The Best Of Paris in One Day: an Ideal Itinerary

Stairs at Trocadero with Eiffel Tower view

The Best Of Paris in One Day: an Ideal Itinerary

You are spending only a day in Paris and you want to make the most out of it? Read this and you will get the itinerary of the best places to see and to capture! I am a Parisian and a photographer so I made sure to share my best tips with you for the Best Of Paris in one day!

There is no better way to start your day in Paris than to see the sun rising with the Eiffel Tower as a background! The best spot for this is located in Place du Trocadéro, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. This forecourt offers the most amazing view of the Iron Lady! To complete the panorama, you will find gardens and terraces and a lovely carousel.

If you want to get closer to the Eiffel Tower in the garden of the Champs de Mars, you can go down the stairs and take the Pont d’Iena, over the River Seine. It will take you only 10 min by walk.

How to access Trocadero? Metro Station Trocadéro (line 6 or 9).

Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is a national symbol built in 1836 and dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. It is located at the top of the Champs-Élysées, at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle (or Place de l’Étoile). Arc de Triomphe is one of the most familiar and impressive landmarks of Paris with its exceptional dimensions (about 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide)! Be aware that this place is the meeting point of 12 avenues, which makes it a very busy and congested area…

From Arc de Triomphe, you can then head to the Champs-Élysées: “the world’s most beautiful avenue”! This 2km long avenue is the perfect place to stroll by day or by night, offering a wide variety of stores (luxury boutiques, French brands, flagships stores or more affordable ready-to-wear brands), cafés and restaurants, cinemas, music halls or night-clubs. You should find there everything you need!

How to access Arc de Triomphe? Metro Station Charles de Gaulle Étoile, Metro line 1, 2 or 6 and RER A. You can also walk from Trocadero (around 25 min).

How to access the Champs-Élysées? Metro stations Charles de Gaulle Étoile, Georges V (line 1), Franklin D. Roosevelt (line 1 and 9), Champs Élysées Clemenceau (line 1 and 13) and Concorde (line 1, 8 and 12).

Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III is definitely the most elegant bridge of Paris and one of my favorite! It was built for the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) of 1900. You will love its Art Nouveau Style: it is classified as a French monument historique since 1975! It’s a good area to wander and to watch the sunset with a beautiful view over the Seine river, the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides and the Grand and Petit Palais.

How to access Pont Alexandre III? Metro station Invalides (line 8 and 13 and RER C) or Champs Élysées Clemenceau (line 1 and 13) . You can also walk from the Champs Élysées (around 20 min).

Grand Palais and Petit Palais

On your way between the Champs-Élysées and the Pont Alexandre III, there are two palaces for fine arts facing each other in Avenue Winston Churchill: the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. They were both built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900. The central entrance of the Petit Palais is THE most stunning door of Paris! My secret tip: if you want to capture it, make sure to come before or after opening hours (before 9:00, after 19:00), or on Mondays as it’s closed.

How to access Grand and Petit Palais? Metro station Champs Élysées Clemenceau (line 1 and 13) . You can also walk from Champs Élysées (around 20 min).

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is the largest square in the Capital, located at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées and close to the Tuileries Garden. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution. Fortunately those times are over and you can admire there two magnificent fountains on the theme of rivers and seas. They are amazing at sunrise and sunset! At the center of the place, the Luxor Obelisk is standing with its 23 meter high. This impressive column decorated with hieroglyphics is over 3,000 years old. It was originally situated outside of Luxor Temple in Egypt!

How to access Place de la Concorde? Metro station Concorde (line 1, 8 and 12). There is 30 min walk between Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde.

Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries Gardens separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde. They were created in 1564 and re-designed by André Le Nôtre, the famous gardener of King Louis XIV. They are one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris: a great place to walk or relax on of the chairs available. My secret tip: I recommend to sit close to the fountain at sunset!

How to access Tuileries Gardens? Metro station Concorde (line 1, 8 and 12) or Tuileries (line 1). It is only 5 min walk from Place de la Concorde.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is only half the size and of the famous one Place de l’Etoile and less known. But it is nonetheless amazing with its 29 meter height! Its very easy to find it between the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre Museum.

It is interesting to note that this arc is aligned with what we call the Historical Axis of Paris. The Historical Axis (or Voie Triomphale, “triumphal way”), is a line of monuments and famous buildings that extends from the centre of Paris to the west. The Louvre Pyramids, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Obelisk of the place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile, and the Grande Arche of la Défense are on the same axis.

How to access Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel? Metro station Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 and 7). It is located at 5 min walk from Tuileries Gardens and from the Louvre museum.

The Louvre Museum

I guess there is no need to introduce the Louvre museum: the largest and the most visited museum in the world! My secret tip: even if you do not have enough time to visit the museum, you can admire the exteriors and it’s free!

The big pyramid built in the 1980s is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. It has the exact same proportions as the Great Pyramid of Giza! The modern glass structure forms a nice contrast with the historic facades of the Louvre,  and has become a landmark in its own! It is surrounded by three smaller pyramids. And there is a fifth pyramid: the inverted pyramid. It is an upside down, suspended pyramid, visible from underground when you use the Carrousel entrance to the Louvre.

How to access The Louvre Museum? Metro station Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 and 7). It is only 5 min walk from the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and 10 min walk from the center of the Tuileries Gardens.

Hotel de Ville

Despite the name, Hotel de Ville is not an hotel but the Town Hall of Paris! It has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. On top of housing the local administration and the Mayor of Paris, it also serves as a venue for large receptions. The architecture is stunning, that’s why I added it to my reco for the best of Paris in one day!

If you are lucky, you will find a carousel on the square in front of the building. It is set up for events and special occasions (like the Holiday) and is absolutely lovely!

How to access Hotel de Ville? Metro station Hotel de Ville (line 1 and 11). From the Louvre museum, you have 15 min walk to get there.

Notre Dame Cathedral

If you want to see the best of Paris in one day, you cannot leave without having seen the facade of Notre Dame Cathedral! The famous Notre Dame de Paris is a magnificent example of medieval French Gothic architecture. It is one the prefered landmark of the Parisians and of the French people! After the terrible fire that devastated it on the 15th of April 2019, it is now under renovation for at least 5 years. Therefore you cannot access the interior and the front square at the moment.

Nevertheless you can still admire the 2 front towers from the surroundings so do not hesitate to pass by! My secret tip: there are a few typically Parisian open-air bookshops along the banks of the river Seine close to Notre Dame that you might like to see as well. They are called “les bouquinistes“.

How to access Notre Dame Cathedral? Metro Station Hotel de Ville (line 1 and 11) or Metro Station Cité (line 40. From Hotel de Ville it’s a 7 min walk.

Sunset and Light show at the Eiffel Tower

At the end of the day, I would recommend you to go back to the Eiffel Tower area to enjoy the sunset and the light show.

Every night, from sunset to 1am (2am in summer), the Eiffel tower is sparkling for 5 minutes every hour at the beginning of the hour. It’s absolutely magical, even for someone that lives in Paris since ages!

Great news: it’s completely free! My secret tip: you can admire it from many places: from Place du Trocadero, from any spot along the Seine river between Ile de la Cite and the Pont d’Iena, from a boat on the river Seine if you take a cruise, from the Pont Neuf bridge,…

A nice way to end your day in Paris!

This was my recommended itinerary to see the Best Of Paris in One Day! I am sure you will love Paris, this city is so exceptional!

If you are spending more time in Paris, you can also take a look at the following articles:

 

If you are looking for places to eat in Paris, check my other foodie articles:

 

And of course do not hesitate to reach out to me in the comments below or by email if you have any questions! I wish you an amazing trip to Paris!

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About Me

Hello! I am Ophélie, an avid traveller, photographer and foodista. I am French and I live in Paris.

This blog, will give you all my secrets: my best addresses (sightseeing and food) all around the world and in Paris, and my travel and lifestyle tips!

 

Let’s keep in touch!

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55 Comments
  • Greggder
    Posted at 02:21h, 14 October Reply

    Спасибо

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  • Mal
    Posted at 11:32h, 23 May Reply

    Wow, such an informative post and I absolutely love all of your photos! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Yvette @Yvettheworld
    Posted at 11:50h, 23 May Reply

    Wow loving all your Paris shots and your outfits are so cute! Thanks for sharing all your tips about Paris’ photo spots.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:11h, 23 May Reply

      You are welcome Yvette, I love to share my Paris secrets! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Amy
    Posted at 12:08h, 23 May Reply

    Oh wow. I cannot wait to go to Paris, it really is a beautiful city. I love all of your recommendations and will be sure to check them out when I return!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:11h, 23 May Reply

      Awesome Amy! I hope you will get this opportunity soon!

  • Deborah Patterson
    Posted at 12:30h, 23 May Reply

    Lovely to see Paris through the eyes of a local. I love the city and have been lucky enough to visit many times, however I think there’s always more to discover. Love your insta-perfect pictures too!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:13h, 23 May Reply

      Thank you Deborah! Paris is indeed the kind of city that you can visit over and over again and never get bored of it!

    • Klaudia
      Posted at 13:44h, 29 June Reply

      Visiting Paris next week for the very first time. So excited! 🙂 and your blog is definitely the best and my newest tour guide 🙂

      • Limitlesssecrets
        Posted at 17:44h, 19 July Reply

        I am so happy I can help you Klaudia! I hope you enjoyed your trip to Paris!

      • Limitlesssecrets
        Posted at 12:34h, 26 July Reply

        Awww this makes me so happy! I hope you enjoyed Paris Klaudia!

  • Curls en Route
    Posted at 16:18h, 23 May Reply

    Dreamy pictures 😍

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:13h, 23 May Reply

      Many thanks! Paris is so photogenic!

  • Nell Miller
    Posted at 16:51h, 23 May Reply

    Wow your photos and outfits are incredible! This is a great guide, there’s so much to do in Paris its hard to know where to start, especially when you have limited time xx

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:14h, 23 May Reply

      Thank you Nell! Yes Paris can be overwhelming for first timer or travelers with limited time, that’s why I thought this guide might be a great idea!

  • Bliss
    Posted at 17:29h, 23 May Reply

    Hotel de Ville and the Eiffel Tower lights show sound super fun.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:16h, 23 May Reply

      Hotel de Ville is stunning indeed Bliss! And the Eiffel Tower sparkling is really moving me each time I see it!

  • Sarah Camp
    Posted at 17:37h, 23 May Reply

    Insanely gorgeous photo! Omg – the evening picnic?? Stunning! You packed a lot in in one day! Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower would be a dream. Great itinerary on how to make the most out of your time in Paris! I gotta step my outfit game up…

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:18h, 23 May Reply

      Thank you for the compliment Sarah! Paris has so much to offer but it’s possible to admire its best of in one day and enjoy it to the fullest!

  • Melissa Byron
    Posted at 17:40h, 23 May Reply

    Beautiful post! This is the perfect itinerary for a quick trip. You really capture all the beauty of the city!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:18h, 23 May Reply

      Thank you Melissa! I hope you will get the opportunity to see all those gems in case you haven’t yet!

  • Taylor
    Posted at 17:59h, 23 May Reply

    This is an amazing itinerary! You have me dreaming of being back in Paris with these gorgeous photos.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:19h, 23 May Reply

      Fantastic Taylor! I am doing my best to show the beauty of the French capital!

  • Frankie
    Posted at 19:40h, 23 May Reply

    Controversial but i’m not a huge fan of Paris, but even I have to admit these photos and your itinerary make it look very appealing for another try 😉

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:21h, 23 May Reply

      I am sorry that Paris didn’t get your heart the first time Frankie. I hope you will get another opportunity to see it again and enjoy it to the fullest!

  • Lily
    Posted at 20:36h, 23 May Reply

    What BEAUTIFUL photos! I love Paris so much and you captured its essence well. Can’t wait to return to this inspiring city.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:21h, 23 May Reply

      Thanks a lot Lily! Paris is such an amazing city, I hope you can come back soon!

  • Cristina
    Posted at 21:16h, 23 May Reply

    This is a great itinerary and I absolutely love your pictures 🙂 They’re beautiful and so clear! I visited Paris many years ago, so I definitely want to go back and revisit all the places you’ve covered in the post.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:22h, 23 May Reply

      Paris has so much to offer that there is always a good reason to re-discover it, especially after many years Cristina! Thank you!

  • Selam
    Posted at 21:30h, 23 May Reply

    Your photos are just absolutely beautiful!! I try to visit Paris each year so I will definitely be referring to your site for my next trip 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:23h, 23 May Reply

      That’s great Selam! As you come often you should definitely check out my food recommendations for Paris: I have a few articles that you might like!

  • Ana @ JauntingTrips.com
    Posted at 22:43h, 23 May Reply

    I love Paris so much. It’s my first big trip I ever took and it was love at first sight. How did you manage to get those clear shots hahaha. Great photography in the post, and all great locations. My favorite part to be honest are the streets around Montmartre. I love that place. Last time I spent there a whole day.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:25h, 23 May Reply

      Montmartre is such a lovely neighborhood Ana! I agree you can spend the whole day there! And to answer your question, I usually take my photos at sunrise when people are still sleeping 🙂

  • Elena Pappalardo
    Posted at 22:50h, 23 May Reply

    Your photos are so inspiring! I will definitely use this when I return to my favorite city again!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 23:26h, 23 May Reply

      I am glad to know that Paris is your favorite Elena! Hopefully I can meet you there one day!

  • Yasmin Ali
    Posted at 00:08h, 24 May Reply

    Ok but FASHION! I love your outfits for all these places and though I’ve been, I want to go back and dress up like you now! Amazing guide!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 00:39h, 24 May Reply

      Aww thank you Yasmin! I really wish you can visit Paris again and dress up for photos soon!

  • Jyoti
    Posted at 01:40h, 24 May Reply

    That’s amazing how much you can fit in a day!
    Love your outfits and the vibrant colors. Great tips and photography!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:36h, 26 May Reply

      This itinerary is really easy as everything is more or less on the way, that’s why you can do everything in one day! Thank you for the compliments Jyoti!

  • Agnes
    Posted at 02:12h, 24 May Reply

    Beautiful photos! We have plans to fly in to Paris for a wedding in Brussels in October. I’m hoping that’s still able to happen!

  • Suvarna Arora
    Posted at 06:44h, 24 May Reply

    You know how badly I wanna visit Paris. This is a perfect Itinerary for 1 day and needless to say, your photos are so amazing.

  • Kimmie Conner
    Posted at 07:01h, 24 May Reply

    AMAZING tips and AMAZING photos! Totally saving this for my next time in Paris 🙂 Thank you!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:36h, 26 May Reply

      I am glad to be helpful to you Kimmie!

  • Jyotsna Ramani
    Posted at 07:19h, 24 May Reply

    OMG your pictures are simply GORGEOUS. I have visited Paris but my pictures fade 1000x in comparison. Followed you on iG too – this is some superb photography girl 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:37h, 26 May Reply

      Thank you so much for all the compliments Jyotsna! I hope you can come back to Paris to take more pictures!

  • Emma
    Posted at 11:03h, 24 May Reply

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful, this is such an amazing guide! I’d love to visit Paris, it’s at the top of my bucketlist!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:38h, 26 May Reply

      Paris is waiting for you Emma! You will love it for sure!

  • Sam
    Posted at 17:08h, 25 May Reply

    These photos are absolutely gorgeous and this sounds like the best one day in Paris! I am dreaming to go back to take photos here and see some of the spots you mentioned above! Just beautiful!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:48h, 26 May Reply

      I hope your dream can come true soon Sam! Paris is so amazing we can visit it several times without being bored!

  • Merryl
    Posted at 13:01h, 26 May Reply

    This is such a great post! You have gorgeous pictures. I am really hoping to visit Paris again some time this year. That city truly is magical <3

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:49h, 26 May Reply

      Thank you for your feedback Merryl! Paris has such nice vibes it worth to be visited more than once!

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