One Day In Paris: The ULTIMATE Itinerary

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
October 27, 2021
Looking for guidance on the best things to see in Paris in just one day? Then our one-day in Paris itinerary is the perfect solution for your travels...
one day in paris
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I love Paris, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting twice in my lifetime (so far!)

Once when I was 18 years old on a girl’s trip with my best friend and the next time was during Covid times with Bradley when it was empty.

Both were amazing experiences.

On our second trip to Paris, we challenged ourselves to do as much as we could in one day in Paris.

So, I decided to write a one-day in Paris itinerary, just in case you’ve only got one day to spare, either because you’re on a stopover to another country, or you’ll simply be short on time! 

So, sit back, relax and enjoy my one-day in Paris itinerary! I forewarn you now when you visit Paris, the Eiffel Tower will not be as empty as it looks in the pictures below! 

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When is the best time to visit Paris?

We visited in spring/summer

Paris is truly one of those destinations that’s amazing all year round.

Winter will bring you snow if you’re lucky, Christmas markets, ice rinks, and that general cosy vibe, autumn will bring you an amazing array of autumn colours on every street, spring is when Paris starts to bloom and summer is hot hot hot, and busy!

It’s difficult to escape the crowds of Paris, so you should expect queues and people all year round. BUT, that doesn’t have to ruin your experience. 

Part of the charm of Paris is the hustle and bustle, so don’t let that stop you. 

I’ve visited Paris both in Spring and early summer, just pack sunscreen!

Is one day in Paris enough? 

No, but if that’s all you got, then it CAN be enough to see some of the best highlights.

Paris is honestly the sort of place that you could spend months exploring and still not see it all, but most of us don’t have months, and some of us only have a day! 

This is why my one day in Paris itinerary is pretty decent for getting to see some of the most famous Paris attractions the city has to offer. 

Best way to get to Paris

You’ve got a few options when it comes to getting to Paris. 

If you’re from Europe, you can probably catch a train to Paris, or drive!

But if you do drive, I suggest you either find accommodation that has parking included in the rate, or park outside the city. 

If you’re in a campervan like Brad and I, then we can recommend Camping De Paris!

It’s the “only” campsite in Paris and it’s only 15 minutes (or uber ride) to the Eiffel Tower or an hour’s walk through lovely gardens. 

You can also fly to Paris. Paris is one of the most famous capital cities in all of the world, so pretty much everywhere does flights to Paris, and if you book in advance you’ll be sure to get a great deal. 

We always use Skyscanner to look for flights, and if you need car rental, then check out Discover Cars for a great choice and comparison on the best car rental options in Paris. 

Best way to get around Paris

There are SO many options to getting around Paris.

Let’s run through them…

  • Walk: it’s totally possible to see all the sights I’ve included on this one day Paris itinerary just by walking. We did about 9 hours of walking between all these sites (including seeing them too), so if you want to do this, I suggest you wear good shoes (Tropicfeel are pretty decent!).
  • Electric Scooter: Like any major city nowadays there are lots of electric scooter (and bike) options! We love LIME and when it’s available in a city, we tend to take advantage.
  • Waterways: You can hop on and hop off the waterways of Paris to different attractions, or even book a tour to sightsee some of the most famous locations. Perfect if you’re feet are starting to get sore. The great thing about these tours in Paris is that they aren’t even expensive. Book yours here. 
  • Tuk-tuk: this is a fairly newer way of getting around Paris, but I love it. Over the years at least 3 tuk-tuk rental companies have developed electric tuk-tuks to take you on various tours of Paris. They’re more expensive than the other options above but if you’ve got at least 4 people, I think it works out at a pretty decent price for the experience! Check it out.

One day in Paris Itinerary 

Okay, let’s get to it, here my is my one day in Paris Itinerary.

Final tip, make sure you have decent shoes with you!

Stop one: Breakfast & the Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower paris

Is there simply a better way to start your morning!? Probably not.

Paris is known for being really expensive, but there are ways to save money.

Thankfully, breakfast doesn’t need to break the bank.

You can buy a pastry and coffee for less than 2 Euro and sit in the gardens of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy yourself, or you can do what we did. 

There are lots of restaurants dotted around the Eiffel Tower that have a great view and truly give you that Parisian vibe.

Some of the restaurants are crazy expensive for breakfast, but a lot of restaurants do “breakfast deals” so for around 9-12 euro (depending on where you go), you can get a coffee, toast, croissant, and orange juice for breakfast.

Yes, it’s overpriced for what it is, but it’s an awesome experience and worth every penny in my opinion. 

We went to Café du Trocadéro so I can recommend this spot. 

A great way to start your day! 

Afterwards, head to the Eiffel Tower (if you’re not already there!), and if you want to go up the tower, make sure you have gotten your tickets in advance.

If you’re visiting in “high” season, it’s a good idea to get a “skip the line” ticket.

When I visited the Eiffel Tower years ago, I waited over 2 hours in a queue with a “normal” ticket, and that was considered to be quick…..

The Eiffel Tower was closed when we visited due to Covid, but honestly, that made it amazing, because there were NO crowds.

We were able to wander around the area and relax on the Champ de Mars in the sunshine with just a few people. 

It was truly amazing and something I’ll cherish forever! But, I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower when it’s busy too, and it’s still amazing. I suggest you wait around until the light shows in the evening!

Book your skip-the-line tickets right here.   

Stop two: Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte

Onto the next stop on our one day in Paris itinerary.

The walking distance between the Eiffel Tower and the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte is about 20-25 minutes

But it’s a lovely walk through the streets of Paris, so I recommend it. 

But you can grab an electric scooter if you want to move around quicker!

We love Lime scooters. 

The Tomb of Napoleon is located within the Les Invalides Museum which is vast and filled with a range of amazing artifacts and historical points.

We visited a few that we were interested in, because we simply didn’t have the time to see absolutely everything, and we were most interested in Napoleon's tomb. 

This didn’t disappoint.

The Parthenon housed his tomb, alongside a variety of other tombs, each just as interesting as the other.

It’s a brilliant place to visit and offers lots of insight and history.

I 100% recommend a visit. 

The entrance to Les Invalides is € 14.00 or it’s included in one day Paris pass. 

Get your tickets here.

Stop three: Lunch

After those spots and walking, you’re going to want some lunch.

Paris at lunchtime can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be.

I thought we would probably grab a sandwich to go, as I had thought lunch would be super expensive based on my 1st experience in Paris. But then I remembered I was an 18-year-old visiting Paris and everything was expensive for me then! 

We dined in a cute restaurant just a few minute’s walks from the Louvre.

I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a generic French restaurant, that served decent food at a decent price!

French wine is also excellent value and super delicious, so I suggest you try that at lunch too. 

Stop four: Musée du Louvre

After lunch, the next stop on your Paris itinerary is the world-famous Louvre.

This was our first time visiting the Louvre and because we were visiting in a Covid era, it was virtually empty in comparison to how busy it usually is.

I’ve heard people had to wait hours in a queue to get a picture of the Mona Lisa, but it took about 1-2 minutes for me to get to the front….so that’s how empty it was! Haha 

There she is!

Do not expect that on your visit, and I will tell you that the Mona Lisa is underwhelming unless you’re actually into art. 

But the Louvre has lots of other beautiful exhibitions throughout, and you could simply spend hours exploring. We explored a couple of floors and then left. We were quite disappointed by the Egyptian exhibition they had, but other than that, we enjoyed the Louvre.

You will need to book your ticket in advance when visiting.

You can book online, or pay extra for a skip-the-line ticket if you want to save time. 

Book your ticket here.   

Stop 5: Place de la Concorde

After the Louvre, your feet are probably starting to hurt (mine were!), so it’s time to make your way towards the Champs-Elysees.

But on our way, we’ll be stopping at the Place De La Concorde.

This is a beautiful area of Paris, and it’s right next to Tuileries Garden and Champs-Élysées Garden which are both worth visiting.

When the sun is shining, it’s a good place to grab a spot in the shade and relax. 

Stop 6: Wander along Champs-Elysées- with a stop for coffee

The  Champs-Elysées is one of the most famous spots in Paris, and it’s known for its line of designer shops, so if you feel like shopping, then this is the place to do it. We weren’t there to shop, but we didn’t wander up the Champs- Elysees and stop halfway for a coffee and cold drink.

This was the most expensive place to eat/drink in Paris, it cost us around 24 euro for 3 drinks. But it is what it is! 

If you’re tired from walking, then I recommend you grab an electric scooter to take you up the Champs-Elysées.

That way you get to see everything but give your feet a rest. 

Stop 7: Arc de Triomphe

The final stop on your one day in Paris itinerary is the Arc de Triomphe.

This is a beautiful place, and it’s the centerpiece of one of the most awkward round-a-bouts in the world. It’s actually quite entertaining watching people struggle to get off it.

Brad was a victim of this when he visited with this family when younger. 

Anyway, you can go up the Arc De Triomphe and learn more about the structure and significance, and of course, get some beautiful views.

Unfortunately Brad and I arrived 15 minutes after it had closed……

So we couldn’t go up, which was annoying, so make sure you keep an eye on the times as it can be different for different seasons!

It’s only 13 euro and you can book your ticket ahead of time with a skip the line option. 

Book your tickets here.

Bonus stop: Notre Dame

Before or after you visit the Louvre, you could quickly pop by to Notre Dame. It’s a truly magnificent building and I think it’s fantastic.

But we had both visited on previous trips, so we decided to give it a miss (plus it was closed due to Covid).

But, it’s only a 15-minute walk, or a quick scooter ride away!

So there you have it! My one day in Paris itinerary.

Remember I walked this entire route, so if you’re using public transport or scooters, you’ll get around quicker. But you should definitely pay a little extra for skip-the-line tickets when you have the chance. 

If you’ve got any questions about visiting Paris in one day then drop me a comment below. 

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