Paris in a day

Discover Paris in a Day

If you have just one day to soak in the essence of Paris, this Paris in a Day itinerary is for you. It will guide you through the heart of the city, showcasing its most iconic attractions efficiently and memorably.

Starting Point: Coffee and Croissants near Notre Dame

Begin your Parisian adventure early in the morning at a quaint café near Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a classic French breakfast of croissants and coffee while admiring the historic heart of Paris. Due to the fire that severely damaged the cathedral on 16 April 2019, the cathedral is currently closed. The cathedral’s parvis and archaeological crypt are open to visitors but don’t open until 10 am. The cathedral is expected to reopen on 8 December 2024. However, just seeing the cathedral from the outside is worth the visit.

For more on the current status of Notre Dame, click here.

Time to the Louvre: Walk 1.3 km (about 16 minutes)

Stop 2: A Stroll to the Louvre

Take a leisurely walk from Notre Dame along the Seine, across Pont des Arts (the lock bridge) towards the Louvre. This stroll offers picturesque views of the river. It brings you face-to-face with the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument of Paris. Aim to arrive as it opens (9:00 am) to beat the crowds. Spend no more than an hour to see key masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

You can pre-book tickets here.

Time to the Champs-Élysées: Walk 2.2 km (about 30 minutes)

Stop 3: Concorde and Champs-Élysées

Exiting the Louvre, head west to Place de la Concorde. This large square provides a monumental view of the Champs-Élysées, lined with gardens, shops, and restaurants. Stroll up the Champs-Élysées to experience one of the most famous avenues in the world, leading straight to the Arc de Triomphe.

Paris in a day

Time to the Arc de Triomphe: Metro Line 1 from Champs-Élysées to Charles de Gaulle Etoile (6 minutes) or stroll along the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe which is about 2.2km (30 minutes)

Stop 4: Arc de Triomphe and a View of the City

Visit the Arc de Triomphe, honouring those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the city’s layout. After soaking in the vistas, descend and prepare for the next leg of your tour.

You can pre-book tickets for a self-guided tour here.

Paris in a day

Time to the Eiffel Tower: Metro Line 6 from Charles de Gaulle Etoile to Bir-Hakeim (10 minutes)

Paris in a day

Stop 5: Eiffel Tower

No visit to Paris is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. It’s a short walk from the metro station to this global icon. Depending on your time and energy, you can choose to either ascend the tower or admire it from the gardens of Champ de Mars. If you have time you can even cross the river to admire it from Trocadero.

You can pre-book your tickets here.

To see the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower, click here.

Time to next site: Walk 4.1 km (about 50 minutes) or Metro Line 6 from Bir-Hakeim to Pasteur, then Line 12 to Abbesses (about 25 minutes)

Final Stop: Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur

End your day in Montmartre, the bohemian hilltop district famous for its artistic history. Wander its charming streets and visit the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur. From its steps, you can enjoy a stunning sunset view over Paris, reflecting on a day well spent. Or, if you still have some energy left, climb the 280 steps of the Sacré-Cœur Dome for even better views.

Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur


After exploring Montmartre, you can find numerous cozy restaurants to dine in, reflecting on your whirlwind tour through Paris’s most enchanting sights. A day is hardly enough to explore all Paris offers. But this itinerary captures the essence of its most famous attractions, leaving you with lasting memories and a desire to return.

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10 Responses

  1. The only thing I would add is to try to book a walking tour in the morning. This is a great way to get the local’s perspective on her city. I always find out the best place to eat.

    1. Walking tours are a great way to see a city and definitely a great way to get a locals perspective.

  2. What a great itinerary to discover Paris in a day. You have taken us to all the best places in Paris that a first timer to Paris will want to see. And I love the photo of the gargoyle at the top!

  3. My first time in Paris, I spent just one day there. It was a whirlwind, but it was still so worth it! This is a great round up post for a day in Paris for sure.

    1. Thanks Meghan. Definitely wanted to fit a lot into the itinerary. We were lucky to have a few days on our first visit but that still wasn’t enough either.

  4. I like how you detailed out the walking time and distance to each stop. Very helpful! My husband and I did most of these by foot when we visited Paris and it was all fabulous! Great recs.

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