The capital of France is amongst some of the most visited cities in the world. I probably count as half of those visitors as I went many many times there. To be honest, it is not my favourite place. However, in recent visits, I start to fall in love, finally. Some Paris sights are so classic that probably I don’t need to mention them on this blog post such as the Eiffel Tower. Here’s a little plan on things to do in Paris for one day based on my personal experiences.
City: Paris, France
10.00 am – Notre Dame Cathedral and Cité
How about a refreshing start of the day in an island at the middle of the Seine River? L’île de la Cité is considered the heart of Paris and no wonder why, many historical sights are placed there.
The main thing to see is Notre Dame Cathedral which is really impressive. All surrounded by waters of the river, so many bridges link both banks. Watch out for nearby Pont des Arts, one of the most romantic places in the planet. It used to host a big collection of padlocks left by visitors from all over the world. And for some of the best ice creams in town, head over to Bertillon.
11.30 am – Louvre Pyramid
Paris hosts an iconic pyramid, it’s the Louvre Pyramid. Beneath it, there’s a huge art collection of legendary paintings including the one and only, Mona Lisa. I visited the Louvre Museum once but I was disappointed by the Joconde. She was really tiny and not as I imagined. But probably, something to tick off the list at least once in a lifetime. Here’s your choice, either you see the Pyramid and move on, or stay inside the museum. On this blog post, I will move on to lunch!
12.30 pm – Lunch Break
France is well-known for quality food and I must say that food is also part of the reasons why I visit Paris. Le Marais is full of restaurants from all types. I suggest American burgers, I absolutely fell in love with: Schwart’z. They are so tasty and come with a generous portion of French fries.
For a quick typically French lunch on the go, I suggest ‘Galettes’. They usually cost between 5 and 6 euros which is okay for a savoury lunch. Plus, they can be found pretty much everywhere. And if your budget permits, I would recommend trying one of the many Michelin rated restaurants in town. Let me know how that goes!
14.00 pm – Gustave Moreau Museum
One day, I saw a picture of a very pretty staircase on Instagram. After some research I could find where this staircase was exactly located. It was at Gustave Moreau Museum in Paris. I noted this. And first thing I did on my following trip to Paris is go see it.
The museum itself is very unique as it hosts a fine collection of art and a fully furnished apartment belonging to Gustave Moreau. He lived there and conceived this house-museum back in the 19th century. I stayed for a couple of hours, walked up and down that magical staircase. I was really happy to discover this rather hidden gem in Paris as the place considerably conserves its original atmosphere and feels.
15.00 pm – Palais Garnier, Opera
Tucked between Paris main shopping streets, departmental stores and busy metro interchange stations, there’s the Opera. It’s a 19th century Italian-inspired opera house. I visited Palais Garnier which has some pretty amazing rooms.
The first step of the visit is a huge staircase which is located in the ground floor. The upper floors host many rooms, including the mythical “Le Grand Foyer” which is absolutely breathtaking. It is filled with Paul Baudry’s outstanding paintings on the ceiling, sculptures on the mural columns and many majestic chandeliers. Obviously noticeable is the gold colours that sparkle with the lights.
Overall, a great experience I highly recommend and I would do again at any time!
18.00 – Montmartre
How about a trip to the highest point in Paris? That’s Montmartre. This area hosts many pretty sights, bars and cabarets including the burlesque show of Moulin Rouge. But further up the hilly streets, there’s Sacre Coeur Cathedral. From up there, it’s possible to see scenic panoramic views over Paris. It’s much better in sunset as the views get more dramatic with of course the main French snacks: cheese, baguette and wine. Perfect way to end the day in Paris!
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Have you been to Paris before? Do you have any recommendations on things to do there?