Ohh la la – Paris had stolen my heart from the time I stepped off the Eurostar in Gard du Nord. The city of romance, adventure and culture, Europe’s most sophisticated city is sure to be high on everyone’s list of places to visit.
It’s difficult to decide what to do in a city brimming with art, fashion, food and wine, but here is my suggestion on how to create one perfect day in Paris, France.
Wake and up in your Parisian accommodation and get ready and spend the morning in your local arrondissement or neighbourhood. Enjoy a pavement cafe and enjoy a pain du chocolat – chocolate croissant – as you sip your coffee.
Beat the crowds and get to the Notre Dame early in the morning. You can see the famed cathedral by walking through its crypts. enjoying the architecture of the nave and inside display (I highly recommend you pay the extra few Euro for the audio guide), but the highlight of the visit has to be a climb to the rooftop to gaze across Paris from amongst the protective gargoyles… and see if you can spot Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame while you are up there!
After your climb, enjoy a light lunch at the Cafe Diane in the Tuileries Gardens, just a stone throw away from the Louvre.
With the cafes location so close to major sites you’d expect the prices to be high and it to be overrun by tourists, but there are plenty of business people and the value is good! (€11 – €13 for most dishes)
From here either take in the art of the Louvre. Even just a stroll through the courtyard is a delight in itself.
If galleries aren’t your thing walk towards Place de la Concorde – one of Paris’ major public squares recognisable by the Obelisk of Luxor given to France by the Egyptian government in the 19th century.
From La Concorde, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées – the cities famous avenue – is just a short walk away. If you are looking for luxury shopping – most of the fashion houses can be found here, though some high street brands can be found – then you are in the right place with dozens stores to get lost in.
If you have extra time in Paris then consider a night out on the Champs-Élysées, as the Avenue is lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, and theatres which are open well into the night.
If you feel like making the 1.91km walk down the length of the Avenue, the Arc de Triomphe is at the other end of the Avenue.
All the walking, whether it be whilst gazing at art created by fabric or pain, will be leaving you a little peckish so why not continue with the art-theme and head to a Parisian icon whose medium is that of sugar and flour – Ladurée.
The luxury patisserie, Ladurée is most famed for their macaroons but has a huge range of pastries to choose from; and with a branch on the Champs-Élysées you won’t have far to walk to find a perfect afternoon tea.
Head up the cities lone hill to the area known as Montmartre. Still one of the most bohemian neighbourhoods of Paris, you’ll find plenty of kitch shops, galleries, street art, and of course, the Sacre Coeur at it’s peak.
Whether you just want to gaze at it from the outside, enjoy a service or learn about the church from inside, or just enjoy the view across Paris from the steps, it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Paris.
The perfect way to end the day is to enjoy in a light meal. My perfect day would consist of heading to the supermarket and picking up some fresh ingredients – including a bottle of Champagne, some strawberries and some cheese of course – to whip up a simple yet fantastic meal.
Maybe you don’t share the same love of cooking and eating at one of the cities many famed restaurants is more your style, so perhaps the Guardian’s top Paris restaurant recommendations can help you decide where to dine.
Take in a Moulin Rouge show. Beginning at 9pm every night the cabaret house is the place famous for modernising the can-can dance, which led to its spread throughout Europe.
Currently the show Férrie is running, which continues the cabaret tradition which has made the Moulin Rouge famous but also brings back the famous giant aquarium, in which barely dressed dancers dance in the water, draws inspiration from Indonesian dances and folklore, as well as a host of circus-style acts.
What trip to Paris is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower? By day it’s beautiful, but by night it really shows why it is still one of the most photographed sites in Paris.
Every hour from dusk until 1am – or 3am in the warmer months – the tower will put on a dazzling 10 minute light show; the perfect way to finish one perfect day in Paris.
Now it’s over to you:
How would you spend one perfect day in Paris?
Photo credit: Write Shoot Cut