famous museum in the world, and not just in Paris, because it houses the Mona Lisa painting. Not just that, the collection of art work here is so massive that they can only display a small fraction of it at a time. Quite naturally, the queue to enter the museum is enormous and if seeing the Mona Lisa is on your bucket list, then book a skip-the-line tour of the Louvre in advance.
7. Pont des Arts
When you exit the Louvre, walk south towards Pont des Arts – one of the prettiest and famous bridges in Paris. In fact, you will recognise it from countless movie and television show scenes. The view of the Seine from this bridge is just spectacular and if you want to go down to the river bank from here and enjoy sitting near the river for a little while, it might not be such a bad idea. In fact, it might just be one of the most romantic things to do in Paris within one day. Continue to cross the bridge to arrive at the next stop on your 1-day Paris itinerary.
8. Saint Germain
The Saint Germain neighborhood lies just south of the Pont des Arts that you just crossed. This area is said to house some of the best cafes in Paris. Two of the oldest and most famous cafes here are Cafe de Flore, which you will recognise from scenes in Emily in Paris and many other movie scenes set in Paris and Les Deux Magots which is located right next to Cafe de Flore. Many famous artists and painters of the 20th century frequented these cafes quite often. Since these are very popular establishments, it’s better to book a table in advance and show up early to avoid standing in a queue for a long time.
9. Luxembourg Garden
After a Parisian lunch, walk off those calories by taking a stroll in the Luxembourg gardens which is a 10 minute walk from the famous cafes in Saint Germain. This beautiful garden looks like something straight out of a French period movie. Just like the Tuileries garden, the statues here are noteworthy and the garden is a good place to just sit idle and read a book on a hot summer day. The garden also houses the Luxembourg Palace, which used to be a royal residence but is now the meeting place of the French senate.
10. Notre Dame
End your Paris 1 day itinerary with a visit to one of the most iconic structures in Paris – the Notre Dame Cathedral. This 13th century cathedral was actually made world famous with the novel by the French writer Victor Hugo and subsequent Disney movie – The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Since then, millions of tourists flock to Paris to get a glimpse of this structure. Currently, one cannot visit the inside due to the restoration work after the fire but it is said that the work will be complete before the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Consider Taking a Tour for a One Day Visit to Paris
While I believe that this Paris 1 day itinerary covers your visit to Paris really well and will help you see all the attractions, if you understandably don’t want to spend too much time on research and planning your 1 day trip, then consider taking a guided tour in Paris.
I loved roaming the streets of Paris and with this 3.5 hour guided bike tour of Paris, not only will you see the iconic landmarks of Paris, but also hidden gems, get local food recommendations and get insider tips from your local tour guide.
Alternatively, you could even ride around a cool segway in this 2 hour segway tour of Paris. In this guided tour, you will learn the history of Paris, see the famous landmarks in the city of lights and glide alongside the Seine. What’s best about this tour is that they first give you a segway training so that you are comfortable riding one and are able to fully enjoy your Paris tour!
To end your one day in Paris with style, consider booking a Paris night tour in a vintage car that is driven by a local. This 1 hour tour of Paris in a classic Citroen 2CV will take you to all the best landmarks in Paris and to make the experience more awesome, you can even add-on champagne and cheese and wine for two.
What Else Can You Do Within a Day in Paris, France?
To maximize your one day in Paris, you can end your day with a sunset Seine river cruise and crepe tasting near the Eiffel Tower. Or you could even do a night Seine cruise with aperitif and music. If just drinks are insufficient, then go all out with an evening cruise with dinner on the Seine that comes with 3 courses, live music and drinks.
For excellent foodie experiences in Paris, you can book a macaron class at Galeries Lafayette or take a French wine tasting class with a sommelier. Additionally, you can even go on a French cheese, wine and pastry walking tour in Montmartre with a guide. For a more luxurious experience, book a gala dinner at the Eiffel tower’s Madame Brasserie restaurant.
Did You Like this Weekend in Paris Itinerary and Travel Guide?
If you liked reading this travel guide to the best things to do in Paris in one day then take a look at my social media handles – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter to see inspiring pictures and videos of my travels around the world and to be the first one to know when I release a new blog post!